The new Doctor Who’s outfit is causing an online storm

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Susan Devaney

The new Doctor Who look gives a sartorial nod to the Time Lord’s predecessors, but many are not impressed

The first official photo of Jodie Whitaker as the first female Doctor Who has been revealed and people are having mixed reactions.

Taking to Twitter, the BBC released the first photo on 9 November, saying: “New series. New doctor. New look!”

As the 13th Time Lord, Whitaker’s outfit comprises of cropped teal culottes paired with mustard yellow braces, and a striped jumper with a mid-length grey trench coat.

Whitaker takes over from The Thick of It star Peter Capaldi, and will make her debut on the small screen for the Christmas special on BBC One next month.

Finished with a pair of brown boots, turquoise and blue striped socks and some earrings, the overall ensemble has encountered mixed reactions from fans on Twitter.

Firstly, people have likened the look to another sci-fi programme, Mork and Mindy:

“The Doctor calling Orson… The Doctor calling Orson… Come in Orson!”

And some fans have made their disapproval of the new costume choice clear.

“There is nothing practical about most of it. I haven’t seen any of that worn in the last 20 years individually, let alone together. Some of it could work - but this is awful,” said one. 

But other fans are simply delighted by the new look.

“Love it! One can’t tell if she’s wearing hipster street fashion from the 2030s, or, like Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth, she doesn’t completely understand (or care) how human fashion works. Also, let me be the first to say it: suspenders are cool!,” one user commented. 

“I don’t understand what all the hate is about. It’s a great outfit (in comparison to previous doctors) and definitely looks like an alien has grabbed a bunch of semi-practical 2017 clothes. To be honest, I think they’ve done a great job considering the constant hate,” another wrote, referencing the direct sexism that surrounded Whitaker’s announcement as the new Doctor.

Given the upset around the casting of a woman as the alien character, it is highly likely that every element of the new Doctor will be scrutinised and commented on at an unprecedented level.

But while there has been a negative reaction from some to the picture, the outfit choice a nod to the TV series’ predecessors: braces were also worn by Patrick Troughton (1966-69) and Matt Smith (2010-2013). And the distinctive rainbow pattern on Whitaker’s top references Tom Baker’s scarf as the fourth Time Lord from 1974-81.

The long coat, meanwhile, has been worn by several Doctors over the years, and the combination of boots with high-waisted trousers were a constant fashion staple for Smith.

As one Twitter user put it: “A bit of Colin Baker, a bit of Matt Smith and Patrick Troughton going on – but it’s all brand new. I love it!”

When it was announced in July that Whitaker had been cast in the role, the spotlight fell on her gender.

“It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible,” she said.

“I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”

It’s typically eccentric attire, and we’re on board.

Images: BBC / Twitter


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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for, writing about fashion, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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