When I shared this image of the collar on this Spectre shirt and compared to the No Time To Die it surprised them.
– Article by Daniel Gaster. (Field report 054).
The Standard SPECTRE Shirt
This shirt (which I’m calling the Standard) is probably the most seen in Spectre. James Bond wears this style of shirt in white with three of his Tom Ford suits. In Mexico for the Pre-title sequence, with a blue Prince of Wales check suit, in London in M’s office with a grey herringbone track striped suit and in Morocco at Blofeld’s desert hideaway. (Image below).
Bond also wears a light blue version of this shirt, both in Q’s lab. Again, with the grey herringbone suit and at the end in an Anthracite Damier Three-Piece.
Minus the jacket
You see more of this shirt as James Bond is seen in it without the jacket for two of these suits. At his flat in Notting Hill following his meeting with M, with Moneypenny visiting him in the grey stripped suit and in Morocco after being knocked out he comes round strapped to a mechanical chair.
The standard SPECTRE shirt has a classic pointed collar, double cuffs, front placket, and back darts. Overall, the shirt has a slim look to it. The other TOM FORD shirts seen on Bond are the Rome Shirt, which had a pin collar and cocktail cuffs (which TOM FORD call the Dr No cuff), and a slight variant on the ‘Standard’ which has the classic pointed collar, but with cocktail cuffs instead, which he wears when arriving to SPECTRE HQ.
Learn more about the style of James Bond in the book From Tailors With Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films, available on Amazon.
I originally measured up for this shirt in June 2018, some 9 months after the Rome Shirt order. I thought I’d been working out, and in a little better condition. AND I also wanted a new shirt to get married in. So, I went to London to get measured, as I’d had done previously. From there I was happy with the suggestions and went through the “Bond book” to ensure the details were right.
Previously, the Rome shirt took six weeks, so I thought I had enough time to have it made. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of the summer break that they have. When I was told that the shirt wouldn’t be ready in time for the wedding, I was disappointed.
I decided not to pursue the shirt at this time, as I thought I could use the money elsewhere for the wedding. Later that year I would invest in my first order of shirts with Turnbull & Asser, but that’s a story for another time.
During lockdown I was stuck working from home, as many of you who are reading this were probably also. So, I was saving quite a bit of money in fuel. I decided that I was going to get a new shirt made by TOM FORD and I was keen on the blue No Time to Die shirt with the point collar and cocktail cuffs. However, I was also thinking I’d like to have the white standard SPECTRE shirt made as I had planned over two years ago. I just couldn’t decide.
I contacted Aman, from the TOM FORD store in London to see if they were open or not. Although the store wasn’t open to the public, the staff were still working. I asked about the two shirts I was interested in having made and checked that they still had my measurements on file, which they did.
The prices had gone up since the last time I’d used the service. These shirts were coming up priced £495 for the SPECTRE and £505 for the No Time To Die (the previous TOM FORD Made to Measure shirt cost £375 in September 2017).
Later that month
Out of nowhere I won a £500 virtual Mastercard for filling in a survey. One of those things that you see but never think will happen. Once I had it confirmed, and when I actually had the card in my virtual hand, I asked my wife if she wanted to split it with me. She said that I’d won it and I could do whatever I wanted with it. With that I took the plunge and bought both shirts.
About four weeks later I get a message from Aman to tell me both shirts were on the way to the store and what I’d want to do. The third lockdown was now over, but I wasn’t feeling like going into London. So, Aman after inspecting the shirts, sent them via courier to me.
Box of goodies
A few days later I large box arrived, which contained both shirts, and a Pocket Square which I asked to be included, all in TOM FORD boxes, all with my name on. As with the Rome shirt, you can see under the TOM FORD label a “Made to Measure” label. There is also a label on the inside with my name, the date I made the purchase and the store location on it. One slight difference on this label to the Rome shirt is that this one was made in Italy, while my Rome shirt was made in Switzerland.
The Collar Saga
The shirt’s fabric is 100% white poplin cotton, it has a front placket, back darts, double cuffs with a gauntlet button on each sleeve and a point collar. Surprisingly this point collar has no collar stays, in fact it’s designed not to have them at all. Looking at the diagram details that were sent to me, the collar looked the same and was called the same “Classic Pointed Collar” on both shirts. So, it was a shock when I realised the difference.
And .. Auction
Sometime later in a discussion regarding a “hero” shirt (above) which was being auctioned off from Spectre. Pete Brooker, Matt Spaiser and Eisuke (from Inspired by Bond) and I were trying to work out which shirt it could be as the evidence supplied suggested it was the Evening Suit shirt.
When the conversation went to discussing the collars of the shirts and then discussing the difference between the Spectre and No Time To Die (NTTD) came up. It was thought that the blue shirt in NTTD and the standard Spectre where the same. When I shared this image of the collar and compared to the NTTD it surprised them. It was assumed that the collar stays had simply been removed, not that the collar had been designed not to have them at all.
Wearing it out
With the new shirt I tried it on to make sure I was happy with the fit. The collar and the body felt good, but the sleeves were a little too long. I wore the shirt a few times and washed it, thinking that it would shrink a little in the first few washes.
After three washes, which is what Turnbull & Asser recommend, I decided that the sleeves hadn’t shrunk enough. I compared the sleeve length with my Rome shirt and there was roughly 2 cm extra. I messaged Aman regarding this and sent some images for comparison. He asked me to send both shirts and the Rome shirt. They would be adjusted using the Rome Shirt as a model.
What’s in the box
I don’t remember getting a warning, but one day a massive box arrived. When I opened it up it was like a cardboard wardrobe and inside it was a TOM FORD suitor. I remember thinking “what the bloody hell have I done?” For a second I thought that I’d ordered a suit. But no, it was in fact my three shirts being returned on a TOM FORD hanger and in a TOM FORD cover.
Now my shirt’s arm lengths are correct, and I feel more confident in them now. In a time where I’m not wearing many suits or shirts, the standard SPECTRE shirt has become my go-to for a while when the occasion has arisen. I have worn the shirt with John Smedley Bobby jumpers and cardigans, with jeans and chinos as well as with my suits.
Doing it all again
Although, I would get myself re-measured the next time I get a TOM FORD shirt, to make sure I don’t have the arm issues that I did this time. TOM FORD rectified the issue relatively quickly.
These are very occasional treats for me rather than everyday items. I consider them to be investments in my wardrobe as I do with many other James Bond clothing items. These shirts are luxury items, they are not to everyone’s taste, and I do consider them to be quite pricey. The quality of service that TOM FORD have provided to me has been excellent. That is something I factor into this experience.
Whether you go for TOM FORD, Turnbull & Asser, Frank Foster or even Brioni for shirts, go for what you like and do what you can afford. I’ve gone for this because the circumstances allowed for it. They don’t come very often.
Credits and Resources
Article by Daniel Gaster. Be sure to follow Daniel on Instagram. All images sourced through the productions stills on Thunderballs and are the copyright of their respective movie studio. They are reproduced here under the Fair Use doctrine. Research for this article and for purchases made came with the assistance of the online TOM FORD Bond capsule collection.