In Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig wears a navy wool overcoat over his charcoal suit in London. The single-breasted knee-length coat has a similar look to the suit jackets in the film with some of the same details. Like the suit jacket underneath, the overcoat has pagoda shoulders with roped sleeveheads, and the shoulders are fairly large so they fit comfortably over the suit jacket. The coat buttons three and has a very low button stance with the buttons spaced closer together than is typical. The lower button stance combined with the wide lapels looks very elegant, but it’s not as practical in keeping out the cold. This coat could benefit from a fly front, which would make it look even more elegant, but without the fly front it’s a little more versatile and can be worn less formally.
The front is darted and the waist is suppressed to give the overcoat an athletic silhouette. The coat has straight flap pockets with a ticket pocket, another detail that matches the suit jacket. It also has the same “barchetta” breast pocket, an Italian touch that Tom Ford puts on his rather English-styled clothes. The cuffs button four and there is a centre vent in back. Daniel Craig wears the coat open, which would mean he’s not cold enough to button up the coat. It could also be that he had it unbuttoned in the car and left it in that state, since a long buttoned coat can be cumbersome and quite warm in a heated car.
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.
The 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.
The darts on Sean Connery’s suit jacket, highlighted in red
All of James Bond’s lounge coats—suit jackets, sports coats and dinner jacket—have a front dart. Darts are folds sewn into the cloth to help provide a three-dimensional shape. The front dart gives fullness to the chest and is used by almost all British and Italian tailors. Almost all suits today have it. Tailoring in the American Ivy League style, like what Cec Linder wears as Felix Leiter in Goldfinger, dispenses with the front dart for a cleaner and straighter look, but it relies on an underarm dart for a little shape. A GQ article from April 1966 says that Sean Connery’s tailor Anthony Sinclair doesn’t use a front dart in patterned cloths, only a side dart. The dart noticeably disrupts a large pattern. Sinclair darted all of Connery’s lounge coats, but Sean Connery’s athletic drop would be difficult to tailor well without a front dart.
The extended darts, highlighted in cyan, disrupt the large pattern on Roger Moore’s jacket.
All of Bond’s lounge coats from Dr. No through The Man with the Golden Gun feature a front dart that extends from the chest down to the hem. The dart needs to extend to the hem to prevent too much skirt flare. This method of darting isn’t used very much today since the long dart is more disrupting, especially when a pattern is involved. Some tailors only extend the dart to the hem when cutting a jacket with patch pockets since the dart is partially hidden. Anthony Sinclair, Dimi Major and Cyril Castle all cut their lounge coats this way. One tailor that still uses the extended front dart is Napolisumisura in Naples, Italy, but very few others still do. The extended front dart is used in conjunction with an underarm dart.
The displaced front dart, highlighted in red. This is how most lounge coats are cut now.
From The Spy Who Loved Me to now, all of Bond’s front darts extend to only the pocket, where the rest of the dart is displaced horizontally across the pocket and continued down from the bottom of the underarm dart. The effect is still the same as if the dart continued straight down. This creates a separate piece called the side body. There are other methods of cutting coats, but this is the most common. On patch pockets coats you can look inside the pocket to see how the front dart is cut horizontally to be displaced in the side body seam. Displacing the lower part of the dart hides it under the sleeve and makes pattern mismatching less noticeable. Angelo Roma, Douglas Hayward, Brioni and Tom Ford lounge coats are all cut like this. The new Anthony Sinclair suits are also cut in this manner.
For more on the front dart, whether extended straight to the hem or displaced to the side, see The Cutter and Tailor.
Daniel 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.
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.
For a few years now, American comedian Jimmy Fallon, host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, has been a fan of Tom Ford’s clothing. Last October when I was watching the show I noticed his suit he looked familiar. It was the Tom Ford O’Connor model, the suit designed for Daniel Craig in Skyfall. The ready-to-wear version of the suit is a button two instead of a button three like Daniel Craig wore, but everything else about the suit is the same. Like Craig’s suits, Fallon’s deep charcoal suit has narrow shoulders, narrow lapels, a shorter length, a single vent, button three cuffs and slightly slanted flap pockets. Though Fallon’s suit jacket is fashionably short like Craig’s, it’s not too tight like Craig’s suit jackets are. Fallon’s jacket are fitted closely through the body but don’t pull like Craig’s do.
Fallon wears a light grey shirt, also from Tom Ford. The shirt has a large spread collar and 2-button scalloped cuffs. Ford’s cuffs are a very unique design and something I’d like to see Bond wearing. The scalloped cuffs have an elegant curve, and whilst a few other brands offer such a cuff, none are as dramatic in size and shape as Tom Ford’s. Fallon’s tie is a large black and white gingham check, tied in a windsor knot. His shoes are black.
Tom Ford’s 2-Button Scalloped Cuff
Also, The Suit of James Bond is now partnering with Linkson Jack to bring you ready-to-wear and bespoke grenadine ties. When ordering a bespoke tie, ask for the reverse side of the silk to be used for a tie more like Bond’s. Click here or the banner on the sidebar to find out more.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Turnbull & Asser spread collar
The standard collar amongst the English shirtmakers is the spread collar, and it’s the collar Bond wears more often than not. If it’s wider than a point collar and narrower than a cutaway it’s safe to call it a spread collar. A moderate spread flatters almost everyone and is always a safe choice. They’re great with a suit and tie, with a dinner jacket and bow tie, or open, as long as the collar isn’t too wide.
Frank Foster moderate spread collar
Turnbull & Asser made a wider spread for Sean Connery, whilst Frank Foster typically made a rather moderate—but tall—spread for Roger Moore. Sulka made a smaller, moderate spread for Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye, and Turnbull & Asser made a similar spread for Tomorrow Never Dies. For The World Is Not Enough they made a wider spread, and Brioni continued with the wide spread for Die Another Day. Daniel Craig wore Brioni shirts with a more moderate spread in Casino Royale and a similar collar from Tom Ford in Quantum of Solace.
Apart from the obvious differences of length, height and spread width, there’s the matter of tie space. It’s the quarter-inch to half-inch—or more—space between the collar leaves where the collar meets at the neck. Bond’s spread collars almost all have tie space, with the exception of the Brioni spread collars and Roger Moore’s brown stripe, double-button-collar shirt in Live and Let Die. Even with a very wide spread, a little tie space will help the knot to stay in place. Without it the knot often slips down and reveals the collar band above it because the collar leaves will push down the knot. A collar band with tie space is usually angled so the band will not show above the knot. Tie space plays just as large a roll in how large a tie knot can be worn with a collar.
Brioni spread collar with no tie space