Though Pierce Brosnan didn’t go too far into oversized 1990s fashions in his tailoring, the dark blue linen shirt he wears in Tomorrow Never Dies has a fashionably full fit. A full fit is more practical in hot weather than today’s popular slim-fit is. However, Brosnan’s shirt is simply too large with the shoulder seam down his arms. The shirt’s point collar with edge stitching was fashionable at the time, and other details include square 1-button cuffs, a button-through breast pocket on the left, no front placket, shoulder pleats and a rounded hem. The shirt is made by Angelo Litrico. The black cotton and lyrca blend jogging trousers have an elasticated waist. The blue plimsoll trainers are made by Trax, and Brosnan wears them without socks. This outfit is the low point in Brosnan’s Bond clothing. It could have been done much better, simply with a better fitting shirt and chinos instead of stretch trousers.
This outfit in both its entirety and just the shirt alone have been auctioned at Bonhams in Knightsbridge. On 6 March 2007 the shirt sold for £660. On 16 June 2009 the whole outfit sold for £1,200 and the shirt alone sold for £1080.
After Bond lands his hang glider, he reverses his navy leisure suit into an elegant beige linen suit. Does this count as one of the brown suits that people criticise Roger Moore for wearing? Beige suits, along with darker tan and lighter cream suits, are all classic warm-weather suits. Since it’s not the best colour for business in the city, linen is a great cloth for it because it takes the suit down a level in formality. And even though Bond wears a tie with this suit, it’s the type of suit that can look appropriate without one. The suit is cut by Cyril Castle in the same button-two style as the rest of the suits from Live and Let Die, with slanted pockets, flared link cuffs and double vents. The trousers have a darted front, button-tab side-adjusters and slightly flared legs. They have two rear pockets but no front pockets.
The lightweight brown and white butcher stripe shirt is something different for Moore. It’s one of the few shirts he wears in the Bond series that isn’t made by Frank Foster. It has a 2-button spread collar with no tie space, square 2-button cuffs, no back darts, and a front placket. The placket is stitched 1/4 inch from the edge, unlike Foster’s plackets that have the stitching close to the centre. The two-button collar suggests that this shirt is from an Italian maker, but the excellent fit means that the shirt is probably still bespoke. Bond wears a wide red-brown satin silk tie, tied in a large four-in-hand knot with a very large dimple. The black socks and shoes are out of place with the casual linen suit, but they are a carryover from the navy leisure suit worn earlier.
The two-button collar
Sean Connery is reintroduced as a 1970′s James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever wearing a ribbed terrycloth shirt. For Connery, terrycloth isn’t limited to his playsuit in Goldfinger. Terrycloth shirts were popular in the 1970s, and they must have done a great job at absorbing sweat in the warm setting where Bond wears this shirt. The mottled cream and beige shirt has four large buttons down the front placket, a camp collar, two breast pockets with flaps and box pleats, and a straight hem. The short sleeves are in two sections, with the ribs in a perpendicular direction on the lower pieces. The back of the shirt has a box pleat. The cream linen trousers have a flat front, plain hems and no belt. As seen in behind the scenes photos, Connery does not wear shoes with this outfit.
Click image for a close-up of the terrycloth
This outfit from The Man with the Golden Gun may be the one most to blame for Roger Moore’s undeserved reputation for always wearing a leisure suit as James Bond. This safari jacket, made of cream-coloured silk or a linen and silk blend, is really the only one that’s a 100 percent product of the 1970s. Unlike Moore’s traditional safari shirts, this one is a structured jacket. It has natural—but structured—shoulders, set-in sleeves and a tailored waist. It has most of the traditional details of a classic safari jacket: shoulder straps and four flapped patch pockets with inverted box pleats. The sleeves have buttoned straps around the cuffs as well as a vent. The front has a dart that extends to the bottom hem. The front of the jacket has four buttons, and Moore leaves the top button open. It has a long, single rear vent.
What takes this jacket, more than any of Moore’s other safari jackets, into the 1970s are two things: the collar and the stitching. A safari jacket should have a shirt-type collar, but this jacket has a a long, dog-ear style, leisure-suit collar. The other really fashionable aspect of this jacket is the dark, contrast stitching that’s found all over the jacket. It’s on the collar, lapels, shoulder straps, cuff straps and pockets. And Moore wears the jacket with medium brown, slightly-flared-leg trousers, so it’s not a suit.
The ecru shirt is the standard from Frank Foster, with a large spread collar, front placket and 2-button cocktail cuffs. The tie is solid dark brown. The slip-on shoes are dark brown or black with an apron front and a strap with a buckle at the side.
One of Sean Connery’s best and most popular warm-weather casual outfits is the one he wears on his visit to Palmyra. The camp shirt is a butcher stripe in blue-grey on white. It has a camp collar, cuffed short sleeves, breast pocket, split yoke and side vents. The hem is slightly curved so the front is a little longer than the back. The shirt has a straight fit through the body, which still looks very good without showing off Connery’s V-shaped torso.
The cream linen trousers have a flat front, narrow leg and plain hems. The hem is shorter than usual with no break, which in this case is so the trousers don’t rub against the foot. Bond’s footwear is brown leather sandals. Though not in brown, sandals were a favourite of the literary Bond. Along with most of the other casual outfits in Thunderball, this one holds up very well today.
In Casino Royale‘s black & white opening sequence, one of Bond’s outfits is a navy linen suit. Navy is the best of the dark colours for linen suits, which are usually found in shades of beige. Bond’s suit has natural shoulders and a button two front, with the high button stance that was popular at the time. The high button stance doesn’t function well when closed, but Bond wears it open anyway. The jacket has swelled edges, 4-button cuffs, double vents and patch pockets. The patch pockets are a classic feature on warm-weather suits as they don’t require a lining to be placed inside. The trousers have a flat front and plain hems.
The blue and white end-on-end shirt is likely a linen and cotton blend. It has a tall, 2-button spread collar, placket and short sleeves. Though most suits should be worn with a tie, a casual linen suit is one of the few that can successfully be worn without one. Bond wears the suit with brown suede chukka boots and a dark brown leather belt. Though the scene is in black and white, colour photos can be found in the book Bond on Set: Filming Casino Royale by Greg WIlliams.
In 2001, Pierce Brosnan plays another MI6 agent with a far more relaxed fashion sense than James Bond in The Tailor of Panama. 1990′s trends in tailoring have carried over to the next decade, seen in Brosnan’s full-cut, button three suit made of tan linen. The cloth could be a linen blend, maybe with cotton, silk or both, since it doesn’t wrinkle as much as 100% linen ordinarily does. The button stance is high and the buttons are spaced far apart. The jacket has no vent, 3 buttons on the cuffs and flapped pockets. The trousers have a flat front and full-cut legs. Though the suit isn’t a fine example of tailoring, the loose, unstructured look can be quite comfortable in Panama’s tropical climate.
Brosnan wears a sky blue shirt, with a short point collar, open breast pocket on the left, a centre box pleat in the back and sleeves pleated at the shoulders. The rounded barrel cuffs fasten with one button but have a second button placed around the cuff to close the cuff with a smaller circumference. His monk shoes and belt are burgundy leather with brass buckles.
Brosnan’s outdated, casual style is well-fitted to his character Andy Osnard, who contrasts Geoffrey Rush’s Harry Pendel, the titular character. Roger Moore’s tailor in the 1980′s Bond films, Douglas Hayward, was author John LeCarre’s model for Pendel. Rush’s clothing was far more impressive than Brosnan’s and may be the subject of a future entry here.
In You Only Live Twice, Sean Connery wears an outfit of a linen sports shirt and linen trousers to be comfortable in Japan’s heat. His (darker) ecru shirt has a camp collar and a gently curved hem to be worn untucked. The front is plain with an open breast pocket, and the short sleeves have turned-up cuffs. There are 5 buttons down the front, and Connery leaves the top 2 buttons open. The shirt has a full cut for more comfort in Japan’s heat. Connery wears brown linen flat-front trousers with frogmouth pockets and brown leather sandals.
Compared to Q’s outfit of richer beige and tan tones, Connery wears greyer brown tones that better suit his cooler complexion. It doesn’t have to be Roger Moore in the 1970s for Bond to wear brown. In linen, especially, brown is a classic colour.