Where did Doctor Who creators got their inspiration, when they created clothing style of the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith? 11th Doctor is known for wearing a tucked shirt, suspenders, a bow-tie, rolled up trousers, a jacket and boots. Except for the bow-tie, everything else fits within traditional skinhead style. Were skinheads' "boots and braces" among sources for the Doctor's clothing designers, and who else were?

Note: by skinheads i mean the British youth subculture of the late 60s - early 70s; see examples of typical skinheads.

  • 4
    Why should they need any inspiration? Bow ties are cool. What other reason should they need? Commented Sep 2, 2012 at 18:13
  • 1
    “Except for the bow-tie, everything else fits within traditional skinhead style” — I don’t see much tweed or many waistcoats on the skinheads either. Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 11:33

2 Answers 2


According to Wikipedia, as reported in Doctor Who Magazine Issue 418:

The eventual costume, in particular the bow-tie, was influenced by Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor, after Matt Smith fell in love with the Troughton story The Tomb of the Cybermen.

Smith's love of the Second Doctor was also reported on Digital Spy:

I love Patrick Troughton. [Troughton's 1967 serial] 'Tomb of the Cybermen' is one of my favorite stories. It's so creepy," he told Newsarama. "What I think is wonderful about Troughton is he's weird and peculiar but he never asks you to find him weird and peculiar. He was a great actor. And I think the Cybermen are as scary as they've ever been in that one story.

And looking around on SciFi and Doctor Who forums dated from that time, people made that connection right away:

When I read the description of the costume I thought a re-tread of 2nd Doctor.


It's sort of a Patrick/David amalgam. I like it! (Looks more Patrick than David the more I look at it, not that that's a bad thing.)

There's also a somewhat detailed analysis from blogger comicgeekboy about the "homage" the Eleventh Doctor is to the Second aptly titled, "The Eleventh Doctor: A loving Homage of The Second Doctor".

I couldn't find any direct evidence that points to the Eleventh Doctor being inspired by Skinhead fashions, but given the Second Doctor was on the air around the same time the Skinhead culture was becoming popular, it's not inconceivable there's an indirect influence, there.


the Eleventh Doctor also originally had a stock "tweedy professor" look, especially which would identify him as the stereotype of a brilliant but socially inept type. I read an interview with, I think Steven Moffat, who said that they almost didn't go for it because it seemed too on the nose.

  • Have you got a link for the interview and the relevant quotes? That would improve the answer greatly.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Dec 2, 2019 at 21:15

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