When a man wears a sweater or jumper over a collared shirt, there’s always the debate about whether he should wear his shirt’s collar inside or outside the collar of his sweater. There are a few guidelines to follow but there’s not only one way to wear a shirt collar with a sweater. There are many conflicting opinions on how to wear a shirt collar with a sweater, but here are how and why Bond wears his sweaters and shirt collars the way he does.
Shirt Collar with a Crew-Neck Sweater
James Bond wears three crew-neck sweaters in the series over collared shirts. In For Your Eyes Only and GoldenEye he wears a grey fisherman’s sweater and a navy cable-knit sweater, respectively, with the shirt collar outside of the crew neck. In The Living Daylights, Bond wears his shirt collar inside the neck of his dark grey sweater.
Wearing the collar inside tends to look more modern while outside looks more old-fashioned. Inside can look neater, while outside looks more relaxed. Outside also shows off the shirt collar, which frames the sweater and the face. If wearing he shirt collar outside of the sweater, the collar needs to be large enough that it sits neatly and stays in place.
Shirt Collar with a V-Neck Sweater
The Spy Who Loved Me is the only time James Bond wears an unbuttoned shirt collar with a V neck. Here it’s a black V neck over a black silk shirt with a large two-button point collar for a casual afternoon look.
Bond wears his shirt collar outside of the V neck because it’s more natural for both the sweater and the shirt. He’s wearing his collar with stays, so the collar stands up high and sits neatly. If he wore the collar inside it would flatten the collar and create a lump under the sweater. The only neat way to wear a shirt collar inside a V-neck is to wear a button-down collar.
Polo with a V-Neck Sweater
On a few occasions, Bond wears a polo under a V-neck sweater. He does this on two occasions in Goldfinger: the first is with a grey polo under a burgundy sweater from Slazenger for a game of golf. The second is a black polo under a black sweater for sneaking around at night. On both occasions, Bond lets the polo’s collar sit over the sweater. If he tucked the collar inside, it wouldn’t stay in place and the sweater would end up swallowing the polo. Letting the collar sit naturally on top of the V-neck looks neater throughout the day. He does the same thing again in Never Say Never Again with a grey V neck over a striped polo.
Tie with a Sweater
Skyfall is the only time Bond wears a tie with a sweater, when he dresses up as a chauffeur with a black sweater from John Smedley over a white shirt and black tie. In this case, the shirt’s collar and the tie should always be tucked inside the sweater. When wearing a shirt and tie with a V neck, it looks best if the shirt collar’s points finish just under the V neck. If the collar points are too long the V neck won’t sit neatly. If the collar points are too short it leaves a sloppy gap or worse, they become untucked liked Bond’s do in Skyfall. V necks and cardigans are the best sweaters to wear with a tie, while crew necks usually end up hiding the tie’s knot and look lumpy as a result.
Shirt with a Cardigan
Wearing a an open-collar shirt with a cardigan depends on the cardigan. With a regular cardigan without a collar, it should be treated like a V-neck sweater. In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bond wears a cardigan as part of his Sir Hilary Bray disguise. It looks as if he tries to keep his shirt collar tucked inside of the cardigan, but the collar points end up on top of it.
In Quantum of Solace, Bond wears a black shawl-collar cardigan from Tom Ford. With a shawl collar, the cardigan must be worn like a jacket and the shirt collar should always stay tucked inside. While a shirt collar outside of a jacket collar looks disco, a shirt collar outside of a shawl-collar cardigan will only look sloppy.