‘Doctor Who’ Cosplay: How To Dress Like River Song

In one sense, getting the River Song look is harder than with other characters, simply because she rarely wears the same thing twice. However, the good news is that almost everything she does wear, she seems to make her own, and I’m not just talking about the astronaut suit.

So with River, it’s a case of doing an image search under her name, and finding the outfit you can most easily get the bits for. Then all you need to do is get the hair right (otherwise you’re on a hiding to nothing) and commence strutting. The strut is a good 40% of who River is. She’s never knowingly outfoxed, rarely flustered, and blessed with catlike charm. And she’s a little older than the Doctor’s usual companions, and far more assured.

The easiest River outfit is probably the all-denim affair from The Impossible Astronaut. None of these clothes should be hard to come by, and again, once you’ve got the hair and the poise, you’re done. Then there’s the army camouflage gear from Flesh and Stone, that’s not going to be too hard to track down.

So, here’s a slightly fiddlier costume to aim for, and one which is as close to the definitive River Song costume as it’s possible to get:

1: Hair – a vivacious mop of blonde corkscrew curls that cannot be tamed. Did I mention the hair is important to becoming River? It is.

2: Jacket – there is no jacket with this ensemble. River likes to get her shoulders out. And she seems very fond of earthy colors like khaki, tan and olive.

3: Alright, top then – well it’s a one-piece thing, isn’t it? Sleeveless and fitted at the top, loose and flouncy below the belt.

4: Trousers – stout black leggings, of the sort that won’t tear or ladder during a commando roll. That is literally how River rolls.

5: Shoes – BOOTS. Hard-wearing boots with buckles and zips and a shallow heel. Comfortable, practical AND stylish.

6: Accessories – thick leather belt for the midriff area. Holster belt, and if you can get a thigh-holster like the one in this picture, that’s all to the good. Oh and a gun. For the holster.

As for the strut, well it’s not something you can buy in a shop. A few practice goes at purring “Hello Sweetie” should tease it out of you.

Next: How to dress like Idris (not the TARDIS, just Idris)

Fraser McAlpine

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
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