• From Bow Ties to Sneakers: Fashion Tips from the Doctor

    From Gryphon@1:2320/105 to All on Tue Dec 17 15:15:00 2013
    Doctor Who on Tor.com
    From Bow Ties to Sneakers: Fashion Tips from the Doctor
    Ryan Britt
    December 16, 2013 12:00PM

    Other than maybe Han Solo, in the universe of sci-fi fashion, most
    leading men have let us down. Captain Kirk is cool, sure. But you cant
    go out dressed like him without getting some serious pit-stains. I
    always loved the outfits from Logans Run, but it gets cold in big
    cities sometimes. Battlestar Galactica? Come on. T-shirts and ugly
    wifebeaters? What is that?

    All in all theres only one hero of time and space out there who knows
    how to dress. And his name is the Doctor.


    Before the Tenth Doctors alternating red or cream sneakers, the Fifth
    Doctor was rocking some pretty sweet white trainers. Because Peter
    Davisons Doctor sort of had a cricket-player thing going on, this
    totally made sense. But hes not the only Doctor with cool shoes.
    Though one cant wear the dandy boots of Jon Pertwees Third Doctor
    with just anything, a good formal boot is an easy way to communicate
    sexiness. And speaking of boots, Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith has brought
    back the ugly functional boot in a big way.

    Jackets, Blazers and Suits:

    Starting with William Hartnell, the Doctors dress has generally exuded
    a vague sense of formality. With the exception of Christopher
    Eccelstons Ninth Doctor, every incarnation of our favorite Time Lord
    has worn a collared shirt, and often a blazer or suit-jacket of some
    kind. Though Patrick Troughtons ill-fitting jacket is pretty much a
    fashion fail, he did start the trend of the Doctor dressing casually
    formal while simultaneously goofy.

    Youd think Jon Pertwees Third Doctor would have a monopoly on the
    velvet blazer, but both the Fourth and Eighth Doctors sported velvet
    too. The Eleventh Doctors tweed blazer is maybe a little more classic
    than a velvet one, but it communicates the same retro message. The
    Doctor likes vintage clothes, because from his perspective theres no
    such thing as vintage since nothing ever goes out of fashion.

    The Tenth Doctor probably wins in the blazer/suit department owing to
    the fact that his ensembles work because he isnt trying too hard. He
    looks cool, but never out of place. In The Waters of Mars when hes
    standing there in his blue suit, cradling his spacesuit, it might have
    looked stupid. But it doesnt, because the Tenth Doctors suits are
    like James Bonds tuxedos, strangely appropriate for all occasions
    because the wearer is super-confident.


    When the Doctor is doing outer-wear, he does it in the style of a
    detective or a superhero. Most of the Doctors big coats are
    cloak-like, reminding us of the characters connections to Sherlock
    Holmes. Some of this like the Third Doctors capes just call a lot of
    attention to the Doctor. Other coats, like the Ninth Doctors plain
    leather jacket, are unassuming, but still works on a classic level.

    Even though the Ninth Doctor got a lot of grief for this jacket, it
    actually was a brilliant fashion move. The Doctor had been gone from
    the public consciousness for a while, meaning any notion of how he
    dressed was up for grabs. Playing it safe would have probably meant
    doing some amalgamation of familiar Doctor pieces; a scarf, a hat, a big
    coat, a tie of some kind. Instead, the Ninth Doctors outfit is a risk.
    Because its simple, or boring, it actually is one of the cooler
    outfits of all the Doctors. The Ninth Doctors coat and general fashion
    works because its relatable. Most of us dont wear bowties and crazy
    scarves. But many of us do own a warm-weather coat and a few sweaters
    (jumpers) which we will always wear. Fashion-wise, the Ninth Doctor was
    the peoples Doctor.

    While hes not the Doctor, Captain Jack Harkness should get a special
    mention here for bringing back the WWII style trench. Honestly, I
    bought one cheap from an Army surplus place last winter and feel like
    Im on the Torchwood team whenever I put it on.

    Scarves and Ties:

    Obviously we cant talk about the Doctors fashion sense without
    talking about neckwear. The Fourth Doctors ridiculous scarf is
    probably the most noticeable scarf of all time and space. Whats so
    great about the Fourth Doctors scarf is that it is somehow its own
    fashion reference point. Dont tell me the long scarf Rose wears in the
    final scenes of The End of Time isnt a shout-out to Tom Baker. Not
    only that, but I bet those Harry Potter scarves wouldnt be near as
    cool if it werent for Doctor number 4.

    Ties and bowties are obviously a big deal with the Doctor. And even
    though the Eleventh Doctor has been constantly reminding us that
    bow-ties are cool, he isnt the first Doctor to rock this iconoclast
    fashion statement. The Second Doctor, the Third Doctor, and even David
    Tennant under the guise of John Smith, have all worn bow ties. There
    are a lot of sociological theories as to what the wearer of a bow tie
    is trying to say by wearing a bow tie. In one of the deleted scenes
    from Season 5, Amy asks the Doctor is it a cry for help? But not
    matter the answer, the main reason the bow tie works for the Doctor is
    because he is the Doctor. The Doctor has also worn regular ties
    throughout his various incarnations. This is good, because ties are
    cool too.


    Lets get one thing straight fezzes are NOT cool. River Song did us all
    a favor by blasting that thing with her ray-gun. But, some of the
    Doctors hats have been awesome. I know we all love Tom Bakers big
    floppy hat, and the hat is pretty much the only thing that saved the
    Seventh Doctors look; the sweater and trousers werent really doing
    Slyvester McCoy any favors, but the hat sort of brought it all together
    and gave him a more distinguished/mysterious quality. All in all
    though, I have to say that I love Fifth Doctor Peter Davisons hat the
    best. It seems like he really uses it to protect himself from the
    elements, and it somehow makes the stick of celery on his lapel make

    There have of course, been many fashion failures. And no, I didnt
    forget about the Sixth Doctor. I just couldnt bring myself to write
    about his get-up. Sure, trying to kill Peri in The Twin Dilemma was
    messed up, but not near as whack as that freaking coat!

    All in all, considering how long the guy has been around, I think hes
    succeeded more times than hes failed. As aliens go, I think we can all
    agree that the Doctor is hands-down the best dressed.

    This post originally appeared December 31, 2010

    Ryan Brit is a long-time contributor to Tor.com. In the late 90s and
    early 00s, his fashion repertoire relied heavily on navy blue Chuck
    Taylors. But in the era of Tenth Doctor David Tennant, he switched to
    red. Hes also been rocking an elbow-patched tweed jacket way before
    Matt Smith showed up.

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