Stamper: Suit with a T-Shirt


Tomorrow Never Dies henchman Mr Stamper, played by Götz Otto, is one of the toughest henchman James Bond has faced due to his incredible strength and lack of dignity. Though he is not stylish like Bond, costume designer Lindy Hemming gave him a unique style that tells us about his character. His unusually cut suit jacket and the unorthodox manner of pairing a T-shirt with his suit projects a specific image for Mr Stamper’s character that adds to the one-dimensional character. Mr Stamper is all braun and has no brains or gentlemanly sophistication, and wearing a T-shirt with a suit reflects this. However, his clothes are not without flair as something needs to complement his striking bleached hair.

Stamper’s medium-dark grey worsted and mohair blend two-piece suit that he wears in Hamburg is a flashy garment that balances his bright hair. The button one suit jacket’s silhouette is defined by its straight, heavily padded and extended shoulders. The wide shoulders both serve to emphasise Stamper’s imposing stature and to allow the sleeves to drape cleanly over Stamper’s tremendous upper arms. Large shoulders were also a 1990s trend, which is represented in full swing here. The jacket is cut with a full chest, a suppressed waist and flared skirt that, when combined with the jacket’s square shoulders, gives him a soldier-like silhouette. The hourglass silhouette of the jacket would look feminine if Stamper himself wasn’t so masculine.

The jacket’s quarters are uniquely cut closed and squared rather than cutaway and rounded like on a typical single-breasted suit jacket. The square quarters give the jacket a martial look reminiscent of army uniforms. Stamper always wears the jacket open, but if he closed it the jacket would look unbalanced. While various styles of military uniform jackets are cut with square quarters, they button high on the chest for a more balanced look. A jacket that has a void above the waist—because the first (or only) button is at the waist—needs to be cut away with a matching void below the waist. This style has proposed by fashion designers and menswear brands throughout the history of the lounge coat, but due to its unbalanced and usually unflattering look it has never taken hold.

Narrow peaked lapels on the jacket emphasise the breadth of Stamper’s chest and power of his shoulders. The jacket is detailed with four buttons of each cuff, smoke mother-of-pearl buttons, slanted jetted pockets and double vents. The jacket fits well considering the intended look, though the sleeves are considerably too long.

The suit trousers have a flat front and a proper rise to the waist. The legs are narrow and straight from the knee-down, but they have enough fullness to drape neatly. Over the trousers’ waistband and belt loops, Stamper wears a distressed medium brown leather belt with an oversized steel buckle. The belt must have been chosen for its prominent buckle despite the belt likely being too wide to fit through the loops. The massive buckle matches Stamper’s imposing presence, and the buckle must have been more important to the character than the belt’s ability to fit through the trousers’ belt loops. Stamper’s shoes are medium brown to match the belt.

Though the suit jacket may have an unconventional cut, pairing a suit with only a T-shirt is more unorthodox than the suit jacket’s cut. Stamper’s T-shirt is ash grey with dark grey horizontal stripes and has a shallow V-neck. The sleeves are most likely short, and in any case they are too short to extend beyond the jacket’s too-long sleeves.

No matter the suit and T-shirt, there will always be a tremendous incompatibility between the formality of the most informal suit and the finest T-shirt. The distressed leather belt bridges the formality of the suit and the T-shirt, but it does not excuse the mismatch within the outfit.

Wearing a t-shirt is not just a bad look; it allows the jacket to be soiled by touching skin on the neck and wrists. A proper shirt’s collar and cuffs extend above the jacket’s collar and beyond the jacket’s cuffs, respectively. This places the soiling and wear on the easily cleaned and replaced shirt rather than on the jacket, which is more expensive to clean and to replace. If you need any reason to not wear a T-shirt with a suit, this should be it.

Though wearing a T-shirt with a suit has been a rockstar look for decades, it has gained popularity in the past decade’s dressing-down culture. Stamper wears a t-shirt with his suit to show off his muscular chest, which is something a woven formal shirt appropriate for a suit cannot do no matter the fit. For this reason, the T-shirt has a purpose as a piece of costume.

The t-shirt with a suit also shows that Stamper is a tough man who does not play by the rules, which ultimately mirrors his lack of inhibition to kill. Neither his manner of dress nor his disturbing lack of decency is particularly gentlemanly. The T-shirt with a suit shows Stamper as the opposite of James Bond and is thus not someone to emulate. That certainly includes not emulating his manner of wearing a suit with a T-shirt.


  1. TND is one of the most stupid Bond movies ever (typical 90s Bond) and so is Otto’s role. I don’t know if it was very wise to accept that role because afterwards he was regarded as the German brute par excellence (the character’s name already tells it all). I remember him playing an SS henchman in the Krakowian concentration camp in “Schindler’s List”.

    As to fashion (and also in general) 90s were an awful decade and Stamper’s whole appearance reflects that. The imbecile-looking bleached hair (a plague which was all-round then), the belt’s big fat buckle, the over-loud suit – all this together creates that particular look which I couldn’t stand seeing then and still can’t stand seeing today.

    Even today I can remember quite well my disappointment and anger after having seen TND but the worst Brosnan Bond movie was still to come.

  2. I saw the film at the time as an eleven year old, came out the same year as Titanic and still did well at the box office. Seen it many, many times and I take it for what it is. It was very much the 1990’s, but I thought the plot quite good. Having a Media mogul as the villain was apt. Stampers look was very 1997 euro trash trendy, suited the character and the era. If the character was done now his suits would be very skinny fit and in very bold colours. Or he would have tapered reverse pleat trousers which are coming back into fashion. He would probably be as fashion forward as you could get now.

    • Titanic was the most popular film of 1997, whether it has aged well or looked upon with reverence now is another matter. Tomorrow Never Dies was popular at the time, even though it wasn’t as good as Goldeneye. The plot was good, but the script suffered from many re-writes. A lot of the suits look aged because of the loose fit. The suits from a lot of Roger Moore’s 1980’s films has aged a lot better. Suits from the last two recent films will look dated in 10-20 years as well, all down to a lack of classic fit.

  3. I’ll be honest, I actually quite like the outfit. Sort of. It’s actually awful and I would never dream to wear it but it’s magnificent when based on the character.
    It does indeed give him that large military look and I think it suits him. It’s in bad taste, but it’s good for the character.

    I would imagine the sleeves are so long because they knew he wouldn’t be wearing a dress shirt. It comes down to where the shirt cuffs should, because without those the sleeves might actually look too short. It’s about correcting that balance.
    I’m not saying it’s good, but I would put money on that being the reason.

    • If your shirt sleeves come down that far, your shirt’s cuffs are too big. If Stamper wore the jacket with a proper shirt, the jacket’s sleeves would be at least two inches too long. If compensating for the lack of shirt cuffs, the jacket’s sleeves should still be a minimum of an inch and half shorter.

    • Looks like he had the cuffs fixed, though.
      A review of my closet shows a jacked purchased in the ’90s with similar shoulders. My jacket isn’t in as nearly good shape as his, though. And I’ll never be able to un-see the ’90s padding now.

    • Amazing how a couple simple fixes can improve the look of things. I’m still not a fan of the square fronts on a single breasted suit, but wearing a shirt and tie with proper jacket sleeve length makes all the difference. In the last two pics he appears to have learned the wrong lesson from portraying Stamper though.

  4. From a woman’s point of view, I think the suit on Stamper looks great even with the padded shoulders and overIy-long sleeve length. I love the open jacket showing off his masculine physique. I especially love Lindy Hemming’s daring choice at the time of dressing him in the shallow V-neck t-shirt as it exudes sex appeal to the female audience and it was the perfect choice for his bad-boy character. Even in 2017, I quite like this entire outfit – brown leather belt with large buckle included – as it only adds to his sex appeal, in keeping with handsome debonair Bond and his ever-widening circle of beautiful sexy women. I would certainly appreciate a man wearing this on our dinner date.

  5. This is a great suit for the character it helps portray. I do also love how incredibly 90s the look is as well. It’s a great way to date the film as opposed to what they are trying to do with Craig’s shrunken look.

    • Personally, I think it looks better and is more functional with a polo shirt if you want to wear a knit. I’ve seen some guys really pull off the polo and navy blazer look, especially with long sleeves. The advantage is that, like a long sleeved woven shirt, it keeps your neck and wrists from rubbing against the inner lining and fabric. Which is not only uncomfortable with wool fabric in particular but allows those areas to prematurely wear down due to skin oils and pigments rubbing off. (Ever noticed the buildup of those inside your shirt collars and cuffs at the end of the day? Imagine that getting onto your dry clean only garments!)

      • A long sleeved Fred Perry polo would work with this jacket, but then again wearing short sleeved soils the sleeves of the jacket.


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