10 iconic Doctor Who costumes that made an impact on pop culture

Since its inception in 1963, Doctor Who has taken audiences on a remarkable journey through time and space, capturing the hearts and imaginations of millions of fans around the world.

A key element that has contributed to the BBC sci-fi show’s enduring appeal and longevity is the distinctive and iconic costumes worn by its characters. These outfits not only encapsulate the unique personalities of the Doctor, companions, and other recurring characters but in many cases have also left a mark on popular culture, inspiring fashion trends, cosplay, and even sparking discussions about identity and self-expression.

As the Doctor has regenerated over the years, so too have the costumes evolved, reflecting the distinct characteristics and style of each incarnation. Likewise, companions and other characters have donned memorable outfits that have become synonymous with their roles in the series. These iconic costumes have transcended the boundaries of television, shaping the cultural zeitgeist and influencing the way fans engage with and celebrate the show.

Today, we delve into the world of Doctor Who fashion, exploring 10 iconic costumes that have not only made a significant impact on the series itself but have also left a lasting impression on pop culture at large. From the Doctor’s various incarnations to the ensembles of beloved companions and memorable recurring characters, we celebrate the creativity and influence of these unforgettable outfits and the talented designers who brought them to life.

The Fourth Doctor’s Scarf (Tom Baker)

The Fourth Doctor’s long, multicoloured scarf, reportedly designed by costume designer James Acheson, is one of the most recognisable and iconic costumes in Doctor Who history. The scarf has become synonymous with Tom Baker’s portrayal of the Doctor and is a beloved symbol of the show no matter what era you began watching it.

The Eleventh Doctor’s Bow Tie (Matt Smith)

Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor popularised the catchphrase “Bow ties are cool,” and his penchant for wearing them, along with braces and a tweed jacket, created a memorable and iconic look that helped define his era. There often to be seen at cosplay events all over the over world!

The Sixth Doctor’s Coat (Colin Baker)

The Sixth Doctor’s colourful, patchwork coat, designed by Pat Godfrey, is an unforgettable costume that stands out in Doctor Who history. The outfit, which also included striped pants and a polka dot tie, perfectly captured the character’s flamboyant personality.

Rose Tyler’s Union Jack T-shirt (Billie Piper)

Rose Tyler’s Union Jack T-shirt, worn in the episode “The Empty Child” (2005), became an iconic symbol of her character and the modern era of Doctor Who. The outfit, understood to be designed by costume designer Lucinda Wright, showcased Rose’s youthful and spirited nature while also paying homage to British culture.

The Tenth Doctor’s Suit and Trainers (David Tennant)

David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor was known for his slim-cut suits, paired with Converse trainers, creating a stylish and modern look. The outfit, designed by Louise Page, became iconic for the character and was widely emulated by fans.

The Thirteenth Doctor’s Rainbow-striped Shirt (Jodie Whittaker)

,BBC STUDIOS/ James Pardon

Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor brought a fresh, colourful look to the character, with a rainbow-striped shirt, cropped trousers, and a long coat. The outfit, designed by Ray Holman, symbolised a new beginning for the series and reflected the character’s optimistic and energetic personality.

The Fifth Doctor’s Cricket Outfit (Peter Davison)

Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor donned a classic cricket outfit, complete with a striped sweater, cream trousers, and a Panama hat. This unique look, designed by Colin Lavers, helped to distinguish the character and create a memorable visual identity.

Captain Jack Harkness’ Trench Coat (John Barrowman)

Captain Jack Harkness, portrayed by John Barrowman, is known for his World War II-era military coat, which has become an iconic part of his character’s look. The coat, designed by Lucinda Wright, adds a sense of mystery and intrigue to the time-traveling adventurer.

The Master’s Velvet Suit (Roger Delgado)

Roger Delgado’s portrayal of the Master, the Doctor’s arch-nemesis, featured an iconic velvet suit that perfectly captured the character’s suave and sinister nature. The outfit, designed by Ken Trew, remains one of the most memorable villain costumes in the series.

Amy Pond’s Police Uniform (Karen Gillan)

In her debut episode, “The Eleventh Hour” (2010), Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan, donned a police uniform for her job as a “kissogram.” The outfit, designed by Ray Holman, quickly became an iconic look for the character and played a role in her introduction to the Doctor.