Eleventh Week: The Clothes That Make the Doctor

It's Eleventh Week here at Behold The Geek!, and today we're paying tribute to the costumes that made the Eleventh Doctor who (!) he is! What made his costume so special? How did it take the fandom by storm? Read on and find out!

Professor Time Lord

Eleven made you need the tweed.

Matt Smith's Doctah debut in Series 5's The Eleventh Hour introduced us to the costume that would define him. The tweed jacket and suspenders gave him this sort of schoolteacher authority despite his youthful looks. And this Doctor made a good case in favor of the coolness of bowties. Even better, he made us believe it.

While Ninth rocked the edgy leather look and Ten shone in smart casual, Eleven was a sort of departure from the hip and modern. Here was a Time Lord so convinced in his own coolness, he didn't care if the elbow-patched professor look went out with Tolkien. In his mind, his fashion sense was king, and woe to anyone who thinks otherwise.

And his fashion sense was a major reason why I loved this Doctor so much.

Let's face it, Ten's suit and sandshoes chucks can look pretty commonplace. Same with Nine's leather jacket. But Eleven's tweed and bowtie was just so new (in the context of NuWho, at least) and so quirky...and looked exactly like something an alien Time Lord wanting to pass off as human would wear.

It stands testament to the man that his fashion choices became a rallying point for the fans who considered the Eleventh Doctor as their Doctor. The phrase 'bowties are cool' will never go out of style again.

Purple Frock Coat of Awesome

Then the Ponds 'died'. Then he met Clara. Then she died. And then, having re-ignited his thirst for adventure by meeting Clara (again), the Eleventh Doctor decided that a change was in order. And what better way to shake off the ennui than by a complete wardrobe overhaul?

And what an overhaul it was! Gone was the brown tweed, replaced by a purple cashmere frock coat that oozed character. Gone was the goofy professor...the Eleventh Doctor was now a dapper gentleman adventurer, ready to take on any challenge once again, this time in style.

Double Albert fob chain? Snazzy vest? Purple Frock Coat of Awesome? Just when you thought Eleven couldn't get any classier!

I like to think it wasn't coincidence that the powers-that-be decided to update Eleven's wardrobe to something more Victorian during Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary year. The Doctor isn't exactly one who conforms to the latest fashion fads (he's a time traveler, 'latest' is relative). The First Doctor was a frock coat wearer himself, and let's not forget (or remember, if you're that guy) Sixth's technicolor long coat. What better way to honor the classics while looking forward to the future than for Eleven to pick up the mantle and make vintage cool again.

Dressing Up As the Doctor

With Eleven's departure, the Eleventh Doctor's frock coat ensemble had only eight appearances in total. Criminally underused is an understatement.

But it doesn't have to end there.

Cosplayers of every make and model have cosplayed the Doctor's many incarnations, and it's through them that a part of Doctor Who's legacy lives on, including Eleven's Victorian-era garb.

I'm not really a cosplayer myself, but I'm such a sucker for dressing dapper, and the moment I saw Eleven run around in that frock coat was the moment I thought "I've got to have that coat." And it was during the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Party here in the Philippines that I decided to honor the Eleventh Doctor by dressing up as him. 

It was expensive. It was nerve-wracking. But to be able to walk around in Eleven's costume, to know what Matt Smith feels when he wears the frock coat to work (minus the pressures of acting and deadlines, of course), was priceless, and made me appreciate my Doctor even more.


"Clothes make the man," Mark Twain once said. And for the Eleventh Doctor, his costume definitely defined him in the best possible way. His tweed look set the mood for his quirky portrayal, while the frock coat ensemble made him in tune with the classic Doctors before him. Eleven may be regenerating this Christmas, but his style will live forever in this fan's heart.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it! What did you think of Eleven's costumes? Which one was your favorite? Which one did you hate (!)? Leave a comment below and let's talk about it!

Stay tuned for more Eleventh Doctor awesomeness as we continue to celebrate the man, the myth, the Time Lord, all this week! Thanks for reading!

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