Quick refresh: Back in the froyo shop-filled faux Good Place, “fake” Eleanor was stuck wearing the supposed “real” Eleanor’s altruistism-channeling wardrobe of practical clogs, flannel shirts and University of Michigan Law School sweatshirts. While in flashbacks to her selfish, designated-driver-avoiding life, she rocked a wardrobe of just-too-tight and intentionally basic ‘fits depicting her “not a goody good” approach to life. This season, the reformed Arizona dirtbag finds the good place in herself and it shows in her optimistic, collegiate wardrobe.
“Now we are trying to have a more ordinary palette,” she adds. “We’re trying to have a palette that reflects earth and just what it would be.” So, unlike me, don’t read too much into Chidi in green and Jason in red (and blue) shooting via pneumatic tube into the real Good Place mail depot. Mann says those were purely wardrobe composition choices.
Humanized demon Michael (Ted Danson) and the all-knowing, not-a-robot (or “a girl”) Janet (D’Arcy Carden) bring the humans — selfish party girl Eleanor (Kristin Bell), chronically indecisive moral philosophy prof Chidi (William Jackson Harper), British socialite Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and lovably dim failed criminal Jason (Manny Jacinto) — back to life for a redo of sorts. The return to earth and the characters’ new journey of self-discovery gave Mann a wealth of opportunity to reflect each of the humans’ true characters — and sprinkle some clues into their wardrobes, too.
Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell). Photo: Colleen Hayes/NBC
In the first two seasons, the costumes were providing hints about the big reveal through color: green for “good” and red for “bad.” Going into the mind of the architects, obviously demons pretending to be in the Good Place wouldn’t wear red, right? But now the old neighborhood has literally dissolved and the ruse is up, so “all bets are off,” Mann says, over the phone.
But, she did embed other critical little morsels into the costumes, as she will explain in the breakdown below. Plus, we still have two episodes to go this season and Chidi did charge into the Interdimensional Hole of Pancakes while still wearing his hot mailman shorts of Eleanor’s postal worker fantasies.
Holy mother forking shirtballs, season three of “The Good Place” has just been a joy — full of bombshell twists, straight fire puns (“We Crumb From a Land Down Under”), more Tahani A-list name-drops (“I gave them all to Goodwill; that’s what I call Prince William”) and clever, wink-wink Easter eggs peppered throughout the scenery (the Americana-spoofing Cowboy Skyscraper Buffet was A+) — and the costumes, thanks to designer Kirston Mann.
“She became a person who didn’t have a big chip on her shoulder,” says Mann. “She wanted to learn to be good and to be a student. So we dressed her like a cute student.” Hence, campus-friendly skinny jeans, Adidas Superstars and adorable cropped sweatshirts and stripe-y sweaters, which have caught the attention of fashion fans and conspiracy-theorists alike.
Warning: Spoilers for all seasons of “The Good Place,” through the January 10, 2019 episode, “The Book of Dougs,” below.
"We do often wink to something that isn’t for everybody to see," says Kirston Mann.