Remington Steele: Button One Glen Urquhart Suit

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When Remington Steele began in 1982, Pierce Brosnan had a wardrobe of classic, English-inspired suits. As the series progress Brosnan switched over to modern Italian fashions, such as low-buttoning double-breasted suits. Very few of the series’ original suits made it past the second season, but one that did was a 3-piece, 1-button black and cream Glen Urquhart check suit with an intersecting red windowpane. This suit was first seen in the second episode of the series and saw many appearances throughout the first season and in promotional photos. Brosnan wore it once in the second season, sans waistcoat, and once again in the fifth episode of the third season, titled “Blue Blooded Steele.” The images here are taken from that episode, where Steele impersonates a duke. And what an fitting suit for a duke.

with Efrem Zilbalist, Jr.

Most of Brosnan’s suits from the beginning of the series were 3-piece suits, but this is only one of two that had a single-button jacket. The 1-button suit jacket may be cut just like a 2-button suit jacket—as Brosnan’s is here—or it may be cut away more at the front skirt. The button (black on this suit) should be at the same place as the top button on a 2-button suit. 1-button suits saw their highest popularity in the 1960’s where they could be seen on television stars such as Patrick Macnee, Don Adams, Dick Van Dyke and Eddie Albert, and jazz musicians like Miles Davis. Some people continued to wear 1-button suits, such as former game show host Bob Barker, and H. Huntsman on Savile Row is famously known for the style.

A close-up of the fabric and the slanted shoulder seam. With Stephanie Zimbalist.

This jacket is cut with pagoda shoulders and a shoulder seam that runs diagonally back down the shoulder rather than straight across like most do. It has deep double vents, flapped pockets and 3-button cuffs. The waistcoat has a 5-button front with the bottom worn open. The trousers have a flat front, a straight leg and plain hems. The only thing wrong with this suit is that the trousers are worn with a belt, which disrupts the line of waistcoat. In Remington Steele, Pierce Brosnan routinely wears his 3-piece suits —and even his dinner suits—with a belt.

Brosnan’s pale blue shirt has a moderate spread collar, placket front and double cuffs. The narrow tie is black with a pattern of silver ovals, tied in a small four-in-hand knot. A casually stuffed red silk handkerchief brings out the red windowpane in the suit. Brosnan wears black shoes and a black belt.

12 COMMENTS

  1. A truly magnificent suit, and a great and thorough post. Thanks, Matt.
    I dare say I am not the only one to claim that the only thing that shocked me is the golden bracelet Brosnan wears on his right wrist.
    It is so out of place that it nearly wastes the rest. Not to mention how inappropriate it would look to complement the impersonation of a duke (unless the title was freshly bought, of course….).
    I haven’t watched Remington Steele episodes for a while, but since you are a most proficient viewer, can you tell me if he wears that pinnacle of tackiness on every episode or does he grace us with this ignominy just for this one ?

    Shocking, …positively shocking

    • Yes, Mr. Steele always wears that bracelet. He’s a fan of jewellery (mostly gold), he always wears cufflinks, and in earlier episodes he wears a collar pin consistently. He also wears some nice watches throughout the series, including a Longines and later a Cartier.

  2. I never really watched Remington Steele a the time, though I’ve seen the odd episode. I started checking it out after a post here a while back.
    This suit in particular is a real beauty and Brosnon really knows how to wear a suit, which to my eternal discredit is also something I hadn’t realised before his debut in Goldeneye.

  3. Very, very nice suit. Not my usual personal taste, but I really like this one. And I had forgotten just how slim suits were for a brief time around 1983 or so without the excess of today. This post also reminded me how influential these suits and this show were to my impressionable, 11-ish mind that would ultimately lead me to this blog almost thirty years later.

    • I wouldn’t call the suit “slim,” just well-fitted with timeless proportions. “Slim” usually refers to today’s fashionably undersized suits, like what Daniel Craig is wearing in Skyfall, not well-tailored. The trousers on this suit actually have a straight leg, not really tapered or narrow at all, similar to what Roger Moore was wearing in the Bond films at the time.

      • Well, I remember the 1980s quite well, and for a brief period of time, suits were cut quite leanly. Whether you call it slim or well-tailored that took advantage of Brosnan’s very lean physique, there was a brief period of time when such suits were in. This suit is pretty body-hugging, unlike, say, Grant’s North by Northwest suit, yet both are undeniably well-tailored. The 1983-sh slim look was certainly a response to the fuller cut of the late 1970s (even skinny, 1 inch ties were in). For example, look at Eddie Murphy’s suits in Trading Places. Suits then filled out a bit around 1985 in favor of the Wall Street, Italian (Armani)-influenced power suit. To my eyes, this suit is on the slim side, whatever you want to call it – far slimmer than Cary Grant’s North by Northwest suit, Connery’s Sinclair suits, Moore’s 1970s’era suits, Alan Rickman’s suits in Die Hard, or Gordon Gekko’s 1987 power suits. I don’t believe I made any equation between Craig’s suits and this one – different time and era. And by the way, Craig in his slim suit look terrific in the Skyfall teaser out yesterday.

      • What this suit has is a clean, straight cut, as opposed to the drape cuts and crooked cuts found in Connery’s or Cary Grant’s suits. But Moore’s 70s suit coats fit very closely. I’m going to do some research on the term “slim” and how it relates to clothes, but it’s not something I’ve ever heard a tailor use. In early 1983, Brosnan started wearing suits with a fuller cut. The suits had larger shoulders, a lower button stance, no vent, no pocket flaps and full-cut, reverse-pleat trousers. That style really didn’t achieve it’s height of popularity until the time of Wall Street, as you mentioned. I don’t plan on writing about any of those suits on this blog since they are far removed from Bond style, though they might be a good example of how Timothy Dalton’s Licence to Kill suits should have fit him.

      • I was wondering what you meant by ‘crooked cut’ in relation to Grant’s suits? The only reference I could find suggested that crooked suits displayed less of the shirt at the chest and gave an older less youthful appearance to the wearer. I can’t say I fully understood. Perhaps you could explain?

        Nice suit, by the way and if this is an example of a clean and ‘straight’ chest I can see that it is a suit that has a long slim profile.

      • The bracelet is acquired in series 3 I think. Certainly not present in the first series.
        The most often worn watch is a Rolex Cellini, following that he wears different model of Cartier. There are a few watches in the first few episodes which come and go with no regard for continuity.

  4. Apart from the belt and pagoda shoulders, this is a pretty timeless suit. I agree, certainly a lot better than the stuff he wore later on.

  5. The man’s suit meets the highest official standards, no doubt. Pierce Brosnan is an irreproachable dandy at the picture above. I was only astonished at the fact that neither of women left any comment upon it. Perhaps, just like me they simply detest the silly James Bond’s role of his. Sort of a feminine boycott, I think.

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