Searching for Vintage GAP Pants – A Saga

Pictured: The Perfect Man

Pictured: The Perfect Man

David Tennant is my Doctor.

I know that’s a bit cliché, and I do hate clichés, but his performance on the show was extremely important to me at a very dark time in my life, and his character gave me a blueprint for who I wanted to become as I came out of my dark place.

As such, my Tenth Doctor cosplay is one of my most precious outfits. Being able to replicate the outfit to the degree that I do, to really feel like The Doctor, is important to me.

And as I’m crazy, I’m always looking to improve upon perfection!

As such, I’m always on the eBay prowl for vintage ties and GAP trousers. I know I’ll never be able to collect enough to get a full GAP suit (there simply aren’t enough pairs of trousers left) but with Magnoli’s fabric as good as it is (getting even better, I hear!), my ideal one day is to wear a jacket tailored from Magnoli fabric with a pair of vintage pants, assuming they will wear seamlessly together. One pair of GAP trousers is a slightly more achievable goal than 6!

Of course, searching for these pants on eBay is a torturous task. There are hundreds of new pairs of brown GAP pants listed every day, and on the off-chance that a pair does surface (which I’ve seen happen twice since my search started), I’m never the first to find them and never the most affluent bidder.

But several months ago, I came across an eye-catching listing.



I believe my computer has compressed the image too far to really see the stripes, but what caught my eye most was the waistband – three pinstripes following the waistband around, with each beltloop boasting a stripe; both characteristic of the real GAP pants and often missing on seemingly close pairs. The button also looks correct and the pockets appear to be the right cut. Also, the seller was UK-based, which was a definite plus.

Nobody had yet seemed to notice this listing, which I hoped was due to the fact that the main image doesn’t really show the pinstripes very well and everyone else had passed it over. Not wanting to pass up what could be my big opportunity, I messaged the seller, asking if they were brown with a blue pinstripe.


So far so good! I was starting to get excited now. I replied:


The inner waistband would be the clincher on the deal, as the real pants have very particular bright blue inner waistband.


Damn. Well, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and “good quality semi rigid cotton” sounds right on target! I shot back:


GAP trousers INSET 3

To which he quickly replied:



This was it! This was how I was going to secure myself some GAP pants at a reasonable cost! Clearly he had no idea what he had and nobody else had thought to ask! I collected myself and responded:


A little fiendish, but it’s the only way to secure these types of finds anymore. He replied:


Six pounds? SIX POUNDS?? There could not possibly be a better way to spend six pounds than on a pair of highly-sought after, iconic, practically impossible to find, extremely valuable Tenth Doctor cosplay Holy Grail pants! I immediately agreed and he ended the initial auction and set up a Buy-It-Now for £6.


I couldn’t believe my luck. Even with £15.31 shipping I was getting the deal of a lifetime – I almost felt like offering more money to I didn’t feel like I was ripping him off! But I’m broke and just a terrible enough person that I let that feeling go and stuck with £21.31 shipped.

I couldn’t believe it, just couldn’t believe it. For the next two days (until the seller got home to ship them), it was all I could do NOT to shout it to the world, for fear of someone finding the auction and offering the seller £600 for it (I wouldn’t even be able to match £60, although I’d really have tried). But I kept my lip zipped and waited as patiently as possible, until:


Nooooo! (Also, wait, they sold a few weeks ago? I was watching and did NOT see them pop up!) I responded:


He wrote back:


Damn. Damn damn damn. I knew it was too good to be true. I responded:


I sat nervously waiting for the death knell to ring out that I had lost out on my once-in-a-lifetime find. But, only a few hours later, I got another response!



This week was really turning into quite the roller coaster for me. I waited for another few days for any news. Finally:


UGH. The death knell. I know exactly the fabric he’s talking about, and it’s not the Tennant trousers. Reluctantly I requested he cancel the transaction and refund my money, which he did. Few moments in my life have been quite as disappointing as that one.

And so, the search continues. Will I ever end up with a pair? Only time will tell…



About Alex

Alex is a writer, actor, tailor, and professional loudmouth. He has no professional or celebrity endorsements, though he did once meet Conan O'Brien while dressed as the Tenth Doctor. He's just a guy who needs a healthy outlet for his internalized rage once in a while.
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2 Responses to Searching for Vintage GAP Pants – A Saga

  1. Cap. Fitzgerald says:

    Hey, I wanted to tell you, I was messaging Magnoli earlier and he’s apparently fixed the stripe spacing error in his fabric.
    It might be worth it to buy a swatch and compare it to the fabric used on the suit you already own to show that it can now be worn seamlessly with a pair of Gap trousers.

    • Alex says:

      I recently asked him for swatches of his new fabrics, but he sent me the old fabrics. I’m going to wait for a while until I see the revised fabric being sold and then ask for a swatch. I need an updated suit at some point as it is.

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