Doctor Who costumes: How to dress like the Doctor

  • 20 August 2014
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How to dress like the Doctor

Want to dress like you're in Doctor Who? Howard Burden, costume designer for the Doctor himself, has told Newsround his top tips for creating the new Doctor's look and the story behind it!

The regeneration of the Doctor brings the opportunity for the costume department to create a whole new style for the character.

The outfits chosen for a Doctor say a lot about his personality and they are often one of the most anticipated aspects when he regenerates.

Get involved: Can you dress like the Doctor or Clara?

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What does the 12th Doctor's outfit reveal about him?

Many previous Doctors are famous for wearing particular items of clothing.

Image caption The eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, was known for his love of bow ties whilst David Tennant wore trainers with a suit when playing the Doctor

How was the perfect style found?

In order to design the new outfit, Howard tested out styles from different periods of history including Victorian and Edwardian times (from 1837 until about 1911).

Peter Capaldi, who plays the twelfth Doctor, tried on hundreds of costumes, from high street brands to top designers.

The actor carried a sketchbook to capture his ideas for the style and colour of the new costume.

Image copyright BBC/Adrian Rogers
Image caption The twelfth Doctor has a more serious style than previous Doctors

Howard explains that when trying on one particular long, dark jacket, Peter turned to him and said: "Gosh this feels like the Doctor!"

The jacket forms the basis of one of the main outfits the new Doctor will be seen in. Other items include a white buttoned-up shirt, black, skinny trousers and boots.

Howard explains that the look is quite severe and was chosen to reflect the more serious personality of the new Doctor.

A red lining to the coat adds a hint of colour and suggests another side to his personality.

Image caption The red lining of the new Doctor's jacket was inspired by a cloak worn by the third Doctor, played by Jon Pertwee

Designing the outfit

Many people are involved in the process of designing the outfit. Whether the clothes are too light or dark for the television screen is important.

The costume department also prepares the same outfit for stunt doubles. Around seven copies of each item were needed over seven months of filming.

Image copyright Ray Burmiston/BBC

Top tips for dressing like the new Doctor

  1. Wear a white shirt buttoned up to the top, one of the trademarks of the new Doctor.
  2. Find an old school blazer or long coat which is navy or black. Ask for some help to add a splash of red to the inside edges of the jacket which can be seen when you move.
  3. Skinny black school trousers will match the dark coat.
  4. Black boots or trainers add to the silhouette of the new Doctor.
  5. Wear an old, long black jumper with small holes or a waistcoat to create some of the more casual looks the Doctor will be seen in.
  6. Hair should be scruffy. The new Doctor does not think about his image but gets up and goes straight on an adventure.
  7. Don't forget to pose!

Want to dress like a previous Doctor?

If you want to dress like the Doctor, there are many to choose from. In order to get it right, Howard advises picking the Doctor you identify with most and basing your outfit around a key item.

Pictures: Doctor Who through the ages

Image caption The Doctors: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester Mccoy, Paul Mcgann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith
Image caption The fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker, was famous for his long woolly scarf
Image caption The sixth Doctor, played by Colin Baker, had a colourful jacket

How to dress like the Doctor's assistant

The costume department has created looks for hundreds of characters. Here's Howard's advice for creating the look of the Doctor's assistant.

Top tips for dressing like Clara

  1. Wear bright colours to reflect Clara's strength of character.
  2. Choose a skirt or dress from the high-street and wear with thick, black tights.
  3. Choose a top with a 'Peter Pan' collar.
  4. Include an old piece of jewellery in the outfit. Clara is often seen wearing an old watch.
Image caption The costume team has to create outfits to reflect many different historical periods

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