Count Lippe’s Casual Brown Tweed Suit

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Count Lippe (Guy Doleman) is a SPECTRE agent Bond encounters at the Shrublands health farm in the English countryside in Thunderball. The basis for Lippe’s clothes in the film was taken from Ian Fleming’s description of Lippe in the Thunderball novel:

He was an athletic-looking six foot, dressed in the sort of casually well-cut beige herring-bone tweed that suggests Anderson and Sheppard. He wore a white silk shirt and a dark red polka-dot tie, and the soft dark brown V-necked sweater looked like vicuna. Bond summed him up as a good-looking bastard who got all the women he wanted and probably lived on them—and lived well.

Like in the novel, Count Lippe’s suit in the film is tweed, though it is not herringbone. The mottled appearance makes it very difficult to tell what pattern the cloth is, though if I had to guess I think I see a fine check. It is not beige, however, but a darker taupe-brown overall that looks great in England’s countryside. The tweed is made up of brown yarns likely mixed with cream and green, and possibly other colours too.

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Though the suit in the film is casual in style, the button two jacket with slightly narrow lapels does not have the uniquely relaxed Anderson and Sheppard drape cut that the literary Bond identified Lippe’s suit by. The chest does not have much drape, and the shoulders have too much padding. Anderson & Sheppard’s cut, by contrast, is known for its soft look in both the shoulders and the chest, and sometimes foregoes the front darts on the jacket. Lippe’s suit jacket has the casual details of two open patch pockets at the hips and a matching breast pocket. The cuffs have three buttons, placed very close to the end of the cuff. Based on the way the jacket pull at the skirt, it likely does not have any vents, though the rear is not seen. The jacket’s buttons are light and dark brown horn, and the buttonholes are a bold medium brown that stands out. Judging by the suit jacket’s oversized shoulders and buttons being vey close to the ends of the sleeves, this suit was likely made for another actor for another production and altered to fit Doleman for Thunderball. The suit trousers have gently tapered legs. Though the top of the trousers is not seen, they likely have double forward pleats.

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Notice Lippe’s elegant chestnut brown shoes

Under the suit jacket Lippe wears a light brown doeskin wool waistcoat, which has a felt-like appearance. Its inclusion was likely inspired by the “soft dark brown V-necked sweater” that Fleming writes about, but the waistcoat is not quite a casual as a sweater. Lippe’s tattersall shirt has a cream ground with a large check in a number of colours, which are difficult to decipher. It may include navy, green, purple, red and orange. Country tattersall shirts are typically woven in a twill weave to have a softer and more casual look than crisp poplin. Lippe’s shirt has a spread collar and button cuffs. His tie is medium brown wool and tied in a half-windsor knot. Just peaking out of Lippe’s breast pocket is a puffed green silk pocket handkerchief with purple dots, which would suggest that those two colours are very likely in the tattersall shirt. Silk handkerchiefs go well with wool ties because of the contrasting textures. Lippe’s shoes are elegant chestnut brown plain-toe slip-ons. Though they are beautiful shoes, such a heavy suit would look better with sturdier brogues.

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Over his suit, Lippe wears a car coat that is designed to resemble a shearling coat, particularly with its lambswool-faced shawl collar. Whilst the body of a shearling coat is sheepskin suede, this coat is brown wool melton. The heavy, firm, dull, felted melton has a fine nap that can look almost like suede, especially in the drab brown colour, but it is a traditional cloth for overcoats as well as blankets. The double-breasted coat has four brown leather buttons on the front with two to button. The hem and sleeves are finished with four bands of stitching, like one would find on a covert coat. There are slanted pockets on the front with flaps, and the flaps also have the same four rows of stitching to match the hem and sleeves. The sleeves have buttoned straps, and the back has short double vents.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. “Anderson & Sheppard’s cut, by contrast, is known for its soft look in both the shoulders and the chest, and sometimes foregoes the front darts on the jacket”.

    I never knew that Anderson and Sheppard sometimes cut jacket undarted.
    I know that sometimes did not frontal but slanted or curved darts.
    Is possible that undarted jackets were on request of American customers?
    A undarted Anderson & Sheppard jacket is almost a Ivy league sack .

    • I don’t know if they still will do an undarted jacket, but they used to. I’ve seen some beautifully-shaped undarted jackets by former Anderson & Sheppard tailor Edwin DeBoise. Anthony Sinclair even said he didn’t put front darts in jackets with large patterns.

  2. I really like the subtle elegance of Lippe’s clothes. And that coat is very timeless and elegant!

    Matt, I know I have asked for this before, but could you write about the beige suit worn by the japanese thug Bond fights in YOLT? It could make for a good article for spring as it is a perfect casual spring/summer suit. I’m also interested if you could cover the suits of Mr. Osato from the same film? He, much like Lippe, is very well dressed in an understated way.

    • Though the thug wears a very nice suit for spring, he wears it with an untucked yellow camp shirt that looks awful with the suit and on him. I think my review of the suit would be too negative to be worth writing here. Osato, on the other hand, will soon be the topic of a post here. He’s a very well-dressed villain. He looks much better than Lippe, though he clothes are not as unique.

    • I do agree the shirt does bring the look down. Had he worn a white or why not brown shirt with a classic collar the whole outfit would be much better. Still, I just think, since you have covered most other memorable suits from the series, not just those worn by Bond, it could prehaps be an article of how NOT to wear a suit (with such a shirt). I guess its just me having a soft spot for beige suits and would like to know more about this one 😛

  3. Interesting article.

    I do think patch pockets work best on tweed coats as they lend to a more rugged look. I do like the shearling-style overcoat too.

    However, there is some fit problems with both coats. Nothing terrible, but the shoulders as pointed out on the tweed coat are a bit distracting. More 1985 than 1965. Also, the shearling coat sleeves are in my view too baggy.

    As for the shoes, a heavy country brogue like the Church’s Grafton with Dainite soles would go really well with this outfit, instead of the slip-ons.

    On the subject on Dainite soles – Bond has worn them in Skyfall, and the upcoming Spectre. However, I doubt they really would be appropriate for an agent. I own several pairs with these soles including the Grafton. Whilst they are excellent for very wet or icy conditions, I find them very clunky and stiff. Running in them would very uncomfortable and awkward. And it’s interesting that in several of the recent production shots, Craig has substituted his Dainite’s for black trainers for the running/stunt scenes.

    • I agree wholeheartedly about the Dainite soles – they are hard and stiff and uncomfortable to walk in. I owned two pairs of English-made winter shoes with Dainite soles – I ended up selling one pair on eBay and I put gel insoles in the other. No way anyone could actually run in those shoes!

    • Church’s shoes do a diamond rubber sole which is something in between a Dainite and a regular leather sole. Basically were a leather sole is several layers of leather laminated together, in their diamond rubber sole, the last layer is rubber with a diamond pattern for grip. The rubber is much thinner than a Dainite.

      I find these soles excellent as they feel like leather but have added grip and water-proofing. Although they don’t last as long as full leather soles because the rubber eventually de-lamintes at the front. Leather soles can wear all the way down to the cork filler. Then Church’s can re-sole them.

      I do love Church’s shoes and have many pairs (I live in the UK). Their 173 last fits me perfectly. This last includes the Chetwynd and Diplomat shoes as worn by Brosnan’s Bond. Bond has now switched to C&J, but I don’t own any of their shoes.

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