Matt Smith’s wardrobe as the Doctor was one which was constantly changing and evolving throughout his time on the show.
Smith stated early on in his Doctor Who days that he intended for his costume to shift and develop with time – and indeed it did! From his early days where his look was described as being something akin to Indiana Jones’ younger brother, to his later costumes which saw a more Edwardian silhouette take shape, Smith wore many costume variations.
Each fan has his or her favourite look for the eleventh Doctor, so there are plenty of Matt Smith inspired looks to be had. His series 7B look, which consisted of a purple tweed frock coat, black G-star jeans, various waistcoats, bow ties, braces, and shirts, and a pair of custom brown and purple boots, is often considered to be the definitive look of the eleventh Doctor. This is when he truly found his stride and matured as a character (not to mention Smith as an actor!) so it makes sense that his costume became more refined in order to reflect that.
In an episode from Smith’s first series as the Doctor, “Amy’s Choice” the Dream Lord describes the eleventh Doctor’s wardrobe as being “designed by a first year fashion student” and this is definitely true of almost every element of the eleventh Doctor’s outfit.
It’s fairly easy to track down a lot of look-alikes of Smith’s outfit in vintage shops, charity shops, and on the high street – it’s only natural that a university student with a flare for fashion would naturally gravitate to braces and bow ties!
This look, inspired mainly by the series 7B costume, also has influences from Smith’s earlier costumes, and as such, has a great eleventh Doctor feel without feeling like a direct copy of the look.
The key difference here is the use of colour and texture – Smith’s on screen costume tended to have very muted tones and, while the outfit had a nice mix of smooth and rough fabrics, the balance always struck me as being slightly off – the grey waistcoat which the eleventh Doctor favoured so much especially. The flat grey colour smacks of being part of a three piece suit and looks slightly out of place against the heavier colour and texture of the frock coat.
The coat chosen here isn’t a frock coat – Doctor Who fans will be all too aware of how difficult these garments can be to track down in the modern age and, short of having one made, a modern overcoat with a slim cut may well be your best bet. This one is a tweed option from Magee which features a striking red and blue check – this would make a great alternative to a frock coat – especially if you were to take it to a local alterations tailor to have it slimmed down – doing this will make it more of a jacket than a coat and will make for a much more comfortable garment.
I’ve also selected some purple suede elbow patches (though the colour you choose should reflect whichever coat you go for) in order to reference Smith’s earlier tailoring choices. These can be obtained easily on eBay and can be added to almost any coat or jacket by a local alterations tailor for relatively little money.
The jeans chosen are a pair of dark indigo Lee jeans and can be purchased directly through the Lee website. Smith’s black jeans were always worn turned up several folds so that they rested just at the top of his boots. I’d recommend doing the same with these jeans as they’ll help to capture the eleventh Doctor silhouette this look is trying to emulate. Alternatively, these G-Star jeans will work beautifully and are the same brand as Smith’s screen-worn jeans!
I’ve selected a pair of beautiful suede Hudson boots to complement the softer textures of this outfit – they have a great silhouette which feels, to me at least, like it captures the overall feel of Matt Smith’s various on-screen boots. His series 7B boots were actually brogue boots, and similar pairs are readily available on the high street, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a bargain!
For some reason, the costume designer chose to put Matt Smith in several tab collar shirts throughout his time on the show. These shirts are beautifully tailored and have a great vintage feel to them – the only issue with wearing these is that the tab (the strip fabric which joins each side of the collar together) is meant to push the knot of a standard neck-tie forward and make it more pronounced. When these shirts are worn with a bow tie, the tab seems to get in the way and offer no benefit whatsoever.
That said, I’ve selected a beautiful shirt by Jeff Banks for this outfit which features a fantastic tab collar detail – if however, these aren’t to your taste, most formal shirts will do – simply use your own tastes and discretion to match your shirt to your outfit. The Jeff Banks shirt is currently on sale and is still available in most sizes at the time of writing.
Smith always wore braces as the Doctor – even when they were hidden by a waistcoat. This look is no different, especially as it’s widely regarded by those in the know that wearing a belt with a waistcoat is a faux pas. Smith’s braces were clip-ons and these can be easily obtained from even the most everyday of high street stores. These burgundy marl pair from Burton are a lovely option, but for an even more vintage feel, be sure to look for a pair of button on braces instead!
Smith’s watch was a round-faced watch with a gold case and a matching expandable bracelet which he wore face down. Again, these watches can be easily found in charity shops, vintage shops, and on eBay. This one is by Sekonda and features a similar sort of design to Smith’s on-screen watch – while it’s far from screen accurate, it certainly captures the same feel as the eleventh Doctor’s favoured time piece!
The waistcoat shown here is a lovely Donegal tweed by Gibson. This one features a nice mix of details which looks like a hybrid of all of Smith’s on-screen waistcoats – the textured tweed will help to lift the outfit while also keeping you warm during the coming cooler months.
Lastly, the eleventh Doctor would be nothing with his bow tie. Originally, Smith sported pre-tied bow ties but later moved onto the much more refined and gentlemanly self-tie variation. While pre-tied bow ties are easy to get a hold of, I’d always recommend learning to tie a real bow tie as the small imperfections you’ll get when you hand tie it make for a much interesting and unique accessory.
This bow tie is a beautiful handmade chambray bow tie which closely matches the braces. It was made by Fox & Brie on Etsy and is slightly more pricey than most people will be willing to pay for a bow tie – however, I’d urge you to invest in a high quality tie as the stress of tying them will eventually break down a lesser bow tie. The use of chambray is deliberate as it’s a beautifully textured material which helps to ground the outfit in a less formal setting. Fabrics such as silks and satins are usually reserved for smarter settings, so I’d suggest you avoid these if possible!
What do you think of this outfit? Would you wear it? What’s your take on Matt Smith’s various Doctor Who costumes? Let us know in the comments!
On an unrelated note, this stylish chap went viral not long ago for having such a unique and interesting sense of style – there’s something of the Time Lord about him, wouldn’t you say?!