M: The Brown Flannel Suit in From Russia with Love

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Bernard Lee’s M is known for his likeness to Winston Churchill, partially attributed to his penchance for bow ties. M didn’t wear a bow tie in Dr. No, but he started the tradition in the second film, From Russia With Love. M’s first bow tie is wine red with pale yellow dots, and later in the film wears a very similar bow tie. M’s suit is brown flannel with a red cast. The suit coat has a two-button front with three buttons on the cuffs, flapped pockets and no vents. It actually has a very similar cut to Connery’s suit, with soft shoulders and a swelled chest. The trousers are most likely also the same, with double forward pleats. Though M’s and Bond’s suits are very similar, the difference in their figures is what makes the suits look so much different from each other.

M’s shirt is slightly off-white with a spread collar, double cuffs and a plain front. His shoes are medium brown, quite unusual for office-wear in London, though a man in his position can wear whatever he wants to. M accessorises his suit with a folded white linen handkerchief in the breast pocket. And though it’s not something he wears, the pipe is is a key accessory to the character. Even though there is nothing particularly outdated with his clothes, the pipe, bow tie, flannel cloth and vent-less skirt all contribute to M’s old-world look.

You can see Bond’s blue suit from this scene here.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with that M can use whatever he wants to, since he is the chief of MI6. I actually like the suit, despite the fact that it doesn’t look like it has working cuffs.

  2. Speaking of working cuffs, I read recently that Anderson & Shepherd used to refuse to make working cuffs because they were a sign of the “working man,” as only such would have to roll up one’s sleeves. Interesting to see how today they are viewed as a mark of distinction.

  3. Great article again.
    Do you think Anthony Sinclair made this suit ? It looks a lot like the Conduit Cut. And this two-button front looks great on Bernard Lee, although three-button front are told to look better on “short” people. Perhaps it’s because Lee’s height is between short and tall, by the way.

  4. Hello Mr. Spaiser, I was wondering would you consider writing on Lee’s Brown suit he wears in Thunderball?
    This suit looks similar to the suit that he wears in Thunderball.
    Also, I personally like the look of the bow tie with a suit. I think the look proves that he is an authority figure.
    Do you think we will ever see this style used in the future Bond Films.

    • I’ve already covered some of his outfits, and I don’t think I could add much more by writing about more of his similar suits. We may see M wearing a bow tie again in the future.

  5. My apologies I see the other articles related to M’s outfits.
    I am glad to hear that you think M could wear a bow tie in the future films. I personally have a collection of various bow ties and I often wear then with a suit as well.
    I like this wine red bowtie because I have one that is very similar to this tie. My care for bowties originated from the YouTube channel “Gentleman’s Gazette.”

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