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 It may not look as hip as Daniel Craig’s Tom Ford suits, but this suit will never look outdated.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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Bullseye!: A Double-Breasted Grey Chalk Stripe Suit

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Roger Moore as Gerald Bradley-Smith, with Michael Caine

The 1990 Michael Winner film Bullseye! stars Roger Moore and Michael Caine as both a pair a nuclear physicists and a pair of con men who impersonate the physicists. It also features Roger Moore’s daughter Deborah Moore (credited as Deborah Barrymore) and Derren Nesbitt, whom shirtmaker Frank Foster said I resemble a younger version of. John Bloomfield is the costume designer. Though Moore and Caine shared the same tailor, Douglas Hayward, there isn’t a whole lot of Hayward’s tailoring in the film. Aquascutum is thanked in the credits for contributing suits, coats and raincoats for both Moore and Caine. Dormeuil, a French textile company, is also thanked in the credits, but their cloths may have been used for women’s clothing.

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Roger Moore as Sir John Bavistock

Roger Moore plays two characters in this film, Sir John Bavistock, a nuclear physicist, and Gerald Bradley-Smith, a conman who resembles Bavistock. In trying to impersonate Bavistock, Bradley-Smith purchases a suit identical to the double-breasted, dark grey chalk stripe suit Bavistock wears. The suit resembles the navy double-breasted suit made by Douglas Hayward that Roger Moore wears as James Bond in Octopussy, and this suit in Bullseye! was most likely made by Hayward.

Bradley-Smith picking out Bavistock's suit

Bradley-Smith picking out Bavistock’s suit

The double-breasted suit jacket has four buttons with one to button, which was a popular style in the 1980s and early 1990s. Though more fashionable brands usually paired this low keystone buttoning style with a low gorge (the seam where the collar meets the lapels), Hayward kept the gorge at a classic height. The jacket has soft shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a moderately full chest and a suppressed waist (as suppressed as Moore’s girthier figure can handle). The jacket has a very flattering cut and style for Moore’s body.

Roger Moore with Sally Kirkland, Deborah Moore and Derren Nesbitt

Roger Moore with Sally Kirkland, Deborah Moore and Derren Nesbitt

Moore’s suit jacket is detailed with flapped pockets, double vents and four buttons on each cuff. The suit trousers have medium-width straight legs with plain hems, side pockets and likely a flat or darted front.

There are two small details that make the Bullseye! suit’s jacket different from the Octopussy navy suit’s jacket. The jacket in Octopussy has three cuff buttons whilst the Bullseye! jacket has four cuff buttons. Also, the jacket in Octopussy has a buttonhole in each lapel, but the Bullseye! jacket only has a buttonhole in the left lapel. I’ve seen suit jackets from Hayward made in this era that match the details on this suit jacket, so it’s still most likely that Hayward made this suit.

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With the suit Moore wears a pale blue shirt that has a spread collar and double cuffs. The shirt is not made by Moore’s longtime shirtmaker Frank Foster due to its much shorter collar and link holes centred on the double cuffs instead of off-centred towards the fold. The regimental tie has stripes alternating red-navy-brown-navy, with the navy stripes slightly narrower than the others. This is the Winchester College tie, also known as the Old Wykehamist tie after the name for Winchester alumni. BIll Tanner wears the same tie with a similar suit in For Your Eyes Only. Moore knots the tie in a four-in-hand knot. He wears black shoes with the suit.

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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.

Bill Tanner: Double-Breasted Charcoal Flannel Suit

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Though Bernard Lee’s M generally wasn’t a fan of double-breasted suits—but he wears one in Dr. No—his chief of staff Bill Tanner prefers them. James Villiers plays Tanner in For Your Eyes Only to take M’s place for the one film whilst M is on leave, as a result of Bernard Lee’s death. Tanner wears two double-breasted suits of the same style in For Your Eyes Only: a charcoal rope stripe suit, which was already covered here two years ago, and a charcoal flannel suit. The charcoal flannel suit and the rest of the outfit have a very conservative approach. The suit is most likely made by an English tailor.

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The jacket has six buttons with two to button, but Tanner fastens only the bottom button in the manner attributed to Prince George, Duke of Kent. The middle row of buttons is made to fasten as well as the bottom row that Tanner fastens. Though the button stance is slightly lower than what is common today for English tailors, it’s only about an inch lower. A higher button stance, however, is better if the wearer chooses to only fasten the bottom button. The jacket has a classic British military cut with straight, padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads, similar to what Dege & Skinner or Gieves & Hawkes make. The jacket has a clean chest made fuller by leaving the middle row of buttons open, a gently shaped waist and a flared skirt. It is detailed with flapped pockets, deep double vents and three buttons on the cuffs. Neither lapel has a buttonhole.

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Tanner wears two different shirts and ties with this suit. The first shirt is medium blue end-on-end with white stitching to bring out the white in the shirt’s weave. The shirt has a spread collar, placket and double cuffs with the link holes placed close to the fold. The collar, cuffs and placket are stitched 1/4 inch from the edge. Tanner wears a solid navy tie without a discernible weave, tied in a four-in-hand knot. The colours of this outfit recall a common combination that Sean Connery’s James Bond often wears with his charcoal flannel suits. Tanner also wears a navy and white striped silk pocket square with a thick navy border, which is stuffed casually, but elegantly, into his suit jacket’s breast pocket. The navy in the pocket square picks up the navy in the tie whilst the white stripes bring out the white in the end-on-end shirt.

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The second outfit is not as nice as the first. The shirt is a complicated shadow stripe pattern of grey and maybe other colours on a cream background. The shirt’s warm tone does not flatter Tanner’s winter complexion. It has a moderate spread collar and sleeves too short to be seen. The tie is solid burgundy, likely repp, and tied in a four-in-hand knot. He does not wear a pocket square with this outfit.

The Man from Hong Kong: A 1970s Blazer

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I have previously written about all of the James Bond actors in roles other than James Bond except George Lazenby. Lazenby hasn’t had many other starring roles, but it wouldn’t be fair to not have representation of Lazenby outside the Bond series on this blog. Whilst Lazenby is very well-dressed as Bond, he unfortunately doesn’t dress so well in other roles. By leaving James Bond, George Lazenby made not only a bad career choice but also a bad fashion choice. His poor wardrobe is quite evident in the 1975 Australian/Hong Kong co-production The Man from Hong Kong. The film, released in the United State as The Dragon Flies, stars Jimmy Wang-Yu as Inspector Fan Sing-Ling with George Lazenby as gangster Jack Wilton.

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Lazenby wears a dark navy double-breasted blazer in The Man from Hong Kong. It is fashionable along the lines of Roger Moore’s double-breasted blazer in Moonraker, but this blazer has different problems, both due to 1970s fashion and due to fit. The blazer has six buttons in the traditional arrangement with two to button. It is detailed with patch pockets, single-button cuffs, swelled edges and silver-toned buttons. One of the best parts of this blazer is its elegant English-inspired silhouette. It has straight shoulders that are just the right width, a clean chest and a tightly—but neatly—suppressed waist. However, it has the serious fit problem of the jacket’s collar standing away from the neck.

More obvious than the fit problem are the fashion problems. Peaked lapels can be wider than notched lapels, but Lazenby’s fashionably wide lapels almost reach all the way across his chest to his sleeves. And a bigger problem with the blazer than the lapels is its very long single vent. Single vents are designed to split across the back of a horse whilst a straight double-breasted front is not, so the styles are incongruous. A single vent also doesn’t balance with the double-breasted front.

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Lazenby wears this blazer as a part of two outfits. The first outfit is a sporty one with an open-neck shirt and white trousers. The dark blue and white chambray shirt has a long point collar, worn outside of the blazer’s collar. Lazenby wears the collar and two buttons down the placket open. The two-button cuffs have rounded corners. The white trousers are probably polyester and have a pronounced flare to the leg, more pronounced than on any of Roger Moore’s 1970s James Bond trousers. The socks and venetian slip-ons are also white.

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The second outfit with the blazer includes a pale blue shirt, tie and mid grey trousers. The shirt has an eyelet collar worn with the kind of collar bar where the balls unscrew at the ends. Some consider this the most elegant kind of collar bar since everything fits together, though it can also be considered the most affected. A pin, clip or a slide-bar on a regular point collar looks more naturally stylish since the collar doesn’t have holes. The tie is a black, blue and red plaid, tied in a four-in-hand knot. Not much of the grey trousers can be seen, though they don’t appear to be as flared as the white trousers.

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Draco’s Suits: Navy Nailhead and Grey Chalkstripe

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Marc Ange Draco (Gabriele Ferzetti) in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is one of Bond’s best-dressed allies of the series. He is introduced wearing a perfectly-fitted navy nailhead three-piece suit made by Dimi Major, who also made George Lazenby’s tailored clothing for the film. Nailhead is not to be confused with birdseye, but both are tiny repeating patterns. Whilst birdseye is a specific pattern of round dots with a unique weave, nailhead can be a variety of patterns. In any case, the nailhead is a pattern of squares rather than circles, or it’s a small pattern on a square grid unlike the diagonal repeat of the bridseye pattern. Draco’s nailhead suit is similar to the diagram below:

Draco-Nailhead

Draco’s suit jacket is a button three suit with the lapels gently rolled over the top button. It has a structured cut with straight, padded shoulders cut on the bias, gently-roped sleeveheads, a full-cut chest and a suppressed waist. The jacket’s front darts continue straight down below the jetted hip pockets to the jacket’s hem. There are three buttons on the cuffs and no vents. The suit’s waistcoat has six buttons with five to button. The suit’s trousers have a darted front, slanted side pockets and a tapered leg with deep two-inch turn-ups. The suit is trimmed with black horn buttons.

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The suit overall has a very timeless style with balanced proportions. Whilst Draco’s suit doesn’t look as modern as George Lazenby’s Bond’s suits do, it doesn’t look old-fashioned either. If the jacket had pocket flaps and vents it would easily look more modern.

Draco’s pale blue shirt has a moderate spread collar, front placket and mitred two-button cuffs, with the outer button left open. The navy tie has wide grey repp stripes bordered by narrower champagne-coloured stripes, with the stripes in the British direction. Draco ties it in a four-in-hand knot. He finishes the outfit with black shoes and a red carnation in his lapel.

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Later in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Draco wears a dark grey flannel chalkstripe double-breasted suit that isn’t seen much. The suit jacket has the same straight, padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads that the three-piece navy nailhead suit has. The very wide peaked lapels with a considerable amount of belly, however, give the suit a distinct 1930s look. The white shirt that Draco wears with the double-breasted suit is made in the same style that he wears with the three-piece suit with a moderate spread collar and front placket. The tie has repeated sections of small mid blue, turquoise and green stripes on a navy ground, and Draco ties it in a four-in-hand knot.

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Brosnan’s Navy Cashmere Double-Breasted Guards Coat

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Pierce Brosnan’s navy cashmere double-breasted overcoat that he wears over his grey pinstripe suit in Die Another Day is the last tailored piece of James Bond’s wardrobe this blog has left to cover before the clothing in Spectre is revealed. Pierce Brosnan wears at least one overcoat in every one of his Bond films, and this is his third double-breasted overcoat after the vicuna-coloured overcoat in Tomorrow Never Dies and the funereal black overcoat in The World Is Not Enough. The navy Brioni overcoat is full-length to just below the knee and has six buttons with two to close. The lapels are peaked with a buttonhole on both sides. The overcoat has a half belt in back attached only at the ends, a long single vent, four buttons on the cuffs and straight, flapped pockets. Bond wears the collar up, which keeps the wind off his neck and reveals the navy velvet undercollar.

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Though full-length overcoats are not very popular right now—shorter coats are trendy and are almost all that’s available currently—they look the most elegant of all overcoats and keep the body the warmest. Double-breasted overcoats are warmer than single-breasted overcoats due to the extra layer in front. Bond, however, doesn’t benefit from the warmth of his overcoat since he wears it open. It must not be that cold. Or, perhaps like his grey suit underneath, the overcoat has become too tight to button. London, where Bond wears this coat, ocassions has very cold winters, and the warmth of a double-breasted coat is very beneficial whether the winter is severe or mild.

With the overcoat, Bond wears dark brown leather gloves with three points sewn on the back of the hand. The gloves are sewn with the seams on the outside, which are more comfortable than seams on the inside but are also more prone to wear. The gloves have a V-shaped palm vent to ease the glove onto the hand.

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Drax: The Three-Piece Double-Breasted Suit

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Though the most memorable pieces of Hugo Drax’s wardrobe in Moonraker are his Mao jackets, his double-breasted, three-piece black flannel chalk stripe suit is perhaps the nicest suit that anyone wears in Moonraker. It is Drax’s only outfit that is reminiscent of what the character wears in the 1955 Moonraker novel by Ian Fleming. Drax is actually one of the few villains in the novels that dresses in good taste, and elements of literary Drax’s clothes are taken from Fleming’s own wardrobe:

Bond concluded his inspection with Drax’s clothes which were expensive and in excellent taste—a dark blue pinstripe in lightweight flannel, double-breasted with turnback cuffs, a heavy white silk shirt with a stiff collar, an unobtrusive tie with a small grey and white check, modest cuff-links, which looked like Cartier, and a plain gold Patek Philippe watch with a black leather strap. (Moonraker, Chapter 3)

The film Drax, played by Michael Lonsdale, also wears a double-breasted flannel suit, though it’s not exactly the same as what the literary Drax wears. The suit is not so lightweight and is black instead of dark blue. Though well-dressed men avoid solid black suits for all occasions other than funerals, the striped black suit isn’t treated the same way as its solid cousin. The soft, light grey chalk stripes break up the large sea of black so the suit doesn’t look too dreary. Chalkstripes on black flannel are also better than pinstripes and rope stripes on worsteds because they aren’t as bold. Strong white rope stripes on black give the suit a gangster-esque look, but Drax’s soft, grey chalk stripes make his black suit an elegant one. A black chalkstripe suit can still be difficult for most people to pull off, but Drax has a cool, high-contrast winter complexion, so the black does not overpower him.

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The literary Drax’s suit is assumed to be a two-piece suit, but in the film the suit is a three-piece. The three-piece double-breasted suit went out of fashion around the time of World War II. Few men today could actually benefit from the intense warmth of a flannel, double-breasted, three-piece suit.

Though the double-breasted three-piece suit recalls the 1930s, Drax’s suit jacket is timeless and has medium-width lapels and—unlike 1930s double-breasted suit which were made without vents—double vents. The jacket is in the classic double-breasted style of six buttons with two to button. It is cut with straight shoulders on the natural shoulder line and gently roped sleeveheads. The chest is clean but full, and the waist is slightly shaped. There is only one lapel buttonhole in the peaked lapels, in the left lapel. The jacket also has jetted pockets, double vents and four buttons on the cuffs.

Not much of Drax’s waistcoat is seen since so little of it sticks out above the suit jacket, but enough of it is seen to tell that it is single-breasted and has no lapels. Both single-breasted and double-breasted waistcoats, with or without lapels, are appropriate with a double-breasted suit, and Drax wears the leanest option since his flannel double-breasted suit jacket already has so much bulk. Drax’s suit trousers have wide, straight legs.

Drax’s white shirt is has a sheen, so it’s probably silk like the literary Drax’s shirt is. It has a point collar with a generous amount of tie space and square double cuffs with the link holes off-centre towards the fold. The cuffs are attached to the sleeve with pleats. Drax’s square cuff links are black with a gold frame, and they could possibly be from Cartier like in the Moonraker novel. Drax wears a black knitted silk tie, tied in a symmetrical half windsor knot. It’s the same tie that the literary James Bond wears but tied in a knot he would not approve of. A knitted tie may seem too informal for a double-breasted, three-piece suit, but the knitted silk texture is a good complement to flannel no matter the fastening style or the presence of a waistcoat. Pinned to his breast pocket he wears a brass Drax industries badge, which takes the place of a pocket square. Drax’s shoes are black.

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