Yesterday was Global James Bond Day, and for this special occasion cashmere brand N.Peal launched a 007 cashmere collection featuring many items and outfits inspired by clothes that James Bond has worn throughout the entire Bond series, ranging from Goldfinger to Spectre. N.Peal was kind enough to gift me a number of items from this collection of their choice. To the launch of this collection at their Madison Avenue store in New York City, I wore an N.Peal-curated outfit that was inspired by the suit, contrasting waistcoat and knitted tie that Sean Connery wears in the M’s office scene in Goldfinger.
This outfit was chosen for me because it is the only formal type of outfit that is part of the collection, which is mainly focused on Bond’s sportier looks. As this blog is mostly focused on tailored clothing, this look is quite fitting for me to review.
N.Peal’s outfit is loosely inspired by the outfit that Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger, and of all the outfits in the collection this one is furthest from the look of the original. I do not say this as criticism because N.Peal is not a tailoring brand, and I applaud them for trying to take a classic Bond suit and tie look and make it in a way that fits with their knitwear brand. So much of Bond’s style is about tailored clothing, at least it was before Daniel Craig introduced many inspired casual looks to Bond, and I think that it was a brilliant idea for N.Peal to try to bring one of Bond’s tailored looks to this collection.
The Milano Jacket
The main piece of the outfit is N.Peal’s Milano jacket in navy in 100% cashmere, and as N.Peal fans may know this is an item that was already part of their collection. It’s an unstructured knit jacket that is made in the form of a tailored jacket, and it is made in a heavy but not chunky knit that looks very smooth and elegant. This is without a doubt the most luxurious piece in N.Peal’s 007 collection.
There are four buttons down the front, starting at the top of the chest. It has a Revere collar that stands up. It can be worn with all the buttons done up or it can be worn with the third button done up and the collar and revers folded over so it resembles a suit jacket. But it can also be worn open. I mostly wore it open for the day, and I like the way it frames the tie and waistcoat when worn open. When wearing it open it stayed firm and did not sag or droop down, as many cardigans do. Though this is knit and unstructured, it is much more of a jacket than a cardigan.
The original jacket in Goldfinger is a brown houndstooth check, not navy, but there could possibly be some blue in the weave of Connery’s suit. This jacket is more versatile in navy than if it were brown, and I appreciate this change because I prefer wearing navy jackets over brown.
The jacket is detailed with open patch pockets and a welt breast pocket in the manner of a tailored jacket. You may be thinking, “the original jacket in Goldfinger had hacking pockets and a ticket pocket”. But as this is a piece of knitwear and not a hacking jacket, hacking pockets would be out of place. This jacket has to be first and foremost a functional and sensible piece of knitwear, and that it is. The welt breast pocket is a very nice touch, and I think it’s fun to be able to be able to wear a pocket square in a sportier item like this. But I found the pocket to be too shallow and had a difficult time getting my Goldfinger-style white linen pocket square with a pointed fold to fit. A small pocket square in a straight fold or a puff would work best. I have many small pocket squares that slip down inside other jacket pockets that would be perfect with this jacket.
The cuffs are detailed with four buttons. The buttonhole at the end is functional for those who like to show off a working cuff. It also allows the cuff to fold back nicely if the sleeve is too long. The other four buttonholes are nonfunctional, and the first buttonhole is contrasting in red. The jacket’s buttons are dark brown horn. The sleeves are very fitted, and thus I was not able to wear a Goldfinger-style double cuff shirt underneath and wore a shirt with cocktail cuffs instead. But this is for the best as fitted sleeve on knitwear look much neater than loose sleeves.
One of my favourite details on the jacket is the double vents in the back. It really helps it to feel even more like a tailored jacket. The Goldfinger suit jacket has only a single vent, but because this jacket has only side seams and no centre back seam, the choice to vent the sides is obvious.
I am wearing a size small in the jacket, and I have a 38-inch chest. I prefer a closer fit in my knitwear, hence my choice for a size small. I am on the border of a small and a medium in this jacket, as the vents do not stay closed over my hips when I button the jacket. I like the way the jacket fits through the rest of the body. I have a size small chest and waist and a size medium seat, so overall a size small worked better for me.
The Milano Waistcoat
Under the jacket I am wearing N.Peal’s Milano waistcoat in fumo grey knit cashmere. This is the same grey as the cable knit turtleneck that Daniel Craig wears in Spectre, which is a very pale grey. The original waistcoat in Goldfinger is beige and woven, not grey and knitted, but grey is a more accessible colour and goes very nicely with the navy jacket. The waistcoat is a very fine knit cashmere with a texture similar to the jacket, but it is a lighter weight and fits comfortably under the jacket. Still, the waistcoat has a very solid feel. It is more of a waistcoat than a sleeveless cardigan because it has a more formal look and feel. There are five buttons down the front—instead of Connery’s six—and the buttons are beautiful grey mother of pearl. There are two welt pockets at the waist.
Like the jacket, the waistcoat is also a size small and fits perfectly. A waistcoat should fit snugly, as this does. It is a bit shorter than a lot of sleeveless cardigans often are, so it was not too tight to fit over my seat.
The Knitted Tie
The final piece to complete this outfit is a knitted cashmere tie in navy to match the jacket. While Connery’s knitted tie was silk and brown, this colour is more accessible and more versatile. The tie is a luxuriously dense and thick knit, with more finely knit hems on both ends and reinforced in the middle where the tie sits around the neck. The hems are square, as is typical for a knit tie. It makes a very elegant knot. I tied it in a four-in-hand knot, as Connery made his knit tie in Moneypenny’s office in Goldfinger. As it is a hefty tie, I think any larger knot will be too large.
How to Wear It
Of all the outfits in this collection, this one is the loosest interpretation of James Bond’s original outfit. This this outfit is not representative of the rest of the collection, which are more direct interpretations of the original Bond outfits. But when I donned this outfit and looked at myself in the mirror, I saw the Goldfinger look. The overall look of this outfit in my mind captures the spirit of what Sean Connery wore. And wearing it all together it inspired the confidence that I see in Sean Connery’s James Bond.
This outfit might also be one of the most wearable for me in the collection because the colours are easy to wear and the pieces are excellent in their own right. I found the entire outfit fun to wear all together, and it makes an impression, but I would probably prefer to wear the pieces separately and in my own ways. You can purchase the pieces separately.
The jacket can be dressed up with a tie as worn here, but it can also be dressed down. The jacket is essentially a more casual navy blazer, and it can be dressed up like a blazer or dressed down like a cardigan. I would most likely wear the jacket with an open-neck shirt and without the waistcoat underneath. I found both the jacket and the waistcoat together to be too warm indoors in certain places with the way much of New York uses too much heating, but I overheat easily. The jacket is something I could easily wear to my business-casual workplace. It would also work very well with any of N.Peal’s turtlenecks that are part of the Bond collection. For fans of Daniel Craig’s personal style, I could picture him wearing this jacket with only a t-shirt underneath. It makes for a good travel jacket as it is comfortable and will not wrinkle.
The waistcoat would be fantastic under a blue blazer and that’s likely how I will wear it. I have some tweed jackets that it would be very nice with as well. I do not care for wearing knitted waistcoats under suits, but some people like that and this one could work with sportier suits.
The tie, being navy, is quite versatile. It would be nice with a tweed jacket or suit—as James Bond has worn his cashmere ties in the films—or to dress down a flannel suit.
All of these pieces have a hidden 007-branded label, a classy way to brand the items to keep our dressing like James Bond hobby an inside secret. They also come with a separate N.Peal 007-branded hang tag, attached to the inside label with an easy-to-remove safety pin so we don’t need to bring a scissor close to the cashmere to remove the tags.
Thank you to N.Peal for the cardigan, to the N.Peal shop on Madison Avenue for hosting a wonderful event and to David Zaritsky and The Bond Experience for making me a part of this. And thank you to Ray Kromphold of The Bond Armory, Jay Sadowski of James Bond Classified and Jeff Wybo of James Bond Canada for taking photos of me at the N.Peal shop. The rest of the photos are by Janna Levin Spaiser.
In the photos here I am wearing the three N.Peal pieces with a white herringbone shirt from Frank Foster and dark grey serge trousers from Polo Ralph Lauren, supported with Albert Thurston braces.