Layer Cake: A Navy Pinstripe Suit Jacket with Jeans

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In the 2004 film Layer Cake, Daniel Craig wears striped suit jackets with jeans instead of the matching suit trousers. It was a popular fashion trend at that time, and it is still popular in some circles. Just as the mullet hairstyle has been described as “business in the front, party in the back”, wearing a pinstriped suit jacket with jeans has a similar effect. The suit jacket on the top is all business whilst the denim jeans on the bottom are as casual as trousers can be. Those who favour the mullet may see some appeal in this unorthodox combination, but like the mullet, this is not a conventionally attractive look. It’s difficult to make any tailored jacket look good with jeans, but rustic tweeds come closest since they match the rough, heavy look of denim. Robert Redford shows a great example of how to pair a tweed jacket with jeans in the 1975 film Three Days of the Condor.

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Craig’s jacket in Layer Cake can by no means be called a sports coat. Sports coats are, as the name suggests, sporty, whilst pinstriped jackets are business wear and part of a suit. The main thing that separates a suit jacket from a sports coat is the cloth it is made from. Sports coats are made from a material that has texture, whether it’s tweed, hopsack, cashmere, silk, linen, corduroy or any number of other materials. These materials are either solid or have a checked pattern. Suits can also be made of any of these textured materials, but they would informal sports suits and not business suits. Business suits are typically made from smooth worsteds and sometimes flannel. They may be solid, semi-solid, striped or have a subtle check.

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Certain cloths can work for both business suits and sports coats, like solid navy serge, bolder checks and woollen flannel. Jackets in these materials, however, need sporty details to make them work as sports coats, These details may include contrasting buttons, swelled edges, patch pockets or slanted pockets. But most worsteds don’t work well as odd jackets, especially not jackets with pinstripes or chalk stripes. And you can’t just put contrasting horn buttons on any suit jacket and turn it into a sports coat.

Daniel Craig’s navy pinstripe jacket is a suit jacket because it is made in a worsted business suit material. The button two jacket is tailored with straight shoulders, gently roped sleeveheads, a lean chest and a suppressed waist. It was most likely purchased ready-to-wear from an English brand. The jacket has a high button stance, straight flap pockets, four buttons on the cuffs and double vents. The jacket mostly fits well, though the sleeves are too long.

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Craig wears the suit jacket with medium wash denim jeans. The jeans have a medium-low rise, five pocket design and straight legs. A wide brown belt holds up the jeans. Craig’s shoes are dark brown chelsea boots.

Craig wears two different shirts with this outfit, a white formal shirt and a grey t-shirt. The white shirt has a tall two-button spread collar, two-button cuffs, front placket stitched 3/8″ from the edge in the traditional English fashion. The placket means that the shirt is from an English brand, and the tall collar likely signifies a brand with a slight fashion edge or a special fashion line. Craig wears the shirt tucked into his jeans.

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When Craig doesn’t wear the white shirt, he wears only a grey crew neck, raglan-sleeve t-shirt under the jacket. Unlike with the white shirt, Craig does not tuck the t-shirt. Though the body of the shirt drapes over Craig’s body, the short sleeves fit tightly around his upper arm. Though t-shirts go well with jeans, it makes the suit jacket look even more out of place with the jeans. T-shirts have a practical disadvantage with tailored jackets. Whilst shirts with a collar and long sleeves protect the jacket from the body’s oils and shedding, t-shirts offer the jacket not protection. Because jackets are considerably more expensive than shirts are, it makes sense to protect them.

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Basted for Bond: Examining Roger Moore’s Douglas Hayward Clothes

The latest “Basted for Bond” infographic breaks down the jackets, trousers and waistcoats that Roger Moore wears in For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill, made by legendary celebrity tailor Douglas Hayward. Though the low button two jacket is the mainstay of Moore’s Hayward wardrobe, he also wears button three jackets, very low-buttoning double-breasted jackets and a morning coat, all and more examined in the following infographic.

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The Rock: Sean Connery’s Navy Three-Piece Suit

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A happy 85th birthday today to Sean Connery. In The Rock, Sean Connery plays John Mason, a British national who escaped from Alcatraz. The Mason character was written as an homage to Bond and has a lot in common with Bond. John Spencer’s character FBI Director Womack states that Mason is a British operative but says, “Of course the British claimed they’d never heard of him.” Womack also says, “This man knows our most intimate secrets from the last half-century…Mason’s angry. He’s lethal. He’s a trained killer.”

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Mason even speaks like Bond when he responds to Nicolas Cage’s character Goodspeed’s introduction with the Diamonds Are Forever line, “But of course you are.” For Mason to agree to cooperate with the FBI, he makes a Bond-like demand: “I want a suite, a shower, a shave, the feel of a suit.” The new navy worsted three-piece suit he gets is what matters most, as far as this blog is concerned.

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Though The Rock was released in 1996, Sean Connery’s suit more closely resembles an late 1980s/early 90s suit. The button two suit jacket has a low button stance and a very low gorge, which places the lapel notch almost in the middle of the chest. Sean Connery’s prominent shoulders make the jacket’s shoulders look more padded than they actually are. Still, the shoulders have a fair amount of padding, but natural sleeveheads gives the shoulders a natural but neat curve.

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The suit jacket is cut with a moderately full chest and a gently suppressed waist. The jacket is detailed with flapped pockets, three cuff buttons and no vent in the rear. The suit’s waistcoat has five buttons. The suit trousers have a full cut, likely with double or triple reverse pleats. The legs are wide but slightly tapered. The suit is very similar to the suits Timothy Dalton wears in Licence to Kill, but Connery’s suit has a much cleaner fit. Though this suit is strongly influenced by fashion in its proportions, it follows the principles of a good fit.

Connery’s white shirt has a spread collar with tie space and a sewn interfacing (revealed by a poor sloppy job), front placket and square cuffs with either one or two buttons. The collar design and construction could mean that this shirt is from an English maker. The tie has alternating wide navy and gold stripes. The navy stripes are woven in a twill weave whilst the gold stripes are woven with floats to look like a basket weave. Connery’s shoes are black single monk shoes.

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Daniel Craig Dresses Up For Heineken

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Yesterday, GQ-Magazine.co.uk published three photos of Daniel Craig taken for a partnership between James Bond and Heineken. Though this partnership with the beer company involves Spectre, Daniel Craig is not in costume as James Bond, though he is dressed in a Bond-like manner. Though GQ identifies this navy pick-and-pick suit as a Tom Ford O’Connor suit, this is certainly not a Tom Ford Suit. This suit isn’t as interesting or unique as a Tom Ford suit, and it’s most likely a ready-to-wear suit, but Daniel Craig looks like James Bond in it.

Tom Ford suit jackets always have a curved “barchetta” breast pocket, which this suit jacket lacks. O’Connor suit jackets also have slanted hip pockets, whilst this jacket has straight pockets. The O’Connor jackets in Spectre are button three roll two, whilst this jacket is just a button two like the ready-to-wear O’Connor jackets. The Spectre suit jackets also have four cuff buttons whiles this jacket has only three cuff buttons. The buttons on this navy suit contrast in medium-light grey urea. And whilst Daniel Craig’s O’Connor jackets always have a single vent, this jacket has double vents. The narrow lapels are around the same width as the O’Connor lapels, but the notch on this jacket is smaller.

Craig’s suit jacket is cut with straight padded shoulders, gently roped sleeveheads, a lean chest and a suppressed waist. Overall, the suit has a very close fit, but it has a slightly cleaner fit than the Tom Ford suits he wears in Spectre. Because of his pose, it’s difficult to tell if the pulling at the waist is a result of the jacket being a little too tight, or if it’s because of the pose. The only serious problem with the fit of this jacket is the short length, which is fashionably on purpose. The suit trousers have a narrow, tapered leg with turn-ups, which contrast with the straight leg on Tom Ford trousers.

Under the suit, Daniel Craig wears a white shirt with a point collar and double cuffs. Though Craig wears similarly styled shirts made by Tom Ford in Spectre, this shirt is not one of those shirts. This shirt’s point collar is a bit shorter than the Tom Ford point collars and does not frame his face as well, but it doesn’t look bad either. The navy tie with white pin dots could possibly be from Tom Ford, but any number of brands could have provided this tie. There’s a folded white handkerchief in the jacket’s breast pocket to add to the Bond look. Craig’s shoes are black three-eyelet derbys with a chiselled toe and Dainite studded rubber soles. The shoes are likely the Crockett & Jones Highbury, which Craig wears in Skyfall.

GQ is also wrong about something other than the suit: Daniel Craig’s hair in Spectre. The longer hair in these photos gives Daniel Craig a more mature and sophisticated look, but if they looked at the Spectre trailer they would see that Craig’s hair in the film is the usual shorter length it has been in his other Bond films.

There are more photos GQ-Magazine.co.uk.

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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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

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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Basted for Bond: Examining George Lazenby’s Dimi Major Clothes

This week’s “Basted for Bond” infographic features George Lazenby’s Dimi Major jackets, trousers, waistcoats and coats. The clothes have a classic English cut with some fashionable updates for the 1960s, like a short jacket length and narrow straight-leg trousers. Jacket variations presented here include Lazenby’s dinner jacket, his wedding lounge jacket and his double-breasted blazer. His car coat and caped ulster coat are also included.

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