The Good Place: Michael’s Gray Plaid Suit

Ted Danson as Michael on The Good Place. (Episode 1.08: "Most Improved Player")

Ted Danson as Michael on The Good Place. (Episode 1.08: “Most Improved Player”)

Fellow fans of The Good Place can rejoice… the third season of this forking great comedy returns tonight with an hour-long premiere episode on NBC!


Ted Danson as Michael, afterlife “architect”

The Good Place, present day

Series: The Good Place
– “Most Improved Player” (Episode 1.08), dir. Tristram Shapeero, aired 10/27/2016
– “…Someone Like Me as a Member” (Episode 1.09), dir. Dean Holland, aired 11/3/2016
Creator: Michael Schur
Costume Designer: Kirston Mann

WARNING! Possible spoilers ahead…


Following a major revelation from Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) at the end of The Good Place‘s seventh episode, she is summoned to Michael’s office like a trip to the principal’s office. The otherwise affable architect tries to be stern but comes off more like a disappointed parent as he sets out to test her fitness to possibly stay in the neighborhood, but finds her innate dishonesty to be a considerable obstacle:

You lied so much, you forgot your own birthday. Not a great start.

Unfortunately, Michael’s attempts at testing Eleanor’s goodness is hampered by the fact that a recently murdered, and thus rebooted, Janet (D’Arcy Carden) is reduced to delivering cacti as opposed to his requested files. (If you’re unfamiliar with the show, this must be a very confusing description.)

Michael is thus forced to revert to a manual questionnaire, asking questions like “Did you ever reheat fish in an office microwave?” or “Did you ever take off your shoes and socks on a commercial airliner?”, two sins considered unforgivably grotesque even by Eleanor, a sinner described alternately as “a giant chunk of spinach in the teeth of the universe” by Michael and “a wet pile of mulch… and, like, dead slugs” by Trevor (Adam Scott), the Bad Place demon sent to retrieve her after she eventually fails Michael’s tests.

Of course, by the time Trevor and his trashy companions arrive, Michael appears to have had a change of heart and aims to negotiate to let “Fake Eleanor” stay in his neighborhood. The negotiations are complicated by his complacency and eagerness to please, however, and he ends up allowing the demons to trash Tahani’s home during an all-night rager set to the tune of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” and the Nixon tapes.

"Let's party!"

“Let’s party!”

What’d He Wear?

Eight episodes into my first viewing of The Good Place, I was so intrigued by Ted Danson’s colorful manner of dress that I knew the show would get plenty of BAMF Style attention. After all, Michael is a far cry from Danson’s oversized rugby shirts and utility shirts as Boston bartender Sam Malone on Cheers. It was specifically this gray plaid suit, which seems to make its sole appearance in this two-episode arc, that caught my attention. Michael wears a two-tone gray shadow plaid suit with a thin purple windowpane check that overlays the darker plaid in the suiting.

Like Michael’s teal plaid suit, this could certainly be described as “jaunty”, and it’s no wonder the the demons from The Bad Place treat him as an accommodating pushover. Michael can wear these playfully colorful ensembles when dealing with humans like Eleanor over whom he has total control, but Trevor’s Bad Place demons are a different story. The next day, after Tahani’s pep talk convinces him to be a tougher negotiator, he dresses in a more “serious” navy suit.

"Most Improved Player" (Episode 1.08) begins with a somber Michael calling Eleanor into his office.

“Most Improved Player” (Episode 1.08) begins with a somber Michael calling Eleanor into his office.

The single-breasted jacket has notch lapels that roll to a two-button front that Michael often wears with the top button fastened. The lapels and other edges are stitched about a half-inch from the edge. The jacket also has a welted breast pocket, for one of Michael’s many colorful pocket squares, straight flapped hip pockets, and kissing four-button cuffs. The lining is a bold purple-on-purple patterned satin silk.

The jacket’s double vents are effective for Michael, who often places at least one hand in his trouser pockets but takes pride in an impeccable appearance.

When it comes to negotiating, a plaid suit and a bow tie have no power against a guy in a bedazzled DRESS BITCH T-shirt.

When it comes to negotiating, a plaid suit and a bow tie have no power against a guy in a bedazzled DRESS BITCH T-shirt.

The suit’s matching flat front trousers have side pockets, jetted back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms.

Michael has evidently given up on his suspenders experiment from the fourth episode and has returned to wearing belts, which he deems far more practical, though matching belt leather and shoe leather doesn’t seem to be much of a priority in his Good Place neighborhood as he wears a black belt with a squared steel single prong buckle.


Despite his black belt, Michael wears his usual walnut brown calf derby shoes with four eyelets and bicycle toes. His socks are horizontally striped in black and gray.

The party is only getting started when the Nixon Tapes are queued up on the karaoke machine.

The party is only getting started when the Nixon Tapes are queued up on the karaoke machine.

Although this is the sole appearance of the suit, Michael’s lilac striped shirt can be seen with a few other outfits – including his seafoam velvet dinner suit – over the course of The Good Place. The shirting consists of thin stripes alternating in lavender and white on a lilac cotton ground, with the colors nicely pulling out the subtle purple windowpane grid of the suiting for a more colorful overall effect.

The shirt has a spread collar, plain front, and mitred-corner button cuffs.


Michael wears a navy micro-textured silk bow tie in a large butterfly (thistle) shape, making its first appearance in the show with this suit.

Making its second appearance, however, is Michael’s lavender silk pocket square with its yellow and black paisley print. He had previously worn this pocket square in the breast pocket of his muted navy plaid suit when introducing flying lessons in the show’s second episode.

Michael can't handle yet another cactus.

Michael can’t handle yet another cactus.

Michael’s eyeglasses appear to be the Oliver Peoples “Riley” frame made from black lightweight plastic with “rounded contouring, pin detailing, and a retro keyhole bridge,” as described on the OP site.

Ted Danson as Michael on The Good Place. (Episode 1.08: "Most Improved Player")

Ted Danson as Michael on The Good Place. (Episode 1.08: “Most Improved Player”)

How to Get the Look

Of his many check suit and sport jacket combinations, Michael’s gray plaid suit from the first season of The Good Place is a particular standout.

  • Gray two-tone shadow plaid suit with thin purple windowpane overcheck
    • Single-breasted 2-button jacket with peak lapels, welted breast pocket, slanted flapped hip pockets with ticket pocket, 5-button cuffs, and long double vents
    • Flat front fitted-waistband trousers with side pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Lilac striped cotton shirt with spread collar, plain front, and mitred button cuffs
  • Navy micro-textured silk bow tie
  • Black leather belt with squared steel single-prong buckle
  • Walnut brown calf leather four-eyelet bicycle-toe derby shoes
  • Black and gray horizontally striped socks
  • Oliver Peoples “Riley” black plastic-framed glasses with rounded contouring and keyhole bridge
  • Lavender silk pocket square with yellow and black paisley print

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the series. The first and second seasons are currently available to stream on Netflix (as well as to purchase on DVD), and the third season premieres on NBC tonight!

The Quote

Unless I can find a compelling reason to keep you here, you will spend eternity with murderers and arsonists and people who take off their shoes and socks on commercial airlines!

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