Charcoal Winter Suit in Die Another Day

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Charcoal-Serge-Suit

In Die Another Day, Pierce Brosnan briefly wears a charcoal suit of worsted flannel or a serge woven of worsted and woollen yarns. Worsted flannel is woven in a basic four-harness twill weave with 45-degree wales on both sides and has a raised nap on top. Compared to the more traditional woollen flannel, worsted flannel is woven with combed worsted yarns and milled to have a nap instead of woollen flannel’s carded fibres. Worsted flannel is much harder wearing than woollen flannel, making it better-suited for James Bond’s rough lifestyle.

Serge is woven the same way as worsted flannel and is woven of either all worsted yarns or of a worsted warp and a woollen weft. If this is a serge suit it would be of the latter variety. Such serge is not milled but has a slight nap due to being woven with a fuzzy woollen weft, so it is similar to worsted flannel but is stronger and has more pronounced ribs. A charcoal suit of either worsted flannel or serge is versatile in a temperate climate in the cooler half of the year and slightly beyond.

The style of the suit is Pierce Brosnan’s typical Brioni button three suit with straight shoulders and roped sleeve heads.

Brosnan wears the suit with a white Brioni shirt that has a cutaway collar, double cuffs and a front placket. His mid-blue tie has a tiny pebbled or honeycomb pattern, similar to grenadine garza fina silk. But the tie’s texture is probably woven with floats instead. It’s tied in a four-in-hand knot. Brosnan enters the scene wearing an overcoat and scarf, which I will look at in more detail later.

Charcoal-Serge-Suit-2

25 COMMENTS

  1. According to Timothy Dalton himself in an interview I read last year, the awful looking suit he wears at, and before, the climax of “Licence to Kill” (I don’t think you’ve covered that yet) was made of serge. Rather unsuitable for the Mexican countryside apart from anyone with a general sense of good taste, I don’t think too many will disagree that Brosnan’s suit here is by far the superior one and the less dated too.

    • I’ve read a number of interviews in which Timothy Dalton talks about both Bond’s serge suits and the suit in LTK. He does not as far as I’m aware claim that the suit in the film is serge. He points out that Fleming’s Bond wore serge and what that means to the character. His comments are considered, interesting and polite. Unfortunately not everyone’s comments are.
      As for what anyone with a general sense of good taste would think I would be suspicious of anyone who believes that all tasteful people have the same preferences. I certainly wouldn’t be arrogant enough to describe myself as an arbiter of good taste.

      • Let’s not start petty arguments over nothing. I think all he was saying was that serge (usually heavier and robust) is unsuitable for a hot climate.

      • Alexeberin, the remit of this blog is to discuss the cinematic Bond character’s clothing choices and repeatedly, the majority of us who pass comment, have been of the opinion that Timothy Dalton’s wardrobe, especially in “Licence to Kill” represented a sartorial low point for the series. This is, obviously, subjective but I don’t feel that stating this bluntly is “impolite” or makes me an “arbiter” of general taste. Regarding Timothy Dalton’s comments, the interview I referred to was in a 2012 edition of “Empire” magazine, a 007 special, (I can’t recall the month) in which he definitely referred to the suit worn during the “Licene to Kill” climax as “serge”.
        For better or worse, the cinematic Bond was informed by a different set of circumstances than the literary version and a lot of this had to do with both the producers and first time director Terence Young’s feel for how the character should be, excuse the pun, fashioned. This business of going back to aspects of the literary character, as Timothy Dalton, is a hit and miss business and my personal opinion is that when actors delve too deeply and take the role too seriously, a little of the entertainment value is lost but that is purely personal.
        The literary character may well have worn a suit made of serge however, it’s not the make up of Dalton’s suit, but the late 1980’s extreme fashion style plus the way in which it was worn (his shirts etc. looked quite cheap and we are not used to the cinematic Bond looking cheap) and indeed the context which makes the suit I’m referring to, so inappropriate for the cinematic Bond.
        Matt previously juxtaposed Dalton’s suit worn earlier in “Licence to Kill” with Roger Moore’s a decade earlier and the overwhelming feedback was in favor of Moore’s tailoring. Were the serge suit from “Licence to Kill” similarly compared against Pierce Brosnan’s suit here – a very well cut item from a top Italian tailoring house – in terms of tailoring, cut and overall style, I’m pretty confident that the majority would also judge Brosnan’s more favorably.

  2. I always liked Brosnan’s suits, and in DAD his ties were much improved. The patterns were much more subdued, and elegant in their simplicity.

  3. Great clothes, bad movie. A shame that they only seemed to start getting it right in his last two movies. All those tacky ties never struck me as particularly Bond-like.

  4. And, for what it’s worth, I’d wear this suit. It’s less exaggerated than the stuff he wore in 1995 and dates much better.

    Serge… what a shame this fabric isn’t more commonplace in off the rack clothes these days.

  5. I think a fine example of how top Italian tailors ultimately follow the basic design and style of Savile Row when it comes to classical men’s suits.

    • You’re spot on Steve, It’s a beautiful suit. There’s a good section on Brioni in “Gentleman – A Timeless Fashion” by Bernhard Roetzel, including shots of Clark Gable and John Wayne in their new suits. Many other stars also favoured the brand. In Australia, a Brioni suit is virtually the uniform of the CEO/cabinet minister/tycoon. A chap in Brioni gets treated right!

  6. Great and simple looking suit, and interesting tie pattern. Too bad there aren’t clear screenshots of this suit ! I actually think it could be even better with a navy serge cloth, but that’s probably just because the suit looks navy in the pictures, p because of the lightning I guess. Has Bond ever worn a navy serge blazer, Matt ?

  7. Brosnan looks so different when wearing a subtle patterned tie and when wearing a bold patterned tie, just that simple detail changes the impact or the whole look of the outfit, anyway Brosnan was always impeccably dressed, even with the bold patterned ties (which most readers seem to dislike), because he always wore patterned ties with plain white, cream or light blue shirts and navy or gray suits (all of these being safe and discrete)because when you put emphasis on some part of the outfit, using something that is really eyecatching or that carries lots of “personality” in this case the ties, the rest must be real conservative to avoid looking ridiculous, same as the shoes, he always wore safe shoes, lets say if they would have used burgundy shoes with a bold tie, that would have looked pretty dire, but Hemming truly knew what she was doing.

  8. Can’t beat this. Some would say he looks expensively dressed, but what’s wrong with that? What we see here is a man that cares about his appearance but not in a flashy or ostentatious manner. I think this is a classic, elegant look that has held up extremely well over the past 11 years. Top marks, 007.

  9. Matt, if I got it right, a serge cloth looks like very narrow and closely-spaced diagonal lines which sometimes aren’t very clear, and sometimes are ? I am not shure whether one of my suits’ cloth is serge or not.

    • Serge has clear diagonal lines on a 45-degree angle, and it looks basically the same from both sides. It has a very smooth finish. If the lines aren’t very clear and there’s a nap, it could be a worsted flannel, which is typically woven in a serge weave.

      • Well there are lots of naps so I guess it’s a worsted flannel, although the suit wasn’t at all depicted as a flannel one. It doesn’t look like a typical flannel cloth to me, it’s not puffy.

    • That’s what I thought at first too, but this is a slightly different weave. This tie has more even honeycomb-like appearance. The way the pattern repeats is different.

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