Q’s Introduction

Q Prince of Wales Suit

Skyfall is released today in the UK, and a new quartermaster is introduced. But let’s take a look back 49 years ago. From Russia With Love introduced Desmond Llyewlyn’s famous Q character, and he went on to appear in 16 more Bond films. He’s first seen in M’s office wearing a 3-piece Prince of Wales check suit and looking the best-dressed he ever was in the series. It’s his own suit—the budget didn’t allow for minor characters’ wardrobes—made in a Savile Row style and probably bespoke. The Prince of Wales check cloth is black and white with red lines framing the pattern. The jacket is a very traditional button three with padded shoulders, a full chest and a nipped waist. It has flapped pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and a single vent. Q wears the jacket unbuttoned except for in a close-up shot, a continuity error. When he has it buttoned, only the middle is fastened.

Q Prince of Wales Suit

The suit’s waistcoat has six buttons with five to button and the trousers have forward pleats. Q wears a cream shirt with a spread collar and a Brigade of Guards regimental tie with navy and maroon stripes. Director of From Russia With Love, Terence Young, directed Llewelyn in a 1950 film called They Were Not Divided. Lewellyn played a Guards Officer and Young himself was a former Guards Officer. The tie is surely a nod to the film they did together 13 years earlier.

Q Prince of Wales Suit

Whilst Bond’s suit is influenced by 1960s fashions with its two buttons and narrow lapels, Q’s suit doesn’t belong to any era.

6 thoughts on “Q’s Introduction

  1. Thank you for this article, Matt. I have been waiting for this outfit for a long time. It’s really difficult to choose who is the best dressed man in this scene, the 3 men are all very elegant. I have a few questions about it, as usual :)

    -Looking at the screenshot of the buttonned coat, doesn’t it look like a three-rolled-two button suit jacket ?
    -When you say that Q’s suit does not belong to any era… Couldn’t we say that the wide lapels date it as a probably late 50s suit ? Moreover, the trousers leg seems very tapered (or perhaps it’s jus his position).
    -about the tie, is maroon the same colour as a dark red ?

    Thanks a lot.

    • -The lapel is not rolled to the middle button. Just because he only fastens the middle button doesn’t make it a 3-roll-2. A 3-roll-2 looks like a button 2.
      -There’s nothing unusually tapered about the trouser legs. The lapels aren’t that wide, but some people wore them like this in the 1950s. Narrower lapels were predominantly worn in the 50s.
      -Maroon is a dark red

  2. In the close-up of the sleeve, is the inner-most button on the right sleeve of Llyewlyn’s suit cracked, or partially tucked into buttonhole? Or is it just the angle of the shot that’s making to appear only half-visible, at least on my monitor?

    • You could be correct, but the Royal Welch Fusiliers tie is brighter, depending on the maker. Q’s maroon stripes could possibly be a little wider than the navy, but there is quite a noticeable difference in stripe width in the Royal Welch Fusiliers tie.

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