For an entire generation of *ahem* older Doctor Who fans, Jon Pertwee will always be the best and most adored incarnation of the character. A dedicated follower of fashion both on-screen and off, Jon Pertwee was a modern dandy with a clear and distinct sense of personal style.
His Doctor Who look was slightly louder than his off-screen persona but it was, nevertheless, an instant classic which is still loved by fans today.
Consisting of ruffled shirts, velvets, and accessories which were very of the time, the third Doctor’s look tends to appear very dated by today’s standards. That said, it’s entirely possible to see the influence of the 1970’s on 2015’s catwalks – the resurgence of the dandy has been a long time coming and the eventual modernisation of less traditional evening wear has made for some truly inspired collections from some of menswear’s most well respected designers.
This look has taken the key silhouette and feel of Pertwee’s Doctor Who outfits and distilled it – we’ve added a generous splash of 2015 and made a look which would work equally as well for drinks in the city or to a relaxed wedding reception. The influence of evening wear and black tie is clear and this will, naturally, look more formal than other outfits we’ve featured. That said, if worn with confidence and flare, you can truly set yourself apart from the crowd in the best possible way.
The most important part of any third Doctor look is, perhaps, the velvet. Pertwee had many different velvet smoking jackets across his time on the show so you can really pick and choose which one you’d like most of all – personally we prefer the navy blue and burgundy combo pictured at the top of the post.
Modern velvet jackets are pretty easy to come by – the one featured here is by Dolce & Gabbana and is priced at a, frankly, eye-watering £1,550. However, cheaper alternatives are readily available, such as this burgundy number by Hawes & Curtis or this green evening jacket by Alexander Dobell would also make a good option. Paul Smith also has a stunning example for £350 – though pricey, it’d be a good investment and would work just as well with the trousers from a dinner suit as it would with a pair of jeans – but in terms of bang for your buck, this offering from Peter Christian is only £185 and comes in your choice of red or blue! Peter Christian offer some really high quality garments for a lot less than you’d expect and their service is always impeccable.
Alternatively, I’d suggest checking sites such as eBay and Savvy Row for a good example of a vintage smoking jacket, as it’s entirely plausible to expect to find a similar jacket to one of Pertwee’s from the same kind of era for less money than a modern alternative – be wary of sizing and the state of the garment though as vintage can be notoriously risky when buying online!
While ruffled shirts are still available from various retailers, I’d suggest foregoing this particular Time Lord affectation as it’s somewhat difficult for any man to pull of this look without the inevitable Austin Powers connection being made. In place of the ruffles I’ve chosen a pale blue shirt with French (double) cuffs by Moss Bros.; this will help to give flare and panache at the wrist without being distractingly flamboyant.
In place of the chest ruffles I’ve chosen a silk evening scarf in two-tone blue which can be worn draped around the neck and ruffled to give a similar effect as Pertwee’s on-screen shirts. There’s definitely a dandy element to this accessory which helps to call to mind Pertwee’s flamboyant time traveller. The scarf is available on Bonanza for very little money, but as ever, nicer and more luxurious versions are available elsewhere.
In place of the velvet or silk bow ties Pertwee sported on-screen, I’ve chosen a simple spotted burgundy handkerchief which can be worn loosely double-knotted around the neck – again, this is a rather loud accessory but can be very effective when worn to a semi-formal event.
In order to relax this look, I’ve replaced the waistcoat with a burgundy cardigan – this will help to give a louche and comfortable nature to the look while maintaining a quirky and eccentric element – which is something the Doctor would definitely approve of. This cardigan, again, is by Peter Christian and should become a very comfortable and reliable wardrobe staple.
The trousers chosen here are definitely more formal than the outfit needs to be, but the sateen fabric helps to bring to mind memories of Jon Pertwee aboard the TARDIS. These should really be worn to more formal occasions, but a regular pair of black trousers will work just as well – I’d recommend a slimmer fit in order to avoid an overly 70’s feel, but the choice is yours. These are by Topman but black trousers can be easily found on the high street at lots of different price points – I’d suggest, above all, you buy something you’re comfortable in!
Pertwee had several different types of boots and shoes throughout his time on the show, but in keeping with the vintage feel of this outfit, I’ve found these beautiful deluxe Chelsea boots by Burton. These are truly stunning and the burgundy elasticated gussets on the side will help to tie the entire outfit together.
The last two pieces I’d like to mention are the nerdier aspects of the outfit. Pertwee wore a lot of rings on the show and, as such, I’ve chosen this official BBC seal of Rassilon ring. I’d recommend buying one in a small enough size to wear on your little finger as this is a direct reference to the gentlemanly signet ring – the symbol will only be recognised by fellow Whovians and you can be satisfied in your subtle sci-fi reference!
Lastly, the cufflinks presented are emblazoned with the UNIT logo. Obviously, this is a callback to the fact that the third Doctor was employed there during most of his tenure and again, makes a subtle reference to the show we all know and love. Naturally, however, your favourite cufflinks will work just as well, if you’d prefer.
What do you think of this outfit? Would you wear it to a formal event? Let us know in the comments!
2 thoughts on “The “Modern Dandy” Three”
i really like this look..i still have a second hand dark navy velvet jacket with 70s lapels..its quite heavy and sometimes it feels a bit cardboardish..but very well made..i just team it with a double-cuff white shirt ..sometimes a tie..or no tie and a small chain and pendeant..a black cardigan or lighter waiscoat if its warmer..black pants..an signate stone ring..and i have a dark blue long crombie coat which i got re-lined jon perwee/peter capaldi style….i will try your sugeestion of perhaps a blue scarf .and well ..i just wear comfortable shoes..Jon pertwee i think was a lovely human being and giving a nod to someone who was and is so well admired by so many is the least i can do…thanks for your fost
Thanks so much for your kind words – 70’s velvet jackets are often well made though, as you say, can sometimes feel a bit rigid due to the construction techniques used. That said, if you look after it and wear it well it should probably soften a bit more with time.
The Jon Pertwee look isn’t any easy one to pull off, but when worn with confidence and pride can really make a positive, fashion-forward statement.
If you mix in some of the influences presented here, but sure to send in a photo!