from “Steele Flying High”
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 “Steele Flying High.”
from “Steele Flying High”
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 “Steele Flying High” 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.
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 “Steele Flying High” 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.
from “Steele Belted”
Sean Connery wears a single-breasted blue blazer in a number of his Bond films and carries the blazer over to Never Say Never Again. This blazer is cut and detailed exactly like the suit jackets in the film, with natural shoulders, a 2-button front, 3-button cuffs, flapped pockets and double vents. The jacket relies solely on its polished brass buttons to define it as a blazer. It appears dressier than the blazers Connery wore in the Bond series, which were further differentiated from suit jackets with patch pockets and swelled edges.
Connery wears medium-dark grey flat front trousers with angled side pockets, and his belt and shoes are black. Connery wears this outfit twice in the film, with a different shirt and repp striped tie each time. The shirts are made by Turnbull & Asser or Frank Foster and have a spread collar and 1-button, button-down cocktail cuffs. The first is pale blue and the second is a slightly darker and more saturated sky blue. The first tie is navy with burgundy and pale yellow stripes, though the navy is warmer than the blazer’s cool navy and clashes. The second tie is has larger gold and burgundy stripes on a lighter navy with a cooler tone that’s much more agreeable with the blazer.
In The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore wears a navy 2-button blazer that’s almost identical to the one he wears two years later in Moonraker. It’s made by Angelo Roma with a clean cut and straight, narrow, roped shoulders in classic Roman style that echoes English military tailoring. The lapels are an inch wider than they need to be, but they don’t detract from the excellent fit and timeless cut of the blazer. The blazer is detailed with silver-toned metal buttons, not shanked but with 4-holes like a regular button, sewn with navy thread. There are four buttons on each cuff, slanted pockets with a ticket pocket (which isn’t present on the Moonraker blazer) and deep double vents.
The white gabardine trousers have a flat front and bell bottoms, which if might ever be appropriate would be appropriate here. In white—worn with a navy blazer—they evoke a sailor’s uniform, and Moore is indeed wearing the trousers out at sea. The Frank Foster shirt is cream with mid blue stripes spaced different lengths apart. Though at some parts it looks like the stripes are grouped in threes, it doesn’t all follow that pattern. The shirt has a large point collar and tab cuffs. The tie is mid blue shantung silk, tied in a four-in-hand knot. Moore wears black horsebit slip-ons and black socks. The outfit overall could best be described as dressy resort-wear. White trousers, though classic, dress down the blazer. They are best worn in a warm climate far from the city, where mid grey trousers work best.
Posing as horse stable heir James St. John Smythe, James Bond wears a blue blazer with a day cravat in A View To a Kill. The blue—slightly lighter than navy—blazer is tailored by Douglas Hayward is his usual low 2-button style with natural shoulders, roped sleeveheads and a clean chest. The blazer has brass buttons, with 4 on the cuffs, flapped pockets and double vents. Bond wears the blazer with stone-coloured trousers.
A white shirt and burgundy day cravat accompany the blazer. The shirt has a placket front, single-button cuffs and a spread collar, which is curved in inside the blazer. Bond only leaves the collar button unfastened. The day cravat is mostly burgundy, with a pattern including other colours. The cravat is more a part of St. John Smythe than it is a part of Bond.
My last entry covered Roger Moore’s blazer worn in California in Moonraker. Bond wears the blazer again later in Venice, but with a different shirt, tie and trousers. The black horsebit slip-ons stayed the same. This time the shirt is ecru instead of blue, but also with a point collar, placket front and tab cuffs. The trousers are darker, more tan than beige. And the tie has an ottoman rib with wide stripes in light olive and magenta, a narrow stripe in purple, and stripes of ovals in pink. The stripes are in the American direction, which go from the right shoulder down to the left hip. In my opinion this is Roger Moore’s worst tie of his seven Bond films and amongst the worst ties of the series.
I’m not talking about a “Tuxedo” as in what Americans call a dinner suit. I’m talking about the outfit consisting of blue blazer and khakis, which is sometimes referred to as the “California Tuxedo.” It’s probably called such because its more formal than what most people will wear in the casual State of California. Bond appropriately wears this outfit on his arrival in California in Moonraker. The 2-button blazer is made in a deep navy blue wool hopsack. Hopsack is a basket weave, seen in the illustration below:
The blazer is cut with a clean chest and straight, narrow shoulders with a roped sleevehead. The wide lapels and the pocket flaps have swelled edges. The blazer has slanted pockets, long double vents and 4-button cuffs. The buttons are silver with 4 holes and sewn with a contrasting navy blue thread.
Typically the trousers worn as part of the “California Tuxedo” are chinos though Bond’s trousers are beige wool cavalry twill. Bond’s flat front trousers are worn with a black belt and the legs are cut with a slight flair. The sky blue poplin shirt has a tall and long point collar, placket front and tab cuffs, similar to all the other shirts Bond wears in Moonraker. The striped tie in navy, red, white and beige adds more to the American look with it’s stripes in the American direction. The subtlety of the stripes comes to life in the close-up shots. Bond’s shoes are black bit loafers. Though brown would have been a better choice with the beige trousers, the black keeps things a little more British.
The close-up shows the more intricate stripes on the tie
as well as the blazer’s hopsack texture.
This blazer is worn again in Venice, but the rest of the outfit is completely different. My next blog entry will cover that outfit.
The last time we saw Bond wearing blazer was on Pierce Brosnan, 16 years ago in GoldenEye. The navy, double-breasted Brioni blazer has 6 brass buttons with 2 to button, though Bond leaves it open. Double-breasted suits and blazers are typically worn closed all the time and there are a few logical reasons for this. When walking around with the blazer open as Bond does here, the front flaps around more than it does on a single-breasted coat. And whilst single-breasted coats can be unbuttoned when seated, buttoning and unbuttoning a double-breasted coat involves using not only the outside button but the jigger button as well. Dealing with the jigger button in public is awkward and thus is a good reason not unbutton your double-breasted blazer or suit in public.
Back to Bond’s blazer, it has flapped pockets (in some shots the flaps are tucked in), double vents and 4 overlapping buttons on the cuffs. The wide pointed lapels have a button hole in each side. The beige trousers have triple reverse pleats and turn-ups. Triple pleats were popular in the 90s, and back then you could even find trousers with 4 pleats on each side. The purpose of the third pleat is only to add bulk. Though trouser pleats are currently out of fashion, nobody can deny their practicality. The main pleat serves to expand when seated because as we sit our body changes shape. The second pleat gives ease to the main pleat so it stays closed when standing. Adding a third pleat generally serves no practical purpose on men. Women’s trousers may often have more pleats because they help shape the trousers over larger hips. Bond wears his trousers with a brown belt with a gold buckle. Bond’s shirt is french blue, probably in oxford or royal oxford-weave cotton. The shirt has a moderate spread collar (worn open), a placket front and 1-button rounded cuffs. The shoes are brown lace-ups, but that’s all I’m able to tell from the shots.
In For Your Eyes Only, Bond wears a double-breasted navy blazer when out in Corfu. The blazer has a 6-button front with 2 to button, in gold buttons. The button stance is quite low, with the middle buttons placed almost as low as the bottom buttons typically are on a classic double-breasted coat. This style gives the coat a longer lapel line whilst keeping the classic 6-button arrangement, though the blazer has odd proportions and looks a little sloppy around the waist. The blazer has a straight shoulder line, draped chest and peak lapels that are slightly on the narrow side. The jacket has double vents, flapped pockets and 3-button cuffs.
The stone-coloured trousers are cut with a straight leg. The sky blue shirt has a placket front, spread collar and 2-button mitred cuffs. Bond wears the shirt without a tie, leaving the collar and first button open. His shoes are dark brown.