Bill Tanner: Double-Breasted Rope Stripe Suit

Tanner-Rope-Stripe-Suit

In For Your Eyes Only, M’s chief of staff Bill Tanner, played by James Villiers, dresses in a manner very suitable for a man in a high position. He wears classic double-breasted suits that are cut almost exactly the same as what you’d find from an English tailor today. His suit jackets have six buttons with two to button, and their lower placement is the only thing that separates them from what’s currently fashionable. The jackets have a classic Savile Row silhouette with a clean chest and a straight shoulder on the natural shoulder line. They have flapped pockets and double vents. For this article we’ll just look at the charcoal rope stripe suit.

Tanner-Rope-Stripe-Suit-2

The shirt Tanner wears with this suit is a fine grey and white stripe. Grey shirts aren’t nearly as popular as blue and white, or even cream, but they’re a classically-stylish option in lighter tints. It has a small spread collar and rounded button cuffs. Tanner adds colour to his outfit with the tie and pocket square. The tie is a regimental stripe in navy and alternating red and maroon. It’s very similar to the well-known Brigade of Guards tie, but the tie only has one shade of red. Can anyone identify this tie? He ties it in a four-in-hand knot, and he matches a navy silk pocket square to the navy in the tie.

Buttoned at the bottom

Buttoned at the bottom, not the same as in the photo above

There’s a continuity error in the way Tanner buttons his suit jacket. In some shots he buttons the jacket the conventional way, with only the middle row fastened. In other shots he has only the bottom row fastened. Both are legitimate ways to fasten a double-breasted jacket, but the stiffer canvas on this jacket means the lapel doesn’t roll over the middle button so well when only the bottom is fastened. There are also a couple of fit problems with this outfit. The back of the coat doesn’t fit so well over the shoulder blades and the shirt sleeves are too short—but the jacket sleeves look fine. But overall it’s a very tasteful outfit and it commands the authority necessary for his position during M’s leave.