Puffed Pocket Squares

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The puffed silk pocket square is the standard for those who wish to add a splash of colour in their breast pocket instead of the staid folded white linen handkerchief. To create a puff, lay the handkerchief flat and pick it up by pinching it from the centre. Slide it though your hand to gather it together, turn up the bottom and place the pocket square in your breast pocket. Once in the pocket you can adjust the pocket square to puff it up.

GoldenEye-Plaid-SuitIn GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan wears solid pocket squares that pick up one of the colours in his tie. In the M’s office scene, Brosnan matches a medium blue pocket square to the medium blue squares in the tie (right). A light brown or gold pocket square would also have been a good choice to echo the tie’s light brown squares. In the Q’s lab scene he wears another medium blue pocket square that is lighter than but still echoes the base colour of his tie (top). It’s the easiest choice to match the tie’s base colour, but it would be more interesting if Brosnan matched his pocket square to the red or yellow in the tie. He again wears a medium blue pocket square with his navy birdseye suit in Russia, which subtly echoes the lighter blue in the birdseye weave.

In The World is Not Enough, Pierce Brosnan wears a rather unexciting grey puffed silk pocket square with his pinstripe suit, but it echoes both the grey in the tie and the suit’s pinstripes. It’s a smart match whilst at the same time is subtle enough that it doesn’t look too studied.

Remington-Steele-Pocket-SquareBrosnan was no stranger to wearing puffed silk pocket squares in GoldenEye. He consistently wore them in Remington Steele, but then he most often went for the uninspired method of matching the pocket square to the base colour of his tie, and he occasionally matched his pocket square to his shirt as well. There were some exceptions to that, like in the second season premiere “Steele Away with Me”. Brosnan uses a red pocket square to echo the pink spots on his tie (left). It complements the outfit without looking too studied. But this method of matching the pocket square doesn’t only apply to matching with ties. Pocket squares can also be effectively used to echo the colour of a stripe or check in a shirt or a suit. Brosnan also could have worn a yellow pocket square to echo the stripes in his shirt.

Moonraker-Pocket-SquareRoger Moore shows in Moonraker how not to wear a pocket square, with his cream suit in Rio de Janeiro. He wears a light brown pocket square that’s such a close match to the shirt it’s probably made from the same cotton (right). Daniel Craig’s matching light blue pocket square and shirt aren’t so bad because they’re in a very neutral colour, but Moore’s shirt and pocket square are far more noticeable. A pocket square should not be an exact match to any other part of the outfit—unless it’s white or otherwise very neutral—or else it looks amateurish and unstylish. It’s a shame that Moore’s only pocket square in his seven Bond films is a failure since Moore is otherwise one of the most creatively-dressed Bonds.

Matching a patterned pocket square with a patterned shirt or tie can be difficult because there can often end up being too much going on. Wearing a patterned pocket square that has the same colours as the tie is almost as bad as wearing a matching tie and pocket square. If you find yourself often without a tie, a patterned pocket square can often be the best thing since it can add the interest that is lost without a tie. And no, there is no rule about not wearing a pocket square without a tie.

Remington Steele: 80′s Style

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Here’s a dark grey semi-solid suit that Pierce Brosnan wears in the 1986 episode of Remington Steele, “Suburban Steele.” It’s not a style for anyone to aspire to, except perhaps Timothy Dalton in Licence to Kill. It’s done in the same 1980s style, with large shoulders, a full cut, a low button stance, low-gorge and reverse-pleat trousers, but it’s better executed. Pierce Brosnan was wearing mostly double-breasted suits in the later seasons of Remington Steele, but a few single-breasted suits stuck around.

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Though it’s not oversized in comparison to the suits in Licence to Kill, it still has a fashionably full cut. The jacket has a button two jacket with flap pockets, three-button cuffs and no vents. The lapels are a little narrower than Dalton’s, but they aren’t much better. The trousers have double reverse-pleats and plain hems.

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Brosnan wears a white English shirt with a moderate spread collar, double cuffs, no breast pocket and front placket. The tie is dark plum with red polka dots, tied in a four-in-hand knot. He wears a puffed pale yellow silk handkerchief with red polka dots in his breast pocket. The muted colour palate of the tie and pocket square are very much of their time, but the outfit is still well-coordinated. His belt and slip-on shoes are black.

Remington-Steele-1986-Suit-4With a black knitted tie and white linen pocket square, Timothy Dalton could have worn a suit like this in Licence to Kill and brought Bond’s fashion into the 80s in a more elegant and more Bondian manner.

 

Remington Steele: Navy Blazer

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from “Etched in Steele”

To make up for the poorly received white dinner jacket, here’s a classic navy blazer that Pierce Brosnan wears in the first season of Remington Steele. It’s still not a perfect outfit, but Brosnan wears this staple very well. It’s a button two jacket with narrow pagoda shoulders, a clean chest and a close fit through the body. The chest fits a little too tight, since it bows open easily. It has swelled edges, flapped pockets with a ticket pocket, four-button cuffs and deep double vents. The buttons are shinier and less yellow than the typical brass, so they are likely gold-plated. Here we will look at two of the six episodes in the first season that feature this blazer: “Steele Belted” and “Etched in Steele.”

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from “Etched in Steele”

In “Steele Belted” the trousers are light grey wool with a flat front, and the shirt is sky blue with yellow and dark stripes. In “Etched in Steele” the trousers are dark grey with double reverse pleats, and the shirt is pale blue. Both shirts are the same style. They have a short point collar worn with a collar bar, and rounded double cuffs worn unfolded with the cufflinks only in outer holes. This would signify that his shirts were bought ready to wear and they could not obtain shirts with a long enough sleeve for his collar size. Later in the first season Brosnan starts wearing different shirts where he could wear the double cuff properly.

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from “Steele Belted”

In “Steele Belted” Brosnan wears a solid burgundy repp tie and a burgundy satin silk pocket square. The square is not exactly the same as the tie, but it’s a bit too close. However, it’s not an offensive combination either. In “Etched in Steele” the tie is a red repp tie with thin yellow and blue stripes, and the pocket square is solid red. Brosnan knots his ties in a Windsor knot. The ties are narrow enough and light enough that a Windsor knot doesn’t overwhelm the small collar. Pierce Brosnan is almost never seen without a pocket square in Remington Steele, and it’s something he carried over to GoldenEye. But in Remington Steele he often—but not always—plays it too safe by matching the pocket square to the base colour of his tie. Finishing the outfits are black shoes and a black belt.

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from “Steele Belted”

Remington Steele: White Dinner Jacket

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I’m almost a week late, but last Thursday Pierce Brosnan celebrated his 60th birthday. In honour of that let’s look at one of his off-white dinner jackets from Remington Steele. This one is featured in the third season episode “Maltese Steele,” which takes place in the Mediterranean country of Malta. With the exception of pocket flaps, Brosnan wears a classic white dinner jacket. The jacket is cut with straight, narrow shoulders that flatter Brosnan’s build. It buttons one, and the button stance is at a higher classic height as opposed to the fashionably lower 1980′s button stance. The back has no vents, which is classic for a dinner jacket but looks sloppy with Brosnan’s habit of putting his hands in his trouser pockets. There are two buttons on the cuffs, and the buttons are all mother of pearl.

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Brosnan’s habit of putting his hands in his pockets only looks okay with double vents.

The black trousers are cut with a trim leg and are worn with a belt, an unfortunate feature on all of Pierce Brosnan’s black tie trousers in Remington Steele. Though Brosnan wears a black cummerbund, it’s missing in one shot and the belt buckle is revealed. The white dress shirt has a point collar, double cuffs and a white-on-white stripe bib with a placket. It is worn with three studs down the front and matching cufflinks, which are black onyx set in gold. Brosnan wears a colourful madder handkerchief with a red ground stuffed in his breast pocket with the corners spilling out in a very dandyish way. He wears his usual black leather slip-on shoes, not patent leather.

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White Collar and Cuffs

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Roger Moore wearing a navy bengal stripe shirt with a white collar and cuffs in For Your Eyes Only.

In the United States, the contrasting white collar and cuffs style has been all but tarnished by the 1987 film Wall Street. But it’s a classic style that has been around a very long time. It goes back to the days when collars were stiff and detachable, and men would pair white collars with a body of any colour. Now the collars come soft and attached. Some retailers call a shirt with a white collar a “Winchester” shirt—presumably named after the city in England, not the rifle—but I have not found an historical use of this term and believe it’s just a modern marketing term.

Bond wears shirts with a white collar and cuffs in For Your Eyes Only and A View to a Kill, made by Frank Foster. Though the style is best worn with double cuffs, Bond wears his with button cuffs. Likewise, a spread collar is the best collar to be in white, though point collars can work well too. White collars and cuffs are most stylishly paired with a body that includes white. Bond’s shirts have white in the form of bengal stripes, though it’s also common to see a white collar on an end-on-end shirt. Collars and cuffs typically wear out before the body of a shirt wears out, and the collar and cuffs of almost any dressier shirt can be replaced with white since it’s typically impossible to find the original cloth for replacements. And even if the original cloth is obtainable it’s not going to match a shirt that has been washed many times. Checks don’t mate so well with white collars because of the difference in formality and purpose. White collars are a rather dressy style and are excellent for morning dress. For everyday wear they work best with a suit or a dressier blazer but are best avoided wearing with other sports coats and without a coat or tie. And because of their daywear tradition they are best worn during the day.

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Roger Moore wearing a pink bengal stripe shirt with a white collar and cuffs in A View to a Kill.

Though Bond only wears shirts with a white collar and cuffs in two films, Roger Moore wears them in his personal life, as well as in some earlier films and television, like in Street People and The Persuaders. In The Man Who Haunted Himself he wears a plain white detachable collar with a white self-stripe shirt. Pierce Brosnan occasionally wears shirts with a white collar—but not white cuffs—in Remington Steele, mostly with suits but occasionally with blazers.

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Pierce Brosnan wearing a blue (probably end-on-end) shirt with a pinned white collar in the 1982 episode of Remington Steele titled “You’re Steele the One for Me”.

Remington Steele: 1-Button Glen Urquhart Suit

When Remington Steele began in 1982, Pierce Brosnan had a wardrobe of classic, English-inspired suits. As the series progress Brosnan switched over to modern Italian fashions, such as low-buttoning double-breasted suits. Very few of the series’ original suits made it past the second season, but one that did was a 3-piece, 1-button black and cream Glen Urquhart check suit with an intersecting red windowpane. This suit was first seen in the second episode of the series and saw many appearances throughout the first season and in promotional photos. Brosnan wore it once in the second season, sans waistcoat, and once again in the fifth episode of the third season, titled “Blue Blooded Steele.” The images here are taken from that episode, where Steele impersonates a duke. And what an fitting suit for a duke.

with Efrem Zilbalist, Jr.

Most of Brosnan’s suits from the beginning of the series were 3-piece suits, but this is only one of two that had a single-button jacket. The 1-button suit jacket may be cut just like a 2-button suit jacket—as Brosnan’s is here—or it may be cut away more at the front skirt. The button (black on this suit) should be at the same place as the top button on a 2-button suit. 1-button suits saw their highest popularity in the 1960′s where they could be seen on television stars such as Patrick Macnee, Don Adams, Dick Van Dyke and Eddie Albert, and jazz musicians like Miles Davis. Some people continued to wear 1-button suits, such as former game show host Bob Barker, and H. Huntsman on Savile Row is famously known for the style.

A close-up of the fabric and the slanted shoulder seam. WIth Stephanie Zimbalist.

This jacket is cut with pagoda shoulders and a shoulder seam that runs diagonally back down the shoulder rather than straight across like most do. It has deep double vents, flapped pockets and 3-button cuffs. The waistcoat has a 5-button front with the bottom worn open. The trousers have a flat front, a straight leg and plain hems. The only thing wrong with this suit is that the trousers are worn with a belt, which disrupts the line of waistcoat. In Remington Steele, Pierce Brosnan routinely wears his 3-piece suits —and even his dinner suits—with a belt.

Brosnan’s pale blue shirt has a moderate spread collar, placket front and double cuffs. The narrow tie is black with a pattern of silver ovals, tied in a small four-in-hand knot. A casually stuffed red silk handkerchief brings out the red windowpane in the suit. Brosnan wears black shoes and a black belt.

Remington Steele: Action Back Sports Coat


Pierce Brosnan wore this plaid sports coat in a few episodes of the second and third seasons of Remington Steele. This specific example is from the season 2 episode “Altared Steele,” and this is the first time he wears it. Because of the large check and English cut, the sports coat could be compared to the plaid sports coat Roger Moore wears in The Man with the Golden Gun. The light-weight wool cloth is woven in a twill weave check in black, grey and white with a tan windowpane. See the diagram below:


The jacket has a clean chest, with very padded, but narrow, shoulders and roped sleeveheads. It has a traditional 3-button front, with only the middle button fastened. It is cut with bi-swing shoulder pleats to allow the arms more movement in sporting activities. The long double vents below echo the shoulder pleats. The jacket has 3-button cuffs and slanted hacking pockets with flaps.


Brosnan wears charcoal trousers with double reverse pleats. The light blue poplin shirt has an American style, very different from what James Bond wears. The biggest difference comes in the collar, which here is a point collar worn with a collar bar (the kind that slides onto the collar). Point collars are more conservative in America than the English spread collar, and collar bars saw a surge in popularity in the 1980s. The collar also has modern edge stitching, as opposed to the more traditional stitching a quarter-inch from the edge. Two other parts of the shirt identify it as American: the breast pocket and the box pleat on the back. The shirt is very fitted trough the body, which might suggest it was custom made, though most custom shirt makers avoid the box pleat on the back because it is practically useless and typically ends up looking sloppy. It’s possible that it was bought off the pegs and altered. The shirt has double cuffs; Remington Steele always wears cufflinks.


A tan knit tie picks up the tan windowpane in the sports coat. It’s a very fine knit and not made of silk. It’s probably cotton and/or wool. The brown silk pocket square also brings out the tan in the sports coat and complements the tie without matching it. Brosnan wears a black belt and black shoes with this outfit.

The 3-Piece Dinner Suit


New Year’s Eve is soon approaching and it’s a night when many people pull out their black tie ensemble. Many people like to wear a waistcoat with their dinner suit, but the first time that Bond wore a waistcoat with black tie was in GoldenEye. A waistcoat gives a more formal air than a cummerbund, though the proper low-cut black tie waistcoat is not a commonly seen item these days. Bond’s full-back, single-breasted waistcoat is made in black wool (matching the rest of the dinner suit) with black satin silk shawl lapels. The waistcoat fastens with 4 closely spaced buttons, and the bottom of the waistcoat just covers the waistband of the high-waisted trousers. This type of waistcoat is more commonly found with only 3 buttons, though 4 buttons is equally correct.

image lightened to show waistcoat detail

Bond’s traditional 1-button, satin-faced peak lapel dinner jacket has jetted pockets and double vents. The trousers have reverse pleats and are tapered down the leg. The shirt has a pleated front with a moderate spread collar. It also has a fly placket, which means the buttons are covered, providing a clean look. The shoes are Church’s “Balmoral” cap-toe 6-eyelet oxfords in black calf, not patent leather. Bond finishes the ensemble with a white silk puffed pocket square.


This Brioni dinner suit is the first tailored piece of clothing we see Brosnan wearing as James Bond. Sean Connery and George Lazenby were both introduced to the audience wearing black tie, and Timothy Dalton’s first tailored clothing worn as Bond was also a dinner suit. Sean Connery began his first three Bond films in black tie. Up to this point, Roger Moore was the only Bond not introduced wearing black tie, and didn’t wear a dinner jacket at all in his first outing as Bond. With Daniel Craig he wasn’t seen in a dinner jacket until later in Casino Royale.

An interesting note: Pierce Brosnan wears a very similar black tie ensemble in the first episode (and on many others) of Remington Steele 13 years earlier, which also consisted of a peak-lapel dinner jacket, low-cut waistcoat and fly-front shirt with narrow pleats. The difference in Mr. Steele’s dinner suit is a vent-less dinner jacket. The trousers here are worn with a belt (which is never proper for black tie). But still, the outfits seem too similar to be a coincidence. You can take a look at Remington Steele’s dinner suit below.