Maurice is one of the first Cicelians we meet in the pilot episode, and he makes a grand entrance, rappelling down the side of his grand log mansion. He is presented as Alaska personified: the outdoorsy, lumberjack type, with a sense of adventure and strong entrepreneurial spirit. He has a singular vision of the town: when he drives on the narrow, barely paved two-lane roads of the town, he sees six-lane highways; when he walks past the clapboard, one-storey buildings of the one main street, he imagines high-rises and booming business that will surely be erected one day. Maurice is a man with vision and personifies the American ‘can-do’ spirit.
No character on Northern Exposure identifies himself more with his career than Maurice. He is an ex-astronaut and a former Navy man, patriotic to the core. This pride exemplified in his wardrobe choices. The two pieces of clothing that we identify with the character are his NASA hat and his US Navy Aviation brown leather bomber jacket. These pieces are ever present throughout the seasons of the show, although the hat design changes near in the latter seasons.
Most of Maurice’s clothes lean toward the practical, everyday, rugged wear, more functional than fashionable. He appears to have a large collection of plaid flannel shirts of all hues.
In the summer, he opts of colourful polo shirts. Colour-wise, anything seems to go with Maurice, from reds, to yellows, to blues, although his trousers tend of be neutral khaki or darker shades.
Maurice appears to also have a fondness for cardigans and sweaters with somewhat tacky and garish patterns.
However, his sleepwear can be pretty spectacular, especially the fish print pyjamas and a fabulous blue-and-white striped NASA robe.
Although his everyday wear is practical, Maurice can definitely rise to the occasion when the opportunity presents itself. He is dashing in a tuxedo, and business appropriate in a suit. He even has a Korean dressing gown and a British-inspired tweed costume for the fox hunt, and has a fine coaching outfit.
His outerwear is pretty impressive and distinctive, with a classic suede sheepskin coat, and a red and black Mackinaw wool coat. In the winter, Maurice keeps warm with layers (shirt, vest, coat). While he mostly makes do with this NASA cap, Maurice sometimes wears an awesome fur-lined winter hat.
To quote Chris Stevens in episode 1.2, Maurice is “deep where you think it’s gonna be shallow and it’s shallow where it should be deep.” Behind the usual plaid shirts, NASA caps and Navy jacket, Maurice can at times surprise us with his wardrobe choices. Maurice can be a surprising man, a lumberjack type with a taste for fine wine and classical music. Nevertheless, Maurice always reveals himself as someone solid that you can lean on.