And now, Scary-Crayon and Strange Cousin Susan present... Sarah Jane Smith Fashionista Fever! -- Part Four: I would probably never divorce the pink striped socks / Except for those alarmingly cute Andy Pandy overalls by: Mickey

I'm afraid that the wee light on top of everyone's favorite blue police box is beginning to blink, signaling the eminent dematerialization of Fashionista Fever! Once "The Masque of Mandragora", "The Hand of Fear", and K-9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend have been reviewed, our extended look at one Sarah Jane Smith's assorted attire will reach its conclusion. I do hope the feature rematerializes sometime in the near future, though, as any Doctor Who fan knows that Sarah Jane's adventures didn't really end when she walked out of the TARDIS looking not the least bit sorry or shell-shocked (despite being over 570 miles from home)! We can always revisit Sarah when she finally visits Gallifrey in an entry into the Who canon that makes little sense, or when she reunites with the Brigadier for another romp that makes no effin' sense whatsoever. Along those lines, there's even that special just makes my ever-lovin' head ache.

Or, preferably, we can revisit Miss Smith when she's older, wiser, and not so prone to screaming -- and way sexier -- during such instances as her investigation of the Krillitane-run Deffrey Vale School, her ongoing efforts to save the earth from alien threats, or her involvement in the battle against Davros and the Daleks. Sarah's wardrobe was undeniably spot-on in these later appearances, but that won't stop this fashionista-fu fangirl from having something to say about her clothing... not to mention the boots. God help me if Sarah Jane finds herself aiming her wicked sonic lipstick at aliens and tromping about in a pair of knee-high, 20-eyelet Doc Martens, because my mouth breathing would no doubt reach tragically dangerous levels.

As with Part Three, let's quickly review the previous installments in a series of screen caps:

Oohh, don't tease me any more about my shirt. You make me so mad!Yes, Your Honor. I'm guilty of wearing brown and turquoise together. Please be merciful with my sentence.Don't make me poke you in the only friggin' eye you've got, you phallic-looking freak!

"Doctor Who" Season 11 (as seen in Sarah Jane Smith Fashionista Fever! Part 1)

Quick, Brig, get a move on! Benton's having a kegger in your office!I might be smiling at you, but if you DARE pull this hat over my eyes, I'll kick your ass.You two are so NOT funny... if you want to play at scarfing, be my guest.

"Doctor Who" Season 12 (as seen in Sarah Jane Smith Fashionista Fever! Part 2)

Whaddya mean, Doc? We're really out of toilet paper?Dude, this Wii is fabulous!She was truckin' on down the avenue, without a single thing to do

"Doctor Who" Season 13 (as seen in Sarah Jane Smith Fashionista Fever! Part 3)

Well, there's certainly been definite pattern of improvement! But just as luck would have it -- when we're finally beginning to see real progress -- the Doctor gets tired of Sarah Jane nagging him like an old fishwife receives that very mysterious psychic instant message from his Time Lord cronies and unceremoniously dumps poor Sarah Jane on a deserted road, with only a rather disinterested yellow Labrador Retriever for company. Nice, Doc. Real nice. The next time you ran into each other, I'm surprised Sarah didn't kick you in your skinny little pencil legs after informing you that you'd fucked up thirty years earlier.

Do you promise you'll ring me tomorrow?Okay, sorry for the ranting... let's move right along to "The Masque of Mandragora." Sarah Jane's looking pretty casual in this outfit, which recalls her clothing in "The Seeds of Doom". That's not why this outfit is another of my favorites, though -- its appeal for me has more to do with the fact that I wore outfits like this back in my mid 20s. I know quite well how comfortable they can be, which is highly important whether you're racing through catacombs and being hypnotized by cultists in 15th-century Italy or running about in a radio station sales department and trying not to lose your mind! That said, the pattern on this jumper is hella more exciting than anything I had. Muted plaids simply ain't got nothin' on this Renaissance-inspired floral design, and this pattern's colors are also about a hundred times better than those of the plaids I so loved in my youth. It's even sort of got a hippie vibe to it, which is quite marvelous and harkens back to those stylistic flirtations Sarah exhibited in "Robot". (Yes, I mention this every chance I get, so it's obvious that that scarf-slash-headband made a pretty strong impression on me! The more I think about it, the more I actually like the unseemly thing.) Given its apparent hippie flavor, the only thing that would have totally completed this outfit would have been either bare feet, or -- God forbid -- a pair of Birkenstocks or similarly appropriate footwear.

It's best to go limp when The Man grabs you.I'm really getting tired of all this bloody hanging around, waiting to be rescued.

But there's neither a bare foot to be seen nor anything else even remotely reminiscent of the '60s... because, after a rather difficult time of it the previous season, I'm delighted to report that Sarah's still carrying on her love affair with her decade-appropriate boots. Thank God for that relationship -- it's fan-fucking-tastic!

This oddly Victorian nightgown is far less praiseworthy, but I'm going on record and declaring that Sarah Jane absolutely cannot be held responsible for it. Honestly, if you'd been kidnapped by a group of sinister, black-robed, creepy mask-wearing bastards hellbent on sacrificing you to Demnos, you'd probably wear whatever they told Nightgowns are the worst present to... regardless of your endearing contrariness and the sinister, creepy mask-wearing bastards laughing up their voluminous black sleeves at you and your sassy backtalk. Never mind that Sarah wandered off, which seems to be a recurring behavioral issue she has, and got herself mixed up with this entertaining bunch of psychopaths because she was so delighted by the sight of orange trees in the forest. I'm not saying she got what she deserved... I'm just sayin'.

The one and only occasion to enjoy a little fancy dress came late, but Sarah Jane really appears to be enjoying herself, doesn't she? I'm so sorry the Doctor didn't take her out more often for this type of entertainment, as opposed to those humdrum exploits traveling through time and relative dimensions in space week in and week out! And this fancy dress is absolutely beyond the scope of my analytical fashionista-fu ability. I can totally deal with big collars and scarves and UNIT cammies, but this? A dress with a... dare I say it... a bodice? A bodice?! Yup, a bodice. No effin' way, not even if I owned a stick with a mask and feathers on it. Therefore, lacking any credibility to critique such a thing, I've a whole lot of nothing illuminating, affectionately snarky, snarkily affectionate, or just plain obsessive to say about it... except I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that girl's wearing her boots underneath the dress!!

Godammit. That bit about the boots does sound obsessive, doesn't it? It does, hunh?

You're thinking about Jo and Liz again, aren't you?"The Masque of Mandragora" ends with perhaps one of the strangest clothing items that Sarah Jane's ever chosen. Is it a sweater or a shag rug? If it's a sweater, it's a damn weird one -- but totally fitting given Sarah's unique fashion outlook. If it's a shag rug, well, perhaps she should have worn it more often in "The Hand of Fear," at the expense of total Andy Pandy overload. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, but this actually works quite well as a segue into Sarah Jane's swan song! I'm preparing to go off on a tangent that's only tenuously connected to anything fashionista-fu related, but it's something I'm simply unable to not mention. And that sweater is involved, so you'll humor me... won't you?

Question: Has the Doctor ever loved up on any of his companions the way the Fourth Doctor loved up on Sarah Jane in this serial? Seriously, I know the Second Doctor seemed overly fond of Jamie McCrimmon at times, but I never saw him even hug the young Scotsman. Lots of touching, yes... and Jamie in a kilt... oh, Doctor! But hugging? Lying down? At the same time? Ummm, no. But if that Fourth Doctor is indeed lovin' up on our Miss Smith, he should have snagged that shag rug sweater away from her before he started groping and making half-assed passes gettin' all concerned and protective up in her grill. Verily:

If I pretend to be asleep, I won't have to say I've got a headache... again.I didn't realize Time Lords liked to spoon.

A shag rug sweater -- and maybe a fireplace and some champagne --
would have made even the quarry and the nuclear power plant romantic.

But my purpose here is to assess Sarah Jane's clothes, not to envision the Doctor charming her out of them! Now, if you're wondering if Sarah Jane's got a scarf wrapped around her head, wonder no longer. That said, it lacks anything even close to shock value for two reasons. The first is that we've already seen her wearing a scarf, even if it was a while back. The shock value was definitely there the first time... and oh my God, here I go, talking about that flippin' scarf from "Robot" again! Honestly, I'm not obsessed with the scarves. The boots, oh yeah, so guilty as charged -- and proud of it -- but not the scarves. The second reason this scarf doesn't surprise too greatly is very simple: it adds even more quirk to an already decidedly quirky ensemble. And if there's one thing I can say about Sarah's style besides its obvious improvement over time, it's that it's unmistakably offbeat. Heck, it's probably at least partly responsible for her enduring appeal.

Oh, I can never remember if my watch is on my left... nope. It's on the right.Doctor, your joke about the starving brain-sucking monster was funny the first time. It's not funny anymore.

So, here we have that much-anticipated Andy Pandy outfit, second only to the UNIT cammies on my list of fashionista-fu favorites. Sarah's last outfit is, without a doubt, the culmination of eighteen serials' worth of growth and improvement (the blunders are forgiven, Sarah Jane... yes, yes, dear, even the worst of those early ones) and it is absolutely perfect. How can a grown woman dressing like a candy striper not be adored by one and all? All right, regardless of the candy striper look, how can Sarah not be adored? Well, my very own mother is an exception. The jury's still out on cute as a button Sarah Jane, but she's definitely immune to the charms of dead sexy Sarah Jane. Yeah, I know. I don't understand it, either.

I'm the Pandora KaTe Bush sings about in 'Suspended in Gaffa.' Betcha didn't know that, eh?Time for your walkies, Thing?

Also, while rewatching "The Hand of Fear," I was quite pleased and surprised to see Sarah with another pair of striped socks. These were red and white, not two different shades of pink, but I'm not complaining. Hell, I don't even have any complaints about the shoes despite the fact they're not boots. Boots are cool and sexy, and -- yes -- they can be practical, too. Sneakers are cute and practical, but are definitely not sexy. Yet for this reason, the sneakers complement Andy Pandy in a way that a pair of boots simply could not.

Yeah, well, I guess that's that. I didn't mean it, that I wanted to go home, did I?Whoa. Talk about being dumped... not gonna cry, not gonna cry...

It isn't until Sarah throws a hissy fit and nags the Doctor like they're an old married couple that he finally decides he's had enough of her wandering away, her smart mouth and arguing, and maybe even his guilt about those half-assed passes he made when she was either unconscious or trying to keep herself from being blown to smithereens. When he receives that strangely convenient and urgent psychic Time Lord tweet (imagine the Doctor seeing this on the console: Galifrey4evar @rogue_TimeLord Lose the girl; she's bringing you down. It's urgent you come home:, he can't drop "Hot Potato" Sarah Jane fast enough. So, out comes the shag rug sweater (or jacket, if you prefer) and some random items she's picked up here and there, including the yellow mack that she wore from the tail end of "The Ark in Space" and through "The Sontaran Experiment" and "Genesis of the Daleks". Sarah then exits TARDIS left, clutching a variety of things that seem to be the physical embodiments of non-sequiturs -- an owl doll and a tennis racket being the most obvious -- as she walks away whistling. Where in God's name did she pick that up that owl doll, anyway? And why? An intergalactic Hallmark store? A Martian nature preserve?

And now that we've come to the end of our rainbow -- if you'll pardon the quote from The Commodores' song "Three Times a Lady" -- we'll leave Sarah Jane and her Andy Pandy overalls with a few parting bonus screen shots, since I've got 'em (and about a million more, at least) and I like 'em.

God, how gross! I wish Professor Watson hadn't eaten so much broccoli!I'd say "Talk to the hand," but that would be rather cliche, no?(Let it go, Saz. Let it go... he didn't mean to call me Jo. It's just he gets so confused sometimes.)
Oooh, Eldrad's back inside my head... and just when I thought I'd gotten rid of him once and for all.Eldrad, that's horrible. I can't believe you actually said that... the only thing big feet mean is big shoes.Ummm, well... no, I don't know that about the Doctor for sure. Would you please stop with these questions?

“El-drad MUST live!”

(Cue awful electronic 80s music) K-9! K-9! K-9!But while Sarah Jane Smith might not call the TARDIS home any longer, that doesn't mean we've been left high and dry with not-so-fond memories of collars and bathing suits and hats and barrettes and very fond memories of UNIT cammies and shoes made of hemp and coolottes and boots... always the boots. Nah, we lucked out there, since Sarah reappears five years later in K-9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend! She's still dressing in her own unique style, but it's definitely lost its hippie flavor. Even "quirky" or "offbeat" wouldn't be appropriate descriptors. In fact, it's difficult to connect the fashion sensibilities of 1981's Sarah Jane to those of the intrepid clotheshorse we last saw in 1976. Yet true to form, when she buzzes in from wherever she'd been for Reuters and swoops down on her Aunt Lavinia for the holidays, Sarah's got something to say about her aunt's unexpected absence and bitches about having to pick up Lavinia's young ward, Brendan, at the train station. So she's definitely still got the sass after all these years... and, fortunately for us, she still compels one to ask this oft-repeated fashionista-fu question: what's the flippin' deal with her clothes?

I'm just lookin' for a dear, dear friend of mine, I'm waiting for my man. His name is Lou. Lou Reed.Why are you looking at me like that? Don't you like my hair like this?Do I look mysterious and secret agenty? I'm the Girl from Uncle!

Christ's keys... is this the very same Andy Pandy Sarah Jane who had come so far that she was totally totally totally able to pull off the Andy Pandy overalls in the first place? It is, really? No, get out. You're clownin' me, aren't you? No, you're not? Holy shit, what the hell happened?! I remember the leg-warmer revolution from the early 1980s, but it never cut me to the quick like this... this is definitely eye-gouging worthy. Thank the good Lord that Sarah Jane's flirtation with emulating Olivia Newton John meets Izod Lacoste's bastard red-haired stepchild lasted only about as long as the opening sequences for K-9 and Company! Sarah, Sarah, Sarah... I'm utterly speechless. The "Physical" look is bad enough, but a side ponytail, fer realz? If you're gonna do a side ponytail, girl in a girl, do it all the way. Still, to be fair, I'm sure that red shirt is quite lovely -- especially since the collar isn't the size of a small tent. The trench coat look is always classic, so you definitely score points there as well... enough to make up for the leg warmers and the side ponytail, but only just. Despite its apparent absence, progress continues.

But can someone explain to me why -- though she's still cute, in a mature way -- Sarah looks like she's aged at least two years for every one since finding herself not in South Croydon? If you recall Fashionista Fever! Part 1, I made the observation that Sarah Jane actually looked younger when the Doctor dumped her returned her to the normally scheduled life of a twenty-something woman than when she lied about who she was and stowed away in the TARDIS. Would you agree that it seems like that backwards aging really caught up with Sarah and then added another five years, just for good measure? I don't get that at all.

Hello? Have I reached the party to who I am speaking?Yeah? What of it? So it's a tie! What's the big deal?Hunh? Am I in the house alone? What's that supposed to mean?

With this set of screen caps, it's evident that Sarah's come full circle in her quest. She started out wearing clothes that could, in all fairness, be described as stylistically drab, only to amp up through the years to the final Andy Pandy and then come crashing and burning back to... this. Yet being the good fashionista-fu I am, and having become somewhat more aware of clothing around the same time our Sarah Jane was losing her hard-won awareness, I totally understand these outfits in a way that I could never ever comprehend the earlier ones. It's true: I had shirts very, very much like the one Sarah's wearing in the second shot, down to that rounded collar (another example of a non-tent collar... sweet!) and the funny skinny girl tie, though I never had a small-lapeled blazer or a little airplane pin. I'm perfectly willing to go on record and admit I had a much-loved jacket very similar to Brendan's (and a similar expression of total disdain for my elders, though my elders weren't ever anything like Sarah Jane Smith). Even the huge sweater brings back memories of middle school and the shaker sweaters that were so very popular back then. They were great for hiding those few extra pounds, but I very much doubt Slim here had to ever worry about such things. Dammit! She's so lucky!

In any case, just as Sarah Jane's come full circle, so have we: we've journeyed through the good, the bad, and the ugly right alongside her, but definitely not in that order. Though Sarah learned quite a few pretty tough fashion lessons, I do believe the two most important involved her 1) realizing the atrocity inherent in combining brown and blue in a single outfit and 2) grasping how many levels of wrong those ginormous collars and lapels really encompass. To the very easily offended fashionista-fu facet of my personality, fully understanding those two lessons is akin to grokking reading and writing. The lesson learned regarding the frumpy dresses as seen in "Robot" and "The Ark in Space" would, therefore, be similar to mastering simple arithmetic.

Because I hope you enjoyed taking this journey -- and because I had so much fun being your tour guide -- I've decided that I'd like to continue with the series in keeping with the custom of Doctor Who... but not until 2010, with a handful of specials here and there to make the wait not seem quite so damnably long. No, I'm being facetious; I won't wait until 2010. There's still a lot of non-serial Who ground to cover!

-- Mickey --

You've come this far, so why stop now? Continue on to the next installments of Sarah Jane Smith Fashionista Fever! -- or revisit any of the previous episodes!

| Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four |
| Part Four and a Half A | Part Four and a Half B |

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