Are bow ties cool? Doctor Who returns…

Photo: Credit: BBC/Todd Antony/Adrian Rogers Copyright BBC

Tune into the BBC this evening or in the very near future and you’re going to find the trailers for the new season of Doctor Who starting up. This is of course a cultural milestone (and yes I’ll write something about the Olympics soon) and leads to a major, major style question: Are bow ties cool? You can click on the picture for a larger image.

This is actually not a straightforward question. There are a few things the good Doctor does that aren’t actually all that cool but he and actor Matt Smith get away with them. Take bow ties anywhere other than somewhere formal. He, and predecessors Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee, got away with these spectacularly (in the sixties you’d have seen more of them anyway, when Troughton was in the role). By now, wearing them without a tuxedo you tend to have to be pretty damned young to get away with them and have them “ironically”. Or you’re playing a 900-year-old Time Lord. Conversely, my continuing inability to tie a bow tie is most certainly not cool. I told you it wasn’t straightforward.

This isn’t all Smith does that won’t work elsewhere, though. Take braces. As you’ll see from the pic, he wears them and he wears them well. You need an ironing board flat stomach to get away with those or they start looking like a contour map of your gut.

I like Harris Tweed jackets. My wife doesn’t. What I do know is that they have to be carefully cut – it’s appallingly easy to end up looking a bit charity shop and a bit pretending-to-dress-middle-aged-without-realising-you’re-actually-pretty-old. In fact I’d say anyone who, like me, woke up in January 2010 and found themselves old enough to be Doctor Who’s dad should probably steer clear unless the cut is seriously flattering.

Trailer for the new series appears below for anyone who’s interested:


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