clara oswald time of the doctor deep breath cosplay
Season 8 Specials

TotD, Deep Breath: Karen Millen Masculine Check Skirt

clara oswald outfit time of the doctor

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.

clara oswald karen millen masculine check skirt time of the doctor deep breath

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.

clara oswald karen millen masculine check skirt time of the doctor deep breath
clara oswald karen millen check skirt time of the doctor deep breath

Common Alternatives

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!

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