Orson Welles plays Le Chiffre in the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale wearing an outfit fitting for a colourful villain. Welles’ segment of the film is the only one that derives from Ian Fleming’s original story. Following Peter Lorre’s version of Le Chiffre in the 1953 version, Welles also wears a light-coloured dinner jacket as the same character. Emilio Largo, the most recent Bond villain in Thunderball, may have influenced the choice to put Welles in an ivory dinner jacket while the hero wears a dark dinner suit.
Welles wears a traditional ivory dinner jacket with a single button on the front, a shawl collar, jetted pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent in the rear. The shawl collar is narrow in relation to Welle’s tremedous size, even though it is close to 3 inches wide. The dinner jacket has an English cut with lightly padded straight shoulders, roped sleeve heads and a full chest to give the illusion of waist suppression.
Under the dinner jacket, Welles wears a white dress shirt made by Frank Foster with a spread collar, double cuffs and a pleated bib that closes with two black onyx studs. Unusual for a pleated bib, the front of the shirt has no raised placket. The pleats go through the middle of the shirt’s bib, changing direction at the centre where the studs are. The pleats are 1/4 inch deep, matching the depth of the stitching on the collar, cuffs and front edge. The pleats are smaller than ordinary pleats but larger than swiss pleats (also known as pin tucks).
With the dinner jacket, Welles wears black trousers and a deep burgundy bat wing bow tie and matching cummerbund that accentuates Welles’ girth. A black cummerbund would be more slimming since it wouldn’t draw as much attention to the widest part of his figure. And as the name of the ‘black tie’ dress code suggests, the bow tie properly should be black, not burgundy. However, a burgundy cummerbund is very classic, particularly with the ivory dinner jacket. The bow tie does not need to match the cummerbund. The bow tie should—and must—only match the colour of the cummerbund if the cummerbund is black. Welles’ burgundy bow tie makes his outfit look like costume, which it very much is intended to be to complement such a colourful film.
Though difficult to tell from the film, it appears that the pleats on the cummerbund open downwards. Pleats on a cummerbund should always open upwards. The pleats once served to hold opera tickets, so one of the more reasonable reasons for cummerbund pleat direction goes.
Welles also wears a burgundy silk pocket square, in a shade lighter than the bow tie and cummerbund. He uses his pocket square for magic tricks, though the silk square’s presence in his breast pocket is magically inconsistent. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it’s not, and it we only see him remove it from his breast pocket once.