Odd Job: A Servant’s Uniform

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Oddjob

Though not in his manner, Oddjob makes a convincing servant in his dress. He wears black lounge, the same type of outfit that Bond wears for his wedding. The black button-three jacket has a high button stance and high lapel notches, which are more flattering to the shorter man that Oddjob is. The jacket has has three-button cuffs and jetted pockets and no vent. The jacket has some fit problems in the chest and shoulders, but a servant wouldn’t likely be wearing a bespoke suit anyway. Oddjob wears a matching five-button waistcoat, and he fastens all the buttons.

Oddjob-2

The cashmere stripe trousers in grey tones—originally from morning dress—are commonly worn with black lounge. Oddjob’s trousers have double forward pleats and plain hems. His white shirt has a wing collar, front placket and double cuffs. Though the wing collar was once worn with morning dress—like the striped trousers are—it is too formal for black lounge. A wing collar also should not be worn with a four-in-hand tie—though it once was the norm. The inappropriate mixing of formalities is what identifies Oddjob as a servant. His black, military-like derby shoes are also not up to the same formality as black lounge.

Oddjob-3

Oddjob’s black, flat-crowned bolwer hat—his most famous accessory made by Lock & Co.—is unusual for a servant, but it is the perfect match for his black lounge outfit. Two examples of the hat used in the film have been sold at auction. The first was sold at Christie’s in South Kensington on 17 September 1998 for £62,000. The second was sold by Julien’s Auctions in June 2006 for $33,600.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for a very precise and interesting article, Matt. Oddjob is also wearing dark braces, isn’t he ?
    I am surprised about “your” rule about not wearing a four in hand tie with a wing collar. I guess it must come from the period when turned down collars didn’t exist yet -or were still removable, not attached. Of course, wearing, well, for example a knitted tie with such kind of collar makes no sense, but a plain and heavy silk tie tied in a four in hand knot worn with a wing collar wouldn’t shock me at all. Anyway, we hardly see wing collars nowadays, often only with evening wear or morning wear -only with a dress cravat I mean. Too bad they often are too small and not traditional removable stiff collars, due to ready to wear imprecisions. Do you think Oddjob’s shirt collar is a “traditional” one, by the way ?

    • Oddjob is probably wearing braces. At the turn of the last century wing collars and four-in-hand ties were commonly worn together, but now it’s customary to wear the collar and tie one way or the other. By the 1960s, the wing collar had fallen out of favour with morning dress and was relegated to servants for outfits like this one. Oddjob’s collar looks softer than the detachable wing collar, but I can’t tell for certain.

      • Thanks a lot. Fortunately the wing collar is still required for white tie… By the way, after seeing some scenes, it’s now 100% shure that Oddjob is sporting black braces. We clearly see them at several times.

  2. I am one of those people that works in a profession where wearing detachable wing collars is a requirement of the job some of the time. I think Oddjob is wearing a detachable wing collar.

    In the close up of Bond and Oddjob you can see what appears to be the tab through which the collar stud goes underneath the tie. It appears to be separate to the rest of the shirt, as best I can see.

    He does not appear to be wearing the very traditional heavily starched variety of wing collar, however. There are examples that are machine washable and do not require starching. He might be wearing one of these.

  3. This reminds me of the livery I supply to the servants on my estates and yacht. The fancy ring would, one imagines, be a symbol of the evil link between this pair. The gold, of course, would be of great significance to Goldfinger, and the Asian design could have some occult meaning for Oddjob. The poor jacket fit may be to give Oddjob freedom to use his martial arts skills, as he does in Fort Knox. Say what you will about Oddjob, but the man was loyal unto death.

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