The last time we saw Bond wearing blazer was on Pierce Brosnan, 16 years ago in GoldenEye. The navy, double-breasted Brioni blazer has six brass buttons with two to button, though Bond leaves it open. Double-breasted suits and blazers are typically worn closed all the time and there are a few logical reasons for this. When walking around with the blazer open as Bond does here, the front flaps around more than it does on a single-breasted coat. And whilst single-breasted coats can be unbuttoned when seated, buttoning and unbuttoning a double-breasted coat involves using not only the outside button but the jigger button as well. Dealing with the jigger button in public is awkward and thus is a good reason not unbutton your double-breasted blazer or suit in public.
Back to Bond’s blazer, it has flapped pockets (in some shots the flaps are tucked in), double vents and four overlapping buttons on the cuffs. The wide pointed lapels have a button hole in each side. The beige trousers have triple reverse pleats and turn-ups. Triple pleats were popular in the 90s, and back then you could even find trousers with 4 pleats on each side. The purpose of the third pleat is only to add bulk. Though trouser pleats are currently out of fashion, nobody can deny their practicality. The main pleat serves to expand when seated because as we sit our body changes shape. The second pleat gives ease to the main pleat so it stays closed when standing. Adding a third pleat generally serves no practical purpose on men. Women’s trousers may often have more pleats because they help shape the trousers over larger hips. Bond wears his trousers with a brown belt with a gold buckle. Bond’s shirt is french blue, probably in end-on-end cotton. The shirt has a moderate spread collar (worn open), a placket front and 1-button rounded cuffs. The shoes are brown full-brogue oxfords.
In For Your Eyes Only, Bond wears a double-breasted navy blazer when out in Corfu. The blazer has a 6-button front with 2 to button, in gold buttons. The button stance is quite low, with the middle buttons placed almost as low as the bottom buttons typically are on a classic double-breasted coat. This style gives the coat a longer lapel line whilst keeping the classic 6-button arrangement, though the blazer has odd proportions and looks a little sloppy around the waist. The blazer has a straight shoulder line, draped chest and peak lapels that are slightly on the narrow side. The jacket has double vents, flapped pockets and 3-button cuffs.
The stone-coloured trousers are cut with a straight leg. The sky blue shirt made by Frank Foster has a placket front, spread collar and 2-button mitred cuffs. Bond wears the shirt without a tie, leaving the collar and first button open. His shoes are dark brown slip-ons.
The Frank Foster shirt was auctioned at Prop Store on 16 October 2014 for £1,200.
For his trip to Haiti in Quantum of Solace, Bond wears a dark (either a very dark navy or black) pique-knit polo shirt by Tom Ford with a small, rounded breast pocket. The pants are off-white Levi’s 306 STA-PREST jeans, a line originally from the 1960s. But these are much more than just jeans, even beyond the unique colour. Levi’s intended for these jeans to be worn with a crease down the leg, though Bond’s are not creased. The fabric is a twill weave with a strong diagonal rib in a cotton/polyester blend to prevent wrinkling. Like most jeans, these have a 5-pocket design, including patch pockets in the back. Bond wears these jeans with a cross hatched black leather belt with a silver buckle by Prada.
After a nasty fight that tears up Bond’s polo, he finds a black Adidas Y-3 jacket to wear over it. The jacket has a collar, set-in sleeves and a zip front. The fabric is most likely a cotton and polyester blend. It has two lower hand-pockets. Bond’s shoes are Church’s Ryder III Chukka Boots in brown suede. They have a Dainite® studded rubber sole.
Bond makes a bold move by wearing a black belt with brown shoes. He does this to match the belt with the jacket instead of his boots. Even though the jacket is not Bond’s the costume designer still planned the outfit. But if he wanted to wear a black belt for that reason, black boots may be have been a better choice. The brown boots go well with the off-white jeans and the black shirt also goes well with the jeans, but the problem arises with tying the whole outfit together. Men’s clothing should never look “matchy-matchy” but neither can we forget all about coordination.
“It was a dark, clean-cut face, with a three-inch scar showing whitely down the sunburned skin of the right cheek. The eyes were wide and level under straight, rather long black brows. The hair was black, parted on the left, and carelessly brushed so that a thick black comma fell down over the right eyebrow. The longish straight nose ran down to a short upper lip below which was a wide and finely drawn but cruel mouth. The line of jaw was straight and firm. A section of dark suit, white shirt and black knitted tie completed the picture.” (Chapter 6)
“The man had taken off his macintosh. He was wearing an old reddish-brown tweed coat with his flannel trousers, a pale yellow Viyella summer shirt, and the dark blue and maroon zig-zagged tie of the Royal Artillery. It was tied with a Windsor knot. Bond mistrusted anyone who tied his tie with a Windsor knot. It showed too much vanity. It was often the mark of a cad.” (Chapter 25)
From Russia With Love is where Fleming writes his famous remark about the Windsor knot. Why are Windsor knots so bad? Compared to the standard four-in-hand knot, they are too big and too symmetrical. As a result they appear ostentatious.
In the films Bond typically ties a four-in-hand knot, though he uses the Windsor knot in Dr. No, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Diamonds Are Forever.
The notched lapel dinner jacket gets a lot of hate from clothing aficionados, however Bond has worn a notched lapel dinner jacket on a number of occasions. In all Bond has worn seven dinner jackets with notched lapels. People who argue against notched lapels on a dinner jacket say that they are not formal enough for a dinner jacket or they make a dinner suit look too much like a business suit. Notched lapels are easier to make in mass production since they use the same pattern as a regular suit. Peaked lapels are the most formal style of lapels on a dinner jacket and come from the evening tailcoat. A bit lower in formality is the shawl collar, originating from the smoking jacket. The notched lapel is even lower in formality, and since people mostly wear dinner jackets in formal settings the notched lapel is out of place.
James Bond is first seen wearing a black notched lapel dinner jacket in Goldfinger when he is having dinner with M and Colonel Smithers. The notched lapels are more appropriate here because it’s a private dinner, however Bond’s company is better dressed in shawl collar dinner jackets. Not much of Bond’s dinner jacket can be seen, but since it is single-breasted it can safely be assumed that it has a one-button front. The cuffs have four satin-covered buttons. Nothing below the waist can be seen.
Notice the mitred double cuffs
The shirt and tie are the same as worn with the white dinner jacket at the beginning of the film. It is made in a fancy white-on-white satin stripe with a pleated front, mother-of-pearl buttons down the placket and mitred double cuffs. The bow tie is black satin, and it is not a perfect match with the silk on the lapels. And for the last time until GoldenEye 31 years later, Bond wears a pocket handkerchief with his dinner suit. Here it is a folded white linen square.
In For Your Eyes Only, James Bond goes out in the country dressed in a green suede blouson, an ecru cotton jersey short-sleeve shirt and light brown trousers. The blouson is made with set-in sleeves, a yoke in both the front and the back, a zip front, and lower pockets that open on the sides. The sleeves are pleated and the cuffs close around the wrist with a button. The blouson does not have a collar. Since there are many people around in swimwear, the main purpose of the blouson can only be for concealing the Walther PPK, not for warmth. The extra pockets also come in handy.
The shirt has a large spread collar, cuffed short sleeves, a darted back and an open breast pocket with mitred corners. The shirt’s placket is stitched close to the centre like on most of Foster’s shirts, but it is also stitched on the edge of the placket since jersey doesn’t keep a crisp crease. The buttons are, of course, mother of pearl. The flat-front trousers have a rear pocket on the right but no side pockets. The trousers are held up by a brown leather belt with a brass buckle. The socks are tan, just a shade lighter than the trousers. Bond’s shoes are brown leather, apron-front slip-ons with a metal horse bit.
The Frank Foster shirt was auctioned at Prop Store on 16 October 2014 for £1,200.
James Bond’s first suit of Die Another Day is a two-piece, three-button navy and white birdseye. Since the suit is from Brioni it has the straight, padded shoulders and clean chest typical of the brand. It has straight, flapped pockets and double vents. The pulling at the waist would suggest that Pierce Brosnan gained a little weight since he was fitted for this suit. Brosnan was quite a bit heavier here than when he started as Bond in GoldenEye seven years earlier. The darted front trousers have slanted pockets and are worn with a belt. Bond’s belt and shoes are black.
Bond’s white shirt is made by Brioni and has a cutaway collar and double cuffs. This suit is worn in two scenes with two different ties. The first tie is from Turnbull & Asser and is a floated neat design in red, orange, blue and light brown. The second tie is is also made by Turnbull & Asser and has gold and navy squares on a navy ground.
For Die Another Day, Bond switched from the Turnbull & Asser shirts of the previous two films to Brioni shirts. In an affected shot of product placement, packaged Brioni shirts in can be seen alongside the Bollinger and Norelco names. Brosnan’s Brioni shirts have a cutaway collar with long collar points and no tie space. The double cuffs have slightly rounded corners, and the link holes are placed in the centre of the cuff. The shirt has a wide placket gauntlet (sleeve placket) buttons and side pleats at the back. The collars and cuffs have traditional stitching a quarter-inch from the edge, as does the placket. The shirts are made of cotton poplin in solid white, sky blue and french blue.