Collars Royale: Tom Ford

28

In the second installment of “Collars Royale”, I break down the styles of the Tom Ford shirts—including the collars, cuffs and fancy fronts—that Daniel Craig wears in Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre. With James Bond’s Tom Ford shirts we get to see a new collar in each film, including firsts for Bond like the tab collar and pin collar, the latter a Tom Ford personal favourite.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Tom Ford shirts have some neat features, but overall I do not think they are worth the full retail price of $570. I own a couple, but they were gotten at deep discount secondhand. I will say that I like the four smaller pleats that go into the cuff better than the typical two larger pleats on most American shirts. It’s similar to the elegant gathers all the way around the cuffs of Bond’s English-made shirts. Their collars have higher stands which are better proportioned for my long neck. The Classic depicted here has a 4.5″ spread, 3.25″ points, and 1.25″ stand. This one came with their signature two-button, scalloped barrel cuff — something which should have been worn with the black shawl cardigan in Quantum of Solace instead of cramming double cuffs into the ribbed sweater cuffs. I have another collar which isn’t shown in the Bond movies, a rather Italian-looking 5.5″ spread with with 3.5″ points and 1.625″ stand (two buttons to fasten, one larger and one smaller). This one has the double cuffs as seen in QoS and Skyfall. The fused double and turnback cuffs are a disappointment for sure and should have sewn interfacings. Any shirt which costs more than a Frank Foster, Turnbull & Asser, or Charvet should never have fused fabric against the wearer’s skin. One small correction I want to make for my dear friend Matt: The yoke isn’t truly split, it’s one piece on the inside. Not sure why they even bother in that case. Either do it or don’t. Lacking a split yoke is not a sign of bad quality, but trying to fake it is quite gauche. However, my biggest criticism is that they attach the sleeves at a downward angle, with less fabric at the armpit, in order to save fabric. Ostensibly, it’s to present a cleaner armpit with one’s arms hanging at their side. I don’t really believe that logic. All it does is limit movement, even if your sleeves are made with extra length and a smaller cuff. Now, contrary to popular misconception, Tom Ford may have limited sizing but they don’t just make clothes for very slim men. My two shirts consist of both Classic Fit and Slim Fit, the latter having darts in the back. The Classic Fit is not a tent, in fact I wore it for my wedding a few weeks ago and find it pretty balanced. The Slim Fit is on the edge of being a bit too slim for my liking but probably too loose by Daniel Craig’s personal standards!

    Hope this helps anyone. Don’t buy at full price. Get them on sale, secondhand, maybe even save your money for a bespoke shirt or two. I think you’ll be much happier.

    • $570 for what I understand to be a ready to wear shirt is just complete and utter madness. It is to Tom Ford’s credit that there are so many wealthy fools to buy them for that much!

      When you can have a shirt made for you by a maker with infinitely more heritage, using comparable cloths and construction methods, I cannot understand why anyone would choose Tom Ford over, say, Turnbull & Asser, or Frank Foster or any number of Jermyn Street makers.

      The literary Bond would see Tom Ford as a brash extravagance and dismiss the choice out of hand.

      • You’re correct on all fronts! Again, they have neat features. The gauntlets have a bit of thread reinforcement, I suppose to reduce wear at the opening. This is similar to what they do on the sleeve cuff opening of their jackets. There’s even pique side gussets and a small pique undercollar on the shirts of which I’m not certain the purpose, but are a cool touch. (The Anto bespoke shirt Matt sent me also has this feature. I’ll have to ask them what it’s for.) The scalloped barrel cuffs are pretty elegant. But I’ve seen bespoke shirtmakers do all these things, including that scalloped cuff design, and better at that for a more affordable price. For example, the sloped stand corners that English shirtmakers such as Frank Foster use in order to better frame the tie and how they use stiff sewn interlinings on the collar. Anto and Tom Ford do fuse the stand from the outside in, however, which they certainly should at that price.

        Tom Ford, as shown in the Bond movies, is pretty restrained compared to their usual tendencies for loudly patterned dinner jackets and so forth. But I agree with your other comment that QoS used their clothing to the best advantage of all three movies.

      • My guess is that Tom Ford is not good at marketing but also readily available at most high end department stores all over the world while Turnbull & Asser and other heritage British shops are not.

  2. The clothing and specific to this piece, the shirts, for Quantum or Solace were particularly nice. Classic designs, paired with properly proportioned suits that looked timeless and for the era, peerless in their style.

    I’m saddened that Skyfall and Spectre featured one frivolous try-hard style point after another. The tab collar, the pin collar, the suits cut for a much smaller and shorter man – it was fussy, it was showy, it looked terrible and it will date awfully.

    Such a shame, because Tom Ford makes lovely, if overpriced, clothes. They aren’t done justice to in the last two movies.

    • Totally agree Pete. I realise it may be anachronistic at this point but I still consider literary Bond as the fulcrum against which Bond’s clothing should (mostly) be balanced. Literary Bond would have no time for the fussiness of tab collars, pin collars, Moore era button down cocktail cuffs etc.
      At the end of the day he’s ‘supposed’ to be a ‘secret’ agent on a civil servant’s salary, dressed to blend in with his surroundings not stand out as some kind of peacock strutting dandy in expensive flashy threads.

    • I know what you mean, Pete. I wish Daniel Craig hadn’t interfered in the costume design process and that Temime hadn’t indulged him, because she’s done fantastic work not only outside of her two Bond films, but within those films themselves. (See the fantastic, classic suits worn by Ralph Fiennes and the really nice country outfit seen at the end of Skyfall.)

      • I agree on the suits for the character of Mallory – some of those are cut beautifully. The style suits the character perfectly for me nd when we look back at those movies through this sartorial lens, he’ll come out as the best dressed in Skyfall and Spectre.

        The literary Bond has his faults though – he liked moccasin shoes with suits and short sleeved shirts, which, to me, don’t suit the formality of the look he seemed to be going for.

        I see Connery’s Bond as having probably the best style because it was the least fussy and showy, on the whole and there were little nods to the literary Bond in his knitted or grenadine ties, for example.

        But though I really don’t like the style of Craig’s Bond just lately, at the very least I credit the exercise with informing my view on tab and pin collars and on tightly cut suits. I know I don’t like them and can say I’ve considered them at length, as can many of Matt’s readers. There’s value in the exercise, even if we don’t adopt it.

  3. Are all these collars standard Tom Ford models, or were some designed specifically to flatter Craig’s face?

    And which one in your opinion suited him best, Matt?

  4. Is the viewer intended to understand that James Bond wears Tom Ford, or are we supposed to believe that he is wearing bespoke English clothes? I know what Tom Ford would have us think, but the clothing doesn’t necessarily scream TOM FORD if you look at some of the items the brand sells outside of its Bond capsules.

    • Some of the clothes very much resemble Tom Ford’s identity, but that was inspired by some of the bolder English bespoke styles, such as that of Edward Sexton. I think we are expected to believe that Bond is wearing English bespoke clothes when he is wearing Tom Ford, and Tom Ford has designed his clothes to look like English bespoke.

  5. First I was a bit perplexed as to why daniel craig was bond, and then when tom ford stepped I was lost. Now he is doing another 007 film, and I’m hoping he can finally leave the role.

  6. Should someone with a big head wear a wider collar? What are the rules of style when it comes to head size? When it came to football I couldnt play because my head was too big. The only position I got was ass back.

    “Hey coach can I play?”
    “NAH, GETCHA ASS BACK! “

  7. When is the ‘small collar’ worn by bond in Skyfall/Spectre? I remember the tab and point collars, but not that one.

  8. Matt,

    Was the white shirt that Bond wore in the SKYFALL Macau hotel bar and Patrice trail/assassination scenes from TF as well? I think this one had a point collar along with barrel cuffs.

    Great post once again!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.