Kronsteen: The Navy Silk Jacket

Kronsteen, on the right
Kronsteen, on the right

Though Kronsteen, played by Vladek Sheybal in From Russia with Love, is one of the less memorable Bond villains, he is one of the more interestingly dressed. In his final scene he wears a stylish alternative to the navy blazer: a slubby navy silk jacket. The jacket is has a draped chest with gentle waist suppression and extended—but soft—shoulders with roped sleeve heads, all of which suggest an English tailor made this jacket. Though it may have a tradtional cut, it also has fashionable 1960’s elements. The jacket appears to be a button one at the front with three buttons on the cuffs, and the buttons are covered in the jacketing silk. The narrow lapels have a generous roll to expose less of the shirt, and they also have swelled edges. The jacket has an open patch breast pocket and open patch hip pockets.

Kronsteen wears light grey worsted wool trousers to contrast the jacket. The trousers are cut with forward pleats, which balance well with the drape style of the jacket. His cream shirt is possibly silk and has a plain front without a placket. The shirt’s short point collar and double cuffs are stitched on the edge. Though black bow ties should best be kept with black tie, Kronsteen wears one as his signature look. It’s a narrow batwing shape, possibly in a barathea weave. It’s difficult to see Kronsteen’s shoes, but they are likely the same black lace-ups that he wears with his charcoal blue suit at the beginning of the film.


Kronsteen carries a pork pie Panama hat that goes well with the summery look of his silk jacket. Like a traditional Panama hat, it’s woven of cream-coloured straw and has a black ribbon. Though the bow tie and panama hat look rather costume-like together, with the right attitude some men could pull off this look today. And if the whole look is too much, a slubby navy silk jacket with patch pockets is a versatile warm-weather jacket that looks great dressed up or down, daytime or nighttime.


  1. Dear Matt,

    Again many thanks for this article! And I agree – a silk jacket can make a very fine summer blazer. But it’s always the same problem – very hard to find as an off-the-peg version and rather expensive because of the material. With some luck you can get it in one of the big stores in New York (Macy’s, Polo R.L.) but it is more likely to be found somewhere in Italy (i.e. Naples or Rome).

    All the best,

  2. Excellent post about an intriguing outfit!

    Now I’m keen to see your interpretation of Red Grant’s clothes in the same movie. As you know, Grant was a lowly British criminal – turned Soviet assassin – who was posing as a British agent. His choice of wine reflected his origins. Did his clothes also offer any clues that he was an impostor?

  3. This picture is the trial that excessive narrow lapels (exactly as very huge lapels) ruin a good coat.
    Kronsteen/Sheybal’s silk blazer seems inconsistent (the tiny tie increases the effect).
    Is a pity! With more proportionale lapels would be a great coat!
    To quote the opinion of Fred Astaire from a 1957 interview with GQ ” He points out that thinness (and i add the excessive broadness) seems to destroy an essential quality of dress, its style, by misuse in ties or lapels”.

  4. Thanks for doing some articles on the villains, I think there is a wealth of information to be had on them. I’ve always liked this outfit, it fits the character well. I know the article for suggestions was a few back, but I think that the coat worn by future General Gogol in the picture above would be interesting to look into or perhaps be part of an article on outerwear.

  5. I’m digging everything about this outfit except the covered buttons.
    Unless you’re up close, this looks like an orphaned suit jacket that’s pilling. I think slim lapels work best with lower button stances.

    • But the pilling’s typical for silk (the famous silk slubbs) – therefore I think it must be dupioni silk. Rather a quality feature and not a cheap look. But you’re right – the combination (navy jacket, grey trousers), although classic, looks a little bit dated today.


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