I’ve ranked the James Bond films by wardrobe, using criteria such as how well the clothes fit, how timeless or dated they look and how iconic the outfits are. There is much opinion involved in this, so feel free to agree or disagree. This is only a ranking of the wardrobes of the Bond films and not of the films themselves.
24. Licence to Kill has easily the worst wardrobe in the entire series, with its baggy, low-gorge suits, a dinner jacket with two buttons, and oversized casual clothes. The clothes follow the fashions of the 1980s and discard the traditions established by the previous Bond films. At least the clothes avoid the pastels that were popular at the time, but not even classic navy can save these clothes.
23. Skyfall‘s clothes could have been very nice, but the suits’ shrunken fit will terribly date Skyfall in the future. Though suits that crease and pull because they are too tight are fashionable, the small suits make Daniel Craig look smaller than he is, and the tightness does nothing to show off Craig’s muscular physique. The tab collars on the shirts aren’t necessarily bad, but their fussiness is out of place on Bond. The film features an excellent selection of casual clothes, including a navy peacoat and a waxed jacket from Barbour.
22. You Only Live Twice features the least amount of tailored clothes of all the Bond films with only two briefly worn suits, but it is the first to feature Bond in a naval uniform. Bond’s camp shirts are quite forgettable, and the mock polo neck that Bond wears for infiltrating Blofeld’s volcano lair isn’t the most flattering piece.
21. The Living Daylights has rather ordinary clothes—all ready-to-wear—but classic and appropriate for the character. Unlike in Licence to Kill, the clothes aren’t fashion forward, and they look appropriate for a British agent. The clothes still have a full cut that reflects late 1980s fashion trends, but the clothes don’t look too large. But in comparison to the previous Bond films that all featured Bond in bespoke suits, the wardrobe of this film is a let down.
20. The Spy Who Loved Me brings Bond’s wardrobe fully into the 1970s, with the widest lapels and widest trouser flares of the series. The hue of the brown suit and the safari-detailed sports coat add to the 1970s look of the film’s wardrobe. The cuts of the jackets are classic Roman and fit very well, yet the 70s details unfortunately distract from that. The midnight blue double-breasted dinner suit is a highlight of the film’s wardrobe. Despite the clothes looking very dated, they all look great on Roger Moore. The naval dress uniform and greatcoat are fantastic pieces that bring up the film’s wardrobe.
19. Moonraker continues with the same wide 1970s lapels and trouser flares that Bond first wears in The Spy Who Loved Me, but the navy pinstripe three-piece suit in the office, the brown donegal tweed suit in the hunting scene and the grey dupioni silk suit in Venice hold up better than the brown suit in The Spy Who Loved Me does. The single-breasted blazer and dinner suit are similar to what Bond wears in the previous film. Moonraker‘s worst piece or tailored clothing is a double-breasted blazer let down by its wide notched lapels. Some may consider the safari suit a minus to this film’s wardrobe, but wearing it in the South American jungle is completely acceptable. The shoes he wears with it, however, could have been more appropriate.
18. Diamonds Are Forever has a wonderful variety of suits in all the classic Connery Bond colours and patterns, but the suits are let down by wide lapels and wide pocket flaps. Connery’s fluctuating weight means that some of the clothes didn’t fit him as well as they should have. The dinner jackets unfortunately have pocket flaps, and the black dinner suit is the flashiest of the series with its fancy facings. The pink tie brings the film’s wardrobe down further.
17. GoldenEye brought Bond into the 90s with full-cut tailoring, though in comparison to the baggy suits in Licence to Kill, Brosnan’s suits have clean, elegant lines. The Italian suits and flashy ties, however, make Bond look too much like a banker. The cut of the suits looks dated and the tactical gear makes Bond look more like a solider than a spy.
16. Tomorrow Never Dies has all of the same wardrobe problems that GoldenEye has, but the vicuna-coloured double-breasted overcoat and the elegant five-button double-breasted waistcoat that Bond wears with his midnight blue dinner suit bring the wardrobe up just a bit from the previous film. The naval uniform makes a welcome return.
15. The Man with the Golden Gun introduces the first of the true safari clothes to Bond. The cream tailored safari jacket is a low point of the film’s wardrobe, but sage green safari shirt isn’t so bad considering the tropical setting. The lapels are wider than in Live and Let Die, but the double-breasted chalkstripe suit that Bond wears to the office and the double-breasted ivory dinner jacket still look great, and the charcoal suits are Bond classics with a 70s twist.
14. Live and Let Die brings James Bond’s wardrobe further into the 1970s from what Sean Connery wears in Diamonds Are Forever. The jackets have narrower lapels and pocket flaps than what Connery wears two years earlier, but the tapered trouser legs have been replaced with slightly flared legs. Whilst there are two leisure suits, such as the horrendous powder blue outfit, the classic navy double-breasted chesterfield coat is one of the most iconic overcoats of the series. The tailoring fits Moore better than it fit Connery two years earlier, which easily brings Live and Let Die‘s wardrobe ahead of Diamonds Are Forever‘s.
13. Spectre‘s clothes improve from Skyfall‘s with a wide variety of colours, particularly two medium blue suits that perfectly suit Daniel Craig’s complexion. The blue Crombie coat and the black bridge coat are excellent and unique pieces for the Bond series, but they still respect the Bond clothing traditions. The casual wear in both the cold Austrian scenes and warm Moroccan scenes equally respects Bond traditions whilst keeping the clothes up to date. The only problem with Spectre is that the suits are again too tight like they were in Skyfall, but the suits don’t make Daniel Craig look as small as they did in Skyfall.
12. Die Another Day features a few nice suits and two beautiful overcoats, but some of the suits couldn’t be let out to account for Pierce Brosnan’s fluctuating weight. He wears a nice heavy charcoal polo neck jumper, but the clothing in the film doesn’t particularly stand out. The wardrobe is let down by the blue printed shirt in Cuba.
11. Casino Royale has a perfect dinner suit and some classic suits, including a unique grey linen suit with peaked lapels, but the wide trousers that Daniel Craig wears throughout the film look a bit silly today. The casual outfit that he wears in Madagascar is one of the ugliest of the series, but the navy polo shirt in the Bahamas is classic Bond.
10. Thunderball features Bond mostly in casual clothes, which vary from classic to dated. The Fred Perry polo and the long-sleeve polo jumper look great, but the camp shirts have too full a fit and look outdated today. The Jantzen swimming trunks are somewhere in between. The tailoring—which includes three suits, a sports coat and a blazer—all looks perfect.
9. Quantum of Solace features the most British-looking tailoring in Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond, but even though the dark colours suit the mood of the film, they wash out Craig’s complexion. The casual clothes feature a shawl-collar cardigan, wonderful polo shirts and a Harrington jacket, but they’re let down by the only appearance of blue denim jeans in the series.
8. Octopussy‘s clothes have held up very well. The grey striped three-piece, tan gabardine and navy double-breasted suits by Douglas Hayward still look great today, and the ivory peaked lapel dinner jacket that Connery made famous returns in better form here than the original from Goldfinger. The safari suit makes its best appearance in the Indian jungle. Unfortunately, often Bond finds himself wearing disguises, and the number of circus costumes Bond finds himself in slightly brings down Bond’s look in the film.
7. For Your Eyes Only put Bond back into classic tailoring after the fashionable excess of the 1970s. Traditional three-piece suits and flannel suits have made a return for the London scenes, and a light brown suit appropriately makes an appearance in the Mediterranean. The excessively low button stance is the only downside to the tailoring in this film. Suede jackets and polo necks make up much of the film’s casual wardrobe, which have now returned to Bond in Spectre.
6. A View to a Kill has some of the best sports coats of the series, all worn by James St. John Smythe. The grey tweed and brown donegal tweed jackets are perfect for the country setting but not out of place for Bond either. The blue blazer is also classic Bond, and the cravat that he wears with it can just be passed off as a subtle disguise. The charcoal woollen flannel three-piece suit and tan gabardine suit both still look great today, and the morning suit is perfect. The wardrobe is only let down by the track suit, which looks horribly dated and terrible on 57-year-old Roger Moore.
5. The World is Not Enough features the best tailoring of all of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films as well as some of the best of the series. The suits do not have the longer and baggier 90s cut that Brosnan sports in his previous two films, and there’s a larger variety of suits, including different shades of grey, blue and cream. The lack of casual wear means that there is less to look dated in this film.
4. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service has some of the most beautiful suits of the series, all with a perfect and timeless fit. Bond dresses elegantly for warm, moderate and cold weather in linen, worsteds and flannels. The only let downs are the slightly dated brown golfing outfit and the two ruffled dress shirts. The highland dress is another count against Lazenby’s wardrobe, but the good far outweighs the bad in this film.
3. Dr. No starts off with one of the greatest dinner suits of the entire series, and it establishes the high standards for Bond’s wardrobe. The tailoring has a classic and timeless English look, including three grey suits and a navy blazer. Both the tailored clothes and the casual wear, a light blue polo, still look fantastic today.
The plain-weave glen check suit in From Russia with Love
2. From Russia with Love takes the greatness of Dr. No‘s wardrobe and expands on the grey glen check and flannel suits with blue, striped and silk suits. Though there is a wider variety of suits, the sober simplicity established in Dr. No hasn’t changed. The film does a great job at proving how versatile a navy grenadine tie and a light blue shirt can be.
1. Goldfinger has a wonderful selection of tailored clothing, including the popular three-piece light grey glen check suit, the brown barleycorn hacking jacket, the elegant golf jumper by Slazenger and the first ivory dinner jacket of the series. No other Bond film has so many iconic pieces. Though not as elegant as the grenadine ties of the previous Bond films, the informal knitted ties in Goldfinger better reflect the literary Bond’s wardrobe. The film is only slightly let down by Bond’s light blue terrycloth playsuit.