Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans, obsequious corporate media executive
Val d’Orcia, Tuscany, Italy, Summer 2020
Episode: “All the Bells Say” (Episode 3.09)
Air Date: December 21, 2021
Director: Mark Mylod
Creator: Jesse Armstrong
Costume Designer: Michelle Matland
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Succession‘s fourth and most likely final season returns tonight! When we last saw the conniving Roy family, the setting was a Tuscan wedding… though, as usual with the Roys, love was the furthest thing from everyone’s mind.
While the eldest son Connor (Alan Ruck) continued his lifelong search for validation as such, his younger half-siblings Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Siobhan (Sarah Snook) formed a united front that, though borne of tragedy, brought the trio the most truly united we’ve ever seen them as they resolve to block their father’s suspected business deal that would leave them all out in the proverbial cold. Unfortunately for them, the domineering patriarch Logan (Brian Cox) was tipped to suspect their move and severed their ties with one grand “go on… fuck off!”
For Shiv, the knife digs even deeper with the arrival of her husband Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), whose uncharacteristically warm greeting from Logan tells her all she needs to know about the “meat puppet” husband she may have long been underestimating, from her wedding-night request for an open marriage to most recently finally agreeing to try for a child, if only to spite her own mother and—as she made clear during their attempt—not out of any love for Terminal Tom.
Of course, if our latte-sipping Nero with a hundred-dollar haircut was going to betray his own Poppaea, he wasn’t going to do it alone. In one of my favorite scenes from “All the Bells Say”, Tom secures the allegiance of his own Sporus—the Roys’ wily cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), who castrates his soul to join Tom as they fuck off together into the sinister unknown… or at least the bottom of the top.
What’d He Wear?
While the other men in his family are colorfully dressed for Lady Caroline Collingwood’s wedding to a fizzing bottle of cheap prosecco, Tom remains the most neutral in his shades of white and cream… ready to be swayed to whichever side promises him the brightest future. Tom brought at least three different light neutral-toned linen jackets to Italy, beginning with a pure white linen sports coat worn for a reception in the previous episode, a beige linen suit for a game of Monopoly at the start of this one, and finally a handsomely slubbed cream suit for the actual nuptials.
The excellent Instagram account @successionfashion identified Tom’s suit as the all-too-appropriately named “Gregory” slim-fit suit from Ralph Lauren Purple Label, the brand’s exclusive line of made-to-measure tailoring and benchmade shoes. Tom’s slubby herringbone cloth is a cream-colored blend of linen and silk, both luxurious and light-wearing for an outdoor wedding under the Tuscan sun.
Ralph Lauren touts that each Gregory suit takes 25 handcrafted hours to complete, from its “durable, lightweight four-layer blend” of horsehair, wool, and cotton full canvassing and a “softer take on a strong shoulder, with a lighter construction and a classic English roll” on the jacket. The single-breasted jacket has narrower notch lapels—designed for consistency with the suit’s slimmer silhouette—that roll to two beige horn buttons that match the four decorative buttons on each cuff. The jacket has double vents, straight flapped hip pockets with an additional ticket pocket on the right, and a welted breast pocket that Tom dresses with a pin-dotted taupe silk pocket square, folded to a tall, flat-topped peak.
The flat-front trousers feature buckle-tab adjusters on each side of the waistband, tailored to fit Tom’s waist without requiring a belt or braces. The waistband has an extended squared tab in the front that closes through a hidden hook. The trousers have quarter-top side pockets and (as informed by listings like this) two button-through back pockets, and the bottoms are finished with turn-ups (cuffs).
The @successionfashion post informs us that this now-discontinued cream linen-silk suit originally retailed for a total of $3,690: $2,995 for the jacket and $695 for the matching trousers.
Tom’s shirt is made from a white linen so sheer that it shows Macfadyen’s skin under the fabric, no doubt making it a comfortably elegant shirt on such a hot day. The shirt has a spread collar, button cuffs, and a plain button-up front also known as a “French placket” that consists of merely the cloth folded behind the row of buttonholes, particularly visible on this sheer linen shirt that Tom wears sans undershirt.
Perhaps it’s just coincidence, but the two season-ending situations that found Tom uncharacteristically asserting himself—first by eating Logan’s chicken at the end of the second season, and then this fateful tip at the end of the third season—found Tom dressed in white linen shirts.
Tom’s shoes are never clearly seen in the episode itself, but—thankfully (for so many reasons)—we have Nicholas Braun’s Instagram. A brief iPhone shot between takes shows Macfadyen in respite, kicking up a set of chocolate-brown suede loafers and matching socks.
Given his early endorsement for how Greg should dress his feet in the first season, we know Tom is a Crockett & Jones enthusiast, and my friend Caroline Reilly suggested that the screen-worn slip-ons may be the storied English shoemaker’s “Harvard 2” model, an unlined adaptation of their classic “Boston” penny loafer built on the same no. 376 last that boasts a high-walled round toe and lower back. The Scotch-guarded dark brown suede uppers feature an apron toe and distinctively notched strap, Goodyear-welted to dark brown rubber soles made in England by Harboro Rubber Company.
The sunny weather and stylish setting calls for spectacular sunglasses, so Tom wears the MOSCOT LEMTOSH SUN model with handcrafted gray-tinted translucent acetate frames, detailed with diamond rivets and G-15 glass lenses. MOSCOT, a New York luxury eyewear brand that has been family-owned for five generations since it was founded in 1915 on the Lower East Side, proudly touts its Succession connection on its website.
Tom also wears his wedding ring, a simple silver-toned band of metal that may be white-gold or platinum.
On his left wrist, Tom wears the stainless steel Cartier Santos de Cartier that was established as his wristwatch of choice for the third season after sporting a Panerai Luminor Marina for the first two seasons, perhaps seeking unify with his wife Shiv, who has worn a gold Cartier since the start of the series. Given its proportions on Macfadyen’s wrist, Tom’s all-stainless Santos appears to be the 39.8mm “Large” case (which currently retails for £7,000) as opposed to the 35.1mm “Medium” case.
The automatic Santos de Cartier is powered by Cartier’s calibre 1847 MC mechanical movement, water-resistant to approximately 100 meters. The steel case features a 7-sided crown set with a faceted synthetic spinel, and the silvered opaline dial is detailed with steel sword-shaped hands, black Roman numerals at each hour index, and a 6:00 date window, all protected by sapphire crystal. The Santos de Cartier comes with two bands, though Tom evidently prefers the steel link bracelet with a “SmartLink” system that can be adjusted by hand, without requiring tools.
A GQ article published last July has already identified that Tom swapped out the Cartier for an Audemars Piguet for the fourth season, as will surely be confirmed tonight. However, I can’t help but also love writers Mike Christensen and Olivia Pym for pointing out the significance of Tom’s Cartier, contextualizing that “the Cartier Santos is widely renowned for being the first-ever tool watch, apt, considering Tom is taken for being a bit of a tool himself.”
How to Get the Look
Though dressed for luxury in Ralph Lauren tailoring and a Cartier watch, Tom’s climatically appropriate creamy shades of linen may look comfortably neutral, but he’s finally making some assertively Machiavellian moves to position himself for unprecedented success among the fear and loathing at a Tuscan wedding.
- Cream herringbone linen-and-silk Ralph Lauren Purple Label “Gregory” made-to-measure suit:
- Single-breasted 2-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets with right-side ticket pocket, 4-button cuffs, and double vents
- Flat-front trousers with buckle-tab side adjusters, extended waistband with hidden hook closure, quarter-top side pockets, button-through back pockets, and turn-ups/cuffs
- White linen shirt with spread collar, plain front, and button cuffs
- Dark brown suede unlined penny loafers
- Dark brown socks
- MOSCOT LEMTOSH SUN light-gray acetate sunglasses with G-15 lenses
- White-gold or platinum wedding ring
- Cartier Santos de Cartier stainless steel automatic watch with 39.55 “Large” case, silvered opaline dial with Roman numerals and 6:00 date window, and steel “SmartLink” bracelet
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the series. The fourth and final season premieres tonight on HBO Max.
Do you want a deal with the devil?