The Bond Linen Suit from Orlebar Brown

27

Orlebar Brown is now of the third phase of their 007 collection. They were kind enough to gift me their On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Bond Linen Suit Jacket and Bond Linen Trouser from their latest 007 collection.

They chose Bond’s first cream suit of the series, as worn by George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, as the inspiration for a suit in this collection. Lazenby’s suit was made by Dimi Major of Fulham, London in a dramatic English cut with hacking pockets. The original was a relaxed suit, but still had a structured English cut. Orlebar Brown updated this suit to have an even more relaxed look.

The jacket and trousers are sold separately to give the customer the opportunity to choose the best size in each piece or to purchase only one of the items.

The Cloth

The suit’s cloth is a blend of 57% linen and 43% cotton in a twill gabardine weave with cream in the warp and beige in the weft to give it more visual depth than a piece-dyed solid colour would have. Orlebar Brown call this colour ‘Matchstick’, and the jacket and trousers are both made in the same cloth.

For linen it does not wrinkle excessively because it is blended with cotton and is woven in a twill weave. Though linen in a twill weave does not wear as cool as a plain weave does, the twill weave minimizes the wrinkling that linen is known for.

Bond Linen Jacket

Orlebar Brown have a few other tailored jackets in their line, but they are not a suit brand. Thus, I would not expect them to make an exact copy of this suit in the same way that a brand that specialises in tailoring might. They have interpreted this jacket in a more modern, less structured and more casual manner that’s better aligned with the Orlebar Brown brand, and I think their update allows this jacket to be worn in ways that more men are wearing tailored clothes today.

Like Lazenby’s suit jacket, this jacket has two buttons on the front and three buttons on each cuff. The buttons on this jacket are branded nylon, which feel and look very nice despite not being a natural material. The cuffs have working buttonholes, which limit the amount the sleeves can easily be shortened.

There is a welt chest pocket and slanted hip pockets, though the slant is not as raked as on Lazenby’s jacket. There is a single vent in the rear, which goes well with the jacket’s casual look, but I miss the long double vents on Lazenby’s jacket.

There is edge stitching around the lapels and pockets to give it a sporty look.

The jacket has a buggy lining with a butterfly yoke lining over the shoulders and lining in the sleeves with the rest of the back unlined and the front self-faced. The minimal lining allows it to breathe with still helping the drape of the jacket.

The Fit

I am wearing a size small, and for reference I am 5’9″ tall and my chest measures 37 inches. The jacket is fashionably short on me, though the sleeves are slightly long. I need to have the sleeves shortened and the jacket pressed.

Because these jackets have letter sizing rather than chest and length sizing, they won’t work for everyone. The body of this jacket fits like a 38S while the sleeves have a regular length. I wish the jacket were an inch or two longer and the button stance lowered the same amount. For me, the shorter length relegates the jacket to wearing it in a more casual manner.

David Zaritsky of The Bond Experience is around my height and wears a size medium, and the length of the medium is more traditional on someone who wears a regular-length jacket. Watch his video review on this suit to see how it looks on a different body shape.

How to Wear It

While the jacket goes perfectly with the matching trousers, and I will enjoy wearing them together as a suit, it can also be worn separately. It pairs nicely with chinos or linen trousers in a darker colour than the jacket like a khaki, tan, olive, brown or navy. Jeans could work too, if you’re so inclined.

Of the Orlebar Brown 007 shirts, only the pink You Only Live Twice shirt works well with it, but there’s no end to the cotton or linen shirts that can work well with it as long as they have a two-piece collar that can stand up under the jacket’s collar. I don’t think the Capri collar works well under a jacket.

Because this is an unstructured jacket, it’s easy to throw this jacket on over a polo to dress up a more casual look. And for those who would pair it with jeans, you could wear it over a t-shirt. If this jacket had the Savile Row cut and structure of Lazenby’s suit jacket, dressing it down like this would not work. The lack of structure and shorter length makes the jacket easier to dress down but more difficult to dress up.

Despite the fact that I am wearing a tie in these photos in an attempt to capture Lazenby’s look, I don’t think I will often wear this jacket with a tie. The casual look of this jacket makes it work better without a tie. I’ll be approaching this suit more like the way Roger Moore wore his cream suit in Moonraker in Rio on the dressier end, and I have already found myself wearing this jacket in a more casual manner than Bond has ever worn a tailored jacket.

The jacket can be dressed down with a polo and chinos. The contrast of a dark shirtis great on someone with pale skin.

But it’s not the kind of suit or jacket I would put on for a formal occasion. Even for a summer wedding I find the unstructured look too casual. I would wear it for a nice lunch or brunch, a museum or a summer concert. This suit is in the same vein as Daniel Craig’s corduroy suit in No Time to Die in that it’s the kind of suit you can wear when you don’t have to wear a suit.

Bond Linen Trouser

The trousers are my favourite item in the collection. In a linen and cotton blend they are not the omnipresent chinos that everyone wears. While chinos are a great wardrobe staple, these trousers provide something more special and stylish. We often put more focus on the top halves of our outfits, neglecting our bottom halves. But the right trousers can do a lot to enhance an outfit.

Orlebar Brown’s signature side adjusters are yet another thing that make these trousers special. Side-adjusters are not just for suit trousers and are great for casual trousers too. I especially like wearing these trousers with the Orlebar Brown capri-collar shirts because there’s no belt to leave a bulge under the untucked shirt.

The extended waistband with a hook and bar closure is also a nice attention to detail, which is something that traditional English trousers like Lazenby’s have. It gives a nice finish to the front of the trousers. The trousers also have on-seam side pockets and two welt back pockets.

The Fit

The main reason why I really like the trousers is that they’re comfortable and they fit me well. On me, the rise is slightly higher than a mid rise, which is something I really appreciate during the era of low-rise trousers. The leg is slim but does not feel too tight.

I have a 31-inch waist and am wearing a size 32. The side-adjusters perfectly cinch the waist in to fit me. The length is too long, and I will have my tailor shorten them with an angled hem. Shortening trousers is to be expected on most men.

How to Wear It

The trousers’ versatility is one of the biggest reasons I love these trousers, and this creamy ecru colour is an especially easy trouser colour to wear. Though they pair well with the matching suit jacket, the trousers can be worn with almost any other shirt or jacket from Orlebar Brown’s 007 collections, past and present. They are the perfect Bondian pairing with the Thunderball striped shirt, the ivory Golden Gun shirt and the For Your Eyes Only t-shirt from the new collection and the Diamonds Are Forever towelling shirt and Golden Gun safari jacket from the past collection.

I will definitely be wearing these trousers a lot this summer with all sorts of outfits, dressing them up with blazers and down with polos.

The trousers still need to be hemmed.

I’m wearing the suit with a pink pinpoint shirt from Frank Foster, a navy knitted tie from Salvatore Ferragamo and loafers from Ralph Lauren.

Photos by Janna Levin Spaiser

27 COMMENTS

  1. Great post Matt, it’s great on a few levels. One the analysis of the Orlebar Brown linen suit it’s self and second the ways that you can wear the two pieces of clothing separately other then as a full suit as it is a less structured linen blend piece. I think having a suit wear the jacket works as a separate piece is being done much more by men today. I have quite a few suit made of different materials that work very well as standalone jackets, it’s great to have some flexibility.

  2. I honestly really like this, my favourite outfit to come from the Orlebar Brown collections. Though since I lean more toward the formal side than the casual, and live in a substantially less-than-tropical climate it makes sense.

    The colour looks great with your complexion, Matt. As a summer myself a cream sportscoat became my favourite summertime investment. It is a shame about the single vent, it even looks particularly short. And I’m not a fan of the short jacket length. It’s also a real pity they resorted to basic lettered sizes, meaning the jacket would never properly fit my 6’1 tall, 36R frame. Regardless, I like it and it fits you pretty well. The trousers are especially nice.

  3. Overpriced,poor fit,mediocre tailoring. There are a number of online tailors who can produce a much better and more screen accurate product than this Orlebar crap for a fraction of the price.

  4. Not bad, but I wish Orlebar Brown had had the guts to give the suit a little more structure and long side vents….

    • I don’t think that’s really in their wheelhouse nor is it the point of this interpretation. It would be like them replicating every single detail of the actual evening shirt used in the beach fight scene in their last collection, rather than having an interesting white linen shirt inspired by it. They’re making things that fit into the lifestyle of their target customer. Which is decently well off, enjoys travelling and going to the beach, probably prefers dressing elegantly casual over casually elegant, if that makes any sense.

  5. Good review. I’m not a fan of unstructured jackets as I find them particularly unflattering on my rather slight build.

    The pants are of interest, although I recently bought a pair of cream wool trousers in a hopsack weave. I also have a darker pair of tan linen trousers. So these would probably be redundant for me.

  6. Welcome to this OB release inspired to one of the most gorgeous suit of the entire series! From a wardrobe top-3 movie in the series! Matt, I think a higher button stance and a slightly shorter jacket length are very flattering to your body type. Generally, even classic English tailoring should always follow the evolutions of taste and style. According to today’s eye, the “right” length is shorter, and the “right” fit is trimmer, etc.

    • Sometimes the “evolution of taste” is actually a devolution. Lazenby’s suit was about as trim and short as a suit can be before it starts looking ridiculous. Matt actually looks pretty sharp in the first picture (except for the length of the trousers) but if the jacket had reached at least to his second thumb knuckle, his crotch wouldn’t be so exposed. And an exposed crotch will never “look right”.

      • That’s right, but no classical measure is ever an absolute. A jacket that best flatters your body shape but exposes a little bit of your crotch is far better than the opposite. If your torso isn’t too strong and your shoulders aren’t too wide, a longer jacket is not the best choice. For instance, Connery and Lazenby are built and well proportioned, so can afford long jackets and a full cut. Moore isn’t so muscular, and in fact he sometimes looks wired in his boxy coats. Brosnan, tall and thin, does not look best in his long and full-cut jackets of his early 007 movies. Craig, on the opposite hand, is short and strong, and does well going for shorter and trimmer cuts (but he should not exaggerate…)

      • I believe the opposite is true. For someone with a less athletic figure, a short jacket with a high button stance gives the body a pear shape. A length that cuts the body in half maximises both the length of the torso and the legs, giving much needed presence to the torso that a short jacket does not provide. A lower button stance also gives the much-needed presence to the chest, while a higher button stance emphasises the hips. A short jacket that exposes the crotch is not as flattering as one that extends to the crotch for these reasons.

        Lazenby did not wear long or full-cut jackets in OHMSS. His jackets were slightly shorter than traditional and much more fitted than Connery’s. Moore has a rather boxy torso, which is why he wore very fitted jackets instead of the fuller cut that Connery wore.

  7. I think a lot of us imagined the suit would turn out as a nightmare from a company that doesn’t specialize in tailoring, but the suit actually doesn’t look bad! They definitely made major design changes with the skirt length and button stance after taking the model shots on the website.
    In regard to style details, if I can get over the high button stance all I really don’t like is the way the side adjusters are placed right in the middle of the waistband. But really that’s all!

    • After reading that I had to go check the site model and oh man! At the height of the skinny fit trend a few years back I saw a lot of jackets with the sleeve length and the finished jacket length more or less the same, but this is the first time I’ve seen the sleeves longer than the jacket. It looks appalling! Thank goodness they revised that.

      • Love the cream suit!! It’s very “Sylvester McCoy New Adventures”, or maybe “Francis Underwood back home in Gaffney”!

        I’d personally put buttons on the trouser pocket welts but as the cuff buttons appear to be embossed with the Orlebar’s logo I guess it’s not an option if you can’t pick up spares that match the cuff ones in a sewing shop. I do personally dislike it when suit companies do this with their buttons but it’s the most minor nitpick I’ll ever make of a suit!

  8. Great review, Matt! Wish the vents were accurate, but what can you do?

    Quick question: if Connery’s Bond in the Thunderball Palmyra striped shirt caught a wind, would he reach for a light color linen jacket like this to coordinate with his trousers or a navy blazer? (No wrong answer, of course)

  9. I never thought OB, or anyone, would ever try and tackle the cream suit from OHMSS. It’s my favorite suit of the entire series, but I never would have thought it prominent enough for something like this. (You can imagine my disappointment in 2018 when I took a bus to Dimi Major in Fulham and found an empty storefront.) I think it’s a nice garment, but without the very structured cut of the original, I do consider it a stretch to call it an “update” per say. “Tribute” or “inspired by” works best since the most obvious aspect that this and the original share is the cream color.

    • The Google page didn’t say they were closed? They’ve been gone for years now, sadly. There are a number of other English tailors who could probably approximate the cut pretty well if you’re still looking to get it.

      • The Google page definitely did not say they were closed. The place hadn’t been reoccupied yet either – there was abandoned tailoring showroom detritus everywhere.

  10. Not bad of an outfit Matt. Even if it isn’t as accurate to what Lazenby wears in the film, I’m sure Orlebar did the best with what they could do.

    By the way if I may ask Matt, is the navy polo you used to dress down the jacket short sleeved or long sleeved? I’m also wondering if casual unstructured and unlined jackets (sport coats) like the Orlebar Lazenby jacket can be worn with short sleeved shirts and polos

    • It’s a short-sleeve polo. If it’s warm enough to wear a linen jacket I’m probably not going to be wearing a long-sleeve polo. I probably wouldn’t wear an unstructured wool jacket like this, but because this is a linen and cotton blend it doesn’t get more casual than this.

  11. Nice review Matt! I like that this outfit is in the colour of cream. It is good to see this colour being advertised in clothes today. I think it would be nice to see more colours like light browns and tans in modern times. The only thing that I would change is the vents. When it comes to vents I prefer long double vents but other than that it is nice.

  12. Matt, your points about a jacket’s fit reflect some common criteria, and finally it’s a matter of tastes, but I do not completely agree. My opinion is based upon my personal experience. To me, a dress shouldn’t attempt to correct one’s body issues, but rather adapt to them, and flatter them as possible. For instance, if one has not strong shoulders, classical criteria would suggest to adopt strongly padded jackets. I do not agree. A suit should not be an armour or a masquerade. That man would look an even thinner guy, wearing a barrel. Instead, to me a suit should embrace a man’s shapes and follow them. In order to visually enlarge one’s shoulders, it’s enough to cut the jacket’s shoulders slightly wider, and suppress the waist, without much padding. If one’s torso is not so long nor strong,it’s not correct to make the jacket longer. It will clash with the body, looking unnatural. It’s a very subtle work, a matter of millimeters and proportions. Just my couple of cents…

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