About Matt Spaiser

I am a graphic designer in New York. If you have any questions about James Bond's clothing feel free to send me an e-mail.

Another Suit from Spectre Revealed

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Daily Mail has once again posted images from the filming of Spectre. This time Daniel Craig is wearing a light navy Tom Ford suit with a light windowpane pattern. The windowpane may be overlaid on a subtle glen check pattern, though from the quality of the photos it’s hard enough to see the windowpane. The style and fit of the suit is, quite unfortunately, practically identical to the suits in Skyfall. Clearly it’s not a suit meant for moving around in!

The suit jacket looks like it has two buttons, but it may have three like in Skyfall. It also has straight shoulders, narrow notched lapels, a single vent, three buttons on the cuffs—with the last button left open—and slightly slanted hip pockets with flaps. As for the fit, the jacket length is again too short to cover his buttocks and it is too small all around. A suit should not be so binding, no matter how much one moves around. No matter how tight a suit is it doesn’t show off Daniel Craig’s muscular physique. Tight knitted garments, like the mock polo neck jumper, conform to the body and move with the body because they can stretch, whilst tight woven garments, especially tailored garments with a lot of internal structure, are unable to stretch. Suits can mould to the body, but they still have to fit well first, and they need a little allowance in areas for movement. The suit may be too tight because Daniel Craig is wearing a safety harness under it, but the costume designer Jany Temime should have accounted for that, just as she ordered a suit with longer sleeves for riding a motorbike in Skyfall. One things this suit from Spectre improves on over the Skyfall suits are wider shoulders, so at least Daniel Craig looks more powerful in this suit. The flat-front suit trousers are again too tight, and either the rise is too short or, more likely, they aren’t staying up as high as they are supposed to sit on the waist. The trousers have an extended waistband with side adjusters.

The white shirt is certainly an improvement over the Skyfall shirts since the tab collar is replaced with a point collar. Still, one would expect at least a semi-spread for such an English hero. The shirt also has double cuffs, which don’t quite fit inside the suit jacket’s narrow sleeves. One area that this shirt is not improved over the Skyfall shirts is the colour. Light blue flatters Daniel Craig’s light complexion more than white does, which washes him out a little. The tie is navy (possibly with a pattern that can’t be seen), and the navy tie with a navy suit is one of the most classic Bond combinations, though it is most often done with a blue shirt. It is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Since the knot is so narrow, the tie likely has a very light interlining. Craig also wears a folded white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket. The shoes are probably the Crockett & Jones Norwich model. They are black five-eyelet, cap-toe derby shoes with Dainite studded rubber soles. His socks are a rather boring and unstylish black. Navy would have been a better choice, since it would extend the line of possibly-too-short trouser legs.

See more photos and read about the filming at Daily Mail.

The Cannonball Run: A Bond-like Navy Blazer

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The Cannonball Run is almost like an eighth film to feature Roger Moore playing James Bond. Moore plays Seymour Goldfarb, Jr., who identifies as “some goy movie star named Roger Moore,” as his Jewish mother says. In pretending to be Roger Moore, Goldfarb naturally acts and dresses like James Bond. Moore’s performance in The Cannonball Run (essentially as James Bond) is even more tongue-in-cheek than in his Bond films, but here that kind of performance is welcome. Like James Bond, Goldfarb also drives a Aston Martin DB5 in Silver Birch. This exact car was one of the four Aston Martins used as Bond’s car in Goldfinger and originally was registered BMT 216 A (it is registered 6633 PP in The Cannonball Run). This same car was originally featured in an episode of The Saint titled “The Noble Sportsman” made in 1963 and painted Dubonet Red. Also like James Bond, Goldfarb sleeps with a gun under his pillow. His gun is a Walther PP, the same as what James Bond uses in the film Dr. No.

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As for dressing like James Bond, Moore’s character has the right idea but doesn’t get everything quite right in his execution, especially not with the three black tie outfits. The best outfit he wears is the navy blazer and beige trousers when the character is introduced. The outfit overall is similar to the blazer Moore later wears as James Bond when selecting a horse with Max Zorin (Christopher Walkin) in A View to a Kill, minus the day cravat. Since the film was made in America, the clothes would have been sourced in America, and it shows in the details.

The button two navy blazer’s silhouette, however, is still English-inspired with straight shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a nipped waist and a flared skirt. The details are common for American blazers: patch pockets (at least the hip pockets; I can’t tell if the breast pocket is) and a single vent. The blazer has three buttons on the cuffs, and the blazer’s buttons are shanked brass. The notched lapels are a little wide, but overall they don’t look particularly dated.

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The beige trousers that Roger Moore wears with the blazer are cut with a flat front and straight legs. The waistband has side adjusters and a hidden clasp closure. The side pockets are slanted. Moore’s pale blue shirt has a long point collar worn open, rounded single-button cuffs and a wide front placket. The shirt was most likely American-sourced and probably has a breast pocket. The collar and cuffs are stitched 1/4 inch from the edge, and the placket is stitched about 3/8 inch from the edge. As Seymour Goldfarb, Moore wears an accessory he rarely wears as James Bond: a pocket square. Moore’s is a light blue silk handkerchief rolled in his breast pocket. Moore wears dark brown socks and dark brown lace-up shoes, contrasting with the slip-on shoes he ordinarily wears.

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Spectre Teaser Poster: A Charcoal Mock Polo Neck

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The teaser poster for Spectre was released yesterday, and it features Daniel Craig wearing a charcoal grey mock polo neck—also known as the mock turtleneck or mock roll-neck—jumper and charcoal grey checked trousers. The outfit with the visible shoulder holster immediately recalls Roger Moore’s black polo neck outfit in Live and Let Die. That outfit, in turn, was inspired by Steve McQueen’s very similar outfit in Bullitt, which was made five years before Live and Let Die. Whilst Moore’s and McQueen’s jumpers have true polo necks that are folded over, Daniel Craig’s jumper has a mock polo neck that has both ends of the collar sewn down to the neckline. It’s also shorter than a true polo neck. Daniel Craig’s jumper is also charcoal instead of black like Moore’s is, which is a more flattering choice to his light complexion. The finely-knitted wool jumper snugly hugs Daniel Craig’s body, and it has fine-ribbed cuffs and hem. It is 70% cashmere and 30% silk, and it is made by N.Peal.

The choice to bring back the polo neck may be due to Spectre director Sam Mendes’ fond memories of seeing his first James Bond film Live and Let Die. It may also be due to the popularity of the animated spy television show Archer, in which the title character popularised the black polo neck he originally saw tactical potential in and calls it the “tactleneck”. By going with charcoal grey instead of black, James Bond makes this mock polo neck his own. Grey is actually a little better for hiding in the dark than true black is. The grey mock polo neck recalls the lighter grey one that Sean Connery wears in You Only Live Twice.

The trousers are black with a tiny white or light grey tick pattern, giving them a charcoal look overall. The ends of the frogmouth pockets can be seen peaking out from under the jumper. The Tom Ford Autumn/Winter 2015 collection features many trousers with frogmouth pockets, so these could certainly be from it.

The Offence: A Navy Suit Like Bond

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The Offence is the first film Sean Connery made when he exited the James Bond role after Diamonds Are Forever. The film was made in 1972 and is directed by Sideney Lumet. Connery plays Dectective-Sergeant Johnson, a police officer who is distressed by and haunted by the violent crimes he has investigated over his career. In a scene where Johnson is interrogated by the detective superintendent, played by Trevor Howard, he wears a navy mini-herringbone-weave suit. Connery was dressed by costume designer Vangie Harrison, who is better known for her work on Get Carter, which was made a year earlier. In his navy suit, Sean Connery is dressed very much like both Michael Caine is in Get Carter as well as the literary James Bond is.

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The suit jacket has three buttons with the lapel rolling over the top button. It has natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, and it is cut with a full chest and a nipped waist. The pockets are flapped, and there are four buttons on the cuffs and a single vent. The suit trousers have tapered legs, but the front is not seen. This is not a suit characteristic of the early 1970s like what Sean Connery wears in Diamonds Are Forever. The jacket’s notched lapels and pocket flaps are balanced widths, the jacket’s vent is not too deep and the trousers have classic tapered legs. Apart from having a third button on the front, this suit resembles Sean Connery’s Anthony Sinclair suits that he wears in all of his James Bond films. This film was made in London, so Sinclair still would have been convenient. Even if it’s not from Sinclair, the suit is much nicer than a suit one would expect a police detective to wear. It fits very well, with the only problem being that the sleeves are just a little too long.

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With the navy suit, Connery wears a white shirt with a point collar—which he unbuttons during the heat of the interrogation—and double cuffs. Since the character isn’t supposed to be a style-conscious man, he wears his double cuffs improperly. He fastens them in a barrel fashion with a button or a cufflink that looks like a button. Cufflinks wouldn’t fit the character. His black textured silk tie is tied in a Windsor knot. Wearing a white shirt and black tie—which somewhat resembles a knitted tie—with a navy suit follows the style of the literary James Bond. If it wasn’t for the tie’s Windsor knot, this might be the closest Sean Connery has ever dressed to the literary Bond. Even his shoes are black slip-ons.

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A Blue Striped Dressing Gown of Shirting

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Roger Moore may be known for his wide lapels, flared trousers and safari suits, but he also loved his dressing gowns and bathrobes. The dressing gown he wears in Octopussy in India is perfect for the hot weather. It’s made of cotton poplin shirting (the cloth a shirt is made from), which is lightweight, breathes well and feels great against the skin. Additionally, it takes up little space in baggage, so this is one of the few dressing gowns we see in the Bond series that most likely belongs to James Bond, as opposed to a hotel or villain hosting Bond. It’s one of James Bond’s most elegant dressing gowns, and it likely came from an English shirtmaker, though it probably isn’t bespoke. Many of the Jermyn Street shirtmakers make similar dressing gowns from their shirtings.

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Bond’s dressing gown is sky blue with red, grey and white stripes. The red and grey stripes are bordered by thin white stripes, whilst the white stripes are bordered by thin grey stripes. The gown has a shawl collar, turnback cuffs, one breast patch pocket on the left and hip patch pockets on either side. The waist secures with a wide belt. The collar, cuffs, pockets and belt are finished with royal blue piping for a luxurious look. The gown is calf-length.

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Marnie: A Black, White and Red Houndstooth Jacket

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Previously I wrote about the black and grey herringbone tweed sports coat that Sean Connery wears as Mark Rutland in the 1964 Alfred Hitchcock film Marnie. The houndstooth check sports coat that Connery also wears in Marnie is made in the same style as the herringbone sports coat, and he wears it in a very similar manner. The jacket’s houndstooth check is in black and white (or rather slightly off white), and it has a windowpane that replaces the black in the check with red. The colours of this jacket look great on Connery’s cool complexion and allow it to work in informal settings outside the country. The cloth of this jacket is very similar to the cloth of George Lazenby’s hacking jacket in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

The jacket is likely made by an English tailor and is cut with straight shoulders on the natural shoulder line, roped sleeveheads, a full chest and a full waist. Though the shoulders look English, the jacket has a fuller cut since Americans often like to wear their sports coats fuller than their suit coats. The men’s costume designer on Marnie, James Linn, was likely American, and Rutland is supposed to be either American or English-American in the film. Nevertheless, the jacket still has some shape, which would show better if Connery buttoned the jacket. The jacket buttons three, but the lapel gently rolls over the top button. The jacket is detailed with flap pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent. It’s an odd style choice to make a sports coat without a vent, especially one in a sporty tweed, but when worn for social occasions and not riding, the lack of vent does not matter. Non-vented jackets are very popular amongst the men in Hitchcock’s films since they have a cleaner look than a vented jacket.

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The medium grey flannel trousers are made in an English style. They have double forward pleats, a tapered leg with turn-ups, button side tabs to adjust the waist and an extended waistband closure. The choice of medium grey for the trousers isn’t the best since they have little contrast with the jacket. However, there is a bit of contrast in texture: woollen tweed for the jacket versus woollen flannel for the trousers. Flannel trousers are the perfect match for a tweed jacket. From a distance, however, the jacket’s pattern looks like solid medium grey, and because the trousers have a cooler tone than the jacket, the outfit, unfortunately, looks like a mismatched grey suit. The scale of the jacket’s check isn’t large enough to work with similarly-toned trousers.

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The jacket and trousers look like a mismatched suit from a distance.

In comparison to the English-style trousers, the shirt is an American classic that Connery never wears as James Bond: a button-down shirt. The key to a successful button-down collar is in the roll. The buttons are placed a bit higher up than where the collar points fall to assist the roll. The button-down collar is a rather casual collar, and thus Connery only wears it with sports coats in Marnie. Most people in England today would never wear a tie with a button-down collar, and button-down collars aren’t as popular in America as they used to be either. Connery’s white button-down shirt has a front placket and most likely single-button cuffs. Connery’s narrow tie is plain black, and he clips it to his shirt with a tie bar, something he never wears as James Bond. The tie bar, however, comes loose and leaves the tie dangling. There’s nothing wrong with a dangling tie, but it should not be dangling with a tie bar. Because the tie is so narrow, it is difficult to tell if he knotted the tie in a windsor or a half windsor knot. The lace-up shoes are black, and whilst they look rather serious in the informal country setting they match the black in both the jacket’s check and the tie.

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Young Q in a Fishtail Parka

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For James Bond’s introduction to the new Q (played by Ben Whishaw) in Skyfall, costume designer Jany Temime dressed Q in a fishtail parka. Compared to James Bond in a topcoat and suit, Q’s parka over a sports coat makes him look less serious, less professional and less mature than Bond, which he would later unfortunately prove the same with his methods. The casual way Q is dressed certainly doesn’t help him earn Bond’s trust. The fishtail parka was originally made for the United States Army in the 1950s with a split and cords at the rear that so each side of the coat could be tied around the legs to keep out the elements. The fishtail parka soon became popular with Mods in the UK, and that connexion makes it fit well with the young Q’s hipster style.

According to Bond Lifestyle, Q’s coffee-brown fishtail parka is from Pretty Green. It has a zip-fastening covered with a fly that secures with press studs. The cuffs also adjust with press studs. On the front of the coat there are steeply slanted pockets with flaps. The waist cinches with a drawstring, which is visible as a ridge around the back of the coat and exits through a hole in either side on the front of the coat. The coat is long enough to reach the upper thighs. The coat also has a hood that cinches with a drawstring. The original coat came with fur trim on the collar that was removed.

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Under the fishtail parka, Q wears a black cotton moleskin jacket from Maison Margiela (according to Jany Temime) in a fashionable button two cut. The jacket has a shorter length, slightly narrow lapels and a very high gorge, which is the seam that connects the collar to the lapels. The lapels have very conspicuous prick stitching, which some makers use to give a false sense of quality. At one time only the best makers used prick stitching, which should be done by hand as subtly as possible. It serves to keep the lapels flat and isn’t meant to be a visual element. Q’s jacket has very bold prick stitching, which is most likely done by machine.

Q’s narrow tie is black with purple tick marks. Spaces between the tick marks create black lines in a herringbone tile pattern. Q’s shirt and trousers are same as what he wears later in the film with his Dries Van Noten cardigan. The shirt from Reiss is pale pink with light grey pencil stripes and has a spread collar and double cuffs. The trousers from Hentsch Man are a check with navy and plum.

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The Avengers: Creative Eveningwear in Red

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The first episode of The Avengers in colour, “From Venus with Love” in 1967, takes full advantage of colour by placing Patrick Macnee’s John Steed in a claret red dinner suit. I was inspired to write about this outfit after seeing Selma star David Oyelowo wear a very similar—and equally effective or ineffective, depending on your opinion—outfit at the Oscars last week. Though Steed breaks the rules of black tie, he does so in a creative way. If one is going to break the rules of black tie, breaking the rues should not turn a dinner suit into an ordinary lounge suit. More than one button on a single-breasted dinner jacket, flapped pockets and single vents (or even double vents by some standards) and very boring and pointless ways to mess with black tie tradition. If you are going to break black tie, at least be original! Steed demonstrates how to be creative with black tie, as he does with all of his tailored clothes. If you don’t like this dinner suit, which I’m sure many of you will not, there are photos of Mrs. Peel here to make this article more enjoyable.

Rather than the traditional black or midnight blue, Steed’s dinner suit is made in a colour often used for the garment that inspired the dinner jacket: the smoking jacket. Claret red is a rich colour appropriate for the evening, unlike the shades of grey that a number of men wore to the Oscars this year. Additionally, the dinner suit is made of silk, a luxurious and appropriate for evening clothes. It reflects a lot of light, making it look lighter than it is in a brightly-lit room.

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This dinner jacket follows Steed’s signature style: a button one jacket with slanted hip pockets, no breast pocket, double vents and a velvet collar. This style is partially inspired by riding jackets, but it works well for an adventurous dinner jacket. Steed’s signature style already has a single button on the front, as a dinner jacket should. The slanted pockets aren’t a big deal since they are jetted. Though the traditional dinner jacket has no vents, double vents are the more acceptable—and dressier—vent style over a single vent. The burgundy velvet collar may be the oddest part of this dinner jacket, but it’s not entirely inappropriate since it recalls the material the smoking jacket is made from. The dinner jacket has buttons covered in silk, and there is one button on each cuff.

The dinner jacket’s notched lapels are faced in burgundy watered silk to contrast them from the plain, slightly lighter-coloured silk of the dinner jacket’s body. Some may argue that notched lapels are inappropriate on dinner jackets, but they were historically worn for less formal black tie occasions, like private dinners. Since a red dinner jacket isn’t appropriate for any proper black tie occasion, notched lapels fit the dinner jacket’s uses. I would argue, however, that peaked lapels would have been a better choice, though they would take away from the dinner jacket’s intended sporting look.

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Tailor Bailey and Weatherill of Regent Street tailored this suit in a traditional English equestrian cut, with strong straight shoulders, a clean chest, a closely fitted waist and a flared skirt. The equestrian cut is similar to the military cut and has a very formal look that is appropriate for a dinner jacket. The dinner suit’s matching trousers are tailored with narrow, tapered legs and are without pleats. They do not have a stripe down the legs.

Steed not only makes bold choices with his dinner suit but also with its accessories. A pale lilac dress shirt—which may be made of silk—stays in the red family but still contrasts with the bold dinner suit. It has a wide spread collar, double cuffs and a plain front. The bow tie is red velvet, which matches the dinner jacket’s collar rather than lapels. Proper black tie means that the bow tie must be black, but since so many other rules are broken here it doesn’t really matter. Steed’s socks are dark burgundy and his chelsea boots are black. Chelsea boots work well for black tie because of their sleek plain-toe, side-gusset design, and they look neat with the narrow trouser legs.

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Ultimately, John Steed’s claret red dinner suit would be best worn for a “creative black tie” dress code, or by the host an intimate black tie dinner. It breaks the rules of black tie in creative ways, but it perhaps breaks the rules so much that it doesn’t even resemble a dinner suit much anymore. Nevertheless, it is suit inspired by black tie that certainly looks like it is meant to be worn in the evening, and for that it is a successful design. The outfit’s contrast of intense and muted colours has the same effect as the traditional black tie outfit’s black and white contrast. Steed may not be dressed conservatively like James Bond in an episode with a Bond-inspired title, but not all spies need to be inconspicuous.

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Unrelated to this dinner suit, “From Venus with Love” has an amusing scene where Steed takes an eye exam of hat styles on shelves rather than letters on a chart. “From the top, if you please”, says the ophthalmologist. “Trilby, homburg, bowler, cap. Jockey, porkpie, topper, boater, busby, fez,” replies Steed, as he passes the eye exam swiftly and perfectly!