The Tenet Trailer Is Full Of Proper Action Film Suits For Proper Action Film Jobs

Bond likes to showboat, but the low-key players of Christopher Nolan's new film dress for the job at hand.

Drop tailoring into an action blockbuster and it's hard not to draw the James Bond comparisons. He was patient zero of impractical officewear, given that he spends more time shooting henchman en masse than he does filling in the inevitable workplace disciplinary forms at his desk. Dress for the job you want, and all that. So, when the trailer for Christopher Nolan's much-anticipated mystifier Tenet arrived, we saw many suits + explosions + bumbling British barbs from Robert Pattinson, and assumed we were in Bond territory. But Tenet is no 007-alike. Nor are its suits.

For while John David Washington and co dress smart for the arduous task of saving the world from the actions of a future world that is, actually, the same world (you can't make it easy, can you, Nolan?), they also dress for the task at hand. This business involves all sorts of occupational hazards. And, since hi-vis and safety goggles aren't so unassuming (or cool), that means Tenet's outfitters have to hit a happy medium between chic and practical.

Which, in this instance, means tailoring with utilitarian touches. Washington's choice of a chore jacket-esque blazer is structured, but accommodating. You can blend in in the boardroom, but also elbow a would-be assassin without testing the seams. Look also to the pockets. Big, wide and with lots of room for all the usual detritus of embattled CIA officers, or whatever shadowy organization young John belongs to (details still remain light): your house keys, your guns, your ciggies and so on and so forth. Lest we forget the omission of a tie, too: as perhaps the biggest hazard in a career like this, one gust of wind can result in a flapping piece of fabric, a scream, and the realization you've just shot your colleague in the head by mistake. Best to lose it entirely.


Robert Pattinson appears, too, dredging up those Harrodian School vowels. But rather than settle for the stuffy garb of a Sotheby's auctioneer, the High Life star goes a little slouchy and oversized – a very en vogue move for a character that opts for Rada thesp scarves – hinting at the practicality of his job. These people need to move freely and retain the polish of serious action heroes past.

They also need to look good. And, in an age when the suit is suspended in a constant state of flux, the good folks of Tenet's costume department have neatly and subtly tied several threads together in some very handsome tailoring. Granted, we won't get to see the finished product until, well, who knows really. But as you inevitably shriek "Wowee, I didn't see that coming!" upon the film's close, take a moment to applaud the tailoring, too.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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