The Famous North By Northwest Suit


“He’s a well-tailored one, isn’t he,” says Martin Landau’s character Leonard. Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest set the tone for all spy films to come in the 1960s, and Cary Grant’s famous plaid suit has many similarities to the many plaid suits Sean Connery wore in the Bond films. Much has been written about this suit already, though I felt it iconic enough to include in my own blog.

Arthur Lyons at Kilgour, French & Stanbury of Savile Row made the original suit for the film. At one point in the film when Cary Grant takes off his suit it is possible to see a label from his Beverly Hills tailor Quintino, who made extra copies of the suit to be dirtied. Quintino is credited for the wardrobe Grant wore a year earlier in the film Indiscreet.

The two-piece suit is made from lightweight worsted wool in a fine glen check pattern in blue-grey—like a dark air force blue. It has been said that Holland & Sherry provided the cloth, and they offer similar cloths today but none are an exact match.

The suit has a full cut overall but is still neatly tailored. The suit jacket has a three-button front with slightly narrow lapels rolled to the middle button. Though some people have suggested that this suit has no darts like the American sack, there are indeed darts to shape the front, which both English and Beverly Hills tailors would have used at the time. The shoulders are wide, padded and straight with roped sleeve heads, helping to balance Grant’s large head. The jacket has jetted pockets, three-button cuffs and no vent in the back.

The trousers are very similar to what Sean Connery wore in the Bond films, with a high rise, double forward pleats, turn-ups and side adjusters. Whilst Connery’s side adjusters have buttons, Grant’s are two strips of cloth that tighten with a clasp. The trousers also have slanted side pockets and one rear jetted pocket on the right.

The white poplin shirt has an unusual point collar. Typically point collars are worn with collar stays to keep the points straight, but Grant’s collar is soft with a roll like a button-down collar. A soft collar like this would usually be worn pinned, though this collar may be slightly too wide for a pin. The shirt has double cuffs fastened with round blue enamel cuff links, though round silver cufflinks are also seen. The shirt also has a shirred back and no pocket.

Grant’s tie is a two-tone black-and-white basket weave, and it has hand-rolled edges without tipping. It is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Grant wears grey socks and cap-toe oxfords in burgundy, a colour that might suggest cordovan leather.


  1. Thank you very much for your article, Matt. This is just my favorite suit of all time. The cut is timeless, the lapels are just a little wide but on the wider side of classic, the trousers look great – Grant’s turn-ups and pleats are quite high but well-proportionate to its height. By the way, another precision : the shirt has a French front.
    What do you think about the cloth used, and his weight ? Since it’s a summer suit I still think there is some mohair, or kid mohair, or perhaps fresco in it, but that’s just me. And about the weight, perhaps a 12 oz cloth ?

    And, as a conclusion, a funny thing striked me. In the film, in the railway station, when Cary Grant is about to leave Eva Mary Saint, he gives her her luggage ticket. One thus can precisely see Grant’s cuff jacket, and his cuff buttons do seem fixed. What do you think about it ?

    • I’d guess the weight is more like 10 oz. It could possibly include kid mohair but I don’t think it’s crisp enough to be mohair. The shine is more due to the pattern. The pattern is too fine for it to be fresco. Fresco is a high-twist yarn. It’s a lightweight suit in a plain weave, and that’s really all we can tell. I never noticed that the cuff button-holes could be false. But it’s really not something that matters in a suit made for a film, as long as it looks right.

      I’ve also updated the part about the tie.

  2. I love this suit too, so glad you did an analysis on this one. North By Northwest has to be right up there on the list of greatest suit movies of all time, along with Goldfinger, Casablanca and both versions of The Thomas Crown Affair.

    Based on what I’ve read this was indeed made by Kilgour, although it seems that just about every tailor claims to have made suits for Cary Grant at some point or another, after all he is a well-tailored one!

  3. Good post, but I have a quick question: do you have a preference when it comes to side adjusters? Is there a functional difference between the two styles (buttons or buckles), is one more appropriate for certain types of cut, or is it merely aesthetic?

    • Good question. I prefer the buckles myself because it allows for a more precise adjustment. However, I think buttons look better. Button tabs are connected to elastic that runs through the back of the waistband and over time the elastic wears out. But because of the elastic, the waistband is taken in over a larger area of the waistband, as opposed to the localised bunching that occurs with the buckle adjusters. Buttons can, of course, be moved for a better adjustment, but it’s not so convenient. Both are appropriate for any situation. I suggest you try both as your experience could be different from mine. More than either of those I prefer braces. That’s the best choice if you really want your trousers secure, but they should only be worn with a jacket.

      • The elastic buttoned tabs are specifically Daks Top trousers and surprisingly harder to come across than the general button tabs; unless mtm/bespoke where one has the choice. And the elastic can be replaced of course.

        Funny thing is Daks doesn’t even have them in their range any longer!

      • I have a number of pairs of trousers with Daks tops from Polo Ralph Lauren and Paul Stuart. I have one pair of trousers from Polo with buttons but no elastic. Ralph Lauren Black Label and Purple Label use the buckle adjusters instead. Paul Stuart makes some casual trousers with D-ring side adjusters.

      • That’s interesting, Matt. I sort of prefer the way the buckle tabs look, myself. I’d like to explore either style anyhow. I plan to go for MTM or bespoke clothes as soon as I can, and I’ll probably end up with some of each.

  4. Dear Matt,
    From a previous comment I gather that the literary Bond´s suit would sport a medium shoulder as seen in Flemings own suits.
    Assuming one would like to recreate the literary Bond´s feel in one´s daily wear which tailors on Savile Row or elsewhere do a medium shoulder (I´m guessing Henry Poole) as a designated house style ?
    What options are there off the rack/mtm?
    Thanks for taking the time to answer!

    • Henry Poole or Gieves and Hawkes would be appropriate. Gieves and Hawkes’s off the rack suits would also be appropriate. Ralph Lauren Purple Label is close too. The problem now is finding the right trousers. Fleming wore forward-pleated trousers like Connery’s Bond, and that’s just as important to the style as the cut of the jacket.

  5. I think the shirt collar might be a hidden button down. not only do the points seem to be invisibly held down, but the shirt fabric underneath the collar sometimes appears to be pulling up slightly towards the underside of them.

    I suspect that Cary Grant did have a suit just like this one by Kilgour, French and Stanbury (they will have records of it) and indeed may have worn it in the publicity shots for the film. But in the actual film it’s self they probably used 4 or 5 Quintino suits. At the very least, I doubt he was being chased by the crop duster in the Savile Row suit.

    • Have a look at the crop-duster scene and you’ll see that nothing is holding the collar to the shirt. The points don’t always stay against the body and the collar moves a little when he turns his head. Were hidden-button-down collars around back then? The ones today typically roll like a regular button-down, and they aren’t meant to be worn with a tie.

      • Hey Matt! Re: the shirt and Mercer and Sons’ “buttonless buttondown” “SoftCollar 2 7/8″ Straight Point Tennis Collar”. Do you think 2 7/8 inches about the same as the one Mr. Grant wore? Also, do you think Grant wore a super white shirt or was it a little more off-white? Thanks

      • PS Or would Grant’s collar be closer to Mercer’s 3 7/16″ soft collar?

      • Grant’s collar looks approximately 3 1/4 inches long, so it’s right in the middle. You ultimately need to go with the option that looks best on you.

  6. Revisited this article today and had a thought: I’d love to see you analyze iconic menswear in general from television and movies.

    The tie looks like a repp weave from those screenshots to me, but I could be wrong.

  7. This may be splitting hairs a bit, but is North By Northwest the only film where Cary Grant buttons his jacket appropriately?

    He absolutely ruins Charade by buttoning the lower button – sometimes exclusively – on everything in sight, 3-button jackets included. Same applies for his creme blazer in That Touch of Mink, and grey tweed (?) in To Catch a Thief. Someone notes that the same applies during his appearances in Monkey Business and People Will Talk.

    Props to the Terence Youngs of the North By Northwest crew that kept Grant in check!


    • He buttons the bottom often, but not all the time. Even in Charade he sometimes gets it right. I think he always had it right in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. At least he always wears double-breasted suits well. It’s hard to mess those up, whether you button the top, the bottom or both.

  8. Really good and informative article. Many thanks. Grant and Connery’s early Bonds are THE go to references for how a man should dress.

  9. I wonder what inspiration this suit had on the QoS suits. This suit is very similar to the grey deleted scene QoS suit.

    There are certain similarities, especially the 3-roll-2 button coat with roped sleeveheads. The colour of the coat and tie contrasting against a white shirt. Even the collar is similar.

    However the QoS collar was more of a ‘pointy’ spread collar and the knot probably a windsor. Also the QoS coat was more surprised in the waist, had a ticket pocket and a much more exaggerated shoulder.

    What also strikes me about these old classic films including the Connery Bonds is that the suits and shirts looked worn. In QoS for instance, Bond looks like he has a brand new suit and shirt after every take. Which is probably not too far from the truth, with the amount of suits they make for modern films.

  10. What if the shirt was a a normal point collar shirt but had the collar stays removed by Grant himself ? He did have some unique tastes when he chose his shirts. If my memory serves me right ; he also had french cuff shirts with button down collars.

  11. I’ve been reading articles on this site for a while now, and I was just wondering how you know what you know. Are you a tailor? Just curious.

    PS. I really love this site, I’ve learnt a lot from it, so, thank you.

  12. Matt, what’s your idea on the better kind of trousers for a man with the same physique as Cary Grant : tall and slim, with a slim waist and slim hips and legs.
    I like the double forward pleats style a lot paired with a full cut leg. Although, like in the first picture, the fullness of the fabric at the top of the trousers do hide a bit the hips and they look lost in an excess of fabric… it looks difficult to find an equilibrium. Slim trousers close to the hips and legs, on the other hand, have a ‘carrot-like’ effect that I dislike a lot.

    • I wouldn’t recommend something quite as full cut as Cary Grant’s trousers here. I’d recommend something that fits closely through the hips and thighs, either with forward pleats or no pleats but with little tapering below the knee to avoid the “carrot” effect.

    • Thanks Matt. And about the width at the bottom of the trousers, have you an idea about it ? I mean not a value in particular, but a value range perhaps. I am 6 feet tall and my shoe size is an 8 UK /42 European.

  13. Thanks for the article Matt. I think this suit is one of the most influential of the twentieth century. It is SB, three button etc. but the cut and colour move away from flannel and predict a tonal pallette that lasted decades (seventies earth colours notwithstanding). I also think it had an influence on JFK’s attire and style through the ’60 to ’63 period. One of the most important features of the jacket was the breast pocket. I think it is jetted (like a waist pocket) vs. a single welt which leaves it slightly gaping. From a distance it makes it almost invisible, this does two things: lengthens and leans the torso whilst also broadening the chest by promoting a less distracted silhouette; secondly by removing the traditional pocket hank it modernises the visage by removing, for a modern eye, the 50’s anachronism. The overall effect of the clean, sleek cut (by combining all of the features you point to) also presages the less formal form of suit silhouettes introduced by Armani in the eighties and again in the nineties.

    • You’re not the first person who has mistaken this welt breast pocket for a jetted pocket. It has a regular welt breast pocket, not a double or single jetted breasted pocket. The glen check helps the pocket welt to blend in with the suit so it is difficult to see. The welt is also not cut at the same angle as the chest, which is what gives it that gaping look. The front is dramatically darted, further making the pocket look gaping.

  14. I don’t necessarily think that a pocket hank is anachronistic but I comment on the period and how it was moving on from the decades before. The waistcoat, pocket hank, boutonnière etc. (a more European inheritance) began to disappear by the late 50’s. The US ‘sack suit’ silhouette (Man in the Grey Flannel Suite etc.) moved to being more shaped and shorter in length. For example, in Dr No and FRWL a hank is present, by YOLT and DAF the hank is gone. In LALD and MWTGG the hank remains absent. Outside of Bond this was reflected in American Gigilo (1980) wherein Richard Gere’s character sports Armani, sans accessories. Wall St. (1987) heralded a turning point with Gordon Gekko wearing braces, hank etc. The hank skipped Dalton’s Bond but came back with the better dressed Brosnan in Goldeneye (1995). It is all a generalisation but each film marks a position in the way menswear was being presented at the time.

    • The pocket handkerchief was very still popular into the 1960s. It hadn’t yet fallen out of favour by the time of North By Northwest. The lack of a pocket square in a certain film does not mean they were not in favour at the time. Even at the times it was very popular it was never compulsory. Pocket squares were very popular in the 1980s, but you don’t see Bond wearing one then. By the time of Wall Street they had already been very popular for a few years. When Bond wears them in GoldenEye it seems to be a carryover of Brosnan’s 1980s preferences since pocket squares weren’t very popular in the 1990s. Currently many well-dressed men see the pocket square as necessary to being well-dressed, but it used to be more of an optional dandy element than anything else. And since you bring up the sack suit, that was also very popular into the 1960s. When you look at film, the sack suit was always underrepresented. American film tended to prefer Hollywood tailoring styles, with very dramatic cuts used from the 1930s through the 1960s. These cuts were not at all shapeless, even if they were full. But in the 1960s it wasn’t that uncommon to see shapeless sack suits, even if they were cut trimmer and shorter. Sometimes films represent fashions of the times, but not always. Roger Moore’s 1980s fashions were hardly representative of mainstream fashion, which went for strong-shouldered suits rather than the unpadded shoulders that he wore.

  15. Hi Matt, thank you for the fantastic article on one of my favorite suits of all time. I was wondering if you had a recommendation for a Savile Row tailor who would be best to create a similar suit, since Arthur Lyons sadly passed away. Which house style do you think comes closest today?

    • You need one that does built-up straight shoulders with slightly roped sleeve heads. Dege & Skinner, Kathryn Sargent and Huntsman all do a similar type of shoulder. The hard part is finding a tailor who can do the rolled lapel in this fashion. The more structured Savile Row tailors aren’t known for this style, and some may not be willing to make it.

  16. Does anyone has the exact reference of the cloth used ? (If it’s still available)
    I just browsed the Holland & Sherry website, but there was too many glen plaid cloths, I could not tell myself…

  17. Matt, I know it’s less relevant to the spy world than other outfits, but could you please do an article about Don Draper’s first suit in the first episode of the series ? You could compare it to Cary Grant’s North by Northwest suit or to Connery’s grey flannel suit in Dr No. After all, Connery’s usual cover is rather similar to Draper’s status : the typical businessman in a grey (flannel) suit, wearing a hat and carrying a suitcase.

    • There’s two obvious Bondian references in the series (the YOLT theme to close out season 5, and the time Don and Peggy watch Casino Royale 1967 in a theater), but my favorite subtle reference is when Don is terrified his father-in-law might find out he reads James Bond instead of something highbrow. LOL

      • What Connery’s Bond and Don Draper also share in common is that their main outfit onscreen (the lounge suit) is seen by their respective characters as a uniform, contrary to other Bond actors like Moore or Craig. There is a consistency, a continuity in their looks, some may find this positive or boring. Along the seasons or movies, they have a specific style and stick to it. They share the same color palette, mostly all shades of grey and dark blue, with some brown on the occasion. Suits jackets are always single breasted, notched lapels with little waist suppression. Their uniform also include the white pocket square folded in TV fold and a specific shirt (white or light blue poplin, cocktail cuffs or double cuffs, a spread collar). Their ties are dark and either solid or striped for Draper. No other fussy accessories except a belt and cufflinks for Don. Their overcoats are also always single breasted.
        They also share similarities in their casual wardrobe : dark long sleeved polo shirts, casual summer shirts with camp collar and a rather straight cut.
        I think both of the characters actually don’t care that much about clothes, especially Don who despite looking always immaculate onscreen has really no particular taste or fondness regarding clothing : he just dresses as he thinks people expect Draper to dress.
        Connery had some lines leading to the fact he may be a clothing aficionado (« my tailor,… » etc, « not mad about his tailor, are you? ») but I think it’s mostly for the pleasure of one liners and his character isn’t as much a clothes horse as for example Moore’s Bond is (or at least appear to be for me).

        By the way… NOT GREAT, BOB !!

      • There’s definitely some commonalities. Bond has worn a lot of white and light blue/blue dress shirts, though I feel like Don isn’t really ever seen wearing blue until the final season. Some of Don’s style also has more art deco elements, particularly the cufflinks and his wristwatch (a Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso).

        Interesting comment about how Don dresses as he thinks people expect someone like him should. Reminds me of how some have said that the diguise of “Clark Kent” is Superman’s critique of humanity. I agree Bond shouldn’t look foppish… he should look like someone who figured out how he wanted to dress years ago and doesn’t spend his free time flipping through GQ.


    • I third the request for an article on Don Draper! Agree with Le Chiffre – I’ve also heard that Don’s suit in the first episode was inspired by Cary Grant’s North by Northwest suit and Connery’s grey suit in Dr No.

      Would love your thoughts, Matt! Which bespoke tailors or RTW brands do you think achieve Don’s look? And who made his actual wardrobe?

      Johnathan Behr in LA has said that he was the tailor for Don’s madras plaid jacket and some of Roger Sterling’s suits, but that’s all I’ve found thus far.

      • It’s been awhile since I looked into Draper’s clothing, but to my recollection Janie did not consistently source them from a single brand or tailor. I believe some of the early suits were vintage Brooks Brothers.

      • I read somewhere Brooks Brothers did all the suits. They are almost always mentioned at the credits after the episodes. You can see their label occasionally (especially when Lane takes it off to have that hilarious fight with Pete).
        I am not as expert as Matt but the cloths used for the suits look, at 90%, very modern, and lack that vintage look. The shirts, ties and accessories, on the other hand, looked quite period accurate. I know have a hidden obsession for American striped ties, haha !

  18. Draper has also worn Bond brands like Rolex (a rather bland Explorer with a steel wristband)and Omega (a beautiful De Ville with a black dial).
    I think the costume designer did a great job for the shirts and accessories (ties and cufflinks), but the suits still have a modern look.
    Actually Tredstone, Don did wore a light blue shirt on occasion way before season 7… the first time he wore one was in the second episode of the first season, when he is having dinner with Roger.

    • I agree, Janie Bryant really knew what she was doing.

      One of the things I really like about the watches was that he wore a specific watch for 1 to 2 full seasons (if not more) before it would be changed to something else. It seemed a bit more realistic that way.

  19. Okay Matt, I am now obsessed with trying to replicate at least the feel of the suit on a limited budget :) Having trouble right off the bat with the tie. Not able to find any grey ties with small enough white pin dots–they must be awfully small not show up in even the head and shoulder shots. This is the closest I could find:
    Also, to the extent the suit is blue-grey the tie seems even in closeups to be just as “blue.” What would you rec?

  20. Is the cloth made of one mid grey thread and one mid blue thread ?Or is there more contrast between the two threads, could it be black/charcoal and light blue ?
    Sorry for being so picky. I am still browsing cloth merchants websites…

  21. Dear Matt, I will be more than happy to show you pictures when they will be available !
    Thanks again for your time and answering my numerous comments because if you didn’t have, I probably would not have kept browsing websites and looking for it.
    I don’t think the H&S website is that badly organized. I just assumed I had found the right cloth before but it was marked completely out of stock, and since you browsed it yourself too, I thought rechecking again from the beginning through the search bar would be completely useless. Talk about perseverance !

    I actually think the website is more detailed than any other cloth merchant website and a great feature is that on every suit fabric page they show you a picture of a suit made from the fabric, so you can see what the cloth look like both from a distance and also with a detailed close-up.
    I have never seen other websites offer that.
    Also when you go to a tailor, the main problem you have while choosing the right cloth is you are afraid the color will be a bit different once the suit is made. So it’s very convenient.

    One thing is sure the first thing I do when quarantine is over is to go to Holland&Sherry and buy this fabric ! A 9-year old quest has been completed !

    If you are ever in Paris Matt, the martinis are on me.


    • Le Chiffre,
      Are you making a NxNW suit with a TWINE shirt collar? The Classic Proportions post on this site may need to be updated in your honor…

      • Ahah, thanks for the compliment Tredstone. Yes it’s my firm intention ! I liked Grant’s shirt collar in NBN, but a point collar definitely looks terrible on me. The TWINE collar shirt I will have it soon I hope and it’s a much flattering look for me.
        About the suit I don’t think I will change much from the original except a slightly lower button stance than Grant’s and probably trousers a bit narrower in the thighs.
        But I certainly don’t want to have something that looks like what Mr. Kerr did to his client. He probably just followed his desires but to me it looks nothing like the original !…
        The cloth is too dark and too thick and the trousers have a lower, unflattering rise. The only thing that looked right to me was the lapel roll !

      • The short jacket is a problem as well.

        I would put double vents in this suit. Vents go well with a sporty light-coloured checked suit. But I prefer double vents on everything.

    • I agree, the moment he stepped outside and his tie was sticking out from the jacket it was apparent something was off.

      Do you plan to keep it vent-less?

      • Yes definitely, I prefer a ventless look on everything. Except maybe sports coats and blazers. Put one or two vents on this suit and the whole look is completely different.

  22. I think the image you shared shows that in certain light it look grey. In my image it looks blue. I was sent this image without seeing it face to face.

  23. What would you say Grant’s complexion is here Matt? Do you think the mid grey-blue suit with a white shirt and medium grey tie would work well for someone with a winter complexion ? Or would you change something in the shirt/tie color scheme to make the whole outfit work better ?

  24. I just bought the blu ray today to check the pattern more accurately and discovered the colors were much darker than on the dvd. The whites are brighter and the suit itself looks like a darker shade, like a simple mid grey, with quite less blue in it.
    What do you think Matt ? Did you based your analysis of the suit’s color on the blu-ray or on the dvd ?

      • Really ? You described it as a mid grey-blue. I thought the color of the suit on the dvd was quite similar to that.
        But I presume the same disc could even look different on different TV screens or phone screens.

  25. Ahah, after seeing in person the H&S cloth from the Crispaire bunch it looks more like a light blue glen plaid… not mid blue/grey. What a disappointment ! This suit cloth is a nightmare to recreate.

  26. For anyone who has been looking, this is the cloth that Holland & Sherry is saying is the match for the one used on screen.

    The cloth ID – #6519043, its 400g/13oz. Again matches up to what was probably worn by Cary Grant in the film.

    This gentleman here got the suit made from himself using this cloth, the video does show it as blue but the close-up stills definitely show the suit in it’s blue-grey check glory;

    Hope this will help someone looking to have the suit made :)

  27. I don’t know if anyone has shared this yet but I’ve come across a black and white costume test photo of Grant in the suit. While it doesn’t help re: the color, it is the most detailed look I’ve seen of the patterns and textures, which might help with trying to recreate the exact stitching, etc. It If you zoom in on it, it especially offers some insight into what might be the pattern of the tie, though it’s still tricky.

  28. Congratulations Matt and Peter. I recall our conversations way back, encouraging you to write a book, esp. since you’ve developed so much content through your website. As you know, I’ve printed two large binders in color of your material to help me educate me and for sewing my own recreations of bond attire. Looking forward to the book!

      • Matt what are your thoughts on Air Force blue as a business suit, whether it be in a glen check type pattern or not? In the past I believe it would be out of the question, and I guess it depends on the office, but where I work these days sport coats and khakis are as common as your typical navy or charcoal business suit. Everyone still wears a tie, and no one wears bold checks or stripes, but I see about everything else. I ask, because I’m looking for another “blue” suit. I have a medium dark navy, so I’m wondering if I should go for just a lighter brighter navy, or something different like Air Force blue. Thanks.

      • Air force blue can work as an office suit for a less traditional office. It’s the kind of suit you’d see on Mad Men in a 1960s advertising firm. Overall, it’s a difficult colour to wear. There are many options for navy suits, whether it’s in different shades of navy, birdseye, sharkskin, herringbone, striped.

    • Hello Matt, Hello Le Chiffre.

      It seems quite difficult to pin down this color! (Especially since the suit seems to change so much throughout the film). I’ve been considering doing a suit like this for a long time and am finally about to pull the trigger – and with the 337013.
      Looking at all the different fabrics in these comments and I thought after all this time 337013 was still the winner but I think I’m going to have to get a swatch of this one as well and ponder even more! Does anyone think there’s particular scenes in the film that better represent what fabric/color “really” is?



      • … For instance, while it always has some blue, it seems like the lighter it appears, the more grey it appears / the darker it appears, the more blue. Would you agree?

      • It’s difficult to say if there’s any one scene where the colours look most real. The colour film process wasn’t able to reproduce the most realistic colours, and realistic colours may not have been desired anyway. We need to use our imagination to adjust our perception of the colours on screen to the colours we expect things to be, and we can make comparisons based on other colours. We know that Grant’s suit is blue and not grey because it looks blue when he stands next to someone wearing a true grey.

      • Ah, this makes a ton of sense, and it’s interesting to take into consideration all the technology that created the colors we do see 60 years later. Admittedly I haven’t seen the film in a while, though I’ve certainly watched it many times.

        Thanks very much Matt! (And Le Chiffre)

      • Just my two cents but that H and S still looks to dark to my eye. The ‘real’ suit was certainly a shade of blue-grey and ‘air force blue’ is also in that vicinity but this version and most of the other near-misses seem to come up darker than how Roger Thornhill’s seems to appear.

      • Yeah I think you’re right Brendan’s version, especially in the first pic, has got it pretty close.
        I actually have a wool-mohair suit MTM by Thick as Thieves which is in a similar blue-grey hue but as it’s a solid (non-shiny sharkskin) I can’t make any claim that it’s a NXNW clone. This range of colours from powder blue-grey to Air Force blue, petrol blue, slate blue etc is a great colour as it works for business, for formal events such as weddings etc and for social events but is a bit more noticeable than more standard navy and grey.

  29. It certainly seems hard to figure out the cloth used on the suit. Le Chiffre and Brendan seemed to have found the closest fabric currently made, but in the video of the guy getting a replica suit, the fabric weight seems way too heavy (It would wear well here in the southern US where I live). Also, it looks to me trying to get a suit in a specific color and pattern like you see in a movie is either impossible or obscenely expensive at best. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

  30. I might have spotted an old photo of the famous NxNW suit out in the wild! Mr. Grant famously kept all his suits and was “frugal” to put it mildly so I wonder if this is him getting some extra wear out of it? Here’s the link:
    Also, it’s interesting once again to see the exact details of the suit (if it is the same suit) on a high rez black and white image. I’m more certain than ever that he wears a left-to-right diagonal twill weave tie.

    • Good spot! That probably is the same suit since the tooth check section of the glen check has the same 9×9 repeat.

      If the ribs on a tie are at 45 degrees, it means it’s a plain weave, like repp or ottoman, and not a twill because ties are constructed on the bias (a 45-degree angle). So I believe the tie is a repp weave.

      • Impressive how high the rise is, and paired with a medium button stance as well. Looks like he had another pair of trousers without cuffs here. Anyway thanks for the great find !

    • Great catch re: cuffs Le Chiffre! So either it’s not the suit but very similar (from the same batch) or same suit but different pants or Mr. Grant altered the pants to get rid of the cuffs (per his preferred taste.

      • I am sure it’s an extra pair of pants, the jacket is definitely the same one. Same thing for the shirt and tie… thank you ;)

  31. Uh oh. The Holland and Sherry link for the closest match fabric has been dead for at least two weeks.
    Hope this is just a web site error but…

  32. I’ve been looking at the Holland and Sherry Glen Checks again, and I don’t think the Crispaire Air Force Blue 3321018 looks accurate comparing to Blu Ray screenshots. Then again sometimes the check looks bigger, sometimes it looks way more small and subtle. Personally, based on what they have currently available and going off pictures of what Chris Kerr got for his suit replica, to me Fabric #6420019 an Airforce Blue split matt glen check looks to be the closest to the original fabric. H&S told Chris that Fabric #6519043 was the exact same cloth used but I don’t buy it, either they got them mixed up or the colors in the movie are WAY off.

  33. It changes again ! Ahah, this suit cloth will apparently remains a cinematic mystery !
    Any suit cloth reference you would recommend, be it H&S or another cloth merchant ? I guess the crispaire bunch is definitely out of the question now.
    What made you change your mind ? I never noticed the tie was untipped as well. Did you saw a pristine quality copy in a movie theater ?

    • I did a comparison of the striped parts of the check and noticed it looks more like the hopsack version. Plain weave can still pass for it. And I still can’t be sure either way. I noticed the tie was untipped from a photo a few years ago. I have not seen it in a movie theatre, unfortunately. Have you? I once saw a double feature of Jimmy Stewart’s Hitchcock films, which was a fantastic experience.

    • It looks like the same suit, but it’s not the Plaza Hotel. The address is printed right there: 487 Park Ave. Grant is standing on Park Ave near the corner of 59th Street, so only a couple blocks from the Plaza. You can see 470 Park Ave on the left and 480 Park Ave on the right, both very prestigious co-ops designed by two of New York’s most renowned architects: Schwartz & Gross and Emery Roth, respectively.

  34. I really wonder how such a wide trousers leg -at least by today’s standards- could look so good in the movie. The cloth is obviously lightweight, and Grant obviously didn’t have a very muscular lower body here, yet it hangs and drapes perfectly. I am sure it would look awfully rumpled easily with a modern lightweight cloth.

    • Good point. In Thomas Crown Affair, Pierce Brosnan wears a wider trouser leg that doesn’t look as nice, probably given the very lightweight and high super cloth.

    • I have several wide leg trousers, some new as they are thankfully back instyle again, some dating back to the late 90s, the last time they were en vogue thanks to the swing dance craze. They’re all double pleated and high waisted and drape beautifully, no matter what material. I think the only pitfall is if you’re under 5’9″ they can make one look squat if you’re not careful. Given that Mr. grant was 6’2″ and super lean, wide legs were never going to make him look short and squat. That said, I think wide leg, double pleated high waisted pants look smart as he’ll and flatter most bodies (even if your on the shorter, heavier side, they hide a lot of sins) so I would rec taking the plunge and buying a pair.

      • Do you recommend any RTW brand ? I never saw one pair in rtw being under €200, and it’s a minimum for a construction that can be made in China. They are back in style alright, but available in niche brands only yet I am afraid. If I spend more than 200€ I might as well go custom made. Trousers that fit well aren’t that easy to find.

      • Dear Pudding,
        Thanks for the link. I was aware of the brand already. That sale is interesting, but unfortunately I am merely looking for charcoal or dark grey flannels, not something light. Happy buying !

  35. Dear Le Chiffre, I haven’t been shopping for trousers in a few months but I’ll be on the look out for you. It’s daunting of course, because what works for one person, doesn’t work at all for another but I’ll give it a shot, knowing that YMMV:). Believe it or not, Banana Republic has put out some good quality, more than reasonably priced wide leg trousers in the last couple of years. My daily drivers have been a slightly rough material “natural” aka undyed off white during the summer months, and dark greens throughout the year but especially during the Christmas season, I got them in 2022 so you can only find them on Etsy or Ebay. I bought 2 pairs each, and only regret not buying more, especially since by the end of their sales cycle, they were selling for $21.00. There have been similar steals since then. I’ve also had great luck scouring online for vintage clothes. And in the $150 range I’ve been happy with my purchases from vintage replica clothiers like Cathcart and Chester Cordite whenever they’re 60 percent off.

  36. Matt, do you know if a cloth merchant, Holland &Sherry for example, would recreate the North by Northwest original cloth (or at least your take on it) for us ? If there’s enough people interested to meet the minimum amount of cloth required that might be interesting. I think Sam Hober and/or Magnoli Clothiers did the same for creating a a new silk cloth for a tie. Granted, it’s pretty different and a suit requires about 3-5 meters of cloth depending on the build and style, but I think the idea is worth being talked about !

    • Could the followers of Bond Suits, BAMF, and other sights/podcasts/youtube channels start some kind of formal request/statement of intent to buy? Would 500 signatures be taken seriously by Holland & Sherry? Of course the other problem is, if you get 5 fans of the NxNW suit in a room, you’ll get 20 opinions about what the right color would be. Color grading is part of how I make a living so I’ve been trying to do a more real-life accurate grade of some stills from the film. One thing I’ve noticed is in more recent Blu-Ray/online releases (including the most recent restoration/remaster), there is so much blue inserted into the overall image of some scenes, that even the grey in Mr. Grant’s hair appears blue. If you remove the blue from his hair, the suit appears to be a grey suit that’s a little on the cool side, not a slate blue or bluish grey suit. So many of us have bought into the recent mindset that the suit is basically some form of blue, we might request the wrong material anyway.


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