Noble House: Navy Pinstripe Suit

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Noble-House-Navy-Pinstripe

Noble House, a novel by James Clavell, was adapted into a television miniseries in 1988 starring Pierce Brosnan. The miniseries also features other Bond actors, such as John Rhys-Davies from The Living Daylights and Burt Kwouk from GoldfingerYou Only Live Twice and the 1967 Casino Royale spoof. Brosnan plays Ian Dunross, chairman of the oldest and largest of the British-East Asia trading companies.

The character’s suits would most probably be made by a tailor in Hong Kong, and it’s likely that the clothes for the miniseries were made by a tailor in Hong Kong since that’s where it was filmed. The Hong Kong tailoring looks like Savile Row tailoring minus the English flair. The miniseries featured a lot of nice tailoring which holds up rather well today, better than what Timothy Dalton was wearing at the time as Bond.

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Because Brosnan plays a business man he is dressed in a lot of stripes throughout the mini-series. Here we will look at one of his striped suits, a navy three-piece suit with alternating thick and thin pinstripes. The jacket is a button three, and although the lapels roll to the top button they still have a gentle, elegant roll. The shoulders are straight and built up with roping, but they aren’t as excessively large as the shoulders that were popular at the time. The jacket has three buttons on the cuffs, flapped pockets and a single vent.

The suit trousers have double reverse pleats but with a somewhat trim leg for the era. The waistcoat is the weakest part of the suit. It has six buttons with five to button, but it is more like a five-button with an extra button added on to the bottom since the bottom button is ill-spaced and looks like an afterthought. The waistcoat is also too long, and the buttons are placed to far apart, for a less elegant look.

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Brosnan wears the suit with a white shirt with closely spaced blue pencil stripes, and it has a point collar and double cuffs. Striped shirts can work well with striped suits if the scale of the stripes are much different, but they are very close here and somewhat clash. This is a recurring problem with the clothes in Noble House. The tie is navy with white polka dots, tied in either a windsor or half-windsor knot. He also wears a folded white linen pocket square, which is far more sober than the puffed silks he previously wore in Remington Steele. The outfit is more business than Bond with two striped pieces of clothing, but if either the shirt or suit was solid it would be a great outfit for Bond.

7 COMMENTS

  1. You mention that the “…Hong Kong tailoring looks like Savile Row tailoring minus the English flair;” yet, I’m having a bit of difficulty finding significant fault in the jacket’s tailoring – from the photos, anyway.

    Granted, the waistcoat shows a distinct lack of effort, even if it were sans the 6th button – particularly evident in the first photo. Sure, it fits, but that’s about the extent of it – flattering it isn’t.

    -Kurt

  2. Very nice clothing, and completely concur, Matt, with your commentary.

    However, glad Pierce did not get the role at this time – he was impossibly young and his time had not yet come.

  3. I don’t think Brosnan made either a convincing Ian Dunross nor James Bond. I did think he was just right in The Thomas Crown Affair remake.

  4. With more small shoulders and a narrow navy knitted tie,is not different to Lazemby’s blue suit in OHMSS.

  5. I just finished Noble house and I must say I was very positively surprised by both the story, music, locations and clothes.
    Brosnan wears a lot of interesting outfits in the series! Both his suits and leisure clothes. The 80’s look is very discreet and I agree, it holds up very well indeed today.
    A lot to be covered.

    Regards,
    R

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