M’s Green Smoking Jacket

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M-Smoking-Jacket

In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, M (Bernard Lee) wears a modern take on the smoking jacket in dark green velvet. Traditional smoking jackets have a frog closure—a button or toggle that fastens through an ornamental braided loop—but M’s smoking jacket is updated with a conventional button and buttonhole. Smoking jackets are meant for private wear, either as an alternative to the dinner jacket or as a garment for lounging. M wears his for the latter purpose when tending to his butterfly collection.

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M’s double-breasted, shawl-collar smoking jacket has four buttons with one to button, the same style as his dinner jacket is Goldfinger. It is cut with natural shoulders, roped sleeve heads and a draped chest. M’s smoking jacket has one button on the cuffs rather than the customary ornamental braid that would accompany a frog closure on the front, but the jacket follows tradition with jetted pockets and a non-vented skirt. The black velvet lapels contrast with the body of the smoking jacket, but the buttons are covered in the body’s green velvet. The jacket could essentially be called a velvet dinner jacket, but M wears the jacket in the manner of a smoking jacket.

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Under the jacket, M wears an ecru shirt with a spread collar, button cuffs and a plain front. Around his neck and under the shirt he wears a day cravat in an ancient madder print in brown, red and chartreuse on white. His trousers are dark grey and probably flannel. Though we don’t see M’s footwear, the natural choice for this outfit would be a pair of velvet Albert slippers with quilted linings and leather soles.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Although many would consider these types of clothes ridiculous, this is an element that is often missing in our era, even among those that dress up regularly. From what I understand, smoking jackets have been an element that bridged the gap between casual and formal, and was something that used to be fairly popular for wearing at home, perhaps while hosting a party. I know it was in it’s original context used for smoking, but it appears to be an elegant form of leisurewear that wouldn’t require it. Has James Bond ever been seen wearing a smoking jacket? Could Daniel Craig or a future Bond actor wear one effectively, or is it a relic of a more formally dressed time?

  2. A good look for M, and an interesting, rare view into the life of Admiral Messervy. Aside from being out if a more formal time (at least for certain classes), I always assumed clothing such as this was also worn to stay warm as central heating was not prevelant or effective “back in the day.”

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