Doctor Who Costumes
Whether you're looking for an individual costume or a group, the Doctor and the Whoniverse give us a wide array of options.
Each Doctor has his own quirks in his costume which help set him apart, enabling us to portray them with relative ease. Key elements of some costumes could be found in thrift stores or put together from items already in your closet. Villains, aliens, and historical figures are often more difficult, but the results can be spectacular.
Doctor Who Costumes for Women
Among the options for Doctor Who costumes for women are the Companions, episode characters, and even The Doctor himself if your look will suit. Femme versions of the Doctors, the Master, and Captain Jack Harkness are increasingly popular, with some donning re-imagined costumes inspired by the male versions' on-screen attire.
Whether you choose to portray your favorite Doctor with a fairly literal version of his on-screen costume, or switch it up in skirts and heels, keeping only the general theme and trademark quirks, you join a growing sisterhood appearing on Halloween and at our local conventions.
I particularly loved this article, which has more great photos of Lady Doctors: Gender-Swapped Doctors.
The Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors
Played By David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi
To cut down loading time, as this page has gotten so long, I'm moving the newest incarnations of The Doctor over to my geek blog. My latest articles on the Weeping Angels and River Song Cosplay can be found there as well.
The Ninth Doctor
Played by Christopher Eccleston
The Ninth Doctor's costume was often all black: black pants, black leather jacket, usually a black v-neck shirt (sometimes the v-neck shirt was dark blue, burgundy, or green). His is by far the most stark of the costumes.
His costume matches his backstory as a brooding survivor of the catastrophic war between the TimeLords and the Daleks, but whether it was this incarnation or the previous one who actually fought in the war isn't made clear. His was the revival of Doctor Who, last seen in series as the Seventh Doctor in 1989 and in a television movie as the Eighth Doctor in 1996.
The Ninth Doctor's black leather jacket is an amazing piece. It's a vintage WW2 era double-breasted black jacket with lots of details. It has a belt, straps on the cuffs, and fairly unique styling to its double row of buttons. Like our Nine, it has clearly been through a lot, but was strong enough to survive the test.
I've found accurate vintage leather jackets on eBay, and so I've set up a feed below to display any current auctions.
The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Doctors
The Eighth Doctor, played by Paul McGann, appeared in one televised movie in 1996. The rest of his time as Doctor has been portrayed in comic books, audio dramas, and novels, although the alternative media are typically treated as an alternate timeline to the televised series. He's been described as "Byronesque", wearing a long frock coat and a dark grey cravat. Click here to see the exhibit of the 8th Doctor's costume.
The Seventh Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy, wore an off-white safari style jacket over a plain white shirt and a yellow pullover with blue-green zigzag patterns and red question marks. His pants were sand-colored tweed plaid; his shoes white/brown brogued spectator shoes. His hat was a white colonial-styled Panama hat with a paisley hatband and an upturned brim. A red paisley tie, red paisley scarf worn under his jacket lapels, and a matching handkerchief tied up the paisley theme. He also carried a fob watch chained to his left lapel and an umbrella with a red question mark-shaped handle or bamboo handle. His is one of the most complicated wardrobes, though much could be done with the right hat, jacket, and umbrella, with red paisley accessories. Exhibit of the 7th Doctor's costume.
The Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, would have preferred to wear black but was instead costumed in tasteless, mismatched, garish clothes he described as "an explosion in a rainbow factory". Best seen for yourself, check out this photo of the 6th Doctor's Costume.
The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, wore a variation of an Edwardian cricketer's uniform, complete with a cricket ball in one of his pockets. He favored a cream-coloured frock coat edged with orange, brightly striped trousers, and a celery stalk in his lapel.
Great Resources for Cosplayers of Five
3) The BBC America Blog has an awesome post with insight into his costume and behaviour: A Companion To The Fifth Doctor.
Make Your Own Frock Coat
The Fourth Doctor
The Fourth Doctor's Costume
Played by Tom Baker
The Fourth Doctor Who is known for his mass of curls escaping beneath his broad-brimmed hat, and his impossibly long scarf.
He wore three distinct coats: a reddish-brown blazer that he wore throughout his first season, a full-length dark brown coat for the darker horror stories, and a full-length light gray for more action-packed stories.
In his last year on Doctor Who, they changed Tom Baker's costume to a full-length burgundy overcoat, a wide-brimmed fedora, a matching blazer, and a new, redesigned, and even longer scarf of varying of reds and purples. Before long, he'd ditched the hat and blazer, leaving the hat to be seen in the background on a rack.
Fourth Doctor Accessories
Our Fourth Doctor is pictured in many hats, some appearing more stiff or new and others more battered. There is a retail "4th Doctor hat" to consider (pictured to the right). If that doesn't match your preference for your Four, you might give a look to the fedoras styled as Indiana Jones hats - their color and style is similar.
Destroying hats for fun and profit: A Fourth Doctor hat tutorial is helpful if you can't find just the right hat.
At the same forum I found Customizing a Pattern for a Season 17 Coat - In Detail which describes how to alter a Simplicity retail pattern to recreate one of the Fourth Doctor's coats.
Doctor Who Style Scarves - Like the scarf worn by Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor
Whovians seeking their own version of the Fourth Doctor's scarf are in luck. There officially licensed replicas in a two lengths.
The 6 foot version is much too short for costume purposes. The 12 foot version gives you the insane abundance of drape and loopage a Four needs.
Or, if you're a crafty type - or know one - and would like to make your own, check into the old Doctor Who Pattern Book for a pattern.
The First Three Doctors
The Third Doctor, portrayed by Jon Pertwee, wore frilled shirts, velvet smoking jackets in blue, green, burgundy, red, or black, evening trousers in colors that matched his smoking jackets, and Inverness cloaks. His shoes were dress shoes, formal boots, or riding boots, and he accessorized with bow ties, cravats and leather gloves.
Resources for Cosplayers of Three
3) A replica of his sonic screwdriver is available here: Underground Toys Doctor Who Third Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver.
The Second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton, wore clownishly baggy trousers, dark jackets, and a bowtie. Another of his quirks was to carry a recorder. His personality as well as his wardrobe was more relaxed than the original doctor, and he was called a "Cosmic Hobo" and a clown.
Resources for Cosplayers of Two
2) A Companion to the Second Doctor on the BBC America blog gives an interesting look into Patrick Troughton's portrayal of the Doctor.
The First Doctor, portrayed by William Hartnell, wore a frock coat and plaid trousers. Sometimes he wore a cape, an Astrakhan, or a Panama hat. He wore a blue signet ring, and occasionally used a walking stick. When in Earth's past, he would often alter his standard outfit in an attempt to blend in.
Resources for Cosplayers of One
2) A Companion to the First Doctor, takes an insightful look at his presence and personality onscreen.
Doctor Who Pattern Book
Offering both knitting and sewing projects, the Doctor Who Pattern Book dates from 1984 and includes a few must-haves for old-school Doctor Who fans. The patterns include, but are not limited to: Tom Baker's scarf; Peter Davison's cricket jumper; Nyssa's jacket; Romana's t-shirt and sailor top; Adric's tunic and anorak; a K-9 toy, cushion and shoulder bag; toy Cybermats; a TARDIS sleeping bag, tidy and cushion; clothes for action figures; a celery brooch; a console floor cushion; and Nasty puppets.
Most of these are not easy beginner projects, but offer a lot of fun for the dedicated Doctor Who themed crafter.
Although no longer in print, copies can sometimes be found on Amazon.
The Best Doctor Who?
My husband, kids, and I all love watching together, even though we have our own fave Doctors. Mine and my son's are Ten, while my husband prefers Four. Who's yours?
Companions and Others Costume Photogallery
Real Doctor Who Props and Costumes
If you're still coming up empty for ideas, check out Doctor Who Props.com. I found it absolutely fascinating for the photos and discussion of real, old-school costumes worn by The Doctors and others in the series. They have close up shots of costumes and discussion of how they were made, very helpful for anyone wishing to recreate their own. The tales of how the props came to be used in the show are wonderful.
You might also enjoy the Doctor Who Experience photo stream on Flickr, which includes close-up shots of costumes from the series. You can find Time Lords, Captain Jack Harkness, River Song, and other companions and characters.
Guestbook - Thanks for visiting my Doctor Who Costumes page! :)
KayCross on February 09, 2014:
Hello. I was hoping to find someone that might help me with a guide for creating the Queen of Years costume for a young girl.
anonymous on September 19, 2013:
Hi. I would never have thought about dressing up as the Doctor or one of his companion at Halloween but who wouldn't like to look like the Doctor.
I saw the very first ones and hid behind the sofa when the Daleks came on (oops showing my age here!)
David Tennant was a great doctor and really brought the series back to life again. He is definitely my favorite.- I was so sad when he left.
I also have a similar scarf to Tom Baker's one - really really long.
Kerry Voronoff from Sydney, Australia on September 16, 2013:
awesome lens. love the Blink outfit. It was a difficult choice for my favorite doctor though...
Jackson Thom from West of Left South Lucky on September 16, 2013:
Love Dr. Who. I never thought of going as one of the Doctors for Halloween though. I was torn between David Tennant and Tom Baker, because Tennant was so good, but alas, I grew up with Tom Baker, so I had to go with him.
anonymous on September 03, 2013:
I Miss You David !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on June 10, 2013:
@RinOfAllTrades: :) Welcome to Squidoo!
RinOfAllTrades on June 07, 2013:
Great lens! I've been looking for inspiration for my 3 year old's costume this year (especially since his birthday falls near Halloween), and I got a few good ideas and sources from this. Now I just have to find a small pair of Converse-like sneakers!
And it's particularly awesome to find another mom who is a gamer, and homeschooling (which is my intent) within my first 24 hours on Squidoo! ^_^
mmwoodward on April 12, 2013:
This lens is pretty neat! I've done my own Doctor Who cosplaying as well (as Jack Harkness). Haha, the Dalek costumes are amusing, though...
anonymous on March 05, 2013:
i only wish they had the master preferably the harold saxon one here he is my favourite characto other than the doctor, but all in all great ideas and costumes :)
Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on March 04, 2013:
@mmwoodward: Very cool!
mmwoodward on March 03, 2013:
I went to a sci-fi convention last year dressed as Captain Jack Harkness. My best friend went as Ianto Jones! It was great. :) Although I wanted the replica coat SO BAD, I didn't have the money to dish out, so we went to an army surplus store and got a pretty decent one there. :) Just $20 or so, too, since the lining was missing.
meggiestardust on December 16, 2012:
Great costume information! I'm pretty partial to Ten's costume
Boomer1952 on December 16, 2012:
All these years later, and I still think of the scarf when I picture Doctor Who.
anonymous on November 16, 2012:
COSTUME AND ALL
anonymous on October 23, 2012:
Brilliant ideas! Pretty nice lens.
anonymous on September 30, 2012:
plenty of ideas here for the next fancy dress party
blujeanmomma from Rocky Mountains on September 15, 2012:
It took me a little bit to get into Dr. Who but once i did I was hooked. Love the costume ideas.
dellgirl on August 31, 2012:
This is a great lens you have here, lots of good 'Do-It-Yourself Doctor Who Costume Ideas'.
Travelschooling1 on August 29, 2012:
This is fantastic! I have a 6 year old who dresses up as his hero just about every day, we even have a fez. I clicked because of The Doctor and I see you are a fellow homeschooler. Cool!
Dusty2 LM on August 28, 2012:
Interesting lens and costumes. Used to watch Dr. Who religiously every weekend. Don't know what happened as I kinda lost touch with Dr. Who. Work? anyway, still a fan of Dr. Who. Thank you for sharing.
DigbyAdams on August 17, 2012:
I think I could find many of the Dr. Who clothing pieces at thrift shops and second hand stores. It would be fun to make a Dr. Who costume out of vintage clothing. Thanks for these great costume idea.
Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on August 11, 2012:
@MissMalaprop: Loved the pic. They're adorable.
MissMalaprop on August 11, 2012:
We went to Dragon*Con in Atlanta last year, and it was definitely the year of Doctor Who! Saw SO MANY 10th and 11th Doctor costumes especially. Also plenty of Tardis & Dalek costumes. But the only Cyberman costume I saw was this group of little kids - one of them had a fantastic costume! (Picture I took here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uproar/6131165568/in/...
Genesis Davies from Guatemala on July 12, 2012:
Very nice! I prefer the 9th doctor's costume, like many others, but 10 is also good!
lovelikewinter3 on June 04, 2012:
Wow, super easy to follow and very complete! I loved the 9th doctor's outfit for its simplicity, it fit in just about everywhere! 10th is pretty universal too, and I'm working through to the 6th series, so haven't seen Matt Smith in action yet, just photos.
CameronPoe on June 03, 2012:
Hey, these are really simple to follow.
anonymous on April 30, 2012:
This lens was so thorough! The Ninth Doctor's costume is probably my fave of all time, even if it's not as "iconic" as the Fourth's, Tenth's or Eleventh's. Leather-clad + time-traveler = yes please!
MelonyVaughan on April 01, 2012:
Great lens! Exterminate!
Edutopia on January 15, 2012:
My friend is a huge Doctor Who fan and she'd get a big kick out of this. Thanks for the lens.
C A Chancellor from US/TN on December 10, 2011:
Great lens! I loved "The Girl in the Fireplace" -- that's still my favorite episode. I thought the weeping angels were great too.
anonymous on October 08, 2011:
I know David Tennent was by far my favorite Doctor. Matt Smith is obviously the most demented, and fun Doctors.
LaurenIM on October 06, 2011:
I only knew of David Tennant. I hadn't realized that this was a long-time show but I love the shows that I have seen.
alexis84 from Kent, UK on September 28, 2011:
Wow! What a great lens! Really informative, you've gone to a lot of trouble to do all the research and links for every doctor! Really enjoyed reading it! x
ThisAndMoreofThat on September 24, 2011:
Great analysis and tips for getting the costume just right.
Paul Turner from Birmingham, Al. on September 24, 2011:
Great lens! Dr. #4 is the one I grew up with.
seeker2011 lm on September 23, 2011:
I started knitting the scarfe (Tom Baker fourth doctor) when my parents went on holidays. Problem was I did not know how to end so every few nights I would just add another ball of wool and continued until my parents returned several weeks later and my mother could finish off. Needless to say the sacrfe was over thirty foot long. Great lense.
bassetmonkey on September 23, 2011:
OMG. Beautiful lens! Love that you did each doctor ... plus ... Bowties and fezes are cool.
NevermoreShirts on September 20, 2011:
So many wonderful choices for costumes - I'm not even sure where I'd begin. Except with a bow tie. Bow ties are cool.
anonymous on September 19, 2011:
Awesome. I'm going to school with a few friends dressed as MAtt Smith's version of the doctor and I'm going to stage a fight with the Master. Thanks a lot!
anonymous on September 12, 2011:
thank you for putting this stuff on here. it helped a lot. :)
Lisa Remmick on September 11, 2011:
This is a great in depth lens with info I wouldn't have thought of with Dr. Who. I'ts been years since I saw any of the Dr. Who series. Sparked my interest to look into it more....
LizRobertson on August 30, 2011:
What a fun lens and so thorough! You must be a huge fan?
AdeleW on April 15, 2011:
What a great lens, well done. I will refer it to people who need this costume inspiration, thanks again
cuteordeath on April 13, 2011:
This lens is, dare I say it, brilliant!
dukethepcdr on December 20, 2010:
Very nice lens! I love Doctor Who! Both the "original" and "revival" series are great! Sometimes the stories in the revival series get to be a bit heavy handed, especially the Tenth Doctor's, but I still enjoy the show overall. I picked the Fourth Doctor in the poll partly because I grew up watching Doctor Who on PBS in the U.S. and they mainly showed the Third, Fourth and Fifth Doctors. Tom Baker was and still is, the perfect actor to play the Doctor. He has an uncanny ability to change his mood from deeply serious to perfectly silly at the drop of a hat. There is a certain impish quality to him. He always seemed very young, almost child-like yet his eyes looked very old but with a twinkle still in them. I've yet to see any of Matt Smith's work as I don't get BBC America and haven't saved up for the DVD box set yet (why do they cost so much?) of his first season. So I can't be too hard on him I suppose. He does seem a bit too much like a little kid though from the trailers. I've heard one reviewer call Smith the "Twilight-ification" of the Doctor :)
My favorite "new" Doctor was the Ninth one. Chris reminds me a lot of Tom (minus the curly hair :)).
zaptrollwen on November 29, 2010:
This lens is STUPENDOUS!!! I LOVE watching Doctor Who, especially the tenth Doctor. The eleventh is still second best though.
Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on October 11, 2010:
@Missmerfaery444: Thanks :)
Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on October 11, 2010:
@Kitsune64: hehe! This was, by far, my favorite page to write in a long time - utter geek-girl heaven. :)
Missmerfaery444 on October 10, 2010:
Brilliant lens! A superb resource for anyone wanting to dress up for a party, convention or other Doctor Who event!
Sheilamarie from British Columbia on September 20, 2010:
I used to enjoy watching Dr. Who -- quirky! You've gathered some great costume ideas! Bravo!
Kitsune64 on September 12, 2010:
This is utterly fantastic! My first Doctor was the Ninth, so I'll always have a special place in my heart for Dr. Dark and Dangerous - just enough to nudge him above Tenth in your poll. I loved seeing the breakdown of all the different Doctors' costumes (and by "loved," I mean "was reduced to a puddle of giggling fangirl glee," of course). Definite like.
Linda Hoxie from Idaho on September 08, 2010:
What great ideas for Doctor Who costumes, I didn't realize there had been so many.
tandemonimom lm on September 08, 2010:
These are fabulous costumes! Our family is new to Dr. Who, but we're already big, big fans!
Lisa from Rhode Island on September 03, 2010:
My husband loves Dr who this is a wonderful lens well done. love the costumes.
Robin S from USA on August 10, 2010:
Fun costume ideas!