Tan Gabardine Suit for India in Octopussy

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Bond arrives in India in Octopussy wearing a tan cotton gabardine suit. This suit is very similar to the light brown gabardine suit in For Your Eyes Only we looked at last week but in cotton instead of wool. Gabardine is a tight twill weave with a 63 degree angle due to twice as many warp yarns than filling yarns. The tight weave combined with a clear finish gives the fabric a slight sheen, but too much cleaning and abrasion can cause an unpleasant shine. Gabardine is either woven in a 2×1 or a 2×2 twill weave, the later being more common. You can see its structure below:

Cotton gabardine is most well-known for its use in trench coats, but it may also be used in suits or trousers, where its smooth finish gives it a dressier look than the similar chino cotton twill.

Like the gabardine suit in For Your Eyes Only, this Douglas Hayward suit also has a low two-button front, natural shoulders with a roped sleeve head, a clean chest and a fitted waist. The suit coat has three-button cuffs, straight pockets with flaps and double vents. The suit’s buttons are beige horn. The suit trousers are cut with a straight leg and have plain bottoms.

Bond’s white shirt made by Frank Foster in cotton voile—a high-twist airy and semi-sheer fabric that is ideal for India’s heat—has a large spread collar, large one-button barrel cuffs with extra-large buttons and a front placket that is stitched close to the centre. The tie has brown and tan stripes in the British direction, tied with a four-in-hand or double four-in-hand knot. I’d be more inclined to guess it’s a double four-in-hand due to its elongated shape. Bond’s shoes are deep burgundy moccasin-toe slip-ons, and he wears tan socks to match the suit.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, again excellent. Nothing wrong. The tan shade he wears in For Your Eyes Only is darker and this shade seems to be replicated in his next tan/beige suit in his last (and worst) movie A View To A Kill.
    Dalton attempts a tan/beige suit in The Living Daylights, sans tie, in Morocco but, of course, the whole effect looks unstylish.
    The pool looks familiar as I stayed (naturally) for a couple of nights last year in Bond’s hotel here; The Shiv Niwas in Udaipur. The hotel is a little faded since 1982 when Octopussy’s scenes were filmed here but otherwise the same.

  2. Very good, Matt. Similar to the blazer, the tan or cream summersuit is rarely seen these days which is a shame.
    One question: What silhouette (house style)of Savile Row would you deem most appropriate for someone with an athletic frame?
    Would it be an Anderson & Sheppard (soft construction, minimizing bulk which the athletic man does not need) with a one button front á la Huntsman for an elongating effect?
    Or something more in between equestrian and soft style such as Poole or Maurice Sedwell?

  3. Anon, if you're going to Savile Row, go for the silhouette that you like best and the suit will be tailored with your athletic frame in mind. For instance, a tailor will not give you as much shoulder padding as they would give a man with weaker shoulders. This only matters when you buy off the pegs because a suit with a lot of padding will not suit you. Whilst Huntsman and A&S are very different silhouettes, both can look great on your body type. Any Savile Row tailor will fit their silhouette to your body.

  4. Nicely tailored. Is Doug Hayward's tailoring a little more relaxed than Sinclair's, Castle's, and Brioni's? It fits Moore well, especially as his age started to show in the early 80's. I am not sure I care for the tan tie with the tan suit. I preferred the blue shirt and tie from For Your Eyes Only, though that suit is a tad too brown for my tastes. And as nice as the suits are, the colors look dated today.

  5. I'm curious as to what would make a particular colour suit "dated". Styles of suits, well that's obvious. But colours? It's a good point though and interesting as I notice that nowadays dark colours seem to predominate in men’s suiting, well, maybe a cream colour in summer, but mostly dark greys, navy's and a comparatively recent innovation, black, for lounge suits. Paler greys and shades of beige/brown are less common. But surely what goes around can come back around?

    In the same way as the blazers and the ivory dinner jackets, yes, the tans and browns seem to be forsaken in recent years. Shame, I think they’re very nice. I got one tailor made, in this low button “Hayward” style, last year and I really like it for warmer weather. I'm also partial to blazers (extremely versatile) and I have an ivory dinner jacket, also for warmer climes. Are these dated? I couldn't care less as, in my opinion, classic style never dates.

  6. I don't think these tan suits are dated either. They are classic. However, they are outdated in the sense that they aren't very common these days. This is because fewer people wear suits for casual purposes, and lighter suits are not as formal as the more common dark blues and greys.

  7. Good point Matt.

    I think this explanation goes some way towards explaining the absence of blazers/sports coats from Bond's (as well as a lot of other mens) wardrobe in recent years. These clothes, as well as the colour suits you mention are a kind of "half way house", bridging the gap between business suits and casual clothing. Nowadays, for many men, a suit is an item associated with workdays and worn not so much from a sense of style but more with a sense of duty. Outside of this they tend towards full casual wear with nothing in between, the exception moreso being older men who still wear sports coats and blazers.

    Again, it's rather a shame as tan suits like this can look very attractive as well as other lighter colurs like the elephant grey one you featured a few weeks abck from "Moonraker". Nowadays, the ubiquity of dark colours in suiting is, frankly, rather boring.

  8. For the purposes that most people wear suits these days, the dark suit is most appropriate. I must be one of the few younger guys who wears sports coats, but I see them often on men 40+. A lot of young guys wear suit coats as sports coat, so I see charcoal, navy and black solid and pinstripe suit coats worn without the trousers. Daniel Craig does that himself. But to do this instead of getting a more appropriate sports coat is just boring. The look they achieve is business on top and party below, two conflicting styles. All they need to do is switch out the suit coat for a basic tweed and the outfit is improved considerably. Sports coats still have their place, people just don't want to wear them as much.

  9. David & Matt,

    I actually agree with your comments and usual astute observations, and I have little to add to them. Nevertheless, I do think a color can look dated if the color is evocative of an era. A light blue tuxedo, no matter how modernly styled, screams 1979. Pastel signals 1985. I think the brown suit, and to a lesser extent the tan one, signals 1970s and early 1980s. I do like a tan suit look, though I have never worn one (I am 38). It is true we are more casual now, but in Casino Royale, Craig does step off the plane wearing a light grey suit without the tie and looks very good, illustrating Matt's point about today's monochromatic colors. Keep up the good work and astute comments.

  10. Agree with the points Matt and Christian.

    Matt, your views on the sports coats echo mine exactly. Today's suit jacket with jeans etc look is very very boring, sloppy and yes, the two conflicting styles look disturbing. Not at all elegant. (How long before those still watching the new Bond movies get "treated" to 007 in this beautiful ensemble??)

    The versatile tweed jacket has definitely fallen out of favour. A pity. The boring suit jacket with jeans or instead a Harris tweed sports coat, jeans and open neck shirt? Maybe a paisley pocket square to set it off. Think Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry. Another man of effortless elegance.

    I can only say that anything that speaks subtely of taste and individual elegance seems to be passé now. But roll on the warmer weather and on goes my tan suit…

  11. A few days ago I was having dinner at a very posh restaurant in Chicago, and all the men who even bothered to wear a jacket were sporting the "dark suit, no tie" look – UGH!!!; I look forward to a revival of blazers and tweed jackets, and fully intend to keep wearing mine in the interim!

  12. I'm with your taste/style Dan.

    Unfortunately, I don't see a "revival" and if it does come no doubt will be "with a modern twist", ie tasteless and not classy.

  13. The American comedian/actor/talk show host Jimmy Fallon wore a beige suit (probably Tom Ford) on his show last Friday night. It was definitely one of the best I've seen on him. They aren't totally forgotten.

  14. A cotton gabardine suit would be especially comfortable in Australia’s hot summer. Great for the office even on a 30 degree plus day. I often wear cotton gabardine trousers with a lightweight sports coat on a hot day to the office here in Australia.

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