Why more men should dress (and be) like Sherlock Holmes (and Dr. John Watson)…

I have become quite a fan of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” in the past year and a half. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the 2009 movie had a lot to do with it. Before it came out, I only really knew of the characters from phrases, general knowledge,

And of course the great mouse detective.

I had always wanted to read the stories but I wasn’t completely inspired to pick up the collection until I saw the movie.

I love Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. I love their personalities, their attitudes, their relationship with each other and of course their style. (You knew that was coming right? I mean, this is a fashion blog)

I should probably mention that I am talking about their style from the 2009 movie starring Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as John Watson (in case you have no idea what I’m talking about). I will not be talking about that deer-stalker hat (but this guy did: http://www.examiner.com/sherlock-holmes-in-national/sherlock-holmes-gets-a-new-shiny-hat-along-with-a-new-movie)

The style of men in the Victorian age is one that I hold dear to my heart. I love a man who can put on a suit every day and care about how he looks while still being a macho, action loving, problem solving, (sometimes scruffy) man.

So here are the parts of men’s fashion from the Victorian age that I love the most.


The suit is classic. You didn’t really need me to gush over Sherlock Holmes so you could figure that out. I have to say, it would be nice to see more men in suits everyday.


Or vests (as they are more commonly known as now-a-days) are one of my favorite fashion pieces for men or women. Of course the men wore (and fought over) them in the film but someone else made a big statement with her vest. Irene Adler (played by Rachel McAdams (in case you couldn’t figure that out)) was sporting one as a part of a three piece suit with riding boots. It’s one of my favorite outfits in the film.

Here is why I love vests. For women, they pull the body in and give it a nice curve and a nice shape. For men, I find that they add an element of sophistication.


I am a hat person. Always have been, always will be. What I love about the Victorian era are men in hats everyday. They wear them out and they take them off when they walk in the room. Of course this bit of fashion didn’t stop after the 1890’s. We saw it all the way up to the 70s. The thing is that it is just not done anymore. Men and women no longer pair hats with their everyday outfits. They don’t put on a hat just to walk outside anymore. I would love to see that everyday.

I know what you’re thinking… Why don’t I just start wearing a hat everyday? Well the answer to that is simple.

It would mess up my hair.

And now I have a theory: Have you noticed that throughout the decades, as women’s hair got bigger, you see less and less hats in everyday life? Aha! (That may not just be a theory that could very well be a fact)

I have no theories on why men stopped wearing hats so therefore there is no excuse.


While his friend, John Watson, and most of the other male characters in the movie are wearing everyday average long ties, Sherlock Holmes is wearing an ascot. Maybe it’s because he’s quirky, maybe it’s because he is awesome…either way… I dig the ascot. It’s a fun way to change up a suit.


I can’t explain my love for suspenders. It could be because of this image…

Or it could be because of this one…

Well that last one is an entirely different blog (coming soon, why more men should dress and be like The Doctor)

I think really it’s because I’m not a huge belt fan (I’m also not a fan-belt. Ha!(Once again, I apologize for my corny jokes but if your going to keep reading this blog you will have to get used to them))

So after all of my gushing over Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and their fashion sense, here is the point of all of this:

I would love to see the Victorian age come back (but not really for women. Trust me; I’m fine without long bustled skirts. You know me; I like to have my legs free)

What I would like to see is more men who act and dress like gentlemen. I’m so sick of creeps who come up and say “what’s your name?” instead of “Hello.”

But enough about the manners; let’s talk about the fashion and how men and women can bring it back (without looking like you have a huge ass)

We need two things to make this style come back:

First, we need classic accessories: hats, feathers, clutch purses, pocket watches, canes and pipes.

Second, we need good tailoring. Suits, vests, jackets, coats, shirts… these are things that can be tailored to fit you properly for a classic clean look.

There you go! With those two simple tips, you are well on your way to bringing Victorian fashion (and sexy) back.

Now ladies, pull up your hair and men grow mustaches! Let’s make Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle proud!



Ok, I think that I should definitely mention the costume designer, Jenny Beavan. After all, she is responsible for the fashion that I just wrote about. She also worked on The Kings Speech, EverAfter, Alexander and obviously she is working on the next Sherlock Holmes movie. Clearly the woman is a genius. She may very well be my new hero. I mean look at her range! It’s impressive.

I got most of my images from screenshots of the movie. I also I got a few pictures from google.

If you are into The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and you are on twitter, follow @MyDearestWatson and @SHolmesEsq

They are a hoot and a half (that was my twitter pun)

If you’ve never read the mysteries, you can pick up a copy of the collection at most any bookstore.



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6 responses to “Why more men should dress (and be) like Sherlock Holmes (and Dr. John Watson)…

  1. Very fun light playful article. I like the screenshot of the waistcoat on the ground. Very funny. I appreciate the time you spent on McAdams who was breathtaking in every shot.
    You neglected to notice that Law likes to wear his coats and sweaters buttoned with only one button and usually a high up one. I find this remarkable and somewhat rare. Most men button lower and leave upper ones unbuttoned. Its my theory that this speaks to a keen eye for fashion in Mr. Law. Since he has done it for some time it must be a deliberate choice
    I enjoyed this. If you alert me I would read anything else you write in the future.

    • Christine Perkins

      I did notice that he only buttoned the top button and i too thought that was a little odd. At the same time, I like it.

      If you subscribe to the blog, i think that it will alert you when post something new. Otherwise, you can follow me on twitter here: @dressformsblog
      or you can email me here: dressformsblog@hotmail.com

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Douglas

    Dear Lady: I am assuming you are still of tender years and a romantic. Good.
    I too am a Sherlock Holmes devotee. You need to know that fashion and manners are axiomatic. In my childhood men demonstrated chivalry not only to ladies, but also in other ways. A Catholic male walking past a Catholic church would remove his hat, even in the rain. I saw with my own eyes the instant death of hats while present at President Kennedy’s inauguration. Kennedy removed his top silk hat before its time and in an instant hats were passe. How sad because this was a seed that grew into “What up?” All gentlemen are men, but not all men are gentlemen; its called democracy. Lastly, Dr. Watson wears a billycock hat in the movie and buttons his top button only of his suit jacket to more easily retrieve his watch from his waistcoat pocket and for ready access to his Webley army revolver.
    Your servant in all things Holmes.

  3. Andrew

    Christine and JCPorter,

    The reason Watson is only buttoning that top button on his jackets is because it was the fashionable look at the time. One of the popular men’s silhouettes for the mid-Victorian period was the “pigeon breast” with coats that buttoned high then flared back, looking a little like a pair of wings. It gave the look of a puffed-up chest.

    There were certainly other popular looks, but this one really sticks out when you look at pictures from the period.

  4. Andrew

    Oh, by the way, I do dress this way on occasion. I have a frock coat, several waistcoats, and I never leave the house without a hat. At my wedding I not only wore a top hat, I carried my great-great grandfather’s walking stick.

    I even own (and wear) a pair of knickers.

    If you like men in hats, you should visit thefedoralounge.com.

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