Item: Karen Millen Masculine Check Skirt
Appearance: Time of the Doctor, Deep Breath
Combined with: Urban Outfitters Vaudeville & Burlesque Sheer Blouse, Yumi Bow Pointelle Cardigan, TopShop All Mine Boots, Shoptique Three-Cone Necklace, Topshop Prism Spike Bracelet, Topshop Multi-Chain Cross Bracelet, other un-IDed bracelets
Original Retail Price: £130
Materials: 80% wool, 15% polyamide, 5% cashmere
Of all the items Clara wears with this outfit, the Karen Millen check skirt is my favourite and the only one I truly love. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will already know that even though it’s one of Clara’s most iconic styles, it’s not exactly my favourite. I love it on Clara, I love it on other cosplayers, but I just don’t like wearing it for reasons I can’t quite explain. The many layers make me feel like I’m a walking hamburger.
Karen Millen Masculine Check Skirt: Sizing and Materials
However, the Karen Millen skirt is another item I love wearing even outside of cosplay. It’s made out of 80% wool, 15% polyamide and 5% cashmere (hand-wash only, guys!) and has a practical pocket hidden behind the zip that is bigger than expected (one could say it’s bigger on the inside, ha!). It’s a gorgeous piece from Clara’s wardrobe that goes well with plain jumpers or blouses and is really nice for the colder season. I know from several Clara cosplayers that they like to wear this outfit on Christmas.
I personally can’t tell you much about the sizing of this one, but from what I’ve heard, it runs true to size to maybe a tad small. I think it also depends on whether you want to wear it on your waist or hip. The reason I can’t tell you how it fits is that mine was originally a UK16 and I had it altered by a professional tailor to fit me (a UK8/10). She did a really good job and even put the label back in and you really can’t see that it has been tampered with.
Availability & Price
Now, it might seem a little ludicrous to buy something four sizes bigger, but apart from having a high original retail price, this skirt is also quite rare. So when I saw the skirt on eBay for roughly £85, I just bought it because it was the lowest I had ever seen it sell for at that point. I know that at least one cosplayer got it cheaper, but it’s not really common to see this for under £100 and if you do find it, consider yourself lucky.
Due to my skirt having originally been a bigger size, it’s a tad longer than a regular UK8 skirt would be and I think taller Claras with smaller sizes might again find this item a little short (it looks quite short even on Clara and she’s tiny), but tights help in this case.
This skirt is one of Clara’s most sought-after items because it belongs to the iconic Christmas look, but since Karen Millen is a more expansive brand and the skirt probably hasn’t been produced in as high a number as, for instance, Urban Outfitters produced their cardigans, it can take a while to find this. It took me around 6 months and many, many hours spent on eBay and other websites, but it was definitely worth the wait. It’s a lovely winter skirt.
There are many good alternatives available for this skirt because plaid skirts in red are quite common. H&M offers a more affordable alt that I’ve seen on a lot of Claras already. Katherine Barclay made a skirt that looks exactly the same as the Karen Millen one and I was told TJ Maxx may have made an alt as well (thank you, Cass!).
And don’t forget your Christmas crackers!