Colin Firth as Harry Hart, aka “Galahad”, sophisticated secret agent
London, Spring 2014
Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: January 29, 2015
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Martin Nicholls
Today marks the U.K. release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the long awaited follow-up to the criminally entertaining 2014 spy film Kingsman: The Secret Service. Featuring a group of quintessentially British spies operating out of a London tailor shop (of all places!), the stylish Kingsman franchise was basically built for BAMF Style readers… and I apologize that it’s taken this long to get a post together about it!
Colin Firth plays Kingsman agent Harry Hart, a dapper and witty spy well equipped for his “Galahad” codename. The early scenes of the film follow Harry as he recruits and trains Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), a fallen Kingsman agent’s son who – despite his brilliance – has followed a desultory path as a London chav. Luckily for Eggsy, Harry has a different plan.
What’d He Wear?
The suit is the modern gentleman’s armor.
…Harry explains, summing up the film’s ethos while also providing a very literal description of Kingsman agents’ ostensibly bulletproof suits.
With suits and luxury menswear so integral to the film’s plot, director Matthew Vaughn and costume designer Arianne Phillips worked with a number of British heritage brands to develop the film’s signature look.
“Men’s tailoring is at the center of the story,” explained Phillips in a 2015 interview with W magazine. “Proper tailoring makes up for so many flaws in a man’s body.” Bespoke firm Martin Nicholls London of Savile Row cut and made the suits that appeared on screen.
Formerly the creative force behind Alfred Dunhill’s international bespoke program, Martin Nicholls has dressed many celebrities including 007 himself when Daniel Craig sported dinner suits tailored by Nicholls to the premieres of both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Phillips had first collaborated with Nicholls on the 2011 film W.E. where he tailored suits for James D’Arcy to wear as the Duke of Windsor.
The Kingsman shop featured on screen was the real life shop of H. Huntsman & Sons on Savile Row, the legendary tailor whose clients have run the gamut from royalty to celebrities in its nearly 170-year existence. In fact, it was while he was having a suit fitted at the Huntsman shop that Vaughn’s idea came to him. “When I wrote the script, I was actually having a suit made,” Vaughn told the New York Times in 2015. “You feel a bit weird looking at yourself in the mirror when they’re working. My imagination kicked in.”
Though they didn’t provide any clothing for the films, Huntsman proudly lent its distinctive shop front and fitting room to the production of both Kingsman films as described on its site.
As the popularity of sites like Clothes on Film, Iconic Alternatives, James Bond Lifestyle, Magnoli Clothiers, The Suits of James Bond, The Take, and – if you’ll forgive my immodesty – my own blog attest, people are often inspired to dress like their favorite characters in movies and TV shows. Thus, the filmmakers wisely decided to do a great service to Kingsman fans by anticipating the demand to learn about (and acquire) the on-screen clothing via a collaboration with MR PORTER, introducing a collection of 60+ pieces from suits and shirts to pocket squares and umbrellas to totally outfit an aspiring Kingsman.
The anticipation proved to be prescient, with Kingsman fans not only embracing the availability of screen-inspired menswear in the MR PORTER collection but also the return of classic double-breasted suits.
Following the film’s shift in setting to the present day, we catch up with Harry Hart on his way to work in a very office-friendly charcoal chalkstripe double-breasted suit in made from a heavy worsted Dormeuil wool. A closer look at the suiting itself reveals a heavy rust red chalkstripe shadowed on its left by a thinner pale gray stripe.
Harry’s suit jacket is double-breasted like his others, with a six-on-two horn button closure that he always wears the bottom button undone. The peak lapels are proportionately wide with gently slanted gorges and a buttonhole through each lapel. The straight shoulders are lightly padded with roped sleeveheads.
Ever the gentleman, Harry wears a white linen pocket square folded in the welted breast pocket of all of his suit jackets. The MR PORTER collection includes a white silk pocket square from Drake’s with navy hand-rolled edges, available for $65, though Harry appears to sport a plain white linen pocket square like this $80 model from Drake’s.
Each sleeve is finished with four functional buttons. Cuffs with functioning buttons like Harry’s are often referred to as a “surgeon’s cuff” given the wearer’s ability to unbutton his or her cuffs, roll them up, and perform surgery without getting a patient’s blood on their jacket. (Were I the patient, I would likely just request that my doctor remove their jacket before the procedure.)
The jacket evokes classic menswear of the 1930s through the ’50s, though the long double vents in the back are a more modern concession that certainly aids Harry’s movement when the need to clobber a barroom full of hoodlums arises.
Harry’s flat front suit trousers have a clean waistband with an extended squared front that closes with a hidden hook-and-eye tab. There are no belt loops; instead, the trouser fit can be adjusted around the waist with slide buckle tabs on the right and left sides toward the back. The trousers have straight side pockets and button-through back pockets. The trousers are cut straight through the leg down to plain-hemmed bottoms.
MR PORTER currently offers an identical suit, though marketed as the slightly trimmer version worn by Eggsy. The jacket and trousers can be purchased separately; the jacket is currently selling for $1,595 and the trousers for $595. Magnoli Clothiers also offers their own replica, starting at $585 for the whole suit in wool blend with a $150 charge for 100% wool suiting.
Like that most classic of British secret agents, Harry wears dress shirts from Turnbull & Asser. His white cotton shirts have a semi-spread collar, front placket, and shoulder pleats and darts to shape the fit around his back and waist. The shirt’s squared double (French) cuffs are worn with rose gold-plated cuff links ostensibly embossed with the Kingsman crest with both oval sides connected through each cuff with a short hook.
MR PORTER’s Kingsman collection includes a white cotton twill Turnbull & Asser shirt for $350. Unfortunately for aspiring Kingsmen, the Deakin & Francis cuff links are no longer available nor are there plans to reintroduce them as of September 2017.
The Kingsman club tie, made by Drake’s, consists of the bureau’s signature pattern of two thin pale pink stripes bisected by a thin burgundy red stripe over a twill ribbed navy blue ground. (Naturally, the stripes follow the classic British “uphill” direction of left hip-to-right shoulder.) In addition to Harry, who wears his in both traditional Windsor and half-Windsor knots, the Kingsman tie appears to be worn by most Kingsman agents in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Harry’s less frequently seen second tie is black silk, covered by a field of white dots. It is also made by Drake’s and is tied in the full- and half-Windsor knots that would have had Ian Fleming’s James Bond reeling in horror. To the best of my knowledge, this black silk dotted tie has never been part of the MR PORTER Kingsman collection though Drake’s currently offers a dark navy dot print tie in 50 oz. royal twill silk for $185.
Harry carries his Kingsman-issued sidearm, a Cohort Film Services-customized variant of the Russian TT-30 service pistol, in a brown leather shoulder holster that straps around each shoulder like a pair of braces, suspending the pistol under Harry’s left arm near the waist for a right-handed draw.
“Oxfords, not brogues,” carries a significant meaning in the Kingsman universe, referring both to the agents’ clever passcode and their Cleverley shoes. Harry and his fellow agents all wear black leather five-eyelet cap-toe oxford shoes from George Cleverley, the exclusive London bespoke shoemaker whose wares have been touted as “the most beautiful shoes in the world” by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.
“We went with the shoes, first of all, with our Cleverley toe shape and just a straight cap so that was really set in stone which probably wardrobe people that that was the classic shoe that you’d ever get,” explained George Glasgow, chairman and managing director of G.J. Cleverley in a video on the Cleverley site celebrating the brand’s association with Kingsman. The Cleverley Kingsman oxfords are still available in the MR PORTER collection for $950, and – as any Cleverley shoe wearer would tell you – you may be paying a high price but it’s for high quality.
Harry’s own shoes, with their custom extending poison blade, are best seen when he wears his Glen Urquhart check suit during Eggsy’s outfitting.
While I think brogues are more than appropriate with businesswear, Harry Hart evidently disagrees and encourages Eggsy to follow his anti-brogue passcode as “words to live by”. However, Eggsy has evidently discarded Harry’s advice in the new film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, as MR PORTER includes a new pair of black Cleverley oxford brogues in its “Golden Circle”-marketed collection.
As autumn hits the Northern Hemisphere and we approach overcoat season, it’s also worth mentioning that Harry is briefly seen wearing a black wool double-breasted overcoat that echoes his suit jacket with peak lapels, roped sleeveheads, and a six-on-two button front. The coat also has side pockets and a long back vent.
Every Kingsman agent is issued a pair of tortoiseshell acetate square-framed glasses, which naturally serve a greater purpose than meets the eye (if you’ll forgive the pun). Cutler and Gross, the luxury eyewear company founded in London in 1969 that prides itself on combining “the finest Italian craftsmanship with irrefutably cool style”, developed the specs for the on-screen agents as well as the model designed exclusively for sale in the MR PORTER collection for $450. (Like the Kingsman club tie, Magnoli also offers their own accurate replica for only $75.)
The Kingsman glasses also have the ability to transition into sunglasses when worn outside on a sunny day, tinting the lenses a sun-resistant shade of brown.
Another standard Kingsman accessory is a gold signet ring worn on the right pinky and embossed with the Kingsman crest. I don’t believe that this item was ever included in the MR PORTER collection but some gold-plated steel replicas have popped up on Amazon should one be so inclined.
Like any good secret agent, Kingsman operatives are all issued a luxury wristwatch. The Kingsman: The Secret Service team worked with Bremont, the British watch manufacturer established in 2002 by brothers Giles and Nick English, the latter of whom even briefly appeared in the film making a cameo as a Kingsman agent.
Bremont created the “Kingsman” range of three luxury watches that would be worn by characters in the film, including the Bremont Kingsman Special Edition Rose Gold, a modified version of “the wonderfully over-engineered” Bremont World Timer (ALT1-WT) chronograph worn on an embossed brown calfskin leather strap with a rose gold single-pin buckle.
The modified caliber 13 ¼” BE-54AE automatic chronometer has an 18-karat rose gold 43mm case with an internally rotating bi-directional bezel with global time zones to keep Kingsman agents on schedule for missions around the world. The white metal finished dial has three sub-dials at 6:00, 9:00, and 12:00 with the “Kingsman” emblem proudly emblazoned on the latter. The dial also has a date window at 3:00 and Bremont’s signature SuperLumiNova® coated hands.
You can learn more about the Bremont Kingsman Special Edition Rose Gold from the Bremont site. I understand that Kingsman: The Golden Circle will feature agents wearing TAG Heuer timepieces, deviating from the first film’s all-British branded lineup.
Go Big or Go Home
Um, listen, boys. I’ve had a rather emotional day, so whatever your beef with Eggsy is – and I’m sure it’s well-founded – I’d appreciate it enormously if you could just leave us in peace until I can finish this lovely pint of Guinness.
When his conversation with Eggsy about his potential as a Kingsman agent is rudely interrupted by Eggsy’s “associates”, the unflappable Harry displays several gentlemanly traits with his response: emotional maturity, strategic conflict avoidance, and – of course – manners.
Of course, hooligans have no time for talk so – despite his best efforts – Harry is forced to show off his considerable hand-to-hand and umbrella-to-face combat skills, making the most of his Kingsman-issued Swaine Adeney Brigg umbrella. (Yes, 007 fans, that is indeed the same brand of attaché case carried by James Bond in the From Russia With Love film and book.)
What to Imbibe
“How to make a proper martini,” is understandably the second lesson on Harry’s “being a gentleman” rubric, though he also shows a respectable appreciation for Guinness when in the more relaxed setting of a London pub.
How to Get the Look
Harry Hart exudes dignity, masculinity, and timeless elegance with his Kingsman-issued suit and accessories, all from British luxury brands.
- Charcoal rust/gray-chalkstriped heavy worsted bespoke suit:
- Double-breasted 6-on-2-button suit jacket with peak lapels (with buttonhole through each), welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, functional 4-button “surgeon’s cuffs), and long double vents
- Flat front suit trousers with extended hidden hook-and-eye closure squared waist tab, buckle-strap side adjuster tabs, straight/on-seam side pockets, button-through back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- White cotton twill Turnbull & Asser shirt with semi-spread collar, front placket, back shoulder pleats and side darts, and double/French cuffs
- Navy blue silk twill Drake’s tie with thin pink/burgundy/pink left-down-to-right Kingsman “club stripe”
- White linen Drake’s pocket square
- Brown leather shoulder holster
- Black leather five-eyelet cap-toe oxford shoes from George Cleverley
- Black cotton dress socks
- Cutler and Gross tortoise acetate square-framed eyeglasses with transition lenses
- Gold signet pinky ring
- Bremont Kingsman Special Edition Rose Gold automatic chronometer with 18-karat rose gold 43mm case, white dial (with 3 sub-dials and 3:00 date window), and brown embossed calfskin leather strap
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie and catch Kingsman: The Golden Circle in theaters this week!
“Manners maketh man.” Do you know what that means? Then let me teach you a lesson.
I welcome any firsthand accounts of BAMF Style readers who have purchased and/or worn items from MR PORTER’s Kingsman collection! (As I, unfortunately, have none.) Sound off in the comments below.