15 Quotes from the James Bond Films About Tailors, Suits and Menswear

Here are 15 quotes from the James Bond series that Bond says about his clothing, Bond says about other men’s clothing and other characters say about Bond’s clothing.

Dr. No

Dr-No-Savile-Row

1

Felix Leiter: Interesting … where were you measured for this, bud?
James Bond: My tailor. Savile Row.
Leiter: That’s so? Mine’s a guy in Washington.

Sean Connery’s suit was actually from Anthony Sinclair on Conduit Street, which intersects Savile Row. Savile Row is known worldwide for its tailoring whilst Conduit Street—which was historically home to a number of tailors—is not. Sinclair himself said “I make only a Savile Row style”, so Connery’s comment is not entirely false. “Savile Row” is often used as a term to describe traditional English tailoring, though only tailoring firms on the Row should be allowed to call themselves “Savile Row” tailors.

Dr-No-Quite-Suitable

2

James Bond: Am I properly dressed for the occasion?
Sister Lily: Quite suitable.
Bond: Suitable for what?

From Russia with Love

From-Russia-with-Love-Benz

3

James Bond on Benz’s suit: Not mad about his tailor, are you?

Goldfinger

Goldfinger-Meet-me-here

4

M to James Bond: Meet me here at seven. Black tie.

Thunderball

Thunderball-Think-I-had-a-hat

5

James Bond: I think I had a hat when I came in.

Bond did indeed have a hat, but he was wearing it with a completely different outfit when he arrived at the office. The navy blazer Bond was wearing when he arrived in a hurry from the country was too informal for the office, so when he had a chance he changed his clothes to a more appropriate three-piece suit. Who knows what happened to his hat? Perhaps it was misplaced during production and this line was added to account for the error.

Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds-Are-Forever-Tailor-Hong-Kong

6

James Bond: I know a good tailor in Hong Kong.

Bond mentions this tailor again when he visits Hong Kong in Die Another Day.

Live and Let Die

Live-and-Let-Die-Double-Vents

7

James Bond: That’s fine. You can fit the rest this afternoon.
Tailor: Right, sir.
Bond: Don’t forget the double vents. (The suit jacket was mistakenly made with a single vent.)
[Looking at ties]
Bond: [Picking out the brown tie he dons] This will do nicely. It’s [another tie is] a little frantic, I’ll keep the other three.

Live-and-Let-Die-Ties

The Man with the Golden Gun

The-Man-with-the-Golden-Gun-Humiliated-tailors

8

James Bond: I mean sir, who would pay a million dollars to have me killed?
M: Jealous husbands! Outraged chefs! Humiliated tailors! The list is endless!

Moonraker

Moonraker-Tailors-heart

9

Dr. Holly Goodhead: Have you broken something?
James Bond: Only my tailor’s heart.

Octopussy

Octopussy-Stuck-a-knife

10

James Bond: You wouldn’t have a small piece of thread in that [a coil of rope], would you Q? Somebody seems to have stuck a knife in my wallet.
Q: They missed you? What a pity.

A View to a Kill

A-View-to-a-Kill-Tibbett

11

James Bond, as James St. John Smyth: Well Tibbett, you heard what Miss Jenny Flex said. There is a reception at six.
Sir Godfrey Tibbett, as Bond’s valet: Yes, sir.
Bond: So, I shall be needing a white jacket and a black tie.
Tibbett: Yes, sir.
Bond: And if possible, a clean shirt.
Tibbett: Yes, sir.
Bond: Oh my lord, Tibbett, look at the state of my clothes! How on earth do you pack my bags?
Tibbett: Sorry, sir.
[On tape]
Bond: Oh my lord, what the devil’s wrong with these shoes? It looks as though they were wiped over with an oily rag!
Tibbett: I’m terribly sorry, sir.

The Living Daylights

Living-Daylights-Fancy-Dress-Ball

12

Saunders to James Bond: You’re bloody late. This is a mission, not a fancy-dress ball!

Die Another Day

Die-Another-Day-Send-up-my-tailor

13

James Bond to Mr. Chang: Perhaps you could send up my tailor … and some food.

Casino Royale

Casino-Royale-Suit-disdain

14

Vesper Lynd to James Bond: All right … by the cut of your suit, you went to Oxford or wherever. Naturally you think human beings dress like that. But you wear it with such disdain, my guess is you didn’t come from money, and your school friends never let you forget it.

By the context of Vesper’s line, Bond’s Brioni suit is standing in for a Savile Row suit. But wearing a suit with disdain or contempt is certainly not the way of Fleming’s Bond, who considered the way people dress to be a very important part of their character. By the end of the Casino Royale film, Bond grows to appreciate the suits he wears.

Casino-Royale-I-have-a-dinner-jacket

15

James Bond: I have a dinner jacket.
Vesper Lynd: There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets; this is the latter. And I need you looking like a man who belongs at that table.
Bond: How? … It’s tailored.
Lynd: I sized you up the moment we met.

The latter is a proper dinner jacket, such as the one Bond wears with a single button, peaked lapels, jetted pockets and no vent. The dinner jacket that Bond already has (but not shown on screen) is likely questionable in style, with two or three buttons on the front, notched lapels, flapped pockets and a single vent. In reality, however, it would be very unlikely for Vesper to purchase such a well-fitting dinner jacket for Bond. Bond is correct to question how Vesper got him a tailored jacket, especially on such short notice, and expected it to fit well.

Lines about women’s clothing have been left out, but the great “That’s quite a nice little nothing you’re almost wearing”, from Diamonds Are Forever, and “You get your clothes on … and I’ll buy you an ice cream”, from For Your Eyes Only, deserve honourable mention. If there are any lines left out that you think should have been included, feel free to mention them below.

Midnight Blue Dinner Suits

Skyfall-Dinner-Suit-Midnight-Blue

Since Skyfall was released in 2012, midnight blue dinner suits (tuxedos) have become very popular. James Bond has had a long history of wearing midnight blue dinner suits, starting with Bond’s introduction in Dr. No, so Skyfall is by no means a first for James Bond in a midnight blue dinner suit. In fact, half of James Bond’s dinner suits (excluding ivory dinner jackets and the midnight blue velvet dinner jacket in Diamonds Are Forever) have been midnight blue. The midnight blue dinner suit is by no means a fashion of the day.

Dr. No Dinner Suit

Sean Connery wearing a midnight blue dinner suit in Dr. No

Midnight blue is a very dark shade of blue named after the colour of the midnight sky that can easily be mistaken for black. It’s more of a type of black than it is a type of blue. The point of making dinner suits in midnight blue instead of black is so they look darker than black, and not look noticeably blue. In artificial lighting midnight blue ends up looking like a richer black, and Daniel Craig’s dinner suit in Skyfall pictured at the top is a good example of this. The blue body of the dinner jacket looks darker than its actually black lapels! If a midnight blue dinner suit is obviously blue it is too light and not actually midnight blue. Dinner suits in lighter shades of blue, such as navy, marine blue and royal blue, are a current fad and not actually midnight blue, which many people are calling them. The elegant contrast of classic evening wear is lost with these lighter dinner suits.

Skyfall-Dinner-Suit-Midnight-Blue-Daytime-2

Daniel Craig’s midnight blue dinner jacket in Skyfall looks blue in bright daylight, but it is still a very dark blue. The contrast between the midnight blue cloth and black lapels is only noticeable in daylight, which isn’t a problem since dinner jackets should only be worn at night.

Navy, marine blue and royal blue suits came into fashion after people saw Daniel Craig wearing a royal blue dinner suit on the Skyfall posters. Skyfall had a very large advertising budget, and posters of this royal blue dinner suit were everywhere. Daniel Craig was actually wearing a midnight blue dinner suit—the same as what he wears in the film—but the poster’s designer enhanced the colours of the photo to make the dinner jacket lighter and bolder. Whoever is responsible for choosing to enhance the dinner suit’s blue on the poster may be responsible for this fashion trend.

A poster for Skyfall with Daniel Craig in a colour-enhanced dinner suit

A poster for Skyfall with Daniel Craig in a colour-enhanced dinner suit. The actual dinner suit is much darker, as seen in the image above.

Midnight blue dinner jacket can have either black or midnight blue silk facings and trimmings. Sean Connery’s, George Lazenby’s and Pierce Brosnan’s (in Tomorrow Never Dies) midnight blue dinner suits are faced in midnight blue, whilst Roger Moore’s, Pierce Brosnan’s (in The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day) and Daniel Craig’s midnight blue dinner suits are faced in black. It is easier to find a bow tie and cummerbund to match black facings than it is to find a blue bow tie and cummerbund to match blue facings. A midnight blue dinner jacket should be treated exactly the same as a black dinner jacket—because midnight blue is a shade of black—and worn with matching trousers.

Pierce Brosnan wearing a midnight blue dinner jacket in The World Is Not Enough

Pierce Brosnan wearing a midnight blue dinner jacket in The World Is Not Enough

James Bond’s Three Piece Suits

Thunderball-Flannel-Suit

Three-piece suits have been an iconic part of James Bond’s look since he exited the lavatory on Goldfinger’s private jet wearing a grey glen check suit in Goldfinger. Since Daniel Craig will be wearing a three-piece suit again in Spectre, I thought it would be helpful to look back at James Bond’s past three-piece suits.

The waistcoat

The inclusion of a matching waistcoat (vest) along with the jacket and trousers is what makes a suit a three-piece suit. Bond usually wears a traditional waistcoat that has six buttons and a small cutaway at the bottom. Sometimes the bottom button is on the cutaway, but even if it is not, Bond does not fasten the bottom button. The bottom button on a waistcoat is never fastened out of tradition, but it is also never fastened to allow the bottom of the waistcoat needs to spread apart when seated. In Thunderball (pictured top) the waistcoats are cut straight across the bottom, and all buttons are meant to fasten. The straight-bottomed waistcoats look a little like sleeveless cardigans and are thus slightly less formal. Bond has occasionally worn waistcoats with five buttons or seven buttons, and in Goldfinger and The World Is Not Enough, the waistcoats have notched lapels. Bond’s waistcoats typically have four welt pocked on the front, and the back of the waistcoat is made in the same material as the jacket’s lining.

Goldfinger-Grey-Three-PIece-Suit-Waistcoat

Bond showing off the waistcoat to his three-piece suit in Goldfinger

How James Bond wears his three-piece suits

Most of Bond’s three-piece suits are made of dark worsteds or flannels and worn in London. Sean Connery wears a dark brown three-piece suit to the office in Thunderball, and George Lazenby wears two navy three-piece suits (herringbone and chalk stripe) to the office and the College of Arms in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. From Moonraker in 1979 to The World Is Not Enough twenty years later in 1999, Bond all but twice wears three-piece suits to the office and in other London scenes.

Navy-Herringbone-Suit

Bond at the office in a navy herringbone three-piece suit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

A dark three piece suit gives Bond a traditional, confident and powerful look that is appropriate for his formal office setting. Bond’s dark three-piece suits are most often navy with pinstripes or chalk stripes, but charcoal flannel is another favourite colour for Bond’s three-piece suits. Bond has also worn three piece suits in a business setting in navy herringbone, navy birdseye, grey herringbone, grey windowpane, grey rope stripe and black pinstripe suitings.

For mourning the death of his “brother” in Diamonds Are Forever, Bond wears a black three-piece suit. Today people may consider a three-piece suit too flashy for a funeral, even in somber solid black. Bond also wears two sporty three-piece suits outside of London for non-business occasions: the grey glen check suit in Goldfinger and the brown tweed suit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Casino-Royale-Three-Piece-Suit

Bond in a three-piece suit in Lake Como in Casino Royale

The last time Bond wore a three-piece suit was at Lake Como in Casino Royale. Considering the location, the navy pinstripe suit that Bond wears is out of place. A solid navy or grey two-piece suit would have been better since the three-piece is too serious and pinstripes suggest the office. Though Bond is often overdressed, he is overdressed more than usual in this scene. However, the three-piece suit in Casino Royale signifies that Bond has completed his first mission and is now the more suave and mature James Bond we know from the previous twenty films.

Though the three-piece suit is a little out of place at Lake Como, it is even more out of place on the oil rig during during the climax of Diamonds Are Forever. Bond looks absolutely ridiculous wearing his navy pinstripe three-piece suit there, though it conceals Connery’s heavier figure better than practical tactical gear would have. In fact, a well-fitting three-piece suit is one of the most flattering things a man can wear.

How to wear a three-piece suit

Wearing a three-piece suit has a few difference to wearing a two-piece suit. It allows the jacket to be worn open and still look just as presentable as it does with it closed. If you remove your suit jacket at your desk like Bond does in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, you will look more dressed with a waistcoat. The waistcoat, however, cannot replace the suit jacket for any occasions a suit is required.

Bond at his desk in just his waistcoat

Bond at his desk in just his waistcoat in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The correct proportions and fit are more important with three-piece suits than they are with two-piece suits because they have a waistcoat to tie the pieces all together. It is important that the waistcoat and trousers work together to prevent the shirt from showing between the bottom of the waistcoat and the top of the trousers. The waistcoat needs to cover the the trousers’ waistband. The problem with wearing a waistcoat with modern low-rise trousers is that the waistcoat has to be very long. When the waistcoat is too long it cannot conform to the body as well, which makes the body look heavier when the jacket is removed. A long waistcoat also makes the torso look larger overall, which is not flattering. A waistcoat that is too long will also be uncomfortable to sit in. Wearing trousers with a traditional rise is the only proper way to wear a three-piece suit so the suit as a whole can fit and move with the body in the best way possible.

Octopussy-Grey-Rope-Stripe-2

M, the Minister of Defence and Bond, all in three-piece suits in Octopussy

Three-piece suits should never be worn with belts since they leave a lump under the waistcoat. Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig wear three-piece suits with belts in their Bond films, as opposed to Sean Connery and George Lazenby who wear suit trousers with side adjusters. Ralph Fiennes’ Gareth Mallory in Skyfall wears his three-piece suits with braces, which are the best option for trouser support when wearing a waistcoat. Braces are the only sure way to prevent the trousers from sagging and revealing the shirt below the waistcoat. And if you don’t want anyone to know you are wearing braces, the waistcoat keeps them perfectly hidden. I am surprised that the films have not—or at least not from what can be seen—put Bond in braces when wearing a three-piece suit. The trousers often slip down in action to reveal a sliver of the shirt. This could have been avoided with braces, and nobody would ever know or think that Bond is wearing braces when they are hidden under a waistcoat.

Another Suit from Spectre Revealed

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Daily Mail has once again posted images from the filming of Spectre. This time Daniel Craig is wearing a light navy Tom Ford suit with a light windowpane pattern. The windowpane may be overlaid on a subtle glen check pattern, though from the quality of the photos it’s hard enough to see the windowpane. The style and fit of the suit is, quite unfortunately, practically identical to the suits in Skyfall. Clearly it’s not a suit meant for moving around in!

The suit jacket looks like it has two buttons, but it may have three like in Skyfall. It also has straight shoulders, narrow notched lapels, a single vent, four buttons on the cuffs—with the last button left open—and slightly slanted hip pockets with flaps. As for the fit, the jacket length is again too short to cover his buttocks and it is too small all around. A suit should not be so binding, no matter how much one moves around. No matter how tight a suit is it doesn’t show off Daniel Craig’s muscular physique. Tight knitted garments, like the mock polo neck jumper, conform to the body and move with the body because they can stretch, whilst tight woven garments, especially tailored garments with a lot of internal structure, are unable to stretch. Suits can mould to the body, but they still have to fit well first, and they need a little allowance in areas for movement. The suit may be too tight because Daniel Craig is wearing a safety harness under it, but the costume designer Jany Temime should have accounted for that, just as she ordered a suit with longer sleeves for riding a motorbike in Skyfall. One things this suit from Spectre improves on over the Skyfall suits are wider shoulders, so at least Daniel Craig looks more powerful in this suit. The flat-front suit trousers are again a little too tight, and they aren’t staying up as high as they are supposed to sit on the waist. When the trousers sag, it causes the front to look messy and show below the fastened jacket button. The trousers have an extended waistband with side adjusters, and the legs are finished with turn-ups.

The white shirt is certainly an improvement over the Skyfall shirts since the tab collar is replaced with a point collar. Still, one would expect at least a semi-spread for such an English hero. The shirt also has double cuffs, which don’t quite fit inside the suit jacket’s narrow sleeves. One area that this shirt is not improved over the Skyfall shirts is the colour. Light blue flatters Daniel Craig’s light complexion more than white does, which washes him out a little. The tie is navy (possibly with a pattern that can’t be seen), and the navy tie with a navy suit is one of the most classic Bond combinations, though it is most often done with a blue shirt. It is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Since the knot is so narrow, the tie likely has a very light interlining. Craig also wears a folded white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket. The shoes are probably the Crockett & Jones Norwich model. They are black five-eyelet, cap-toe derby shoes with Dainite studded rubber soles. His socks are a rather boring and unstylish black. Navy would have been a better choice, since it would extend the line of possibly-too-short trouser legs.

See more photos and read about the filming at Daily Mail.

Spectre Teaser Poster: A Charcoal Mock Polo Neck

Spectre Teaser Poster

The teaser poster for Spectre was released yesterday, and it features Daniel Craig wearing a charcoal grey mock polo neck—also known as the mock turtleneck or mock roll-neck—jumper and charcoal grey checked trousers. The outfit with the visible shoulder holster immediately recalls Roger Moore’s black polo neck outfit in Live and Let Die. That outfit, in turn, was inspired by Steve McQueen’s very similar outfit in Bullitt, which was made five years before Live and Let Die. Whilst Moore’s and McQueen’s jumpers have true polo necks that are folded over, Daniel Craig’s jumper has a mock polo neck that has both ends of the collar sewn down to the neckline. It’s also shorter than a true polo neck. Daniel Craig’s jumper is also charcoal instead of black like Moore’s is, which is a more flattering choice to his light complexion. The finely-knitted wool jumper snugly hugs Daniel Craig’s body, and it has fine-ribbed cuffs and hem. It is 70% cashmere and 30% silk, and it is made by N.Peal.

The choice to bring back the polo neck may be due to Spectre director Sam Mendes’ fond memories of seeing his first James Bond film Live and Let Die. It may also be due to the popularity of the animated spy television show Archer, in which the title character popularised the black polo neck he originally saw tactical potential in and calls it the “tactleneck”. By going with charcoal grey instead of black, James Bond makes this mock polo neck his own. Grey is actually a little better for hiding in the dark than true black is. The grey mock polo neck recalls the lighter grey one that Sean Connery wears in You Only Live Twice.

The trousers are black with a tiny white or light grey tick pattern, giving them a charcoal look overall. The ends of the frogmouth pockets can be seen peaking out from under the jumper. The Tom Ford Autumn/Winter 2015 collection features many trousers with frogmouth pockets, so these could certainly be from it.

A First Look at Spectre’s Suits

Spectre-Tom-Ford-Suit

Daily Mail has given us a good look at what Daniel Craig is wearing in Spectre. For those who want to read about the suit without spoilers, my write-up of this new suit is free of context. There are many more photos posted at imgur (where the photo above is from), but no more photos will follow in this article.

Daniel Craig’s first suit from Spectre that we get to see is a three-piece navy herringbone made by Tom Ford. It’s likely a mohair blend due to the suit’s strong sheen. It’s made in Ford’s well-known style: a button two jacket with wide peaked lapels and strong pagoda shoulders with roped sleeveheads. The shoulders are similar to the Quantum of Solace suits’ shoulders. The dramatic silhouette is inspired by British designer/Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter’s designs that his former tailors Edward SextonRoy Chittleborough and Joe Morgan still make today. I recommend checking out their work at the links above. Though Spectre is the third Bond film to feature Tom Ford’s suits, this is the first time Bond is wearing Ford’s signature style full-on. Craig’s suit jacket is still too tight and too short like the Skyfall suits, but it’s not as short and not quite as tight. Also, the jacket’s larger shoulders combined with a not-as-short length make Craig’s Bond look like the commanding man he should be. This is where Spectre‘s suits have greatly succeeded over Skyfall‘s. The narrow shoulders and shrunken cut of the Skyfall suits manage to make the muscular Daniel Craig look rather wimpy. The Skyfall suits look like they are a full chest size and length too small whereas this suit from Spectre looks only just a little too tight.

The suit jacket has wide pocket flaps with a ticket pocket, a single vent and five-button cuffs with the last button left open. The jacket’s lapels—being both very wide and peaked—make this suit rather flashy for a secret agent. Peaked lapels on a single-breasted jacket were popular in the 1930s and 40s and are popular again now, but they are not a conservative choice. James Bond previously wears peaked lapels on single-breasted suit jackets in Diamonds Are Forever and Casino Royale. The single vent—like in Skyfall—isn’t particularly British for a dressy worsted suit, but there’s technically nothing wrong with it. Sean Connery’s Bond wears single-vented suits fairly often. This is the style of suit jacket Tom Ford favours on himself, so he may have had more personal input this time around. Roger Moore even wears a suit in a very similar style in his film Street People.

The suit’s waistcoat has six buttons with the bottom button left open. Like the jacket, it looks a little too tight, but Craig doesn’t look like he is going to burst the buttons off it like the Hulk. The trousers have a flat front, somewhat low rise, slide-buckle side adjusters, narrow tapered legs—which are, again, just a little too snug—and plain hems. Yes, that’s right, Bond does not wear turn-ups (cuffs) this time. Only once or twice over the past twenty years has Bond worn suit trousers without turn-ups. The trousers have slipped down, revealing the shirt below the waistcoat. Braces would have helped the shirt to not show, and since Bond is wearing a waistcoat they would be completely hidden.

Daniel Craig not only wears Tom Ford’s preferred suit style but also Ford’s preferred shirt collar. Craig’s white shirt has a point collar with eyelets for a collar pin to stick through it. The silver collar pin is the kind with balls on the end that unscrew to slide through the holes in the collar. It’s the cleanest-looking type of collar pin, but it’s the most affected kind of collar pin as well. Ford himself prefers a collar without eyelets and a gold safety pin that sticks through the collar. Nevertheless, any collar pin is too fussy for the literary Bond’s simple tastes, and it’s a step beyond Skyfall’s tab collars. Pierce Brosnan was a big fan of the collar pin in Remington Steele since it was a popular style in the 1980s. One thing this shirt might actually get right is the cuff style. Click on the image at the top to enlarge and you might see a cocktail cuff! James Bond has not worn cocktail cuffs since Moonraker (not counting Never Say Never Again), but unless my eyes are deceiving me, it looks like he is wearing cocktail cuffs again. A win for the cocktail cuff fans! Costume designer Jany Temime deserves credit for this brilliant homage to the early Bond films. For those who aren’t fans of the cocktail cuffs they add yet another level of flashiness to the outfit.

Craig’s tie is a black-on-black pattern and tied in a windsor knot, another uncharacteristic style for Bond, but it certainly wouldn’t be Bond’s first windsor knot. The white pocket square with a navy border is stuffed in the pocket, though it’s not stuffed in deep enough. It looks like he’s trying to hard to show it off, whereas just a little of it showing from behind the wide peaked lapels would have been more effective.

The black double-monk ankle boots are the Crockett & Jones Camberley. They have a cap toe and Dainite studded rubber sole. Monk boots are not to be confused with Jodhpur boots; monk boots have the quarters over the vamp whilst jodhpur boots have the vamp over the quaters. Though atypical, the boots are actually very Bond-like, recalling a mix of Sean Connery’s and Pierce Brosnan’s Bonds’ footwear. Connery wears black ankle boots with some of his suits in Goldfinger and Thunderball. Pierce Brosnan wears black monk shoes with some of his suits in The World Is Not Enough. The closest shoes to these previously worn by Bond are Sean Connery’s brown monk boots in Diamonds Are Forever that he wears with his light grey suitcream suit and brown checked sports coat. Boots work well with the narrow suit trousers since narrow trousers cover less and are more likely to show sock with regular shoes. Monk boots also respect the literary Bond, who “abhorred shoe-laces,” as Ian Fleming wrote in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. On the other hand, these monk boots are amongst Bond’s flashiest footwear. They might be even flashier than Roger Moore’s Gucci and Ferragamo horse-bit slip-ons!

Over the suit Daniel Craig wears a black greatcoat-inspired topcoat that has many similarities to the greatcoat he wears in Quantum of Solace. It is probably made by Tom Ford. The double-breasted coat is knee-length and has eight buttons on the front with four to button. The coat also has an ulster collar, meaning the coat has revers than can fold over button up at the neck. The ulster collar is more practical but less dressy than peaked lapels. The back of the coat has a half belt with buttons. The style of coat recalls James Bond’s military origins. Craig only buttons the coat’s second button from the top, which causes the rather lightweight topcoat to fall out of shape and rumple a bit. On top of that, the coat is a little too tight around the waist. It’s difficult to tell if the fit, the belt’s setting or the way Craig buttons the coat is the main cause of the rumpling. Both with and without the topcoat, Craig wears black perforated leather gloves that have a strap on top of the wrist. They go well with the black topcoat, but without the topcoat they look villainous. Craig wears sunglasses again in Spectre, and they’re probably made by Tom Ford.

Overall this first clear look of the style in Spectre is very interesting, and costume designer Jany Temime has done a better job with this suit in her second Bond film than she did with any of the suits in Skyfall. Though we see a fit problem again, it’s not as bad as it was in Skyfall. The clothing styles respect James Bond tradition in some areas—like the colours of the clothes, the cocktail cuffs, the boots (in some ways) and the topcoat—and ignore it in others—like the peaked lapels, the boots (in other ways) and the collar pin. The clothes are certainly too flashy for Bond, but at the same time they are very stylish and interesting.

James Bond’s Many Brown Suits

GFBrown3

Roger Moore is often criticised for succumbing to 1970s fashion and causing him to wear uncharacteristic brown suits in his James Bond films. However, Bond has worn brown suits spanning five decades, from Goldfinger in 1964 to Quantum of Solace in 2008. Brown suits have a very long history that is independent of 1970s fashion. Brown suits are traditionally worn in the country made of rustic cloths like tweed and flannel. Brown worsted suits also have a long history, though they were never a conservative choice in London.

Goldfinger-Houndstooth-Suit

The first brown suit in the series is Sean Connery’s brown and black houndstooth check country suit (pictured above) that he wears to the office in Goldfinger. No fashion trends influenced the colour of this suit, though it’s not the most appropriate choice for conducting business in the city. This is the perfect suit for country pursuits—and it was cut for that purpose for Connery to first use in the film Woman of Straw—and the dark colour and subtle pattern fit the James Bond character. Later in Goldfinger for the scene at Fort Knox, Bond wears a worsted brown striped suit (pictured top). This suit likely has black mixed with the brown, since the suit’s colour is very dark and muted. It’s certainly not a country suit, though it’s not a conservative choice to wear in town either. It works best for business and dressy occasions outside of the city, and it’s certainly appropriate to wear when foiling a villain’s plans at Fort Knox. A brown worsted suit is a great choice for when a proper city suit is too dressy but a traditional country suit is too relaxed. This kind of dark, muted brown also suits Connery’s complexion better than light, rich browns. Connery dresses it up with a white shirt, black tie and black shoes. Conservative accessories can make a brown worsted suit passable for business in the city, depending on the setting.

Connery Anthony Sinclair Brown Suit

In Thunderball Sean Connery again wears a muted brown suit, but this time it’s a three-piece brown suit at the office (pictured above). Like the striped suit, this suit is brown mixed with black, and Connery dresses it up conservatively with a simple cream shirt, a solid brown grenadine tie and black shoes. Being a three-piece makes the suit dressier, and that tries to make up for the less conservative colour. Keep in mind that James Bond was never one to follow all the rules.

TickSuit

In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service George Lazenby wears a bolder brown suit for the swiss mountains; it is brown tweed with a cream tick pattern and a rust windowpane (pictured above). This might seem a bit too bold for Bond, but it actually belongs to the man Bond is impersonating: Sir Hilary Bray. Bray himself wears this suit to work at the College of Arms in London. Like Connery’s brown suits, it’s a muted brown but much lighter. It’s a very traditional country suit with hardly any influence from the era’s fashions.

Roger Moore is the Bond known for wearing brown suits, but since he’s not the first—or the last—Bond to have worn brown, most criticisms toward him for wearing brown aren’t quite fair. There’s never anything inappropriate about the colour of his brown suits, especially since he never wears them in London and only where they fit the—usually warm—location. The first brown suit he wears in Live and Let Die is only a basted brown worsted suit for a fitting with his tailor. Though the brown is dark like Connery’s brown suits, it’s not as muted. This is the first of Bond’s brown suits that is a result the fashions of its time. However, the colour is very flattering to Roger Moore’s warm complexion. Moore has a much different complexion than the two Bonds the came before him, and to dress him the same would not have been the best look for him.

The brown worsted suit returns in The Man with the Golden Gun, though this time it takes the form of olive. It’s still a classic suit colour, though it should be worn in the same settings that brown is worn in. Like brown, olive is very flattering to Moore’s warm complexion, and it suits the Hong Kong setting very well.

Brown-Silk-Suit-2

The most notorious of Moore’s brown suits in the silk suit in The Spy Who Loved Me because it’s a light brown (pictured above). Though it’s the furthest from being a conservative business suit, it’s the perfect colour to wear in the Mediterranean. Sure, marine blue and light grey would also have been excellent choices, but there’s nothing wrong with light brown for an informal suit. It’s not just 1970s fashions that dictated Moore’s preference for this colour; it’s actually one of the best colours to flatter Moore’s warm complexion. Roger Moore wears a three-piece suit in a very similar brown—also in the Mediterranean—over ten years earlier in The Saint. And Moore wears this kind of light brown suit as Bond—again in the Mediterranean—in For Your Eyes Only. 1970s fashion was gone by this time, but light brown still looked fantastic on Moore.

Moonraker-Tweed-2

One of Moore’s brown suits is of the very traditional, country-type of brown suit: the brown donegal tweed suit in Moonraker (pictured above). Though the style of the suit is influenced by 70s fashions, the colour and cloth are certainly not. Though the wide lapels and flared trouser legs are poor fashion choices, brown tweed could not more perfectly fit the setting of a hunt in the country.

Though many of Pierce Brosnan’s suits have some brown in them, the only suit of his that is noticeably brown is his Prince of Wales check suit in GoldenEye. It recalls Sean Connery’s houndstooth check suit in Goldfinger, and like that suit, this one is not a good choice for the office in London either. Most recently, Daniel Craig wears a muted brown hopsack suit in Quantum of Solace (pictured below). Like Connery’s brown suits, this one is a very muted brown. Craig looks no less like James Bond in this suit than he does in his blue and grey suits. In fact, the warmer tones of this suit compared to his dark blues and greys is very flattering to Craig’s warm complexion. Though Bond is best known for his blue and grey suits, the brown suit is so not against the established Bond look as many believe.

Quantum-of-Solace-Brown-Suit

I’ve left out the beige and tan suits from this article since those are in a different category: warm-weather suits.

Shirt Pockets

Skyfall-Printed-Sports-Shirt

Pockets are a common feature on shirts, but what shirts should have pockets? A true dress shirt—a shirt for black tie, white tie or morning dress—should never have a pocket, but on the other hand, pockets are always appropriate on sports shirts and work shirts. What about formal shirts (called dress shirts in the US) with pockets? Pockets generally make a shirt less dressy, so should the shirts you wear with your suits and sports coats have pockets? Most formal shirts in the US have a left breast pocket whilst most formal shirts in the UK do not. Formal shirts in the UK are typically dressier than their American counterparts in many other ways: poplin versus pinpoint, double cuffs versus button cuffs, spread and cutaway collars versus point and button-down collars. In the UK, a shirt with double cuffs never has a pocket, though some makers put pockets on their button-cuff shirts.

An unsightly pocket peaking out from under Timothy Dalton's suit in Licence to Kill

An unsightly pocket peaking out from under Timothy Dalton’s suit jacket in Licence to Kill

James Bond almost never wears pockets on his formal shirts, with the exception being two of the worst shirts Bond has ever worn in Licence to Kill. These shirts have the standard single American oversized, open patch pocket with a pointed bottom. Since the film was made in Mexico and Florida, the shirts were more than likely sourced in America. Most Americans are used to pockets on all formal shirts, so much that I witnessed a man returning a shirt he thought was defective because it did not have a pocket. If a man is wearing a suit or a jacket, the pockets in the jacket are there to be used. If a man is not wearing a suit or jacket, a sports shirt is usually appropriate. Formal shirts with pockets are most useful for the man who does not wear a jacket in the office, though there are more elegant ways to carry things away from one’s desk. Unlike a structured jacket, a shirt has no support for anything in the pocket. Anything heavier than a couple pieces of paper in a shirt pocket ruins the lines of the shirt.

For-Your-Eyes-Only-Yellow-Sports-Shirt

A single pocket on Roger Moore’s Frank Foster sport shirt in For Your Eyes Only

Pockets are at home on sport shirts, and James Bond has worn many sports shirts with pockets. Sean Connery’s many short-sleeve camp shirts in Thunderball and You Only Live Twice, Pierce Brosnan’s two camp shirts in Die Another Day and Daniel Craig’s floral shirt in Casino Royale all have on the left side of the chest a small open breast pocket with rounded bottom corners. Roger Moore’s short-sleeve shirts in For Your Eyes Only made by Frank Foster similarly have open patch pockets on the left, but his have mitred bottom corners. These pockets are all correctly sized to the proportions of the body and drape neatly on the chest. Roger Moore also wears a blue long-sleeve Frank Foster sports shirt (auctioned at Prop Store) under his gilet in For Your Eyes Only that has a mitred patch pocket that matches the mitred shirt cuffs. In Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig’s polo shirts each have a small patch pocket on the left.

A pocket on Daniel Craig's Sunspel polo in Casino Royale

A pocket on Daniel Craig’s Sunspel polo in Casino Royale

The sportiest of sports shirts—as well as work shirts and military shirts—have a patch pocket on both sides with a flap and button, and often a box pleat. Many of Bond shirts have this pocket style, like the terrycloth shirt in Diamonds Are Forever, a number of the shirts in Licence to Kill and the printed shirt in Skyfall (pictured top) have two breast pockets.