The Roman/Military/Equestrian Shoulder

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Though not all the same, the Roman shoulder, military shoulder and equestrian shoulder are all strongly structured shoulders with a straight line and generous padding. Though the shoulders may be built up, they aren’t necessarily stiff. The width and amount of padding vary depending on the tailor and depending on the current trends. Characterised by a clean, strong silhouette, the Roman style has its origins in the military and equestrian style on Savile Row. H. Huntsman is a good example of a Savile Row tailor who makes an equestrian style. Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have all worn this style shoulder in the Bond films.

Most of Roger Moore’s suits in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker come from Angelo Roma. These suits have narrow, straight shoulders with thick padding and roped sleeve heads.

Timothy Dalton wears suits in Licence to Kill with the straight, oversized shoulders that were popular at the time. Though his suit is more characteristic of something from a Milan fashion house, the idea of a straight, built-up shoulder is the same.

Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have both worn suits from Brioni, the most famous Roman tailor. Brioni’s shoulders are very similar to what Angelo made for Roger Moore, though they tend to be wider. When Brosnan started the role in 1995, Brioni’s shoulders were wider and more built up, following the 1990s trends, and by The World is Not Enough had a more classic Roman look (see the top image).

11 COMMENTS

  1. Matt, I’m a big fan of the blog. I noticed that you’ve done some posts on the literary James Bond in the past. As a fan of the novels, I know Fleming keeps the details of Bond’s tailoring rather mysterious. Now that you’ve covered a few different shoulder styles, which do you think would have been worn by the literary Bond? Would it be the Military/Equestrian shoulder since he was a Navy man? He seemed rather disapproving of the Anderson & Sheppard softer, unstructured look on Count Lippe.

    • Fleming himself wore a suit with a slightly padded shoulder, not something as built-up as a military shoulder. So something closer to the English straight shoulder I wrote about last week. So something with a little padding, not devoid of padding like Anthony Sinclair’s or Doug Hayward’s suits.

  2. I love Brosnan’s suits in his final two films.
    In the top picture is he wearing the same tie that he wears in Bilbao?

  3. Hi !
    I like your blog and website very much. Could you please comment on the suit that Daniel Craig wears in Casino Royale when we see him enter the casino (after Vesper offers him the suit) ? What kind of shoulder is that ?
    Thanks again

  4. Do the current Brioni suits have the same Roman shoulders that they do in the Bond movies? I really like that built-up look, because it makes you look more muscular and stronger.

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