James St. John Smythe in the Country: A Grey Tweed Jacket

18

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In A View to a Kill, James Bond poses as a horse stable heir named James St. John Smythe. To look the part of a wealthy Englishman whilst also keeping with his own tastes, Bond wears a button two sports coat made by Douglas Hayward in a mid grey tweed in an even twill weave with a strong twill wale. The tweed is heavy in weight, likely is similar in weight to a modern topcoat. In a heavy weight it keeps Bond comfortably warm out in the French countryside, it drapes exceptionally well and it holds up well for country sports.

The sports coat is has sporty details of three open patch pockets and a single vent, as well as three buttons on the cuffs. The lapels and pockets have swelled edges. The sports coat has soft shoulders with roped sleeve heads and is cut with a draped chest for a relaxed look and a nipped waist for a flattering silhouette.

The charcoal grey flannel trousers from Hayward are cut with a straight leg without turn-ups. The trousers are supported by a black textured leather belt with a rectangular centre-post buckle.

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The light blue oxford shirt made by Frank Foster has a spread collar, front placket and deep one-button rounded cuffs, and the tie is a tartan in a navy and white plaid with a red overcheck. Bond knots the tie in his usual a four-in-hand knot, however, a windsor knot would have been more expected for the heir St. John Smythe. Bond’s shoes are black leather slip-ons with an apron toe, a half strap and leather soles.

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Notice the pronounced twill weave on the tweed jacket and the oxford cloth shirt cuff

St. John Smythe’s black umbrella with a curved light wood handle identifies him as a traditional Englishman, but his a complete set Louis Vuitton baggage, on the other hand, identifies him as a showy man who spends his money freely. That is quite the opposite of what one expects from an English gentleman. The baggage—in dark brown leather with the gold LV motif and light brown leather trim—includes three suitcases of different sizes, a garment bag and a duffle bag, plus a small washbag that contains a three-head rotary shaver/bug detector and a mini-cassette recorder.

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Sir Godfrey Tibbett (Patrick Macnee) carrying James Bond’s Louis Vuitton baggage and umbrella

18 COMMENTS

  1. I've always felt Roger Moore's face changed alot between Octopussy and A View To A Kill. I know he got the mole removed, but it looks as though he had some other work done too. What do you think?

    • Hi,
      I am a little late, but I have the answer : Moore had plastic surgery. The skin is sleek, the eyes are much bigger, and the mole had been removed. And of course a new hairstyle.

  2. The biggest change in Moore's appearance came in For Your Eyes Only with a change in his hairstyle. In Octopussy he noticeably aged from For Your Eyes Only. In A View to a Kill he looks a lot different, I think mostly from the mole removal. It makes a really big difference.

  3. Like being the President, being Bond seems to age the actors considerably. Granted, it is over the span of 10 or so years. Connery looked completely different in the space of 9 years between Dr. No and Diamonds Are Forever. Moore MOST definitely aged with his 12 years. Even Brosnan aged in his 7 years.

  4. Roger Moore sure looked a lot better at 45 in Live and Let Die than Sean Connery did at 40 in Diamonds Are Forever.

    • That’s true but Connery got in amazing shape for Never Say Never Again compared to Diamonds. I think Brosnan could have done another Bond or two.

  5. I'll grant you that. But compare the dueling Bonds of 1983: Connery was the more convincing middle-aged spy in my opinion. He was in better physical shape and brought more energy than he did 12 years previous in "Diamonds are Forever." This helped sell the fact that he could conceivably be one of the best spies at his age and not just another pampered actor.

  6. Connery was definitely more convincing in 1983, but I think he was always a more convincing spy than Roger Moore, but playing a believable spy wasn't Moore's intention. But overall I have to say that I much prefer Octopussy to Never Say Never Again.

  7. This outfit is a great example of how to look casually elegant – unlike today's hideous, open-collar "business casual" outfits!

  8. Business casual isn't really a good descriptor anymore. I think we need better, more improved terms and definitions. It can now mean anything from "Casual Fridays" tennis shirt and khakis to a sport coat, tie, and odd trousers. When I was in high school I applied at a grocery store — they told me I was a "little overdressed" wearing a shirt and tie with khakis. However they "appreciated the effort" and it wasn't a bad thing. I got the job. 😛

      • Strange – I must have posted this to the wrong page, for this is definitely not the suit I had in mind when I posted that comment.

        I’ll see if I can dig up the correct post.

        -K

      • The style of men’s suiting overall in the 1980’s (most especially the period up to about 1985 when looser, double breasted jackets – ugh! – became popular) echoed somewhat the style of the 1960’s. In some ways, but for completely different reasons, aspects of today’s male fashions in suiting do so also as Matt pointed out when he juxtaposed aspects of a “Saint” suit from 1966 with Craig’s recent suits and in the recent “Avengers” suit post which drew valid comparisons to current styles also. It’s just that, for me, the 1980’s tailoring incorporated more pleasing aspects from the previous period whereas with current fashions everything is rather extreme; buttons too high, jacket too short, everything too tight.

    • It’s a very Bondian outfit apart from the tie, which is probably for a disguise. If you replaced the tie with a navy or black knit silk, you’d have a very Bondian outfit.

  9. What are your views on tweed sports coats with patch pockets and swelled edges? You rarely see patched pockets in English cut sports coats and I’m wondering if for an English cut all three patches are the more traditional as opposed to the two lower patches found in Neapolitan tailoring.

    Also is swelled edges a better alternative to pick stitching on tweed jackets?

    • I haven’t found there to be any specific traditions with patch pockets amongst English tailors. I’ve seen English tailors do various configurations.

      Swelled edges give a sportier look than pick stitching on a tweed jacket, but it’s up to you if you want the look of swelled edges or not.

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