More Black at Night

Black isn’t the best camouflage at night, but at least it reflects no light so it’s better than light or bright-coloured clothing. Shades of greys are standard for night camouflage because they better blend in with surrounding. But similar to his black outfit in Goldfinger, Bond once again wears black to sneak around Largo’s Palmyra estate at night in Thunderball. The biggest problem with this outfit in the dark is the shiny buttons. Bond’s fitted black long-sleeve polo jumper has a three-button opening at the neck, of which he fastens various buttons at different times, but never the top button. It has ribbed cuffs and a ribbed hem.

Thunderball Black

The black trousers have flat front with button-side adjusters and plain bottoms. Bond wears black dress ankle boots, probably the same as what he wears with his suits in this film. They are a shorter ankle height, fit with elastic and have leather soles, which are not the best choice for scaling a roof.

Thunderball Black Underwater

On another note, check out the article I wrote for Clothes on Film—On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: The Primer for Skyfall.

7 thoughts on “More Black at Night

  1. Looks great but isn’t this the same shirt he wears earlier with the cavalry twill trousers paired now with a matching coloured pair, Matt?

  2. Fun fact, very dark blue actually prove as better than black for night time camouflage. Black is too harsh and contrasts too much with the darkness, ironically.

  3. Hi Matt,
    Just a post to thank you for your article about OHMSS’ style. It is well written and explains clearly everything. A real pleasure to read. I was going to ask you if Lazenby wore a navy Polo Coat (or an Ulster, I guess it’s exactly the same thing, isn’t it ?) when coming to the College of Arms, but you answered yourself, it’s a British Warm overcoat… very short by the way.
    About Skyfall’s suits style, it is true that it is every (or so) OHMSS style particularities pushed to the extreme. So the result is rather terrible… On the another hand, the only excuse I can find is that at least they tried to create a style that has not been seen before, a style similar to today’s fashion trends. Every single Bond should have a particular style, I think, even if I hate the current style of Craig. The result is what it is, but at least we can’t say Craig is only copying OHMSS style (by the way, this Miss Temine has all wrong, by saying they tried to have a look like Connery’s suits in the early 60s… no comment :). It’s perhaps a mark of courage… after all, with the XXth century, we have seen all possible styles or so. Designers can only change the width of the lapels, the highness (sorry if it is not correct, you get the idea) of the trousers, the length of the jackets, the kind of tailoring (very fitted or a looser fit)… there are numerous possibilities, but not an infinity. But I still prefer the Casino Royale Brioni suits…
    After seeing the trailer for the tenth time (the film shure looks great despite Craig’s suits and haircut :), it seems that in a moment, Craig commits the faux pas of matching his handkerchief with his (pale blue, not white) shirt. It looks really strange… And with a grey suit, the combination of a navy tie, a pale blue shirt, and a white handkerchief can’t be beaten ! Really a shame. On the other hand, Bardem’s beige suit looks nice. What do you think of it, Matt ? I am no expert like you, but the shoulders and lapels seem to indicate a Brioni suit.

    Keep up the great articles, it is always a pleasure to read it.

    • I didn’t think the shoulders on Bardem’s beige jacket looked at all like Brioni. The shoulders are much too natural. I doubt they would go back to Brioni without Bond going back too.

    • I just saw it again, you certainly are right. Anyway, the jacket is still interesting, I think : the lapels aren’t too narrow or too wide, and (or maybe I keep being wrong…) the chest seems to be (a little) draped. The exact opposite of Craig’s jackets :)

  4. As barely pubescent Bond fan back in 1966, I sported a pair of black ankle height boots with a pleated leather elasticated gusset and a seam from top to toe that were sold at the time as ‘James Bond Shoes’ and naturally I believed it and wore them into the dust. I have found a photo of me in them and wondered if you could confirm whether Sean Connery did actually wear this style of boot. They became something of a fashion success at that time, so many others believed it too.

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