In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig wears a Sunspel “Riviera” polo shirt. The fitted navy polo is made from knitted cotton mesh and has a self collar, two-button placket and a breast pocket. This is the first time Bond wears a polo shirt since Thunderball, and it’s a welcome return. Craig wears the polo with khaki, jean-style, five-pocket trousers with a wide, straight leg. The cloth is most likely cotton, in a weave that’s a cross between bedford cord and a basketweave, and they are worn with a dark brown belt. The shoes are tobacco suede chukka boots.
Not many people wear braces anymore. Sometimes called suspenders in America, braces are the most secure way to hold up one’s trousers. When wearing braces, your trousers stay at the same height all day long. They never sag, which can happen all too often with a belt or side adjusters. With a three-piece suit they also prevent a bit of shirt from showing underneath the waistcoat, like we see with Sean Connery in his fight scenes. If you’re worried about braces showing, nobody will ever know when you’re wearing a three-piece suit. They will also always be hidden when wearing a double-breasted suit. Another great advantage is that trousers can be worn a bit looser than with a belt, which is especially helpful to people who have health problems caused by too tight trousers. Braces require a higher-than-currently-fashionable trouser rise to work properly. Braces allow trousers to hang elegantly from the waist and can be a bit awkward on low-rise trousers.
Barathea braces are great for year-round wear and wool boxcloth braces are great for winter. Striped grosgrain braces can be worn whenever a regimental striped tie is appropriate, and fancy printed silks are great for almost any occasion. Since braces aren’t meant to be seen, you can really wear any braces you want to. You can pick your braces as you pick your lining, to match or to contrast. But the leather ends, like a belt, should match the shoes. That is unless the ends are white goatskin, which goes with everything. Proper braces button on, not clip on, and are preferably not elastic in the front. Braces do, however, always have elastic in the back. If that elastic wears out—and if the braces are properly cared for the elastic will wear out before the front parts do—it can be replaced.
Braces and a belt should never be worn together since they are achieving the same goal, so it’s okay to wear your trousers with empty belt loops if you’re wearing braces. It’s better to not have belt loops if you’re wearing braces, but side adjusters are best if you want the option to not wear the trousers with braces. For trousers only worn with braces they can be cut with a “braces back” that is higher than in the front. For a similar effect, cloth tabs can be sewn into the back so the braces attach higher in the back than in the front, but they can be tucked away for when not wearing braces. Ralph Fiennes wears such a style in Skyfall. Buttons for braces are typically found inside the waistband on trousers with belt loops or side adjusters. On trousers just meant for braces the front buttons are often put on the outside for additional comfort.
James Bond has worn braces with black tie in four films: The Living Daylights, Licence to Kill, Casino Royale and Skyfall. In Daniel Craig’s Bond films he wears white moiré braces with braided ends, traditional for eveningwear. Timothy Dalton wears white braces as well, but in The Living Daylights we clearly see that they clip on. Clip-on braces don’t attach to the trousers in as many places as button-on braces, meaning the trousers won’t drape as well and won’t be as secure. Clip-on braces can also potentially damage the cloth of the trousers. If Dalton were wearing a cummerbund it would hide the unsightly clips from view when the jacket is open. Some people believe there is a rule that a cummerbund and braces should not be worn together, thinking that it’s the same as wearing a belt and braces. But there is no such rule. Whilst a belt holds up one’s trousers, a cummerbund does not. It’s there to cover the waist, just as an evening waistcoat does. Whilst Bond has only worn white braces with black tie, black is equally acceptable.
Do you ever wear braces?
At M’s flat in Casino Royale, Bond wears a topcoat in a light blue barleycorn pattern on a black ground. The coat has straight shoulders which may signify that it is Brioni-made like the suits in the film. The coat has notch lapels and a collar like a typical lounge coat. The coat buttons three down the front and has 3 buttons on the cuffs, straight flapped pockets and a single vent. The coat is approximately knee length, though we don’t see Bond wearing the coat whilst standing.
Underneath the coat Bond wears a black polo with three buttons. Though a long-sleeve polo would be most appropriate since Bond is wearing a topcoat, we don’t see black sleeves under the coat’s sleeves. It’s likely the sleeves are pushed up because it would be odd and impractical to wear a short-sleeve shirt under a topcoat. It’s difficult to tell the material of the polo, but its likely to be cashmere. The trousers are in a black and white Glen Urquhart check with an overlaid light blue plaid, which picks up the blue in the topcoat. The trousers have turn-ups. Bond also wears black socks and black calf chukka boots.
Grey isn’t a very popular colour for linen, which is typically in its natural beige colour. When not natural, other earth tones, white and blue are still far more popular than grey linen. But this grey linen is quite appropriate for Bond’s arrival in the Bahamas in Casino Royale. The suit coat has a 3-button front, 4-button cuffs, double vents and flapped pockets, cut with straight shoulders and roped sleeveheads.
The unusual thing about this suit is the peak lapels. Peak lapels typically aren’t found on single-breasted coats outside of formalwear. Another name for peak lapels is double-breasted lapels, and that’s because they are the standard for double-breasted coats. The trousers have a flat front and turn-ups. The legs are also full-cut, which has many benefits with linen. Because linen has the tendency to wrinkle more than any other cloth, a tighter leg will only cause more wrinkles. A full leg also wears cooler than a tight leg. The suit’s maker is unknown.
Bond’s shirt is white with fancy self patterns, alternating track stripes with large and small chains on a white open plain-weave. The shirt has shorts sleeves, shoulder straps, a placket front and a large, two-button spread collar. Bond wears dark brown suede 2-eyelet derby shoes and commits the faux pas of wearing a black leather belt with brown shoes. The sunglasses are from Persol, model 2244.
Though not all the same, the Roman shoulder, military shoulder and equestrian shoulder are all strongly structured shoulders with a straight line and more generous padding. Though the shoulders may be built up, they aren’t necessarily stiff. The width and amount of padding vary depending on the tailor and depending on the current trends. Characterised by a clean, strong silhouette, the Roman style has its origins in the military and equestrian style on Savile Row. H. Huntsman is a good example of a Savile Row tailor who makes an equestrian style. Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have all worn this style in the Bond films.
Most of Roger Moore’s suits in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker come from Angelo Roma. These suits have narrow, straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads.
Timothy Dalton wears suits in Licence to Kill with the straight, oversized shoulders that were popular at the time. Though his suit is more characteristic of something from a Milan fashion house, the idea of a straight, built-up shoulder is the same.
Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have both worn suits from Brioni, the most famous Roman tailor. Brioni’s shoulders are very similar to what Angelo made for Roger Moore, though they tend to be wider. When Brosnan started the role in 1995, Brioni’s shoulders were wider and more built up, following the 1990s trends, and by The World is Not Enough had a more classic look (see the top image).
The opening scene of Casino Royale finds Bond in a pea coat, well-suited for a naval officer. The pea coat is a casual coat that’s most appropriately worn over a jumper or cardigan, as Bond wears it here. The length is around the same as a suit coat. Traditionally it’s a bit longer than a suit coat though today’s fashionable pea coat is made shorter. A traditional pea coat is a heavy dark navy blue wool melton, as Bond’s is. It has either 6 or 8 buttons on the front, as well as buttons under the collar so it can button all the way up for extra warmth, though Bond leaves it open. The buttons are horn, rather than the black plastic buttons with anchors typically associated with pea coats.
Underneath the coat Bond wears a charcoal ribbed-knit cardigan, that can be buttoned up to the collar. Bond leaves the top few buttons open and wears the cardigan with the collar turned up. Under the cardigan he wears a dark t-shirt. The trousers are probably grey and the shoes are dark brown or black calf John Lobb Romsey ankle boots.
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 kit 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.
For Bond’s mission in Madagascar in Casino Royale he wears a comfortable outfit for the hot weather. The shirt is made up of a printed fabric in a tropical design consisting of a pale yellow and taupe ground with a red floral pattern on top. It’s amongst the loudest shirts Bond has worn in the series. Typically a spy should avoid wearing clothes that would attract attention, but this shirt helps Bond fit in with the locals and isn’t as loud as some of the shirts on the people around him. The shirt has a point collar with stitching 1/4″ from the edge, a placket front, a breast pocket and a straight hem with short side vents. The sleeves have tabs and buttons to adjust the opening diameter. He wears a grey crew-neck t-shirt under the tropical shirt. The t-shirt has striped bands on the sleeves.
Bond’s trousers are beige linen with a drawstring waist. They have a loose fit, which is more comfortable in hot weather. Bond also wears a black web belt, but since there aren’t belt loops it’s not to hold up his trousers. The belt holds Bond’s holster and Walther P99. His shoes are the Converse Jack Purcell OTR in Chocoalte and Paprika. The OTR stands for “On the Road”, and it’s like a cross between a boot and a trainer. But in reality it’s simply a casual shoe, not so good for hiking or athletic activity.