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.