Kerim Bey: Light Grey Suit



Kerim Bey, played by Pedro Armendáriz in From Russia with Love, is not only one of the most charismatic characters of the James Bond series, but he is also one of the best-dressed. In a number of scenes he wears a light grey pick-and-pick wool suit, made of different shades of grey for more depth in the cloth than a solid light grey would have.

Kerim-Bey-2The suit jacket has straight shoulders, a clean chest and three buttons down the front. The buttons are spaced closer together than on a contemporary button three jacket, and the middle button is placed at the waist level. This jacket could look good either with the top two buttons fastened—the way Bey wears the jacket—or with only the middle button fastened. The lapels have a nice roll above the top button, but that roll would continue further down if only the middle button were fastened. The jacket has moderately narrow lapels, and a long collar makes the lapel notches smaller than usual for a more fashionable 1960s look. The jacket also has three buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and no vent. The suit trousers have a tapered leg with turn-ups, and, most likely, reverse pleats.

Kerim-Bey-3Bey wears a cream shirt with a spread collar, placket and double cuffs, and he shows a folded white linen handkerchief in his jacket’s breast pocket. He wears two ties with this suit. His first tie is charcoal grey satin with a pairing of a white stripe and a slightly wider black stripe going down from the Bey’s right shoulder to his left hip, opposite the traditional English direction. Bey wears this tie when he first meets Bond and on the Orient Express. The second tie’s stripes go the other direction, up from Bey’s right hip to his left shoulder. This tie has a silver satin ground with a thin black stripe, a wide dark grey stripe beneath it with a space in between, another thin black stripe with a wide dark grey stripe touching it beneath it, and a thin brown stripe spaced below. Bey wears the second tie when he discusses with Bond the plans to steel the Lektor. Bey’s shoes are black.


  1. Hi Matt

    The direction of a tie’s stripes should point to it’s origins. British ties point to the left shoulder; American ties to the right. Kerim Bey’s first tie, therefore, is American.

    • Not necessarily. Some British regimental stripes point to the right shoulder, and it’s common to find Italian ties with stripes in either direction. An American tie would be highly unlikely since the film was not made in America. Clothing wasn’t imported and exported so much at the time.

  2. Given the amount of roll shown, I feel like this is the type of three button which was meant to be fastened middle only. Not a three-roll-two, but perhaps a three-roll-two-and-half as it’s sometimes called. Pedro may have not known better since many men fastened the top of three button jackets, both in the ’60s and later in the ’90s when they came back. (At least he didn’t fasten the bottom button like Connery did sometimes!)

  3. Can someone please elaborate on the differences between pick and pick, sharkskin, and a tick weave? In effect, they seem awfully similar (visually). Thank you. Are these simply synonyms for the same thing, or is there a subtle distinction?

  4. Kerim Bey! He is my favorite Bond ally. The way he mumbles “back to the salt mines..” to an invitation from a beautiful girl is just hilarious. Btw, I just realized recently that the girl is the one from the Goldfinger opening.
    I agree that he is always well dressed. I really like the look of this 3 button suit. Maybe because the closer spacing of the buttons makes the top button sit slightly lower than normal so there is a deeper “V” shape above the buttons.
    I have to admit I didn’t keep track of his suits in the film. Are there any other outfits of his that you will be covering, Matt?

  5. Nice suit and a great character.

    I have to add that Connery looks terrific here. He’s the definitive James Bond. Everything about this film is perfect. Unquestionably my favourite.

    • Yes indeed. He was still interested in playing the part at this stage and set the ultimate image and standard for all others to follow.

      • “I have to add that Connery looks terrific here. ”

        Especially on picture 3: That is how a suit should fit and look like. “Terrific” is indeed the right word.

  6. I’ve tried again and again to fold my handkerchief as quickly and as neatly as Kerim does in this scene. Can’t do it. Still looks like it’s been stuffed in by an ape.


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