When Peter Capaldi’s costume for Doctor Who was revealed back in January of 2014, I was relieved. I didn’t care for it at all. It was boring. It lacked an iconography present in both David Tennant and Matt Smith’s looks on the show. And I was thankful for this because it meant I didn’t feel obligated to drop thousands of dollars into a new Doctor Who cosplay.
Cut to nearly two years later and:
How did this change occur in me? Probably because I think Peter Capaldi is KILLING IT as The Doctor. It’s very possible that he will be my favorite Doctor by the time he finally leaves the show (thankfully not for at least another season!). To be honest, it was a slippery slope once the Label Lab t-shirts were ID’d and readily available online (now sadly sold out) – after possessing both of them and desperately wanting the Crombie anyways, it became a very expensive hop-skip-and-jump into the SA Capaldi ocean.
Right now I’ve got the two big Series 9 looks on lockdown and I have plans for Series 8 in the works. So let’s run through these breakdowns. I’ve been doing a damn lot of research lately and there’s a lot of little details I see a lot of Capaldi cosplayers get wrong (even if you’re not doing screen accurate, you can still keep a eye on the details to keep the silhouette and overall feel authentic), so hopefully this post can give a bit of guidance to other Twelves.
First up are the Sonic Sunglasses (why does everyone hate these? They’re just a fun little prop that Capaldi rocks and we know the screwdriver will be back eventually. Calm down everybody). Yes, it’s common knowledge that they are Ray Ban Wayfarers but the Wayfarer is a classic style that’s been around since 1952 and there are a lot of variations. The style you’re looking for is the Original Wayfarer Classic RB2140 901 50-22 with Green Classic G-15 lenses. While that may sound super specific, it’s really the default classic Wayfarer style and they retail for a relatively inexpensive $150 from Ray-Ban.com. You can also find these pretty easily for a decent price on eBay, but beware of fakes.
I am a lucky SOB.
A friend of mine was touring Europe recently and dragged his girlfriend to every single H&M he could find (twelve in about a week I think was the final number) hoping to scrounge up some hint of these dusty pink bastards. His only stroke of luck was on a little archipelago owned by Portugal called Madeira, where he managed to uncover a few (all spoken for – sorry). The photo posted above was taken under an OttLite and is a fairly accurate representation of the color. To be fair, it’s a very tricky color that seems to change depending on its mood. I intend on Pantone matching my henley eventually, but for now your best bet is to buy one in white from H&M and dye it pink. At barely $10 a henley, it’ll hardly break your bank.
One detail I see most people ignore is that Capaldi’s top button has been removed from his henley (more accurately, all the buttons have been removed and it’s been sewn 2/3 shut). It’s really a good thing for people wearing dyed henleys as H&M matches the button to the main fabric color – this way nobody has to go looking for a single pink button to switch out with their white ones. Simply grab a seam ripper and cut the sucker off and you’re actually more screen accurate than you were before! If you really want a screen accurate one, keep your eyes on eBay, as the likelihood of them popping up there is quite high.
Moving from the inside out, we have the well-documented Label Lab shirts in the Misty Mountain (MA/WF) and Negative Flower (GWD) prints, both limited editions (naturally). I bought my Negative Flower straight from House of Fraser when they were still available (some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced!) and was lucky enough to buy a Misty Mountain from someone who had originally purchased one from House of Fraser and realized that he didn’t want it after all. In the show, both shirts sport some fair distressing but I’d need an extra shirt to even begin to attempt destroying my now-rare, screen accurate pieces.
In terms of close enoughs or replicas, Label Lab keeps a similar aesthetic in their line of graphic Ts, and RedBubble does a replica of the Misty Mountain shirt, the accuracy of which I cannot vouch for. The actual Label Lab t-shirts are some of the softest, most comfortable t-shirts that I own and I plan to buy more from House of Fraser so I can stop wearing my screen accurate cosplay shirts to bed!
Continuing our progression, we next come to the hoodie, ID’d long ago as the All Saints Mode Merino hoodie. You may have noticed that the hoodie I’m wearing in my pictures is not black, though it is a genuine Mode Merino. In fact, a big detail I see people get wrong is that he only wears the black hoodie in conjunction with the Paul Smith jumper (as in Last Christmas, where the hoodie first appeared). With the t-shirts, he wears the hoodie in the “ink” colorway, which is actually a very dark navy blue. I actually like it better in the ink, as it feels more like an extension of the coat. The hoodie is so wonderfully comfortable, it tends to run small so it’s nice and tight, and it’s the softest wool I’ve ever worn. It retails for a painful £88 but it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon so it is readily available online and on eBay. If you do look for it on eBay, the way to tell the difference between the black and the ink in crappy photos is that the logo is gray on the black hoodie and burgundy on the ink hoodie. This is not the only hoodie style he wears in the show but I won’t be talking about the other ones here (though one of them is a horrifically expensive £225 merino hoodie from John Smedley).
Moving on from that, we have the impossible pants. The real pants were cut from the remnants of a bolt of vintage wool, and only two pairs were made as that was all the fabric they had. The pants were likely patterned from the Paul Smith pants of S8 (and do actually feature pleats). I’ve been spending significant amounts of time and money patterning and swatching these trousers from super high resolution photographs for Spoonflower printing. Honorary Doctor is putting together a run of these trousers custom patterned from a pair of vintage Paul Smith pants using my Spoonflower fabric, so contact him if you’re interested in having a pair made! (If you’re a Gallifrey Base member, you can find the thread here.) In the meantime, I’m wearing a pair of pajama pants found at Nordstrom Rack which are an excellent substitute in the meantime, and cheap too!
It was recently discovered that the navy windowpane trousers worn in The Girl Who Died were commissioned from Mendoza Menswear with a few alterations requested from the BBC. I jumped on the opportunity as soon as the ID came out and ordered the trousers (again, some of the BEST customer service I’ve ever received!). The check is actually two colors, the double lines in a yellowish cream and the single lines in a peach. They’re made of a beautiful wool blend and are impeccably tailored, absolutely worth every full-price penny I paid for them. The website says they have a 1″ turn up but my pair (made to the exact specifications of the BBC) have a 1.5″ turn up. Mendoza has commissioned their mill to have the fabric rewoven and is currently taking pre-orders for the new trousers. In the meantime, they still have some stock of the original fabric left and you can request the BBC alterations. I’d recommend emailing or calling them, they are some of the NICEST people I’ve ever talked to!
In terms of alts, there’s a good pair of men’s pajama pants at H&M right now but I can’t find them online. Keep your eyes peeled!
The third tartan pants worn in S9 are, of course, the Hugo Boss Caleb trousers from The Woman Who Died – more on these and the other two pairs are outlined in a later post of mine.
Moving on, the shoes are the Capaldi’s classic Loake brogue boots. I personally find the shoes to be quite comfortable, though so many people consider them clodhoppers. The soles are super chunky and super durable, which makes them great daily wear, unlike Matt Smith’s bespoke Victorian-style calfskin boots. Detail-wise, I find that most people lace their boots incorrectly, though I believe they come from Loake with the screen accurate lacing.
They have a strange lacing, which I’ve outlined here in a graphic. I’ve never seen another pair of boots laced like this before but I’m told it’s not uncommon on British boots.
The bigger reason that the lacing is important (spoiler alert: It’s really not), though, is because Capaldi switches to two different pairs of boots in Series 9 – a pair of Doc Marten Mayers in Under the Lake/Before the Flood, and Doc Marten Afflecks in The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived, which he switches to for good when he puts on the velvet coat. The lacing here is only “important” because it’s one of the only tip-offs that he’s not wearing the Loakes in GWD, as the Afflecks are practically identical to the Loakes except for the toe punch and the lacing. It’s ironic to see this turn of events, because in the past the Afflecks were considered the best alt for the Loakes, and cheaper. Now, everyone who bought the Afflecks because they couldn’t bring themselves to afford the $4oo Loakes are jumping for joy at accidentally investing in screen accurate shoes.
Lastly, but not leastly, is the ring. Not wanting to take his wedding ring off, Rowley’s the Jewellers outfitted Capaldi with a second gold band fitted with a green amber to fit over his existing band. You can order the rings from Rowley’s for around $1000, but for those of us without that kind of money to drop, options are limited. Magnoli Clothiers used to offer an option and doesn’t anymore.
My ring was purchased secondhand from someone who purchased it from someone on the RPF for $90. I would link his information here if I had it. For the price, it’s a fantastic replica, and I’ll proudly wear it until I have the kind of money to get the genuine ring straight from Rowley’s.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that there’s something very important missing from here:
As far as that goes, it remains the one piece I still need to purchase, and will cost me almost twice the money I’ve spent on the rest of these items combined. But I have all the details of obtaining my coat pretty much ironed out. How, you ask? Stay tuned to find out…