Turnbull & Asser is one of the brands most-associated with James Bond. All six actors to play the role have shopped there, and most have worn Turnbull & Asser shirts in the role. They’ve just released a number of Bond items that readers of this blog have been demanding for decades! As a fan of classic Bond clothes and of English clothes in general, this is a very exciting release!
For a number of years now they have sold the Casino Royale waffle-weave dress shirt, three ties from Pierce Brosnan’s series and a Dr. No cocktail cuff shirt as part of their Bond line. They also have consistently sold the grenadine and knit ties as well as black bow ties they originally provided for Bond.
Now Turnbull & Asser have added a number of ties, shirts and a pocket square to their James Bond Collection.
An Updated Dr. No Shirt
There is a new blue Dr. No shirt, with a cocktail cuff — or two-button turnback cuff — that is accurately based on Sean Connery’s cuff. For decades, Turnbull & Asser have made a different cuff design that is less cut away and less rounded, reminiscent of the cocktail cuffs that another shirtmaker made for Roger Moore’s Bond films. They used this cuff on their former Dr. No shirt. It was even difficult to get an accurate Connery cuff from Turnbull & Asser in bespoke.
Now the cuff is spot on to the original, more so than any recreation I’ve ever attempted to design. Turnbull & Asser put in the effort to study their archives, film stills and hours of footage. They did the work for the fans who want an accurate cuff.
I personally find the accurate cuff’s simpler design to be a more aesthetically pleasing and a more interesting design. Since the two-button cocktail cuff has no practical purpose compared to an ordinary two-button button cuff, its look is the most important thing. Seeing that they got this correct is extremely satisfying.
This shirt also features a collar unique to this shirt, which is a Regent collar — a wide spread collar — that has been scaled up slightly in height and point length. A standard Regent collar would have looked undersized for Sean Connery’s tremendous stature. The collar is the most important part of a shirt, and this is also an area the shirt gets right. This collar is the same as the collar Connery wore in Dr. No and You Only Live Twice, when his shirts had the widest collars.
Though Sean Connery’s shirts were mostly made of Sea Island cotton, I appreciate them not doing this shirt in Sea Island cotton because their standard cotton winkles less, is easier to iron, is harder-wearing and costs less. On the other hand, I would have liked to see them do this shirt in a pale periwinkle that’s closer to Connery’s original shirt rather than the sky blue here, but it’s not far off.
Three New Pierce Brosnan Ties
The three Pierce Brosnan-era ties might be the most special part of the collection. They’ve added the first tie from Tomorrow Never Dies, a gold-coloured tie with blue squares (above right) that Brosnan wears to his briefing at the start of the film with a navy birdseye suit and later with a fawn-coloured double-breasted overcoat when he arrives in Hamburg. This tie goes well with almost anything, but it goes particularly well with blue and brown suits and sports coats.
They’re calling this the ‘diamond’ tie, but the darker tie that was already part of the collection (above left) seems more like a ‘diamond’ tie than a ‘square’ tie to me.
The second tie is the blue and brown zig-zag tie (above left) from the opening scene of The World Is Not Enough when Brosnan is in Bilbao, Spain wearing a charcoal suit. Brosnan wears it again with his grey sharkskin suit in Azerbaijan. With two outfits and a lot of screen time, this is one of the most iconic ties of The World Is Not Enough. Its colour combination makes it a neutral tie that pairs well with anything, from the mid-grey and charcoal suits that Brosnan wears it with to navy and brown suits and sports coats.
The pattern is much more pronounced in real life than it is on screen, but it still has a sophisticated and Bondian look. This is my favourite tie of the Brosnan era and the one I was most looking forward to seeing released.
The third tie is the one that Brosnan wears to the Rubyeon Hotel in Hong Kong in Die Another Day (above right). It has a stripe effect that is achieved by a basketweave-like pattern of red, orange, gold and blue, but the overall effect from a distance somehow blends to become a brick red stripe. This tie can also pair well with just about anything, considering the four colours it has.
These three ties are all timeless patterns that are easy to wear. They are beautifully recreated based on original ties that fans sent to Turnbull & Asser.
Casino Royale Bow Tie
Turnbull & Asser are now also offering an accurate version of the bow tie they originally made for Daniel Craig to wear in Casino Royale. This bow tie is black silk shantung.
They previously made a bow tie in the Casino Royale shape only in silk satin, but Craig wore one in silk shantung. The slubby texture and less shiny look of shantung is the perfect complement to the ribbed, matte facings on Daniel Craig’s dinner jacket in Casino Royale.
The Pleated Voile Shirt
They created a shirt inspired by Pierce Brosnan’s dress shirt in Die Another Day, copying the original shirt’s narrow pleats exactly. However, the shirt is not a complete replica of the Die Another Day shirt.
Although Brosnan’s shirt had a covered placket, this shirt has visible buttons down the front. And while only the body and sleeves of Brosnan’s shirt was voile with the collar cuffs and covered placket in marcella, Turnbull & Asser made this shirt entirely in voile.
Though the shirt is not an exact copy of any particular Bond shirt, it is still a beautiful shirt that recalls some of Bond’s dress shirts with narrow pleats and button plackets, like those in From Russia with Love and The Living Daylights. So this shirt still has a very Bondian look and is something that he would certainly wear.
A Voile Pocket Square
Based on archival receipts, Turnbull & Asser have added a white voile pocket square with hand-rolled edges to the Bond collection. Whether this would have accompanied one of Bond’s voile dress shirts or one of his Sea Island cotton day shirts is not known, but voile has a wonderful soft and springy texture that works well folded, puffed or stuffed in a breast pocket.
I find this to be the least special of the pieces in the collection, but like everything else it is made to the highest standards.
Visit Turnbull & Asser’s website to find out more about their James Bond Collection.