This guide is dedicated to identifying all of the different suits worn by The Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase during his legendary WWF run from 1987 to 1996 when he left the federation after almost a decade to fund the NWO’s efforts to destroy WCW.
Suit 1: The Playboy (Summer 1987)
When Ted DiBiase first debuted in the WWF as the Million Dollar Man, he appeared in a series of skits showing off his wealth, doing such things as paying to skip the long queue at a restaurant and paying an attendant off to clear a swimming pool of plebs.
You can see DiBiase here rocking the standard 1980s playboy-style suits, almost Miami Vice style: open collar, no tie, gold necklace, some shades of Ric Flair. Interestingly, Ted favours a blue shirt. Although on one memorable occasion he wore a red one.
This was when he paid a hotel manager off to throw a couple out of their honeymoon suite so he could sleep in it. What a bastard eh. Ha ha. The most observant Ted fans will note that you can always tell it is 1987 from his long blonde hair with dark streaks. Later on he would cut it a bit, and the shade is a tinge darker.
He actually wore this look to the ring a few times. Here he is making an early appearance in Houston, for example, with a fresh-faced Bruce Pritchard.
Ted would sporadically return to this look when he was out and about. For example, here he is in 1989 checking on the progress of the Million Dollar Belt.
And here he is again in 1991 out shopping with Sherri. They both must have been disgusted by those girls in shell suits next to them. This gives DiBiase some wonderful character continuity through the years. When he’s the man about town, he wears a playboy suit. Simple as that!
Suit 2: The Black and Purple (Fall 1987)
DiBiase had started wrestling as the Million Dollar Man in late 1987, and it appears that at some point he dropped the playboy suits for his famed formal evening shirt with bow-tie look replete with dollar signs on his jacket lapels and a big dollar sign on his back. The first version of this suit had purple lapels.
Here is the first in this publicity shot. You will see that it is something of a prototype with several of the usual features of the Million Dollar Man suit missing. For example, there is no lining on the pockets or around the wrist area. Also, the sleeves of the shirt are more frilly and ornate than would later be the case.
He wore this suit in his first in-ring appearance after a little-known turn that happened in Houston, where the local fans knew DiBiase from his Mid-South days. Here he is wearing it in September 1987 ahead of his match with Leaping Lanny Poffo.
For some reason, the programmers of the classic Arcade game WWF Superstars, chose to depict Ted – completely anachronistically I might add – in this suit. Have a look at this hopelessly inaccurate screenshot. This is clearly Ted as seen in 1987, not 1988 – even the hair!
Suit 3: The Black and Turquoise (Winter 1987)
Only the most hardcore of Million Dollar Man fans will spot the subtle changes between this and the previous suit, but they were significant. This was the suit that set the template for all of the other suits. Let’s take a closer look.
Here you can see Ted on the front of WWF Magazine in January 1988. But the shot was probably taken a couple of months earlier. Note the lining around the wrist area and also on the pockets. This was this suit that he wore during the infamous basketball skit. Note the lining.
Suit 4: The Light Silver (Early 1988)
This snazzy number is what Ted wore in the first half of 1988 during his most high profile storyline: the attempted purchase of Hulk Hogan’s WWF World Championship, and his dastardly plan involving purchasing Andre the Giant’s contract from Bobby Heenan (fee: $1 Million), and then paying for the man that would become Earl Hebner to have plastic surgery to more closely resemble Dave Hebner. It resulted in a short run as WWF champion that has since been stricken from the history books by the corrupt WWF President Jack Tunney.
True DiBiase nerds will note that there was, in fact, an alternate version of this suit with purple lapels. This was the version he wore during the initial purchase of Andre’s belt at The Main Event in February 1988.
Suit 5: The Dark Green (Summer 1988)
As 1988 continued, Ted’s suit got darker, and came more to resemble the color of money: that sort of dark green/grey color. This is the suit he wore for most of his feud with Randy Savage, and during the Mega Bucks/Mega Powers angle. Here he is rocking it at SummerSlam 88.
He held onto this one for some time. For example, here he is wearing it at Survivor Series.
Suit 6: Even Darker Green (late 1988 / early 1989)
Some pundits may dispute this, but I have reason to believe that Ted had yet another suit in late 1988, a shade darker than the green number from the summer. He mostly wore this during the period in which he was feuding with his new slave Hercules.
I have gone back and forth with myself on whether this is actually a different suit, or just a trick of lighting. But glance your eyes back and forth from these images and those in the previous section, and I think you’ll agree that the whole shade is a tinge darker.
Here he is wearing it at the Royal Rumble while boasting about having bought the number #30 ticket. In the event, he was cruelly robbed of his big Rumble win by Big John Studd.
Suit 7: The Cape (1989)
After dispatching with the lowly Hercules and failing to win the Rumble, Ted perhaps started to see that he wasn’t going to be getting his hands on the world belt, and changed tac: in a series of legendary skits, he visited a jewelers in Greenwich village who he had commissioned to make his Million Dollar Belt. Fashionistas everywhere were shocked as Ted also used this opportunity to try to bring back sartorial trends of the 1890s. Yes, that’s right fans, he decided that he was going to wear a Victorian cape around New York City in 1989!
Although he only wore the cape once to my knowledge, it captures the Million Dollar Man at his most insane. His maniacal laughter when he finally gets his hands on the belt is something to behold – camped up villainy on par with the Joker or Riddler.
One interesting wrinkle here is that, for some reason, he mostly opted for a more formal suit and tie rather than his playboy look when he was dealing with this jeweler. I guess he wanted to project business acumen and authority, so the jeweler didn’t try any funny business.
Suit 8: The Black and Gold (1989-92)
Most fans when they picture DiBiase as the Million Dollar Man will likely be picturing this. As soon as he acquires the Million Dollar Belt, Ted wears this number pretty much exclusively until he’s tagging regularly with Irwin R. Shyster in 1992. This was a period in which “the look” of many WWF stars became quite standardized with very little variation from show to show. You’d only ever see Hogan in the Yellow and Red, for example. And Ted was no different. He rocked this gold and black number pretty much solidly for three whole years.
He even once wore it wearing a cowboy hat while feuding with Dusty Rhodes!
But was it ALWAYS the same suit? As possibly the only person in the entire world who would even ask or care about this question, I thought I’d try to find out. I believe that there were, in fact, TWO versions of this suit. Look closely here:
Study the lapels. Let’s look even more closely at those lapels …
Now look at the lapels, for example, here:
Can you see? Not sparkly in one, and darker more matte gold, and in the other more sparkly. This becomes clearer if we look at him here giving his Rumble 90 promo.
And here giving his Survivor Series promo later that year.
One matte, one sparkly. You can see him wearing both in these 1991 publicity shots.
It seems to me that the matte version is the earlier suit. Here he is wearing it at SummerSlam 89.
The sparkly number comes around in 91, and it seems to me that he tended to favor it as the year progressed. Here he is rocking it at SummerSlam 91 before his match with that upstart Virgil.
Here wore it into 1992 and the early days of Money, Inc. Here, for example.
Suit 9: The Swank White (1992-3)
In the summer of 1992, while tagging with Irwin, DiBiase finally decided he was going to switch things up a bit and brought in the legendary white suit he wore at SummerSlam 92, WrestleMania 9 and his final event as an active wrestler SummerSlam 93. Around this time, you will see also that Ted’s hair goes darker and shorter. He also switched to wearing white tights for this outfit, which was the first time he didn’t wear black boots and tights since he debuted!
It is clear from merchandising around this time that we were meant to think of Ted in Money, Inc as primarily wearing the white.
Suit 10: The Plain Black (1993-4)
Around the time he was rocking the swank white, Ted also invested in one of his plainest and cheapest looking suits to date. He tended to reserve the white number for PPVs, and this black one for when he was slumming it on the early RAWs and so on. If you ask me, he should have held on to the old black and gold ones because this suit just has nothing going on at all.
Here he is wearing it in one of those awful “face to face” segments with the up and coming Razor Ramon.
Since the white suit was his “Sunday best”, the sheer distance in levels of bling between this suit and that one is quite notable.
When Ted came back as a commentator (and later manager) at Royal Rumble 1994, it was this suit that he wore. Truly a rubbish one, and sadly a sign of what was to come.
Suit 11: The Spangled Black (Late 1994)
Of all of Ted’s suits, this one is the most hideous and cheap. It was truly a travesty. And to make matters worse, as official merchandising shots show, this was intended to be his main look as the leader of the Million Dollar Corporation.
As long-time DiBiase fan Donald Trump might say, this was a disaster! It was also the last of Ted’s Million Dollar Man suits.
Suit 12: No More Dollar Signs (1995-6)
In 1995, he dropped the dollar signs and simply started wearing normal suits.
He saved his classiest look for WrestleMania XI, going the full hog and wearing black tie.
But most of the time in early 95 he wore a suit and tie. As we can see here.
At some point, he decided that he wasn’t even going to bother with a shirt anymore and opted instead to wear various polo-neck sweaters under his suit.
While this was an upgrade from the spangled black, and probably looked classier than the ties he’d been wearing, this was still a pretty sad end for the man who had rocked so many great suits over the years.