Jaws, played by the 7’2″ Richard Kiel, should be one of the scariest Bond villains, considering his imposing size and fierce metal teeth. However, his clumsiness and sometimes unfashionable clothing choices contribute to the comic relief side of the character. Jaws’ azure blue double-breasted blazer in The Spy Who Loved Me takes away some of Jaws’ ferociousness. Though light blue blazers were common in the 1970s, they weren’t then and aren’t now particularly fashionable. The light colour makes Jaws look less threatening than dark colour would. The blazer is probably made of polyester, though it holds up well though a car crash off a cliff and being literally kicked off a train. Jaws simply brushes the dirt off himself after these incidents and walks away undamaged and unwrinkled.
The double-breasted blazer is a good choice for a tall man like Jaws because the rows of buttons help break up his height, and the longer length of Jaws’ blazer shortens the perceived leg length to ground him. The ideal length of a blazer or suit jacket should be half the distance from the base of the neck to the ground, but Jaws’ blazer is longer than that. Though Jaws is already a bulky man, the shoulders of his blazer are built up and out to make him look even more imposing. The blazer has polished solid brass buttons; there are four with two to button on the front and three on each cuff. The blazer also has three open patch pockets, wide peaked lapels without buttonholes, and double vents. Apart from the too long sleeves, the blazer fits quite well. And considering Richard Kiel’s size, the blazer is probably made bespoke for Jaws by a costumier.
Jaws’ trousers are dark grey and have a dart on each side in the front and two darts on each side in the rear. They have a slightly flared leg, slanted side pockets, no rear pockets and zip-style side-adjusters. Under the blazer, Jaws wears an ecru shirt with a fashionably large point collar that has a generous amount of tie space. The shirt’s rounded single-button cuffs are attached to the sleeves with gathers. The shirt’s placket is stitched 1/4″ from the edge to match the collar and cuff stitching. The back of the shirt is tailored with darts. Jaws’ tie is cream with a light blue, black and beige crescent pattern. It is tied in a four-in-hand knot, and Jaws takes a moment to fix his tie after he is kicked off a train. Jaws’ shoes are black derbies.
When Jaws first appears, first flashes his teeth, he’s a bit more natterly dressed. Director Lewis Gilbert said that as filming progressed, the character became – like you said – more of a comic character, so it’s POSSIBLE that they may have had a last-minute wardrobe change.
Speaking of last-minute wardrobe changes, in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, the scenes in Bilboa were originally supposed to take place on the same day as the subsequent boat chase in London. Then a decision was made that some time had passed between scenes, and so Bond is wearing a different suit, a darker suit, in London… this after Lindy Hemming had already ordered a dozen versions of the lighter-colored suit for all the stunt doubles! As Hemming pointed out, thank God for Brioni; could you imagine a Saville Row tailor making such a last minute substitution?
Those buttons look really small on that blazer.
The buttons may be single-breasted size, or the buttons might just look small because Jaws is so large.
Fitting someone as tall as Richard Kiel was always going to be a big task.
He could have been a much more threatening character if they’d toned down the comedic aspects. Don’t even get me started on his “redemption” in the next movie.
When I was ten, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Kiel. My aunt took me to a sci-fi convention in San Francisco, and they needed someone to pick him up at the airport – how times have changed from the Starlog magazine and convention days to the big business of comic-con and The Franchises! Mr. Kiel and his wife were wonderful when we showed up in a car frankly too small for them, and were very warm and friendly for the ride from SFO to the Van Ness Holiday Inn, where the convention was. He me a personal autograph and my aunt and me a nice thank you at the end of his talk to the convention audience. A truly wonderful memory, courtesy of Mr. Kiel.
Interestingly,Chris Wood’s novelization is excellent and one of the continuation novels closest in tone and style to Fleming. None of the film’s comical moments are present. Jaws is every bit as dangerous and threatening as any Fleming Bond adversary. A very underrated, near-forgotten Bond novel. And Wood’s Moonraker novel does not feature Jaws.
Jaws wears a very nice pinstripe 3-piece suit earlier in the movie and that made him look so much better and more serious. He also wears a pretty nice dark blue jacket in Moonraker that is quite nice, paired with light grey trousers. Top me the shoulders and overall proportions of theese outfits look the same so it is probably all done by the same tailor. Any plans on covering theese?
Also, Another man with a very hard body to tailor for would be the henchman Sandor in TSWLM. He was played by a very short but muscular wrestler yet his charcoal suit (unusual choice for Kairo!) looks very nice on him. Another suit I like that looks very good on a muscular man is the tan suit on the japanese wrestler in YOLT. It is very interesting when you write about the way a suit fits different body types (Brosnan being thin, Zukovsky and the ministre of defence being corpulent etc.) This blog in incredebly informative!
I agree with Hagensen. I would love to see a cover on Jaws’ navy sport coat.
Jaws was always my favorite Bond Villian growing up. To me he was a great for his era and I enjoyed Richard Kiel acting.
I was wondering Matt. Is Azure blue different from powder blue?
Azure is a warmer colour than powder blue.
Is ice blue much paler than both powder blue and azure?
Yes, ice blue is a much lighter colour.
Is it acceptable for a suit sleeve to ever cover the shirt cuff? I see many people considered stylish, not feature any shirt cuff including Bond. Some suits that I notice have this problem include, this suit Jaws wear, The Charcoal suit and The Gray suit in The World Is Not Enough and The Blazers in Diamonds are Forever and The Spy Who Loved Me.
It’s generally said that jacket sleeves should allow 1/4 to 1/2-inch of shirt cuff to show, which provides visual balance to the shirt collar and prevents wear to the suit cuffs. The latter reason is very practical as shirts are cheaper to replace than suits, shirts are easier to clean and are cleaned more frequently, and shirts cuffs can be replaced. Some believe it’s okay for the sleeve to be the same length as the shirt cuff, though I find that it doesn’t look as good that way, and the suit sleeve can feel more cumbersome. Jaws’ sleeves may be long because very tall people often are sensitive about their sleeves being too short.
Pretty much every suit that Lindy Hemming has overseen have their sleeves fitted like this, including those in the James Bond movies, that heavy flannel Brioni suit in Wonder Woman, and the Armani suits worn by Christian Bale in the Batman movies. I would go back in time and fix every single suit like this if I could, since they look great otherwise, but I sadly do not have that power. ;)
Matt, I can attest to that having fit some pretty tall people in the menswear biz. Some insisted on their shirt or jacket sleeves being a full inch longer than they needed to be. There are certain battles not worth fighting, especially if you’re getting paid commission either way!
Yes it’s acceptable but exposing 1/4-1/2” of the shirt is a rule of thumb.
He was supposed to play the Hulk he filmed a few scenes but was replaced by Lou Ferrigno .. a