Jim Fanning: Navy Worsted Flannel Suit and Bow Tie

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Douglas Wilmer, who played Jim Fanning in Octopussy, died Thursday at the age of 96. Wilmer was best known for playing Sherlock Holmes in the 1965 television series, but he made a lasting impression to James Bond fans in his brief role alongside Roger Moore in Octopussy. Wilmer also appeared with Roger Moore in an episode of The Saint titled “The Rough Diamonds” and filmed a scene for—but was cut from—Sean Connery’s film Woman of Straw.

Wilmer’s character Fanning in Octopussy is an art expert employed by MI6 who is excited about the auction he attends with Bond, but he’s quickly frustrated by Bond’s antics. His old-fashioned and relaxed outfit is stylish and detail-focused, and it perfectly suits the character.

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Fanning’s light navy lightweight worsted flannel suit is made in a soft drape cut that suggests an Anderson & Shepard inspiration. It’s certainly a bespoke suit, and it’s likely Douglas Wilmer’s own suit from his personal tailor. It’s unlikely the film would budget for a bespoke suit for such a minor character. The suit has a worn-in look, which would be appropriate for an older gentleman who has likely had this suit for two decades.

This suit jacket’s drape cut is characterized by soft and slightly extended shoulders with light wadding and by a full chest with vertical folds at the side. The waist is suppressed, but how much so cannot be determined from an unbuttoned jacket. The jacket’s soft construction allows the narrow fishmouth lapels to roll gently over the top of the jacket’s three buttons, but the actual lapels start at the top button. The fishmouth shape of the lapels suggests that this jacket is likely not from Anderson & Sheppard, despite the rest of it resembling their style. Still, Anderson & Sheppard could be a possibility. The jacket is detailed with straight flap pockets and two buttons spaced apart on the cuffs, and there is no vent in the rear.

The details of the suit trousers cannot be seen clearly, but the trousers likely have double forward pleats and are worn with braces. They have a medium-long rise to the waist.

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Fanning’s light grey and white narrow-striped shirt follows the traditional English design. Whilst solid grey shirts can look very dull and bland, the fine stripes on this shirt give it a livelier appearance. The collar is a wide spread with a little tie space and stitched a 1/4-inch from the edge. The front has a narrow placket identical to Turnbull & Asser’s and is stitched 3/8-inch from the edge. The cuffs are double cuffs.

The bow tie is navy with a woven pattern of large tics, each made up of a green tic, a yellow tic and a red tic. Unlike James Bond’s perfectly tied black bow ties, Fanning’s bow tie is left askew. The back and front don’t perfectly line up, giving the bow tie some character. He accessorises his suit with a white linen handkerchief stuffed into his breast pocket with the corners sticking up. Reading glasses hang from Fanning’s neck on a thin red lanyard whilst a magnifying glass hangs from a thicker black lanyard.

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M: The Blue Chalk Stripe Suit in Spectre

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Timothy Everest tailored a slightly more modern wardrobe for Ralph Fiennes to wear as M in Spectre than he did for him in Skyfall. The most modern of these suits is the only single-breasted suit fully seen in the film: a two-piece navy worsted flannel with an electric blue chalk stripe. Since a blue chalk stripe doesn’t have as much contrast with navy as a white stripe would, the “electric” description is a little lost. Fiennes wears a similar three-piece suit in Skyfall, Sean Connery wears a navy suit with a blue chalk stripe in Diamonds Are Forever and Daniel Craig wears a navy suit with a blue stripe in Quantum of Solace.

M’s suit jacket is a button two and has a classic English cut with straight shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a full chest, nipped waist and medium-width lapels. The jacket is detailed with slanted pockets, a ticket pocket, double vents and four buttons on the cuffs. The edges are finished with subtle pick stitching, and the buttons are dark horn with a four-hole domed centre.

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The suit trousers have a plain front, slanted side pockets and medium-width tapered legs with turn-ups. The waistband has a three-inch square tab extension with a hidden clasp closure and slide-buckle side adjusters. The rear has two tabs for the braces to attach to, which raises the back of the braces like a fishtail back would to make the braces more comfortable. M reveals the black leather tabs of his braces when he pushes the jacket open by placing his hands in his pockets. Opening the jacket also reveals the trousers’ traditional rise to the waist.

Spectre has proven to be the James Bond film of short trousers. Bond’s suit trousers are noticeably short, and so are M’s. M’s trousers just barely touch his shoes, though there is a slight break in front. The trousers overall are not hanging cleanly, and this is likely a result of the braces not sitting properly over Fiennes’ shoulders or wearing the trousers higher than they were meant to be. If a gentleman is going to wear his trousers too short, the trousers should at least have a narrow leg like Bond’s trousers have. M’s trousers don’t have wide legs by any means, but they are wide enough to flap around when too short. Braces typically ensure that the trousers always hang from the proper height, but when the braces aren’t adjusted properly we might see this.

With this suit, M wears a sky blue shirt with a spread collar, plain front and double-cuffs. The tie is a subdued neat pattern of navy squares on navy. Each square has a small white dot in its centre. His shoes are black cap-toe oxfords, the standard shoe for a city suit.

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M’s outfit is traditional but is neither old fashioned nor outdated. Foregoing the braces and cutting the suit just slightly closer to the body would make it completely appropriate for Bond to wear. M’s suit is still quite traditional compared to the trendier looks Timothy Everest often tailors. It’s rather a shame M keeps the jacket open the entire scene, so we are deprived of seeing the beauty of the bespoke cut in all its glory.

M: Double-Breasted Chalk Stripe Suit in Spectre

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After creating masterpieces for Skyfall, Timothy Everest returned to tailor Ralph Fiennes’ wardrobe for Spectre. Fiennes plays Bond’s boss M, known as Gareth Mallory in Skyfall, and his suits follow the same styles as the suits in Spectre. When we first see M in Spectre he is wearing a similar double-breasted suit to navy chalk stripe double-breasted suit he wears in the last scene of Skyfall. But whilst the suit in Skyfall is made of a traditional heavy flannel, this suit is made from a lighter flannel. Timothy Everest’s website commented on this change in cloths:

Working closely with the 007 wardrobe team, the brief was to contemporarise M from heavy worsted wools and flannels to a more modern, medium weight Super 120’s worsted wool and baby cashmere coatings.

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Though this new suit is still a flannel, it’s a lighter weight than before. This lightweight flannel is likely 11 oz, which gives the traditional cloth an updated look. M wears a navy suit with white chalk stripes spaced about 3/4″ apart in his office when he meets with Bond. When dealing with Max Denbigh in the corridor later in the film he wears the same suit.

The suit jacket is a classic button two, show three double-breasted. M fastens both buttons on the jacket, which reflects the way a naval officer would button his double-breasted uniform. It has a classic Savile Row cut with straight shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a full chest, a nipped waist and medium-wide peaked lapels. This is the ultimate authority style and gives M an incredible presence. The jacket is detailed with straight flap pockets with a ticket pocket, double vents and four buttons on the cuffs. The edges are finished with subtle pick stitching, and the buttons are dark horn with a four-hole domed centre.

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The suit trousers have a plain front, slanted side pockets and medium-width tapered legs that likely have turn-ups. The waistband has a tab extension with a hidden clasp closure and slide-buckle side adjusters. The rear has two tabs for the braces to attach to, which raises the back of the braces like a fishtail back would do to make the braces more comfortable.

The suit is thoroughly traditional and completely timeless. It may not look as hip as Daniel Craig’s Tom Ford suits, but this suit will never look outdated. The chalk stripes and powerful—but not excessive—cut give M the appearance of the important and commanding man that he is. It’s an old-money look but not a pretentious look.

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At his meeting with James Bond at the start of the film, M gives this outfit a modern look with a french blue cotton poplin shirt rather than a more traditional lighter shirt. The shirt has a spread collar, plain front and double cuffs. M wears a navy tie with magenta squares with this shirt. When encountering Denbigh in the corridor later in the film, M wears a sky blue shirt with a spread collar, front placket, double cuffs and side pleats over the shoulders. The shirt has a traditional full cut. With this shirt he wears a navy tie with a tiny motif that may possibly be pink. The lighter sky blue shirt is more flattering to Fiennes’ pale complexion than the vivid french blue shirt.

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M wears braces with his suit trousers, and they may be the same braces he wears in Skyfall. The Skyfall braces are navy with a navy embroidered fleur-de-lis braces motif and were made by Albert Thurston. The braces have black leather ends and trimmings and brass levers. Wearing braces rather than using the side-adjusters gives M an old-fashioned air, but with all of his problems at least he doesn’t have to worry about his trousers slipping.

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Q’s History Through Ties

Desmond Llewelyn says in the Licence to Kill DVD commentary, “I wear a different tie every time, and I have sort of the history of Q worked out.” Llewelyn brought his own personal history and affiliations—including military, college and sports club—to the character of Q, also known as Major Boothroyd. Q actually does not wear a different tie every time, though his numerous regimental and club ties subtly give the character a more specific personal background than even James Bond has.

I have not been able to identify all the ties. Please comment below if you know what the unidentified ties represent and the article will be appended. You can click on the images to see them larger.

From Russia with Love

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The first time we see Desmond Llewelyn’s Q he is wearing a Brigade of Guards tie with his Prince of Wales suit. The Brigade of Guards tie has stripes in maroon and dark blue.

Goldfinger

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In the lab Q wears a Order Radleian Golf Club tie from Radley College with his brown tweed suit, which Llewelyn attended. The tie has red stripe with a narrower white stripe spaced below it.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #1: In the opening scene in M’s office, Q wears a brown tie with rose and purple stripes. We get a much better look at this tie in Diamonds Are Forever.

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Q wears a light teal-grey textured tie at James Bond’s wedding. It is similar to Bond’s own tie.

Diamonds Are Forever

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Q wears an Order Radleian Golf Club tie in his lab, which he previously wears in Goldfinger.

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #1: The brown tie with rose and purple stripes returns from the previous film, and we get a better look at it here. Q wears it in both the scene where Bond poses as Burt Saxby on the phone and at the casino.

The Man with the Golden Gun

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Q wears the Order Radleian Boat Club (Mariners) tie from Radley College when Bond meets him in the lab to examine the gold bullet and later in the second scene on the RMS Queen Elizabeth. The tie is black with a red stripe and thin white stripes spaced above and below the red stripe.

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #2: In the first scene on the RMS Queen Elizabeth, Q wears a black tie with widely spaced pink stripes.

The Spy Who Loved Me

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The Brigade of Guards tie that Q first wears in From Russia with Love returns during Bond’s briefing and again at the end of the film.

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #3: In Egypt and Sardinia, Q wears a red striped tie with white and black stripes. The stripes are in the reverse direction.

Moonraker

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The Order Radleian Golf Club from Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever returns for the third and final time in the M’s office scene in Moonraker.

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At the South American headquarters, Q wears a dark blue tie with a yellow stripe pattern. The stripes are in groups of three, with the middle stripe being narrower than the other two. Charles Day identified it as the 1st and 3rd Trinity College Boat Club Tie.

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #5: At the end of Moonraker, Q wears a tie with wide pink and black stripes. We get another look at this tie in Licence to Kill.

For Your Eyes Only

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #6: In his lab, Q wears a navy or black tie with a triple stripe pattern in white, red and pink. The order of the three stripes reverses each repeat.

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The Order Radleian Boat Club from The Man with the Golden Gun returns in the final scene.

Octopussy

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #7: At the lab, Q wears a Navy tie with a white double-stripe pattern. Between each double-stripe is a white symbol.

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Q yet again wears the Brigade of Guards tie when piloting the hot air balloon

A View to a Kill

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Q wears a khaki knitted tie with morning dress, possibly to signify service in the Royal Artillery. RA officers wear a khaki knitted tie as part of their service dress. Otherwise, a casual knitted tie looks out of place with formal morning dress.

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At the end of A View to a Kill, Q wears his trusty Brigade of Guards tie.

The Living Daylights

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When he helps Koskov escape, Q once again wears a Brigade of Guards tie.

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In his lab with his three-piece Glen Urquhart check suit, Q wears a Newport Rugby Football Club. The tie is black with pairs of amber stripes, after the Newport RFC’s nickname, the “Black & Ambers”. The tie also has a motif of silver Prince of Wales’s feathers badges. The Prince of Wales’s feathers is a symbol of Wales that consists of three ostrich feathers emerging from a coronet. The tie also has a motif of red and green roses. Llewelyn played rugby for the club.

Licence to Kill

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Q is first seen in Bond’s hotel room wearing his Brigade of Guards tie.

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He wears a black tie as part of a chauffeur disguise.

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In one of Q’s scenes in Bond’s hotel room he wears a Guards Armoured Division tie. This navy tie has a motif of a white “ever open eye” inside the red outline of a shield. Llewellyn’s character in the 1950 Terence Young-directed film They Were Not Divided served in the Guards Armoured Division.

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #8: Whilst assisting Bond on a boat, Q wears a navy tie with red, grey/grey-blue and white stripes. The stripes are in the reverse direction.

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #5: The tie with wide black and pink stripes from the end of Moonraker returns.

GoldenEye

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GoldenEye features the seventh and final appearance—as well as the fifth consecutive appearance—of Q’s Brigade of Guards tie.

Tomorrow Never Dies

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As part of his disguise as an Avis car rental salesman “Quentin Quigley”, Q wears a black tie with printed red hexagon-like shapes and white lines. This tie is likely just part of the disguise and not relevant to Q’s background

The World Is Not Enough

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #9: When working on the Q boat, Q wears a navy tie with an unknown red motif.

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UNIDENTIFIED TIE #9: In his Scottish castle lab, Q wears a navy tie with a large yellow motif.

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In publicity stills for GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough, Q wears a Royal Welch Fusiliers tie. It is a brighter red and blue than the Brigade of Guards tie, and the red stripes are twice as wide as the blue stripes. Llewelyn served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers during the Second World War.

Can anyone help identify the ten unidentified ties? Llewelyn mentioned a two ties in the Licence to Kill DVD commentary that are likely the ties that can’t be identified. One is for Trinity College of Cambridge, which Llewelyn attended. The other is for Malpas Cricket Club (MCC), for whom Llewelyn played cricket.

Vijay’s Double-Breasted Navy Blazer

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Easily one of the most likeable characters of the Bond series, Octopussy‘s Vijay, played by tennis player Vijay Amritraj, is a British agent undercover at Kamal Khan’s sports club as a tennis pro. He dresses appropriately for a man at a country club in a navy worsted double-breasted blazer, beige trousers and a day cravat.

Notice the tennis racquets on the blazer's button

Notice the tennis rackets on the blazer’s buttons

Vijay’s blazer has six buttons in the traditional configuration of two to button. The buttons have a low stance. The shanked buttons are brass, each engraved with a pair of tennis rackets fitting for the character. The blazer is likely English ready-to-wear, cut with straight shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a lean chest and a suppressed waist. It has long double vents, three buttons on the cuffs and flapped pockets.

The beige wool flannel trousers are cut with a straight leg and likely a flat front. Vijay’s white poplin shirt has a point collar, rounded single-button cuffs and a placket stitched 3/8″ from the edge. The placket identifies this as an English shirt. Under the shirt, Vijay wears a textured silk day cravat in grey with 1/4″ red stripes widely spaced.

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Vijay’s shoes are black leather horse-bit slips, which Roger Moore wears in his 1970s Bond films but not in Octopussy. The stunt driver of the Tuk Tuk taxi, however, wears light brown trainers that fasten with two velcro straps.

Strangways: A 1950s Silk Suit

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Kingston-based British agent John Strangways, played by Timothy Moxon, is talked about far more than he is seen. He appears in the opening scene of Dr. No and is soon killed. His death brings James Bond to Jamaica and is the reason for Bond’s first cinematic mission. From the looks of his suit, it would appear that Strangways hadn’t returned to England for quite some time to update his wardrobe. His suit has a full cut dating it to the 1950s.

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Strangways’ suit is made of silk and is the natural silk colour, which is a light beige. The jacket has a full cut with drape in the chest and a nipped waist. The shoulders are soft and natural, and in following the drape cut they are slightly extended. The jacket has two buttons on the front with a medium stance. The lapels are slightly on the narrow side, and they have a low buttonhole. The welt breast pocket has a steep slant and is placed low on the chest. The hip pockets are difficult to see, but I believe they may be open patch pockets. There are three buttons on the cuffs and no vents. The suit trousers have forward pleats—likely two on each side—and very full, tapered legs with plain hems.

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With the suit Strangways wears a white shirt with a short spread collar and button cuffs. His tie is deep red with a subtle tonal pattern and is tied in a four-in-hand knot. It has a crest or some decoration embroidered on the top, though I can’t tell what it is. He also wears a white linen handkerchief stuffed into his breast pocket.

Strangways’ shoes are perhaps the most adventurous part of his outfit. They’re casual two-eyelet desert boots in tan suede with crepe soles. Though they are less formal than the rather informal suit, they fit the relaxed country club setting.

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Tiger Tanaka’s Grey Suits

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M’s Japanese counterpart in You Only Live Twice, Tiger Tanaka, dresses more like James Bond than M. Tanaka, played by Tetsuro Tamba, likely wears Japanese-tailored suits in a style that appear to be inspired by what Sean Connery wears as James Bond. It is also possible that the suits are English-tailored. Tanaka wears a charcoal grey lightweight wool two-piece suit when he first meets Bond, and later he wears light grey lightweight pick-and-pick wool suit.

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Like Bond’s suit jackets, Tanaka’s suit jackets have two buttons with a low stance, a full chest, suppressed waist and narrow lapels. Like many of Bond’s suit jackets in other films, Tanaka’s jackets have straight, jetted hip pockets. Both the charcoal grey and light grey suit jackets have three buttons on the cuffs. The charcoal grey jacket has a single vent whilst the light grey jacket has no vents.

Tanaka’s suit jackets differs from Bond’s primarily in the shoulders. Whilst Bond’s jackets have soft shoulders, Tanaka’s jackets have extended, straight shoulders to give him the look of a man in power. The jackets’ shoulders, however, are too conspicuously built out. Building up the shoulders can indeed make a man look more powerful, but it must be done in moderation. The jackets look big on Tanaka, and indeed they have the intention to make him look bigger, but they still have mostly a neat fit. There is excess drape in the back, but it was likely accepted due to the desire for a full cut.

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Tanaka’s suit trousers have pleats like Bond’s suit trousers have, but Tanaka’s trousers have a single reverse pleat instead of double reverse pleats. The waistband has an extension with a hook and eye closure. There are likely adjustable tabs at the sides since Tanaka needs neither a belt nor braces. Compared to Connery’s more traditional tapered legs with turn-ups, Tanaka’s suit trousers have more fashionable straight legs and plain hems.

With both suits Tanaka wears a white shirt with a spread collar and double cuffs. The ties that Tanaka wears with each suit are printed and held against the shirt with a silver tie bar. With the charcoal grey suit, the tie is a navy and burgundy print, with the two colours fading into each other. With the light grey suit, the tie is a light grey geometric print. Tanaka knots his ties with a windsor or half windsor knot. Tanaka also wears black slip-on shoes and a white folded linen handkerchief in his breast pockets, an item Bond stopped wears a few years earlier.

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The Psychologist’s Houndstooth Check Suit

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Dr. Hall, the psychologist in Skyfall played by Nicholas Woodeson, is one of the best-dressed men in the film. Woodson wears glasses and facial hair as Dr. Hall to give him a more psychologist-like look, and in turn his bald head, facial hair and thick, arched eyebrows make him resemble an older Sean Connery. That may or may not have been intentional.

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Dr. Hall’s three-piece suit is a black and white houndstooth check in a lightweight flannel wool. It’s a country pattern in city colours, making it appropriate for Dr. Hall’s more relaxed profession but not out of place in London. The literary Bond chose to wear his black and white houndstooth suit—most likely a two-piece—in the country, where it is equally appropriate.

The button two suit jacket has wide and straight shoulders, slightly narrow notched lapels, straight flapped pockets, double vents and four buttons on the cuffs. The waistcoat has either five or six buttons. The trousers have a trim leg, but they are hardly seen. The suit’s buttons and buttonholes are both black.

The poplin shirt is white with a blue and black grid check, which slightly clashes with the suit’s check because of a similar scale. The shirt’s texture is much smoother than the suit’s texture, and the pattern is far less intense than the suit’s pattern, so the shirt still works with the suit. The shirt has a moderate spread collar, single button cuffs and a front placket. Dr. Hall’s navy tie has white and purple polka dots, and he ties it in a four-in-hand knot.

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