Two Unstructured Jackets: Different Fits, Same Concept in Licence to Kill and Spectre

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Timothy Dalton’s navy Teba jacket in Licence to Kill and Daniel Craig’s light brown lounge jacket from Brunello Cucinelli in Spectre aren’t so alike at first glance. The colours are practically opposites: one is navy and the other is light brown. Dalton’s jacket is a Teba jacket while Craig’s is a lounge jacket—also called an odd jacket, sports jacket/coat or (by some people in the 21st century) a blazer. Dalton’s jacket is oversized while Craig’s jacket is undersized. However, these outfits have much in common, and their similarities make Dalton’s rather 1980s look surprisingly relevant today. There’s often inspiration to be found in outdated fashions.

Thanks to a question I received from Luke Taggart of Bond’s Apartment, I was inspired to think of how similar these two outfits are.

What makes these two outfits similar is that the jackets are both unstructured or unconstructed. An unstructured jacket lacks shoulder padding, and it either lacks a canvas or has a very lightweight canvas. It’s more about the look and feel than the actual structure. Unstructured lounge jackets are trendy in the 21st century because they are perfect for someone who wants to wear tailored clothes and still fit in with today’s dressed-down world. Unstructured lounge jackets are usually odd jackets, frequently styled with patch pockets, but they may also be part of a suit. Unstructured lounge jackets are most associated with modern Italian style, and they have some similarities to the lightweight tailoring traditions of Naples, Italy. The Teba is an inherently unstructured garment, and it comes from Spain.

The Teba and the unstructured lounge jacket are comparable jackets mainly because both are hip-length jackets without structure, but they are entirely different styles. Unlike the lounge jacket, the Teba has no notch in the collar, it has a yoke instead of a centre back seam, the quarters are squared instead of rounded and the cuffs are a separate piece. The Teba has four buttons down the front while the lounge jacket has three. Some of the stylistic details are different, such as the Teba has patch pockets while the sports coat has hacking pockets, but this is a minor difference. Both have lapels and a collar that folds over. The Teba is almost a shirt-jacket while the unstructured lounge jacket incorporates shirt-like elements into a lounge jacket. Again, because both are unstructured hip-length jackets, they wear similarly despite the differences in their styles.

Dalton’s Teba is inherently a casual jacket, while Craig’s unstructured lounge jacket comes from a more formal style that is made less formal by its lack of the usual structure. Craig’s look was inspired by the Goldfinger hacking jacket outfit, but it was transformed into a lightweight look for Morocco and more casual and less tailored look for the 21st century. In doing so, an outfit that came out of the structured English tailoring tradition has almost been brought down to the casualness of Dalton’s Teba look. Though the unstructured lounge jacket still is a step up in formality compared to the Teba because of its less functional style, the lack of structure ultimately makes both jackets similar in formality. Both are casual jackets with an elevated level of elegance, perfect for upgrading one’s casual style for any relaxed occasion or for today’s business casual attire.

Because Dalton’s Teba is oversized, its unstructured nature makes it a rather slouchy jacket. This look was typical of the 1980s. Craig’s lounge jacket has a tight fit characteristic of the 2010s, so despite its lack of structure there’s no excess cloth for it to be slouchy. If it were two sizes larger it would be slouchy too. Yet, the lack of structure gives it a more relaxed and casual look, especially compared to the traditionally structured lounge jacket. The lack of structure allows it to be dressed down in a way that the typical lounge jacket cannot be.

The two jackets are made of lightweight materials for warm weather. Dalton’s Teba is probably cotton or a cotton blend, possibly knitted, while Craig’s lounge jacket is made of linen, silk and wool. The lack of structure in both helps them feel lighter and wear cooler, though Tebas and unstructured lounge jackets can be made in cloths of any weight for any season.

It does not matter that one jacket is navy—a dark colour—and the other is light brown—a medium-light colour—because they serve the same function despite their different colours. Though a navy suit would wear much differently than a light brown suit, casual clothes are mostly interchangeable in different colourways. The colours of the trousers and shirts are also similar enough to show that Bond is wearing the two jackets in similar ways.

Bond pairs both jackets with khaki-coloured chinos instead of tailored ‘dress’ trousers in efforts to dress down the jackets. Craig’s are a darker shade of khaki while Dalton’s are a lighter beige. Dalton’s shade would have better complemented Craig’s jacket to have more contrast to avoid the mismatched suit look. While the average man today may dress down such jackets with jeans, Bond isn’t going more relaxed than chinos with these jackets. The cuts and fits of the chinos are different, with Dalton’s having a full cut with triple-reverse pleats and Craig’s having a slim cut with a flat front. These differences have no bearing on their formality or how one should wear them; its purely a reflect of eras in fashion. The cuts of the chinos complement the cuts of their respective jackets.

Bond also wears both jackets with white shirts, but the shirts here are quite different. Dalton’s shirt is a linen sports shirt with two flapped patch pockets with button cuffs. Craig’s shirt is a formal cotton poplin shirt without pockets and with cocktail cuffs. Dalton is complementing his jacket with a dressed-down shirt, while Craig is wearing a formal shirt for a smarter look. Today a fashionable person might wear a white t-shirt with either of these jackets.

Craig also dresses up his outfit with a tie, but it’s a silk knitted tie, which is one of the least formal ties. Though the tie is a small addition to Craig’s outfit, it does change the appearance tremendously. Craig’s tie looks forced with his otherwise casual look because he’s trying to dress up an outfit that wants to be more casual. Dressier trousers and shoes would have helped Craig’s tie look like it belongs. Dalton would have looked out of place in a tie in Key West, but in other settings a Teba can be dressed up with a tie.

Both outfits are dressed down with casual footwear, though the footwear with each look is extremely different. Dalton is wearing navy canvas espadrilles while Craig is wearing tan suede high lace-up boots. Dalton’s shoes are a perfect match for his outfit and for the resort-like location. Craig’s boots nicely dress down the jacket, but they are a significant mismatch with the shirt and tie. They do, however, prepare Bond for action, while the espadrilles do not.

Dalton’s and Craig’s outfits are both sophisticated and smart casual looks that demonstrate the versatility of unstructured jackets. Dalton shows a way to dress down the jacket while Craig shows a way to partially dress up the jacket. The two outfits are not entirely interchangeable, but most aspects of them are. They’re both attempting to look sophisticatedly and stylishly dressed in situations where they don’t need to be. This is key to the essence of James Bond’s style.

44 COMMENTS

  1. It is a pity the Teba never became a popular style. It is, in my humble opinion, a perfect style for a casual coat that looks stylish due to a unique collar design. I own one in navy linen and wear it all the time throughout the warm season. Sometimes I wear it with a polo shirt, sometimes with a dress shirt and even a tie.

  2. I’m sensing that unstructured suits is going to be the fashion going forward this decade. I’ve already seen a couple out in the wild on young men. I’m happy to see the back of skinny-fit, and I’m enjoying seeing some wider lapels, but I’m not thrilled by the sloping shoulders.
    The truth is, I’ve never liked fashion and I never will, so I need to temper my expectations when it comes to trends.

  3. I generally prefer structured garments, but especially in summer there is a lot to say for unstructured garments. Having said that, how do you feel about unstructured garments for gentleman that are not necessarily endowed with broad shoulders and a short waistband? I often feel these garments don’t look great unless the wearer is in good shape.

    Cheers

    • The fit is important to make the wearer look good, and it’s possible no matter the body type. Daniel Craig’s excellent physique doesn’t automatically make his unstructured jackets look. While the example here looks fair on him, he frequently wears unstructured jackets that look awful on him because they don’t fit well.

  4. Dalton wore it better. He looks like a relaxed gentleman, slumming it a little. Craig looks like the bouncer at a club, he’s clearly some form of private security.

    • I was in school when Spectre came out and I remember thinking Craig looked like my PE teacher at Friday chapel service. Butch haircut, stocky physique, and tight jacket with chino trousers and suede boots. Not exactly what you want James Bond to look like in any case.

      • The tie length is perfect. The trousers need to be higher to meet the tie. Higher trousers would also have the benefit of elongating his legs, and thus also make him look less stocky.

      • Agreed with Matt, the tie length is fine. A tie is neckwear, not a loincloth.

        And yes, he would be much better served with a higher waistline. In addition to his penchant for too-tight stuff, he always seems to be wearing low, hip-hugging pants and it’s not a good look.

  5. Oh, if only Craig knew how this stuff was supposed to fit. He could have been epic in that regard with some of the outfits they put him in. The jacket he’s wearing here reminds me a lot of my unstructured camelhair sport coat (though mine fits a lot better and doesn’t rumple like that). Worth every penny.

  6. The frame grab from LtK shows visually a part of the narrative: Bond is dressed down while the other MI6 men are in formal suits. He’s dressed to quit.

    • That’s not what the story is telling us. Bond was dressed to take care of some business with Sharkey in Key West when he was dragged into the Hemingway House to be ‘dressed down’ by M. Bond didn’t just walk in to a meeting with M with the intent to quit; he had hoped M would allow him to finish the work he started.

      • It does make for a great contrast between Bond and M (especially Timothy Dalton’s and Robert Brown’s interpretations of them). Bond is dressed like he’s on a mission (which he is, in a way), while M, even though he’s just flown across the Atlantic and is probably sweating bullets in the Florida heat, is still wearing the same dark three-piece suit and tie you’d expect him to wear to the Universal Exports office.

  7. I’ve always like the Teba jacket. It is a simple jacket that Bond manages to use several times, with different outfits in the film. It feels like he is actually living out of his suitcase in LTK.

    Whilst the Craig jacket does look good, it’s baffling how Bond can keep so many fantastic pieces with him on such a short train journey…

    I would love to read more about Dalton’s Teba.

  8. I think this is one of those rare occasions where Dalton comes out top. I don’t really like the navy jacket but it looks relaxed and suits the situation, whereas Mr Craig just looks boxy and overdressed in the tie.

  9. I agree and disagree with some of the comments above.
    I wrote recently on Styleforum how I despise the recent trend for teba jackets and chore coats. To me they are just another unnecessary step in the slow march towards pyjamas. I likened them to the top half equivalent of drawstring pants. They are almost always deployed in place of a blazer and I have yet to see any portrayal wherein a blazer would not have been a better option. Even dressed down blazers (cotton, hopsack, deconstructed etc) are always vastly superior IMO. It’s like people trying to wear sneakers with a suit. There are always better alternatives be they loafers, chukkas, driving mocs etc such that we need not join that slow march to casual oblivion.

    I agree with the consensus here that Craig was given some stellar suitings but all too often was let down by the fit. Look at how his sleeves are binding in the pics above. This was common across way too many of his jackets.

    Interesting comment that Dalton was trying to realistically ‘live out of his suitcase’ while in Florida and Isthmus in LTK, I enjoy a bit of realism in the details of the films. Contrast that with Craig magically producing outfits out of nowhere, perhaps most egregiously the white dinner jacket to wear … on a train!

    I like the film LTK but we all know that the wardrobe left a lot to be desired. Even accepting that Dalton is in hot Florida and supposedly off duty he still looks unnecessarily sloppy here and part of that is due to the slouchy teba jacket. Add in a baggy shirt (which is doing his mid section no favours) with a saggy collar, and baggy chinos. Now reimagine that outfit from today’s perspective with a trim navy blazer – even a casual version – a slim fitting white shirt with a collar that stands up and flat from chinos tailored to the correct length and there would be a small step up in formality but a giant leap for aesthetics!

  10. In miserably fail at finding any common ground with most opinions expressed above.

    I was 18 when LTK came out and felt embarrassed for Dalton already back then.
    An abrupt contrast with the rather ‘OK’ Living Daylights.
    This outfit and its fit are terrible, Dalton literally floats in it, and does not feel at ease (has he ever?…) in it. He even makes the overdressed MI6 staff looks more adequate, in spite of totally out of place 3 piece suits.
    It is one of the rare moments when I found Craig dressing nearly well, and God knows I am not a fan.
    His tie is less out of place in the
    Moroccan heat that the jacket Dalton wears. And seems the only one to do so, if my memory is correct (?)
    6 years earlier, and 300 miles away, Sean Connery was way dapper, and naturally so, in an impeccable suit & tie in Nassau, and pulled it off so well…

    • I largely agree, Stan. I’m not a fan of what Dalton is wearing. I guess maybe it’s more “realistic”, and I can appreciate it on that level, but a not insignificant part of Bond’s longevity as a popular character is due to his dress sense. I don’t watch him because he blends into the crowd. I vastly prefer Craig’s outfit, though I understand Tom Ford provided a khaki suit for this scene which would have worked better with the shirt and tie, and I really wish they went with that instead of Craig’s Brunello Cucinelli jacket.

  11. I find it interesting that a number of commentators have repeatedly mentioned things like Craig doesn’t know how these suits and jackets are supposed to fit, and that he is wearing them too tight. Keep in mind that nothing in a film is done “accidentally”, and that the actors do not dress themselves — there is a entire cadre of wardrobe and costume staff that ensures the actor is wearing the exact clothes with the exact specific fit that is envisioned for the production. In the case of Craig’s Bond this vision was specifically for slim and even very tight fitting clothes. Why? For two reasons: 1) it shows off that lean, muscular body that they forced Craig to develop in order to make this version of Bond look physically dangerous, physically “buff”, and physically like a coiled spring ready to go off — in short, 1% of the top male population that most of us are “not”; and 2) because that is the way the typical young man in his 20s, 30s, and very young 40s these days prefers their clothes to fit, and how the typical young woman in their 20s, 30s, and very early 40s these days prefers to “see” her man look, and this iteration of Bond was specifically re-booted to appeal to that younger generation and to “save” the franchise while keeping the over-all elements of the character. This is the same reason why Craig’s Bond also wears much more casual and “civilian”, off duty clothes — to appeal to today’s younger generation and keep them from discounting Bond merely as their father’s and Grand-fathers old-fashioned ideal. You can see this not just in the Bond franchise, but in most of the movies and TV shows these days that are directed at anyone who is mid-forties and younger. As proof, I am in my mid-fifties, and there is a huge difference between what I like and prefer, after both many years of very carefully studying and cultivating the rules of a timeless look and also after a life-time as an officer in the navy, where dress and deportment are paramount, and what my wife, who is a little more than 10 years younger than me, and all her female friends like and prefer. It is simply the culture that advertising and fashion is pushing, and is mostly accepted by the target audience. I can understand the comments here, but please keep in mind this was a very studied and very purposeful “fit” intended to appeal to todays youth rather than an accident or Craig’s own desires.

    • Hi Jeff, what you say is mostly true, but there are a few other things happening. Having spoken with costume designers, there can be a discrepancy between the fit of a suit and an actor’s training. Daniel Craig has built up his body to be larger than expected and costumer designers have said the they have faced fit issues as a result. Clothing should ideally be fitted after the body has reached its final size, but production schedules do not permit that when actors need to change their physique for a role. We’ve seen this happen in a different way in previous Bond films when a Bond actor’s weight undesirably fluctuates and their suits became too tight in certain scenes, and we see this in You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever and Die Another Day.

      While the costume designer has final say, Craig’s costume designers, particularly Jany Temime, has spoken about how Craig has very specific ideas about his wardrobe and how he likes his clothes to fit. The tight fit of suits is largely Craig’s decision because of his personal taste, and Jany Temime has said it was also a choice made for the fashions of the time. You mention that it is how people of a certain generation like their suits, so that is playing into it. But nobody in the wardrobe team has talked about it being about the character. Daniel Craig’s taste is always mentioned, and he dresses the same way in real life. Craig brought his own taste to Bond, and this jacket here is an example of bringing one of his personally favoured brands to Bond at the expense of a Tom Ford suit being cut from the film. The Billy Reid pea coat in Skyfall is another example of Craig bringing in an item that he first wore in his personal life into Bond.

      My question is often this: How does a suit that doesn’t follow the shape of the body and doesn’t stretch like a knitted garment show off Craig’s physique? Wouldn’t a suit that follows the shape of Craig’s body better show off his shape?

      • I agree with your last point. Despite the very trim fit if the suits in the later Craig movies (whether one prefers it or not), I find it doesn’t have the intended effect of making him appear larger and muscular. If anything, the suits in Casino Royale made him appear more imposing, even if they were perhaps more padded or boxier than would be ideal.

      • He never looked as imposing as he did in that film. I find that the Quantum of Solace suits found the right balance. They weren’t too built-up, and they were closely fitted without being too tight, though I know some people think they are too tight.

      • Thanks Matt for saving me a lot of typing with your response.
        I will also add to Jeff’s comments above that while I accept the point made about costuming appealing to the audience demographic, the reason that can chafe for some of us Bond enthusiasts is that we remember the early Bond / Connery era when his suits were tailored in a more or less classic style that suited the actor, suited the character, and perhaps not much concern was given to the audience demographic as Bond was from the establishment not from the youth culture. Remember the with hindsight I’ll-advised comment in Goldfinger “… that’s like listening to the Beatles without ear muffs!”

      • One only has to look at how Mr Craig dresses in his personal life to see who influenced the fit of the clothes in his Bond movies the most in his last few films. As Matt has pointed out, it wasn’t the only driver but I’d bet it was the biggest. One of the producers practically worshipped him and what he asked for he got.

      • I think in one of your earlier reviews of the QOS suits you mentioned sometimes they looked a bit too snug on him (sounds like you have softened on that opinion), and I would probably still agree with your initial assessment. But overall it was probably his best fit of all the movies. The low rise trousers and the ties showing below the jacket fastening pull it down a notch for me though.

      • Yes, I think we all know which producer you are talking about… like the song, initials B. B. ! Haha

      • I’ve seen somewhere that Craig’s jacket size is a 38R which is quite small. He probably should be wearing a 40R. Jeff’s points are valid, as you acknowledge. It’s just the unfortunate reality of producing a movie featuring a British icon in the 2020s. I don’t know where the producers are going to go with the next incumbent in the role but I’d fear that those of us who were less than impressed with Daniel Craig will have a coronary (and I don’t mean Sean!)

  12. I don’t like Dalton’s teba. It looks too baggy on him, and am not a fan of a teba jacket generally, they seem to me to be neither fish nor fowl.

    Craig’s jacket, on the other hand, I like a lot. I think it works in the scenario (admittedly at the risk of looking like a mismatched suit) and would be quite a versatile piece.

    Also agree with Matt’s view that the fit in QoS was best. A pity they didn’t persist with Louise Frogley, given how the wardrobe in QoS has received high praise, even from people who weren’t crazy about the film.

  13. It’s interesting to read the comments about Craig looking imposing as he’s a rather small if muscular man who wears a 38R suit jacket (though a size up would probably be better). I’m a 42R and I’m an average build 50 year old man. It’s a triumph of what Hollywood can achieve. Connery was a 46 chest so THAT’s imposing. Even Roger Moore was about 44 chest. Put Craig in Casino Royale beside Sean in any of his Bond movies and it’d soon be apparent who was imposing!

    • LOL. A more suitable ready-to-wear size for Craig would probably be 42S. For Pierce and Tim, 38R or 38L would be appropriate.

    • It boggles my mind to know I could fit into Craig’s jackets! I’m straight up and down, stick thin by everyone’s account. I’ve got Brosnan’s build circa Remington Steele, and wear a 38.
      I doubt Craig’s jackets would fit me in the shoulders, his are definitely more broad than mine, but it’s still weird to think about how close it might be.

      • Since Skyfall, Craig’s jackets haven’t been wide enough to accommodate his broad shoulders. I suspect that both of us could fit into Craig’s jackets better than he can.

      • One day I’ll save enough money to buy one of Craig’s screenworn suits, and I’ll test this properly!

    • Agree 100%. Connery’s Bond could have shoved Craig’s Bond out of his way with a couple of fingers on the way to the real fight lol.

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