SIS Tracksuit

Skyfall-Tracksuit

James Bond trains in a royal blue tracksuit in Skyfall, and it’s only Bond’s second of the series. The first is a velour tracksuit in A View to a Kill, and whilst this one isn’t as luxurious it’s more practical and appropriate for Bond. Despite being a Royal Navy officer, Bond wears a PTI (Physical Training Instructor) jacket of the British Army, issued by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) with a silver SIS crest on the upper left chest. There is a jetted zip pocket above the crest, and it’s the only outer pocket on the jacket. The jacket has a zip-front with set-in sleeves, a crew neck and ribbed elastic cuffs.

Skyfall-BaselayerThe matching trousers complete the tracksuit. They have ribbed elastic bottoms like the cuffs on the jacket sleeves. The legs have a rib sewn down the centre of each leg. The ribs give the legs a creased look—this type of cotton cloth won’t take a crease—so the tracksuit has a more military-like look. Some may think it looks affected but I think it’s a nice touch.

Skyfall-Tracksuit-2Underneath the tracksuit Bond wears a dark blue-grey long-sleeve, crew-neck shirt in a waffle knit. The shirt has regular shirt-style sleeves, and the narrow shoulders are emphasise Daniel Craig’s large deltoids. The sleeves have cuffs in a a finer knit but Bond rolls up the sleeves to the elbow. The shirt’s upper left chest has the same SIS as on the jacket. Bond’s socks are white athletic crew socks. The trainers are the Adidas Gazelle 2 model in Dark Indigo suede with Argentina Blue (pale blue) stripes. The soles are white rubber.

Navy Topcoat

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Daniel Craig wears an elegant, though somewhat unremarkable, navy topcoat from Tom Ford in Skyfall over his glen check and navy herringbone suits. At a three-quarter length, it’s like a longer, heavier suit jacket that isn’t cut away in front. It has three buttons to show on front, but Daniel Craig fastens only the middle button like a suit jacket in the topcoat’s first appearance. He fastens the middle and bottom buttons in the topcoat’s second appearance. It’s difficult to tell if Daniel Craig is leaving buttons open as a fashion statement or because the coat is too tight to comfortably close the top button. It doesn’t look bad the way he wears it, but at the same time it looks affected. If he’s wearing a topcoat because it’s cold outside, why not make the most of the coat and fasten all of the buttons? Unlike on a button three lounge coat (a.k.a. suit jacket), the buttons on an overcoat fall in a straight line. Thus visually the straight line is preserved by either fastening all of the buttons, like how Connery wears his topcoat in Thunderball, or fastening none, like Pierce Brosnan does in GoldenEye.

Navy-Topcoat-3The coat is cut with straight and narrow shoulders, and the front is darted for a shaped silhouette. The cuffs button three, and like on his suit jacket, Daniel Craig leaves the last button open. The coat has straight, flapped pockets, a welted breast pocket and a deep single vent. Whilst it’s a very nice coat, a fly that hides the buttons could have made this a more elegant coat.

With the coat’s second appearance on a London rooftop, Craig wears black leather gloves and a medium grey cashmere scarf in a parisian knot. The parisian knot is tied by folding the scarf in half, draping it over the neck and inserting the dangling ends of the scarf together through the loop created at the folded end. The parisian knot works best with longer, lighter scarves. Folding the scarf in half takes up a lot of length, and in a heavier scarf the knot can end up very bulky. Bulkiness, however, can be a benefit in very cold weather. The parisian knot is an easy and effective way to wear the scarf, and Craig tucks the ends into his coat. The scarf and gloves show that this is a colder scene than the earlier one, and Craig also flips up his collar for extra protection from the cold. But again, if it’s that cold outside why does he leave the top button open? The most logical reason would be that the topcoat is too small—like most of the tailored clothes in Skyfall—to properly close.

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Gareth Mallory: The Double-Breasted Suit

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Gareth Mallory, played by Ralph Fiennes, wears a double-breasted suit after becoming the new M in Skyfall. The double-breasted suit, however, makes him look more like Bill Tanner in For Your Eyes Only than the first two Ms. Today the double-breasted suit is a more traditional look, and that’s likely why costume designer Jany Temime dressed Fiennes in this suit for this scene instead of the more contemporary two- and three-piece suits he wears prior to becoming M. Another thing that makes this suit look more traditional is the soft, heavy navy woollen flannel chalkstripe cloth. Heavier cloths look more old-fashioned than lightweight cloths. Since Bond has just come in from the cold and has hung up his overcoat, M’s choice of a heavy flannel suit is clearly a very practical one.

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The suit jacket has the classic arrangement of six buttons with two to button, and Mallory buttons only the top of those two buttons. The jacket also has double vents, four-button cuffs and flapped pockets. This suit has the same straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads that Mallory’s other suits in the film have, but a fuller chest and wider lapels contribute to its more traditional look. It has a classic Savile Row cut: nipped at the waist and flared at the skirt. Whilst the suit is a little old-fashioned, it isn’t outdated and it looks great on Ralph Fiennes. It’s made by Timothy Everest, who typically makes more fashion forward suit.

Not much is seen of the suit trousers, but they are likely the same flat-front, tapered-leg trouser with braces he wears throughout the film. Mallory wears a cornflower blue shirt with a spread collar and double cuffs. His red ribbed silk tie is tied in a four-in-hand knot. James Bond has also worn a similar outfit of a flannel navy chalkstripe suit with a blue shirt and red tie, thought Bond’s suit was a three-piece suit and not double-breasted. He wears this outfit for his meeting with Sir Hilary Bray in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

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The Navy Small Herringbone Suit

Navy-Small-Herringbone-SuitDaniel Craig’s Tom Ford suit in the final scene of Skyfall is dark navy in a small herringbone, or mini bone, weave. The small herringbone weaves gives the cloth a narrow self-stripe look whilst being one solid colour. Like the other three lounge suits in Skyfall, the jacket is a button three with straight, narrow shoulders, a single vent and gently sloped pockets. Craig leaves the last button open on his button three cuffs. Like all of the suits in Skyfall, the jacket is short and doesn’t completely cover his buttocks, and the chest is tight, causing it to pull open where it isn’t designed to. Though such a fit is currently fashionable, until a few years ago these were marks of a poor fit. The collar on this suit jacket does not hug the shirt collar, which is another mark of a poor fit.

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Click the photo to enlarge and look for the pick stitching on the edge of the lapels.

Though it’s on all of the suits in Skyfall—and most of the suits in the entire James Bond series—the pick stitching along the edge of the lapels and on the pockets is especially visible on this suit. It’s more visible on this suit because the cloth is solid and lightweight. The pick stitch—also called a prick stitch—is a handmade running stitch along the edges that, when executed well, should be almost invisible. It keeps the edge firm and prevents it from puffing up. To be more fashionable, some tailors use a heavier or contrasting thread to make it more noticeable.

Craig wears a light blue shirt with a tab collar, front placket and double cuffs. It looks like grey because of the warm lighting that desaturates the blues and gives the scene an older feel. His folded cotton pocket handkerchief matches the shirt. His tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot, is in a small basket-weave pattern of either mid grey and black or mid grey and dark navy. The latter would make more sense with the outfit overall, but it’s difficult to tell.

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An Elegant Pattern

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Continuing on the topic of tie weaves, let’s look at some more recent ties in the series. The Tom Ford ties in Skyfall, like the ones that came before in Quantum of Solace, are some of the nicest of the series. Craig has never been dressed in a tie of questionable taste, which places him alongside George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton. Though Dalton’s ties are very forgettable, he never wore anything that could compete with Sean Connery’s wide pink tie in Diamonds Are Forever or Roger Moore’s colourful striped tie in Moonraker. Two of the Tom Ford ties in Skyfall hint back to the classic grenadine ties Sean Connery wears in his Bond films. Though these ties are not solids like Connery’s grenadines, the weave somewhat mimics a grenadine weave, with tightly woven sections between floated yarns. There are no twisted yarns. The tie is woven with a different colour in the warp than in the weft, and it creates an intricate and elegant pattern. The first one (top) is silver on black, worn with the pick-and-pick suit at the beginning of the film.

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The second tie is charcoal on light blue-grey (above), worn with the charcoal rope stripe suit. Though the colours are different, reversing the dark and light in the warp and weft gives each tie its own look. Like how Sean Connery wears only grenadine and knitted ties in his Bond films, Daniel Craig only wears neat-pattern ties in his. Craig’s typical ties have the same subtlety of Connery’s ties but with more interest in the pattern than in the weave. These ties have both interest in the pattern and texture, with a good balance of each.

The Fancy Rope Stripe Suit

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The nicest part of every Tom Ford suit in Skyfall is the suiting. The proper use of the term “suiting” is to describe the cloth a suit is made from; it’s not another word for a suit or multiple suits, like the way some brands have recently started using the term to sound more sophisticated (they don’t!). Tom Ford puts far more importance on the quality of his suiting than most fashion designers do. This suiting from Skyfall looks like a basic charcoal with a narrow-spaced grey rope stripe, but it’s a little fancier than that. The cloth is twill-woven, except on either side of each rope stripe there is a plain-woven section framing the stripe. It adds a subtle dimension to the cloth whilst still keeping it classic.

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The cut and style of this suit is the same as the other suits in the film. The fit is tight and short, with narrow, straight shoulders. The jacket buttons three and the narrow lapels roll at the top button, though the tight fit in the chest pulls it open down to the fastened middle button. It is not a three-roll-two like the Quantum of Solace suits. The buttons are placed lower than on most current suits, which is both bad and good. The bad part is that it emphasises how short the jacket is, and the buttons look very low on the jacket. But the good part is that the middle button fastens exactly where it should: at the waist. The button at the waist means that not as much shirt can show above the trousers as on the typical “slim fit” suit, and it helps the jacket to move better with the body. A lower button stance also makes the chest look stronger, which is why a high button stance is rarely a good thing. The flapped hip pockets are on a shallow slant, and the cuffs have three buttons with last one left open. There is a single vent at the rear. The suit trousers have a flat front and are cut with a low rise and narrow leg, and they have a short hem with turn-ups. The trousers have side adjusters with slide buckles and an extended waistband with hook closure.

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Bond’s pale blue poplin shirt—also made by Tom Ford—has a soft tab collar, a placket down the front and double cuffs. A pale blue cotton handkerchief folded in the pocket matches the shirt. The tie is made in the same weave as the black and silver tie worn with the pick-and-pick suit earlier in the film. This one is a pattern of light blue-grey and charcoal. The shoes are the black Crockett & Jones Highbury model, a 3-eyelet derby with Dainite rubber studded soles. The Dainite soles are useful in the scenes where this suit is worn because they provide the extra needed traction over traditional leather soles.

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Young Q: “Expensive Student” Style

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Skyfall‘s costume designer Jany Temime wanted Q (Ben Whishaw) to look like a young computer nerd, in the style of an “expensive student.” Q dresses in a young, casual and hip fashion, and it reflects the character’s immaturity and cockiness. Nevertheless, he is still fashionable in the “geek chic” style. Whishaw’s most memorable outfit features a light brown wool Dries Van Noten V-neck cardigan. It has the zip front, slash side pockets and ribbed bands across the shoulders and down the upper arm, and down the forearm. The continuous collar and fly has a dark blue and red stripe.

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Q’s shirt is white with light grey pencil stripes and has a spread collar and double cuffs. His dark blue knitted tie from Zara is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Q’s trousers are a gingham check with dark blue and maroon, picking up the colours of the cardigan’s color. The dark blue suede chukka boots further reflect the blue found in every piece of this outfit except the shirt. The boots’ tan rubber soles roughly match the cardigan.

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Which of Bond’s most fashionable suits do you find least attractive?

As suggested by The Suits of James Bond reader “Le Chiffre,” I am giving you the opportunity to vote on which of Bond’s attempts to be sartorially fashionable you find to be least successful. Choose the one you think is most inappropriate for Bond, the one you think is most dated, or the one you just don’t like. Here are your three options:

1977-Brown-Silk-Suit1. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977): A silk suit in a light brown colour commonly associated with the 1970s, with wide lapels, swelled edges and flared trousers. Read more.

1989-Dalton-Suit2. Licence to Kill (1989): An oversized suit with wide shoulders, low notch lapels, a low button stance and triple-reverse-pleat trousers. Read more.

2012-Glen-Urquhart-Suit3. Skyfall (2012): An overly-tight suit that unnecessarily pulls and creases, with narrow lapels, a short jacket length and low-rise skinny trousers. Read more.

Which of Bond's most fashionable suits is the worst?

  • The Spy Who Loved Me (37%, 1,067 Votes)
  • Licence to Kill (35%, 1,015 Votes)
  • Skyfall (28%, 840 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,922

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If there’s another Bond film that you think has worse clothing, please feel free to mention it in the comments below.