Kingsman: The Secret Service -- The Blue Velvet Dinner Jacket

Since my article on Colin Firth's beautifully-cut double breasted suits from Kingsman, I've had many requests to cover another beloved outfit from the film.

There are spoilers. You have been warned. But really, why haven't you seen it yet?

"DeVere" arriving at Valentine's mansion. 

Galahad poses as a billionaire to infiltrate a black tie gala held by supervillain Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). To his surprise, he finds himself not only overdressed but the whole affair cancelled in his honor for a private dinner. He keeps up appearances nonetheless in a striking blue velvet dinner jacket and Black Watch Tartan trousers. This outfit is perhaps more appropriate to what the event turned into rather than what was originally intended, but it may suit his cover to dress in a more creative way. As all the other film's tailored clothing the dinner jacket and trousers were made by Martin Nicholls London, a bespoke tailoring firm on Savile Row.

Valentine later refers to it as "that dope ass smoking jacket" in admiration and its retail counterpart was listed as such in the Mr Porter clothing line. This is something of a misnomer since it is styled as a dinner jacket, complete with a single button closure, black faille silk facings, jetted besom pockets, and a more structured appearance. The only aspects this dinner jacket has in common with smoking jackets is the velvet fabric and shawl collar. The sleeves feature faille silk turnback cuffs, an Edwardian era touch that may not serve a purpose but certainly looks stylish. Hart is in good company, with other fictional spies including James Bond wearing them. Double vents on a dinner jacket are frowned upon by some menswear purists but embraced by others as a tasteful update. A single vent would be too casual given its sporting origins and less refined appearance. The straight padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads, nipped waist, and flared sleeve ends are signature details of Nicholls' house cut also present on his suit jackets. The sleeves appear slightly short at times but they could simply be catching on the end of his shirt cuffs.

Note how the jacket looks dark navy or even black in some shots.

The trousers are of Black Watch Tartan fabric and have a medium-low rise, flat front, and plain hemmed bottoms with a moderate break. Unlike most evening trousers, these are more akin to Scottish trews and lack a silk stripe on the side. This offers more dinner jacket options to pair them with -- not needing to match silk facings -- and the flexibility of wearing them outside of black tie. As with his suits, they have a trim straight cut and are held up with slide buckle tabs.

Replica dinner jacket as sold through Mr Porter's first Kingsman collection.

Hart wears a white marcella-fronted evening shirt, again from Turnbull & Asser. The body and sleeve fabric are poplin with the collar and cuffs in marcella to match the bib. The studs on the front of the shirt are white mother of pearl on a silver backing, but the cufflinks are difficult to see. They appear to be the same rose gold ones that he wears with his suit judging by behind the scenes materials. The Drake's bow tie matches his dinner jacket's facings in black faille silk. Unfortunately he chooses to forego a cummerbund which leaves some shirt exposed between the jacket's modern, higher button stance and the trouser's lower rise. This is the only low point in an otherwise polished look. His shoes are black George Cleverley patent leather oxfords. Though not seen in great detail, the Mr Porter version suggests they are the same chisel toed last as on the cap toe oxfords. As always, he fills the jacket's breast pocket with a folded white linen pocket square, also by Drake's.

Between takes on the set of Kingsman, which shows the jacket to actually be dark blue. The exposed triangle of white shirt is even more obvious here.


Bonus: Harry's Manners

Even undercover, Harry displays class and good etiquette by not belittling his host's rather unconventional culinary choices. This seems to go along with his general dislike of snobbery. Valentine expresses his love for pairing '45 LaFitte and cheeseburgers, with Harry humorously suggesting '37 Chateau d'Yquem and Twinkies as pudding. As he says earlier in the film, "Manners maketh man." It matters little how well-dressed one is if their character doesn't match.

"I'll have the Big Mac, please."

If you have any questions about the movie's clothing, please feel free to leave a comment or send an email through the contact form. I may cover another outfit if there is a call for it (such as Lancelot's tweed suit) and hopefully you'll wait less than a year this time! Thanks to Matt Spaiser for the inspiration and all those who enjoyed the original blog post.

Screencaps taken by kissthemgoodbye.net.

Comments

  1. Harry shows way more respect than he should when this guys shows none. He dresses like a slob and has crappy taste in food. No respect for himself.

    His manners were unnecessary here unless it's just part of his cover. Do you think James Bond would do this? He comments on The Beatles perfectly in Goldfinger.

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    Replies
    1. I will respectfully disagree. Valentine is a perfect gentleman, even if his personal style, food tastes, and world domination plans aren't up to our standards. (He would look better without the popped collar, baseball cap, and superfluous outer shirt here IMO.) I don't much care for McDonald's myself, but won't turn it down if someone offered it on their dime. As Harry quotes from Hemingway, "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." It could be part of his cover, sure, but given how outspoken he is against elitism I think it's part of his personality too.

      As for Bond, observe his manners in You Only Live Twice. Dikko Henderson goes to the trouble of mixing a martini for Bond, but mistakenly thinks it is "stirred, not shaken". Instead of making a fuss of it, Bond accepts courteously. He does make a jab at The Beatles in Goldfinger, but it wasn't to directly insult someone's taste in music. He was merely stating that one needs to drink Dom Perignon at the proper temperature to fully appreciate it.

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