Kamal Khan: Grey Tweed Jacket

10

Kamal-Khan-Sports-Coat

When Kamal Khan, played by Louis Jourdan, dresses in western clothing in Octopussy, the outfits are similar to outfits Bond wears. His dinner suit is just as classic and his navy suit is just as minimal. His tweed jacket in a broken twill weave of dark and light grey wool is equally simplistic, but it’s also not boring. There’s a continuity error, however, since there were at least two of these jackets used in filming. One of the jackets buttons one and the other buttons two. Other than this discrepancy, the jackets are the same. They have straight shoulders with roped sleeve heads, and they are cut with a clean chest and are shaped through the waist. The jackets have 1-button cuffs, no vent and jetted pockets with a ticket pocket. The jacket’s vent-less skirt signifies that this jacket is not for sporting use, and the straight jetted pockets follow the vent-less rear’s clean look and non-sporting purpose. The buttons are all black leather, something that sets this jacket apart from all of Bond’s jackets. Bond instead prefers slightly less rustic horn buttons for his jackets.

This sports coat buttons one.
This jacket buttons one.

Khan’s jacket sleeves are flamboyantly a little short to show off more shirt cuff. It’s usually recommended to show between 1/4″ and 1/2″ of shirt cuff when the arms are at rest, though, like Roger Moore’s character Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders, Kamal Khan also shows too much shirt cuff. Shorter jacket sleeves visually shortens the arm length, and it’s possible that Louis Jourdan thinks his arms are too long. But over an inch of shirt cuff simply looks disruptive and like a mistake.

This sports coat buttons two. Notice its short sleeves.
This jacket buttons two. Notice its short sleeves.

Charcoal trousers complement and provide the necessary contrast to the lighter grey jacket. We can’t see if they have pleats or not, but they have a sharp crease. Khan’s light blue shirt from Frank Foster has a spread collar and two-button cuffs. The tie is navy with raised rectangles, woven in a checker pattern. Khan ties it in what is probably a half windsor knot. Overall, the outfit is timeless in both the colour palate and its proportions. The only thing that doesn’t fit in well today is the jacket’s vent-less skirt, but like everything else it comes in and out of fashion.

Kamal-Khan-Sports-Coat-Button-Two

10 COMMENTS

  1. Arguably one of the best outfits worn by anyone other than Bond in the series – short sleeves or otherwise.

    It is also a good example of how tastefully – and mildly – fashionable elements of a simple nature (leather buttons, no vent) can be present and not ruin a look in the least – Craig could have worn this ensemble in SF without a single complaint.

    -Kurt

    • I’m glad you can appreciate this outfit. I wouldn’t consider leather buttons and no vent fashionable elements since both are very traditional things, even though both saw a revival in the 1980s. But currently, jackets with no vent tend to look either old-fashioned or cheap. They need to fit very well to look good. Though no vent used to known as a “continental” style, few makers in Italy currently make anything other than double vents.

  2. I really enjoy this outfit. The only feature I don’t care for is the one-button cuff. Although this is just a personal preference–I don’t have anything against it in principle.

  3. This is indeed a beautiful outfit. I always get the feeling with Bond films that the actors are allowed a say in they wear (of course I know this is probably not the case). It just comes across as the good taste of the French.
    Matt do you believe that Sports Jackets are strictly for daytime wear out of the city?
    Cheers
    Ryan

    • Traditionally they are for daytime wear outside of the city. Sean Connery shows how the navy blazer can work in the evening. Kamal Khan’s jacket has the right colour palate for city wear. Often a suit is too formal and a sports coat is better, even for evening in the city. It just can’t be a heavy, earth-tone tweed. I’m not against wearing sports coats in the city, and I do so often.

  4. Also on the topic of the sleeve length. I’ve found that with my jackets that when wearing button cuffs there’s always more exposure as they are obviously half as thick as turn back and french cuffs. I think they should have put him in one of those style cuffs. Just my opinion
    cheers
    Ryan

  5. I think it’s a great outfit, and I just can’t understand why the ventless look is considered by some as a fashionable touch. To me it’s the most sober and simpliest way to “finish” the back of a jacket, and thus the most elegant style.
    Funny to see how Louis Jourdan’s physique has changed : here he looks slimmer and shorter than in his 40s-50s movies, in which he had a physique similar to Connery (not as large, but similar in the proportions).

    And I think Gobinda -is it correct ?-‘s suit deserved a mention. In a grey suit, white shirt and grey tie, he looks as elegant as his boss here, which one can’t say of every Bond henchman.
    The suit looks really nice, except for the sleeves perhaps that seem a bit tight.

    • This suit (Gobinda’s) is tight all over based on the picture above. The jacket is too short and the trousers are also tight. But I agree the colour scheme and suit fabric are lovely.
      Cheers
      Ryan

  6. Great post Matt. I think this is a wonderful outfit. From the frontal shots it looks like the jacket fit very nicely on him. I especially like the minimalism of the one button version.

  7. Kamel Khan certainly is well- dressed! Very nice, slightly “80’s”, but looks excellent. Good post, Matt, and I imagine there is a lot of material to cover with the non-Bond characters.

    Gobinda’s suit looks like it would fit right in today.

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