We come, at last, to the frock coat the 11th Doctor wore with his “Snowmen” costume – and what a beauty!
As you’ll see, it bore all the hallmarks of a Victorian frock coat – again, appropriate considering the rest of the costume ensemble and the era during which the story was set.
As is often the case with these costumes, the “Snowmen” frock coat looked very different colors in different lighting situations – to say nothing of the usual post-production color shenanigans.
Sometimes (usually under yellow-ish light), the color looked rather warm and burgundy-ish.
Other times (usually under light blue lighting), the fabric looked like more of a cooler purple.
And still other times, it looked like a warm purple – sort of an “eggplant” color.
Again, thanks to the Doctor Who Experience and Thomas Dunn, we have a more “unbiased” look at the color of the frock coat, with no color-editing, and it appears to be the warmer purple color from that last example.
The “Snowmen” frock coat fabric was allegedly made of heavy cotton moleskin.
Although I haven’t independently verified that assertion, the fabric texture was occasionally observable (especially in publicity photos/episode stills) and consistent with that of the aforementioned moleskin.
We also know that this is what the fabric looked like after it was distressed – again indicative of a fabric with a nap or pile (such as moleskin).
Collar and Lapels
The “Snowmen” frock coat’s collar and lapels were made with a contrasting fabric – black Persian lamb fur.
And it would seem that this is what Persian lamb fur looks like when it’s distressed – shaggy old carpet!
As you probably noticed, the collar and lapels were fairly large by contemporary standards.
Curiously, it was difficult to get a read on the frock’s collar height, in relation to the shirt collar.
Sometimes the frock’s collar clearly rose above the back of the shirt collar.
Other times, the upper back edge of the frock coat collar appeared to be approximately flush with the upper back edge of the shirt collar.
And still other times, the frock collar actually sat lower than the shirt collar.
Of course whenever that fussy shirt collar was unkempt, it poked out above the frock collar, too.
If there was a gorge (collar/lapel) seam, it was buried too far into the texture of the fur for us to ever clearly see. (I have to believe there was, though.)
Also, collar and lapel corners were slightly rounded.
Clear reads on the angle of the collar notch were difficult to come by, and the results obviously varied, but for whatever it’s worth, here’s what I was able to ascertain.
The lapel roll line also extended quite low by contemporary standards – approximately level with the top of the lowest decorative trim accents on each side.
The backwards-slanted shoulder seam was a strong characteristic of the frock coat’s Victorian-style cut.
Decorative Trim Accents
The “Snowmen” frock coat was single-breasted, although it doesn’t seem to have been designed to ever actually close.
The outer front of the frock coat was decorated with three accents on each side, between the lower chest area and waist seam.
These accents were constructed from a lovely black trim; observe the ovular “double chain-link” pattern on top of the “flatter” base, with semicircles on each side – a unique trim, for sure.
If you’ve read my 11th Doctor velvet waistcoat analysis, you may recognize this trim and recall that it was used on that garment, as well – appropriate, since it was originally part of this “Snowmen” costume ensemble.
These accents were positioned closely together, and slightly offset horizontally.
The lowest was positioned so its outer end was flush with the waist seam and slightly overlapped the side pocket flap.
The trim accents were, themselves, accented with small buttons on the outer “figure-8-shaped” loops.
The lowest trim accent also had a black toggle clasp at the front “figure-8-shaped” intersection.
Curiously, for the distressing of the frock coat at the end of “The Time of the Doctor,” the toggle clasps appear to have been removed, and it looks like the black passementerie buttons used on the velvet waistcoat were added to each of the trim accents.
The back of the “Snowmen” frock coat was practically picture-perfect in its Victorian-era style.
There was, of course, a center back seam, presumably tapered to fit the wearer’s back.
There were also princess seams along the upper back.
In addition to the back princess seams, there were seams toward the back of the underarms (forming side back panels, also typically seen on Victorian-era frock coats).
Curiously, there was a fitting dart toward the side/outer front area – not where one would normally expect to see a dart. (Normally the dart is closer to the mid-front area.)
My guess is that the dart was shifted outward as not to interfere with the decorative trim accents.
There was, of course, a waist seam that separated the upper body of the frock coat from the lower “skirt.”
Beneath the waist seam, the lower back bore the hallmarks of a Victorian-style frock coat, too.
There was an overlapping center back vent, and small pleats in the skirt directly beneath the princess seams.
(Note, however, that there were no decorative buttons at the intersections between the princess seams and the skirt pleats.)
The center back vent appears to have been topstitched into place, near its upper edge.
Also note that in the example above, the topstitching appears to have only spanned the back vent.
Curiously, though, the topstitching sometimes appeared to extend past the center back, all the way across the left back panel. (It’s difficult to say for sure, though; this could have simply been a crease in the fabric.)
On each side of the lower back was a small dart in the skirt, positioned directly beneath the side back seams.
The “Snowmen” frock coat had side pockets – or more specifically, it had side pocket flaps that presumably covered side pockets.
These pocket flaps were sewn into the frock coat’s waist seam, and they were positioned with the back edges approximately centered between the side back seam and outer front dart.
As mentioned previously, the front edges of the side pocket flap slightly overlapped the lowest trim accent.
The lower back corners of the side pocket flaps were consistently cornered.
However, the lower front corners of the side pocket flaps varied in shape.
Sometimes they were obviously cornered, like the back.
Other times, the lower front corners of the side pocket flaps were clearly rounded.
Sometimes they look like they might have been rounded, although it’s difficult to say for sure due to the lighting.
So what was up with the pocket flaps?
Well, perhaps there were several production-made costumes (common practice in the entertainment industry), but they were made slightly different ways for whatever reason.
Or perhaps the pocket flaps were replaced at one point?
Then again, post-production photo-editing shenanigans could be to blame.
The “Snowmen” frock coat’s sleeves were traditional, two-piece sleeves, and the sleeve seams were occasionally visible.
A particularly nice touch was that the back sleeve seams aligned with the upper corner of the back princess seams at the armscye.
Naturally, there was a bit of ease in the sleeve cap.
The frock coat also had some shoulder padding.
The frock was also equipped with sleeve heads (in addition to the shoulder pads), to fill out the ease in the sleeve cap.
The lower sleeves were loose-fitting (presumably to accommodate the shirt’s French cuffs) and sewn closed, not vented.
A few inches above the bottom of each sleeve were two adjacent rows of the same black trim used for the decorative front accents.
Here’s another curiosity:
In some photos, the trim clearly appears to be sewn into the front sleeve seam, but in others, it doesn’t.
In fact, in the example below, the trim on the right sleeve appears to flow continuously across the front sleeve seam, but the trim on the left sleeve appears to be sewn into the seam!
Sometimes, the trim appeared to have been sewn into the back sleeve seam, instead.
In any event, beneath the trim, there were three decorative buttons on each lower sleeve.
They appear to have been positioned very close to, or perhaps even directly over the back sleeve seam.
Unfortunately, we never got a good look at the sleeve buttons, but they appear to have been the same style buttons used to accent the decorative trim on the front of the frock coat.
The upper front facings on the “Snowmen” frock coat were, of course, the Persian lamb fur that rolled outward to become the lapels.
The upper front facing appeared to be a few inches wide and narrowed as it extended downward to the interior waist seam.
The frock coat’s lower front (skirt) facing appeared to be cut-on (“grown-on”) and folded under.
The lining appeared to be a very similar color to the outer “shell” fabric.
On the skirt’s interior, the lining appeared to extend forward very close to the front edge.
Unsurprisingly, the lining also extended almost to the bottom of the skirt, with a small jump pleat at the bottom.
The lining also appeared to extend nearly to the bottom of the sleeves, with similar pleats at the bottom.
There was also an interior pocket on the upper right side.