The fifth Doctor, as played by the inimitable Peter Davison had a difficult job. He had to keep fans on side after the departure of fan-favourite Tom Baker. The youngest Doctor ever (at the time of casting) Davison was a relative unknown and viewers were dubious that he’d be up to the task.
However, worries were allayed when he broke onto our screens in 1981. Clad in an Edwardian flavoured ensemble which was heavily influenced by cricket uniforms of old. Now, many cricket fans are quick to point out that Davison’s costume is not a true cricket uniform – and buffs of the Edwardian era are also eager to show that his look is not truly Edwardian either… That said, the influence of the Edwardian era and old fashioned cricket uniforms are distinctly present and that’s what helped to cut a unique swathe when compared to Tom Baker’s bohemian wardrobe.
The outfit, comprised of a frock coat with a heavy boating blazer influence, a cricket jumper, striped high-waisted trousers, and trainers, is instantly recognisable as quintessential Doctor Who and, as such, any outfit heavily reminiscent of this will instantly draw cries of “Where’s your TARDIS?!” or “Six!” from punters on the street.
That said, it’s possible to distil the essence of the look into a much more modern and preppy outfit which still maintains the heart(s) of the original. This look would be at home strolling through Cambridge on a spring morning, or fighting the Cybermen in the far flung future.
While this look is fifth Doctor inspired, you’ll notice that it’s much more likely to be seen in the pages of a catalogue from an English heritage brand than it is to be found in the extensive wardrobes of the TARDIS.
As with many of these outfits, the quality of the pieces selected is what will help to make the look feel like a comfortable and wearable outfit as opposed to a costume.
The beige frock coat favoured by the fifth Doctor is incredibly out there by any standard, however, the piping is clearly an aspect which was inspired by the preppy boating blazers found in the heyday of Cambridge and Oxford universities. This modern interpretation by Jack Wills is a beautiful grey marl colour and features a contemporary, slightly cropped fit. The piping is there, and in a similar colour to the screen-worn original, and makes for a really interesting neo-vintage jacket. Pricey though it may be, it’s often worth investing in something high quality as they’re more likely to last!
The fifth Doctor’s trousers were another article of clothing that was rather out there – the best modern equivalent would be perhaps be a pair of seersucker trousers – this lightweight fabric comes in a variety of candy-striped colours and features a lovely, bobbly texture. Trousers (and suits) made of seersucker are favoured by the dandy gent in the summer as they’re super lightweight and really breathable. This pair is available on SuitSupply in a range of colours. I’d go for the yellow and white ones, but orange is also a viable option.
Alternatively, you could go for a plain cream pair of trousers if the stripes are too out there for you!
The white trainers are perhaps the easiest piece of capture these days. High-tops are everywhere and even a pair of Converse would do the trick. These suede Vans I’ve selected, however, match the low profile of Davison’s on-screen trainers quite nicely while simultaneously capturing a carefree and on-trend attitude.
The most important part of any fifth Doctor inspired outfit is, perhaps, the cricket jumper. It’d be easy to capture the essence of Davison’s take on the role even without the piped jacket, just by wearing a high-quality, vintage styled cricket jumper. This one from Joules is a stunning example, but is currently out of stock – however, there are lots of options at all price points – designer and vintage options are readily available on eBay for little-to-no money, and there are cheap versions readily available on Amazon.
Keep an eye out in the cooler months as high-street stores will likely be getting a slew of cricket influenced knitwear in sometime soon. Always check heritage and luxury brands such as Jack Wills, Joules, White Stuff, Crew and others as they’re more likely to have high-quality pieces worth investing in!
Lastly, be sure to grab a cricket bat and ball if you’re heading down to the park for knock about and you’re sure to look the part!
The fifth Doctor’s costume had an essence and an attitude which is easily distilled into a modern look inspired by the preppy brands and silhouettes we’re seeing on menswear runways at the minute. Indeed, the preppy style has really come to the forefront of men’s fashion over the last ten years so finding something suit shouldn’t prove too difficult!
What do you think? Would you wear this type of outfit? Let us know in the comments below!