Homepage Link

How to Dress Like Leela from Doctor Who

Leela (Doctor Who) companion cosplay guide

Leela was a short-lived companion of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor. Despite only joining The Doctor on his adventures briefly, she left a lasting impression on fans of the series. Leela’s costume design is probably the most unique out of all The Doctor’s previous companions, making her a fantastic cosplay option for those willing to put the time in to make her outfit.

Leela (played by Louise Jameson) was a member of a primitive and warrior-like society known as the Sevateem, who existed in the future on a post-apocalyptic Earth. After initially mistaking The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) for a God, she joins him as his second primary companion during the 1977-1978 seasons.

Coming from a civilization that has largely been reduced to a primitive state of existence, Leela brought a fresh and unique perspective to the diverse worlds and societies that The Doctor typically visits.

Leela becomes increasingly disenfranchised with the life of a Time Lord, as its rules and regulations act as a stark contrast to the tribal life she is accustomed to. Ultimately, on a visit to The Doctor’s homeworld, Gallifrey, Leela decides to remain behind on this strange world and search for her own path in the universe.

As far as The Doctor’s companions go, Leela is certainly one of the more unusual. Leela wears distinctive tribal-style clothing and frequently fights with a hunting knife, making her a popular Doctor Who cosplay costume to this day.

More Doctor Who companion cosplay ideas:

Doctor Who Leela Costume Guide

Leela costume DIY guide

Buy Leela cosplay items:

  1. Brown Renaissance corset
  2. Red cotton thread
  3. Leather knife sheath
  4. Leather wrist cuff
  5. Bead necklace (Etsy)
  6. Medieval belt
  7. Suede fabric
  8. Belt pouch
  9. Foam dagger

Making a Leela costume is certainly not the easiest Doctor Who cosplay option. However, that extra time and effort is absolutely worth it. This is an underappreciated and iconic Doctor Who character who absolutely deserves more love on the Halloween and cosplay circuit.

So, how to start making your Leela cosplay? As Leela comes from a tribal and primitive society, many of her clothes are made from animal hide. With that in mind, we started by making her distinctive leather top. To save time, we found a great cosplay bodice from Scarlett Darkness on Amazon. begin by removing the original lace and that pre-apocalyptic zipper. Sew a basic wide stitch pattern in five horizontal lines from the left to the right. Add additional decorative stitching around the neck.

To create that post-apocalyptic wear-and-tear you will likely want to lightly weather and distress all the leather for Leela’s costume. Check out this great guide on how to effectively distress leather from Buffalo Jackson if you’re unsure how to proceed.

Next, Leela wears a crude leather belt with a homemade knife sheath and a hip pouch attached. You can make all these yourself with a roll of top-grain leather or, to save time, each of these items can be purchased separately (see above for our favorite Leela cosplay accessories). Additional accessories include a tribal necklace and leather wrist cuffs.

The final major piece of DIY necessary is Leela’s loincloth. Again, Leela likely would have constructed this out of animal hide. We recommend using soft suede so that you have enough malleability to wrap it around effectively. A loincloth is really easy to make yourself; all you really need is a rectangular piece of your chosen fabric that’s long enough to wrap around your waist and leave enough leftover material for the desired length of the front flap.

Finally, no Leela cosplay would be complete without her signature hunting knife. Or, if you really want to strike fear into your foes, perhaps a hunting crossbow?

With your chosen weapon in hand, your Leela Doctor Who costume is ready to go!

Best Leela quotes:

  • “You are the leader, yet you follow the weakling Doctor. Why?” – The Invasion of Time
  • “He has told me of the world of the Time Lords. It is a place of great power and great evil.” – The Deadly Assassin
  • “You will take me back to my own people, or I will destroy this place!” – The Face of Evil
  • “I am not weak like you.” – The Robots of Death
  • “I would rather be with you than without you.” – The Invasion of Time

Looking for more Leela (Doctor Who) cosplay ideas?

Follow us on Pinterest for more Leela costume inspiration and 100s more easy cosplay guides from all the best shows, movies, and video games.