This is going to be long review. So I’m going to skip my usually pithy introductions and get right to it. Today we’re taking a close look at the ROYALE Filmwear Morocco Linen Blazer. How does Daniel Love’s latest creation compare the jacket we all saw Daniel Craig’s Bond wearing in the Morocco scenes in SPECTRE? Does the $139.00 price tag offer good value for money? And, perhaps most importantly, will it give us the look we want? Read on to find out!
About the James Bond SPECTRE Blazer
As most fans know, Bond’s blazer was from Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli. There are three important things to note about the screen used jacket. First, the fabric was a blend of 51% wool, 41% linen and 8% silk and had a slightly slubby texture. Second, the style is very contemporary, with a shorter overall length, a soft construction with a minimal butterfly lining and almost no padding in the shoulders. And third, even on the original jacket, the color is extremely difficult to nail down. It really does shift from a lighter brown to a darker, redder brown depending on the lighting.
Probably the best example of how the color of the jacket can shift under different lighting conditions can be seen in this thread on the Bond fan forum AJB007. Forum members DBS and The Bond Vivant shared photos of their Cucinelli blazers that show the details of the jacket and the impact of lighting on that particular shade of brown. David Zartisky of The Bond Experience also has a great video where he reviews the entire screen accurate SPECTRE Morocco desert look, including an in-depth analysis of the blazer.
There are plenty of other small details on the Brunello Cucinelli blazer that set it apart from your typical off-the-rack linen jacket. But we’ll get to those down below.
The ROYALE Filmwear Morocco Linen Blazer
I’m going organize this review a little differently than I normally do, and begin with the details and construction of the ROYALE Filmwear Morocco Linen Blazer. But to start, I need to point out that, unless otherwise noted, all the photos used in this post are of the blazer after I dyed it to adjust the color. I’ll cover that particular topic a little later on in the review.
If there’s one thing I can say about Daniel Love, the owner of ROYALE Filmwear, it’s this: the man is a stickler for details. He devotes himself to getting the pieces he produces as close to screen accurate as possible. And based on the videos and photos I’ve seen of the actual Brunello Cucinelli jacket, he’s come pretty close with the Morocco Linen Blazer. With one very important caveat.
One of the key details on the original jacket was the shape of the lapels and the pick stitching down the edges. As you can see in the image above, Daniel has nailed the stitching and the general lapel style, although the angle of the seam where the lapel attaches to the collar isn’t quite right. However, the keyhole shape of the lapel buttonhole is spot-on (and yes, there is a matching button under the right lapel). And he’s even managed to capture some of the Spalla Camicia (that slight pleating or shirring) at the shoulder. Nice touch!
Daniel has used the same 3-roll-2 button configuration of the original and the button holes have the correct angled positioning. The flapped hip pockets are also slanted, with the screen accurate pick stitching around the edges. As for the cuffs, usually having functioning cuff buttons on a ready-to-wear jacket is a big “no no” for me, since it makes shortening the sleeves a massive pain. But Daniel has done something very smart. He’s added an additional inch of fabric below the bottom cuff button. This means the sleeves can easily be shortened by about an inch while still maintaining the correct aesthetics at the cuff. Seriously, more brands should do this!
Inside, the ROYALE Filmwear blazer does an equally good job capturing the details. It has a partial butterfly lining across the back, the internal pockets have the white trim and there’s even the correct red trimmed pen pocket on the inside left. All in all, Daniel has done a great job of replicating the big features and small touches that made the original Brunello Cucinelli such a special jacket.
Fabric and Construction
As I mentioned above, the Brunello Cucinelli jacket fabric was a blend of wool, linen and silk. ROYALE Filmwear has gone with a 100% linen fabric in a tighter weave that does a good job of replicating the slightly slubby texture of the original. But I have to note that you can expect a LOT more wrinkling with 100% linen than you would get with a blend of wool and linen.
The jacket does have light padding in the shoulders. However it still feels very natural when you’re wearing it. Most of the stitching is clean and neatly finished, although I did notice that the pick stitching along the front placket was off in a few places. And I am scratching my head over why Daniel decided to use a lighter colored thread for the button holes when it was a darker brown thread on the original jacket. The extra contrast around the button holes doesn’t look bad at all. But it seems like it would have been an easy thing to make screen accurate.
Perhaps the biggest difference is inside the jacket. Daniel has decided to face the interior front in the linen fabric, basically creating a double layer of material. Personally, I’m not too bothered by this. It allows the finishing to look much cleaner, especially around the interior pockets and when you’re wearing the jacket unbuttoned. And since the back of the jacket uses a minimal butterfly lining to add breathability, I don’t expect to be overheating in it on a warm summer day.
Sizing and Fit
Two big things to discuss here. First is the jacket design. As I noted above, this is very much a Neopolitan inspired style, with a short length, trimmer fit and soft construction. That’s not going to be to everyone’s liking, especially if you prefer more structured tailoring.
The jacket is definitely a small fit. For reference, I’m 5’9″ tall, 175lbs with a 43″ actual chest measurement. I’m usually a size medium in most brands (J.Crew, GAP, Barbour), but I sometimes have to go with a large in slimmer fitting European brands like Massimo Dutti and Mango. After consulting with Daniel, I decided to go with a size Large in the Morocco Linen Blazer
For me, the fit through the shoulders and body was pretty darn good right out the box. Buttoned up, the jacket felt comfortable through the chest and around the armscyes, trim but not restrictive or binding in any way. And because I’m not exactly the tallest guy in the room, the cropped length wasn’t really an issue. Sure, a nip and tuck here or there would really dial in the fit. But for Daniel’s first attempt at a truly tailored piece, I’m very impressed with what he’s delivered off-the-rack.
However, the sleeves are very long. I usually like my jacket cuffs to hit right at the top of the wrist bone. But I would need to shorten the sleeves by about 2 inches to get that. Even taking advantage of the aforementioned extra fabric below the bottom cuff button wouldn’t get me the length I need. Since this is a casual jacket, I’ll settle for the sleeves being slightly longer than ideal. But it is something those of you with a shorter arm length need to take into consideration.
Choosing your size
When choosing your size, I’d strongly recommend measuring a sport coat or blazer you know fits you well and comparing those numbers to the size chart on the ROYALE Filmwear product page. Based on the jacket I received, the measurements on the size chart are very accurate. And if you have further questions, Daniel offers amazing customer service. Reach out to him and I’m sure he’ll be happy to help.
So, about that color …
There’s no gentle way to say this: the color of the ROYALE Filmwear Morocco Linen Blazer is a miss. It’s a near miss. But it’s still a miss. The shade of brown has a pinkish hue to it, especially in natural light, that just throws off the look.
The sad thing is I know how much care and attention Daniel put into this particular jacket project. And he got so much right in the design, fit and details, that it’s almost heartbreaking that things got tripped up in the end by that tricky shade of brown. Is there anything we can do to fix it? Thankfully, yes. But it also forces us to ask the question: do you really want to pay $189.00 for a jacket that you need to dye?
Update: The Morocco Linen Jacket is now on sale for $139.00. At that price I’d be much more willing to go through the effort of re-dyeing the jacket since ROYALE Filmwear did such a solid job with the design and construction.
If you’ve been visiting Iconic Alternatives for a while, you know I’m a big fan of Daniel Love’s work at ROYALE Filmwear. He invests an enormous amount of time and energy to deliver the best products he can for his fellow Bond fans at a price that’s more than reasonable. And 9 times out of 10, Daniel nails it.
There are a lot of great things to say about the Morocco Linen Blazer. The fabric is very nice with a good hand, the fit is great out of the box, and the general styling and details are a solid match for what we saw on screen. Also, for the record, we are comparing a $189.00 sport coat to a luxury jacket that originally retailed for north of three grand. To expect the ROYALE Filmwear Morocco Blazer to deliver the same level of quality in the fabric and construction is simply not realistic. Having said that, Daniel has produced a very well made piece.
But this is one of the very few times when Daniel’s efforts have fallen short. And it all comes down to that color. The overly warm, almost pinkish, hue of brown just doesn’t work.
Now, the good news. There are ways to correct that flaw in the color, which I’ll get into below. But it will require some effort (and a willingness to take a bit of a risk) on your part. If you’re not worried about rolling up your sleeves and getting your jacket wet, then I can definitely recommend the ROYALE Filmwear Morocco Blazer.
However, if you’re not inclined to experiment with dye baths, then I would sadly have to recommend giving this one a pass. Those of us who know Daniel (and his previous work) understand that he’s never satisfied until he gets a jacket just right. Waiting for a version 2 of the Morocco Linen Blazer, should it ever appear, may be the wiser strategy.
How to adjust the color of the Morocco Linen Blazer
Daniel from ROYALE Filmwear has already provided his method for “shifting” the tone of the fabric in this detailed post on AJB007. However, I decided to try a slightly different method. Here’s how I adjusted the color of my Morocco Blazer and neutralized some of that pink tone.
What You’ll Need
- Rit Dark Brown Liquid Dye
- 1 teaspoon measuring spoon
- Measuring Cup
- Large Plastic Container
- Rubber Gloves
- Stir Stick
- Liquid Fabric Softener (optional)
- Broad shoulder wooden or plastic coat hanger
Bring water to a boil in a kettle or pot. Add 2 cups of boiling water to the measuring cup. Add 4 teaspoons of Rit Dark Brown Liquid Dye to the 2 cups of boiling water and stir until the dye is completely dissolved.
Add 3.5 gallons (just over 13 liters) of cold water to the large plastic container. Add the 2 cups of dye mixture to the cold water and stir thoroughly until the dye is completely mixed in. Just a heads up: when the dye is mixed in, the water in the container is going to look very dark brown (like a strong cup of coffee). At this point, you can also add 3 or 4 teaspoons of liquid fabric softening to the dye bath and stir it in. I often find that dying fabrics can cause them to develop a stiffer hand when they dry. The fabric softener helps to mitigate that.
Run your Morocco Linen Blazer under clean cold water until the fabric is completely wet. I would strongly recommend you do not put a dry blazer in the dye bath! Wetting the blazer before submerging it in the dye bath will help the fabric absorb the dye evenly so you get a uniform color throughout when it dries.
The moment of truth! Put on your rubber gloves and submerge the wet blazer in the dye bath. Mix it around, turning it over in the bath, gently squeezing it so the dye water penetrates the fabric. I kept my blazer in the dye bath for 30 minutes, agitating it and squeezing it every two or three minutes. Do not just submerge the blazer and leave it! You really have to keep it moving around and squeezing the dye water through the fabric if you want a uniform color at the end.
After 30 minutes, remove the blazer from the dye bath and rinse it under cold clear water. You’ll need to gently squeeze the blazer while it’s under the running water to remove all the excess dye. It took me about 15 minutes of doing this before the water coming out the blazer was clear.
Once you’ve rinsed out all the excess dye from the fabric, put the blazer on a wide shoulder wooden or plastic hanger and hang it in a shady spot. When I hung my blazer, I also tried to remove as many wrinkles as I could and adjusted the front placket, cuffs and rear vent so that they would dry in the correct shape. Leave it to air dry until the fabric is almost completely dry but still just a little damp. It took about 4 hours hanging outside in the shade for my blazer to reach this point.
When the blazer is almost dry, but still a little damp, gently iron it to remove the wrinkles.
As you can from the photos below taking in typical indoor lighting, the dyeing process really helped to neutralize the original “pink” tone of the fabric. But it didn’t make the color significantly darker. And the brown is still a good match for that elusive “Bond in the desert” shade we all want.
In natural light, the darkening of the fabric is even less noticeable. But that “pink” hue in the brown has definitely been reduced while keeping some of the warmth of the color.
And how does the color of the post-dye ROYALE Filmwear Blazer stack up against the original Brunello Cucinelli? Pretty good, I think! Here’s a comparison using a photo of a screen accurate blazer provided by AJB007 forum member DBS.
So that’s my dyeing process. I am very happy with the results and feel it makes the Morocco Blazer closer to the intended color and much more wearable.
The ROYALE Filmwear Morocco Linen Blazer is available on their website for
$189.00. Update: ROYALE Filmwear has now priced the jacket at $139.00. The author was provided with a jacket free of charge for this review. You can see more of product reviews, including past ROYALE Filmwear pieces, over here.