Assignment K: A Double-Breasted Suit by Douglas Hayward

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Stephen Boyd stars as Philip Scott in the 1968 spy thriller Assignment K, and throughout the film he wears suits by Douglas Hayward. Douglas Hayward tailored Roger Moore’s suits for For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill, and he also made suits for Michael Caine, Terence Stamp, Steve McQueen and many other stars. One of the four suits that Boyd wears in Assignment K is a medium grey worsted flannel double-breasted suit. Worsted flannel is can be lighter in weight than the traditional woollen flannel, but being flannel it still has a fuzzy nap. The serge weave is visible under the nap on a worsted flannel, whilst no weave is visible on a woollen flannel. Worsted flannel has a sleeker look than woollen flannel does, but the nap keeps him warm in West Germany’s winter.

Assignment-K-Double-Breasted-Suit-2Boyd’s double-breasted suit jacket has the traditional arrangement of six buttons with two to button, and it is tailored with natural shoulders, a clean chest and suppressed waist. The jacket’s peaked lapels are made in the Tautz style, which means they have a horizontal gorge. They look slightly less formal than standard peaked lapels that point up towards the shoulder. The jacket also has double vents, three buttons on the cuffs, flapped pockets and a royal blue lining. The suit trousers’ legs taper to the knee and are straight from the knee to the plain hem. Not much of the the trousers’ legs are seen, but if they match Boyd’s other suit trousers in the film they have frogmouth pockets and are worn with a belt. The front does not have pleats, but it is probably darted.

Assignment-K-Charcoal-OvercoatBoyd’s sky blue shirt is likely made by Frank Foster. It has a wide spread collar, square double cuffs attached to the sleeves with shirring, rear side pleats, rear darts and a placket stitched close to the centre. Boyd wears two different ties with this suit: the first is solid silver and the second is solid black. Boyd’s shoes are black. Over the suit, Boyd wears a charcoal melton wool overcoat, which he wears over every suit in the film. The coat is three-quarter length to just above the knee. It has three buttons down the front, three buttons on the cuffs, slanted flap pockets and a rear vent. Like the suit jacket, the overcoat has natural shoulders. With the overcoat, Boyd wears dark grey suede gloves.

Assignment-K-Double-Breasted-Suit-3Assignment K has a few connections to James Bond besides both using tailor Douglas Hayward. The director of this film Val Guest, directed parts of the Casino Royale spoof a year earlier. Assignment K also features the actor Jan Werich, who was originally cast as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice. Producer Albert Broccoli and director Lewis Gilbert of You Only Live Twice decided that Werich was not right for the villainous role and replaced him with Donald Pleasence.

Two Lapel Buttonholes on a Double-Breasted Jacket

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A buttonhole in each lapel on Roger Moore’s Douglas Hayward blazer in For Your Eyes Only

Why do double-breasted jackets and coats often have a buttonhole at the top of each lapel whilst single-breasted jackets and coats only have a buttonhole at the top of the left lapel? It is because double-breasted jackets and coats symmetrically have both buttons and buttonholes down the left and right sides whilst a single-breasted jacket or coat only has buttons down the right side and buttonholes down the left side. The buttonholes at the top of the lapels reflect what’s below. Though peaked lapels on a double-breasted jacket never fold over and close like single-breasted notch lapels sometimes do on sports coats, pea coats and some double-breasted overcoats—like the greatcoat—are able to fasten up to the top. These coats do have a button on each side either under the collar or at the top of the chest for the lapels to fold over and fasten to. The two buttonholes on a double-breasted coat are carried over from these more functional garments.

A buttonhole in each lapel on Pierce Brosnan's double-breasted overcoat

A buttonhole in each lapel on Pierce Brosnan’s double-breasted Brioni overcoat in Tomorrow Never Dies

Dimi Major put a buttonhole in each lapel of George Lazenby’s double-breasted car coat and blazer in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Douglas Hayward made Roger Moore’s double-breasted blazer in For Your Eyes Only, his double-breasted suit jacket in Octopussy and his double-breasted dinner jacket in A View to a Kill with a buttonhole in each lapel. Brioni put a buttonhole in each lapel in Pierce Brosnan’s double-breasted blazer in GoldenEye and in his double-breasted overcoats in Tomorrow Never DiesThe World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. Sean Connery’s, Roger Moore’s and Pierce Brosnan’s naval uniform jackets and Roger Moore’s naval greatcoat all have a buttonhole on each lapel, and the greatcoat’s lapels can close to the top. Daniel Craig’s greatcoat in Quantum of Solace also has a buttonhole in each lapel, and like Roger Moore’s greatcoat it can close to the top.

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A buttonhole only in the left lapel in Roger Moore’s double-breasted Cyril Castle suit jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun

Cyril Castle, however, only put a single buttonhole in the left lapel in Roger Moore’s double-breasted chesterfield and silk suit jacket in Live and Let Die and Roger Moore’s double-breasted suits, blazer and white dinner jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun. A single lapel buttonhole on a suit jacket discards the ancestry and symmetry of having two lapel buttonholes for instead considering only the actual usage of a suit jacket’s lapel buttonhole: the boutonnière. Even when there is a buttonhole in both lapels, only the left buttonhole should be used for a boutonnière if you are so inclined to wear a boutonnière.

Daniel Craig’s Billy Reid pea coat in Skyfall also only has a lapel buttonhole on the left, which takes into account the reality that even if the lapels were closed, only the left side would actually fasten over to a button on the right. There wouldn’t be a jigger button at the top of the coat like there is at the waist. Since the Billy Reid pea coat has peaked lapels and no buttons at the top, it actually can’t close at the top like a traditional pea coat could anyway.

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No buttonholes in the lapels of Roger Moore’s double-breasted Angelo Roma dinner jacket in Moonraker

Angelo Vitucci didn’t put any lapel buttonholes in the two double-breasted dinner jackets in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker and the double-breasted blazer in Moonraker. This is the coward’s solution for those who can’t decide if a double-breasted jacket should have a lapel buttonhole in the left lapel or both lapels. Though history and symmetry says there should be a buttonhole in each lapel of a double-breasted jacket, it’s not a faux pas to have one buttonhole only in the left lapel. No lapel buttonholes at all ends up looking cheap and leaves no place to wear a flower.

The Russia House: Blazer and Duffle Coat

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In the 1990 film The Russia House, Sean Connery plays Bartholomew “Barley” Scott Blair, the head of a British publishing film turned spy. Though the character is a spy, he’s nothing like James Bond. Connery dresses how an older man in Britain would traditionally dress, and he wears layers to withstand Moscow’s cold weather. Connery’s wardrobe in the film consists of V-neck jumpers, knitted ties, informal outercoats, a navy suit, a checked jacket and a navy blazer.

Connery-Russia-House-Blazer-2Connery’s button two navy blazer has natural shoulders that go against the trendy large shoulder of 1990, but slightly wide lapels and the moderately low gorge and button stance reflect the fashions of the time. Though blazers ordinarily have vents in the rear due to their sporty nature, this one reflects the fashions of 1990 and has no vent. Like Connery’s navy blazer in Dr. No, this blazer also has an open patch breast pocket and open patch hip pockets, swelled edges and two buttons on the cuffs. This blazer’s buttons are brass. Bonhams in Knightsbridge auctioned the blazer on 16 June 2009 for £120. The blazer was made for Sean Connery by the costumiers Angels.

Connery-Russia-House-Duffle-Coat-2Under the blazer, Connery wears a medium grey sleeveless, V-neck jumper, which both keeps Connery warm and makes the outfit more casual. Connery’s dark green corduroy trousers have double forward pleats and are worn with a brown alligator-texture belt. The ecru shirt has a point collar, rounded single-button cuffs, a front placket and rear shoulder pleats. Connery wears a knitted tie with red and navy horizontal stripes, and it’s most likely tied in a half windsor knot. Connery’s shoes are dark brown.

Connery-Russia-House-Duffle-CoatOver the blazer, Connery wears a camel-coloured, heavy woollen duffle coat. The duffle coat is a casual coat characterised by its toggle closure. Connery’s coat has four wooden toggles that fasten with rope, and they go down the front from the collar to the waist. The coat is knee-length without a vent in the rear, but no vent is needed when the coat is free to spread apart in front below the waist. The coat has shoulder patches, two open patch pockets, buttoned straps on the sleeves and a hood. There are straps to button around the neck that connect with elastic around the back of the neck. Connery also keeps warm with an olive wool or cashmere scarf and a brown felt fedora with a centre dent, front pinch and brown ribbon.

Largo’s Charcoal Suit and Camel Coat

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The always well-tailored Emilio Largo, played by Adolfo Celi, is introduced in Thunderball wearing a charcoal three-piece suit. The suit is probably made of worsted flannel since it has a fuzzy nap but doesn’t look as heavy as the typical flannel. The button three jacket is tailored with very strong, straight shoulders and a clean chest. The narrow lapels gently roll over the top button. The jacket also has jetted pockets, three-button cuffs and no vent. The overall cut as well as the stylistic details are all very characteristic of a continental suit. Since the jacket has little fullness in the chest or flare at the shirt, it doesn’t look like an English suit. And neither the Italian character Largo nor the Italian actor Adolfo Celi would have likely used an English tailor. An Italian tailor would most likely have made this suit.

Largo-Charcoal-Suit-2Little is seen of the waistcoat and trousers. Since the top button of the waistcoat isn’t particularly high, I would guess that the waistcoat has five buttons. The trousers have a tapered leg with turn-ups. They are probably pleated, and I would guess they have reverse pleats since the suit is likely of Italian origin. The Italian tailors almost always make their trousers with reverse pleats.

Largo’s cream shirt has a spread collar and double cuffs. He uses a four-in-hand knot to tie his black tie with white polka dots. His socks and shoes are black.

Largo-Charcoal-Suit-3Over the suit Largo wears a three-quarter-length camelhair coat. The button three coat has notched lapels, swelled edges, turnback cuffs and a single vent. He wears the coat draped over his shoulders as if it were a cape, and I wouldn’t recommend wearing a coat in such a manner since that seems like something only a flamboyant villain would do. He also wears his charcoal trilby like a dandy: tilted and with the brim turned up all the way around. The hat’s crown has a centre dent and a front pinch, and the roughly 2 1/4″ brim has a sewn overwelt. His cream leather gloves take his outerwear yet another step further into flamboyance.

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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The Basic Navy Overcoat

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In Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig wears a navy wool overcoat over his charcoal suit in London. The single-breasted knee-length coat has a similar look to the suit jackets in the film with some of the same details. Like the suit jacket underneath, the overcoat has pagoda shoulders with roped sleeveheads, and the shoulders are fairly large so they fit comfortably over the suit jacket. The coat buttons three and has a very low button stance with the buttons spaced closer together than is typical. The lower button stance combined with the wide lapels looks very elegant, but it’s not as practical in keeping out the cold. This coat could benefit from a fly front, which would make it look even more elegant, but without the fly front it’s a little more versatile and can be worn less formally.

The front is darted and the waist is suppressed to give the overcoat an athletic silhouette. The coat has straight flap pockets with a ticket pocket, another detail that matches the suit jacket. It also has the same “barchetta” breast pocket, an Italian touch that Tom Ford puts on his rather English-styled clothes. The cuffs button four and there is a centre vent in back. Daniel Craig wears the coat open, which would mean he’s not cold enough to button up the coat. It could also be that he had it unbuttoned in the car and left it in that state, since a long buttoned coat can be cumbersome and quite warm in a heated car.

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Navy Topcoat

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Daniel Craig wears an elegant, though somewhat unremarkable, navy topcoat from Tom Ford in Skyfall over his glen check and navy herringbone suits. At a three-quarter length, it’s like a longer, heavier suit jacket that isn’t cut away in front. It has three buttons to show on front, but Daniel Craig fastens only the middle button like a suit jacket in the topcoat’s first appearance. He fastens the middle and bottom buttons in the topcoat’s second appearance. It’s difficult to tell if Daniel Craig is leaving buttons open as a fashion statement or because the coat is too tight to comfortably close the top button. It doesn’t look bad the way he wears it, but at the same time it looks affected. If he’s wearing a topcoat because it’s cold outside, why not make the most of the coat and fasten all of the buttons? Unlike on a button three lounge coat (a.k.a. suit jacket), the buttons on an overcoat fall in a straight line. Thus visually the straight line is preserved by either fastening all of the buttons, like how Connery wears his topcoat in Thunderball, or fastening none, like Pierce Brosnan does in GoldenEye.

Navy-Topcoat-3The coat is cut with straight and narrow shoulders, and the front is darted for a shaped silhouette. The cuffs button three, and like on his suit jacket, Daniel Craig leaves the last button open. The coat has straight, flapped pockets, a welted breast pocket and a deep single vent. Whilst it’s a very nice coat, a fly that hides the buttons could have made this a more elegant coat.

With the coat’s second appearance on a London rooftop, Craig wears black leather gloves and a medium grey cashmere scarf in a parisian knot. The parisian knot is tied by folding the scarf in half, draping it over the neck and inserting the dangling ends of the scarf together through the loop created at the folded end. The parisian knot works best with longer, lighter scarves. Folding the scarf in half takes up a lot of length, and in a heavier scarf the knot can end up very bulky. Bulkiness, however, can be a benefit in very cold weather. The parisian knot is an easy and effective way to wear the scarf, and Craig tucks the ends into his coat. The scarf and gloves show that this is a colder scene than the earlier one, and Craig also flips up his collar for extra protection from the cold. But again, if it’s that cold outside why does he leave the top button open? The most logical reason would be that the topcoat is too small—like most of the tailored clothes in Skyfall—to properly close.

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Happy Anniversary 007: Tan Trench Coat and Navy Suit

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Though Roger Moore only carries a trench coat as James Bond in For Your Eyes Only, in the 1987 James Bond retrospective Happy Anniversary 007 he properly wears a trench coat. Moore wears many trench coats thought his films and television shows, and this is the second one in Happy Anniversary 007. The first is made of corduroy, whilst this one is made of tan cotton gabardine. It’s a classic trench coat: full length below the knee with raglan sleeves. It is double-breasted with ten buttons and has shoulder straps, a yoke across the upper back, a storm flap on the front right, and a self belt and wrist straps that close with a leather buckles. Moore keeps his hands warm inside the slash pockets and wears a heavy grey scarf draped around his neck underneath the coat.

Happy-Anniversary-Trench-Coat-2Underneath the trench coat Moore wears what appears to be a navy suit, of which here we can only see the bottoms of the trousers. His blue and white striped shirt has a spread collar and 1-button rounded cuffs. Though we don’t see enough of the shirt to be able to tell if it’s one of his Frank Foster shirts, the spread collar already makes it a nicer shirt than the point-collar shirt he wears earlier with a navy blazer. We also don’t get to see much of the navy tie, but it has a slightly chunky texture that might suggest a knitted wool or cashmere tie.  As Bond, Moore follows English tradition and always wears black shoes with his navy suits, but here he follows the continental and American practice of wearing dark brown slip-ons with navy.

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Back to the navy suit that Moore wears under the trench coat, it’s probably the same navy suit that Moore wears at the beginning of Happy Anniversary 007. This suit is a typical Douglas Hayward single-breasted suit with natural shoulders—which were very out of fashion by 1987—and probably two buttons. He wears it with a pale blue shirt that has a moderate spread collar with edge stitching and rounded 1-button cuffs. It’s not a Frank Foster shirt, but it is almost certainly high street ready-to-wear of a lower quality than we’ve come to expect from both Roger Moore and James Bond. His grey tie with black printed figures is tied in a four-in-hand knot. It would appear his pocket square matches the tie. Matching the tie and pocket square is an unstylish faux pas, but it’s a rare moment that Roger Moore wears something in his breast pocket.

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