One of Columbo’s Men

After Bond is taken in by Columbo’s men in For Your Eyes Only, they give him clothes to change into from his dinner suit. He wears three pieces in light navy: a blouson, a polo neck and trousers. The blouson is probably made of nylon or a cotton and nylon blend. It has a darker navy ribbed knit collar, cuffs and waistband with elastic. It has a yoke in the front and the back, and slanted, zippered pockets. The polo neck is made of fine knit cotton, worn tucked into the trousers. The long-rise, flat-front trousers are worn with black belt with a brass buckle, matching his black shoes.

Ian Fleming: The Property of a Lady (1963)

“It was, exceptionally, a hot day in early June. James Bond put down the dark gray chalk pencil that was the marker for the dockets routed to the Double-O Section and took off his coat. He didn’t bother to hang it over the back of his chair, let alone take the trouble to get up and drape the coat over the hanger Mary Goodnight had suspended, at her own cost (damn women!), behind the Office of Works’ green door of his connecting office. He dropped the coat on the floor. There was no reason to keep the coat immaculate, the creases tidy.”

This passage comes from Fleming’s short story “The Property of a Lady,” which was added to the Octopussy and The Living Daylights short story collection in 1967. It’s interesting to see that Bond didn’t always care for his clothes the way a well-dressed man ordinarily would. But since the weather was hot and the suit was lightweight, it was probably too wrinkled to wear again without a pressing anyway. Hopefully the floor was clean!

Blofeld: The Mao Suit

Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s first full appearance came in You Only Live Twice with Donald Pleasence‘s cartoon-like portrayal. Besides the bald head, scarred face and white cat, Pleasence’s Blofeld is also known for his Mao suit. The Mao suit represents the West’s biggest enemy at the time, communism, and it labels Blofeld as the enemy even though SPECTRE is not a communist organization. Blofeld’s tan silk Mao suit is tailored much like a western suit with structured shoulders and a structured chest, and it’s closely fitted through the body. Unlike typical Mao suits, Blofeld’s jacket only has two pockets instead of four. The pockets are patch pockets with button-flaps, but the buttons are left undone. The jacket has a 5-button front, a turn-down collar and a single vent at the back. The trousers have a narrow leg and plain bottoms. Underneath the jacket, Blofeld wears a white-on-white stripe shirt with double cuffs. It’s probably a tunic shirt without a collar. His shoes are medium brown ankle boots with elastic under the instep.

One example of this suit’s jacket was sold at Bonhams in Knightsbridge on 17 November 2005 for £25,200. According to the listing, M. Berman Ltd. made the jacket for Donald Pleasence.

Grey Volcano Climbing in a Mock Polo Neck

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James Bond choses an all grey outfit for blending into Blofeld’s volcano in You Only Live Twice. To hide himself, Bond keeps his entire body covered except for the face. The outfit consists of a tight-fitting interlock knit shirt with a fine-ribbed mock polo neck collar (which Bond folds down) and fine-ribbed cuffs, loose-fitting trousers with patch pockets in the rear, gloves and an open-face ninja mask, all in mid grey. Bond later removes the gloves and ninja mask. He also wears a black leather utility belt around outside of his shirt, which is later removed by Blofeld’s men.

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Bond wears his grey trousers tucked into black socks. His shoes are sometimes black canvas Converse Chuck Taylor All Star high-top trainers, or trainers that are very similar in style. They have seven pairs of eyelets with black laces, a black toe cap, a black rounded emblem on the side and three air holes on the side just above the sole. The bottom of the rubber soles is tan but the sides of the soles are black. The sides of the soles, the toe cap and the emblem are ordinarily white on Chuck Taylors, but it looks as if the white was painted black. The sides of the soles have some white showing through from the black paint chipping off through wear. When his shoe aren’t the Chuck Taylors they are soft black climbing shoes for climbing around the inside of Blofeld’s volcano.

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Tiger Tanaka and his ninjas, who join Bond in his attack at the volcano, wear the same outfit.

The Navy Blue Lounge Suit

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Bond’s first suit in From Russia With Love reminds me of the conservative suits I see on many businessmen in America. It is probably the two-button front and single vent, which has long been the dominating style in America. Pleated trousers with turn-ups go along with that too as the most common style in America, though traditional forward pleats like Bond wears have been replaced by reverse pleats in almost all major American brands in the past 15 years, with the notable exception being Polo Ralph Lauren. The suit jacket is typical of Connery’s suits from Anthony Sinclair, with natural shoulders (that are big due to Connery’s build, a draped chest and a nipped waist. It’s made from a navy cloth in what’s probably worsted flannel.

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The shirt is Connery’s usual pale blue poplin from Turnbull & Asser with a spread collar and 2-button turnback cuffs. The tie is a nay grenadine. Bond’s shoes are black lace-ups, though it is difficult to tell if they are oxford or derby-style. Bond wears his then usual white linen folded handkerchief in his breast pocket.

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Blue Long-Sleeve Polo

In Venice in Casino Royale, Bond wears a blue 2-button, interlock knit cotton polo shirt. What sets this shirt apart from most polos is a self-collar and a hidden-button fly placket. This shirt was not made by Sunspel like most of the other knit shirts in the film. However, the grey crew-neck undershirt visible underneath the polo is by Sunspel. The trousers are navy cotton twill chinos. Bond’s trainers are the Nike Air Articulate II model in (what appears to be) dark grey.

Happy 84th Roger Moore—A Brown Barleycorn Hacking Jacket

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Today is Roger Moore’s 84th birthday and we will be looking at his classic riding ensemble from A View to a Kill. The outfit closely resembles Connery’s country outfit in Goldfinger. Moore wears a very similar button two brown barleycorn tweed sports coat, but this one does not have hacking pockets despite its intended equestrian use. But it does have a single vent, which is most practical on horseback since it splits evenly over the back of the horse. Also, though the tweed cloth on Moore’s jacket is similar to Connery’s, especially in colour, the barleycorn pattern is slightly different. Moore’s barleycorn is actually a broken twill, which changes direction every two warp yarns. See the pattern below.

The broken twill barleycorn weave

The broken twill barleycorn weave

If you look closely at the jacket’s lapels you’ll see that they are not typical notch lapels. This type of angled notch lapel is known as cran Necker and often found in Parisian tailoring. The scenes at Zorin’s estate were filmed in France and it’s possible that this jacket came from a French source. Though the jacket has natural shoulders, a clean chest and a low button stance like Douglas Hayward—Moore’s usual tailor at the time—makes, there are difference with Hayward’s usual jackets. The shoulders are narrower, the lapels have a gentler roll and the pocket flaps are more rounded. The rounded pocket flaps can also be found on the tan suit that Moore wears later in the film. Still, it’s possible that Hayward made this jacket.

Notice the cran Necker notch lapels

Notice the cran Necker notch lapels

Bond wears an ecru shirt made by Frank Foster with a spread collar, front placket stitched close to the centre and rounded one-button cuffs. His tie is a yellow wool knit, tied in a four-in-hand knot that gives it the long shape. His trousers are dark brown jodhpurs, which tuck inside his tall black leather riding boots.

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Completing the ensemble are a brown velvet riding helmet and gloves in beige ribbed knit wool and brown leather. This outfit is the last James Bond wears as his alias St. John Smythe.

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Blue Blazer and Day Cravat

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Posing as horse stable heir James St. John Smythe, James Bond wears a blue blazer with a day cravat in A View To a Kill. The blue blazer is tailored by Douglas Hayward is his usual low button two style with natural shoulders, roped sleeveheads and a clean chest. The blazer is slightly lighter than navy, which is more flattering to Moore’s low-contrast, warm spring complexion than a true dark navy is. The blazer has brass buttons, with four on the cuffs, flapped pockets and medium-length double vents that flare out. Bond wears the blazer with beige wool gabardine trousers.

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A white shirt and burgundy day cravat accompany the blazer. The white shirt made by Frank Foster has a placket front, single-button cuffs and a spread collar, which is curved in inside the blazer. The white of the shirt looks very stark against Moore’s warm spring complexion, and for that reason Moore ordinarily wears cream and ecru shirts instead. Bond only leaves the shirt’s collar button unfastened. The day cravat is mostly burgundy, with a pattern including other colours. The cravat is more a part of St. John Smythe than it is a part of Bond.