Q’s Town and Country Style

Q-Goldfinger

Who is wearing the trendier suit in Goldfinger, James Bond or Q? Except for narrow lapels and covered buttons, Bond’s blue suit is classic in every way. Q’s (Desmond Llewelyn) solid brown tweed suit, however, has many features that date it to the 1960s. Like Bond’s suit jacket, Q’s suit jacket has narrow lapels, but it also has narrow pocket flaps that are placed rather low. The short double vents are another 1960s detail. But perhaps the most outdated part of the suit is the way the quarters are cut. The front of the jacket cuts away below the waist as it ordinarily would, but the curve of the front edge into the hem has a very small radius that’s almost—but not quite—a sharp corner.

Q-Goldfinger-2The suit’s overall silhouette, however, is a classic button two jacket with natural shoulders and just a little drape in the chest. The jacket also has swelled edges and 2-button cuffs. The trousers likely have single or double forward pleats, which were the common suit trouser styles in England at the time. They are finished with turn-ups. Q’s suits almost always have fit problems, and on this suit the collar stands away from the neck and the sleeves are too long. This is because actor Desmond Llewelyn has round shoulders and needs his jackets to be cut longer in back to be balanced. He’s not an easy man to fit.

Q’s cream shirt has a spread collar and double cuffs. His tie is black with narrow burgundy stripes and a narrower pencil stripes below the burgundy stripe. If it is a regimental tie, can anyone identify it? His shoes are brown, which match the overall town-and-country look of the outfit.

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Poll: Do you wear turn-ups?

Daniel Craig's flat front suit trousers in Quantum of Solace have turn-ups

Daniel Craig’s flat front suit trousers in Quantum of Solace have turn-ups

Permanent turn-ups—known as cuffs to the Americans—have come and gone through fashion over the years. The standard advice given on whether or not to hem trousers with turn-ups is to put them on pleated trousers and not on flat-front trousers. This is just a guideline some people follow and by no means is it a rule. The English aren’t nearly as fond of turn-ups as the Americans are. The traditional American trousers have a flat front with turn-ups whilst the classic British trousers have forward pleats and a plain hem. The only rule is that turn-ups should not be worn on formalwear. Turn-ups have the benefit of weighing down the bottom of the trousers, which is especially useful at keeping lightweight trousers looking neat. Some people think that turn-ups aren’t flattering on the height-challenged. But by weighing down the bottoms, turn-ups keep the crease straight, and reinforcing that straight line is beneficial to the shorter man. Today’s lighter and narrower trousers truly benefit from the added weight of turn-ups. Shorter men should opt for shorter turn-ups around 1 1/2 inches deep whilst taller men can wear turn-ups up to 2 inches deep.

Sean Connery’s Bond typically wears his pleated trousers with deep turn-ups—almost 2 inches—and his non-pleated without turn-ups. The exception to this is in Goldfinger where his pleated suit trousers are all without turn-ups. George Lazenby’s Bond only wears turn-ups on his tweed suit, which is also his only suit with pleated trousers. Roger Moore’s and Timothy Dalton’s Bonds never wear turn-ups. Since 1995 when Pierce Brosnan took over the role, James Bond’s pleated and non-pleated trousers almost consistently have turn-ups. Daniel Craig has continued to wear turn-ups on all suit trousers except the navy linen suit in Casino Royale‘s black-and-white pre-title sequence.

Do you wear turn-ups?

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The Dress Watch

Dr-No-Dress-Watch

A dress watch with black tie in Dr. No

James Bond is known for wearing sports watches like the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamaster with suits and black tie, but such watches should be worn only with sportswear and not with dressier outfits. The practice of wearing a sports watch with a suit is common now, but just because a watch is expensive and well-made doesn’t mean it goes well with all fine clothing. For dressy outfits exists the dress watch.

A dress watch with a suit in You Only Live Twice

A gold dress watch with a suit in You Only Live Twice

A dress watch is simpler, lighter and overall more elegant than a sports watch. Typically the case is thinner, the bezel is narrower, the crown is smaller and the dial is cleaner. Often it has a leather strap rather than a metal bracelet. Though we remember Sean Connery’s Rolex Submariner in the four Bond films, in most of Connery’s Bond films he also occasionally wears with his suits or black tie a gold dress watch from Gruen. This watch has a white dial and a black fabric strap. It may not be as iconic as or comparable in make to the Rolex, but it goes much better with the dressier clothing. Though Connery often commits the faux pas of wearing his Rolex diving with his suits, he only wears his Rolex once with Black Tie in Goldfinger’s opening scene. Bond has an excuse, however, in this case: he had just been diving!

After Sean Connery left the role, James Bond doesn’t again wear a dress watch until Roger Moore wears a two-tone Seiko undercover as James St. John Smythe in A View to a Kill. More recently, Daniel Craig’s Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra in some scenes of Skyfall is a sports watch, but its simple style means it can work with a suit in a pinch. It’s an elegant sports watch but a little clunky as a dress watch.

I do not plan to write more on James Bond’s watches because there is already a wealth of material available written by more knowledgable people than I. For a list of all of Bond’s watches, visit JamesBondWatches.com

Announcing the Ebury Trousers

Ebury-Trousers-DetailThe Suits of James Bond has partnered with Clay Tompkins to offer the Ebury: a unique but classic pair of trousers that combines the best of the various trouser styles that James Bond wears throughout the series. Pulling from the various styles, these trousers have a darted front, side adjusters and a trim leg. The Ebury name comes from the street that James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming lived on in London’s Belgravia distric. The trousers are made in New York City exclusively for The Suits of James Bond.

James Bond wears many trouser styles throughout the series, from double forward pleats to double and triple reverse pleats to flat fronts. All of the Bonds except Timothy Dalton have also worn trousers with a darted front. Darts shape the front of the trousers like pleats do, but they add less fullness and the trousers still have the cleaner lines of flat front trousers. The darted style is commonly found on English bespoke and high-end Italian trousers.

TEbury-Trousers-Fullhe Ebury’s side adjusters have two strips of cloth tightened with a slide buckle in the same style that Daniel Craig’s Tom Ford suit trousers have in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. I find these to be the most effective type of side adjusters, and they offer a more exact adjustment than DAKS tops do and more security than D-rings do. The Ebury’s waistband has an extended closure with a hook and eye fastening for a clean presentation, and the closure has double hooks to keep the waistband flat. The side pockets are slanted and there are two rear pockets, with a button-through fastening on the right and no button on the left. The rise—the difference between the outseam and inseam measurements—is a traditional 11 1/2 inches that will still be wearable long after the current low rise trend passes, but it’s not as high as Sean Connery’s or Roger Moore’s trousers are. The leg opening measures 17 inches.

The Ebury Trousers are initially available in a medium-dark grey, year-round-weight Super 120s prunelle wool. Prunelle is a simple 2×1 twill weave with a smooth finish, so it makes into a versatile pair of trousers. These trousers go well with a navy blazer and other sports coats, but they can also be worn without a jacket in a smart casual setting.

Get the Ebury Trousers today

You can also purchase the trousers by clicking the banner on the sidebar throughout the site. Visit ClayTompkins.com to see Clay’s own line of shirts and trousers.

Striped Ties

The Royal Navy Regimental Tie

The Royal Navy Regimental Tie

Roger Moore’s James Bond is the only one who wears striped ties. Until Moore became Bond, all of James Bond’s ties were solid. The only exception is the tie Bond wears as Sir Hilary Bray, but since it is Sir Hilary’s own tie and part of a disguise it don’t count. Bond’s own first non-solid tie of the series in Live and Let Die is quite appropriate since it’s a Royal Navy regimental stripe. Striped ties often come with an affiliation, and Q’s Brigade of Guards tie in From Russia With Love is another example of that. Regiments, colleges, universities, clubs and more have their own colours and stripe patterns, and only people who are affiliated with such ties should wear them. Regimental-striped ties are typically woven in a repp weave, and the stripes are woven, not printed.

Moore-Double-Breasted-Blazer-4In almost all British striped ties the stripes go up from the wearer’s right to left. The ascending stripes help draw the eye upward, and they harmonise with the left-over-right buttoning of men’s clothing. American striped ties take British patterns and change the direction, descending from the wearer’s right to left. When the stripe direction is changed the tie’s affiliation is lost and anyone can rightfully wear it.

Not all stripes have an affiliation. Moore’s brown-striped tie in The Spy Who Loved Me likely does not have an affiliation. The Italian striped ties in Moonraker, whilst following the American direction, are printed silk and have little in common with the regimental striped ties. Moore also wears striped ties in The Man with the Golden Gun (with his navy blazer, picture above) and in For Your Eyes Only (with his navy chalkstripe suit, pictured below). These ties may have an affiliation, but I am unaware of what they may be. If anyone knows what those ties represent, please comment below.

Moore-Navy-Chalkstripe-Suit

Recovery

Casino-Royale-Recovery

James Bond recovers from Le Chiffre’s torture in Casino Royale wearing comfortable, loose clothing. The first outfit consists of a dressing gown over a jumper and t-shirt. The dressing gown is made of woven cotton in navy with a white grid check, and it has a shawl collar and a patch breast pocket. It probably has a belt and patch pockets on the hips, but we don’t see them since Bond is covered in a white towel below the waist. The light grey ribbed wool V-neck jumper has a full fit. Under the jumper, Bond wears a black crew-neck t-shirt.

Casino-Royale-Recovery-2

Bond later recovers in a light blue cotton dressing gown. This gown has collar but Bond doesn’t fold it over. Under this dressing gown Bond wears a dark grey crew-neck t-shirt and navy sweatpants. His shoes are brown trainers.

Casino-Royale-Recovery-3

As Bond’s recovery progresses he wears another outfit made up of parts of the previous two outfits. He again wears the light grey V-neck jumper from the first recovery outfit with the navy sweatpants from the second recovery outfit. Under the jumper he wears a white t-shirt, and white underwear peaks out above the trousers. His shoes are white trainers. The clothes in these three outfits are all worn for comfort and not style. One could say the jumper is too baggy or that James Bond should never wear sweatpants, but Bond is appropriately dressed for his situation, and he doesn’t look so bad either.

The Saint: The Light Brown Three-Piece Suit

Saint-Light-Brown-Suit

One of Simon Templar’s favourite suits to wear when travelling to climates warmer than Great Britain’s is a light brown worsted three-piece suit. Roger Moore wears this suit tailored by Cyril Castle in many episodes of The Saint‘s fifth series, including the final episode of that series featured here titled “The Gadic Collection” when Templar travels to Istanbul. The suit jacket resembles others that Moore wears in this season of The Saint. The jacket is a button three, and the lapels roll gently at the top button. The jacket is cut with natural shoulders and a draped chest, which gives the suit a more relaxed look for the warmer climate. The flapped hip pockets are slanted, and the breast pocket has a flap to give this suit a sportier look, whilst narrow lapels and narrow pocket flaps reflect the contemporary 1960s trends. The jacket has turnback “gauntlet” cuffs with a large single button, and there are double vents at the rear.

Saint-Light-Brown-Suit-2Under the jacket Moore wears a button six waistcoat, and he fastens all six buttons. Unlike most other waistcoats in The Saint, which have a straight bottom, this waistcoat has the traditional pointed bottom. The waistcoat also has notched lapels and four welt pockets. The back of the is in a medium brown lining and has a waist-adjusting strap. Though three-piece suits are often associated with increased formality, a waistcoat is just as appropriate with a dark city worsted as it is with a sportier suit like this lightweight brown suit.

Saint-Light-Brown-Suit-3The suit’s trousers have a darted front, cross pockets, belt loops and two rear pockets. At different points in the episode the belt loops can be seen used with a brown belt and unused. Ideally the trousers worn with a three-piece suit would be without belt loops and supported by side adjusters or braces. The belt creates an unsightly bulge under the waistcoat. The leg is tapered with a plain hem. Moore wears his usual cream shirt with this suit, and the shirt has a spread collar, double cuffs and a plain front. The shirt is possibly from Sulka, who Templar mentions in an earlier episode of The Saint, or Washington Tremlett, whose shop was next-door to Cyril Castle’s. Moore’s long relationship with Frank Foster most likely didn’t start until the following series of The Saint.

Saint-Light-Brown-Suit-4Moore wears two ties with the suit. The first tie is olive green satin silk, which is the tie that Moore typically wears with this suit. After Templar discards his olive tie he dons a solid brick red repp tie. Both ties are tied in a small four-in-hand knot with a dimple. Moore’s tan socks and brown short boots follow the outfit’s earth-toned colour scheme. The boots are like shorter chelsea boots with elastic gussets on the sides.

The cream shirt, olive tie and light brown suit flatter Roger Moore’s warm spring complexion better than the common cool, dark city colours do. People often criticise Moore for wearing brown suits in his 1970s Bond films because those people associate brown suits with fashion trends from that decade, and brown suits were indeed popular at that time. But Moore didn’t wear them just because they were fashionable in the 1970s, and he didn’t only wear brown suits in the 1970s. Per this article, he wore brown suits in the 1960s, and he wore them in the 1980s too. Roger Moore wore brown suits because they looked good on him.

Danger Man: Black Tie Without a Dinner Suit

Faux-Black-Tie

In the 1965 Danger Man episode titled “The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove”, John Drake dresses in faux black tie. He wears a dark lounge suit with black tie accessories, something that should only been done when travelling light. However, this episode takes place at home in London, and Drake owns a dinner suit, so it doesn’t make sense for Drake to be wearing a lounge suit as a dinner suit. Black and navy suits are the best to wear in this situation, with charcoal working not quite as well. Danger-Man.co.uk has some colour stills from this episode, and the suit appears to be dark forest green. If the colours are accurate, it’s a flashy colour for a lounge suit, but since it’s not going to be mistaken for a business suit it works better in this situation. The suit also has a self-stripe, which elevates the dressiness.

Faux-Black-Tie-2The jacket buttons two and has natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, four buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets, and no vent. The last two details make this suit work better for dressy evening wear. Peaked lapels would also help make a lounge suit work better for makeshift black tie, but this suit has notched lapels since single-breasted suits with peaked lapels weren’t so common in the 1960s. Drake wears the suit jacket with two pairs of trousers. The first pair matches the jacket, and it has double forward pleats and belt loops that are hidden under the cummerbund. The second pair, which looks lighter than the jacket and is probably dark grey, has a flat front. Anthony Sinclair, who also made Sean Connery’s suits in the Bond films, likely tailored this suit as he made many clothes for John Drake actor Patrick McGoohan.

Faux-Black-Tie-3Drake wears proper black tie accessories with the suit. The dress shirt has a bib, spread collar and double cuffs in cotton marcella, and the collar and cuffs have edge stitching. The body of the shirt is a white-on-white stripe and the buttons are black to resemble studs. Drake’s bow tie is black silk but the cummerbund is a fancy patterned silk, and it is possibly in a colour other than black. The shoes are black plain-toe derbies. Early in the episode Drake wears a boutonniere in his lapel buttonhole.

Apart from Patrick McGoohan sharing the same tailor as Sean Connery, this episode has another connection with James Bond: Desmond Llewellyn, who played Q in 17 Bond films, appears in this episode.