Valentin Zukovsky: The Warm Grey Dinner Jacket

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Valentin Zukovsky, played by Robbie Coltrane, wears one of the more flamboyant warm-weather dinner jackets of the Bond series in The World Is Not Enough. White and other light-coloured dinner jackets are most appropriately worn in the tropics and in summer months in certain other parts of the world (not Great Britain), but Azerbaijan is not tropical and this film takes place during the winter. Zukovsky isn’t the only person in the casino wearing warm-weather black tie, but nobody else is wearing a dinner jacket quite like his. It’s a warm grey four-button double-breasted jacket with one to button. Light-coloured dinner jackets are ordinarily made without facings, but the satin silk lapels, hip pocket jetting, breast pocket welt and covered buttons make Zukovsky’s dinner jacket a rather flashy one. The cuffs button four and the jacket doesn’t have a vent. He wears the dinner jacket with black trousers.

Peter Lorre Le ChiffreFlashy clothes like this satin-faced warm-weather dinner jacket are typically left for the villains, and Zukovsky’s dinner jacket is remarkably similar to the dinner jacket that Peter Lorre’s Le Chiffre (right) wears in the 1954 “Casino Royale” television adaptation. Whilst Zukovsky isn’t exactly a trusted ally, he certainly isn’t a villain either. The flashiness of his dinner jacket, however, indicates that he’s not a man that Bond can put his trust in.

Zukovsky-Dinner-Jacket-2Some larger men can look good in double-breasted jackets since the two columns of buttons break up their breadth. The dinner jacket’s low buttoning give it flattering long lines whilst wider shoulders give the body better proportions. Even though the shoulders are wide, they aren’t built up as not to give Zukovsky extra bulk. The shoulders droop more than they should, but apart from that the dinner jacket fits fairly well. The front is cut with an extended dart, a style that is used by many Neapolitan tailors. The extended dart along with the natural shoulders could indeed mean that was made by a Neapolitan tailor, but tailors often use a separate cutting system for a corpulent man.

Zukovsky-Dinner-Jacket-3With the dinner jacket Zukovsky wears traditional black tie accessories. The white dress shirt has a point collar and double cuffs, both with edge stitching. Though English shirtmakers don’t ordinarily use edge stitching, some think it looks dressier than traditional quarter-inch stitching. The front has narrow swiss pleats and two visible black onyx studs. He wears a classic black thistle bow tie. His shoes are black.

Woman of Straw: The Charcoal Flannel Suit and Navy Overcoat

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It’s time again to look at one of Sean Connery’s Goldfinger suits in its original setting in Woman of Straw. Both Goldfinger and Woman of Straw end with Sean Connery in the same charcoal grey woollen flannel, three-piece suit. This slightly rustic suit does just as well in Woman of Straw‘s country setting as it does in Goldfinger‘s dressier setting of Bond on his way to meet the president. It’s Connery’s usual Anthony Sinclair suit. The button two jacket has natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a full chest and a nipped waist. It has four buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and no vent. The waistcoat has six buttons with five to button, though Connery fastens the bottom button. Because the bottom button is not meant to close, the bottom of the waistcoat bunches up rather unattractively. The trousers have double forward pleats and button side adjusters.

Woman-of-Straw-Grey-Flannel-Suit-2The shirt and tie differ slightly from what Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger. The elegant white shirt has a self-stripe pattern, which is either created by a mini-herringbone weave or a fancy white-on-white weave. Due to the country context the mini-herringbone is more likely since it’s not as formal as a white-on-white stripe. The shirt has a spread collar, front placket and double cuffs with rounded corners. The black satin tie is a little formal for a woollen flannel suit, but at the same time it creates a pleasant contrast with the texture of the flannel suit. It is tied in a small four-in-hand knot. Like in Goldfinger, Connery wears a white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket, but here it’s folded in a single point instead of in a TV fold. His shoes are black.

Woman-of-Straw-Navy-OvercoatSean Connery wears two stylish double-breasted overcoats in Woman of Straw that didn’t make it into Goldfinger. Over this charcoal flannel suit he wears a very dark navy double-breasted, knee-length overcoat. It has six buttons with three to button, narrow notched lapels and slanted hip pockets. The overcoat is cut with natural shoulders, has set-in sleeves and is slightly shaped through the body. There’s no name for this style of overcoat, but nevertheless it is a very elegant coat. With the overcoat Connery has a dark hat with a white lining, but it’s difficult to what type of hat it is or what colour it is. A trilby would be most likely considering the relative informality of the coat and flannel suit, and it could be the same brown trilby that Connery wears in Goldfinger or one similar to it.

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Fleming: Royal Navy Uniform

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In the end of the first episode and throughout the the second episode of the miniseries Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, Ian Fleming, played by Dominic Cooper, wears a World War II Royal Navy commander’s uniform very similar to what Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan all wore as James Bond. The uniform is made by a bespoke tailor—as far as the story is concerned—with a very clean, fitted military cut. The shoulders aren’t as built-up as one would expect, but they are padded and there’s a little roping at the sleevehead. It is double-breasted with eight buttons on four to button. The jacket has jetted pockets, short double vents and the rank insignia of commander on the sleeve, consisting of three rings of gold braid with the executive curl in the upper braid. Appropriately, the jacket is made in a dark navy, heavy serge cloth.

Fleming-Uniform-2The jacket is tailored to a much shorter than traditional length, which helps Dominic Cooper look just a little closer to the much taller man that the real Ian Fleming was. The shorter jacket length isn’t as noticeable because the uniform is so dark. Fleming is shot in ways that make Cooper look taller, and there aren’t many shots that emphasise how short the jacket is. As a result, it ends up appearing in proportion to Cooper’s body whilst also giving his legs extra length.

Fleming-Shirt-Tie-BracesThe trousers have a flat front with frogmouth pockets and a fishtail—or braces—back. The back is curved up higher to be more comfortable with braces. It’s the same reason why Ralph Fiennes’ trousers in Skyfall have extending tabs that the braces attach to. The braces are beige with brown stripes. They have light brown leather ends. The braces don’t go with the rest of the outfit, but when he’s all dressed it doesn’t matter because the braces are hidden. He wears a white shirt with a long, soft point collar and double cuffs. Fleming ties his black repp tie, naturally, in a four-in-hand knot. His shoes are black lace-ups.

We even get to see what kind of undergarments Fleming wears. His t-shirt has short sleeves and a rather large crew neck opening, but it’s not quite a scoop neckline. His white pants have double reverse pleats and about a 6-inch inseam. The real Ian Fleming specified Bond’s underpants in The Man with the Golden Gun to be made of sea island cotton, which the author probably also wore himself.

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Perhaps the best part of Fleming’s naval uniform is the navy greatcoat. Roger Moore briefly wears a similar greatcoat in The Spy Who Loved Me over his uniform, but we see much more of this coat. It’s a full length coat that hits mid-calf, and in such a heavy weight it’s an extremely warm coat. Fleming wears it unbuttoned because it’s probably too warm to button it up. The double-breasted coat has twelve gilt buttons on the front, with six on each side in a keystone formation. There is decorative stitching on the left front panel of the coat that frames the keystone, from the buttonhole on the bottom right across to the bottom decorative button on the left, and up the row of decorative buttons. Notch lapels allow the coat to fasten to the top. It has straight, flapped pockets, a deep centre vent, swelled edges and a half belt in back that buttons on either end. The epaulettes match the uniform’s jacket sleeves and have three rings of gold braid with the executive curl in the upper braid. With the coat Fleming wears a Royal Navy peaked cap with a black cover—which was later replaced universally with white as seen in the Bond films—and a black peak with a row of oak leaves.

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M: The Double-Breasted Grey Flannel Suit

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Ralph Fiennes isn’t the first M to wear a double-breasted suit. Fifty years earlier Bernard Lee wore his one and only double-breasted suit as M in Dr. No. Like many of Lee’s suits and Fiennes’ double-breasted suit, this suit is flannel. In particular, this suit is a mid grey woollen flannel, which has the old-fashioned look that’s well-suited for the character. Whilst Fiennes’ suit is traditional and not characteristic of any era, Lee’s suit is very characteristic of suits from the 1950s. Its large, padded shoulders and wide lapels were outdated for 1962, as was the buttoning style. The jacket has four buttons in a keystone arrangement with one to button, which was never a very popular style with English tailors. It wasn’t uncommon in the 1940s and 1950s, but by the 1960s the low-buttoning double-breasted suits were out of fashion. The style returned in the 1980s and has been out of fashion since the mid 1990s. It’s not as classic as the style of Ralph Fiennes’ double-breasted suit, but if it is cut well—which can’t usually be said for the baggy 1980s examples—and fits well it can be a good choice for shorter or heavier men. Lee’s jacket has jetted pockets, 3-button cuffs and no vents. As is traditional on a double-breasted jacket, both peaked lapels have a buttonhole since both sides of the jacket have fastening buttonholes. For From Russia With Love, Bernard Lee wears a more contemporary suit, though it’s still a little more traditional than Sean Connery’s suits.

M-Dr-No-2Though Bernard Lee’s M’s is known for his bow ties, he wears a black four-in-hand tie that has a fancy self pattern in his first appearance in the James Bond series. The tie is a fashionable, narrow width and it’s much narrower than his lapels. Though the narrow tie is a bit incongruous with the wide lapels, it works much better than the opposite would. He uses a tie pin to anchor the tie to his shirt. Lee doesn’t return to wearing four-in-hand ties until the final act of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. His shirt is a fine bengal stripe in light grey and white, which complements his grey hair and grey eyes. The shirt has a spread collar, plain front and double cuffs. He wears a white linen pocket handkerchief that is mostly obscured by his wide lapels.

Gareth Mallory: The Double-Breasted Suit

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Gareth Mallory, played by Ralph Fiennes, wears a double-breasted suit after becoming the new M in Skyfall. The double-breasted suit, however, makes him look more like Bill Tanner in For Your Eyes Only than the first two Ms. Today the double-breasted suit is a more traditional look, and that’s likely why costume designer Jany Temime dressed Fiennes in this suit for this scene instead of the more contemporary two- and three-piece suits he wears prior to becoming M. Another thing that makes this suit look more traditional is the soft, heavy navy woollen flannel chalkstripe cloth. Heavier cloths look more old-fashioned than lightweight cloths. Since Bond has just come in from the cold and has hung up his overcoat, M’s choice of a heavy flannel suit is clearly a very practical one.

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The suit jacket has the classic arrangement of six buttons with two to button, and Mallory buttons only the top of those two buttons. The jacket also has double vents, four-button cuffs and flapped pockets. This suit has the same straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads that Mallory’s other suits in the film have, but a fuller chest and wider lapels contribute to its more traditional look. It has a classic Savile Row cut: nipped at the waist and flared at the skirt. Whilst the suit is a little old-fashioned, it isn’t outdated and it looks great on Ralph Fiennes. It’s made by Timothy Everest, who typically makes more fashion forward suit.

Not much is seen of the suit trousers, but they are likely the same flat-front, tapered-leg trouser with braces he wears throughout the film. Mallory wears a cornflower blue shirt with a spread collar and double cuffs. His red ribbed silk tie is tied in a four-in-hand knot. James Bond has also worn a similar outfit of a flannel navy chalkstripe suit with a blue shirt and red tie, thought Bond’s suit was a three-piece suit and not double-breasted. He wears this outfit for his meeting with Sir Hilary Bray in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

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Dream House: Double-Breasted Suit and Overcoat

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Daniel Craig wears a double-breasted suit with a double-breasted overcoat in the 2011 film Dream House. This double-breasted suit is not a suit James Bond would wear. The cloth is a fancy stripe with sections of fine brown and blue stripes between thick medium blue stripes, which are bordered by navy stripes that are half the thickness of the medium blue stripe. It’s also hard to imagine James Bond wearing a double-breasted suit again, but Daniel Craig looks good in it. This one has four buttons with two to button. Craig only buttons the top, but since the button stance is rather high it would look better with both buttons fastened or just the bottom button fastened, like how the Duke of Kent and the then Prince of Wales wore theirs. It has straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a clean chest and slightly narrow lapels. There are four buttons on the cuffs, flap pockets and double vents. We don’t get a good look at the front of the the trousers, but they are probably flat front. They have a plain hem.

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Skyfall isn’t the first time Daniel Craig wears a tab collar. Craig’s white poplin shirt has a tab collar and double cuffs. The collar is is narrower than the collar in Skyfall, making it look more old-fashioned whilst also being less flattering to Daniel Craig’s face. His tie is navy with a printed pattern in medium blue, which matches the colours of the suit’s stripes. it’s tied in a four-in-hand knot, which is the only knot that will fit in such a narrow collar. The silk pocket handkerchief is medium blue with a thick navy border, also pulling from colours in the suit. His shoes are chestnut brown derbies, but he makes the mistake of wearing a black belt with his suit trousers. It’s something he’s done again in the Bond series as well, but at least when he has the jacket on the belt is hidden.

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Over his suit, Daniel Craig wears a rather unconventional Chesterfield-style coat. It’s neither as dark as the traditional Chesterfield nor does it have a velvet collar—which isn’t necessary for the coat to be a Chesterfield—but in all other ways it fits the name. It’s difficult to wear a double-breasted overcoat with a double-breasted suit since there are so many layers in front. The double-breasted closure has six buttons with two to button and the hem hits just below the knee. The overcoat has set-in sleeves, darts in the front, three-button cuffs, a breast pocket and slanted hip pockets with flaps, which are for the most part kept tucked into the pocket. The cloth is a light grey and dark grey glenstripe, which is like a Glen Urquhart check sans the crosswise overcheck. The warp alternates in sections of four light and four dark yarns with sections of two light and two dark yarns. The filling just alternates with two light and two dark yarns. With the overcoat, Daniel Craig keeps warm with red-brown leather gloves.

It’s a flashier outfit than James Bond would ever wear. Whilst it’s not particularly fashionable, it’s very stylish. The suit’s cloth, cut and style along with the tab-collar shirt gives this outfit a very 1960s look, making it one of Daniel Craig’s most interesting outfits outside of the Bond series.

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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

The Man Who Haunted Himself: Don’t be a slave to convention

Pelham-Olive-SuitIn celebrating Roger Moore’s 86th birthday, let’s look at an outfit that fit Roger Moore’s flamboyant tastes during the 1970s. In comparison to his James Bond and SImon Templar of The Saint, Roger Moore’s character Harold Pelham, in The Man Who Haunted Himself, dresses more conservatively and more old-fashionedly. Pelham sees a psychiatrist and as Pelham is leaving the psychiatrist comments on the traditional City clothing he wears:

Psychiatrist: I don’t like the look of all that.

Pelham: Of all what?

Psychiatrist: Your clothes. The bowler hat and umbrella. Your tie and starched collar. These things symbolise all that we want to get rid of. Be yourself, Mr. Pelham. Don’t be a slave to convention.

In the following scene, Roger Moore dons an outfit far flashier than what Bond or Templar would ever wear, but it probably suits Moore’s own tastes at the time and is along the lines of much of what Moore would wear in his next role: Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders.

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The double-breasted suit, made by Cyril Castle, is olive with white pinstripes. The jacket is the double-breasted equivalent of the single-button jacket. There are only two buttons, with one to button, and the row is placed at the waist. Minimalism in this case is flasher than the typical six-button double-breasted jacket. The jacket has double vents, slanted pockets and an open-vent sleeve sans buttons—like Patrick MacNee wore here and here in The Avengers. The jacket is constructed with a clean chest and gentle shoulder padding. The trousers have a straight leg.

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The pink shirt from Frank Foster has a spread collar and 2-button cocktail cuffs, with both buttons fastened on the left and only the first button fastened on the right. A pink shirt is a natural pairing with an olive suit, since red and green are complementary colours. The tie is a fancy print of white, green and pink, which picks up the colours of the suit and shirt. It is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Pelham wears brown shoes, which are out of the norm for City business but go well with this suit. The outfit may be flashy, but it’s well-coordinated, well-proportioned, well-tailored and well-suited to the story.

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