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Thanks largely to the efforts of Rose Tyler, the Tenth Doctor – played with huge transparency by David Tennant – regains some of his old flair. His old war scars start to heal, only to be replaced by a deep melancholy when forced to confront the truth of his existence, which is that he’s alone in the universe, doomed to watch his companions age and wither while he just keeps gallivanting around, meddling with things and relying on his own native charm to get by. If the Ninth Doctor felt like a man who at least remembers what it is like to have a purpose, the Tenth Doctor is a man who has no idea what he is for, and tends to hide behind overconfidence and running about.
So, what he needs is an outfit which makes him look a little like a white-collar professional, someone who does… something… for a living. That’s what the Tenth Doctor’s outfit is about. He’s a smart, handsome man, with a lot of charisma, but an easily broken heart. (You can order the two-part Tennant episode “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” on the brand-new Facebook Video-on-Demand.)
1: Hair – gelled up. The Tenth Doctor is the first in the show’s history to sport a hairdo which looks like it takes any time at all to work on before he leaves the TARDIS. Maybe the First, Second and Fifth Doctors ran a comb through theirs, maybe the Third checked his curly mop for shape, but the Tenth clearly uses product, and may even apply moisturiser after shaving.
2: Shirt – the simplest thing would be a white shirt, but the Tenth Doctor occasionally wears a dark blue shirt with that brown suit, or a burgundy shirt with the blue suit. Either way, it’s just a normal shirt, nothing fancy.
3: Tie – something thinnish, dark and not over-patterned. Again the idea is to look like a stylish junior lawyer (without the stuffed shirt) at a work party. Always left a bit loose. The Tenth Doctor does not think bow ties are cool, unless he’s at a black-tie function.
4: Suit – There are two, the classic brown pinstripe affair with the slim-lapelled four-button jacket, or the equivalent in blue, which also has breast pockets like a safari suit.
5: Jacket – a billowing (waxed?) tan overcoat, suitable to be worn by someone riding a horse on a rainy day – hence the split up the middle.
6: Boots – Converse. Cream or deep red.
Which just leaves the props the Tenth Doctor uses to give him authority. The psychic paper, the glasses, his old blue sonic screwdriver, anything to overcompensate for his gnawing insecurity, which only comes out very, very rarely. Be bold, Cosplay Tenth Doctors, but do not forget to be vulnerable. Like this:
See also: How to dress like the Eleventh Doctor
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See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic