For this episode of From Tailors With Love I felt it was time to interrogate my co-host Matt Spasier about his blog The Suits of James Bond. However, it’s not the first time I’ve interrogated him on what I consider to be the original almanac of Bond attire.
OPERATION: MR BIG
In fact, how we first met was when I interviewed Matt for a podcast I did for another Menswear magazine. It was difficult to get Matt on the podcast. I remember a lot of correspondence back and forth, almost like courting a hot blonde on Tinder.
Matt wasn’t going to date me on a whim. He needed to know he wasn’t going to waste his time. In short, Matt doesn’t just give it up for anybody.
That podcast is no longer available but being the avid E-kleptomaniac, I’m sure its buried somewhere in the annals of my external hard drive.
In the meantime, you can find Matt talking frankly about his infamous and definitive blog, The Suits of James Bond, in the player below.
Matt, how did you come to start the blog, The Suits of James Bond?
I marathoned all the James Bond films with a friend of mine over the course of a few weeks. After some time I revisited them again and examined the clothes, each piece and started making notes. I had it all written out in a chart, how many buttons does each suit have, what are they made of vents etc.
I had written down that the trousers have pleats, then I had to go in and re-watch to get greater detail. What way are the pleats going? How many are there?
After a few rounds of doing that I had a lot of notes. I would research online and I was noticing that a lot of what I was reading did not match up with my notes.
People did not know what the James Bond clothes were like. For example no one knew that Sean Connery’s trousers had pleats. People thought they were flat front. How did they miss the pleats?
There was so many things that people got wrong. So I started a website to discuss what they were like. Most people thought all the ties were knitted. No one knew they were grenadine ties. I didn’t even know what a grenadine tie was, I had to do a lot of research.
How did you get the word out for your blog?
Facebook was a thing, though I did not promote it on Facebook. Yeah I was a bit late to the game on that. I should have gotten on social media much sooner. I just wasn’t interested. People had always found my blog, when people search for ‘James Bond clothing’ online they’ll find my site.
Remmert was there long before I started The Suits of James Bond. His site (James Bond Lifestyle) was fantastic, but it didn’t do what I wanted it to do. I wanted to know more about the details of the clothes.
He was more about the brands and promoting them. I wanted more on the older clothes. What was Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby wearing.
Do you ever get bored of writing about James Bond suits?
Some times it is a chore. Sometimes I want to take a break but I can’t. I don’t want to lose my audience. Anything else I want to do now takes more work. I covered all the easy stuff in the beginning.
What is the holy grail of James Bond suits?
Thunderball has some of his best suits. The charcoal 3-piece suit in Thunderball. The light grey mohair suit. They are some of my favourite suits. They represent the classic James Bond style. I do like the Dr No suits, they have vents. The Thunderball suits don’t. I don’t like suits without vents.
How do you identify the fabric?
Now that we have Blu-Rays its easier to see the fabrics. I started looking at these on VHS. It took a lot of research getting to know the properties all different kinds of fabric. For example knowing the difference of a mohair wool blend compared to a tropical wool.
You need a good place of reference to know what they are. I would order swatches and fabrics from tailors to see what the differences were.