A Wardrobe of Frank Foster Shirts


You may already know that I’m a customer of the legendary shirtmaker Frank Foster, who made shirts for many of the James Bond films, including shirts for Sean Connery, Roger Moore and George Lazenby as well as for many other actors throughout the Bond series. Though sadly Frank Foster himself passed away last year, his wife Mary continues to make the same shirts that Frank and Mary together are known for making. Frank and Mary’s daughter Sam now works there with her mother, continuing the same personal and intimate family-run experience that makes the shop such a pleasure to visit. The shop looks a bit more organised now, but the best and most beautiful vintage shirtings still pleasantly overrun the shop.

You may remember my fitting at Frank Foster back in 2012. The first order consisted of six shirts (their minimum for a first order to cover the work of creating a personalised pattern), and since then I ordered two more shirts. All eight of my shirts are featured and detailed in this photo-heavy post.

Since ordering these shirts I have lost weight, so the fit is not as perfect as it originally was. Since I only wear these shirts under a jacket, and they still fit well, I saw no need to adjust the fit or ask Mary to adjust my pattern in case I gain weight again.

Cream Poplin

Cream poplin is one of the most versatile shirtings, and before I went into Frank Foster’s, I had in mind that my choices would be Bondian and versatile. Since I wanted to follow Bond, I had no intention of getting that beautiful striped vintage shirting that I loved but wouldn’t pair well with clothes I already have or fit my needs. What makes a bespoke shirt special is not being able to choose oddball fabrics but first and foremost to get a proper fit. After that, it’s the special details that only Frank Foster can do.

You can see the fit best in the following photos of the shirt untucked.

Since I lost some weight, the body doesn’t fit as well as it once did, but it was never supposed to hug my body. My chest was two inches larger when I was fitted, so the drape there is not as good as it used to be, but it’s still acceptable. The balance of the shirt is still perfect, and because of that there’s no pulling at the collar in front or back. The collar sits around my neck perfectly, and because of that the rest of the shirt falls comfortably into place. The length of the shirt is slightly longer than the length of a jacket; it is the perfect length to allow it to stay neatly tucked but not bunch inside the trousers.

The collar still fits well, and the sleeve length and cuff diameter, the next two most important aspects of a well-fitted shirt, are spot on. The sleeves hang at the perfect pitch and angle to the body of the shirt, which gives me the most comfortable range of motion.

Shirt sleeves should ideally follow the shoulder line, not hang downwards like a jacket’s sleeve does. While a jacket is there to look pretty, a shirt needs to allow a full range of motion. Because the sleeves are cut for me to comfortably spread my wings, there is necessary bunching both at the front and back of the sleeve cap and at the cuff when my arms hang at their sides

The details of this shirt follow the standard Frank Foster shirts, unchanged from the time of The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974. As such, this shirt closely resembles what Roger Moore wore in that film, particularly the placket (more on that later) and the cocktail cuffs.

The two-button cocktail cuffs are the standard design that Frank Foster has used since 1974, which Roger Moore wears throughout The Man with the Golden Gun and on his pleated dress shirt in Moonraker. Foster made a different style for Moore to wear in Live and Let Die and in his non-James Bond projects prior to the Man with the Golden Gun.

The design features the cuff curving in at the top button, with a sharp angle for the turnback section. The turnback is slightly angled away and has a small curve with a 2 cm radius. The turnback overlaps the sleeve by approximately 1/2 cm (there is a 1 cm overlap on some other shirts), ensuring that the under layer of the cuff does not peak out when the cuff is folded back.

The sleeve are attached to the cuffs with gathers, a traditional detail of English shirts. The gathers allow a sleeve that is wider to fit into a narrower cuff. Most shirts have pleats at the cuff attachment to gather the sleeve, but gathers elegantly spread the fullness around the cuff and have a more old-school look.

Rather than the standard four-hole buttons, this shirt has more streamlined two-hole pearl buttons. These buttons are also slightly thicker, but they are not would one would call thick buttons. These buttons are amongst the shiniest pearl buttons I have ever seen. They always stitch the buttons and buttonholes in the same colour and in a colour that matches the shirt.

Unlike on most shirts, the tails on Frank Foster shirts are hemmed straight across the bottom rather than with a curve. The tails have vents at either side to allow the tails to open up when sitting down.

Pictured with this outfit is a knitted silk tie from Luciano Barbera and worsted wool trousers from Polo Ralph Lauren. This cream poplin shirt is also pictured at the top of the article.

Cream Royal Oxford

I chose a second cream shirt, just for the versatility of the colour as Sean Connery and Roger Moore have proved in their Bond films. This cream shirt is in a solid textured royal oxford, which makes for a very soft and breathable shirt that is almost irons itself. The only downside is that royal oxford typically shows wear faster than poplin does.

Though I have very definite opinions of what I like to wear, I asked Frank to give me a collar that he thinks would suit me best. Compared to the Classic Turnbull & Asser collar I was wearing at the time, he told me he would give me something slightly wider with a higher stand. The resulting collar is a very classic English spread, with a moderately wide width of 12 1/2 cm (5 in) and balanced point length of 8 cm (3 1/8 in).

The collar and cuffs are stitched slightly further from the edge than the typical English style of 1/4 in, instead stitched at 7 mm (which comes out to .275 in) from the edge. The difference is extremely subtle, but it gives a little extra presence to the collar and cuffs.

This cream shirt has the same cocktail cuffs that my cream poplin shirt has. The buttons are the standard four-hole model that Frank Foster uses on most of the shirts. Compared to most pearl buttons, these are more iridescent. In the English tradition, the buttons are thin.

The back of the shirt has a split yoke and darts on the sides, closer to the side seams than what most shirtmakers do. This placement of the darts gives more shape to the sides of the shirt than darts closer to the middle do, but they also help reduce fullness in the small of the back. The wide spacing of the darts also gives the back a cleaner appearance because the darts are less noticeable.

Pictured with this outfit is a grenadine tie from Turnbull & Asser and flannel trousers from Oliver Wicks.

Lilac Pinpoint Oxford

Prior to visiting Frank Foster I had only one lilac shirt in my wardrobe, but I found myself enjoying it and realised it was extremely versatile. It goes well with many colours I wear, from blue to grey to tan. This pinpoint oxford cloth consists of a white in the warp and purple in the weft, giving this shirt a depth from the richness of the purple but muted from the white.

Pinpoint oxford makes this the least formal of my shirts from Frank Foster, and though I usually pair it with blazers and sports coats, it can also pair well with a suit.

Frank Foster’s unique placket is present on all of my shirts from them. The placket is characterised by its soft construction without an interfacing and its two lines of stitching spaced close together down the middle of the placket.

Frank pointed out to me that the spacing of the stitching from the edge of the placket corresponds to the stitching at the sleeve cap, though there is a small difference.

For me, the placket’s stitching gives focus to the shirt. By stitching the placket so close to the middle, the eye is drawn right to the middle of the shirt and very subtly makes a person look narrower. The stitching runs under the buttons, helping to anchor them visually to the shirt and preventing them from floating in the middle of the placket. Because there is no interfacing in the placket, the stitching allows the sides of the placket to elegantly flare out.

Foster named the special tabbed cuff on this shirt after the man who originally designed it, Ted Lapidus. The Lapidus cuff has long tab that allows a straight button cuff to pivot away from what would ordinarily be the front edge of the cuff, which helps with keep the outer edge of the cuff straight. This is achieved by a larger warp. The tab gives the cuff a larger wrap without the bulk of a large wrap of the whole cuff.

Like the cocktail cuff, the Lapidus cuff gives the wrist a more decorative interest without using cufflinks by way of both the tab and an extra-large button. The Lapidus cuff fastens with a large 25 ligne pearl button, which is a hair larger than the size that the cuff buttons on a jacket would be. By comparison, a normal shirt cuff button is 16 ligne.

Foster stitches the Lapidus in two different ways. On Roger Moore’s examples in The Spy Who Love Me and Moonraker, the cuff is stitched at 7 mm from the edge all around, including at the tab. These cuffs have a shorter tab than on my shirt. On my cuff, the main part of the cuff is stitched at 7 mm while the longer tab is stitched on the edge. Frank Foster still does the cuff both ways.

Pictured with this outfit are trousers from an Anthony Sinclair Special Order suit.

Blue Hairline Stripe

Inspired by one of Roger Moore’s shirts in Octopussy, I chose a blue and white hairline stripe instead of a simple light blue poplin shirt. Hairline stripes have the versatility of solids and the similar end-on-end, but I already had enough of those in my wardrobe. Since light blue is one of the most versatile shirtings, and I wanted to augment my shirt wardrobe with more versatile shirtings from Frank Foster, this cloth was a natural choice for something special and unique but still infinitely wearable.

For this shirt’s cuff I asked for the button-down cocktail cuff that Frank Foster made for Roger Moore to wear in The Saint and The Persuaders and for Sean Connery to wear in Never Say Never Again. Instead I got their modern version of it, which is their regular two-button cocktail cuff with the button-down feature. It still makes for an interesting cuff, which essentially has the look of their normal cocktail cuff but will never get caught inside of a jacket sleeve.

Pictured with this outfit are worsted trousers from Anthony Sinclair and a Lace tie from Turnbull & Asser.

Blue Zendaline

One can never have too many light blue shirts. When I asked Mary to see some light blue shirtings, she immediately brought over this very special blue in a cotton material called Zendaline. She added that this shirting was very much like some she used for Roger Moore.

Zenadline was invented by one of the world’s top producers of shirt fabric, David & John Anderson (DJA). The name comes from the backwards Z twist of the yarns used to weave the cloth, which are twisted in the opposite direction of ordinary S twist cotton yarns. The twist of the yarns used to weave this fabric makes it similar to voile.

According to DJA, when using the Z twist yarns, “the resulting fabrics were not only finer and more compact but also springy to the touch with more life and personality”. I feel guilty wearing this shirt.

The Zendaline shirting is slightly sheer because of the high twist, but because the blue is a vivid colour my shirt is not at all see-through. Rather than allow light to pass through, my Zendaline shirt wants to shine it back.

This cloth can be thought of as an alternative to Sea Island cotton because it is extremely fine, light and luxurious, but because of the high twist it does not wrinkle nearly as much and is considerably easier to iron. DJA make this in a 160s count, which is higher than the count of Turnbull & Asser’s Sea Island cotton. In my experience, Zendaline is the superior cotton.

Pictured with this outfit are trousers from Anthony Sinclair and a midnight blue grenadine tie from Sam Hober.

White-on-White Stripe

I needed a special shirt to wear for black tie, and I was always intrigued by the pared-down look of Sean Connery’s dress shirt in Thunderball. Connery’s dress shirt is made of a fancy striped white-on-white cotton but is otherwise styled like his ordinary shirts without a fancy front and with cocktail cuffs. The design of Foster’s placket is fancy enough for me!

Other Bond white-on-white striped dress shirts, like Roger Moore’s Frank Foster dress shirt in For Your Eyes Only served as inspiration, even though they were overall more traditional dress shirts. I had to choose a special fabric worthy of such a shirt, since that’s all that was going to make this shirt special. When I asked Mary for a white-on-white stripe, she brought out a few stripes that were either wider or bolder than what I had in mind. I told her I wanted something finer, she brought me this beautiful jacquard striped cloth with an almost chain-like pattern. I knew immediately that this was exactly the shirt I was looking for.

The overall shirt design was no different from most of my other Frank Foster shirts, with the same spread collar and cocktail cuffs. Like the cream poplin shirt, this shirt has the slightly thicker two-hole buttons, giving a somewhat stud-like look on the front.

With this shirt I am wearing trousers from an Aquascutum dinner suit, Albert Thurston white moire silk braces from Turnbull & Asser and a vintage bow tie of unknown brand.

Blue Bengal Stripe

Earlier this year I returned to Frank Foster to get a couple new shirts. I almost chose a blue bengal stripe shirt on my first visit, but I decided to pass in favour of one of the other shirtings. Though I spent time browsing the shirtings on my recent visit looking for inspiration, I returned to a beautiful blue and white bengal stripe, with some indigo undertones in the blue.

I asked for a taller collar this time, and though Mary hesitated at the suggestion she obliged with slightly longer collar points at 8 1/2 cm (3 3/8 in).

I asked asked again for the button-down cocktail cuffs with a single-button as I had seen them make for Roger Moore. I provided them with a couple photos of what they made before and this time I received the most elegant and unique cuff that was exactly what I wanted. With a single button, the button-down feature serves more of a purpose than adding it to the regular two-button cocktail cuff. This cuff is cut with a beautiful curve, and the button-down feature along with the single fastening button allows it to roll.

With this shirt I am wearing woollen flannel trousers from Oliver Wicks and a tie from Charvet.

White Herringbone

I have been dressing in black tie with much greater frequency these days than I did at the time of my first visit to Frank Foster, and I needed a second shirt to wear for these occasions. Inspired by Daniel Craig’s simple fly-front white-on-white waffle weave shirt from Casino Royale, I wanted a fly-front shirt. They unfortunately did not have enough waffle-weave cotton left for a shirt, but next to the roll it I spotted a beautiful herringbone cloth.

I always loved herringbone for its soft hand, and this fabric does not disappoint. Herringbone’s fancy look—and this herringbone in particular—lends itself to this simple Bondian type of shirt for black tie. Herringbone can also work well with a suit, but a white herringbone shirt is best saved for fancier suit-wearing occasions.

The shirt’s fly-front still has Frank Foster’s signature placket just without the buttonholes, which gives the front symmetry while it also hides the offset line of stitching underneath that holds the functional buttonhole placket in place.

Though I was tempted to get double cuffs on this shirt for a change (with their exquisite rounded design and link holes placed close to the fold to show off cufflinks), I couldn’t resist Foster’s signature cocktail cuffs.

This shirt has the larger collar that is also on the bengal stripe shirt.

With this shirt I am wearing trousers from an Aquascutum dinner suit, Albert Thurston white moire silk braces from Turnbull & Asser and a vintage bow tie of unknown brand.

Wide collar stays featuring Frank Foster’s signature are made in one size and are cut down by hand to fit the length to fit into the wide pockets in the collar.

The Frank Foster Shirtmaker & Hosier label, on the blue Zendaline shirt

Photos by Janna Levin


  1. Thanks Matt!

    This is a real nice collection of bespoke shirts with each of them flattering your body, your skin tone and your overall complexion. They clearly illustrate the advantages of full bespoke over m-t-m and off-the-peg. The fit is very good – clearly preferable to that of those shrunken shirts which are in fashion nowadays. The same is true with regard to choice of colours. And of course I like the variations of cocktail cuffs Foster made for you.

    I must admit that I quite envy you!


  2. Beautiful shirts, each and every one. I especially love the herringbone. Tall spread collars with long points particularly flatter my face and neck, and it’s refreshing to see sometime else pull off the look well.

  3. Exquisite. I particularly like he bengal stripe. Those have to be the most beautiful cuffs I’ve ever seen. And the taller collar is more flattering for you.

    Were you at all tempted to get a ruffled-front shirt like Foster made for Lazenby? I think the one from the beginning of the film would be possible to wear without looking too flamboyant. I think if I ever make it to Foster’s shop, that will be one of my selections.

    • Thank you! I was not tempted to get a ruffled-front shirt, but I was tempted to get a pleated-front shirt with a fly front. However, they cost considerably more. There’s a lot more cloth and a lot more work involved.

  4. I was not expecting this! This is a wonderful surprise Matt. A lot of really good choices here. I think my favorite would have to be the blue zendaline shirt. I just have two real quick questions…

    1. I noticed two pairs of grey flannel trousers paired with your shirts. I am looking for a pair so what would be your recommendation?

    2. With all these Frank Foster shirts, do you now have more shirts from them than any other brand or shirtmaker?

    • 1. My Paul Stuart flannel trousers are the best, though the regular price is too high. Anthony Sinclair now offers flannel trousers, so I’d recommend looking into those. I only have worsted trousers from them, but they are excellent.

      2. Of my currently wearable shirts, I do indeed have more from Frank Foster than from anyone else.

      • Thank you for the reply, Matt. I have looked into the Anthony Sinclair Trousers already and I was wondering if you would mention them.

        They are a little out of my price range currently, but I do love their design, especially their frogmouth pockets.

  5. The collar you wear with the blue Bengal stripe is exactly the collar that I have been looking for. Could you please tell me what exactly to say to my cutter? Lately they do not seem to comprehend what I’m trying to say.

      • So the spread is still the same as on the collar Foster originally designed for you? Only the collar is a bit larger in size, that’s the change you made (?)

  6. After looking at their website, I’m assuming the frank foster company company does not do walk ins, nor trunk shows, nor mail orders correct?

    • That is correct. Not taking walk-ins is partially due to having a basement location rather than a shopfront. You’ll never find their shop by walking down the street! Because of that, their shop feels like exclusive club that it is. But with the amount of time it takes to measure or fit a customer, all bespoke shirtmakers and tailors work by appointment, even if they have a shopfront.

      They have no need for trunk shows. Frank Foster even refused to cross the street to measure Orson Welles at his hotel! I get the impression that it’s partially about being an exclusive shirtmaker, partially about not being necessary to their business and partially about not being worth the cost or effort on their part. Frank Foster himself never even travelled to America in his life!

      They do take mail orders once the initial order has been done. They mail swatches to friend of mine (and reader here) so he can place orders without having to travel to London. But you need to be measured and fitted for your first shirt in person, and for me they were able to have a fitting ready within six days while I was still in London on my trip. Bespoke shirts cannot be done any other way.

  7. Good post, Matt. As a fellow customer I’m pleased to see this business continue in Sam and Mary’s assured hands. Great choices of shirts; I have the exact same style shirt in the blue zendaline and a cream poplin which would be exact save that mine has a 2 button mitred cuff rather than the cocktail cuff on yours. Both of mine may have a slightly longer collar length than on. I’ll have to try the button down version of this cuff on a future order and it really is great to be able to try different collar and cuff varieties like you did with the single button cocktail cuff. I’ve had the lapidus cuff myself too and the common denominator in all these styles is the great flair that went in to creating them. I agree with Jovan that a larger collar looks richer and more opulent than the current tiny things and I thought this back almost 30 years ago when tiny shirt collars were also in fashion. Style is style regardless of era. This explains why one of Foster’s stalwart customers down the years was, the inspiration for a great many of these shirts, Sir Roger Moore!

  8. I’m lucky enough to have a few of Frank’s shirts. I never need to wear a suit, so I mostly have very casual shirts. Frank made me a couple of shirts from fabric that he’d only normally use for pyjamas (they’re fabulous). He and Mary have always refused to make shirts in heavy denim and he wouldn’t even consider using Madras cotton. Other than those I have a couple of oxford cottons, white, blue, and I think the same Lilac that you have. I bought these very early on (maybe as part of those initial six), certainly before I was confident in my own taste.

    Frank also made a couple of lovely dress shirts for me: a very plain oxford cotton that has proper round holes cut out for studs, and a stunning gossamer thin Voile. Most shirtmakers normally use two layers on the front, Frank always preferred the super thin look appears see through (see both Lazenby and Moore for that look). That one has button down cocktail cuffs. It’s a thing of great beauty. I once asked him to make me a Lazenby style ruffled front dress-shirt, he just scrunched up his nose, swore a little at me and said “no”.

    Thinking of the Madras shirt request, I once stupidly wore a Ralph Lauren Madras shirt on a visit, just to show him how much I like them. It’s quite a nice shirt. “Hello Frank, how are y….”. He interrupted with a frown, “Tim you’ve put on weight.” I didn’t think I had. Nevertheless the tape measure came out, he then completely remeasured me, taking at five maybe ten minutes to do so. The measurements were compared to my old measurements. He tutted and shook his head. Eventually he said, “You’re right, you know. Maybe a 1/4 inch give or take here or there. I think I know what it is. Its that f***ing awful shirt you’re wearing”.

    • “I once asked him to make me a Lazenby style ruffled front dress-shirt, he just scrunched up his nose, swore a little at me and said “no”.”


      • Ever heard the saying “He’s the only game in town.” Some people actually are. My cobbler and my tailor are some of those people. My cobbler has no problem telling people to hiss off, because they always end up coming back for his craftsmanship.

  9. Forgot to also mention that Frank would not make me a safari shirt, or a terry towelling shirt (the full Connery “blue romper suit” would be too much, even for me!)

    • Thank you for sharing your wonderful story, Tim! It sounds like you have some wonderful shirts. Frank liked to tell people they’ve gained weight, and I witnessed him tell Jackie Stewart that he gained weight.

  10. Matt, I recently spotted a Frank Foster shirt up for auction on eBay here in the UK, and managed to pick it up for a mere 99p! It’s a sky blue and white stripe with a contrasting white collar and cuffs (as you said beautifully curved with the link holes close to the fold). Although cocktail cuffs would’ve been nice, it fits me quite well and is in great condition, so overall I’m pretty happy!

  11. You did not choose the button-down cocktail cuff design for any of your two formal shirts – would you consider this variation being not appropriate for a black tie outfit?

  12. If you’re accepting cuffs other than traditional double cuffs for black tie, there’s no right or wrong so long as the cuff is trying to be fancy in one way or another. Sean Connery wore the button-down cocktail cuff for black tie in Never Say Never Again. I personally prefer the regular cocktail cuff for black tie since I somewhat equate the button-down cocktail cuff to a button-down collar. It’s more whimsical than the regular cocktail cuff.

  13. I’m assuming you usually wear a watch when you get measured for a shirt. To be safe, what’s the standard size of watch that we should wear when getting measured. I understand you wear an omega
    day date, would that suffice as the standard size? I usually wear a sea dweller or the 300m after my favorite bond.

  14. Any idea how much tie space they are giving you in the collar?

    Also, was it odd that when you requested a taller collar, they responded by lengthening the collar point rather than increasing the band height? Were you given any insight as to one versus the other? Or were longer collar points actually what you meant in the first place?

  15. Matt, love this article – congratulations on such a fine collection – I think the blue Bengal looks best overall. Matt can I ask you to consider writing an article on the collar shape and style of FF shirts? The reason I ask is that having viewed the RM films recently his outfits come together around the FF shirts – and the epicentre of the shirt is where tie and collar meet and frame the face/upper torso. They have a particular shape and style (almost an outward, downward curve) that compliments the suit and tie yet brings the viewers eye to the face – how did FF achieve this? No other shirts (T & A, Brioni etc.) achieve the effectiveness or simplicity of this function. Thank you.

    • Foster always made a large collar for Moore, which balanced and drew attention to his face. The collar needs to be properly sized, and too often the collar is either too small or too short. 1 cm of tie space allows the tie to sit comfortably in the collar and draws attention to the tie. The tie space also opens up the collar so that tie is more connected with the face. When there is no tie space the collar is a barrier between the tie and the face; the tie isn’t able to pop out as much and can feel suffocated on narrower collars. When there is tie space everything can connect, but the tie can stand out and breathe. Aoso important is the 7 mm stitching from the edge of the collar to give presence to the collar, which in turn emphasise the face. Traditional collars are stitched 1/4″ from the edge, which is slightly less than 7 mm, but it’s also fine. Any less that 6 mm from the edge and I find that the collar looks weak. Edge stitching is popular on cheap shirts, and it can look more formal, particularly when wearing collar stiffeners because the stiffeners can reach the edge of the collar. Foster did not like edge stitching.

      No shirt is designed better than a Frank Foster shirt. A few other English shirtmakers also have the right idea.

  16. For those of us not able to cross the pond to visit the frank foster company, what other shirt makers would you suggest?

    In my closet you would find turnbull and asser, but I have always favoured borrelli.

    Your thoughts?

    • Frank Foster is priced lower than any other comparable bespoke shirtmaker. When factoring the cost of 6 shirts, you’d be able to save enough money to fly to London to go see them.

      • Matt I do have a question,

        I do have a round face and my neck size is 19″. If I went to Frank Foster Shirts in London, what collar would look best on me? The one George Lazenby worn in his only Bond film in 1969 or the ones with the late Roger Moore worn in the 1970s and 1980s?

      • Hi Spencer, that could be an appropriate choice. Be careful not to go too narrow as such a collar can make a large face look like a balloon on a string. A semi-spread may actually be better for you. Express your concerns to Mary at Frank Foster and she will know the best collar to give you. It’s important that your collar matches the scale of your head and neck. Short collar points are worse than any spread width.

  17. …looking at the blue bengal and burgundy tie I can also see the symmetry FF designed in to the collar. The upper collar line at neck sits at an acute (45° to the horizontal) which is mirrored in the lower line to collar point. This makes the upper and lower V identical. Moreover the two points meet at a point just below the adam’s apple. Additionally, the side lines of the collar are almost perfect – they sit a few degrees off vertical and allow for a lengthening and slight widening of the neck in perfect proportions. It’s similar to looking at a great bespoke suit – the more you look the more you see – a lifetimes work takes craft to being art. I can see your point about the 1cm gap and I also note that FF designed the collar point ends to be the same length as the tie knot. Out of interest do the collar points sit just on the collar bone?

    • I will have to check to see exactly where the collar points sit. The length of the points meeting up with the length of the tie knot is just a coincidence here. The width and taper of the tie just makes this the perfect tie to pair with this collar. A tie that is narrower in the knot area would make the knot shorter, which is fine too, but not as perfect as the tie here is. I think that as long as the tie knot doesn’t extend below the collar points it looks fine.

  18. Mr.spaiser, thank you for providing the measurements of the blue bengal collar. My cutter now has them and the shirts are being made. Let’s see how they turn out.

  19. Mr. Spaiser,
    well my graduation ended and I officially earned my title. I wore the navy herringbone as you suggested. However, my bespoke shirts came back, utilizing the measurements you gave me I really think the cutters my tailor utilizes failed and replicating the collar. My tailor said without having the physical shirt it’s hard to actually replicate it.

    May I have your email?

    P.s. the my best friend went the from Russia with love route, navy lounge

    P.s.s. your brutal thoughts on both of us and my bespoke shirt would be most appreciated

  20. Hey , the Blue Bengal Stripe Shirt is identical to the one l got today ! It’s a silk-cotton shirting , isn’t it ?

  21. Mr.Spaiser,
    I have taken your advice and habe begun to save my pennies to visit .Mr Foster’s haberdashery. I was wondering if I can just tell them, make me what sir Roger moore wore? Can it be simple like that?

    Kind regards,

    • Roger Moore wore many different styles, so you’d need to be more specific than that. But if you show them photos of some of Moore’s shirts that you like, I think they can help you from there.

  22. You mentioned that my tie space should be 1cm. How big should the tie space if I’m wearing the neckties with a wider blade say from the 1970s. I ask because I managed to procure two vintage grenadine neckties and I really like the look of sir roger in live and let die.

  23. When the collars for sir roger were made the tall to compensate for the longer neck, can a tall collar be for everyone? I use a tall collar many times because I always hated it when a suit over
    powers and drowns out the collar. You have seen my neck, do you think a tall collar is for me?

  24. Matt , l have a few questions about Button down collar shirts ( I never gave them much thought until a few months back , when l received 3 of them as gifts ) .
    1) What do English Shirt makers typically think of them ( i.e Frank Foster , etc ) as formal shirts ? I remember talking about this matter with the guys at Budd , and they were very adamant about it being inappropriate for wear with suits ( even if l went tieless) .
    2) In your research , have you come across any famous well dressed men who wear button downs with suits ?
    When l was studying for my Barrister Training in London , l would observe the shirt collars of many of my fellow lawyers and judges , and only one of them wore a button down collar shirt with a suit ( and he kept the points unfastened )

    • 1) The English prefer button-down collars for casual dress. Frank Foster has made button-down collars for such purpose.

      2) Cary Grant wore button-down collars with suits. It was very common in America from the 1940s-1990s to do so but less common now for men under 60. British men did it for a time as well.

      • Matt , is it true that for Many years English Shirtmakers were hesitant to make Button down collar shirts for their customers ? I ask this because l read a recent article which mentions that all of Cary Grant’s button down collar shirts were from Brook’s brothers , since His English Shirt makers wouldn’t make them. If this is true , then would you happen to know from when English Shirt makers began to offer the Button Down collar as a regular option ? Your excellent article on ” A view to Kill ” tells me that Frank Foster had been making them at least since the ’80s

      • I’m sure that many English shirtmakers did not want to make them. Considering how often they turn up in The Saint on various characters, the English were producing them in large numbers in the 1960s.

  25. Roger wore button down shirts (from Foster of course!) in a couple of movies in the mid-Eighties period (The Naked Face and A View to a Kill). In the Bond movie they were worn open-neck and (I think as it’s been some time since I’ve seen it) in the other movie both open neck and with a tie with a sports coat. I have also seen interview footage etc. from this time where he wore these shirts with a tie and sportc coat also.

    The difference between Foster’s button down collars and the American button down collar shirt, is the presence of standard collar stiffeners. I’d still tend to associate the style more with US than UK .

    • Frank Foster’s button Downs had collar stiffeners ?! That’s a first . I never saw a button down collar shirt with collar stiffeners in them .

    • I have a couple from Foster in this style which I haven’t yet worn but definitely have the usual removable stiffeners. I guess it’s something which an English shirtmaker deems to be part and parcel of the construction of any decent dess shirt.

  26. The only Button Down Collar shirts l Currenly own are three Ralph Lauren Oxford Cloth Button Down collar shirts in White , Blue and Pink which l received as a birthday gift , and one Moss Bros 1851 White Tailored fit Oxford Cloth Button Down collar shirt which l purchased from my Time in Newcastle. None of them have Collar stays .
    But l don’t think Frank Foster is the only English Shirtmaker who puts Collar Stays on a Button Down collar shirt. I am fairly sure Turnbull and Asser does it too . On their website , they mention collar stiffeners coming with their Button Down collar shirts. I was watching Michael Caine’s excellent film ” Alfie ” the other day , and l noticed that his Turnbull and Asser button down collar poplin shirts had much stiffer collars than American Button Downs , so l am guessing that They had collar stiffeners in them.
    I may be VERY mistaken , but l do believe that Frank Foster and Turnbull and Asser make even their Eyelet / pin Collar shirts with collar stays . But l can’t confirm since the only Jermyn Street bespoke shirts l own are all Attached Point collar shirts ( For wear without ties ) and Detachable collar and cuff shirts ( to wear with ties , when l go to court ). I am slowly starting to favour Button Down collars over point collars for tieless wearing though , and look forward to ordering some Button Down Collar shirts from Jermyn Street on my Trip there this June. Maybe I’ll try New and Lingwood. Preferably any Shirtmaker who will make a button down collar without the stiffeners .

  27. Hi Matt. May I ask, have these shirts shown any signs of wear and tear over the years? I’m curious how long they will last. Do you have a favourite?

  28. I am sad to hear that Frank passed away, as I saw him a couple of years ago and he seemed in pretty good health, surrounded by the most beautiful fabrics one could only wish to have caress their body. Frank was indeed a master at what he did, and I am pleased that Mary is carrying on. I have shirts that Frank made for me from 50 years ago and other than my waist and chest have significantly increased, the shirts look as they did when I first picked them up at # 10. Franks shirts (and of course now Mary’s) are simply the purest luxury one could find.

  29. Matt,

    I have noticed you don’t seem to have a lot of twill dress shirts. I recognize herringbone is a version of the twill weave, but you seem to be mostly poplin, which is of course the standard dress shirt fabric, and then royal and pinpoint oxford. Anything you have against twill? I tend to like twill except for the fact they can be a little shiny. But they seem to drape better than my non-twill dress shirts, and wrinkle less.

  30. Please forgive me if you have covered this elsewhere, but have you essayed Roger Moore’s FYEO pre-titled-sequence shirt? It has long been a favorite of mine. Thank you in advance for considering my query.

  31. What is the collar style of the blue and white bengal stripe shirt? What ever it is, I like it.

    However, I would do 8.9 centimeter (3.5 inch) long collar points and a 13.3 centimeter (5.25 inch) spread between the collar points. I agree with the six millimeter (1/4 of an inch inch of) tie space.

    I would also do six millimeter (1/4 inch) single row stitching on the collar near the edges. I would also do a seamless (French) front with hidden stitches and pointed tip double French cuffs.

    The cuffs would also have six millimeter (1/4 inch) single row stitching near the edges.

    • All of these collars are semi-spread collars with the same shape, but the last two shirts have slightly longer points and a little more height at the front band so the points don’t collapse on the chest.

      Here you can see a shirt with the same collar spread (by angle rather than the distance between the points) but with 8.7 cm / 3 7/16 in collar points and a much higher stand all around: https://www.bondsuits.com/learning-from-bond-my-own-way-to-wear-the-beige-live-and-let-die-shirt/

      The 7 mm stitching on the collar and cuffs is a house style, but it’s done by eye rather than measured exactly.

      • Thank you. I would also do a club version of the semi spread collar with 7.6 centimeter (3 inch) long collar angle or points with an 11.4 centimeter (4.5 inch) collar point spread.

        Of course, the collars would be detachable. I would also do two pairs of detachable double French cuffs (one with pointed tips and one with rounded tips).

        Again, I would have single row stitching 6 or 7 millimeters (1/4 of an inch) from the edges for all collars and cuff done. But I would have all of the shirts made up in Acorn’s ivory solid spun silk fabric with matching collars and cuffs.

        And, yes, I would have a taller collar done myself.

  32. What’s the name of the collar style on your white on white stripe shirt, Matt? It looks like a wide spread (also known as an English spread).

    I like that collar a lot, too, by the way. I know the medium spread collar (which I also like a lot) is also known as the American spread.

    I think this black actor named Omari Hardwick wore the wide spread collar on one of his shirts on a TV show called Power on Starz (as a character named James Saint Patrick). It was a sky blue solid made to measure Tom Ford shirt with matching collar and matching barrel cuffs.

    • All of the collars have the same spread angle, which is a little wider than a semi-spread collar. Because some of the shirts shrank a little while others did not, the collars don’t all sit on my neck the same way. If the collar looks a little wider, it’s because the collar’s circumference is slightly larger. These larger collars sit lower and spread apart further.


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