10th Doctor blue suit analysis, part 3 - collar

Tenth Doctor Blue Suit Analysis


Part 3 - Collar

As mentioned previously, Tennant wore (at least) six different blue suits over his run as the Doctor. 

As best we could tell, the first was only seen during the season three premiere, "Smith and Jones," during which the blue suit was introduced. After that, the blue suit appeared to be fairly consistent throughout the remainder of the third season. 

However, two more blue suits were worked into the costume rotation around the middle of the fourth season, then another at the end of the fourth season for the final episode, and yet another for the subsequent specials. 

The only notable differences between all six blue suits appeared to be the cut of the collars and lapels. 

Interestingly, although the 10th Doctor's blue suit closely resembled his brown one in its construction, either during the design or pattern drafting stage, Louise Page seems to have decided on a different style collar for the blue suit than seen previously on his brown suits from season two. 

In fact, the Doctor's brown suits' lapel facings were always cut the same way and there were only two versions of the collar (an early version and a later version), but the blue suits' lapel facings were cut two different ways and had three different collar variations! (Yeah, we had fun keeping track of all those.) 

Given the continuity nightmare this might cause in production and post-production, we can only assume that Louise Page (and/or her team) either didn't know, didn't care, wanted to experiment and try subtle new things with each new suit, and/or perhaps was a perfectionist and never quite felt she nailed the design ... who knows?


In any event, up to the time the blue suit was introduced, the brown suits' collars were cut and sewn so that the front edges of the collar were directly on (and parallel to) the fabric's pinstripes:

10th Doctor brown suit collar
2x8 "The Impossible Planet"


However, the early blue suits' collars were cut at a slight angle:

10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x6 "The Doctor's Daughter"


The early blue suits' collars extended the approximate equivalent of three pinstripes in from the lapel facing (as measured from the edge, which was cut between pinstripes - more on that later):

10th Doctor blue suit collar
3x1 "Smith and Jones"
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x4 "The Sontaran Stratagem"


Tennant wore this version of the blue suit well into season four.

10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x5 "The Poison Sky"
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x6 "The Doctor's Daughter"
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x9 "Forest of the Dead"


There was another early version of the blue suit seen in the season three premiere, "Smith and Jones," which had an extremely angled collar cut by comparison and, as best we could tell, was quickly abandoned (we never spotted it again while researching for this analysis).

10th Doctor blue suit collar
3x1 "Smith and Jones"


Anyway, everyone involved seemed to prefer the early blue suit-style collar (the first one we presented, not the abnormal one), because the following year, the next round of brown suits adopted it, too:
10th Doctor brown suit collar
4x1 "Partners in Crime"
10th Doctor brown suit collar
4x13 "Journey's End"


We find this curious, because a new blue suit was introduced at the end of that same season, and another for the subsequent specials, and both of these had collar cuts similar to those of the early brown suits

Similar, that is, but not identical; the mid-season-four blue suits had collars with front edges parallel to the pinstripes but not actually on them (in a similar style as the early blue suits' lapel facings - more on that later).

10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x13 "Journey's End"
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x13 "Journey's End"


One might be tempted to conclude that this was simply a collar style intended to further differentiate the Meta-crisis Doctor from the ("proper") Doctor, except the latter wore this collar style later in "The Waters of Mars":

10th Doctor blue suit collar


We also spotted him wearing that collar style in this season four promotional photo:

10th Doctor blue suit collar


So there you have it - three collars (well, two and an anomalous outlier), in the reverse order one might naturally expect them to develop, in relation to the evolution of the brown suit! 

To us, it seems like more of a natural progression to start with the brown suit's "straight collar," introduce the blue suit with a straight collar, maybe experiment a bit with the angled collar on the blue suit, decide in favor of it when making the next round of brown suits, and possibly go a bit too far experimenting with extreme collar angles. 

But what actually happed was that we started with the brown suit's straight collar, then the blue suit's angled collar (and the one outlier), followed by the brown suit's angled collar, only to return to the straight collar design with the later blue suits. 

It might even have made sense for, say, the brown suits to have always had straight collars and the blue suits to always have had angled collars (or vice-versa), but instead, both suits had both collar styles at different times. 

Why all the variation over the years with no apparent rhyme or reason?



Unlike the brown suit collars, which had a seam at the center back (probably due at least in part to the source material being limited to the width of trouser legs), the blue suit collars may have been one piece with no back seam.

10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x9 "Forest of the Dead"
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x13 "Journey's End"


We never got a good look at the undercollar of the 10th Doctor's blue suits, but seeing as his brown suit's undercollar was made of brown undercollar felt/tailoring felt/melton (see right), we think it's safe to assume that this was the case for the blue suits as well (probably navy blue or black, though).
10th Doctor brown suit collar
8x01 "The Day of the Doctor"


Also unlike the brown suits, which clearly had a seam along the front edge of the collars (where the upper collar and undercollar were sewn together - see below), the blue suits appeared to lack this seam, implying that the front edge of the collar was folded underneath and hand-sewn onto the undercollar.

10th Doctor brown suit collar
2x4 "The Girl in the Fireplace"
10th Doctor brown suit collar
3x0 "The Runaway Bride"
10th Doctor brown suit collar
4x10 "Midnight"


Note the absence of an upper collar/undercollar seam line on the front edge of the blue suit collar:

10th Doctor blue suit collar
3x1 "Smith and Jones"


The underside of the blue suit collar probably looked something like these:



The above images are from Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear (2nd edition) and Vintage Couture Tailoring, respectively.

Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear
Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear
Vintage Couture Tailoring
Vintage Couture Tailoring


Like the brown suits from the previous season, the blue suits didn't take long to begin wearing out (which is probably why more were added to the production rotation around the middle and end of season four); the normal wear and tear of production and multiple dry-cleanings in rapid succession visibly took their toll on the blue suits, as evidenced by fussy collar/lapel contortions:

10th Doctor blue suit collar
3x5 "Evolution of the Daleks"
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x5 "The Poison Sky"
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x6 "The Doctor's Daughter"


Lastly regarding the collar, the seam allowances were either ¼" or trimmed to ¼" after sewing (probably to reduce bulk), as evidenced below by the occasional impression of seam allowances being visible through the collar and/or lapel facing:
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x4 "The Sontaran Stratagem"
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x6 "The Doctor's Daughter"
10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x8 "Silence in the Library"


Oddly, though, at least one of the later versions of the blue suit seemed to only reduce the upper collar/under collar seam allowances down to about ⅜" along the back ...

10th Doctor blue suit collar
4x13 "Journey's End"


10th Doctor blue suit analysis - fabric
10th Doctor blue suit home
10th Doctor blue suit analysis - lapels

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