Comparing Mr. White’s Grey Jackets and More

15
Mr. White in Casino Royale
Mr. White in Casino Royale

Just as James Bond is supposed to be wearing the same navy pinstripe suit in the beginning of Quantum of Solace as he is at the end of Casino Royale, Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) is supposed to be wearing the same clothes in those scenes as well. The change of costume designer from Lindy Hemming for Casino Royale to Louise Frogley for Quantum of Solace means that Mr. White’s clothes in Casino Royale were reinterpreted for Quantum of Solace. In Quantum of Solace the clothes have a more traditional and classic look than they have in Casino Royale, and at the same time they also look more modern.

Mr-White-Quantum-of-Solace-3
Mr. White in Quantum of Solace

The jackets in both films are very similar at first glance, but they have many differences. The part that is most different is the cloth, even though they are similar colours. In Casino Royale the jacket is lightweight and charcoal with a thin grey grid check, whilst in Quantum of Solace it’s a heavier donegal tweed in a black and dark grey basket weave. In both films the jacket is likely a button two, but it’s difficult to see since Mr. White never buttons it. Both jackets have flapped pockets and four buttons on the cuffs, but the jacket in Casino Royale has a single vent whilst the jacket in Quantum of Solace has double vents. The cut is also fuller in Casino Royale. The jacket’s shoulders in Casino Royale are straight with a good amount of padding whilst they are softer in Quantum of Solace and have roped sleeve heads.

Based on the Casino Royale jacket’s full cut, straight shoulders and shape of the lapels, it could possibly be made by Brioni, who made Daniel Craig’s suits and shirts as well as the tailored clothes for all the men at the poker table at the casino in that film. I have no guesses as to who made the jacket in Quantum of Solace.

Mr-White-Casino-Royale
Mr. White in Casino Royale

The trousers in Casino Royale are brown and grey pick-and-pick, which ends up looking like taupe. They have single reverse pleats—the more common Italian style of pleats that opens outwards—and were a very popular style when Casino Royale was made in 2006. By 2008 when Quantum of Solace was made, pleated trousers had vanished from many stores. Mr. White’s trousers have a flat from in Quantum of Solace to reflect this. The trousers in Quantum of Solace are also a different colour: black and grey pick-and-pick. These trousers are the same two colours that are found in the jacket’s tweed, but the trousers contrast the jacket with a smaller scale and smoother texture.

The shirts in both films have the same idea but different executions. The Casino Royale shirt is dark blue with a white hairline stripe. It has a point collar, rounded button cuffs and a plain front with no placket. The Quantum of Solace shirt has a more classic look in medium blue oxford, which is a basket weave in medium blue and white yarns. It also has a point collar and rounded button cuffs, but it differs from the Casino Royale shirt with a raised placket and a breast pocket.

Mr-White-Quantum-of-Solace
Mr. White in Quantum of Solace

The ties in each film also have similar ideas but different executions. In Casino Royale the tie is navy with a brown pebble pattern, and in a diagonal arrangement over the tie are white dots surrounded by four light blue dots. The combination of blue and brown in the tie is a combination that costume designer Lindy Hemming often dressed Pierce Brosnan in for his Bond films. She must not have liked that combination for Daniel Craig, but she found another character to use it on with Mr. White in Casino Royale. For Quantum of Solace, Frogley chose the colours she liked from the Casino Royale tie and came up with her own take on it. This tie is simpler and is a solid navy with white and light blue squares.

Mr-White-Casino-Royale-3
Mr. White in Casino Royale

The shoes, though the same light brown colour in both films, are much different styles. In Casino Royale the shoes are cap-toe oxfords with thin leather soles, whilst in Quantum of Solace the shoes are plain-toe four-eyelet derbys with studded rubber soles. The Casino Royale shoes are dressier and more elegant, but the more casual shoes in Quantum of Solace better match the formality of the sports coat. The belts in both films are darker shades of brown than the shoes, but the belt looks even darker in Quantum of Solace. Mr. White’s socks in Casino Royale are dark brown whilst in Quantum of Solace they are medium brown.

Mr. White in Quantum of Solace
Mr. White in Quantum of Solace

Overall, Mr. White’s outfit in Quantum of Solace is more elegant and more like something James Bond himself would wear. Bond, however, would be more likely to wear black shoes than light brown with grey trousers. The outfit in Casino Royale, on the other hand, is flashier and more continental due to the jacket’s more modern pattern and there being more colours in the outfit.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Matt!
    Indeed the combination White wears in QoS is more classical and IMO also more tasteful. The jacket is a true odd jacket while the CR jacket looks a bit like a jacket which belongs to a suit. But perhaps the outfits were chosen in order to match the different surroundings: Rather warm colours in CR (rather dark blue together with green, brown as dominant colours) and and rather cool ones in QoS (because of the scene playing in the basement).

  2. I think the CR outfit is far superior to the QoS one. Mr White is obviously a a high class European and dresses accordingly. Though the outfits differ very subtly at a glance you can see up close that the QoS outfit is very “Old Englishman” in an uninteresting way. I love the fit of the trousers in CR the rise and the fit through the leg looks very elegant.
    I much prefer the Oxfords to the Derbies too. The Derbies just add to that uninteresting Old Englishman look.
    Great post Matt.

    • I couldn’t agree more ! The CR outfit has a lot of personnality, with autumn colors and an overall impression of austerity suitable to Mr. White’s character. It is also very refined. I like the interesting tie, the colors combination and the shoes.
      The QOS outfit looks just bland and common to me. The sport coat is fine, but the tie looks terribly cheap with such a common -and a bit oversized too- pattern. Plus the shirt has a breast pocket…
      The final argument is the shoes ; brown heavy derbies can look nice, when it’s a full brogue model for example, but these are just bulky and ugly. No really, compare them to the CR oxfords !!
      In both movies the two outfits have a good fit, so here we could say it’s just a matter of personal taste, not like the Craig’s 3-piece suit comparison, but I am really surprised that the QOS outfit is so praised -even by you, Matt !

    • Sorry, but to me an “Old Englishman” look means something completely different, i.e. corduroy trousers, heavy and coarse tweed jacket, tattersall check shirt, knitted tie, bulky full brogues etc.
      The colours of the CR outfit match the surroundings but that’s all one can say. In terms of colour the outfit in itself is disharmonious. And for sure it is neither high-class nor refined – to me it’s rather cheap-looking with regard to the jacket’s, the shirt’s and the tie’s pattern. Something you can find on the most common summer sale H&M stuff and therefore totally forgettable to me. It doesn’t have any character and even though the provider might have been Brioni it doesn’t look it (IMO the same applies to all the Brioni suits). It rather looks like off-the-peg-stuff. I think one of the lessons learned from the movies is that simply dressing everyone in Brioni is not a guarantee for looking stylish and well-dressed in the end (sometimes quite the contrary). This approach is a bit too simple.

      One could argue about the shoes but as Matt said the QoS derbies got quite well with the look which in comparison is indeed a more casual one.

    • The fit is exactly why generally seems to prefer the QoS outfit. The outfit in CR has a loose 90’s fit.

    • I find both outfits to be pretty forgettable, but at least in QoS Mr. White is wearing a real odd jacket as opposed to something that looks like a mismatched suit jacket. I also have two questions/pet peeves for other contributors to this blog: (1) What’s wrong with large patterns on neckties? and (2) What’s wrong with the “Old Englishman” look? I thought it worked pretty well for George Lazenby, the youngest of the Bonds: https://www.bondsuits.com/tick-patterned-suit/

    • Dear Dan,

      Perhaps you may find my answers rather ‘easy’, but that’s the way I feel about it. About large patterns on neckties, of course there is nothing wrong with them about it, in general. It is just this particular pattern, which I found very common and basic, that I dislike. And the pattern being rather large made me dislike it even more so, this design looks terribly cheap to me. Makes me thing of Tie Rack or ties sold in the underground in Paris for $10 the three . Otherwise about large patterns, I am a big fan of the DAD tie with grey and blue circles, as well as the GoldenEye tank tie (although I think this pattern isn’t so large after all).
      About the ‘typical Englishman look’, well clearly, there isn’t only one typical look. It would be too restraining. The look Mr. White is wearing in QOS just takes some typical British items like the tweed jacket or the heavy derbies. It’s the derbies I found pretty ugly. I don’t mind the jacket though. The entire outfit looks rather uninteresting too me, all pieces put together.
      About Lazenby, of course his 3-piece outfit looked great on him, but how can you compare it ? Here it’s a true typical British look, from head to toe (plus the coat, hat and pipe !), that I really enjoyed.
      Mr’s White outfit in QOS isn’t a whole typical Englishman look (note : it isn’t me that started to use this expression in the comments ! ;)), neither a whole typical Italian/ French/ American look, etc.

  3. Honestly I prefer the Casino Royale look.

    I’m not really sure why, to be honest. The Quantum of Solace outfit is certainly *nicer*, but I find the Casino Royale look to be *better*.

    Everyone in QoS simply looked fantastic. I mean I can rarely fault any of the characters’ outfits, they all look pretty immaculate. Sometimes, though, it’s the terrible imperfections of some characters that make other characters shine all the more.

    Or maybe I’m just talking out of my behind 😛

  4. Nice article! Matt, what about a post about matching socks for suits and odd trousers and how to wear them propery. I got that idea from the last picture. A gentleman should never show off his legs when sitting! The only exception is when wearing loafers in summer, so they say in germany. Although in the case of tortured Mr. White its okay I think 😉

  5. In my (not especially knowledgeable, sadly) opinion, the QOS outfit, though the individual pieces are nicer, doesn’t look as good when put together. I think it’s because the trousers are too close in colour to the jacket, so, from a distance at least, it looks like an attempt to match a mismatched suit, even though they have different textures etc. The CR outfit looks more pleasing to my eye, but of course YMMV.

    • Yes, you’ve certainly got a point there – the QoS trousers’ colour is a bit too close to the jacket’s one. Perhaps a trouser in different weave or pattern or something in charcoal grey would have been better. But to me the mismatch beetwenn CR’s jacket and trousers is even more striking. And I think that the QoS combination is more vivid thanks to the blazing blue of shirt + tie. In comparison CR’s outfit makes Mr White looking much older and duller.

    • Yes, I can see now that the tie pops more with the shirt in QOS. I still prefer the overall CR outfit a little more, though it does seem a bit more… anonymous… to me now.

  6. As I voted for and praised Bond’s full cut Brioni suit from this scene, I guess I’ll have to be consistent and find something favourable to say about Mr. White’s CR ensemble. Say what you will about Mr. White, he did make an honest effort to remain in the background and let Le Chiffre and others execute his plan. So, fittingly, he comes over as a prosperous but unremarkable Euro chap who avoids the limelight. The CR outfit looks like country/weekend attire, while the QoS look has a whiff of someone trying to bodge up a suit from mismatched items. That is, until Bond put a Heckler & Koch round through White’s leg! Also, the QoS shirt and tie are not far off being monochromatic. That has it’s place, but not on a man of Mr. White’s age.

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