Kamal Khan: Grey Jacket

Kamal-Khan-Sports-Coat

When Kamal Khan, played by Louis Jourdan, dresses in western clothing in Octopussy, the outfits are similar to outfits Bond wears. His dinner suit is just as classic and his navy suit is just as minimal. His jacket in a broken twill weave of dark and light grey wool is equally simplistic, but it’s also not boring. There’s a continuity error, however, since there were at least two of these jackets used in filming. One of the jackets buttons one and the other buttons two. Other than this discrepancy, the jackets are the same. They have straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, and they are cut with a clean chest and are shaped through the waist. The jackets have 1-button cuffs, no vent and jetted pockets with a ticket pocket. The jacket’s vent-less skirt signifies that this jacket is not for sporting use, and the straight jetted pockets follow the vent-less rear’s clean look and non-sporting purpose. The buttons are all black leather, something that sets this jacket apart from all of Bond’s jackets. Bond instead prefers slightly less rustic horn buttons for his jackets.

This sports coat buttons one.

This jacket buttons one.

Khan’s jacket sleeves are flamboyantly a little short to show off more shirt cuff. It’s usually recommended to show between 1/4″ and 1/2″ of shirt cuff when the arms are at rest, though, like Roger Moore’s character Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders, Kamal Khan also shows too much shirt cuff. Shorter jacket sleeves visually shortens the arm length, and it’s possible that Louis Jourdan thinks his arms are too long. But over an inch of shirt cuff simply looks disruptive and like a mistake.

This sports coat buttons two. Notice its short sleeves.

This jacket buttons two. Notice its short sleeves.

Charcoal trousers complement and provide the necessary contrast to the lighter grey jacket. We can’t see if they have pleats or not, but they have a sharp crease. Khan’s light blue shirt has a spread collar and 2-button cuffs. The tie is navy with raised rectangles, woven in a checker pattern. Khan ties it in what is probably a half windsor knot. Overall, the outfit is timeless in both the colour palate and its proportions. The only thing that doesn’t fit in well today is the jacket’s vent-less skirt, but like everything else it comes in and out of fashion.

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The Navy Blouson

Navy-Blouson

My 400th post features yet another one the many blousons that Roger Moore wore in his 1980′s James Bond films. The navy zip-front blouson in Octopussy has a shirt-type collar and shirt-type button cuffs. The front has a welt pocket on each side of the chest and patch pockets below with buttoned flaps. The back of the jacket is made with a yoke and two pieces, which gather at the waistband at the bottom. It looks like there are two extra pieces to the back on either side of the centre, but those are probably pleats that have been sewn shut down the back from the yoke to the waistband. The flat front navy trousers have on-seam side pockets and at least one welt pocket on the back, on the right. Though both the blouson and trousers are navy, they don’t perfectly match. The trousers are most likely cotton drill, but the blouson could also be the same.

Navy-Blouson-2

The lightweight white shirt is made by Frank Foster in the same style as the formal shirts in the film, and it has a spread collar, button cuffs and a front placket. Moore wears his usual black slip-on shoes, which are a very odd choice for the assault on Kamal Khan’s palace. The stuntman wears lace-up shoes, which Moore should have been wearing too.

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The Tan Safari Suit

Octopussy-Safari-Suit

None of Roger Moore’s infamous safari suits are identical. The safari suit in Octopussy is one of the most classic, being in tan, and it doesn’t have the flared 1970′s trousers to date it. It’s now 1983, and Moore has continued to wear safari suits. And why not? It’s a classic piece of English clothing, and most appropriate for the safari that Bond finds himself being hunted in. Frank Foster said he made the shirt-jacket, and he said it’s made of worsted wool. High twist wool in a plain weave is very comfortable in warm weather, and that’s what this cloth appears to be. The lack of wrinkles in this safari suit also shows that it’s made of wool and not pure cotton or linen. Though cotton or linen would be more comfortable, wool is very durable and looks great on screen. Plus, the tan colour is great camouflage against the Monsoon Palace’s stone.

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The shirt-jacket is tailored like a shirt, as a safari jacket should be. But the cut is more complex than a typical shirt. It has two front panels, two back panels and a western yoke across the shoulders with a point in the middle. The front panels have darts under the arms that extend forward to the middle of the hip pockets, and the side seams are pushed back and have deep vents. There are four buttons down the front, on a wide placket. The collar is a formal-shirt-type point collar, but larger and without a button. The front has four patch pockets with box pleats and pointed button-flaps. The sleeves end in shirt-style cuffs, fastening with a single button. Completing the safari shirt look are the essential shoulder straps. The trousers have a flat front and straight legs. Here in light brown are Moore’s usual—but inappropriate—slip-on shoes.

A close-up of the open-weave cloth and Seiko

A close-up of the open-weave cloth and Seiko G757 digital watch

Shirt Darts

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Darted Turnbull & Asser shirt in From Russia With Love

Darts on the back of a shirt are currently more popular than ever now that people like wearing their clothes tighter. When darts are used, two are typically placed at the back towards the sides. They start above the waist and may extend down to the bottom of the shirt or as far as needed. Most often shirts are shaped as much as possible with the side seams and back darts are used when needed. Traditionally darts are not used on men’s shirts, but can often be found in both the backs and fronts of women’s shirts. But it’s completely acceptable for men to have darts on the back of their shirt for a more shapely and less blousy look. Darts are rarely found on ready-to-wear shirts because the closer fit they provide is very specific to the person wearing the shirt. However, they can easily be added to the shirt if taking in the side seams is not enough.

Turnbull & Asser put darts on Sean Connery’s shirts because of his large drop rather than for a close fit. Without darts, a shirt on someone as athletic as Connery would be much too large around the waist. Connery’s shirt also shows that pleats and darts on the back can work well together.

Octopussy-Shirt-Back

Darted Frank Foster shirt in Octopussy

Frank Foster used darts for George Lazenby and Roger Moore’s shirts to achieve a closer fit. Foster fits his shirts much closer than most English shirtmakers, but the clean, streamlined look is perfect for James Bond. The back is shirred under the yoke for fullness across the shoulder blades, and the darts take in the fullness at the waist. Daniel Craig’s dress shirt in Casino Royale is darted, and his Tom Ford shirts in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall are also darted.

Darted Tom Ford shirt in Quantum of Solace

Darted Tom Ford shirt in Quantum of Solace

Luggage Gone Ahead

Octopussy Hotel Closet

“My luggage?” asks James Bond. “Gone ahead,” replies Sadruddin, in Octopussy. Bond’s clothes have been hung in the closet of his hotel room, with the Ferragamo luggage placed on the floor. Either a few of the suits were hung up rather carelessly or they are sized inconsistently. The suit on left looks especially poorly hung. From left to right we see a brown suit, a beige suit, a grey suit (sans cuff buttons), light blue trousers, a white dinner jacket hung with black trousers, a black dinner suit, a safari jacket and a brown vest. The first four items in the closet are not worn in the movie but the rest are.

Kamal Khan: Dinner Suit

Kamal Khan Dinner Suit

Octopussy‘s Kamal Khan, played by French actor Louis Jourdan, is one of the best-dressed villains of the James Bond series. When he’s not wearing a villainous Nehru jacket he’s wearing well-tailored suits, and he dresses for dinner in a classic peak-lapel dinner jacket. The button one black dinner jacket has natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, and it is cut with a little drape in the chest and gentle waist suppression. It has single-button cuffs, jetted pockets and no vents. The lapels are satin-faced and buttons and trouser stripe match the lapels. The trousers are cut with a straight leg.

Kamal Khan Dinner Suit

Kamal Khan wears a pleat-front shirt with a spread collar and double cuffs, probably made by Frank Foster like Roger Moore’s is. It’s essentially the same shirt as what Bond is also wearing in the scene. He finishes the ensemble with a black satin silk, thistle-shaped bow tie, and a matching cummerbund.

Dinner with Kamal Khan

Octopussy Black Dinner SuitIn Octopussy, James Bond dresses for a dinner with Kamal Khan in a black notched lapel dinner suit by Douglas Hayward. One of Kamal Khan’s men fetched it from the closet in Bond’s hotel room, since it was previously seen hanging there between the white dinner jacket and safari jacket. The notched lapel dinner jacket has appeared a few times throughout the Bond series, often in more intimate settings like here. This outfit recalls the notched lapel black dinner suit Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger at a private dinner. The jacket is a button one, cut with a clean chest and natural shoulders. It has jetted pockets, double vents and 3-button cuffs. The buttons are made of black horn. This dinner suit is almost identical to the one worn two years earlier in For Your Eyes Only, with the biggest difference being the lapel width. The lapels in For Your Eyes Only extend two thirds of the way across to the sleeves whilst the lapels in Octopussy have the classic width of being just a bit more than halfway across.

Octopussy Black Dinner SuitMoore wears a cream pleat-front dress shirt with a spread collar, double cuffs and regular mother of pearl buttons down the placket, made by Frank Foster . The bow-tie is a classic thistle shape in black satin silk to match the lapels. Though we can’t see it, Moore is probably wearing a cummerbund since he wore one with the white dinner jacket earlier in the film, as well as with the very similar black dinner suit in For Your Eyes Only.

Classic City Suit: The Grey Rope Stripe

Octopussy Grey Rope Stripe

In Octopussy, James Bond comes to the office wearing a three-piece suit by Douglas Hayward in dark grey serge with a white rope stripe. Because the grey isn’t very dark, the rope stripe isn’t as overbearing as it could be on a dark navy or charcoal suit. And a white rope stripe on a black suit makes one look like a gangster The timelessness of the grey rope stripe is proven by it’s recent appearance in Skyfall, but now with a light blue stripe that coordinates with Daniel Craig’s shirt. The suit in Octopussy is a classic button three, cut with a clean chest and has natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads. The lapels are a little on the narrow side, in comparison with the classically-balanced lapels on the beige gabardine suit we see following this one. The jacket has double vents, three buttons on the cuffs and flapped pockets. The trousers have a flat front. The waistcoat has six buttons, with the bottom left open.

Octopussy Grey Rope Stripe

M and the Minister of Defense are also wearing three-piece striped suits, in navy worsted and brown flannel, respectively.

The light blue poplin shirt is made by Frank Foster and has a spread collar, a placket and single-button, rounded barrel cuffs. The brick red tie has the dull sheen of a repp tie, and it is neatly tied in a four-in-hand knot. Bond enters the office carrying a medium grey trilby with a black ribbon. Even though none of the elements of this outfit match each other, everything goes well together in a most classic way.