Kingsman: The Secret Service -- Colin Firth's Suits in Detail

Based on a graphic novel, Kingsman: The Secret Service got a lot of well-deserved press upon release for its quintessentially English menswear and just being a pretty fun movie. But sadly what has been published isn't a complete picture. A few friends of mine asked if I could write up an article about the suits of the movie, even those who normally aren't into menswear. I went looking for an article, any article, that described them in detail. Sadly most gloss over everything besides that they are double breasted. Because Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is the most prominently tailored character in the movie, I've decided to focus on his suits.

Martin Nicholls London, a Savile Row bespoke firm, made the suits for the principals. Their other film work includes Dark Shadows and HugoHarry's velvet smoking jacket was created by Campbell Carey (who makes a brief cameo as Valentine's tailor) while he was still at Kilgour. The tailored clothing sold in Mr Porter's off the peg Kingsman collection was produced by Crewe Tailored Clothing, until recently known as Cheshire Bespoke. They are better equipped for the demands of mass production and copy Nicholls' style well.

The look of the "Kingsman Tailors" shop was inspired by H. Huntsman & Sons Ltd, but their bespoke tailoring services were not used. Though director Matthew Vaughn has been a customer since 18 years old, Huntsman may not have been able to meet their financial or production needs at that time. Typically a few copies of each costume are made or purchased for stunts, such as wearing a wire work harness and in case they get damaged during filming. Stunt performers will also need a different size than the actors they are doubling for. It all adds up pretty quickly.

Arianne Phillips designed the costumes for the movie and intentionally selected heritage English brands to fill out the wardrobe.

Warning: Minor spoilers of the movie may follow.

"The first thing a gentleman needs is a good suit."
Harry Hart -- codename Galahad -- wears five suits throughout the movie, all cut and styled identically. Kingsman suits are said to be bulletproof. The first suit, seen in the prologue, is navy worsted twill with white chalk stripes. The one seen most often in promotions for the film is flannel from Dormeuil, charcoal grey with a rust red chalk stripe and thinner light grey stripe side-by-side. The bunch number is 405014, but unfortunately the fabric is no longer produced. (An anonymous reader pointed this out in the comments, big thanks goes out to them and their research!) His most briefly seen suit is medium grey whipcord, an appropriate defense against cold London winds, worn when confronting Professor Arnold (Mark Hamill). Another suit that gets pretty short shrift is a charcoal plaid in woolen flannel, used in a lunch scene with his superior, Arthur (Michael Caine). The next suit looks light grey at first glance, yet is actually black and white Glen Urquhart Check in worsted flannel. The navy chalk stripe suit is reused for a climactic scene despite taking place at least 17 years later. It's either a testament to the durability of Kingsman suits or the timelessness of good bespoke tailoring. Possibly both.

Navy chalk stripe as seen in the opening of the movie.

The coat is double breasted with six buttons, two to close. The top two nonfunctional buttons are spaced further apart to emphasize the chest and present a more masculine appearance. Harry leaves the bottom button undone. One can use both buttons if they wish, unlike on a single breasted suit, but the former choice makes sense if you'll find yourself thrashing goons and need more movement to do so. There are side vents in back, which are the only appropriate choice for double breasted jackets. The peak lapels are traditional in width and have a tasteful amount of "belly", or outward curve, to the underside. They are not as narrow as current fashions yet avoid the excesses of '70s tailoring. Double breasted suits sold today mostly have a lapel hole on the left side but Nicholls puts them on both sides, cutting them straight per Savile Row custom. Not only does it recall the so-called golden age of menswear, it provides visual balance to all the buttons and overlapping fabric.

Charcoal chalk stripe suit in a promotional image.

The sleeves have functional four button "surgeon's cuffs". This was once reserved for bespoke, but recently many off the peg retailers copy it straight from the factory. It's best to avoid those (which unfortunately include the $2500 Mr Porter Kingsman suits) unless the sleeves fit you precisely; any length alteration past a quarter inch will be difficult, costly, or not look right. Harry occasionally leaves the last button undone on his sleeves. Clothing traditionalists advise against this practice, denouncing it as gauche or vulgar. But is it really distasteful when one will never use them otherwise?

Is Harry thumbing his nose at the establishment, given his distaste for classism?

The front jacket pockets are gently slanted and flapped, wider than average in proportion to the lapels. There is pick stitching done meticulously by hand on the lapels, collar, and pockets. It is easy to miss if you are not looking for it, but pick stitching should ideally not be too visible since its only purpose is to keep the edges neat. The buttons are polished horn with recessed domes for the thread, something often seen on English bespoke suits.

Similar recessed dome buttons on a Kingsman Mr Porter suit.

The jacket has straight, lightly padded shoulders with roping at the sleeve head. Not at all a "natural shoulder", but not as built up as some other tailors on the Row. It has a nipped waist and flared skirt. The sleeves are also slightly flared at the end. Naturally, the armholes are cut high for more movement which probably helps in Harry's profession. Most off the peg suits have rather large and low armholes, but a smaller armhole is superior both in aesthetics and comfort. Overall, Nicholls' house cut looks like what many would associate with Savile Row, even if there is a lot of variation between its tailors in reality.

Medium grey whipcord suit and black pindot tie.

Harry's trousers are perhaps the most modern aspect of his suits. They have a medium-low rise, flat front, and are hemmed to a moderate break. There may be darts in front, but they are difficult to discern if so. Many bespoke tailors prefer to do this instead of a true flat front since they better curve over the hips. The legs are straight cut with narrow leg openings, but not fashionably skinny. In front there is an extended waistband with hook and eye closure which makes for a cleaner look than the typical button type. They are held up with slide buckle tabs instead of a belt. In back there are two welted button-through pockets and a split waistband. The latter expands when sitting, keeping the trousers more comfortable to wear.

A good view of trouser fit from the 1997 prologue. Most men were actually wearing full cut double pleated trousers at this time, whether or not they were made bespoke.

Harry wears a white Turnbull & Asser shirt with all his suits. It could be poplin or a fine twill. In the English tradition, it has a spread collar. According to Dan Stroupe, Bespoke Administrator at Turnbull & Asser New York, the shirts were made-to-measure rather than bespoke and the collar may be a modified version of their "Classic" collar. Perhaps due to the pace of production, budgetary constraints, and Colin Firth already being a customer, it would be more efficient and require less time to perfect his pattern. Closer-fitting “glamour” and looser-fitting “action” shirts were made for both Colin Firth and Taron Egerton. The double (French) cuff buttonholes are closer to the fold than on American or Italian shirts. This makes cuff links easier to see and reduces how much the edges flare out from inside the jacket sleeve. Darts help shape the waist in back. Unlike most off-the-peg slim fit shirts there are shoulder pleats, which lend some ease in aiming a gun. Finally, while not seen in the film, the narrow placket is sewn three-eighths of an inch from the edge, neatly dividing it into three portions about the width of the mother-of-pearl buttons. This is standard at T&A and some other English shirtmakers.

Of special note is that the shirt cuffs show a quarter to half-inch below the jacket sleeves. This has three benefits: Dressing the hand, giving visual continuity with the "V" of shirt above, and keeping the ends of the jacket sleeves from wearing faster. Since shirt cuffs are cheaper to replace than jacket sleeves, this makes a certain amount of sense. If your jacket sleeves are too long, altering them so they hit at the end of the wrist bone is one of the easiest little ways to look better dressed.

Shoulder pleats and darts visible in this behind-the-scenes video from Mr Porter.

A straight folded, white linen pocket square is worn in the breast pocket of every suit. Some may assume it was chosen to coordinate with the white shirts, but it's a wardrobe staple one can wear with a variety of shirt and suit colours. It is probably made by Drake's and has hand rolled edges just like the Mr Porter Kingsman pocket squares. Learn how to fold your pocket square through this tutorial on Bond Suits.

Surprisingly there are only two ties worn in the movie, both made by Drake's. They are knotted in a half-Windsor with the exception of a "full" Windsor in one scene. The most prominent is the club stripe tie of Kingsman Tailors which features two pale pink stripes framing a burgundy stripe on a dark blue ground. Mr Porter offered a silk grenadine version of this tie, but the actual film version is ribbed with satin stripes. They now offer a more screen-accurate tie. Magnoli Clothiers sells their own rendition for those interested, though the quality won't be as nice as Drake's. The stripes go in the British direction, from left shoulder to right hip. The other tie is black satin with white pindots. I originally thought it was dark navy, but behind the scenes documentaries reveal it is indeed black in outdoor lighting. The Mr Porter Kingsman ties measure three inches wide at the bottom, but the film versions look a little wider than that.

Glen Urquhart Check suit. His tie appears to be in a Windsor knot in this scene.

The cufflinks are rose gold plated ovals embossed with a crest of unknown origin and connected by a short chain. They are made by Deakin & Francis. Double sided cufflinks like these dress both sides of the cuff and appear more luxurious. Despite being harder to put on than the common hinge back design, the advantage is that they come out less easily throughout the day.

Unknown if this is specifically a Kingsman crest or one pertaining to Hart's family.

The eyeglasses, which in the movie are a combination heads-up display and body camera for spy purposes, are the acetate Cutler and Gross 0822 frames in tortoiseshell. The shape was created specifically for the movie. As with the Kingsman club tie, less expensive alternatives are available but may not be as luxurious or last as long.
"Oxfords, not brogues."
The shoes are black cap toe oxfords (balmorals) made by George Cleverley. Like most English shoes they have a sleeker shape, or last, and smaller sole profile compared to American brands such as Allen Edmonds or Alden. The toes have an elegant, rounded chisel shape. This looks timeless compared to the trendy, very angular or pointy chisel toes and definitely sleeker than American shoes with very rounded toes. The writers unfortunately made a gaffe in the script when Harry refers to oxfords as having "open lacing". Oxfords actually have closed lacing at the the throat, whereas derbies (bluchers) have it open. The right shoe contains a hidden blade coated with neurotoxin, activated by clicking one's heels together. Or, in the words of Harry, doing one's best impression of a German aristocrat. (Though it is best not to follow Eggsy's interpretation of that in polite society.) This is inspired by '60s spy movies and television shows with a similar gadget. According to Taron Egerton, the shoes were made bespoke for him and Colin Firth.

Not sure why he has brogues (which have oxford lacing) on display if he advises against them, or shoes that just so happen to fit Eggsy, or why only the cap toes have a hidden blade...

"A bespoke suit always fits."
Since Eggsy's two suits are nearly identical to Harry's, they are worth a brief mention. The most noticeable difference is that they fit closer to the body to accentuate his youthfulness and chiseled physique. The lapels are straighter, with less belly. The suits also fasten higher, creating a slightly smaller "V" of shirt and tie. Egerton is four inches shorter than Firth at five foot ten, so this was probably considered more flattering by Martin Nicholls or simply lends a more modern look to the next generation of Kingsman. It disproves the myth that only men over six foot can wear double breasted suits. With proper fit pretty much anyone can wear them.

"Looking good, Eggsy."

"Feeling good, Merlin."

His first suit is of the same navy chalk stripe as Harry's. The fabric dimples slightly below the sleeve head, indicating that the shoulder or upper sleeve is a bit tight for him. For whatever reason, the next suit is superior in fit since it does not do this. It is the same charcoal chalk stripe fabric as the suit Harry introduces himself in. Egerton may have gained more muscle mass after fitting for the first suit, explaining the problems. And despite Merlin's line, bespoke clothing actually requires multiple fittings and certainly much more lead time than the movie implies! (Though there's no reason Kingsman couldn't make a rush order for one of their most promising candidates.) The shirt is nearly identical except for the collar having a smaller spread, which may also be based on the "Classic" collar from T&A. Different face shapes demand different collar shapes. These suits are worn with the same accoutrements as Harry's, such as the striped tie and cuff links, though his eyeglasses have modern black instead of tortoise brown frames.

The second and final suit donned by Eggsy. Note the shirt collar has a smaller spread.

The other briefly-seen agents more or less wear the same style of suit but in plain navy worsted. Their suits are not quite as nice, but they are barely seen anyway. Percival (Roxy's sponsor) is noteworthy in that his suit has a ticket pocket. This could be a vestige of an early costume sketch for Harry which includes heavily slanted hacking pockets and a ticket pocket.

Promotional photo that captures the differences between their suits well.
"Jack" refers to Jack London, Harry Hart's equivalent in The Secret Service graphic novel.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the movie's costumes. If there is demand for it, I will write a bit more about the other characters' tailored clothing. A big thanks goes out to Matt Spaiser of The Suits of James Bond for inspiring this post and helping out a great deal on the details.

Screencaps taken by


  1. Good article. Do you know what socks are being worn? Thanks!

    1. I can't see the socks in enough detail so I didn't feel it worth commenting on. Probably ordinary cotton lisle, though they could certainly be wearing wool ribbed socks in the winter. I know that the socks at Kingsman x Mr Porter are made by Corgi, so they may very well be the same people who supplied them for the film. The colour looks black in the few shots I can see of Harry and Eggsy's, but I hope that is not the case as it would be a poor choice.

    2. Thank you for the quick reply. Why is black a poor choice? Just wondering.

    3. Black is uninspired. Most people, if they own only one pair of dress socks, own black. Worse yet, they might own several pairs of black thinking it's the only choice for black dress shoes. At work I advise my customers to choose socks that coordinate with their suit or trousers. So, charcoal suit with charcoal socks. The reason most are given is that it continues the leg visually when seated or walking, but I think the real reason is one of je ne sais quoi. Simply looks a lot better.

      You can get creative with socks if you're not in a conservative work environment, but they should coordinate to another part of your outfit like the tie or shirt. Failing that, at least a neutral that echoes something else. Cary Grant used to wear off-white dress socks which echoed his white shirts and avoided looking like white gym socks.

  2. Just to make sure. Roping is that little bit where the shoulder raises up at the end?

    1. Yes. A roped sleevehead. I'll link to a better description of the shoulder style for those confused by the terminology.

  3. The buttons don't look any different from the usual. What am I missing? Thanks for all the info btw.

    1. Most suit buttons come like this, flat with a lip on the edge.

  4. anything else that t&a shirts have thats different from american shirts

    1. This is a more complete description of how Turnbull & Asser, indeed many Jermyn Street shirts, differ from American shirts:

  5. Great post Jovan ! This movie needs to be the seen, at least for the classic British cloths. I am glad you covered it, since I it looked like Matt wasn't interested !
    Still, the tweed 3-piece of the beginning, the velvet smoking jacket and the full morning dress outfit deserve some pictures too, don't you think ?
    One note though : you mention the double vents to be the only correct choice for a double breasted suit. What about a ventless rear, my friend ?! The standard for double breasted from the 1930s to 1950s, and a personal favorite of mine...

    Keep on the great work !

    1. Hey, Le Chiffre, good to see you here. I didn't cover those outfits because it would add a lot of length to an already wordy and terminology-filled post. For which my friends and casual readers are probably already Googling like crazy. I may at a future date if there's enough demand.

      Ventless is not ideal except for on dinner jackets (and even then standards have relaxed a bit) because with a double breasted you generally keep it closed all day. Having no vents will restrict your movement more when sitting down and driving a car, also putting stress on the buttons and wrinkling your coat faster. And unlike on a single breasted jacket there isn't a single pivot point in the form of a top or middle button. You're fastening at least two buttons, one outside and one inside. (6x2 or six button, two to button refers to just the outside buttons, not the inner "jigger".) A single vent is inappropriate with double breasted coats since it looks out of place with the two rows of buttons in front. The standard for Savile Row used to be that you put double vents on double breasted, single vents on single breasted. It's only in the last half century or so that they've put double vents on single breasted jackets, perhaps caving to customer demands. Yet now it is the English standard for suits, go figure! I realize ventless was the fashion of the time period you like, but bespoke tailors were still putting vents on coats. The 1930s got a lot of things right, clothing wise, but a lot of other things I now feel are dated for a reason.

    2. Jovan,

      Nice, complete reply. I agree with you that on a practical point of view, a ventless rear will wear out faster and isn't really practical for lots of everyday things. However, I think its formality is appropriate with a double-breasted suit, which is more formal than a single breasted one -because, as you wisely pointed it out, you have to keep the jacket closed at all time. After all, it is admitted that the ventless rear is the more formal option, thus it's now often only available on ready-to-wear dinner suits or strollers.

      You said : ' bespoke tailors were still putting vents on coats' on the period I mention, ie from the 1930s to the 1950s. I presume you were talking of single-breasted coats only. Being a big cinema enthusiast of movies of that time, when very often people wore their own clothes onscreen, I can assure you that the single vent made, well, rare apparitions on single breasted coats (often for hacking jackets and sport coats, more than the common suit jackets) in these decades, but really that wasn't the norm. Double vents, never. And double breasted suit jackets started to have double vents more in the 1960s. I have never seen a DB suit with double vents in a movie (or in photographs stills) of that period, only ventless ones. But I am very interested if you have some link, movie or any example to prove me wrong ! ;)

      It's very nice to chat with you, as usual !

      Cheers from France,

      Le Chiffre

    3. Well I don't think double breasted jackets are more formal, just different. In fact, double breasted dinner jackets were considered less so when they first debuted and still are by many authorities.

      As for their appearance in movies, I don't think it's an entirely reliable resource since a lot of actors were also having their clothes bought or made with the fashions of the day in mind. Some things never really change.

  6. Replies
    1. It is. A great little homage to spy films. Seeing the clothes in motion is worth watching at least once, however.

  7. Hi Jovan!

    Very nice article. I didn't realize you've written it until about a few days ago. I enjoyed the movie very much and as you say, it is a great homage to spy films.
    I really like the shoulders on these suits. Lightly padded with some roping, which is my preference as well. It looks neat and can easily look good on most men.
    The lapels are also of classic width, rather than the skinny lapels we are seeing these days. Jovan, can you elaborate a little bit more about the lapel. What do you mean by the lapel's "belly"?

    My favorite suit in this film is actually the tweed suit worn by Lancelot in the opening sequence. I think it's a three piece with a checked shirt (tattersall?) and green knit tie. Do you think you'll be covering that suit as well?

    By the way, I just saw The Man from UNCLE a few days ago in the theaters here. Have you seen it? The plot is so-so but I think the outfits are great. I think it shows how a well fitting suit can enhance a very muscular man.

    1. Thank you! Belly is the curve on the lapel. I might cover some more tailored clothing in the movie later. Haven't seen that movie, but heard it is fun.

  8. Do you know who makes the fabric for the suit and possibly, the bunch number?

    1. Which suit? There are five here. I'm sorry to say that I do not know in any case. You'd have to reach out to Martin Nicholls and see if they have a record. But my bet is they're all English fabrics. So anyone from Holland & Sherry to Huddersfield Fine Worsteds could have made them. I'd be surprised if you couldn't get a close match at any Savile Row tailor just by showing good screenshots.

    2. Sorry for not being specific but Colin Firth's double breasted chalk stripe is the SUIT here. After a little work I was able to establish that it was made with a Dormeuil flannel, charcoal grey with a red chalk stripe and thinner light grey stripe. The Dormeuil bunch number was 405014. The fabric is now sold out and no longer produced.

      This information came from Dormeuil themselves who were kind enough to reply to my enquiry.

    3. Excellent! Good to know. Technically there are two chalk stripe suits here including the navy twill. I'll update my article to reflect the information you obtained. Thanks for that.


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