Columbo: Navy Blazer

15

Columbo-BlazerFashion in the early 1980s rebelled against the excess of the 1970s style, but that excess would take only a few years to return to fashion. In the early 80s we see a number of well-dressed men in the Bond series, and Topol’s Columbo in For Your Eyes Only is one of them. The navy double-breasted blazer is made by tailor Robbie Stanford, who was two doors down from Anthony Sinclair at 27 Conduit St. The blazer has a typical English cut, with straight shoulders and roped sleeve heads. On the front there are four buttons with two to button, the traditional English arrangement minus the top two vestigial buttons. Those buttons are done away with here to make room for a patch breast pocket. The two hip pockets are also open patch pockets. The blazer has swelled edges, slightly narrow peak lapels, double vents and two-button cuffs. The buttons are brass with an anchor motif.

Columbo-Blazer-2Columbo’s cream shirt is likely made by Frank Foster. It has a spread collar and square-cut, two-button cuffs, and the buttons are a contrasting smoked mother of pearl. The cream gabardine trousers have a flat front and frogmouth pockets. He wears the trousers with a white belt. Columbo’s outfit is great for warm weather, especially by the water—or on the water where Columbo wears his.

The blazer was sold at Christie’s in South Kensington on 12 December 2001 for £447.

15 COMMENTS

  1. A. Too bad we don’t see it buttoned – the cut isn’t quite obvious.
    B. The rise of his trousers is far too low for use with any jacket.

    1980’s finest: Always something wrong.

    -Kurt

      • An excellent cut it is. Quite appropriate to have patch pockets too.

        Still doesn’t excuse the pants in my book though. DB or not, a blazer or jacket calls for appropriate trousers – if nothing else, to match the rear vents.

        -Kurt

      • Funny how the price seems not high at all -after all, it’s an auction- compared ot others auctions of less sartorial items. If I saw that kind of blazer at the same price in a store I guess I would buy it -I presume it’s a fully canvassed piece, since it’s the 80s.

    • I don’t find anything particularly offensive about the trousers. Even if they are a bit lower than traditional, the jacket is meant to be worn buttoned, which would effectively hide the rise of the pants.

      I give high marks to this outfit (and character) overall.

  2. Columbo was one of my all-time favourites in the canon of Bond adversary-turned allies. His navy blazer looks sharp, and the rest of the outfit (even the low-rise trousers) is well-matched to the character he is portraying.

    I hope at some point you cover the interesting grey suit worn by Emile Leopold Locque in this same film.

  3. It is remarkable how rapidly fashion changed (for the better) between 1979 and 1981. Here, this is one Bond’s coolest allies looking very cool. And the low rise pants are perfect for a swaggering character.

  4. If anyone is entitled to nautical attire, it’s Columbo – the man who owns a smuggling fleet. Perhaps Matt can set me straight on this:- are the two cuff buttons (on the blazer) an echo of the two buttons on each side of the jacket? Or is it a revival of an old custom that 3 and 4 button cuffs were reserved for suit jackets? He reminds me a little of Aristotle Onassis, another yacht owner who cut a dash. I’d love a blazer like this.

    • Some follow the custom of 4 buttons on a suit coat and 3 buttons on a sports coat. Brooks Brothers was known for 2 buttons on their sacks. 4 buttons would have been the standard. This tailor may have his own reason for only placing 2 buttons on the sleeves.

  5. Very nice cut of the blazer, quite reminiscent of some of the 40s summer suits. I don’t much care for the shirt -a little too unbuttoned for me-, but the trousers are indeed worn too low, they look like today’s chinos. Plus it doesn’t flatter him. High rise are indeed flattering to everykind of people, from skinny ones to overweight ones !

  6. I wonder what kind of shoes Columbo wears with this outfit. Maybe white or ecru or cream loafers…? Matt, what do you think would be the best choice in this case?

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