Turnbull & Asser Collar Design and Construction

33

I visited Turnbull & Asser in New York City to learn all about their collars from Bespoke Associate Daniel Stroupe. In the From Tailors with Love video above, Mr Stroupe discusses Turnbull & Asser’s standard collars as well as the collars that Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig wear in their James Bond films. He also shows us inspiration for the limitless designs possible for bespoke collars and the different methods they can use to construct bespoke collars. Watch above to learn more.

Turnbull & Asser’s primary collars. From left to right: Classic T&A collar, Prince of Wales collar, Regent collar

The primary Turnbull & Asser collars are the Classic Turnbull & Asser collar, the Prince of Wales collar and the Regent collar. The Classic T&A collar is narrowest while the Regent is the widest. All three collars have the same height, despite what is said in the video.

The Number 3 collar

Turnbull & Asser has two other collar available in made-to-measure and in some ready-to-wear shirts, the Cambridge button-down collar and the Kent collar, which is like a shorter Regent collar. In bespoke they have a few other standard collars, like the Number 3 point collar, the Tab collar (which they usually do like a Number 3 collar but with shorter points), the International Button-Down collar (which is more classic than the Cambridge collar) and the rounded St James’s collar. In bespoke any type of collar is possible, though they have many samples to help give the customer a place to start.

Collars from Turnbull & Asser’s archive

Here’s a quick guide to the various Turnbull & Asser Bond collars:

  • Sean Connery’s Dr. No collar is a larger version of the Regent collar, though there is slight variation in the collars he wore throughout his Bond films. The larger Regent collar is available in the ready-to-wear Dr. No shirt and in bespoke.
  • Sean Connery wears a variation on the Classic T&A collar in Never Say Never Again.
  • Pierce Brosnan’s collar in Tomorrow Never Dies is most similar to the Prince of Wales collar, though Mr Stroupe suggests that it could possibly be based on an older version of the Classic T&A collar (which was updated to its current form in 1998). It would be a taller version of either of these collars. The Tomorrow Never Dies collar was first made by former bespoke manager at T&A Robert Gillotte, but in a two-button variation. It was changed to a one-button collar for Pierce Brosnan. One of Mr Gillotte’s collar designs—the “RG” collar—is available in bespoke at T&A but it is a wider cutaway collar.
  • The World Is Not Enough collar is slightly wider than the Tomorrow Never Dies collar, and in spread it appears to be somewhere between the Prince of Wales collar and the Regent collar. The Dr. No variation on the Regent collar is similar.
  • Daniel Craig had a custom collar made for his dress shirt in Casino Royale with long points and a wide spread. This collar is available on the ready-to-wear Casino Royale dress shirt as well as in bespoke.
The ready-to-wear Casino Royale and Dr. No shirts

My piece of advice would be to not worry too much about perfectly replicating a specific Bond collar, as the collar you get should be what best works for you. A specific Bond collar could look different on you than it did on a certain Bond actor.

You can see some of the James Bond collar patterns in my article about my visit to the Turnbull & Asser bespoke shop in London.

Me with Daniel Stroupe

Turnbull & Asser made shirts for ten James Bond films: Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Never Say Never Again, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day and Casino Royale. For Die Another Day and Casino Royale they only made the dress (Tuxedo) shirts.

33 COMMENTS

    • I’m wearing a charcoal tropical wool suit from Paul Stuart, a white poplin shirt from Turnbull & Asser with a classic T&A collar and double cuffs, a burgundy grenadine tie from Turnbull & Asser and quarter brogue oxfords from Brooks Brothers, made by Crockett & Jones. After I got dressed I realised I looked like I belonged in a boardroom. A coloured shirt or a flashier pocket square would have elevated my outfit. A slightly wider, higher collar like I usually wear could have helped as well, and I think that’s a major reason why James Bond can wear simple outfits and not look like a banker. The Classic T&A collar looks great on many people, but it is unfortunately too low for me.

      • You are giving off a bit of Luca Cordero di Montezemolo with that suit….
        Not a bad look
        Will the italians be taking you away from savile row anytime soon?

      • I don’t understand what is wrong with looking like you belong to a boardroom.
        You look elegant and understated. Maybe the cloth of your suit, a solid charcoal worsted, contributes to a rather austere effect but in doubt I always think « less is more ».
        Maybe your jacket is a tad too roomy in the chest though.
        I think you look fine with the classic T&A by the way, not as much as if you were wearing a bespoke collar of course but it’s still nice.

      • The larger look is probably just because of the jacket being double-breasted with a low button stance and wide lapels that have a lot of belly. Maybe it’s the shirt collar that making everything look bigger.

      • I think the double breasted looks great on your Matt and I like the low button stance. I think the double breasted suit will make more of a return in the next few years and we may see James Bond wearing one soon too, be it Daniel Craig or his successor.

      • Matt, do you think such a suit is useful in a wardrobe, in term of how often you wear it ?
        I have a similar charcoal double breasted suit, in a rather lightweight serge, but I almost never wear it. As soon as cold months arrive, it became not warm enough for me because of the thin cloth, and as soon as some sun arrives, it’s too hot because of the double layer of cloth. Is it the same for you, or have you found some tricks to wear it longer in the year ?

      • I think it’s good for moderately in spring and autumn. I generally need lighter cloths because I don’t feel all that cold until the weather is very cold, and indoors in New York tends to be too warm for heavy suits at the colder part of the year.

  1. With Frank Foster offering the TMWTGG cocktail cuff design exclusively, would T&A be the only place to create a cocktail cuff shirt with a stiff rolling cuff instead of a folding one?

    • Frank Foster has just made the Live and Let Die cuff for another reader of this blog, so they can do it. But T&A will now do the Connery-style cuff in bespoke. Daniel Stroupe knows how it should be done.

      • I like the double breasted suit and the cut. The charcoal does look a bit business like, but at the same time quite classic. I do agree about the collar, I personally find with my long neck and angular face I need a fairly wide and high collar to look my best in a suit and tie. I think the double breasted suits you.

  2. What would possess Matt to think any of us here had any interest in collars? Heh heh…

    I really enjoyed the video, particularly the latter half discussing the linings – learned quite a bit from that. It also explains why sometimes when I iron the collar I notice a little crease where the stay-flex lining is. I’m surprised to hear they will offer to do a fused collar!

    I decided to go straight to the source on the TWINE collar and asked Robert Gillotte, who had originally designed the collar. He’s since moved on from T&A but ever the gent, fielded my query and is always happy to talk a bit of Bond. He tells me it was a'”hybrid of the POW and Regent” but “leaning more towards the POW with an 1/8 inch higher collar band.” As I’ve mentioned before, the original design had the two button fastening but was modified by Lindy and T&A to be a standard 1-button for TWINE. Internally at T&A, this collar is named after the original client who requested this collar design from Robert (that’s also how they always put it down on the ‘white sheet’ when taking my bespoke orders).

    I’m a little unclear on the TND collar… it may well be the case that he contributed designs to both. I’ve heard the Lindy Hemming story (walking in to T&A and requesting the exact collar Robert was wearing for the next Bond movie) told two different ways – one for TND and one for TWINE lol. So there could be some hazy memory at play. However, Daniel’s hypothesis about the TND collar being based on a classic T&A sans curve seems plausible enough…

    • For me, the height of the collar is ninety percent of the shirt. It always gives more of a regal “Get the job done” type of vibe. I always hated small collars because everytime you wear a suit the collar gets drowned out, and it looks as if you borrowed the suit from your father.

      However the homage to bond is good but I think maybe I might take Mr.Spaisers advice and have a collar specifically designed for me; An individual with a big head, long torso, short arms and one shoulder lower than the other.

  3. I have two RTW poplin shirts with the “Kent” collar, which is standard on their slim-fitting shirts (I can’t recall what they officially call them now). I do not have a particularly long neck, and my head is on the smaller side, so this collar works for me, but only just. I can’t see it flattering many people with average or above-average proportions.

  4. This video finally explains why I always found the T&A collars very hard to turn up and down, and especially after you have finished tying your tie and have still your collar up. I like a rather stiff collar but these texthings inside are too much for me, they make the collar incredibly difficult to turn down. I wonder if anyone here has experienced the same issue.

    Another reason to go bespoke I guess, and opt for a softer construction, but for the ones who don’t have the finances needed, it’s kind of frustrating.
    Same thing about the Dr No collar not available through their made to measure program while it looks very nice and would certainly work very well with double cuffs.
    Still one of the best articles and interviews of the blog, I am so glad this week’s subject moved from N. Peal sweaters to this !

      • Yes I have but then, I can’t make the tie slide well (to get the tie length right) under the collar back with such a stiff collar. It doesn’t slide naturally and I am afraid to simply destroy my tie. Maybe with a very thin tie it can work but with a grenadine for example it’s clearly too thick to move easily. And I don’t own particularly wide ties, they are often 8 cm wide.
        I guess you don’t have this problem Matt ?
        How did you manage with the T&A shirt you are pictured wearing here ?
        Did you turn up your collar at all or do you directly « insert » your tie with your collar already down ?

      • Before I button the collar, I flip it up and insert the tie to the correct position. When the tie is positioned where I want it to be, I turn the collar down, button it and tie the tie. The tie does not need to slide around the neck with the collar down.

      • Thanks ! It’s quite silly but I have the habit of doing every step with the collar up. I will try your way the next time I wear a tie, definitely !
        On another note, it’s true that some shirts I own have fused collars, and despite looking not their best, they are quite soft and more comfortable than some other canvassed collars. I think I have a Brioni shirt with such a collar too.

    • I usually only flip up the collar to drape my tie over the neck, and do everything else with the collar down, buttoning and then tightening the knot as the last step. Works well enough for me though there may be advantages with other approaches.

      I wonder if using a really stiff lining would help with preventing wrinkles and ease the task of ironing. I generally find T&A collars the most difficult to iron (and all the videos on youtube on ironing demonstrate with cheap oxford shirts and fused collars… like any slughead can’t do that).

  5. Matt I have a question:
    Can you have a T&A shirt without the tie space. I hate that space I like my collar touching at the top with no space in between. Can you have a no space option in the bespoke program? Thank you for your research, dedication and info. You have help thousands of men out there….

  6. Matt, I like to ask a question about the Turnbull And Asser archive collars. Which collar would look great on a man with a round face, who has a 19″ neck? I’m looking forward to a reply as soon as possible? Thank you, have a great day.

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.