Pierce Brosnan’s Double-Breasted Suit in GoldenEye Stills

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The James Bond series suit makers often make additional clothes for the Bond actors to wear for promotional photography in character and for press tours. For GoldenEye, James Bond’s new suit maker Brioni made additional suits in addition to what Pierce Brosnan wears in the film for him to wear for promotion related to the film. One of these suits is a double-breasted charcoal grey pinstripe suit.

A promotional still of Pierce Brosnan for GoldenEye. GoldenEye, ©1995 Seventeen Leasing Corp. and Danjaq,LLC. Photo sourced from Thunderballs.org

It should be no mystery why Pierce Brosnan doesn’t wear this suit in GoldenEye. Double-breasted suits—but not blazers or dinner jackets—are exclusive to Roger Moore’s James Bond, and whilst his double-breasted suits had a fashion-forward look to them, Brosnan’s double-breasted suit is quite conservative. A charcoal suit with a subtle pinstripe is as staid as a suit can be, and it makes Brosnan look more like a banker than a cool suited action hero. People say that about all of his suits in his Bond films, but none come as close to the conservative business look as this suit does. If the stripes were bolder, he would look like a 1940s Hollywood gangster.

This double-breasted suit is in the classic button two, show three configuration, with six buttons total and two to button. It is most likely their ‘Plinio’ model, like the double-breasted blazer that Brosnan wears in GoldenEye, and it shows what the blazer would have looked like if he had buttoned it. While double-breasted jackets can look sloppy when worn unbuttoned, leaving the blazer open prevented it from looking too stuffy in the film.

If this were a few years earlier, Brosnan would have likely been wearing a six-button double-breasted suit that fastens only at the bottom button, like what he often wore in the 1984 to 1987 years of Remington Steele. By 1995 that style had been falling out a favour, but if there had been a Bond film in the early ’90s we likely would have seen Bond wearing it because of how trendy it was.

A promotional still of Pierce Brosnan for GoldenEye. GoldenEye, ©1995 Seventeen Leasing Corp. and Danjaq,LLC. Photo sourced from Thunderballs.org

Brosnan’s suit is tailored with straight, wide padded shoulders, a full cut, a slightly long length and medium-width peaked lapels. It adds up to a 1940s look as much as a 1990s look. It’s detailed with straight flap pockets, double vents and four-button cuffs.

The suit trousers have reverse pleats, most likely double reverse pleats. If these trousers follow the suit trousers from the film they have a tapered leg, turn-ups and take a belt.

Brosnan’s white shirt is from Sulka and has a semi-spread collar and double cuffs. His red tie with a small neat pattern is also likely to be from Sulka, and he makes it in a tight four-in-hand knot with a dimple. He wears a white handkerchief puffed in his breast pocket.

39 COMMENTS

  1. Something tells me if brosnan would have followed the connery style like craig did he would look way too old.

  2. Perhaps this suit could have added to the scene in which M calls Bond a dinosaur, we had already seen him in a cravat. Could have been a nice bit of story telling through costume.

  3. Overall, I like it. The black and white image somehow doesn’t look nearly as overtly gangster/business-man as the coloured one. I think it’s the removal of the red tie, which gives the whole outfit that power suit look. If he had worn a navy tie with a mid blue shirt it might have looked okay.

    I have a soft spot for double-breasted jackets. I have the same body type as Brosnan did and I’ve found that a DB jacket with strong shoulders fills me out well. It’s now my go-to when I buy blazers especially. The full cut of this suit doesn’t do much for me however, and I think Pierce would look great with a slightly closer fit. I suppose we can just be thankful it’s not the button-one show-five style from the early ’90s.

    • The steepled fingers in the color shot are adding to the gangster look as well.

      I like double breasteds, but just like single breasteds, they need some kind of waist suppression or else the wearer looks like he’s in a suit that’s multiple sizes too big, especially someone as lightly built as Brosnan. It looks good on him from the buttons up, but from that point down he’s swimming in the jacket.

  4. I realize that in this casual age double breasted suits are seen as especially passe’, but this is a beautiful suit that would still look very elegant today. As for buttoning the DB blazer, I honestly thought Brosnan looked surprisingly and disappointingly sloppy in Goldeneye when he left the DB blazer unbuttoned. There is nothing “stuffy” about buttoning a DB blazer – it’s how it’s meant to be worn. Did Lazenby’s Bond look “stuffy” walking around that beautiful park in Portugal with Diana Rigg?

      • Matt, can you elaborate? Is it because the jacket is longer and looser? It still seems to fit beautifully in the colored photograph…

    • Double breasteds seem to be making something of a comeback, though in a style more like Moore’s, with a shallow wrap and more angles lapel points, than this.

  5. Pierce also wears a double breasted suit for his appearance on Letterman in 1995 (it’s on youtube). Maybe a similar one?

  6. I’ve been in the sartorial world for six years now, and I still do not get double breasted suits. I’ve seen some great examples from Vox(sartoria), but rarely anywhere else. Most English cut double breasted suits looked nice, but trying to get that balance is hell to achieve, and without that waist suppression clear and presented, it’s bound to look boxy.

      • And you haven’t read me as clearly as you should have. I did say that most English cut DB are nice, did I not? After all, like it or not, the British made better DB than anyone else.

  7. I’ve never liked Kent-style buttoning, so at least he is wearing the second row buttoned and not the third.

    In general that is a very 90s-looking suit. Between the very widely spaced subtle pinstripes, the large boxy cut, and the lower button stance with a deep wrap that still gives it a high overlap it would be hard to find that kind of cloth and cut in any other fashion decade.

  8. That’s a razor sharp power look and Brosnan looks great in it. I’m not sure it’s the right look for James Bond as a character, it makes sense that he does not wear this in the film, but I do like it very much, which should come as no surprise to my fellow longtime contributors! Someone who walks into a meeting dressed like this immediately commands respect.

    • I tend to agree with Kyle; besides, is this outfit really all that different from the DB suit Bond wears in the first office scene in TMWTGG?

      • Kyle/Dan, I agree with both of you and the general concensus about this suit. For the office scene oin Goldeneye it would have worked great because as you say Kyle, “it commands respect”. It would have been an opening for Pierce a bit like Roger in LALD in that iconic Chesterfield coat. The 6 button with 1 to button, ventless, wide shouldered DB suit which had been popular for a decade up to this was hideous and passe by 1995. To be honest, Matt, I couldn’t have seen Bond wear oone of these in the early 90s or if he had it would have been Timothy and as much of a mistake as his LTK suits. This suit is as classic a DB suit as they come, even more so than Roger’s castle ones which had subtle notes from their time.

      • Both the outfit and, more importantly the suit itself, are significantly different from the office suit Moore wears in TMWTGG.

        Moore’s suit is, at most, a medium gray in a cool tone with a bold chalkstripe with traditional spacing, about an inch between stripes. The striped shirt, cocktail cuffs, and solid colored tie with a large knot give the outfit a touch of whimsy where it could otherwise be almost as staid is the suit he wears at the beginning of The Man Who Haunted Himself.

        Brosnan’s suit is much darker and neutral toned, and the striping is both more subtle and more widely spaced than Moore’s, almost an inch and a half. He’s in a plain white shirt with more traditional French cuffs, and the small knot in his tie gives him more of an air of menace and detachment than Moore’s look.

        There’s also a very different context between the two scenes. Moore wears his suit to a meeting at the office, where he needs to dress his most business-formal. Brosnan appears to be wearing that suit in the monument park in St. Petersberg which, while ostensibly a business meeting with Janus, would not have required such a formal outfit.

      • Haha your description of those 1 button DB suits is spot on and your timing matches my memory. I entered the work place in a white collar job in the early nineties and that style of suit was everywhere (the style of choice at Next and worn by U.K. yuppies and Rick Astley types!). I remember wondering what the subsequent trend would be and yearning for a change, and recall some dignitary (mayor?) giving a speech at the opening ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics (1992) wearing a 6/2 DB suit in the style of Brosnan in this posting. I’m my mind that was the turning point which signed the death warrant for the 1 button DB and it’s never been seen since.

  9. Brosnan looks great here, the most Cary Grant-like maybe ever. Yes, it’s a 1940s cut and it would not fit in today or in 1995, but it’s a terrific throwback to 1940s Hollywood Dream Factory shots.

  10. The cut dates it a bit, but I would have liked to see this suit in the film regardless. Maybe if it were detailed with a ticket pocket and/or having pockets like his single breasted suits it would look a bit more hip. I imagine it also looking better with the updated fit and shortened jacket length from TWINE and DAD.

  11. Brosnan wore a double-breasted Brioni tuxedo when he did The Muppet Show around this time and it looks terrific, it’s a shame he never wore something like that in one of the Bond films, although every dinner jacket he did wear as Bond is perfect regardless.

    • Funny, I had a friend show me this clip for the first time just the other day. I was in stitches, Pierce was great in it! I’ve seen him try to be funny before to varying degrees of success but he really nailed that appearance.

      And yes, that dinner suit was gorgeous.

  12. At the risk that my opinion would be relegated to the minority, I would have been very pleased to see this suit in the film. It looks very much like a well loved navy version I aquired from Gieves and Hawkes.

  13. A great elegant suit.
    The Abruzzese’s school at his best( Caraceni,Ciro Giuliano,Cifonelli,Gaetano Savini Brioni,the best “Roman” tailors are all from Abruzzo region).
    And,no, is not a “gangster suit”,not even if the stripes had been more bold.
    Is a timeless style that you you can find in classic Hollywood movies with Cary Grant or Clark Gable as well in 90s London (see Prince Charles).
    Is a pity that this suit is not in the movie.

  14. To my American friends: Look that these suits were (and are) never out of fashion in Italy (and i think in UK too).
    Specially at some social level.
    Specialy with bespoke tailors.
    This is that the we call “il classico” (“the classic”).

    • That doesn’t surprise me much. One of my Italian friends showed me a few pictures from the menswear shops she passed by. She is a tailor who is classically trained in making both suits and dresses. It surprised me to see so many three button suits that rolled to the top button, as that just isn’t much of a thing in North America anymore. If you see jackets with three buttons here, they typically roll to the second button. Otherwise, “true three buttons” are relegated to a few casual, deconstructed sports coats made in cotton twill.

  15. I agree with the general consensus that this is a good looking suit. I think more waist suppression would eliminate any dating of this suit, and elevate it to the timeless category.

    I also like that this gives us an idea what the blazer would have looked like if buttoned. I do agree with Matt, though. We only see Bond wearing the blazer when he’s in action, needing to draw his weapon quickly, etc. It just made more sense to leave it open. A single breasted blazer would’ve made more sense.

    • I agree about the waist suppression but that just wasn’t popular in the early to mid-90’s. With the greatest respect to yourself and Matt, I don’t agree regarding the blazer. If it’s a DB jacket/suit/coat, it should be buttoned for a polished look and, more importantly, to reflect how the garment was designed. Pierce had an unfortunate tendency to do this with a lot of DB garments such as the coats on TND and DAD. As you say, a SB blazer would have eliminated the problem in Goldeneye.

  16. I like the look a lot also it also carry a rather solemn look. Maybe it has to do with Brosnan’s face expression here. He seemed a bit stiff looking in his first two Bonds while in the last two he looked much cooler and comfortable with playing Bond.
    I agree with about everyone’s different comments here.
    The look could certainly work for a meeting with M, that was much more appropriate than the -although beautiful- two-piece glen plaid he was wearing. This suit could have been used much more appropriately for some daytime Riviera scenes -Bond having a walk with his current conquest, for example.
    I agree that that much full cut isn’t flattering to Brosnan. He was very lean in Goldeneye and he looks a bit swimming in the bottom part of the jacket. It’s alright because he is just standing still in the photograph, but I don’t think a picture of him moving in such suit would be really flattering.
    More waist suppression (hell, there is almost none !) would have achieved a timeless look.
    People here often refers to that classic Hollywood 1940s look. Well these dramatic silhouettes worked because both of strong shoulders, a drape cut in the chest and a relative amount of waist suppression. A good example is Cary Grant’s grey checked suit in His Girl Friday.
    I like the red tie, I think the tie being solid or at least with a discrete pattern is more Bondian than the tie Brosnan wore with his 3-piece suit. It doesn’t scream banker to me. The pattern of the suit definitely means business though. A light blue shirt could have made the outfit look less austere.
    Finally, some people compare it to Moore’s DB grey suit. Although the cut and color of the suit is much different, I can’t keep thinking… would the Cyril Castle cut work for Brosnan ? And the Brioni one work for Moore ?
    Moore being broader and heavier than Brosnan, the boxy, full cut of the Brioni could have worked well on him. And Brosnan being quite slim, the rather close fitting in the chest and narrow overlap of the Castle suit could look well on him too. Any thoughts ?

    • I think the Castle cut DB would have looked better on Brosnan, but even though Moore had a stockier build than Brosnan, I still wouldn’t have picked this suit for him over the Castle cut.

      Moore could have worn a suit with a deeper wrap and less waist suppression than he did and still look good in it, but what dates this suit even more than the boxy cut is the dropped stance and nearly zoot suit length jacket. They’re the same height, so even though Moore would have filled it out better, he still would look like he was wearing his father’s clothes anytime he was in a full body shot.

  17. PS : since it was the nineties, I would have enjoyed seeing Brosnan wearing at least one double breasted suit as Bond. He had a great physique to pull them off. Even if it was for a short, non-action scene : the funeral scene in TWINE, for example. Especially considering the TWINE suits were timeless and didn’t have the (relative) flaws of the Goldeneye suits.

  18. I would have liked to see this suit in the finished film, I think it would have been a great office suit for his first meeting with M, instead of the more social looking sand and blue glen check suit that looks more of a taupe brown color. The full fit through the body has dated some what but the classic 6 x 2 double breasted front can still work without looking old fashioned. The charcoal pinstripe is traditional but it never really goes out of style either for a business look.

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