James Bond and the Point Collar: An On-and-Off Relationship

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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

Sean Connery wears a point collar shirt with his naval uniform in You Only Live Twice.

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 blue shirt from Frank Foster has a point collar with a considerable amount of tie space, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

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 Frank Foster shirt with a high and deep point collar in Moonraker.

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.

Pierce Brosnan wears a Turnbull & Asser shirt with a soft point collar in The World Is Not Enough.

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.

Daniel Craig wears a Turnbull & Asser shirt in Casino Royale.

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.

Daniel Craig wears a Tom Ford shirt in Spectre.

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.

Daniel Craig’s Tom Ford shirt in No Time to Die has long collar points.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Speaking of the point collars of Sean Connery and George Lazenby, what was the length of the collar points? I can tell Roger Moore’s collar points are about 4-inches long, as you mentioned in the article. Once again, great article Matt.

    • I would estimate that Lazenby’s collar points are 2 7/8 inches long. We can’t see all of Connery’s collar, so there’s no way to estimate the length of his points. I suspect that they’re no longer than Lazenby’s. They may even be shorter.

  2. I don’t know the exact reason but Lazenby’s shirts lacked the flair of the shirts Foster produced for Moore and even Connery in Goldfinger. The point collar just looks off or something. I’m not that mad about them and Dalton’s were definitely the worst with Craig’s in Spectre and Lazenby’s, a close joint second. Unpopular as it may be, I find Moore’s 4inch long ones, to be the nicest although I know, because shirts with longer collar points have been out of fashion for such a long period now, this is what will probably make them the most jarring for others. The next best I would actually say are Craig’s in the most recent movie.

    • I think the best overall collars in the series were worn by Moore in LALD and TMWTGG. As big of a fan of Moore’s tailoring as I am, I think the collars in TSWLM and MR are a bit excessive. I, too, am puzzled by the mediocrity of Lazenby’s shirts, especially considering how exquisite his suits and blazers were. The collars I simply don’t understand are Craig’s tab collars. They don’t flatter his broad, craggy face, and they are too fussy for Bond. Maybe this is another example of Craig himself imposing his (questionable) fashion taste on the costume designer.

    • I agree, David. The longer points are far more elegant. For me, miserable little point collars are perhaps the worst collars of all, with only the extreme cutaway coming close. But at least the cutaway demonstrated some effort (too much effort, probably). The tiny point collar is completely lacking in refinement and taste.

    • I agree with David. I think Moore’s point collars where my favorite as well. I also agree with Daniel on his thoughts on the tab collar. I had owned two tab collar shirts and I believe they are very fussy. I much prefer Craig’s point collar in NTTD.

    • I like shirts with longer points, personally. I have a 17.5 inch neck and a sizeable head, so fashionably small collars look silly on me. I also prefer my collar points to go into my lapels.

  3. Great article as usual. The military uniform on Sean Connery case helps the look, I think, there is a narrower space. How is the stance of the lapels called? I imagine it depends on how high the top button is. Some suit coats are more like a military tunic right?

  4. Interesting article as usual! I found it interesting how you went through the different times all the Bond actors wore the point collar. I was wondering what collar Bond wears in the novels?

    • Good question. I don’t recall much specification in the books about shirt collars but will be happy to be corrected. I also think that book Bond, who “abhorred shoelaces” would not be a fan of the pointless fussiness of tab collars as displayed recently by Mr Craig.

      • Ian Fleming usually wore semi-spread collars, so that’s the only indication we might have for the type of collar his Bond wore. SInce it’s a standard English collar, that’s what we can assume. I agree that he wouldn’t have cared for tab collars.

  5. Generally, Bond actors are slim and fit, with long and/or oval faces, and angular jaw. To such a face type, the most flattering shirt collar is a spread or semi-spread. And that’s why those are the most frequently chosen. And that’s why point collars often look “wired” on such faces.

  6. I’ve never been much of a fan of point collars, but Moore and Craig make them look their best. I would never have thought the Casino Royale dinner shirt was a point but I don’t doubt its truth, maybe if I held a protractor to it I’d see for myself! It must be very close to a right angle.

  7. Got to say, never was a big fan of the spread collar with the giant neck tie knot that comes with it. Just a personal preference, so I am glad to see this article.

    But I always felt that Roger Moore’s deep point collars from the 1970s were just too deep for my tastes. On the other hand I am not a fan of point collars that are too small, you know the ones where the collar barely covers the parts of the tie around one’s neck. There’s just no pleasing some people.

    Keep up the good work.

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