Remington Steele: Checked Jacket with Throat Latch and Elbow Patches

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In the fifth episode of Remington Steele, titled “Thou Shalt Not Steele”, Pierce Brosnan wears a sporty checked tweed jacket with a jumper and knitted tie. Brosnan also wears this jacket in five subsequent episodes. The jacket is black and cream, most likely in a two-and-two check. A two-and-two check alternates two light yarns (cream in this jacket) and two dark yarns (black in this jacket) in both the warp and the weft of an even twill weave, and it’s the section of a Glen Urquhart check opposite the houndstooth (four-and-four) section. All else equal, a two-and-two check would be half the size of a houndstooth check, and its shape is simpler and boxier. It is possible that the check on Brosnan’s jacket may have more than just these two colours, but I believe that this is essentially what the check is.

Two-and-Two

A black and cream two-and-two check

The jacket is typical of the early 1980s and has a low—but not excessively low—gorge (lapel notch) and two buttons on the front in a low stance. The shoulders are strong, but narrow, with a pagoda shape and a lot of padding. The jacket has a lean chest and a suppressed waist, which gives this jacket a very elegant shape. When combined with the pagoda shoulders, the jacket’s silhouette endows Brosnan with a more powerful, but not unnatural, look.

This jacket has a number of sporty details. One of the most unusual and sportiest is the throat latch, which is also known as a storm tab. It allows the collar to be closed across the front of the neck when turned up. They’re often in the form of a separate piece of fabric that buttons onto the back of the collar and sticks out from the left side of the collar. The throat latch on this jacket is a permanent feature, and it’s in the form of a grey cord loop that extends from the left side of the collar.

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Sporty leather buttons and elbow patches trim this jacket. The buttons are braided leather in black to match the black in the jacket as well as provide contrast with the jacket’s overall colour. The elbow patches are grey-brown suede so they blend in with the jacket. The jacket’s hip pockets are open patch pockets and the breast pocket is a welt pocket. There are three buttons on the cuffs and double vents at the rear.

Brosnan leaves his jacket open. Either it’s too fitted to be able to button with a jumper underneath or Brosnan simply wants to show off his jumper. The fancy striped wool jumper is grey and cream to complement the jacket, but being grey instead of black gives some contrast with the jacket. It has a deep V-neck to show off the tie. The trousers are charcoal—either lightweight flannel or a medium-weight worsted—and have a flat front and straight legs.

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Under the jumper, Brosnan wears a pale blue poplin shirt with a point collar, narrow placket and rounded double cuffs. The point collar is worn with a gold collar bar of the slide-on variety. Some people feel that a slide-on or clip-on collar bar is to clip-on braces as a collar pin is to a button-on braces. They feel that a slide-on collar bar is a cheap approximation of a proper collar pin. However, Brosnan’s slide-on collar bar gets the job done—it pops the tie out from the collar—without damaging the shirt. True collar pins do indeed damage collars when they poke holes through the cloth, and after repeated use the damage is noticeable. A slide-on collar bar is good for beginners who aren’t sure if they want to commit to the damage a proper collar pin inflicts on the shirt. Brosnan, however, is not a beginner and should be using a proper collar pin.

Brosnan wears the double cuffs with the cuffs extended—not folded—and fastened like single-link cuffs, but it works because the cuffs are very short for double cuffs. There is an unused set of link-holes close to the base of the cuff. The sleeve length is likely meant for a man with shorter arms to accommodate the cuff folding in half, which would end up being less than two inches wide. The cuff unfolded as Brosnan wears it is approximately 3 1/2 inches wide.

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I’ve said before that jumpers and kissing cuffs (when the ends of the cuff meet back-to-back rather than overlapping) don’t pair well together. The snug cuffs on the jumper don’t match the shape of the shirt’s cuffs, and the jumper’s cuffs are stretched out by the shirt’s cuffs. Here the shirt’s cuffs extend past the jumper’s to show the cufflinks, and the jumper’s cuffs are usually obscured under the jacket sleeves. Though wearing a jumper with kissing shirt cuffs isn’t ideal, this is a creative way to pair a jumper with such shirt cuffs. A sleeveless jumper would have been better for this outfit.

The tie is grey knitted silk and tied in, surprisingly, a full windsor knot. Brosnan knots his tie in a scene in this episode. He ties the tie with the wide blade much longer than the narrow blade, which allows him to tuck the wide blade into his trousers for a neat look under the jumper. Tying the tie further up means that the tie will be narrower in the knot area and will create a smaller knot. The small windsor knot on Brosnan’s tie has a very clean look, which can be difficult to achieve with a four-in-hand knot on a knitted tie. Brosnan finishes the outfit with a puffed silver satin silk pocket square that complements the greys in the outfit whist contrasting them in texture.

Preferably, the belt and shoes should match the jacket’s black leather buttons. However, matching all leathers is not required and Brosnan decides to pair this informal outfit, not inappropriately, with brown shoes and a brown belt. A black belt and black shoes may have been a better choice, especially since Brosnan wears this outfit in the evening, but the brown belt and shoes dress down the outfit.

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“Thou Shalt Not Steele” is the first episode of Remington Steele to feature Pierce Brosnan’s then-wife Cassandra Harris, who played Countess Lisl von Schlaf opposite Roger Moore in For Your Eyes Only a year earlier .

The Saint: A Black-and-White Hopsack Suit with a Double-Breasted Waistcoat

Roger Moore in "Simon and Delilah", with Lois Maxwell who plays Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 Bond films

Roger Moore in “Simon and Delilah”, with Lois Maxwell who plays Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 Bond films

In a number of fifth series episodes of The Saint—including “The Helpful Pirate”, “The Convenient Monster”, “The Angel’s Eye”, “The Persistent Patriots”, “Simon and Delilah” and “A Double in Diamonds”—Roger Moore wears a black and white hopsack three-piece suit. The overall look of the cloth is a medium-dark grey with a lot of sheen. The sheen suggests a wool and mohair blend, which was very popular in the 1960s. Mohair often came in these tone-tone hopsack weaves in the 1960s because the iridescent two-tone look accentuates the natural sheen of mohair. Hopsack—a basketweave—is also a popular weave for mohair because the open weave takes advantage of mohair’s cool-wearing properties.

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With a tie-clip microphone in “Simon and Delilah”

Cyril Castle, who tailored Moore for The Saint, The Persuaders, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun, cut this suit. Like all of Roger Moore’s suits in The Saint‘s fifth series, this suit’s jacket has a button three front. The jacket is cut with softly padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a draped chest and a suppressed waist. A low button stance serves, along with the drape, to make Roger Moore’s chest look more masculine and imposing. The considerably narrow lapels add to this effect and make the entire look overdone.

For a dressier look, this suit jacket has the minimalist touches of jetted pockets and no rear vent. Like on most of the jackets in the fifth series, the cuffs are gauntlet cuffs with a single button. The suits’s trousers have a darted front, no belt, frogmouth pockets and narrow, tapered legs with plain hems.

Moore reaches into the pockets of his double-breasted in "The Angels Eye"

Moore reaches into the pockets of his double-breasted in “The Angels Eye”

The double-breasted waistcoat has six buttons in a keystone formation with three to button. A double-breasted waistcoat is an unusual piece and is more formal than a single-breasted waistcoat. It’s perfect for evening formal dress and morning dress, but it’s equally appropriate on a dressier lounge suit such as this shiny mohair suit. It’s certainly a dandyish piece and serves as a way to stand out from the crowd, but it doesn’t draw much more attention than a single-breasted waistcoat would, especially if the jacket is kept buttoned. It lends a rather old-world look to this suit, but since the suit is very modern with narrow lapels and narrow trousers it doesn’t have enough weight to make the suit look old-fashioned.

Notice the gauntlet cuffs, in "SImon and Delilah"

Notice the gauntlet cuffs, in “SImon and Delilah”

A suit like this is too bold for standard business dress. Mohair is too shiny and thus flashy, and the double-breasted waistcoat is too unconventional. These elements also make the suit too formal for the office. However, it is perfect for a fancy evening out or to wear to a day or night wedding, either as a guest or as the groom. Though mohair is a cool-wearing cloth and good for warm weather, the extra layer of a waistcoat gives this suit a wider temperature range.

Moore coordinates this suit with two different tie and shoe combinations. The shirts are always ecru, and many or all have white hairlines stripes. The shirts have a moderate spread collar, plain front and double cuffs. The collar has a tall stand but short points. In “The Helpful Pirate”, “The Convenient Monster” and “The Angel’s Eye” Moore wears a narrow medium grey satin tie and black slip-on shoes with elastic. In “The Persistent Patriots”, “Simon and Delilah” and “A Double in Diamonds” he wears an narrow olive satin tie and medium brown slip-on shoes with elastic. Moore knots his ties with a small four-in-hand knot.

The suit jacket buttoned in "The Convenient Monster"

The suit jacket buttoned in “The Convenient Monster”. With the jacket buttoned the double-breasted waistcoat doesn’t look so unusual.

In “Simon and Delilah” Moore wears a tie clip with a microphone built in (pictured second from top). A tie clip is typically unnecessary with a waistcoat because the waistcoat keeps the tie in place. Sometimes the waistcoat doesn’t do this job as well as it should and a man may still want a tie clip to keep his tie perfectly in place. In that case, the tie clip should be worn under the waistcoat. It belongs approximately three-quarters of the way down the tie and away from the face. Of course, a microphone would be less effective under the waistcoat. Ideally a two-piece suit should have been chosen for this scene. On the other hand, the waistcoat means that the tine clip is higher and thus in better sight for the viewers of the show.

Though he usually wears dark grey socks with this suit, in “The Persistent Patriots” Moore wears this suit with beige socks—which coordinate with the shirt more than they do with the suit. Though they by no means clash with the outfit, light-coloured socks can draw attention to the feet when attention should be drawn to the face.

Beige socks with this suit in "The Persistent Patriots"

Beige socks with this suit in “The Persistent Patriots”

James Bond Brings Back the Turtleneck

Spectre Teaser Poster

If Daniel Craig’s fashion sense is anything to go on, the turtleneck has boldly returned. Craig had the power to return shawl collar cardigans to the forefront of fashion after wearing them as James Bond in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and he will no doubt do the same for the turtleneck after wearing three in Spectre.

The turtleneck, also known as the polo neck or roll neck, is a knitted jumper that has a close-fitting high collar that rolls over to cover the neck all around. An alternative to the turtleneck is the shorter and more modern mock turtleneck, which does not fold over. Turtlenecks saw their heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, while mock turtlenecks ruled in the 1990s. Both the true turtleneck and the mock turtleneck are returning in Spectre.

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Daniel Craig wears a dark charcoal grey fine gauge mock turtleneck made of cashmere and silk from British company N.Peal on the teaser poster for Spectre with charcoal tick-patterned trousers and a shoulder holster. This look immediately recalls the 1973 film Live and Let Die, in which Roger Moore wears a black full turtleneck with black trousers and shoulder holster. Craig’s dark grey version better flatters his fair complexion and adds more subtle interest in updating the look. In the film, Craig will be wearing a dark blue-grey suede Racer Jacket from John Varvatos over the mock turtleneck to conceal his gun.

Both Daniel Craig in Spectre and Roger Moore in Live and Let Die were inspired to wear this look after Steve McQueen famously wore a dark blue turtleneck sweater with a shoulder holster as police lieutenant Frank Bullitt in the 1968 film Bullitt. This look is only seen briefly at the end of the film since he is usually wearing a brown herringbone, elbow-patched tweed jacket to hide his gun and holster. Bullitt‘s poster and publicity stills, which are without the jacket, are what made the look so iconic. Not only does Daniel Craig copy McQueen’s turtleneck and shoulder holster look in Spectre, but he also wears the same brown suede Sanders & Sanders “Playboy” chukka boots that McQueen wears in Bullitt.

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Steve McQueen in Bullitt

Before Steve McQueen wore the turtleneck and holster in Bullitt, it was a popular look for agents in the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Robert Vaughn first wore this look as Napoleon Solo in the 1965 episode “The Four-Steps Affair”, but David McCallum’s character Illya Kuryakin is more famous for the look and first wore it in the following episode “The See-Paris-and-Die Affair”.

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David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin in “The See-Paris-and-Die Affair”

Besides the charcoal grey mock turtleneck, Daniel Craig wears another mock turtleneck in Spectre under a dark grey nylon-front knitted wool blouson from Tom Ford while on his mission in snowy Austria. This example, which is also from N.Peal, is identical to the dark charcoal grey piece, except it is made in a vivid medium shade of blue called “Lapis Blue”.

Daniel Craig wears a third turtleneck in Spectre from N.Peal in a colour they call “Fumo Grey”, which is a light and warm shade of grey. This turtleneck is the more traditional full roll-neck style and is designed for warmth. It is cable-knitted and in a heavier Mongolian cashmere. Craig wears it under a heavy navy wool zip-front blouson in the Austrian Alps.

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N.Peal turtleneck in “Fumo Grey” from Spectre

Spectre and Live and Let Die are not the only two James Bond films to feature turtlenecks. Sean Connery introduced the mock turtleneck to the Bond in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice when he wears a grey top to infiltrate the SPECTRE volcano headquarters. Sean Connery wears full turtlenecks in Diamond Are Forever with his brown tweed jackets. In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, George Lazenby wears orange and white turtlenecks as part of his golf and ski outfits, respectively.

Roger Moore undoubtedly holds the status as the turtleneck James Bond. In The Spy Who Loved Me he wears a navy turtleneck as part of his naval battle dress, and in Moonraker he wears a cream turtleneck under a double-breasted navy blazer. The 1981 Bond film For Your Eyes Only is tied with Spectre for featuring the most turtlenecks. In this film, Moore wears his turtlenecks under a shearling blouson and a ski jacket in the Italian Alps as well as under a lightweight blouson in Greece. Until Spectre, Die Another Day was the last Bond film to feature a turtleneck. Pierce Brosnan wears a heavy cashmere cable-knit mock turtleneck from the Scottish company Ballantyne, now liquidated, in the 2002 film.

Bond's last turtleneck in Die Another Day

Bond’s last turtleneck in Die Another Day

This article was originally published in 20 Minuten.

What Kind of Underwear Would Bond Wear?

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Sea island cotton boxer shorts from Turnbull & Asser, likely what Ian Fleming had in mind for James Bond, and maybe what he wore himself

We see James Bond in swimming trunks, pyjamas and dressing gowns, but we never see James Bond in his underwear in the films. There’s a slight peak of it in Casino Royale, but we can’t tell what kind it is. Bond most likely has varied his underwear styles throughout the decades. Ian Fleming specified “nylon underclothes” in the novel Diamonds Are Forever, which have great drying properties. In The Man with the Golden Gun novel, Fleming wrote about a different, more luxurious type of underwear:

Bond then took off his clothes, put his gun and holster under a pillow, rang for the valet, and had his suit taken away to be pressed. By the time he had taken a hot shower followed by an ice-cold one and pulled on a fresh pair of sea island cotton underpants, the bourbon had arrived.”

The “sea island cotton underpants” are undoubtedly referring to the woven boxer short style, since old-fashioned men in Britain at the time wore little else. The cotton material would be similar or identical to Bond’s sea island cotton shirts that Fleming specified. Some shirtmakers make boxer shorts to match their customers’ shirts. Sean Connery and Roger Moore most likely also wear woven boxer shorts as Bond, considering that was traditionally what men wore in Britain. Roger Moore can be seen in cotton boxer shorts in the 1969 film Crossplot, which took its wardrobe from Moore’s television show The Saint. Connery’s and Moore’s trousers have enough fullness in the thighs to accommodate boxer shorts.

Sean Connery wearing cream boxer shorts and a white vest in Never Say Never Again

Sean Connery wearing cream boxer shorts and a white vest in Never Say Never Again

In the unofficial James Bond film Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery wears cream boxer shorts with a white vest (also known as an A-shirt). Bond had just discarded his dinner suit to escape on a bicycle, so he must have been wearing these clothes under his dinner suit. The British ordinarily aren’t fond of undershirts, and Bond almost never wears them. To blend in as an American in Fleming’s novel Live and Let Die, Bond wears “nylon vests and pants (called T-shirts and shorts)”. However, the “nylon underclothes” that Fleming writes about in Diamonds Are Forever may also include vests.

Sunspel Stretch Trunk

Stretch trunk underwear from Sunspel

Underwear is a very personal garment and there’s no way we can guess the different styles of underwear that Bond has worn throughout the series apart from following what the trends were at any given time. Trends in underwear sometimes followed trends in trousers. Boxer shorts were very popular in the 1980s and 1990s when full-cut trousers were popular. However, in a 1985 episodes of Remington Steele titled “Forged Steele”, Pierce Brosnan wears white knitted cotton briefs.

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The James Bond Dossier announced last month that Sunpel, who made some of Daniel Craig’s polos and t-shirts for Casino Royale, has provided their stretch cotton brief and their stretch cotton low waist trunk (a short boxer brief) for Daniel Craig to wear in Spectre. This underwear is made of a 92% cotton and 8% elastane blend so it has more stretch than a pure cotton knit. Neither the brief nor the trunk has a front opening. Briefs and trunks are necessary for Daniel Craig since loose boxer shorts would bunch up under his tight trouser legs and prevent the trousers from hanging smoothly over the thighs.

What kind of underwear do you think Bond would wear?

Stretch brief underwear from Sunspel

Stretch brief underwear from Sunspel

Noble House: A Cream Silk Suit for Leisure

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Only a year after he finished Remington Steele, Pierce Brosnan played Hong Kong tycoon Ian Dunross in the 1988 television miniseries Noble House. Besides Brosnan, Noble House stars two other actors from the James Bond series, John Rhys-Davies (The Living Daylights) and Burt Kwouk (Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice). Brosnan plays and dresses as Dunross similarly to how he plays and dresses as Steele, though Dunross’ clothes are devoid of the 1980s fashions that dominated his later Steele wardrobe and would plague James Bond in Licence to Kill a year later. For leisure in Hong Kong, Brosnan wears a cream silk suit in Noble House.

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The cream suit jacket has three buttons and a different cut than the other suit jackets in Noble House and has a more relaxed look to go with the suit’s more relaxed nature. The shoulders are soft and natural but have a little padding. The shape of the lapels and other small details are identical to on the other suits in the mini-series, meaning this suit is either made by the same tailor or is from the same brand. The other suits are most likely meant to look like they are made by an English-influenced Hong Kong tailor, though this cream suit looks more American.

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The back of the jacket is gently shaped but perfectly fitted

The suit jacket lacks front darts in the American Ivy League style, thus the front looks boxy. The chest is very lean and the waist is full. The back of the jacket, however, is suppressed to give the jacket a clean and flattering shape. The traditional American Ivy League style has three buttons with the lapels rolled to the middle button—called a three-roll-two—so that the jacket looks like a button two jacket. This jacket, however, is not made in that style. The lapels on this button three suit jacket only roll gently through the top button and are not pressed all the way down to the middle button, but the lapels roll slightly past the top button when the jacket is button. The jacket is detailed with flapped pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and a single vent.

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The suit’s trousers have a medium rise and double reverse pleats, which are stitched down about an inch at the top to direct the fullness to the hips and keep the pleats neat. Though pleats are not part of the Ivy League style like the undarted suit jacket is, the popularity of pleated trousers in the late 1980s means that they accompany this suit jacket. The trousers have on-seam side pockets and one rear pocket on the right. The legs are gently tapered with plain hems. The trousers are worn with a medium brown belt.

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Brosnan’s blue multi-stripe shirt is classic, but it is also what was popular in the 1980s. The cotton is medium blue, possibly end-on-end, with navy, yellow and light blue pencil stripes, spaced about 3/8″ apart. The shirt has a point collar, double cuffs and a front placket. The collar, cuffs and placket have 1/4″ stitching. Brosnan’s tie is red with dark blue repp stripes bordered by olive repp stripes. The striped tie pairs well with the striped shirt because the stripes are of different scales and different intensities. The tie’s stripes are in the American directions—down from the right shoulder to the left hip. If the stripes have any meaning in the UK, the American direction negates the meaning of the pattern. As there is no keeper, each blade of the tie hangs freely. When the tie flips up in the wind, a Polo Ralph Lauren label can be seen under the tie. It is possibly that other piece of clothing that Pierce Brosnan wears in Noble House could also be from Polo.

Brosnan matches a dark blue patterned silk pocket square to the dark blue stripes in the tie and in the shirt. Brosnan also matches his red socks to the base colour of his tie. The shoes are medium brown suede derbys.

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Notice the “POLO by Ralph Lauren” label on the back of the tie

The Persuaders: A More Conservative Charcoal Three-Piece Suit

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Though Roger Moore often dresses flamboyantly as Lord Brett Sinclair in his early 1970s television show The Persuaders, not all of his clothes are entirely adventurous or fashion-forward. One of Moore’s more conservative pieces of clothing in The Persuaders is a charcoal track-stripe three-piece suit, which he wears in eight episodes. The track stripes are pairs of white or light grey pinstripes, spaced close together. Roger Moore designed his clothes for The Persuaders, and for this one he kept the cloth more conservative. Cyril Castle, Moore’s tailor for The Saint and his first two James Bond films, made the suit.

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This cut of this suit is similar to Roger Moore’s suits in The Saint, but the jacket has been updated from the 1960s with wider, more balanced lapels and a higher button stance that gives the suit jacket a timeless look. The jacket has a very British cut with softly padded shoulders, a full chest and a nipped waist. The front buttons three with a medium low stance that has a balanced and flattering look on Roger Moore’s figure. The jacket is detailed with three buttons on the cuffs, slanted pockets and a single vent.

The suit’s waistcoat has six buttons with five to button. The bottom of the front edge starts to curve away above the bottom button, thus the bottom button and buttonhole do not line up. The waistcoat also has notched lapels and two welt pockets.

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Moore wears a gold chain from one waistcoat pocket to the other. This should mean that Moore has a pocket watch in one waistcoat pocket and a fob in the other, but Moore is wearing a gold wristwatch. Either Moore has both a wristwatch and a pocket watch, or the waistcoat’s chain is purely decorative.

The suit’s trousers are made by Cyril Castle’s trouser maker at the time, Richard Paine. They have jetted cross pocket on the front, and a dart centred on the front of each side cuts through the pocket. There is a button-through pocket on either side in the back. The trousers have a narrow straight leg, following 1960s fashion. Though Moore often dresses flamboyantly in The Persuaders, he wouldn’t adopt the flared looks that became popular in the late 60s until Live and Let Die. The trousers also have belt loops, but Moore doesn’t wear a belt, and the waistcoat keeps the belt loops covered. The trouser waist fits well enough that a belt is not needed.

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Moore’s lilac poplin shirt, made by Frank Foster, has a spread collar, a plain front and button-down cocktail cuffs that fasten with a single button. Lilac shirts are very versatile, and the colour flatters Moore’s warm complexion. The tie is navy with sets of wide cream, champagne and gold stripes, and it is tied in a four-in-hand knot. The shoes are black monk shoes with an apron front.

The Avengers: Grey Suit with a Velvet Collar

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We lost another great actor from the James Bond series on Thursday, Patrick Macnee. Macnee played Sir Godfrey Tibbett in A View to a Kill, but he’s most well known for playing the secret agent John Steed in The Avengers. In the sixth series, Macnee’s wardrobe was updated with new suits in the style of his fourth series signature velvet-collar suits. In these new suits, designed by himself, a long single vent replaced the double vents and slanted or straight flap pockets replaced the slanted jetted pockets. Some of the new suits have breast pockets. In memory of Patrick Macnee let’s look at one of his grey three-piece suits from The Avengers‘ sixth series.

This mid-grey flannel three-piece suit made by Bailey and Weatherill of Regent Street first features in the second episode of the sixth series, “Game”. “Game” is the show’s first episode after Diana Rigg’s departure and the second episode with Linda Thorson, and it features new opening titles with Macnee wearing this same grey suit. The suit jacket has a traditional English equestrian cut, with strong straight shoulders, a clean chest, a closely fitted waist and a very flared skirt.

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The suit jacket continues in the same style as the previous velvet-collar suit jackets with a single button on the front, a single button on each cuff and a dark taupe velvet collar. The skirt has a long single vent, which adds to the equestrian look of the suit. The jacket has no breast pocket and slanted hip pockets with flaps. The earlier suits in this style didn’t have flaps on the hip pockets. The pocket flaps make this jacket look bottom heavy due to the lack of a breast pocket.

The six-button waistcoat has a straight bottom and two welt pockets. The trousers have tapered legs, a flat front and likely slanted side pockets. The suit’s buttons are grey plastic.

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With this suit in “Game”, Steed wears an ecru shirt with a spread collar, which looks better with Steed’s round face than the wider cutaway collars that he previously wore looked. The shirt has rounded two-button cuffs, and Steed only buttons the second button. The tie is woven with magenta in one direction and sky blue in another direction like a Solaro cloth, making parts of the tie look sky blue in parts and magenta in other parts, depending on the angle you look at it. The tie is tied in a windsor knot. We don’t see the shoes, but they are likely the grey-green short chelsea boots that he wears with this suit in other episodes.

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In the sixth series opening titles

In the opening titles, Steed wears periwinkle shirt with a spread collar and button cuffs. His tie is a printed pattern in pink, orange and white, and he ties it in a windsor knot. The tie is  pinned about an inch below the knot with a deep red polished stone tie pin. He also adds a red carnation in his lapel.

WIth the suit, Steed wears his trademark bowler hat and carries an umbrella. This bowler is in grey with a grey ribbon to match the suit. The umbrella has a grey canopy, also to match suit, and a light whangee curved handle.

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Napoleon Solo’s First Suit—1960s American Style

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Ian Fleming’s character Napoleon Solo, played by Robert Vaughn in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., is introduced in 1964 as American television’s answer to James Bond. The pilot episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. titled “The Vulcan Affair” became the first episode of the series and was later made into the feature film To Trap a Spy. Napoleon Solo’s first suit in this first episode is based in traditional American style, but it applies 1960s fashion trends to it. The suit overall is very much a product of 1960s fashions, and the trends of the decade pervade the suit in a much more exaggerated way than any of James Bond’s suits of the decade do. The suave American spy dresses quite a bit differently from 007.

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The suit is made of lightweight taupe wool, likely blended with mohair judging by the suit’s sheen. It is probably woven in brown and white yarns. The suit jacket is detailed in a very 1960s manner. The jacket has only a single button on the front and one button on each cuff. The narrow notched lapels are rounded rather than squared. The jacket has slanted pockets with narrow flaps, and both the lapels and the pocket flaps have swelled edges. The rear double vents are very short and about only four or five inches long.

In the American tradition, the shoulders are natural with little or no padding and the front has no darts. The lack of front darts makes the jacket look somewhat boxy, but it still fits closely and has waist suppression. The main different between a jacket with darts and a jacket without darts is that the one without darts has less fullness in the chest. Solo’s jacket has a very clean and close-fitting chest, whilst the waist is suppressed through the rear side seams and the darts under the arms. In following 1960s fashion, the jacket has a shorter-than-traditional length, but it is just long enough to cover the buttocks. This contrasts with today’s short jackets, which have no intention of keeping the buttocks covered. Vaughn has long legs, and the shorter jacket still makes him look out of proportion. The fashionably short length has the benefit of making the 5’10” Robert Vaughn look a little taller. Especially next to the 5’7″ David McCallum who plays Illya Kuryakin, Vaughn looks rather tall.

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The suit trousers have a flat front, long rise, tapered legs and no belt loops. The long rise is the most significant part of Solo’s suit that separates it from today’s suits. It is long enough to almost meet the jacket’s front button. Going against American tradition, the trousers have plain hems. The trousers also are hemmed short, making these what some call high-water or flood trousers. It’s a traditional American style to hem the trousers too short, and Solo’s are about two inches above where the trousers would meet the shoes in front. The short hem shows off Solo’s black socks.

Solo’s white button-down shirt follows traditional American style just as many parts of the suit do. Likely made of oxford cloth, the shirt has a soft button-down collar, rounded single-button cuffs and a front placket. The narrow tie is black with a pronounced diagonal rib and tied in a small four-in-hand knot. The tie is held against the shirt with small tie clip placed just above the height of the jacket’s button. The tie clip is hidden when the jacket is buttoned.

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Solo’s black shoes are an American style of shoe called longwing bluchers. Longwings have a pointed toe cap like a wing-tip, but they have wings extending the full length of the shoe. Bluchers are similar to derbys in that they have open lacing, but on bluchers the vamp and quarters are one piece, and they have tabs sewn to the front for the lacing eyelets.

When off duty, Solo removes his jacket and tie, unbuttons the shirt’s collar and dons a beige cardigan. The heavy ribbed cardigan is mid-hip-length and fits close to the body. From the collar down to the hem, the front of the cardigan has seven smoke mother-of-pearl buttons, and Solo leaves the top button open. The cuffs have four smaller buttons, like what would be found on a suit jacket. The cardigan has a turndown collar, side vents and a patch pocket on the bottom of either side of the front. The cardigan’s front edge, the collar and the top of the pockets have black piping. The unbuttoned shirt reveals a white crew-neck undershirt, which is something Americans are accustomed to wearing. When the shirt is buttoned with a tie, a crew-neck undershirt follows the base of the shirt’s collar so the outline of the undershirt’s neck does not show. With the shirt unbuttoned, however, a crew-neck undershirt is distracting.

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Though fans of certain American and 1960s fashions may appreciate this outfit, I suspect many fans of James Bond’s style will not. The fashionable and American style of Napoleon Solo differs considerably from the more traditional and English style that James Bond wears the same year in Goldfinger. After the first episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Solo’s clothes became a little less fashionable, but also less interesting.

On a Bond-related note, this episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. features a brief uncredited—but unmistakeable—appearance of Richard Kiel (The Spy Who Loved Me‘s and Moonraker‘s Jaws) as a thug.