Tag Archives: costume design

Lee: the Good, the Bad and the Wet: Part two

Hello from Learjet wave. Welcome to part two of the Lee’s best and worst clothing moments. Grab those helmets, ladies – the worst is over and it’s all swooning from here faint . We’ll be looking at Lee’s smarter outfits (including a few tux shots) and Lee’s best casual moments .
First, the smart outfits – favourite tux moments, and smart suits.
Smart Lee
This moment cannot be avoided: the first tux, the show pony, at the top of the stairs drool1 . A classic moment in television (The First Time).

I’m a big fan of men in long coats, and can’t resist this outfit (I Am Not Now, Nor Have I Ever Been a Spy). And the red ties really sets off the dark coat and grey jacket. And, for season one, his hair is looking good. Yum spin .

S1E13_coat_tie_smart_close_Lee S1E13_coat_tie_smart_Lee
I have a particular weakness in for Lee in a three-piece suit (or almost any man in a three-piece suit) and he wore a couple in the latter part of season one. In Spiderweb and Saviour he brings them out – not my favourite shirts or hairstyle, but I’ll forgive these because of the suits (Jestress, he looks like  a presidential candidate? I think maybe the tie is too dark a blue) :
S1E16_three_piece_suit_Lee S1E18_Three_piece_suit_Lee
Another standout tux moment from The Times They Are a Changin’: I think it’s the haircut that makes this moment. And his expression. Considering Amanda is dressed like a Dalmatian (or the Milka cow wink), I surprised he looks so pleasantly intense, and not horrified.

S2E2_formal_tux_Lee  S2E2_formal_Dalmatian_Amanda
Another tux moment from Affair at Bromfield Hall. Lee with the knight’s armour and weapons. Very atmospheric. Plus good hair and the discreet red handkerchief.S2E8_Tux_with_suitofarmour_Lee
And what I like to think of as Lee’s “wedding suit” outfit in the same episode. Does anyone else think the tie and shirt combo screams “wedding”?
And finally, the “real” cover wedding outfit from Ship of Spies. For those who like cream jackets. Not my thing. Note the much debated red rose. (Why? Did he not smell it because it wasn’t crushed? Because he was too nervous about “getting married” to notice the smell?). Also the pearl-style buttons.  And the excessive use of guyliner. Too girly for my taste.
So what’s your favourite smart Lee?


Casual Lee
On to casual Lee. Our first good casual Lee viewing was in A Long Christmas Eve. In spite of his widely known dislike of the festive session, Lee is dressed in a season-appropriate green shirt under his cream jumper and lined casual jacket. This goes nicely with Amanda’s red plaid shirt… S1E10_casual_Lee
…and the Christmassy theme
(Big thanks to KC, who I ‘commissioned’ to add some festive touches to this image. KC, you’re a pal thumbsup)

More plaid in Lost and Found.
S1E12_blackplaid_jeans_Lee The jacket would have been better if he hadn’t folded back the jacket sleeves.




 And his cockatoo style hair is a bit distracting. (FYI, that’s Lee above, and the cockatoo below).
Add Eva to the equation and it’s not an SMK moment I want to dwell on.


Next we have Lee in my favourite polo neckS1E18_good_casual_Lee  (Filming Raul) – black with a dark jacket.



Why didn’t he wear black trousers instead of those brown pleated one. Anyway, a perfect outfit for “the car scene”
blush .S1E18_good_casual_withtrousers_Lee
And now on two of the best Lee outfits – actually they might be the same as they’re from the two European episodes (The Legend of Das Geisterschloss and Our Man in Tegernsee).S2E4_casual_Lee The hair….the blue shirt…the hair…the central European scenery…the hair. Who cares which jacket he’s carrying. He just looks fabulous.



S2E7_casual_with_scenery_Lee That touch of coral cushions is just a masterful contrast to the blue.
And another one, for your viewing pleasure: S2E7_casual_with_scenery2_Lee
A similar look from The Three Faces of Emily. S2E11_casual_Lee Even without the European backdrop, Lee is still looking very fetching in the open neck blue shirt and different jacket. Even with a bit of fake KGB interrogation suite behind him. The hair is just a touch longer but I  won’t quibble.

It’s official: Learjet has thing for Lee in open neck shirt and jacket (no not that type of “thing”). S2E12_open_neck_Lee Here he is again, eating with Amanda and the unusual selection of shipmates on the wedding cruise (Ship of Spies). A bit preppy for my taste (the stripe colours) though.


A personal favourite here from A Little Sex, a Little Scandal. I know I said I’m not wild about Lee in brown but this great jacket is an exception.S2E14_casual_Lee It looks real, not plastic. I love the plaid shirt, especially with the jacket. Do people usually wear jackets like this inside their apartments? I’d only wear a jacket inside if there was no heating. I’d wear a jumper inside though. But I digress. Lee. Looks. Great. Can you believe he did this for (hideously overdressed, overdone) Randy. Especially when he only got a not-defrosted-in-time cake.

 clip_image041Why doesn’t he prefer Amanda with her great mother-of-the-year cake? (I know why: it’s because she has a hair don’t and is wearing a truly ghastly pair of pale pink ear buttons).

Lastly, just to show that I sometimes allow sandy/beigeS2E23_casual_closer_Lee jackets, we have this open neck (!) shirt with jacket ensemble from Vigilante Mothers,




S2E23_casual_Leeand the “protective Lee” pose as the car explodes. Try to block out the ear buttons – at least the hair is a bit longer here.
Who is the most attractive casual Lee?

Which Lee would you like to go to dinner with? Join in and comment away!

Amanda’s Apparel Part Two: The Informal Collection

Welcome back to our exploration of Amanda’s outfits in seasons one and two. In this post, we leave behind our fantasies of accompanying Lee in a tux to an embassy party, looking as good as Amanda in one of her evening gowns, and focus on the less formal wear. Fortunately, even Amanda can
make some bad fashion choices
cow . The hair don’t will be touched on (mercifully) briefly as well.

IMO, Amanda spend a lot of time in OK but not great non-formal outfits (unlike Francine and Lee who can look spectacularly bad or amazingly good), so this is a very subjective selection according to Learjet (because I can smile) . Amanda does seem to favour pink so we’ll start there.

Let’s face it, Amanda looks fabulous in a pair of jeans. You may not like the high waistline (v. eighties) but, unlike some of the shapeless sacks she wears, they make the most of her slim figure. Some might say that Lee could learn a thing about snug jeans from Amanda. S1E10_casualjeans_Amanda

Moving on before I descend so far into the gutter that I can’t climb out later, I love this pale pink blouse (not too fussy) with jeans in (The Long Christmas Eve).

S1E19_casual_toponly_Amanda And I think it reappears (when the mystery book appears) in Fearless Dotty.



Amanda may look very awkward here (or maybe she’s overwhelmed by the sight of Lee in his black polo neckThe Artful Dodger) S1E17_casual_good_Amanda

but Amanda looks sweet (sorry, couldn’t resist it)  in this candy striped jumper.


S1E20_casual_AmandaBefore Amanda got whisked away to the Cumberland (Weekend), she was looking good in this black and white plaid shirt. The dreaded high-waisted jeans are in evidence, but when you consider what other people were wearing in the 80s….(pauses to gag yuck ).  

 clip_image014Yes, she could have been wearing these….



S2E2_casual_bluescarf_Amanda This is possibly may time favourite Amanda casual look (yes, ladies, Lee wasn’t the only person to look good in Europe – The Times they are a Changin’). The colours are just lovely on her especially that graduated blue scarf. And she hasn’t folded her jacket sleeves higher than her blouse.

S2E3_good_casual_aqua_AmandaA tad shapeless – yes – but gorgeous light aquamarine colour makes up for that (Double Agent)



My favourite fluffy jumper (The Legend of Das Geisterschloss). Soft enough to show some of Amanda’s great figure and not too fluffy. I won’t say I love it though.


S2E9_good_jacket_Amanda Yup, I love red. And I love it when Amanda makes a colour statement instead of sticking with pastels: A Class Act – pity about the rest of the episode.


Professional Amanda
S1E19_casual_Amanda I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that often Amanda looks better at home than when she changes into her “work” clothes.  Especially those granny white heelsshudder . She looks nice (I won’t go further than that) in this creamy suit in the Bullpen (Fearless Dotty).

S1E13_smart_AmandaShe kind of looks like Lee’s twin in this outfit while she waits for her Chili Dog (I am Not Now Nor Will I Ever Be a Spy) Like the colours; not so sure about the suit-matching handkerchief (à la Lee in a tux) but I like the red. She does look like she has a party hat on the right side of her head though spin .

And back to Europe (To Catch a Mongoose). She wears this outfit a few times. One of the rare occasions that we see Amanda in navy. I would prefer something a little more tailored but it’s very tasteful for the time…

S2E1_good_casual_Amanda S2E1_good_casual_close-up_Amanda

S2E13_casual_Amanda My favourite “business” outfit of Amanda’s (Spiderweb) the coral/salmon looks great on Amanda especially with the cream textured scarf. Pity about the visitor’s badge sad


S2E15_good_coat_Amanda This is a great full length coat (A Relative Situation) which Amanda wears to meet “the Colonel” as Lee’s “girlfriend”. Being of a practical turn of mind, I find myself wondering how she kept a creamy, white coat like that clean in a house with two rumbustious young boys (but, when it comes to Amanda’s evening wear, SMK requires suspension of disbelief.)

S2E23_good_colour_Amanda Finally, a moment to try to find a silver lining about the hair don’t (Vigilante Mothers).

1) Her hair is growing out.

2) The ear-buttons are discreet and less button-like.

S2E23_good_colour_full_Amanda3) The white heels are largely hidden by the lectern

4) The gilet isn’t fluffy.

5) That green is a good colour.

Five reasons why this outfit isn’t too bad.

And on with Amanda’s less tasteful, but more memorable, fashion moments
The head

S1E6_Amandaband  One of our first sightings of the dreaded Amanda Band  is when Princess Penny visits Amanda and Dotty for tea.Princess Penny is such a lady that she maintains her polite smile despite this snake-like accessory:

This is a – um – good example of why the Amanda Band should never have passed editing (Remembrance of Things Past). It has the additional (dubious) merit of showcasing a personal bugbear of mine – the polo neck with the blouse (or jacket) folded shorter than the blouse. The fact that I have a bit of a weakness for gingham blush doesn’t overcome my dislike of this nonsemble. S1E11_worst_Amanda 

S1E13_Amanda_band And a similar band, but at least the pink top not a chargeable offence (I Am Not Now, Nor Have I Ever Been a Spy).


 And the red one (The Three Faces of Emily) S2E11_Amanda_casual_horror
S1E14_Black_hippy_formal_Amanda with the formal black one (Dead Ringer). It’s not a look that grows on me.



And a late addition to the collection: it’s a purple one. For some reason, this one doesn’t bother me as much. Must be the matching eye shadow  and topwink

Next in “the head” we have (brace yourselves, SMK fans) that double whammy that hit us late in the second season: the hair don’t and the ear-buttons. S2E14_worst2_red_Amanda It appears that KJ had a holiday in the sun before this was filmed (or the make-up artist went a bit heavy on the bronzer!). S2E14_worst_close_Amanda



Two examples of this double disaster from A Little Sex, a Little Scandal.

S2E14_hairdont_Rita Evidently it was a popular look at the time (Rita, the baddie from the same episode shared the style)



The body
Now on to the garments that went wrong:
Firstly: the fluffy granny cardigan. A prime example of fluffiness – with the added crime of being a mishmash of nondescript colours – is on display in Car Wars .S2E18_granny_cardi_Amanda S2E18_granny_cardi_sad_Amanda
Another example (Murder Between Friends)S2E22_bad_cardigan_Amanda – a bit of cable knitting on display and another yucky “colour”.




S2E11_largelapels_AmandaSome oversized 80’s lapels were on display in The Three Faces of Emily.




  Then two examples of the oversized warm jacket which makes a moderately busted woman look flat-chested. First one from DOA – the over supply of powder doesn’t help the jacket.
S2E19_flour_hairdresser_same_Amanda S2E19_flour_hairdresser_Amanda
And the white one, with the pale but enormous ear-buttons (You Only Die Twice) .
S2E20_bad_jacket_Amanda S2E20_bad_jacket_with_trousers_Amanda
Next is Amanda’s answer to Lee’s strange necklined cream shirts from season one – and it’s quilted (shudder)S2E20_funny_collar_Amanda S2E20_funny_collar_full_length_Amanda
IMO, Francine’s season three example will always win the woman’s tasteless tie competition, but this early example from Amanda is made worse because it’s cream.so…you don’t realise she’s wearing it…and then….it hits you (Burn Out and Vigilante Mothers).
S2E21_the_tie_Amanda S2E23_tie_again_Amanda

S2E22_horror_blouse_Amanda The sight of this shoulder-padded monstrosity from Murder Between Friends drew this (blunt) comment comment from Minijet number two: “She looks disgusting in that”. She also wore it S2E14_worst_close_Amandaunder this overlarge jacket (with matchy-matchy ear-buttons) in A Little Sex, A little Scandal.



The last bad jacket is from Vigilante Mothers qualifies as awful on several counts: S2E23_blue_jacket_Amanda the shoulder pads and puffed sleeves (they may have worked for Anne Shirley, but they don’t do it for me), the strangely rolled cuffs, the pale blue colour/bronzer clash. Fortunately, Lee probably couldn’t see her very well, and was probably more worried about his sprinkler system than her jacket.

Amanda’s fashion felonies tend to be repeat offences. I invite you to vote on your particular unfavourite:

Do you like Amanda’s casual outfits? Do you think she looks good in pastels? Or do you think she should wear darker colours? Do tell….!


Amanda’s Apparel -Part One: The Formal Collection

Welcome to Amanda’s Apparel welcome These posts will concentrate on Amanda’s fashion choices. When I think of Amanda’s clothing, what stands out for me are her evening garments, and a certain hairstyle change (with accompanying unfortunate ear accessories) near the end of season two. So we’ll focus in the first post on Amanda’s formal outfits and move onto best (and unfortunate) moments in the next post.

The formal wear: it seems that Amanda only wore three colours when she was attending a party or dating a baddie in seasons one and two. Occasionally, she added a bit of silvery sparkle to line things up. I think some of her outfits are stunning, and others are desperately boring.

Amanda’s first foray into formal wear was to a party
S1E6_formal_black_Amanda hosted by Princess Penny and husband in Always Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth.

   S1E6_formal_black_hairstyle_Amanda She looks lovely especially with her hair up. I wouldn’t normally go the rose hair decoration, but it looks great here.


It’s hard to see if this is the same dress in Service   S1E7_formal_black_side_AmandaAbove and Beyond.It’s either the same, or Amanda’s added a few sequins to the bodice to “rejuvenate” it. (It’s tough being divorced housewife with a mortgage and two kids, and only a few designer evening gowns in your wardrobe wink  )

A bit of a departure here for AmandaS1E14_Black_hippy_formal_Amanda with this fringed black bag, compounded by a black Amanda band  (Dead Ringer).




 When your figure is this good, don’t cover it in a bag. (On the left is Amanda in her bag, on the right is Michael Weston from Burn Notice in his bag; she chose to wear it; he didn’t)

S1E14_Black_hippy_back_formal_Amanda  Head bag from Hot Spot BNS2E11
And another recycled outfit (The Mole and The Affair S1E15_black_sparkly_formal_Amanda  at Bromfield Hall). Much better.       S2E8_black_withsilver_formal_Amanda

Even with the (IMO) overdetailed sparkly bits in silver. Love the updo.



 And in the running as the worst formal outfit of theS2E16_formal_Amanda entire series: I present: this black dress covered by a fish-scale inspired jacket (Life of the Party). Plus there is the hair don’t. And ear-buttons which set off the scale jacket. Even more frightening is the fact that KJ wore this to the Golden Globe Awards in 1985 (See Iswod’s research at Neds)

Charlies Angels scale outfit



 The only consolation is that this is toned down in comparison to the Charlies Angels scale look.

With a couple of exceptions, I’m not wild about Amanda in white – formal or otherwise. This first example is just hideously fussy
yuck (Service Above and Beyond). S1E7_formal_whitetop_Amanda With her fine features, Amanda should never be wearing this, no matter what the computer says Jim Delano would like Victoria Greenwich to be wearing. Even her hair is OTT (literally!)  here.


And the next jacket is a little bit dull. S1E17_formal_whiteshimmerytop_Amanda  Amanda, in her early 30s at this point, is not yet at the black trousers, white vest and sparkly overtop stage (The Artful Dodger and Weekend).




I don’t even think I, who am, sadly, well beyond my early 30s, would go to the Cumberland in that outfit.

And two more granny white outfits S1E21_milk_Amanda – Waiting for Godorsky (even her drink matches her outfit – very wholesome)

S2E1_white_formal_Amanda  and another one in the casino (To Catch a Mongoose) sigh

Next is my favourite formal outfit of the entire series and the major exception to the “white is boring” rule: the one I’d love to own; the one I wish I’d look like Amanda (The Three Faces of Emily). The fit, Lee,  the beading, Lee, the asymmetrical feather, LeeIs there anyone out there who doesn’t want to be Amanda in this scene?



Next up: Ship of Spies – we have the dress for hanging from the lifeboat outfit – S2E12_white_boat_hanging_formal_Amanda which, as Iwsod points out, is basically the white version of the black dress in Always Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth. Yawn, it looks better in black.


S2E12_white_boat_hanging_formal_full_Amanda But Amanda’s scapular stabilisers look like they’re in good nick .


And who could forget possibly the most famous “formal” outfit – the San Angelo cover wedding dress. Amanda chose a fairly typical design for the mid-eighties. In fact she got the idea from my Barbie doll, Isabel’s wedding dress from 1983. Unfortunately, my kids cut if up (!!) last year so I can’t show you a picture of it.

S2E12_wedding_Amanda  S2E12_wedding_side_Amanda

The final white outfit is from the dream sequence, modelled on Casablanca, from DOA. S2E19_whitesuit_formal_Amanda Although Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) wore a few suits in Casablanca, I think this outfit’s sparklies are more ‘80s than ‘40s.




Lee the chauffeur may have thought she looked fabulous in this outfit (SAAB) but for me – it’s another bag. With a set of furs that give me the creeps.

S1E7_formalblue_full_length_Amanda     S1E7_formalblue_withfur_Amanda

Not sure what that hair accessory is (a bow? a clip?) but I love this dress from Dead Ringer S1E14_blue_open_formal_Amanda . The daring back is fun and I like the colour.S1E14_blue_open_close_formal_Amanda Not like the usual royal blue – more a French navy.




This is the only time when Amanda takes a leaf out of Francine’s book and get her inspiration from an animal – this case, the Dalmatian (The Affair of Bromfield Hall). Hang on a second – didn’t Francine lend her this outfit?

S2E2_formal_Dalmatian_Amanda       S2E2_formal_Dalmatian_bin_Amanda

Vote now for your favourite!!


So what’s your favourite Amanda look? Would you wear any of these outfits yourself? Which do you think Lee likes the most??? I’d love to hear from you all!
And up next – in Amanda’s Apparel Part 2 – the informal collection: the good, the bad and the professional!