Probably because it is. As Vogue pointed out a few years back, Sarandon has seemingly been rocking this look since 1995, everywhere from hockey games to studio visits, way before Balenciaga took Springfield. But where did the jacket come from? And why does she enjoy wearing it so much? We called her up to find out.
Sarandon first came to acquire the jacket after voicing Bart’s ballet teacher in an episode of season 6. She also briefly lent her voice to a computer in season 17. “It was given to me to thank me for doing voices on The Simpsons, so it has my name on it and everything,” Sarandon said. Her favorite character, Marge, is featured prominently underneath her name.
Vintage Simpsons jackets from the cast and crew will occasionally crop up on resale sites. And some other guest stars, like Woody Harrelson, have been spotted wearing theirs, too, though no one wears theirs as frequently as Sarandon. “Through the years after, as new characters were added to the show, I got new patches that they would send to me to be placed on certain places, so it was kind of an ongoing thing,” she added.
But it’s been a minute since a new character patch has come through. “I don’t know if they stopped adding, or they just don’t make new patches, or there weren’t any new characters that were going to make the distance to warrant a new patch,” she continued, laughing. “Maybe it just got out of hand, their patch budget.”
I wondered if Sarandon had any sort of philosophy about her personal style—often an amalgam of tailored and casual, masculine and feminine, with a bit of a wink—and how the jacket might fit into it. “I don’t have a style philosophy, honestly,” she said. “I’m just kind of me and over the years that creates some kind of style. I don’t think I’m very trendy.”
As for why it’s earned a regular spot in her wardrobe, she cites the warmth—and the big pockets. “I’ve stopped wearing any kind of purse or backpack and I just stuff everything in my pockets,” she said.
There’s also an element of transmitting good vibes at play. “People respond in a very open and simple way to that jacket, so that’s fun,” she said. “It brings a smile to the faces of the people as you walk around and I love that—it’s a public service jacket.”