The shirt collar is the foundation of a man’s outfit. It frames the face and thus sets the stage for the whole look. James Bond wears many different collars across the film series, but here are seven of the most special collars that he wears.
001. The Dr. No Spread Collar
Turnbull & Asser made most of Sean Connery’s shirts for Dr. No. His business shirts in light blue and white have a wide spread collar, also known as a cutaway collar—though it’s not the extreme kind of cutaway. The wide spread collar is a quintessentially British style originally made popular by the Duke of Windsor. When Connery first wore it in 1962, it was a wider and more fashion-forward collar than British men typically wore, and while it’s still wider than the typical British collar today it’s hardly shocking. This collar has a small amount of tie space and is constructed with a sewn-interfacing.
The collar is similar to Turnbull & Asser’s ‘Regent’ collar that they offer today. On their ‘Dr. No’ shirt they use a ‘Regent’ collar that has been lengthened and raised up 1/8 inch. Compared to the regular ‘Regent’ collar they offer today, Connery’s collar looks like it has the 1/8-inch longer points but it does not look to be any higher. I have not been able to find out when the ‘Regent’ collar was first available, but Connery’s shirts are entirely bespoke and would not be limited to any stock collar design.
This wide collar goes well with the wide Windsor knot that Connery is wearing here, but because the collar has a low stand it can still look good with a smaller knot. The Duke of Windsor used four-in-hand knots with thick ties to achieve a wide knot to pair with his wide collars.
Connery wears the same collar or variations on it in most of his Bond films.
002. The On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Detachable Spread Collar
James Bond’s white wedding shirt from Frank Foster in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is likely Bond’s only shirt in the series to have a detachable collar. On this shirt, the body is made with a short stand-up tunic collar, and a separate spread collar attaches to the tunic collar with studs. The detachable collar is able to be stiffly starched, though George Lazenby’s collar does not look especially stiff.
Lazenby’s collar is most likely detachable out of tradition than for any other reason because the collar is not taking advantage of its starching capabilities. The detachable collar is still worn with morning dress, and though Bond wears the less formal ‘black lounge’ instead of morning dress for his wedding, the shirt for black lounge still follows morning dress tradition. Detachable collars are more formal than their attached counterparts, primarily because they are meant to be stiffly starched. They come in all varieties, from the spread collar that Lazenby wears to other turndown collars like point and club collars to high stand-up collars like wing and imperial collars. Lazenby’s collar has long points and a high stand to give it presence.
003. The Man with the Golden Gun High Semi-Spread Collar
Roger Moore wears a collar with tremendous presence throughout The Man with the Golden Gun. Shirtmaker Frank Foster made the largest-proportioned collars of the Bond series, which is partially due to 1970s fashions. But he continued making large collars for Roger Moore into the 1980s to balance his large build and long neck.
This collar is a semi-spread collar, and having neither a narrow or wide spread between the points helps the collar look balanced. The narrower collars that Moore wears in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker with even longer points of about 4 inches now look very dated, but this collar avoids looking too much of its time because it stops short of the extreme. The collar from Moore’s first two Bond films has points of about 3 1/4 to 3 3/8 inches and a back height of about 2 1/8 inches, so it is a sizeable collar but not too large. The collar looks larger because the jacket collars sit very low and reveal most of the shirt collar. The interfacing is sewn in but heavy to give the collar added presence and to ensure it stands up properly.
Moore’s collars in his 1980s Bond films were similar to this collar, but they sit a little lower and thus don’t have quite the same presence as this collar.
004. The World Is Not Enough High Spread Collar
Pierce Brosnan wears a perfect collar on his business shirts from Turnbull & Asser in The World Is Not Enough. The design was originally created as a two-button collar by T&A’s Robert Gillotte, the New York-based bespoke manager at the time, for a client of his, and Gillotte also wore it himself. It is based on their ‘Prince of Wales’ spread collar, but it was widened and raised from the stock version. For Brosnan, it was made into a one-button collar again.
Though Brosnan’s collar is higher than a typical collar, the points are not especially long. This allows the collar to have added presence without overpowering the face. The collar has a sewn interfacing with stayflex in the ends of the collar leaf to give it some extra stiffness and shapeability. Of all of Brosnan’s collars across his Bond films, this one gives him his more confident and more regal look because it sits high on his neck and collarbone.
005. The Casino Royale Wide Point Collar
For his evening shirt in Casino Royale, Turnbull & Asser made am especially unique point collar for Daniel Craig’s James Bond. The collar points down towards the chest, but the points are spread far apart due to a lot of tie space—close to 1 inch of it. The widely spread points frame the bow tie and sit flush with the lapels of the dinner jacket, while the low collar band ensures that the bow tie’s knot can fill the band. It’s Bond’s only collar that was designed especially for his signature dinner jacket. This collar needs a bow tie and would not work as well with a necktie or tie-less.
006. The Skyfall Tab Collar
Daniel Craig’s most standout collar is the tab collar on his business shirts from Tom Ford in Skyfall. It’s a point collar with a built-in tab that pulls the points together under the tie knot and helps the points lie against the chest. It also helps the collar frame the tie knot and elegantly projects the tie knot away from the neck. While Craig’s tab collar is based on a point collar, there are also rounded club collar variants.
Though this collar is not unusual for a tab collar, tab collars in and of themselves are unusual. They have come in and out of fashion periodically since the 1920s, but any revival of the past decade owes something to James Bond. They need a tie to look good, so Bond is unable to jettison his tie for action scenes like he does in the previous film Quantum of Solace. The collar likely would have been too fussy for Ian Fleming’s Bond, but for the on-screen Bond it looks very neat.
This collar returns in No Time to Die.
007. The Spectre Pinned/Eyelet Collar
Bond wears one pinned collar in the entire series on a Tom Ford shirt in Spectre. The collar that Daniel Craig wears in particular would best be described as an eyelet point collar, since it is a point collar that has eyelets to take a pin. A point collar—and also a club collar—without eyelets can be pinned, but the eyelet collar is especially designed to take a pin and is also known as a ‘pin collar’. A pinned collar behaves the same way as the tab collar does, but instead of being pulled together with a tab it uses a pin instead. There are various kinds of pins that can be used with an eyelet collar, but Bond uses a barbell-style collar bar where one of the ends screws off so the bar can fit thought the pinholes. A pinned point collar without eyelets needs a safety pin that can poke through the fabric.
This collar is one of the flashiest of the Bond series due to using a piece of jewellery in it. Its flashiness works perfectly for Bond’s disguise as an Italian gangster, even though its not specifically associated with Italian gangsters. It first came about in the 1920s, and it is still a style associated with the extravagance of the era. In the 1930s and 1940s, pinned collars were popular amongst Hollywood stars. Stylish men would continue to wear them in the 1960s and 1970s, and in the 1980s they saw a tremendous renaissance. Pierce Brosnan wore them frequently in his role on Remington Steele in the 1980s. Since then it has been rare for men to wear collar pins, but they are still stylish.