When he’s not teaching audiences how to spruce up their home on Tool Time in a button-down shirt, dress pants, and tie, Tim Taylor lounges around at home in less formal threads. During the portions of Home Improvement, where he’s spending time at home or working in his yard, sweatshirts and t-shirts are more his speed. At first glance, a detail like this isn’t worth thinking about, since it’s so common for people to dress more comfortably at home. However, the clothes themselves share one characteristic with an interesting story behind them — they all include some mention of Michigan-based universities or sports teams.
According to Collider, the decision to keep Taylor’s outerwear consistent came from Tim Allen himself, who wanted to represent his home state (he was born in Denver, Colorado, but moved to Birmingham, Michigan, when he was 13) on the national television series. While that was the original reason, later on, it became apparent that the comedian worked the creative decision in his favor, since he could just bring clothes from his personal wardrobe to wear during filming. Once fans caught on to this trend, Allen’s closet began to expand as many Michigan colleges sent him stuff to wear on Home Improvement as a method of getting their name out there.
At the end of the day, Tim Allen’s adjustment to his on-screen persona went a long way in fleshing the character out as a true average Joe. Not to mention, it provided nearly a decade worth of advertising for some of Michigan’s finest higher education offerings.