In the episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth (S11 E1)”, how did her pants and shoes shrink to fit her but her jacket/coat was still big?

I recall when the Doctor regenerates the clothes he is wearing is either too big or too small but this time the regeneration shrunk her pants and shoes to fit her perfectly.

Apart from the real world reasoning (she can't run around while holding her pants up), is there an in-universe reasoning?

  • Perhaps she's got the same inside-leg and shoe size as Peter Capaldi?
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 6:24
  • @Valorum But she says when she tries to jump over to the other crane that she says something like "remembers her legs being longer."
    – Pikachun
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 6:28
  • Even an inch would be enough to throw off her balance...
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 6:45
  • @Dreamwalker Whilst I've been approving your edits it would be better if you could try and fix everything in the post. I.e. in this one "the clothes he is wearing is either too big" should be "the clothes he is wearing are either too big". There are a couple of other things too.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 14:53
  • Haven't seen the episode, but she probably travelled back in time at a later point to make sure that Peter Capaldi wore clothes that were too tight for him, but just right for her. It's Doctor Who after all, time travel solves every riddle.
    – user99956
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 8:17

2 Answers 2


This cannot be easily explained.

  • Peter Capaldi is 1.83m in height. His shoe size is 10.
  • Jodie Whittaker is 1.67m in height. Her shoe size is 7.

Heights from Google; Capaldi's shoe size from IMDB. I daren't even visit the site that goes into detail about Jodie's feet let alone link it. Google it yourself if you need proof.

The jacket did look deliberately oversized on Jodie - this was clearly to give the impression that she was still in a man's clothes. But as you say, her pants and shoes were remarkably snug. She would never have made that daring leap in oversized shoes.

I had a quick look at the regeneration scene - right after regeneration it is hard to see her pants, but certainly during her fall from the Tardis they look a perfect length. She definitely didn't have time to turn the hem up!

One possible "in-universe" explanation: The 13th Doctor described regeneration as every cell being re-written. Perhaps figure-hugging "fitted" items of clothing (trousers, tops) get mistakenly caught up in that molecular process, but looser outer garments like jackets do not? This isn't so ridiculous - clothes always seem to travel through matter transports, teleports etc along with their wearers. If the crew of Enterprise arrived planetside in the nude every time, Star Trek would be a very different show. Why shouldn't clothing get caught up in the regeneration process which is also a rearrangement of atoms?

Real world explanation is obvious. It just wouldn't be practical or interesting to the viewer to have an entire episode where a newly regenerated Doctor is struggling with oversized clothes. Sure they could have them change nearer the start of the episode, but filming an opening episode in their predecessors clothes is something of a DW tradition, and also goes some way to easing fans into the change. I personally love seeing a new Doctor in their predecessor's clothes, it really bridges the gap between them and reminds you that you're watching the same character, just a different actor.

  • 1
    I have to admit I didn't think about the molecules of the regeneration process affecting the clothes and I haven't check all the other regeneration process of the Doctor to see if this is consistent... but all the same, it is rather a well though out answer. Thanks.
    – Pikachun
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 3:24
  • @Pikachun thanks! I had a further think about it and actually I don't find this explanation as far-fetched as I originally thought! I've added a little more detail.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 7:57

When he regenerated from Tom Baker into Peter Davison his boots transmogrified into shoes, so it wouldn't be the first time

  • 2
    The question was asking for an in-universe explanation as to why the Doctor's pants and shoes shrunk to fit her, while her jacket/coat remained too large. This answer, in its current form, fails to explain that discrepancy. Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 20:21
  • @LogicDictates - It's still a pretty decent answer because it shows that this isn't an isolated phenomenon
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 20:38
  • For the record, a screenshot would improve this answer greatly.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 20:39

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