The November Man: The Grey Silk Suit

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Pierce Brosnan returned to the spy/action genre earlier this year in Roger Donaldson’s The November Man. Brosnan plays Peter Devereaux, a retired CIA officer who has no reservations about killing or torturing people. The character would certainly not be mistaken for an older James Bond as he is certainly not a gentleman by any means. However, Olga Kurylenko, who played Camille in Quantum of Solace, plays a similar character to what she plays in her Bond film. Brioni, Pierce Brosnan’s suit supplier for his Bond films, provided some of the clothes for The November Man, according to a Brioni press release.

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One of Peter Devereaux’s nicest outfits in the film is his slubby grey and white pick-and-pick silk suit that he wears with a black shirt. The outfit is not Devereaux’s own but one that Olga Kurylenko’s character Alice Fournier picked out for him from the closet in an apartment they broke into. The grey suit flatters Brosnan’s very cool complexion, though it brings out the grey in his partially-dyed hair. The button two suit jacket is updated from the boxy, built-up jackets that Brosnan wore in his Bond films to one with more shape and straight shoulders on the natural shoulder line. It fits well, has balanced proportions and has a classic length that covers his rear. Like Brosnan’s Bond suit jackets, this jacket has roped sleeve heads, double vents and slanted hip pockets with a ticket pocket. There are four buttons on the sleeves, and the buttons are sewn in an overlapping “waterfall” style, a common method for tailors in Naples, Italy. The jacket has contrasting button in black plastic, which dress down the suit.

Unlike the darted Brioni suit trousers with a medium-high rise that Pierce Brosnan wore in his last two James Bond films, Devereaux’s suit trousers have a flat front and a lower rise. The lower rise does not flatter Brosnan, who is now almost beyond a middle-aged man and has a paunch. It also doesn’t help that he lets the trousers sag below his stomach. He keeps them loose so he can stick a gun in his trouser waistband, a bad habit that Brosnan’s Bond had as well. Brosnan wears the trousers with a black belt.

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Though black shirts (and other dark shirts) should not usually be worn with suits, Devereaux’s silk suit is not a business suit but rather one that can be dressed up or down for social occasions. Devereaux dresses the suit down with a dark shirt sans tie. The black shirt nicely contrasts with the suit in the same way a black necktie would, but without a tie a light-coloured shirt wouldn’t provide enough contrast with the light-coloured suit to balance Pierce Brosnan’s high-contrast winter complexion. The shirt has black buttons, a spread collar, a plain front and two-button scalloped cuffs, which Devereaux wears unbuttoned.

Devereaux’s shoes are the Nike Free Run 2 in all black. Though trainers such as these are inappropriate with a suit, the filmmakers—no doubt on purpose—show very little of the shoes. They are really only noticeable if one pauses the film during the three split-second shots when the shoes are visible. Since Pierce Brosnan is 61 years old, and The Novmeber Man requires him to do many action scenes, trainers are unfortunately necessary. When he was James Bond he was in much better shape and able to do the same kind of action in proper shoes.

The Nike trainers
Nike Free Run 2 black trainers

26 COMMENTS

  1. About flatter, what kind of pairing of color is recommended with the various types of complexion?
    For exemple,i have a pale complexion and brown hairs little graying.
    I love gray,blue and especially blue/gray blend (for me brown is only for sport coats).
    This flatter me?
    (see..)
    http://s11.postimg.org/y9oem6rkj/1059i.jpg

  2. Is the movie any good? I’ve been considering renting it on my AppleTV, but the reviews are so bad that I have yet to pull the trigger.

    S

    • I thought it was an okay movie. The plot twist was interesting but the pacing and dialogue was somewhat confusing. I think they simply tried too hard to make it “gritty”. There was just too much unnecessary action scenes and too much swearing. But IMHO Brosnan himself does a pretty good job. If you’re a Brosnan fan, I’d recommend at least renting it.

    • I thought it was awful. It’s Brosnan trying to do the Liam Neeson, older white male kicking lots of backside approach and it feels half-inflated at best.

  3. So the suits he wore is actually Brioni? I thought they were Tom Ford because I read somewhere that he wore Tom Ford to the premier. I’m probably mistaken though.
    I like the color of this suit very much. And I do like the contrast with the black shirt. The shoes though, are really awful with a suit. But I guess they didn’t plan on showing them in the movie at all.
    The black buttons and the silk material does make it look like a casual suit. But, if worn with a light blue or white shirt and a conservative tie, would this suit be passable for a business meeting?
    Peter Devereaux is not nearly as dressy as Bond but I think there are still some interesting tailored clothing that in the movie.

    • Brosnan did indeed wear Tom Ford to the premiere but not in the film.

      This suit would only be appropriate in a business meeting in the entertainment industry or in illegal professions. Otherwise it’s best left for social occasions.

  4. Could be interesting also a your pre-reviewing of “Kingsman-the secret service” based on the photos on web,and the trailers.

    • I’m also looking forward to that movie coming out. It seems like it would be an interesting (and a bit goofy) take on the spy movie genre. Imagine a secret service agency that poses as a Saville Row tailoring house! There should be many interesting suits in the movie. But I think we’d probably have to wait until it actually comes out.

    • Well,Bond,The Avengers,Man from Uncle,”The Prisoner” were all equally absurds…we are in the fantasy field,and i like a surreal approach in 60s style.
      Hurrah for camp,death to the “dark realism”!

  5. Matt, why do the contrasting buttons dress down the suit? For me they just look really unelegant (however when it comes to odd jackets i like contrasting buttons) also, dont u think it would have been better to have shell or mother of pearl buttons with the silk fabric?

    • They dress down the suit for the same reason you think they look inelegant. Generally, more complicated, bulkier or contrasting details make things less dressy. I would prefer either mother-of-pearl or grey corozo buttons with this suit.

  6. It’s interesting to see how Brosnan is dressed in movies nowadays. Did he wear anything interesting in the Ghost Writer?

    About complexions- I have dark brown hair and pale skin, but my hair is fast going grey. What would you suggest for suit colours that go with that?

    Long time reader, first time poster. Your website is brilliant!

    • He had one nice suit in The Ghost Writer, but it wasn’t that interesting.

      You have a winter complexion. The colours that Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan wear as James Bond should suit you best.

      Thanks for reading!

  7. I presume it is a two-button jacket ?

    Since Brioni has been bought by Kering (former PPR), judging from the stores and the models available on Ebay, it looks like the Brioni have lost their trademark style a bit and, while still being of excellent quality, are not so top-notch quality as they looked they were in the Brosnan / Casino Royale era (things such as the quality of the finitions, like the lapel/ sleeve buttonholes).

    Any Brioni suit owner here to confirm or infirm this supposition of mine ?

  8. Slightly off-topic, but the way Pierce Brosnan holds the pistol on the first photo is shocking for an actor who played James Bond and plays a former CIA agent in this film. That’s what it’s called “the teacup grip”. Totally unprofessional.

  9. Brosnan also wears Brioni (Palatino model) in the movie Remember Me with shirts by Lanvin, though that one’s probably a bit too removed from the spy world for Matt to cover.

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