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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Doctor's Style: 50 Years of Strange Fashion

While we all wait, and wait, and wait for that clock on the left to hit zero, those of us with many Facebook fan pages (ours is here!) in our News Feed are wondering if all their friends have stopped posting, but then realise that the Doctor Who fan pages are just posting...a lot.
And who can blame them? I know I long for some new info on Clara to make a new post out of! But since I haven't got that, I'll post about something else.
Call me what you will, but I don't think bowties are cool. Frankly, I think that the Doctor should really try a cravat again. But his bowties are certainly something that make this Doctor...unique.
All the Doctors have had elements of their dress that aren't quite normal to us.

The First Doctor

William Hartnell as the
First Doctor get a 4/10
It's not in the picture here, but the first thing I want to cover is that hat of his. Really, what is is? It looks like a small trash bag. If anyone knows what the deal is with that, please let me know in the comments section.
And under that hat is something else...strange. His hair. I'm not saying I don't like it, I'm just saying that it is odd. Like an Ood.
Then, there is his tie. I really don't know the proper word for it. This is do like.
Next, the coat. It seems that most of the Doctors have a coat that is strange but loveable.
And I just noticed this--the ring he's wearing. Let me say that I'm not a fan of rings, and this one isn't and different.
In total, it seems that the First Doctor's outfit, not including the bottoms, is a throwback to the late 1800s or the early 1900s. I'm the kind of person who really likes the dress of that period.
This incarnation of the Doctor was strict and grandfatherly. He communicated those traits with his old-style choice of dress that's a bit shocking at first look, but might grow on you as you watch him slowly become a bit more relaxed.

The Second Doctor

Patrick Throughton as
the Second Doctor gets  a 4.5/10
It is here we see bowties appear, but at this point in real-world time, bowties aren't as much of a faux-pas as they are today. Aside from his hats, we don't really see too much eccentricity in the dress. But that is not to say, and I do not mean that the character is not eccentric. Because he is. Very, very eccentric. He's got catchphrases like "Oh my giddy aunt" and introduces us to the endless running with "when I say run, run," a phrase that also graced the lips of the Ninth Doctor. And I won't fail to mention his recorder. See? I just did. It's also worth the note that this Doctor is the one who adopts his over-arching pacifism after the series was criticized for being too violent.

The Third Doctor

Jon Pertwee as the Third
Doctor gets a 6.75/10
Now here's where we get cookin' with the strange. The Third Doctor steers us back to the Victorian Era (in the Bessie, of course) with his red coat and the ruffles on his shirt. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he also have a cape at some point? And that hair. Ooh, that hair. Its the first coiffure that's full of Time Lord secrets. What Three doesn't have in the oddness factor, he makes up for with his clothes. And, with Jo Grant, he starts to have companions that can hold their own in tough situations. And Sarah Jane Smith starts her time with the Doctor here, too. The Third Doctor makes great contributions to the character traits of the Doctor that don't fade with regeneration. The gentelmanly dapper dress of this incarnation is like the bright colours on poisonous frogs: it says "don't mess!", but reassures you that if you don't get on his bad side he won't woop your butt with his martial art skills.

The Fourth Doctor

Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor gets a 9/10
The Fourth Doctor brings us the most eccentricity in dress and very possibly character. He's the first doctor to wear question marks, although they feature much more prominently with the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Doctors.
The wide brim of this fedora is brilliant, simply marvellous. It sits upon oodles of curly hair, rivalled only by his previous regeneration.
One does not simply watch Doctor Who and not develop a love for long scarves. The Doctor says that it was knitted by Madame Nostradamus and deems it irreplaceable when it gets hit by a laser in The Arc in Space.  Baker says that the original scarf was made by Begonia Pope who was given the yarn but unsure of how long to make it, so she used all of it. There was a much shorter "stunt scarf", and the total length of it varied, the maximum being 24' which is about  four times the height of the Fourth Doctor.
This Doctor is one that acts the strangest, and until the introduction of the other Baker, dresses the strangest. It's the scarf that assures you that he's crazy if his demeanour didn't already convince you of that.
The hat, hair, and scarf are the most prominent of this Doctor's off-kilter dress. As Baker played the doctor for the longest amount of time of all the Doctors (1974-81), his costume was in constant flux. Read more about it here.

The Fifth Doctor

Peter Davison as the Fifth
Doctor gets a 3/10
Not many man can pull off decorative vegetables, but if any one can, it's the Fifth Doctor. This Doctor's clothing is basically just cricket whites, plus the jacket and hat. This Doctor's clothes influenced some of the Tenth Doctor's dressing habits as well.
Oh, and the trainers. And... [putting his glasses on] snap! 'Cos you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor
 -The Tenth Doctor to the Fifth Doctor, Time Crash

This Doctor, aside from the question marks on his collar and the celery, is one of the more "normal" regenerations of the Doctor, at least dress wise.
This Doctor was challenged at first by the Whovians because of his age, being by far the youngest to get cast in the role at the time. His calm outfit helped reassure viewers that he was the respectable Doctor we know and love and not young whipper-snapper, while keeping some of the oddity from his previous regenerations with the celery, the purpose of which is artfully unexplained until his last episode.

The Sixth Doctor

Colin Baker as the Sixth
Doctor gets 2/10
Woah, there. This Doctor needs to calm down a bit. He looks like a unicorn drunk on rainbows threw up on him. Again, we see wild curly hair and question marks on his collar. The coat is a Do-It-Yourself nightmare which I don't even what to address but will. (The things I do for my readers...) Colin Baker's Doctor is brash and puts a foul taste reminiscent of ear wax in many mouths, as does that coat. That coat. That coat. It must have been that coat that made the Doctor swear them off in his next incarnatuon

The Seventh Doctor

Sylvester McCoy as the
Seventh Doctor gets 3.5/10
The Seventh Doctor looks a lot (in terms of clothing) like the Fifth, minus the decorative vegetable, and add more delightfully tacky question marks. Sweater vests, in my book, are even lamer than bow ties. And I feel just plain bad for the person who had to knit that. Their sight can't possibly be what it once was. All the question marks must have been what threw Ace when thinking of his name. But really, you'd think after a while she'd get that it's the Doctor and not the Professor.

The Eighth Doctor

Paul McGann as the Eighth
Doctor gets a 7.75/10
Believe it or not, a really do like this Doctor's look. His forehead and chin/jawline is what really make it work. I think the dress of the Victorian Era is charming in general. It seems (ha, "seems" and we're talking about costumes which have seams...) that the Doctor fancies clothes from that era, as the First and Third Doctors' outfits also have late-1800s overtones. McGann, who wore a wig as the Doctor, suggested (like Colin Baker) that the character have the short hair and leather jacket combo that was adopted for the next Doctor, portrayed by Christopher Eccleston, who had been asked to play the Eighth Doctor. With this Doctor's amnesia playing a significant role in his only on-screen appearance, I'm surprised we don't seem more question marks on him.

The Ninth Doctor

Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor gets 6.5/10
The first episode of Doctor Who that I watched was Rose, which is the first episode with Christopher Eccleston, and I'm gonna be honest: That first time the Doctor appeared on screen, I was a bit perplexed. I went in to it knowing that David Tennant was one of the Doctors, but didn't know about Eccleston. My confusion was due to the fact that the Ninth Doctor's garb isn't strange or anything. In fact, if the v-neck was just a normal tee, he dresses like my dad (one of them pulls it off way better than the other, and I just realized that if you add a moustache to Eccleston, the result would look like my dad). Since Eccleston was only the Doctor for 13 or so episodes, he doesn't have as much of a developed character as most of the other Doctors. He looks like any other denizen (a synonym of which is tenant) of London, but couldn't be farther from the truth. Here is when we really start to see the Doctor as a god trying to be human.

 The Tenth Doctor 

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor gets 10/10
Ten is my favourite, no question. The slim-and-a-little-bit-foxy David Tennnat is a 10 to start with, and the geek-chique helps the cause. From the head down:
He may not be ginger, but his hair rocks. It's full of Time Lord secrets on its worst days. His left eyebrow is eloquent and prolific in emotion. Plus, you can't really look at them without seeing his chocolatey eyes. Then, we have his sideburns. I love them, but they do get mixed reviews. I think the people who don't like them haven't seen him without them. Next, we have the coat. Personally, I really love the coat. The prop replica is hanging in my closet right now. I don't know why or how the coat is as fabulous as it is. Time Lord secrets, again. The main element of the outfit is the Junior-Lawer esque suit and loose tie, which highlights how incredibly thin Tennant is--"you hug him and you get a papercut!" The final thing is the converse. They rock my socks, and apparently his too, as when he takes them off in Smith and Jones he's not wearing any. The BBC gives a guide to dressing like Ten. We also see the most developed character from him, which just goes to show how much of an amazing actor he is. If you haven't seen him in Cassanova and Hamlet, I strongly suggest you do.

The Eleventh Doctor

Matt Smith as the Eleventh
Doctor gets an 8/10
All of us who like the Tenth Doctor are a bit spoiled by his performance. I know I don't like him as much as far as his ability to show emotion as an actor, but do realize that it may be a character choice. It's fun to see him in the whimsical ensemble elements, like the tweed jacket, high-hemmed pants, and the suspenders, and certainly the fez and the Stetson are a laugh. Bow ties aren't cool, but he does pull them off. It's not as eccentric as some of the outfits we've seen the Doctor in (coughsixcough), but you definitely would do a bit of a double take if you saw a man this young dressed like your grandfather and looking this incredible on the street. And if you do see a rather young man dressed this old on the street, go to him and ask if he's the Doctor, because you might just be on to something.

In Conclusion....

Like any of us, our style is indicative of who we are. My dress patterns are erratic, and so am I (you have no idea). Every time he regenerates, he's a new man, and we can only expect to see it on the outside, too. If the clothes make the man, then most of us think that DT is the best-dressed, too.


  1. The First Doctor's usual hat of choice was a karakul or Astrakhan, a triangular hat often associated with Afghanistan. He only wore it twice

    1. He only wore his usual hat twice? How is that then his "ususal" hat?

  2. I admit, I am of the 59%. I will even admit to openly weeping when 10 regenerated. His epic performance had me VERY spoiled, and I was immediately HATE FULL of Matt for even DARING to step in 10's shoes. Actually, I wanted 10ant to stay as The Doctor forever... I wouldn't watch any of the new episodes when they came out... After a while however, I had to watch. just 1, just to see if Matt was any good... I was amazed. It it was then that I realized: The Doctor (my personal perception) has not died. He is still alive and well, through Matt. Matt will never match the standards of 10, but in all... he isn't bad. I can watch the new episodes without any more tears. :')

    1. I'm in the 59%, too. I also hated (and loved) the regeneration. We were definitely spoiled by his performance, and Matt just isn't doing it for me, although I do like him better now. Especially in the post-Pond episodes, the darkness we saw with 10 is there, just as 10's darkness evolved more after the loss of Rose. For me, it was that darkness inside Ten that drew me to the character, as I find I relate to Ten's emotional instability and it's cause all too much. My "personal perception" is dead for now, although showing signs of life.
      With the entire switch from 10-11, I think too much changed at one time; you sort of felt that you were watching a different show that happened to follow someone called The Doctor. Aside from River Song and she and Ten had only been together once (right?) When 9 became 10, we kept the companions and the TARDIS, and we lost both with 11, which I really don't think was necessary, at least at first.
      Thanks for the comment! <3 <3

    2. He's coming back!


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