Item: Claudie Pierlot Blue Scallop-Trim Embroidered Soline Skirt
Appearance: Sleep No More, Radio Times Photoshoot
Combined With: Claudie Pierlot Brooklyn Top, GAP Merino Jumper in Navy, &Other Stories Monk Strap Boots, Topshop / ASOS / River Island Triangle Necklace.
Original Retail Price: unknown
Materials: Fabric 1: 47% cotton, 30% polyester, 15% acrylic, 6% polyamide, 2% other fibres, Fabric 2: 70% triacetate, 30% polyester, Lining: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. The Claudie Pierlot Soline Skirt Clara wears in Sleep No More shows up on a lot of cosplayer wishlists and for 2 1/2 years, it was also on mine. Sometimes, people call it “Claudie Pierlot Scallop-Trim Dotted Skirt” or “Blue Scallop-Trim Embroidered Skirt”, but the official name according to the tag inside the skirt is “Soline Skirt”. Sadly, Sleep No More was a very dark episode and it’s hard to get a decent screencap from it that isn’t blurred or discoloured which is a shame because the whole outfit is so beautiful and deserved a well-lit episode. It was also used for the Radio Times photoshoot without the GAP Jumper, so at least we got to see a little more of the skirt there. The picture I’m using above is one I took at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.
Now, let’s have a look at the skirt itself. Like all the other Claudie Pierlot items, the skirt is rare, but while the Bisous Blouse and Frill Jumper do pop up occasionally, it is very, very, very hard – nearly impossible – to find this skirt. On Depop, I’ve seen exactly one and if I remember correctly, I think it sold for around £300. Then, I saw another on the French Vinted website for £50 (the seller wasn’t a cosplayer) and the one I ended up buying. That’s it. Three skirts (although I think the French Vinted one and the one from Depop might have been the same) in 2 1/2 years of cosplaying. I think only the Claudie Pierlot Brooklyn Blouse and Topshop Mac beat this in rarity. On the top of my head, I can think of two people who own it other than myself although there might be other cosplayers less active on Instagram who own it that I don’t know about. One of those cosplayers was lucky to buy it while it was still being sold in shops. The moral of this story? It’s not entirely impossible to find, but you need a lot of luck and probably a big wallet as well. I’m not entirely sure what the retail price for this one was.
I had honestly given up on ever owning the skirt and I had bought a dotted skirt from River Island and added scalloping to serve as an alt when I experienced what was one of my biggest strokes of luck during my time as a cosplayer. Another cosplayer who mainly collects Amy items owned the skirt and wanted to trade it for rare Amy items, so I offered to look for her wanted items on my German websites for a trade. Sadly, that never went anywhere because I couldn’t find anything. Then she decided to sell the items she no longer wanted on eBay. When I saw it, I messaged her immediately, crying about being poor because I knew I would never be able to compete with an eBay auction. I understood that she didn’t want to sell privately and that a lot of people had asked before me, I just wanted to tell her again how sad I was that the trade hadn’t worked out and I hadn’t been able to find her Amy items. And then, the most amazing thing happened. Five minutes later, while I was sitting at the lunch table at work, I received a message from her, saying “You know what, I changed my mind. You should have it.” I almost screamed out loud at the lunch table! I do feel a little guilty because other cosplayers had asked to buy privately, but I felt so incredibly happy as well because that was probably the only chance I would have ever had at buying the CP Soline Skirt at an affordable price. Thank you, Lauren!
Rarity and price aside, this skirt is a gorgeous piece in Clara’s collection. The material is rather thick and that makes the skirt very suitable for the colder seasons when combined with a pair of tights. Now, brace yourself for a long list of materials because, according to the tag, the skirt is made from:
Fabric 1: 47% cotton, 30% polyester, 15% acrylic, 6% polyamide, 2% other fibres
Fabric 2: 70% triacetate, 30% polyester
Lining: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
According to the tag, the skirt is dry clean only and I haven’t had time to try it out yet, but I don’t think a careful hand-wash with cold water would damage the skirt.
Obviously, the skirt is very beautiful and I don’t think Sleep No More and the Radio Times photoshoot do it justice. The turquoise/blue colour of the dots is so vivid that it’s quite hard to capture the true colour. I don’t have anything else to say about it except that it’s very well made, seems durable and goes well with not only the rest of the Sleep No More outfit but a lot of different items in my personal wardrobe, too. The skirt closes with a concealed zip on the side.
As for the sizing, I’d say it runs true to size. Claudie Pierlot uses either the French or the European sizing guide and for this skirt, they chose the European one. I did a lot of research on it and I’m still not 100% certain, but I think the skirt was only made in sizes EU36 (UK8), EU38 (UK10) and EU40 (UK12). I have only ever seen these three sizes around and while I was researching other skirts by the same brand, I noticed that these seem to be their standard sizes for skirts which is bad news for smaller or larger Claras if you don’t happen to fit into these three sizes. Like I said, it’s rather true to sizes. I’m usually a EU34 or EU36 in skirts and my EU36 fits me, but it’s quite loose and sits more on the hip rather than the waist, so I’m assuming they must have altered Clara’s skirt to make it fit her a little better.
If you happen to stumble across the skirt, consider yourself one of the luckiest cosplayers because it’s one of the rarest Clara Oswald items out there. I wish I could give you a few more hints, but I remained mostly unsuccessful even after constant browsing on all the websites I know. I still think your best bet is the French Vinted website, but French sellers can be tricky to buy from if you don’t live in France or know someone who does. When I attempted to buy the skirt I saw on there, the seller initially agreed and then backed out again. It’s always worth a try, but I wouldn’t count on it being a success. If you really want to complete the outfit but you can’t get your hands on the skirt, you can always do what I did before: buy a similar skirt. Both River Island and Misguided made skirts that can be turned into a decent Sleep No More alt with a bit of DIY. They come in a black and white colour, but can be dyed using fabric dye and a fabric pen. There is also a dress version of this skirt that comes without a scallop edge which can be used and altered to look like the SA skirt. If you’re still looking for the Soline Skirt, my advice would be to not give up. Browse the websites on a daily basis, but bear in mind that it might take a few years to show up again.