The Twelve(ish) Doctors And Their Fashion Sense: Who Wears It Best?

Photo courtesy of the BBC
Photo courtesy of the BBC

Doctor Who has been through a lot recently.

First, it celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary year with the excellent “Day of the Doctor,” which broke all sorts of records for the long-running show.

Second, it was announced that Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, was leaving the TARDIS for good which he did in the emotionally crippling “Time of the Doctor.” (Seriously if you didn’t feel something at the end of that episode you have no soul.)

Third, it was also announced that super-fan and amazingly talented actor, Peter Capaldi, would take the vaunted place in the Doctor’s TARDIS.

Now of course we wonder about the new actor taking over the TARDIS. We worry what this new Doctor would be like. Will they be any good? Most people grumble and grouse about the change. I, however, am not that worried. I subscribed to the theory that there has never been a bad actor in the role. There have been bad writers, yes, but no actor has stepped in the TARDIS and disappointed me with their turn as the Doctor. I’ll have a special place in my heart for Matt Smith. Capaldi though seems dedicated to the role and understands the undertaking.

I got all the faith in the world in him.

Now, the other questions that most fans have regarding the new Doctor is his outfit. The Doctor has an, eclectic, fashion sense. So with the fact that Peter Capaldi has recently revealed his outfit for the Twelfth Doctor. We’ll be taking a look and ranking the Doctor’s fashion sense from worst to best.

Now I will be including the War Doctor’s ensemble into the countdown. I will be also remark upon any sort of major fashion changes in my rank for the Doctor. Overall though, this is a rank of their iconic looks. If I forget a costume change or the like, I apologize but there is 50 years of history here. It’s really hard to keep track.

Thank God the Doctor doesn’t deviate much.

Now let’s rank!

13) The Sixth Doctor

Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki
Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki

Sigh. Poor Colin Baker. He really gets the short end of the stick, doesn’t he? Not only are the televised adventures of his Doctor are regarded as being…bad. He was the only actor to be fired from the job. Though, you do have to give the man credit, he spent two years in that outfit. I admittedly know little of fashion, but even I know that’s an eye-clawing out disaster.

Now it’s not his fault. Story goes the costume was forced on him. Colin Baker wanted a darker color scheme to reflect his character’s darker inner nature.

Actually if they went that route, it would have looked awesome. Fans over the years have gone through and leeched the color from the Sixth Doctor’s ensemble and, in some comics, his clothes are more uniformly colored. It looks great.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr
Photo courtesy of Tumblr

If that was his costume for real, then he would have been higher.

12) The First Doctor

Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki
Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki

Sorry. I’m sorry. Look the First Doctor’s era had it’s hiccups because they were trying to get the show running. He started it all. It’s just that his costume…exists? It’s boring and well…old. I probably shouldn’t nitpick that because hello he is a grandfather. It just doesn’t really stay with you like some of the later costumes do. It is, however, a very sleek look. It’s also, at least, matches which is a big plus.

But oh guys that hat.

Photo courtesy of doctorwhoreviews.co.uk
Photo courtesy of doctorwhoreviews.co.uk

It really bother me for some reason. It looks like the hem of the hat is coming undone or something.  The scarf doesn’t help much either.

11) The Second Doctor

Photo courtesy of the Doctor Who Wiki
Photo courtesy of the Doctor Who Wiki

The “space hobo” look is a nice touch. The Second Doctor looks like a vagabond of the universe, which is how he got people to trust him since he looked harmless. Since the look is purposefully disheveled, it does not feel all that right to comment on the messiness. It is, however, a slight turn off from the outfit. The Second Doctor is perhaps the most unkempt of all of them. He also, as much as I hate to say it, kind of has a really bad hairstyle too. It just doesn’t look quite right on Patrick Troughton’s face.  I do, however, love the use of plaid that the Second Doctor uses.

I wonder if he wanted to match Jamie’s kilt.

Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki
Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki

10) Ninth Doctor

Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki
Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki

The leather jacket, the darkly colored jumpers, the close cropped hair all show the militaristic and inner darkness that Nine held throughout his brief tenure. Now there is nothing wrong with the outfit or the overall look. It fits Nine well. Again it’s how the outfit is compared to other outfits of past and future Doctors.

It’s a little dull is what I’m saying. In regards to Nine, there are no memorable clothes about him in the greater fan-consciousness. The look is a serviceable look and actually appears comfortable. It’s just a little boring in the long run.

9) Eighth Doctor

Photo courtesy of BBCAmerica
Photo courtesy of BBCAmerica

Now. Eight has made two onscreen appearances: in the failed 1996 Doctor Who pilot and in the webisode “Night of the Doctor.” The outfit I’m judging is the one he is best remembered for, which is the above pictured outfit.

We’re getting into memorable territory here folks.

The long flowing locks, the cravat, the long jacket, the waistcoat! These are all glorious elements of the romantic hero. He is all new and bright and shining. Most of importantly, he looked fantastic in it. Paul McGann carries the look well. This is something that I wish we can revisit again at a later date with another Doctor. Hopefully, someone will be inspired by this look again because it is great. It’s also remembered but not to the extent of predecessors and future outfits are.  Also it can be a bit of one note in the colors, which is why it scores low.

His second outfit is also solid.

Photo courtesy of BBC America
Photo courtesy of BBC America

I’m actually pretty sure it’s his first outfit just a lot diritier. He was dealing with the Time War or, more to the point, NOT dealing with it. Still the haircut is kind of preferable to his longer locks.

8) War Doctor

Photo courtesy of BBC America
Photo courtesy of BBC America

The War Doctor’s outfit is great. It actually serves a transitionary outfit between Eight and Nine. He has the Eighth Doctor’s waistcoat and the Ninth Doctor’s leather jacket. We can say that it serves a symbolic purpose as well since he represents the Classic Doctors in the New Series. So the War Doctor represents the bridge between the past of Doctor Who and the present of the show in his clothing. Brilliant touches all around.

Also you gotta respect a man of a certain age who can wear a faux-hawk and pull it off. I salute you, John Hurt for that alone.

7) Fifth Doctor

Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki
Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki

Ah the celery stalk and the cricket whites.

The Fifth Doctor will probably be remembered best for his “decorative vegetable.” It does take a brave man to wear what is basically a celery boutonniere and make it work. The cricket uniform of the Fifth Doctor is a bold choice and also inventive to see. Although, it is good to see the fact that he actually played cricket otherwise I would have had him lower.

The cream colored ensemble did compliment Peter Davison, but the orange was an interesting choice. Still, the overall monotony of the pallet did become dull after awhile.

6) Seventh Doctor

Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki
Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki

The question mark umbrella is the best thing ever.

None quite took the question mark theme as far as the Seventh Doctor did. Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor was rarely seen without his trusty umbrella, hat, and the question mark sweater vest. These, like the Second and Sixth Doctors, also served to distract from the Seventh’s schemes and darker nature. His clothing looks a bit strange and silly. This leads people to underestimate him. It’s a great diversionary tactic and thought process.

But seriously? That umbrella is the best.

5) The Twelfth Doctor

Photo courtesy of BBC
Photo courtesy of BBC

The Twelfth Doctor’s recently revealed costume is marvelous. It’s sleek and dapper, sharp and well tailored. He looks like a man to be taken seriously. The best part is the bright red lining of the jacket. It shows some fun in his personality and adds a great pop of color in his wardrobe. Overall it’s a very clean, crisp, and classic look that will hopefully last awhile.

4) Tenth Doctor

Photo courtesy of Google Images
Photo courtesy of Google Images

The Tenth Doctor had a heroic style. The long brown coat that he said was a gift from Janis Joplin became a memorable part of his wardrobe along with his Converse trainers. The Tenth Doctor’s style reflected his personality. It looked fun with the great coat billowing and trainers on. Dig deeper, though, you’ll notice his preference toward darker colors such as brown and navy which showed his own darker nature. That coat can be intimidating when it wants to.

Photo courtesy of BBC America
Photo courtesy of BBC America

If you’re curious, I prefer the brown suit to the blue one better. I think Tennant became more Doctor-y in the brown suit for some reason.

The Tenth Doctor’s outfit, like so many, was a misdirection to some of his inner turmoil. Still that coat looks like great fun.

3) The Eleventh Doctor

Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki
Photo courtesy of Doctor Who Wiki

The Eleventh Doctor made bowties cool again. The moment he uttered those words, swear to God, bowtie sales actually went up. So based on that alone, he was getting a higher place on this list. This costume fit this Doctor well: “the old man in a young man’s body.” He dressed like your grandfather but you can go off and have adventures with the man.

Plus not many guys can pull off tweed well or bracers. The Eleventh Doctor did both in spades.

Now Eleven also had what I would call a “major costume change” after the deaths of the Ponds.

Photo courtesy of BBC America
Photo courtesy of BBC America

The darker colors, the waist coat, and the longer coat showed a different darker aesthetic for the Eleventh Doctor as he tries to deal with the loss of his best friends. It shows a turning point in the character of the Eleventh Doctor as he becomes a little more reserved and cautious. The major shift corresponding with a major event is a nice touch.

2) The Fourth Doctor

Photo courtesy of Blogspot
Photo courtesy of Blogspot

The long, multi-colored scarf is the iconic clothing symbol of Doctor Who. Even a person with the most casual knowledge of the show would see that scarf and immediately recognize it. That alone is what ranks it so high because when something becomes that iconic well then you need to give it the fair due.

The rest of the outfit is very good as well. It conveys the jovial nature of the Fourth Doctor rather nicely. Like his predecessors, it also hides his competence and ability to kick ass by disguising it with the scarf and the floppy hat.

Of course then they made a strange decision and made him all maroon.

Photo courtesy of Fanpop
Photo courtesy of Fanpop

I never did quite understand this decision. It kind of washed Tom Baker out a bit.

1) The Third Doctor

Photo courtesy of Google Images
Photo courtesy of Google Images

The Third Doctor always looked freaking amazing. The biggest part of fashion, what I have learned, is utterly owning the fashion. The man wore those clothes and wore them well. He walked around looking like the most dapper gentleman in the history of ever.

It takes a lot of guts to pull off a cape is what I’m saying.

When this man entered the room, you knew he had business. Again with the misdirect, his foppish tendencies threw any off to the fact that he could kick major ass with his martial arts skills.

Plus the Third Doctor had swag, bless him. When you have those kinds of clothes then you’re going to number one no matter what you’re up against.

So that’s it! All of the Doctors ranked based on their clothing. One thing is for sure, we’re going to have more outfits in the future. Now hopefully they’ll be just as good as the actors who wear them.

Bec Heim

Senior Editor at 4YE
Rebecca "Bec" Heim is the Senior Editor for 4YE. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Scranton. She also has an MA in Film-Radio-Television from Syracuse University and an MFA in Screenwriting from Boston University. She enjoys reading through her ever growing mountain of books, talking way too much about superheroes, and trying to reach transcendental state.
Bec Heim
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