As a thoroughly British character, James Bond has traditionally worn spread and semi-spread collars. However, the point collar has been Bond’s collar of choice in the last few Daniel Craig films. It’s not a regular Bond style, but it makes an appearance every few years.
The point collar is a collar where the points are angled downwards and typically sit closely together, depending on how long the collar points are. The points typically sit less than four inches apart, though if the points are longer and if there is more tie space, the points will end up further apart. What defines the point collar is the downward angle of the point rather than the distance between them. When looking at a person wearing the collar straight-on, the points will be at an acute angle with each other.
The point collar may also be called a ‘forward point collar’ or a ‘straight collar’, and it is known as a ‘classic collar’ to some, particularly in America. Because its an older style than wider spread and cutaway collars, it’s the most conservative of all collars. It does not stand out unless it’s in a large scale. It’s also often considered to be the most versatile of all collars, being something that can be worn with a tie, with a bow tie or open.
This collar is flattering to most faces, and it is usually the preferred collar for wider faces because the downward points help extend the line of the face. However, men with wide faces should avoid the collar spread being too narrow as it can have the look of a balloon on a string. The collar needs to be wide enough to provide a foundation for the face.
The point collar provides the basis for a few other collar styles, such as the tab collar, the pin collar and the button-down collar. Button-down collars can be made with any collar spread, but they are usually based on point collars. Point collars have the ability to be pinned, whether or not they have eyelets for a pin, because the points are close together.
Bond’s Point Collars
Long before Daniel Craig took on the role, Sean Connery introduced the point collar to Bond in You Only Live Twice with his naval uniform. This narrow collar is an unusual look on Connery, whose oval face does not need the lengthening effect of the point collar. It complements the buttoned-up look of his naval uniform, concealing the chest like the high-buttoning double-breasted jacket does. Together they give him a very stiff look, unlike the more relaxed look that his civilian dress has. The narrow collar leaves little room for a tie knot, and his narrow and lightweight tie’s small Windsor knot fits nicely in the point collar.
George Lazenby’s primary collar in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is point collar with a large amount of tie space—the space between the leaves where they fall at the top of the collar. Such prominent tie space with a point collar provides comfortable room for a tie knot and helps the points to sit flush with the sides of the jacket or waistcoat opening for a neat look. Lazenby wears this collar both with suits and ties and with dinner suits and bow ties. Lazenby’s chiselled face looks at least as good, if not better, in the wider spread collar he wears in the wedding scene, but the point collar does him nicely as well.
Though point collar often do not leave room for large tie knots, with this amount of tie space a point collar could fit a sizeable Windsor knot.
Roger Moore wears a very fashionable 1970s point collar for his ultra-seventies wardrobes in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. To match the wide lapels of his jackets, Frank Foster made his shirt collars with the points approximately 4 inches long. The only way to get collar points this long is to angle them downwards, otherwise they would be hidden under the jacket. With the collar band slightly higher than usual, this collar is able to comfortably fit some of the large knots that the wide 1970s ties make. Moore shows the versatility of this collar by wearing it with a tie, wearing it with a bow tie and wearing it open with different outfits in the films.
Timothy Dalton goes the opposite direction with his short point collar in Licence to Kill. Though it looks undersized for him—and it would look undersized for most adult men—it’s an all-purpose collar that was fashionable at the time.
A decade later, Pierce Brosnan wears a very classic point collar in the form of Turnbull & Asser’s ‘Number 3’ collar with his linen suit in The World Is Not Enough. Brosnan wears the collar open in a casual way, and the collar is constructed with a soft lining for this purpose.
Perhaps most unique point collar of the Bond series, and one of the most unusual collars ever made, is Daniel Craig’s widely-spread point collar in Casino Royale. This collar was especially designed for Daniel Craig to wear with his dinner suit and bow tie. Like George Lazenby’s point collar, this collar has a lot of tie space, with close to 1 inch of tie space to spread the collar leaves apart. This allows the points to neatly frame the bow’s knot, while a low collar band ensures that the knot can fill the band.
For Spectre, the point collar in its most familiar form becomes Bond’s standard collar. The points are neither long nor short, and the stand is neither short nor tall. It’s the classic point collar. The downside to this collar is that the points are fully visible when wearing a suit and tie, and this makes the outfit look less neat compared to a collar where the points meet the lapels. Ultimately, whether or not you mind that the points show is a matter of taste.
In No Time to Die, Daniel Craig wears a version of this collar with longer points that avoids the problem of floating points. This collar is reminiscent of the long point collars that Roger Moore wore, but in a more modest scale. Seeing that Bond wears point collars in the most recent two Bond films, it has become much more associated with Bond.