As tonight is New Year’s Eve I thought it would be appropriate to look at another dinner suit. In The Spy Who Loved Me it was a midnight blue 6 button with 2 to close peak lapel with no vents. This is the most traditional and timeless version of the double-breasted jacket. The jacket also has straight jetted pockets and 3-button cuffs.
The flat front trousers do not have side pockets, but they do have a rear pocket on the right (maybe on the left too, it’s hard to tell) and flared bottoms. The trousers have a long rise and sit at the waist. A nice thing about the double-breasted dinner jacket is that because it stays buttoned no additional waist covering is needed. The lapels, buttons, trouser stripe and waistband are trimmed in black satin silk. The bow tie is also black satin silk. Bond wears black patent leather slip-ons.
The white dress shirt has a plain front with a placket, large point collar and fancy buttons. The fabric is likely a cotton voile. At first glance the buttons looks like studs, but I don’t believe they are studs since there are matching buttons on the tab cuffs, which wouldn’t take cuff links anyway. The tab cuff is an interesting cuff, which is like a barrel cuff with an extend tab that fastens. The buttons appear to be black, shiny, and sewn with white thread. They may be black mother of pearl. Roger Moore wore this cuff throughout most of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, but I don’t see the appeal of the cuff. Does anyone have an idea to the purpose the tab cuff might serve?
Despite the oversized collar, wide lapels, and slightly flared trousers, this is a classic dinner suit. Editor (and director of later Bond films) John Glen auctioned this dinner suit at Christie’s in South Kensington on 14 February 2001. According to the listing, Moore gave this to Glen during the filming of Moonraker two years later. This suit was not made by Moore’s former tailor Cyril Castle, but by Angelo, Roma. The image in the listing shows that the top two buttons are missing, but the rest of the suit looks identical to the one worn in the movie.
New Year’s Eve is soon approaching and it’s a night when many people pull out their black tie ensemble. Many people like to wear a waistcoat with their dinner suit, but the first time that Bond wore a waistcoat with black tie was in GoldenEye. A waistcoat gives a more formal air than a cummerbund, though the proper low-cut black tie waistcoat is not a commonly seen item these days. Bond’s full-back, single-breasted waistcoat is made in black wool (matching the rest of the dinner suit) with black satin silk shawl lapels. The waistcoat fastens with 4 closely spaced buttons, and the bottom of the waistcoat just covers the waistband of the high-waisted trousers. This type of waistcoat is more commonly found with only 3 buttons, though 4 buttons is equally correct.
image lightened to show waistcoat detail
Bond’s traditional 1-button, satin-faced peak lapel dinner jacket has jetted pockets and double vents. The trousers have reverse pleats and are tapered down the leg. The shirt has a pleated front with a moderate spread collar. It also has a fly placket, which means the buttons are covered, providing a clean look. Bond finishes the ensemble with a white silk puffed pocket square.
This Brioni dinner suit is the first tailored piece of clothing we see Brosnan wearing as James Bond. Sean Connery and George Lazenby were both introduced to the audience wearing black tie, and Timothy Dalton’s first tailored clothing worn as Bond was also a dinner suit. Sean Connery began his first three Bond films in black tie. Up to this point, Roger Moore was the only Bond not introduced wearing black tie, and didn’t wear a dinner jacket at all in his first outing as Bond. With Daniel Craig he wasn’t seen in a dinner jacket until later in Casino Royale.
An interesting note: Pierce Brosnan wore a very similar black tie ensemble on the first episode (and on many others) of Remington Steele 13 years earlier, which also consisted of a peak-lapel dinner jacket, low-cut waistcoat and fly-front shirt with narrow pleats. The difference in Mr. Steele’s dinner suit is a vent-less dinner jacket. The trousers here are worn with a belt (which is never proper for black tie). But still, the outfits seem too similar to be a coincidence. You can take a look at Remington Steele’s dinner suit below.
They need sunshine! James Bond celebrated Christmas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service masquerading as Sir Hilary Bray of the College of Arms. For Christmas dinner he wears Scottish Highland dress, an alternative for black tie. Bond’s outfit consists of a Prince Charlie Coatee, 3-button waistcoat, kilt in black watch tartan, lace jabot, kilt hose and a dress sporran. The white shirt has a banded collar that closes at the back, front placket, darted back and single-button cuffs. The argyle socks match the kilt’s tartan, and the shoes are black buckle brogues. From what I understand the jacket and waistcoat are typically black, though Bond’s look like they may be midnight blue. I am no expert on Scottish Highland dress, so whatever insight the readers here can provide would be appreciated. Happy Christmas to all of my readers and thank you for visiting.
Bond’s navy chesterfield coat in Live and Let Die is a favourite of many. The classic piece was covered in the blog Clothes on Film, so I will just direct you to the article there to read about it.
Lets take a look at the rest of Bond’s outfit beyond the chesterfield. The suit coat wasn’t seen in the movie, except the double vents can be seen when Roger Moore is swinging around on the fire escape in the Harlem alley. However, this suit was seen in many promotional photos as well as in the gunbarrel opening. The suit is cut the same as the tropical grey suit except that the navy suit has straight pockets, not slanted. The shirt is pale blue with a moderate spread collar and cocktail cuffs.
Roger Moore distances himself from the previous two Bonds by wearing a striped tie, a navy ground with red and white stripes. This tie is in fact a Royal Navy regimental tie, appropriately worn here by a naval commander. The stripes go up from right to left (from the wearer’s point of view). This is the traditional British direction for tie stripes. This direction harmonises well with the left-over-right buttoning of a man’s suit. Also, since the breast pocket is on the upper left (and ticket pockets are placed on the lower right) the British stripe direction follows that. I also believe that this direction subtly helps draw attention up toward the wearer’s face, since most people read from left to right. The majority of James Bond’s striped ties throughout the series follow the traditional British direction.
Along with the Chesterfield, Bond wore black leather gloves to keep warm. And the black gloves match his black tassel slip-ons. Roger Moore is a tall man at 6’1″, though he wore shoes with noticeably tall heels.
It’s time to introduce Roger Moore’s clothing. Roger Moore was introduced as James Bond in Live and Let Die in 1973, a time Bond’s clothing somewhat reflected the fashions of the period. The 70s fashion influence can be seen in the wider lapels, ties and pocket flaps, tall collars, deep vents, and flared trousers. Whilst Bond’s clothing in Live and Let Die (as well as in The Man With the Golden Gun made a year and a half later) takes cues from 70s fashion trends, it’s quite tame compared to the villains’ wardrobes.
Today we’ll be focusing on the light grey tropical suit Bond wears briefly on his arrival in San Monique. The suit is tailored by Roger Moore’s long-time tailor Cyril Castle, who like Sean Connery’s tailor Anthony Sinclair also worked on Conduit Street in London. Castle made Roger Moore’s suits for his television series The Saint and The Persuaders, as well as for other movies in the 1960s and 1970s. Prior to the Bond films Roger Moore wore his single-breasted suit jackets with a 3 button front but followed Connery’s Bond with a 2-button jacket. Like Connery’s suit jackets, Moore’s jackets have a somewhat low button stance, though the wider lapels on Moore’s jackets help the button stance appear to be not too low. The jacket has soft shoulders and a cleaner chest than Sean Connery’s suits. One thing easy to notice are the deep side vents on Roger Moore’s suit jackets that must be over 12 inches long. The jacket also has flapped, slanted pockets.
The most unique part of the jacket is the sleeve cuff (see below). It has what might be called a link button. The end of the cuff is similar to a linked shirt cuff where the ends kiss rather than overlap like on a barrel cuff. There is a button seen on either side of the cuff. The 2 buttons are sewn together with a shank and act like cuff links. It gives a flare to the end of the sleeves, which harmonises nicely with the slight flare of the trousers. The trousers have a darted front with 3-button side adjusters, 2 rear pockets and a coin pocket under the waistband on the front right.
The shirt is off-white with a moderate spread collar and 2-button turnback cuffs (probably made by Frank Foster), and the tie is plain red, tied in a four-in-hand knot.
Bond wears a small number of suits in Tomorrow Never Dies, only a blue, a grey, and a naval commander’s uniform. 30 years prior to this movie in 1967, Sean Connery wore the same in You Only Live Twice. For now we will be looking at the charcoal grey flannel (maybe worsted flannel) Brioni suit worn in the Hamburg scenes. The suit jacket has a 3-button front, and the button stance has been lowered an inch for a more relaxed look. Also contributing to the relaxed look is a less suppressed waist. On the other hand, the shoulders are strongly padded with roping at the sleeve head.
Costume designer Lindy Hemming commented on the film’s wardrobe: “The new Brioni clothing that Mr. Brosnan wears in Tomorrow Never Dies establishes the James Bond character as a totally modern man of international taste, dressed in classic but contemporary proportions.”
The jacket is Anglicised with flapped slanted pockets with a ticket pocket (without a flap) and double vents, and there are 4-buttons on the sleeves. The trousers have double reverse pleats (today’s standard outward-facing pleats) and are tapered down the leg, finished with turn-ups. The light blue poplin, double-cuff shirt and square-pattern jacquard tie in navy, brown and light blue (pictured below) are from Turnbull & Asser. The shoes are black oxfords from Church’s.
The monk shoe’s simplicity of a strap and buckle instead of laces is something the would’ve appealed to Ian Fleming’s James Bond. In The World is Not Enough, Bond wears the Church’s Presley model black monk shoe. It’s a minimal shoe with a plain toe and narrow strap and buckle.
Later in the movie Bond wears a light brown monk shoe with a larger strap and buckle. I don’t know if the Church’s Westbury was made in 1999, but that would appear to be the most similar shoe in Church’s current catalogue.
For The World Is Not Enough, costume designer Lindy Hemming toned down James Bond’s wardrobe and brought back the minimalism of Sean Connery’s suits. The outfit that best exemplifies this is the pick-and-pick suit. Pick-and-pick is also known as sharkskin, but don’t confuse this with the polyester blend fabric also called sharkskin. Pick-and-pick is a twill weave made with picks in alternating colours. The suit pictured has alternating picks in what at first appears to be the standard black and white, but this suit is probably blue and light brown, to match the ties. Up close pick-and-pick looks like small zigzagging lines of the two colours in the weave. But from a distance it looks like a solid grey with a cross-hatch effect.
Below is a diagram of a what the cloth might look like close up:
Like most of Pierce Brosnan’s suits from Brioni, this one has a 3-button front. Brioni tailors a distinctive built-up shoulder line that is flattering to Brosnan’s physique. However, the jackets were always cut very loose through the body and don’t mesh well with the slimmer trouser leg. This jacket has straight, flapped pockets, double vents and 4-button cuffs, and the darted front trousers are belted and finished with turn-ups. The shirt is white with a spread collar and double cuffs. Bond’s shoes are black monks, which will be the topic of the next article.
This suit is worn twice in the movie, each time with a different tie. The first tie is dark blue and light brown in a pointed twill weave, made by Turnbull & Asser. It’s the same tie as in the Bilbao scenes. The second tie has a warm, dark blue ground with a neat pattern of light brown ticks. Below is a picture of the back of the tie, now identified as from Herbie Frogg.