God is in the Details

I am a screen accurate junkie.

(What?? No way! I don’t believe you!!)

Well, believe it, baby. And as a screen accurate junkie, with so much knowledge available on the most intimate details of the most recent Doctors, there are a few little details I like to check off in my brain about things that nobody else ever notices that I want on display. It’s all for my own personal pleasure in my cosplay, I don’t expect anyone else to care or even notice, but I like knowing that I’ve got those details clinched down tight. For example, the lacing on shoes. In my Capaldi post, I mentioned how his Loakes are laced strangely (and I’ve been told that the Loakes do NOT come from the factory with this lacing):


…whereas the nearly identical Doc Marten Afflecks are not tied this way.


Also little-known fact: In America, Converse come laced like this:

All Star Black

Apparently, this is not true in England (so I’ve heard), and David Tennant’s trainers are laced like this:


(What’s the difference??)

The difference is in where the lace starts at the toe of the shoe. In America, the lace runs OVER the eyelets, whereas in England it runs underneath. You’ll also notice that Tennant’s laces always follow the same pattern: under the eyelet first and then out the top. The American-style laces go in the eyelet from the top of the shoe and come out underneath.

(But Alex, this is the stupidest, most pedantic detail I’ve ever heard of!!)

Of course it is! That’s why I love it so much.

Obviously I don’t judge people who don’t have these details incorporated into their cosplays, but I love knowing that I have a handle on these things. As someone once said, “God is in the details.” (Who said it? Nobody knows. Probably Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. I quote it because Stephen Sondheim says it as one of his three principles of writing . I may also be a musical theatre nerd. But I digress.)

One such detail that I haven’t fully incorporated into my cosplays yet is the upturn on Matt Smith’s pants for Series 6 and beyond.


Now, I own both pairs of screen accurate G-Star Raw jeans in Blade Slim with the waxed denim fabric (the S6 jeans have a brass button and S7b have a black button – again, pedantic details are my obsession), but there’s an issue with them: They don’t come cuffed.

g-star-raw-blade-slim-ultra-black-denim-profileI don’t know if the S5 Topman trousers came with a cuff or if it was added later (and I’m too lazy right now to research it), but the BBC wanted Matt Smith to wear pants that are slightly short on him. So when they decided on the G-Stars for S6, the obvious decision was to add the cuff, as it’s a very simple modification and it shortens the hem.

But you’ll notice something else about this cuff – it’s not a rolled hem. It’s a proper cuff. This is evidenced by two details: 1) There is no seam allowance poking out of the cuff like there would be if the hem was rolled, and 2) the underside of the fabric would be facing out, which would look different than the front side of the fabric.

rolledcuffUnfortunately for us broke cosplayer types, when you scrounge up long-discontinued, $200-$250 RRP screen accurate designer jeans off eBay in mint condition in your size, the thought of altering them in any way is hard to bring yourself to do. So, in the past, I’ve simply rolled the hems (see right) for fear of screwing it up and ruining my rare, expensive pants. I mean, who cares about the hem anyway, right?

bluerolledhemcropBut the detail hound in me started barking ever since I got my first pair of black-button G-Stars, because there was a problem with them.

They weren’t black.

They were ACTUALLY a very very dark navy, but you couldn’t really tell on the front side of the fabric (hence my mistakenly purchasing them, thinking they were the correct style). You could, however, tell on the back side. Like, a lot.

So I’ve been plagued by this (#whitepeopleproblems). However, recently I’ve been learning and teaching myself how to sew and modify clothing, because I’m tired of having to pay people money I don’t have to do simply fixes that I’m VERY picky about. One such example of this has been making my own collar tab for the blue S6 shirt.

IMG_8221cropI purchased it off ModernTailor, but their collar tab pattern is inaccurate; it’s affixed directly into the side of the collar when Smith’s are attached underneath, and their snaps were improper. So I requested that they leave off the tab entirely and instead enclose a swatch of the raw fabric, and they were lovely enough to oblige.


IMG_8227cropUsing the original tabs from my Hide shirt (which I also replaced) as a template, I patterned new tabs for my blue shirt. I had the proper snaps already and did the whole thing from scratch, sewing the tab down and hand-stitching the snaps on before sewing them into the underside of the collar.collartabsblue

It’s the stupid little things that make me the happiest. God is in the details.

So I had been agonizing about my G-Stars. Luckily for me, I have amazing friends, and one of them found and purchased a pair of proper black G-Stars in my size with the black button and gave it to me for Christmas! Suddenly, I had two perfect, screen accurate pairs of G-Stars, and the only things wrong with them was that they didn’t have proper cuffs.

But by now, I felt confident that this was an alteration I could do, and pull off. Using the cuffs on my S9 Mendoza trousers as a template, I got to work.


Subscribe to my blog for part 2, where I will discuss how the cuffing process went!



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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5 Responses to God is in the Details

  1. Lissa says:

    I always like learning about the details you spot and the modifications you make. There’s a lot of the same old information about cosplay pieces out there but few of them go into the details like this. It’s fun to read about your cosplay journey as well as the modifications and techniques you’re using. I look forward to part 2.

  2. Trent says:

    Interesting detail about the Converse. Did not know that.

    The S5 jeans were rolled rather than cuffed. The S6 jeans in most episodes were Spark Denim, which is an incredibly dark blue. He also wore black non-waxed Blades in “Closing Time” and Bronson Chinos in one or two episodes. I think S7 were black, but I wouldn’t swear to it. Could be the Spark Denim again. Colors are tricky. 🙂

    I always thought the shorter rolled/cuffed pants were a Matt Smith influence. That seems to be how he wore/wears them off-screen as well, showing off his boots or socks.

    I’ve wondered for a long time about the collar tabs. I bought an iTailor shirt with tabs, and they were sewn into the seam like your MT shirt. Also, they were really short. I decided in the future to buy shirts without tabs and make the tabs myself (haven’t tried yet), attaching them under the collar, but I didn’t realize that was how the screen used shirts were made.

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, the screen used shirts have the tabs attached underneath the collar, as evidenced here: https://thegingerdoctor.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/bluebowtie.png

      It’s possible Matt recommended the rolled hem, it’s a hipster thing so it would make sense. They wanted the professorial look (hence the tweeds) so infusing a little hipster would be a simple mod.

      My S6 jeans are in Spark Denim I believe, they’re black but they wear into a dark blue so that have a little blue hint to them. You’ll see what I mean in the close-ups in my next post I’m sure.

      • Trent says:

        Cool, thanks for the reference photo for the collar tabs.

        Yes, based on your pictures, I think you do have the Spark Denim. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Cuff ‘Em, Boys! | The Ginger Doctor

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