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Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in 'Sherlock'

The trick with Sherlock cosplay is less in getting the exact same clothes that he wears. It’s to carry yourself with that imperious bearing, as if you are an emperor of the intellect and everyone else, even the people for whom you have an unaccountable affection, are less than serfs.

So, it’s a straight back, a haughty expression, a penetrating gaze and the kind of manic confidence that only comes from knowing that your actions will provoke no consequences, or at least none that you cannot immediately dismiss.

Of course, that’s also a pretty good way to get yourself beaten up, so let’s spend a little bit of time getting the costume right too, if only so you can pull out a deerstalker as proof, before the first punch is thrown.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock

Hair: Well this is the biggy. Even Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t naturally have hair like Sherlock. So, assuming you’re not blessed with naturally wavy dark hair, you’re going to need some kind of wig, or a tube of hair-dye. The look you’re after is that of a public school boy who sort of keeps to a smart side-parting, but doesn’t have time to bother with getting his hair cut. It is of supreme indifference to Sherlock what his hair may look like, so he takes the path of least resistance without actually looking like a man who doesn’t own a hairbrush.

Shirt: White, black or navy.

Suit: Black, fitted but not in a conceited, dandy-ish way. It’s not the cheapest available suit and not exactly Savile Row either.

Coat: A huge army greatcoat in dark grey will do nicely. The sort of coat that suits a turn-up of the collars when it starts raining.

Scarf: Very important, and again, we’re after dark colors here. Battleship grey, preferably, and tied in that modish noose formation that maximises neck warmth and minimises the flappiness of scarf ends. Scientifically efficient.

Shoes: Any pair of black lace-ups will do. Preferably a bit lived-in and scuffed, but not un-polished.

Accessories: Well that deerstalker may come in handy, if you are to convince fellow conventioneers that you are not a snooty local lawyer on his (or her) lunchbreak.

Check out the full How To Dress archive…

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By Fraser McAlpine