Friday 19 April 2013

St George by Duffer tie -
a definitive comparison

I’ve spent the past couple of days visiting various high street branches of Debenhams, seeking out the St George by Duffer tie that the Tenth Doctor will be wearing in the upcoming 50th Anniversary Special.

Some things have come to light which I think it is worth mentioning to help clarify the situation and dispel some myths circulating online.

First up, the correct tie being worn is the Blue Jacquard Floral Tie, which I gave the link to a couple of days ago.

This, as many people have now discovered, is out of stock on the website and several people I know had their orders cancelled even when it was in stock, citing insufficient items. Basically they oversold it.

However, there is an alternative, called the Brown Jacquard Floral SLIM Tie.
On the website it looks to be the same pattern, but with a darker background.

You can see by putting the two side-by-side they are notably different.

With this in mind I was looking out for the two versions of the ties in-store.

When I did find them, I discovered the following:

  • The wider screen-worn tie is way rarer than its narrow counterpart. I saw a dozen narrow for every one wide.
  • The narrow tie is made from exactly the same fabric as the wider one, in precisely the same colour. 
  • There are subtle differences in manufacture between the two, but only cosmetic and nothing that notices once worn
  • The slim tie is only narrower by 1cm at the widest point

Here are some proper side-by-side comparision pictures to show you. The slim tie is on the left, the screen-worn on the right.

As you can clearly see, the two versions of the tie are made from exactly the same fabric. There is no difference in the pattern at all.

The labels are identical on both, but the slim tie has a loop in jacquard fabric, whereas the screen-worn has a loop made from some light blue ribbon.

The one thing that is a dead giveaway to distinguish them apart is the lining inside the end of the ties.

The slim version has a plain silk lining in a sky blue colour.

The wider, screen-worn version has a lighter lining, with a woven paisley design.
It is a much nicer and more pleasing lining, though it goes unseen when worn.

Finally, here is an all important direct comparison between the two ties so you can see just how much they differ, which frankly isn’t that much.
It is about 1cm across the width of the tie at its widest point.

So how does this look when worn with a suit?
Here is a side-by-side with the Ultimate Tennant Suit, acknowledged as the most screen accurate replica of the Tenth Doctor’s costume outside of the BBC!
The slim tie is on the left, the wider screen-accurate is on the right.

I leave you to decide - let me know what you think.


  1. Yes, if you look closely, and have wide tie, then a tie looks much nicer, and fastened better than the small version.
    Wide tie has a volume that is inherent ties 10 Doctor's.

  2. Out of curiosity, did you make yourself a suit using the GAP trouser fabric as well as your friend's?

    Sorry, unrelated, I was just interested. :-)

  3. Best outside of BBC? Whoever said that must not have looked very close.

  4. You clearly don't know much about Steve's work, and you most clearly haven't followed to work done in making his Tennant suit to be saying such things Anonymous person.

    I can see why you're posting Anonymously.

  5. I am very impressed with all your investigative work and I am pleased that you share with us all, thank you.

    Curiously Debenhams has only one tie now available to order on their web site with a different ID number to the original two ties offered. So I wonder which tie would arrive in the post? (I realise you can't answer that, it's just a statement).
    It is in stock and you can claim free delivery and a online 20% off by quoting the code on the Debenhams web site.

    I have one of each tie which should I keep?

    Apologies, I don't mean to cause any offense but why are you so certain that it is the broader one, when there is so little difference between them and you can't see the back?
    (which would confirm the screen tie for certain)

    Love your suit.

    1. Apologies this should read 15% discount

  6. 50th anniversary episode hasn't even aired yet and the tie already seems to be extremely rare. This sucks. If I find one on eBay you can bet I'll join the snipers.

  7. If you are in the UK don't assume they are sold out in most towns (unlike the large cities) - get the shop to check against their stockroom for Item No 0970105391 and 0970107751 (the slim tie) Debenhams do have a stock room - go the returns desk and ask them to check stock records. Debenhams do pride themselves on trying to help customers and their senior staff will do their best.

    Also search all the tie racks, people often put them behind other brands. I found one that way. I left one slim one in the store for a lucky customer today because they kindly got me their remaining two from the stock room.

    Also note the pink one with the same pattern is in stock online and at the stores I visited and this looks good with the blue suit, if not cannon.

    I think the slim tie is the real screen seen one, not the wider one, but the difference is minor. Look carefully at the picture of the doctor and a few examples for sale. You will see the ties are all cut with the pattern at a different point and IF the doctor wears it open (rather than his usual closed) you may want to get one with the cloth cut at the same point as him, rather than the ‘slim’ or ‘wide’ version. With the suit closed depending on knot, you can’t tell the difference.

  8. AVOID EBAY SELLERS. THE TIE IS ON BACK ORDER. Do not be taken for more than what it is being retailed for. It is a ridiculous sham and sad to be see fans being taken advantage of. Any and all should have it at the realistic and fair price it is being sold for. Keep checking the Debenhams sight and again, AVOID EBAY.

  9. At the moment the slim tie is 'low stock' on the website, but your order will be converted to backorder - which may, or maynot be progressed. I hear single orders of ties are progressing while multiples are not of the slim version and this weekend there is a 10% off code and free uk shipping.

    Those buying multiple ties fall into the following groups.
    1. cosplayers buying a few ties to ensure they get one with the pattern in exactly the right place, then selling on the others at cost.
    2. cosplayers who bought the tie to get one, a few spares they can sell/pass to fellow 10 cosplayers a face/near face price (good guys!)
    3. cosplayers who are seeing a way to make some cash...Ok at least they keeping them in the community
    4. Those just trying to cash in with buying the tie <- grrr!
    5. Those scammers trying to sell something they dont have.

    If you are a cosplayer and not got one, don't worry i have some spare ones and happy if you meet me at a convention in a 10 suit, to offer to sell you one at cost. I know a few others who will do the same. We can be sure this tie will be in volume inside the community.

  10. Hey guys! First, I just want to say that Steve, I absolutely love your blog. I know I'm coming a little late to the party, but I think your work is incredible! Second, I agree with Anonymous above - avoid EBay. I spent the day yesterday refreshing the Debenhams page, and this morning the tie was back in stock (albeit low) despite being out of stock yesterday. There's also a retailmenot code for 10% off Debenhams items. So good luck everyone!

  11. There is quite a difference in the ties above if one simply counts flowers. One tie is cut opposite to the other. Tennant's screen photos show two flowers on the right and one on the left, the cluster of three is reversed in the standard cut tie. It may be random and have nothing to do with the version of the tie, but if you want a screen accurate tie, two on the right is right.

  12. Does no one else see that the ties are mirrored? Tennant's tie in the photos has the cluster of flowers with two on the right, one on the left. I don't know if that is unique to the tie style, or just a randomization of the fabric cut, but if you want to be screen accurate, count the flowers.

  13. I'm really starting to think the slim version might be the screen accurate one. The people at Celestial Toystore seem pretty certain that it is, and, from what I can tell, in a close up picture of Tennant, the tie does look more like the slim one you have shown on the mannequin.

    1. To alert you all I bought a slim tie in debenhams last week. So check your store as some may be back on the racks. I notice the cut is random between the ties with many cut upside down. Check the ties and find on the correct way around. (two flowers right side, and 1 left) with cluster towards middle of tie at bottom.

  14. I have just bought six of these, five wide and one thin. All five wider ones have the paisley blue lining at the bottom (with the thinner one having a plain lining) but none has the blue tag half way up the widest part - they all have the brown pattern. There appears to be more variation than we thought!

  15. Additional detail: bought one of the slimmer ties from Debenham's website directly, and it does not have the blue loop but *does* have the paisley blue lining.

  16. It is now back in stock on the web zone, I have just received one I ordered last week.