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11 Times Abby Sciuto Was The Fashion Icon Of "NCIS"

Pauley Perrette and NCIS's wardrobe honcho Rachel Good picked their favorite Abby looks.

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All of the agent characters of NCIS have very strict rules of dress, but not Abby Sciuto.

Her outlandish style, unconstricted by traditional professionalism or the demands of fieldwork, has come together thanks to the actor who plays her, Pauley Perrette, and NCIS's costume supervisor, Rachel Good.

Standing in "Abby's closet" — a small room whose wardrobe contents have spilled out into the hallway —  Perrette and Good finished each other's sentences as they discussed the hours and hours they've both spent talking about What Abby Would Wear.

"It's morphed over the years," Perrette said, both as she and Good have learned more about the character and as Perrette's gotten more comfortable prioritizing comfort. ("If her feet aren't seen, she'll wear slippers," Good said — the costume supervisor takes the tags out of Abby's clothes so they don't itch Perrette and puts insoles in all of Abby's very chunky boots.)

Abby used to wear more pants, and now she wears more dresses (which are more weather-versatile — consider that the show is set on the East Coast and the show is filmed in the decidedly less chilly Santa Clarita, California); she used to wear more black, and now she wears colors.

"At a certain point, we started thinking of Abby as an anime, and when we realized that, we went to color as well," Good said. "She never ages — she's like this cartoon," Perrette said, explaining the character's aesthetic. Perrette even famously adopted an extremely time-consuming process to dye her hair black after she developed a severe allergy to the hair dye she'd used in the past because Abby cannot alter her hair color, the actor said. "You don't want that character to suddenly change — you don't want Charlie Brown with long hair."

With that in mind, she and Good save just about everything Abby wears, which is why this closet is so packed, and why it has so many shoes.

It's odd how conservative some of Abby's clothes look in her closet — a dress from Kmart had no edge on a hanger, but somehow with the addition of cuffs, black hair, tattoos, and an Abby je ne sais quoi, a simple item could look punk.

"It's like Christmas morning when I go down to set," Good said. "It's always better than I imagine."


Pauley Perrette and Rachel Good talked to BuzzFeed News about some of their favorite looks from the last 13 seasons:

1. "I Heart Nerds" Tee


When she wore it: Season 1

Why it means something: Good was sentimental about this T-shirt, which was hanging prominently on the wall in the closet. It was the first episode of NCIS, and we didn't know all that much about Abby — mostly that she was metal and incredibly smart. It all came through with this T-shirt and a general air of punk. "Aw!" Good said, looking at it.

2. Evil Christmas Sweater


When she wore it: Lots of seasons

Why it means something: Both Perrette and Good are really into reusing Abby's clothes on the show. "I am still wearing stuff I wore 12 years ago," Perrette said. This Christmas sweater has become a seasonal staple for Abby. Good said after the first time the character wore it, she got a call from CBS chair Sumner Redstone himself expressing his admiration for this red sweater featuring a festive skull.

3. Mrs. Claus


When she wore it: Season 11

Why it means something: "There are no rules, but there are rules," Good said of Abby's wardrobe. "The fact that she comes to work on the day that she's handing out her Christmas gifts dressed as Mrs. Claus, it makes sense." This festive holly apron has skulls on the pockets, because what is Christmas without a reminder of death?


4. The Ill-Fitting Court Suit


When she wore it: In court

Why it means something: Good said she lobbied to have this suit tailored, but Perrette stood firm. "Pauley was like, 'No, this is her court suit. It's ill-fitting.'"

"Way too big for her!" Perrette interjected. Once you get to know Abby, it's also striking how this dull, light blue skirt suit looks more like a costume than anything else the character wears. "It makes me giggle every time I see it," Perrette said.

5. Jimmy Palmer's Bachelor Party Ringleader


When she wore it: Season 9

Why it means something: Good said it's fun when the script leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Hence, Abby is a lion tamer. With a mustache. And a ribcage top.

6. Marilyn Monroe

When she wore it: Season 4

Why it means something: Good, for her part, panicked when she saw the script: It was after Labor Day, and she recalled fretting, "Where the heck am I gonna get white shoes?!" (The answer? A church store.) Perrette said she spent the entire day petrified she would get lipstick on this white dress.

7. Rosie the Riveter

Darren Michaels / CBS

When she wore it: Season 13

Why it means something: The icon of strong womanhood. Perfect for Abby. Also, comfortable outfit.

Abby doesn't wear her Doc coveralls often, Good explained — only on special occasions. Like riveting occasions.


8. Skull Jammies

When she wore it: Season 7

Why it means something: Good was excited to imagine what Abby might wear as pajamas, and she made an entire fluffy skull-accented robe for Abby that the character didn't actually wear in this episode. Abby did use it as a blanket when she fled a shared room to avoid McGee's inevitable diarrhea. Good is saving the robe and the pajamas, because who knows when they may need them again.

9. X-Ray Poodle Skirt

When she wore it: Season 3

Why it means something: The script for this episode described a bowling outfit, so Good went a traditional route with a skull twist — the skull and crossbones on the back of the pink jacket were cut out of a purse and sewn onto the jacket. "It's kind of a no-brainer," Good said of the skeleton poodle.

Both Perrette and Good saw the revelation that she bowls with nuns as a turning point for the character — a moment when you really see how important her faith is to her, and how open and empathetic she is. Her costumes began to play more with Catholic themes: "I must own every over-the-knee stocking in the world," Good said. (Indeed, there are at least two really big boxes of socks in the closet, along with a big shelf of socks.)

10. Skull and Spiders Parasol...

When she wore it: Season 13

Why it means something: This parasol was almost a character itself — three characters remark on it, and later in "Lockdown," when Abby is trapped in a hostage-type situation, the parasol serves as part of her murder-stalling plan. Good had to make a parasol that was attention-grabbing indoors, and the wardrobe department ended up inlaying a black parasol with silvery spiderweb fabric, wrapping the handle in a silver metal bracelet, and affixing tiny little skulls to the ends of the umbrella rods. Good initially wanted to have handcuffs on the handle so the parasol would dangle from Abby's wrist, but Perrette pointed out that she "didn't want to have anything that she could use as a weapon [in the hostage situation], because she would." So the handcuffs were nixed.

Abby's relationship with parasols goes way back. "Davey Havok never goes outside without a parasol," Perrette said, recalling her own time on the Warped Tour with her all-girl punk band. Thus, like the lead singer of AFI, Abby also never goes outside without a parasol. Perrette personally ordered the character's first parasol online, she said.

...Plus Secret Compartment Boots

Ariane Lange / BuzzFeed

"Lockdown" called for boots that had a gas canister in one heel and a flint in the other, or, as the costume supervisor put it, she had to find boots "comfortable enough to do action in, but thick enough soles to have a drawer." The boots are barely onscreen, but they are very detailed, and they really do have working drawers!

Abby dresses up as Rosie the Riveter in the Oct. 27 episode of NCIS and looks fierce in general Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/7 CT on CBS.