Dinner Suit at Carnival

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The black dinner suit by Angelo Roma in Moonraker is made in the same style as the one from The Spy Who Loved Me two years earlier. It is cut with straight shoulders and a clean chest. It has six buttons on the front with two to close, in the traditional manner. There are three buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and no vents. The trousers have flared legs. The facing on the wide peak lapels, the trouser stripe and the covered buttons are in black satin silk. The black cloth has a sheen that suggests mohair.

Moonraker-Dinner-Suit-2This dinner suit gets a lot of use in Moonraker. Not only does he wear it out in the evening, but he’s still wearing it the next morning. Obviously Bond didn’t make it back to his hotel suite that night, and that’s the only reason someone should wear a dinner suit during the day. But by the morning he has discarded his bow tie and is wearing the collar open, with the points outside of the jacket. Wearing collar points outside the jacket was a popular trend in the 1970s, but not a very attractive one.

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The dress shirt marks the last time James Bond wears cocktail cuffs, notwithstanding the unofficial Never Say Never Again. It’s a shame Bond’s trademark cuff hasn’t made it into any films since, though Turnbull & Asser made Pierce Brosnan a cocktail cuff shirt for his personal wardrobe. Frank Foster made this shirt, which has a point collar, a pleated front and standard mother-of-pearl buttons down the placket.

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The slip-on shoes from Ferragamo have a plain toe, a half strap and a tall heel. They aren’t the best choice for black tie, since they are neither patent leather nor are they oxfords or pumps, but at least they are well polished and have a plain toe. Identical shoes were auctioned at Christie’s in South Kensington on 24 November 2009 for £3,000. The shoes at Christie’s are said to be from The Spy Who Loved Me, but since the shoes with the dinner suit in that film are patent leather, it’s possible the shoes at the auction could be these.

There’s a continuity error in the close-up shots of the cuff in the ambulance. Instead of the cocktail cuff shirt, Moore wears a shirt with double cuffs, closed in a barrel fashion and fastened with button. Treating the double cuffs this way would mean that the wrong shirt wasn’t an accident, but rather the original shirt was not obtainable for this shot.

The shirt worn in the other scenes must have gone missing

The shirt worn in the other scenes must have gone missing

M: The Double-Breasted, Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket

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For his dinner with Bond in Goldfinger, M wears the least dressy of all dinner jacket styles: the double-breasted, shawl collar dinner jacket. It’s the type of dinner jacket that’s most like a smoking jacket. I can’t tell for certain it’s double-breasted, but from the very wide lapels and the bunching of the breast pocket it looks like he is wearing a double-breasted dinner jacket unbuttoned. M’s black dinner jacket has natural shoulders and roped sleeveheads, and the sleeve cuffs have four buttons and a satin silk turnback that matches the lapels.

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M’s dress shirt doesn’t have any fancy details, but it may have been made in silk to set it apart from an everyday shirt. It’s slightly off white, which could be a further indicator that it’s silk and not cotton. It has a spread collar and double cuffs with edge stitching and a plain front with mother-of-pearl buttons. The bow-tie is black satin silk in a thistle shape. He wears a puffed white handkerchief in his breast pocket.

Woman of Straw: The Dinner Suit

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Like most of the clothes in Woman of Straw, Sean Connery’s black dinner suit almost exactly resembles its counterpart in Goldfinger. It has notch lapels, a single-button fastening and no vents. The biggest difference are that the lapels on this dinner jacket are narrower than the ones in Goldfinger. This dinner jacket also adds gauntlet cuffs like Connery previously wore in Dr. No and From Russia With Love. Connery wears it in the same fashion as he does in Goldfinger: a small, private dinner. Just like the older men Bond has dinner with in Goldfinger, the older Ralph Richardson in this scene wears a shawl collar dinner jacket.

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The dress shirt has a spread collar, small pleats on the front, mother of pearl buttons down the placket and double cuffs. Connery wears it with a narrow black bow tie and a white linen pocket handkerchief folded with a single point. If he is wearing a waist covering, it can’t be seen.

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The Briefly-Seen Double-Breasted Dinner Suit

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In the final scene of The Living Daylights we catch a glimpse of a peak lapel dinner suit on Timothy Dalton. Thanks to a Christie’s auction on 17 September 1998, we get to see that the dinner suit is actually double-breasted. Double-breasted suits were quite trendy at the time, especially the four- and six-button models that only fasten at the bottom button. That’s what Pierce Brosnan was wearing on Remington Steele. But Dalton’s dinner jacket has six buttons with the traditional two to button. The dinner jacket has double vents, four buttons on the cuffs and flapped pockets. The pocket flaps are the only inappropriate detail on the dinner jacket (and double vents, if you count those too), but typically the pocket slits are double-jetted and the flaps can be tucked in. The lapels and trouser stripe are trimmed in satin silk. The jacket has a claret-coloured lining.

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The trousers are labeled “EIGENTUM, LAMBERT HOFER, WIEN, 1150 WIEN, HACKENGASSE 10″. Lambert Hofer is a clothier and tailor in Vienna that specialises in costume and evening wear. The dinner suit sold at Christie’s for £1,725.

Daniel Craig at the 79th Academy Awards

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One of Daniel Craig’s nicest pieces of tailored clothing is the dinner suit he wore at the Academy Awards in 2007 after Casino Royale. This suit is bespoke from Alfred Dunhill and designed by Martin Nicholls. If you search for photos of the suit online you’ll find some where the jacket isn’t sitting correctly on him and doesn’t appear to fit so well. But when he gets on stage with Nicole Kidman it is nigh perfect.

The dinner jacket has four buttons with one to button, and the bottom row is a little below the waist. This gives the jacket a longer lapel line, which flatter’s Craig’s shorter stature, but it’s not so low that is throws off the balance. It also has a narrow wrap like Roger Moore’s double-breasted jackets from Cyril Castle have, which bring the diagonal lapel line closer to vertical to further help his height. The peaked lapels are a little narrow but with the medium gorge height they look good. Slanted pockets also lengthen the torso, though flaps take away from the effect. Slanted pockets and pocket flaps are unusual details for a dinner jacket, and Bond only wore those in the 1970s. They don’t look bad, but straight jetted pockets would have been the ideal choice. The jacket is also detailed with four buttons on the cuffs and double vents. It is cut with a clean chest and straight, padded shoulders. The buttons are silk-covered. The trousers have a straight leg with a silk stripe down the side.

The dress shirt has a spread collar, double cuffs and very large pleats on the front, and Craig wears it with black onyx studs. He wears a black silk bow-tie and a white puffed pocket handkerchief. The shoes are black cap-toe oxfords with a chiselled toe. Though the outfit is adventurously styled, it remembers black tie tradition and has a very flattering fit. When standing next to Nicole Kidman, who is already taller than Craig without heels, the dinner jacket gives Daniel Craig the presence he needs on stage.

Max Zorin in Black Tie

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Max Zorin, played by Christopher Walken, is dressed is a different, but just as classic, mode of black tie from James Bond. Whilst Bond wears a white, single-breasted dinner jacket with natural shoulders, Zorin’s dinner jacket is black and double-breasted with straight, padded shoulders. The padded shoulders reflect both the 1980s fashions and Zorin’s thirst for power, and they contrast with Bond’s softer look. This is one of the series’ best examples of contrasting black tie between Bond and the villain. Thunderball also finds Bond wearing a single-breasted dinner jacket whilst the villain is wearing the double-breasted dinner jacket, but the colours are reversed. It’s more subtle than putting the villain in a black shirt, like Le Chiffre in Casino Royale.

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Zorin’s double-breasted buttoning is in the typical 80′s style: four buttons with one to button. But unlike what was in fashion, the bottom row of buttons on Zorin’s dinner jacket is only just below the waist, not a few inches lower. This gives the jacket better proportions. There are three buttons on the sleeves, and all the buttons are made of black horn. The peak lapels and trouser stripe are black satin. The jacket also has jetted pockets and double vents. The only fault with this dinner jacket that the collar fits poorly and leaves a gap between the shirt collar.

The dress shirt has a spread collar and pleated, fly front. The fly front was very trendy—yet still elegant—at the time, and Pierce Brosnan often wore it in Remington Steele. He wears a classic black satin silk thistle bow-tie. Zorin makes a poor choice with a dark blue puffed pocket square, clashes with the black dinner jacket. Scarpine’s wine red pocket square (see top picture) is a more classic and complementary choice. Apart from the pocket square and collar, Zorin is a well-dressed man, as a man in his position should be. Today, this would be quite rare for someone in the technology industry.

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The Sea Wolves: Black and White Dinner Jackets

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Roger Moore’s sartorial highlight in The Sea Wolves is a pair of dinner jackets, in black and white. Both have the authentic 1940′s cut the film requires: a full chest and slightly wider shoulders with roped sleeveheads. The white dinner jacket—likely made of linen—is a four-button double-breasted cut with one to button. The lower button row is placed up at the waist, meaning it’s cut more like the traditional six-button double-breasted style but missing the bottom row. It’s a style rarely seen after the 1940s. The peaked lapels are wide with a good amount of belly, typical of the 1940s style. The buttons are white mother of pearl.

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The black dinner jacket is a classic button one, peaked lapel style. The satin lapels, however, are not as wide as the white dinner jacket’s lapels. They still have belly, but the width is evenly balanced to appear neither too wide nor too narrow. And that would make this dinner jacket look timeless if it wasn’t for the wider shoulders. The buttons are either black horn or plastic. Both dinner jackets are detailed as a most traditional dinner jacket should be, with jetted pockets and without vents. Both also have three buttons on the cuffs.

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Apart from the jacket, the rest of the two outfits is identical. The black trousers are cut with a wide, straight leg and have a black satin stripe down each leg. It’s difficult to make out the front of the trousers, but they may have double forward pleats. The white dress shirt has a spread collar, double cuffs, pleated bib and covered-button placket. The black satin silk bow tie is a classic butterfly shape. With the black dinner jacket, Moore wears a puffed white handkerchief in his breast pocket, which he later uses to wipe blood dripping down his arm. He also wears a black cummerbund with the black dinner jacket, and it may be hidden underneath the white dinner jacket as well. None of the clothes here appear to be made by any of Moore’s usual clothiers.

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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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