The Thomas Crown Affair: Polo Jumper and Golf Wear

30

Thomas-Crown-Golf

With spring here, the polo jumper is a great and versatile casual piece for the season’s mild weather. Pierce Brosnan wears a black polo jumper in The Thomas Crown Affair for a game of golf, and though they can be found in wool I doubt Thomas Crown would ever wear a jumper made of anything less than cashmere. Fine merino wool or cashmere is necessary for knitwear that has direct contact with the skin because anything coarser would get itchy. It has a rather full fit, which was the fashion in the 1990s. It looks unattractively baggy around the waist, and the current trend toward closer-fitting knitwear is one to follow. Polo jumpers that have a taller collar than ordinary polo shirts can be worn casually under a sports coat, and they go especially well with tweed like Sean Connery wears in Diamonds Are Forever‘s pre-title sequence. It’s hard to tell if Pierce Brosnan’s polo jumper has a collar tall enough to wear under a jacket, but the key is for the collar to not get lost under the jacket.

Thomas-Crown-Golf-2The golf trousers aren’t nearly as versatile as the jumper. No trousers are too loud for the golf course, but Thomas Crown’s trosuers are rather tasteful in a dark blue and red plaid. Still, they wouldn’t work anywhere but on the golf course. If you have a pair of trousers that don’t go with anything, wear them for golf. I have two pairs that qualify, but I have yet to take up golf. Brosnan’s trousers have a flat front and plain hems. They have belt loops but Brosnan wears them without a belt. The top of the jumper covers most of the trousers’ waistband, and the lack of a belt makes the jumper’s ribbed hem look neater.

The shoes are chestnut-coloured split-toe norwegian-front derbies, and they are very similar to what Sean Connery wore for golf in Goldfinger. They have leather golf soles with cleats, attached with a 360º degree welt. This type of welt is when the stitching goes all the way around the top of the soles, as opposed to typical welted shoes where the welt stops at the heel (called a 270º welt or breast-to-breast welt). The American maker Allen Edmonds use a 360º welt on almost all of their shoes, but this type of welt can be found on more casual styles from many other makers, American and English. It’s not as sleek as the breast-to-breast welt, but it’s great for more casual styles like these norwegians. These shoes also have a kiltie, which is the fringed and brogued piece of leather that covers the lacing and eyelets.

Norwegian-Golf-Shoes

30 COMMENTS

  1. “It has a rather full fit, which was the fashion in the 1990s. It looks unattractively baggy around the waist, and the current trend toward closer-fitting knitwear is one to follow.”

    At the time of this film I had a couple of beautiful sweaters that my ex accidently threw in the washing machine, and they shrunk about two sizes. I remember trying them on and they seemed uncomfortably tight and looked ridiculous. I even wore one (the “bigger” one) to work one day when I needed a sweater and everyone made fun of me. The irony is that the sweater looked exactly like what I wear these days! I pulled a couple of pieces out of storage a few months back and was surprised to find that things that seemed far too tight in the 90s now seem loose or even baggy on me!

  2. I think Connery wears a very similar knitted polo in Thunderball, when he drags himself away from the attention of Miss Fearing to investigate the late night shenanigans of Count Lippe et al. A great way to look stylish and stealthy at the same time!

  3. Now this I can wear! I do have a nice black polo shirt with a grey button down collar (I wear it unbuttoned) which even looks ok with a tie (this site made me try it, I haven’t worn it anywhere though…).
    Doesn’t Tim Dalton also wear a black polo shirt at the end confrontation with Whittaker?

  4. I think the ensemble is quite nice, very sober. But I still prefer Connery’s or Steve McQueen’s golf outfits, which are more colorful, less dark.

    Honestly, I don’t see why these trousers, like others which are supposed to be “golf trousers”, should belong to the golf course only.
    For a casual outfit they can be great, or for the weekend, or in the summer -with chukka boots and a rollneck jumper or a polo shirt ‘and why not an odd jacket too) I have a pair of grey glen check trousers in cotton which are great and I wear them often, even if somebody once called them “golf trousers”.

    That said, the bottom of the trousers look terrible in the last picture !

      • Look at the picture of him swinging the golf club and you can see the crotch is lower than it should be. That’s because the trousers have slipped down from the lack of a belt, and they’ve slipped enough to make the trouser’s pool at the shoes. The trousers were worn higher when they were hemmed, and probably also when he first put them on.

      • Most of the time when I see someone wearing trousers pooled at his shoes, it’s because the trousers have sagged down. That’s what it looks like here.

  5. “The current trend toward closer-fitting knitwear is one to follow”. Fair enough but would this not depend, ultimately, on the physique of the wearer? Closer fitting is fine if the wearer has a slim physique like Brosnan, for example, but for someone with a less than ideal shape, shall we say, perhaps this roomier look might be more flattering.

    For me, regarding Bond, overall the sizing of the knitwear as worn by either Connery or Moore was just about ideal and non era specific.

    • Completely agree with you, David.
      It’s also a fact that, with the exception of Brosnan -slimmer than every other Bond actor- and Craig -not as tall as the others-, almost every Bond actor had the same physique (broad shoulders and chest, and rather tall men).

    • I think it depends. I’ve seen larger men wear the current slim-fitting suits quite well, and I’ve seen very slim men wear slim-fitting suits poorly. Conversely, I’ve seen incredibly skinny guys wear the larger-fitting suits from the 90s quite well, and larger men wear them poorly. I think the trouble begins when people try to push the *idea* of the style too far into almost a caricature of the style.

      • I was referring solely to slim fitting v generously cut knitwear, not suits. The topic of so-called “slim fitting” suits is one that has, for me anyway, largely run its course on this forum. The regular contributors’ views are all very well known now!

  6. There’s a lot of break in those trousers, which I recall also being fairly popular in the 90s. However, I’ve noticed that certain pants and occasions grant leeway for a more generous break. Is that a trait of golf pants, or just related to the relaxed menswear of the 90s?

  7. Matt, have you seen The Tailor of Panama? Might be worth looking at some of the clothes Brosnan wears in that, as his anti-Bond film.

  8. What would be a Bondian alternative pair of shoes to wear in a game of golf besides the norwegian-front derbies as worn by Brosnan and Connery?

  9. Matt, I’ve heard of polo shirts and a hundred companies that make them (OB, Sunspel, Lacoste, Fred Perry, Ralph Lauren, Uniqlo, heck even TF) but do you have an example of who makes polo jumpers? Most searches just hit shirts and not jumpers.

      • Perfect! I’m picking up a few I found from John Smedley. N.Peal sounds lovely too, though I guess that’s until I start earning just as much as Thomas Crown.
        So could you elaborate more on the difference between a knit polo and a polo jumper? Technically the same?

      • Just about all polos are knit, from cotton pique and jersey polos to wool and cashmere polos. A jumper is made of wool or cashmere, has long sleeves and a banded bottom. However, there are many variations between that and the classic short-sleeve cotton pique polo with a vented hem.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.