The Woolly Pully Aboard the St. Georges in For Your Eyes Only

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The legendary British military Woolly Pully sweater has become an iconic piece of James Bond’s wardrobe thanks to N.Peal’s unique luxury version made for No Time to Die. It previously made an appearance in the Bond films on a couple of officers aboard the Royal Navy spy ship the St. Georges in For Your Eyes Only.

The first character who appears after the film’s title sequence is McGregor, played by William Hoyland. McGregor is one of two men responsible for operating the ATAC system, but he failed to carry out an order to destroy ATAC when the ship was sunk by an old war mine.

McGregor wears a navy commando sweater, also known as a ‘Woolly Pully’. It was originally created for the S.A.S and Bomber Command during World War II, and it has since become a classic British clothing item. It is made of a heavy wool ribbed knit and comes in many colours and in round neck, V-neck and roll neck varieties.

McGregor’s sweater is navy in the round-neck style, and the collar has a slight stand to it. Unlike a usual round neck, the collar is slightly boat neck-shaped. N.Peal’s version has a proper boat neck, while the version McGregor wears has a collar that’s more oval than round. Compared to a typical round neck or crew neck, the collar on this sweater is wider on the sides and higher in front. It comes close to N.Peal’s version without being a true boat neck.

The sweater has rectangular dark navy patches on the shoulders and on the back of the sleeves at the elbow. McGregor wears the sleeves turned back at the cuff. The hem is plain, but there’s an elastic thread sewn around the body a few inches above the waist to provide a close fit at the waist.

Under the jumper he wears a light blue end-on-end shirt with a point collar. The collar is unbuttoned, and points sit outside of the sweater’s collar. The shirt’s button cuffs elegantly extend a small amount past the sweater’s cuffs.

His trousers are black wool with a single forward pleat and a classic tapered leg. The black trousers clash with the navy sweater, but since matching the sweater to navy trousers would be near impossible, a mismatched navy sweater and navy trousers wouldn’t look any better. The gentle clash between the navy and black is a classic British military look. Black derby shoes complete McGregor’s military look.

Inside the ship, the character of the ship’s captain played by Peter Fontaine also wears a very similar outfit. The only discernible difference is in the shirt, which is white and worn inside of the sweater’s collar. It only shows at the sides and back of the sweater’s collar.

By wearing the shirt collar’s points under the sweater’s collar it allows the round neck to sit higher in front and shows off the slight boat-neck shape of the collar. By sitting so high in front it gives the captain the unflattering appearance of not having much of a neck at all.

The captain’s shoulder patches look larger than McGregor’s, which might be due to him being a larger man and wearing a larger size.

11 COMMENTS

  1. My 60-something year old dad recently bought a few of these and they look great on him. I tried one as an experiment and don’t carry it nearly as well.
    There’s something about them that I think looks better on someone with a broader chest. For example I think the captain looks better here than McGregor.

    • That kind of ribbed, high-weigh sweater just drapes down and hangs on the wearer’s body, and is completely unable of making any volume. Therefore, if you are skinny and bony, it will make you look like a hanger. It needs a “full”, bulky torso, to gain shape, and look good and balanced. In the movie, the captain looks ok, while thin Mc Gregor looks really bad

  2. If i’d had known these were going to become “fashionable”, I’d have kept my issue woolly pully’s from my time in the Royal Navy!

  3. The captain looks like he’s wearing a necktie, that could be the reason of such a bulk in front of his neck, disguised under his sweater’s collar

  4. Are these supposed to be naval officers in uniform, or undercover civilians. If as I suspect it’s the latter they’re not exactly masters of disguise in their naval jumpers but without the rank on their epaulets!
    My Dad was in the RAF and I think was quite chuffed to see me in a RAF blue version which I acquired when I was a young lad working on the milk round.
    I’m putting together the ultimate cold weather outfit and it’s gonna include one of these jumpers. Like some other military gear it’s not super stylish but the utility means it’s never completely out of style. They look better when worn like the captain with the shirt collar tucked in. I considered getting a seaman roll neck but I think they’d be sweltering indoors. As for the Peal ones – what’s the point of the drawstring? A useless detail which would have been better left out.

  5. RN ‘office’ uniform is a white shirt, black tie and woolly pully. In reality, it would be strange to wear this on a ship, and stranger still for the Captain to be in one uniform and everyone else in another.

    The uniform worn by McGregor is the older version of what I often wore, although we wore navy-coloured fire resistant trousers, the black / charcoal ones being office uniform.

    Equally, the derby shoes should only be worn on land. They would be scuffed to pieces in a very short time if worn on a working ship. It seems the filmmakers scrouged together ‘Navy-ish’ outfits.

    • Military jumpers have cotton canvas (or these days maybe poly-cotton) for the shoulder and elbow patches. There are posh civilian versions made with suede. I’m not sure how well they would do in the wash!

      • Checking the care label on my own Woolly Pully (purchased about a decade or so ago), the shoulder and elbow patches are 67% polyester and 33% cotton.

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