How James Bond Wears a Suit for Evenings Out


A midnight blue suit at a cocktail party in Quantum of Solace

Though James Bond is known for wearing black tie in the evening, most people don’t regularly attend such formal events. Bond sometimes goes out for less formal occasions at night, but what does he wear when he still needs to look his best? He wears a suit, naturally. When wearing a suit socially, such as for a cocktail party, an evening at a night club or a special dinner, one must look like they are dressed for pleasure and not for business. Stripes are usually a bad choice for this reason. Checks are great for social occasions, but they aren’t usually dressy enough for the evening unless the check is very subtle. Bond never wears a three-piece suit for evenings out, though in the right cloth a three-piece suit can be a great choice.


Bond having dinner in a lustrous charcoal suit in The Man with the Golden Gun

The cloth is what separates a social suit from a business suit. The cut of a suit or how many buttons it has doesn’t matter as much as the cloth. Darks suits, especially in blue, work best. The richer colour looks best under artificial light at night. Greys and browns are duller and don’t look as good at night, but in darker shades they can work well in the evening. Though worsteds are perfectly fine, luxurious cloths with a sheen, like mohair and silk, can also help differentiate a social suit from a business suit. Flannel can be a good choice for a casual evening out, like with the charcoal flannel suit Bond wears to dinner at the Roma camp in From Russia with Love.

Marine Blue Suit

A marine blue suit at a nightclub in The Man with the Golden Gun

The marine blue suit that Bond wears in The Man with the Golden Gun when at a nightclub in Beirut has a sheen that suggests mohair, making it perfect for both warm weather and for the club. Also in The Man with the Golden Gun, Bond wears a charcoal mini-herringbone suit that has a lustrous sheen for a dinner with Goodnight. Charcoal doesn’t isn’t as dressy as blue is in the evening, but with a sheen it’s an appropriate choice.

James Bond wears a navy suit with subtle grey pinstripes in Casino Royale

James Bond wears a navy suit with subtle grey pinstripes in Casino Royale

Though pinstripes aren’t the best choice for the evening, sometimes they work. When meeting Vesper for drinks on the train in Casino Royale, Bond wears a very dark navy suit with subtle grey pinstripes. Because these stripes are hardly noticeable, they don’t give the suit a business-like impression. However, his drinks are in a business setting with a bank liaison, making the pinstripes quite appropriate.

In Quantum of Solace (pictured top), Bond wears the easiest choice for a cocktail party: a midnight blue suit. Though black suits can work well for such an occasion, a midnight blue suit is infinitely more sophisticated. Being mohair tonic separates this suit even further from business suits, and the sheen raises the suit’s formality.


Bond dressed in a shiny grey pick-and-pick suit for the Junkanoo in Thunderball

In warm weather, both dark and light suits can work for the evening. In Dr. No, Bond wears a light grey mohair suit at Puss Feller’s nightclub in Jamaica, though Bond donned the suit earlier in the day. The sheen makes it look great at night. In Thunderball, Bond wears a light grey pick-and-pick mohair suit that also works perfectly for a hot evening out at the Junkanoo in the Bahamas. When Bond dresses up for the evening in warm locations and doesn’t wear a suit, he chooses a navy blazer. The navy blazer is the dressiest of sports coats and has many similarities to navy suit jackets. In the context of this article, the dark colour makes the navy blazer look good at night. Bond wears a navy blazer for his date with Miss Taro in Dr. No and at the Junkanoo in Thunderball.

Bond wears a navy blazer on his date with Miss Taro

Bond wears a navy blazer on his date with Miss Taro in Dr, No

When accessorising, simplicity and contrast are key for these outfits. The elements are usually a dark suit, a light shirt and a solid or subtly patterned tie. The best shirt for the evening is solid white, like what Bond wears to the cocktail party in Quantum of Solace. Light blue can give the ensemble a friendlier look. Striped shirts are okay, so long as there aren’t multiple colours. Ties should be dark, like navy with all of Connery’s evening outfits; vivid, like the burgundy tie Moore wears with the marine blue suit in The Man with the Golden Gun; or lustrous, like Moore’s satin ties. The shinier a tie the dressier it is, and satin ties should be worn exclusively in the evening. Subtle patterns like on Daniel Craig’s ties are also great for the evening.

A Blue Bathrobe, Courtesy of Dr. No


James Bond wears many bathrobes and dressing gowns throughout the series, and they all started in Dr. No with the bathrobe Bond given after his decontamination shower by Dr. No’s men. The bathrobes and dressing gowns that Bond wears are rarely his own. Bond’s calf-length bathrobe is made of sky blue cotton terrycloth and it is made like any ordinary bathrobe with a shawl collar, turned-back cuffs a patch pocket on the left side of the chest and two patch pockets on the hips. A belt ties around the waist. Bond’s sandals are also provided by Dr. No’s men and are made of woven rope in the natural tan colour of the fibre they are made of. Though slippers are the ordinary footwear to wear with a bathrobe, sandals fit the island location.


Honey is holding Bond’s sandals, with hers inside

James Bond’s Warm-Weather Black Tie Etiquette


Daniel Craig’s ivory dinner jacket in Spectre

After 30 years, James Bond will once again be wearing an ivory dinner jacket in Spectre. Bond started a tradition of often wearing an ivory dinner jacket in warm climates 51 years ago in Goldfinger. In the six appearances of the ivory dinner jacket throughout the series, Bond has demonstrated how to properly wear warm weather black tie.

Bond’s warm-weather dinner jackets are ivory and not pure white because many natural fibres—particularly wool—have oils that prevent them from being bleached pure white. Calling it a “white” dinner jacket is not incorrect since white is the intended colour. Though Sean Connery’s ivory dinner jackets are made of wool, Roger Moore wears ivory dinner jackets in silk and linen. Daniel Craig’s ivory dinner jacket in Spectre is made of 56% silk and 44% viscose, a cool-wearing semi-synthetic fibre derived from cellulose.

Bond's first ivory dinner jacket in Goldfinger

Bond’s first ivory dinner jacket in Goldfinger

The ivory dinner jacket is part of the black tie dress code, which means it should only be worn after 6 pm. A light jacket does not mean it is for daytime. The jacket follows the conventions of its black and midnight blue counterparts, and the only exception is that the ivory dinner jacket traditionally does not have silk facings. Silk facings on an ivory dinner jacket are typically the mark of the cheap rental, though Daniel Craig’s considerably expensive ivory Tom Ford dinner jacket in Spectre has grosgrain silk facings. It lacks the refined taste of Bond’s previous ivory dinner jackets. Whilst black and midnight blue dinner jackets have silk facings to primarily differentiate them from ordinary lounge jackets, the ivory dinner jacket does not need such a distinctive mark. White dinner jackets are always worn with black or midnight blue trousers that match.

The ivory dinner jacket is strictly worn in warm weather. There’s no absolute consensus as to where the ivory dinner jacket should appropriately be worn, except it should never be worn in the British Isles, never in large cities and only in warm weather. Bernhard Roetzel states in his book Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion, “The white tuxedo is worn at open-air evening parties and on cruises.” Roetzel’s statement suggests that if the weather is warm enough to be comfortable outdoors, the ivory dinner jacket is appropriate.

Sean Connery's ivory dinner jacket in Diamonds Are Forever

Sean Connery’s ivory dinner jacket in Diamonds Are Forever

The tropics are the most appropriate place for an ivory dinner jacket. Sean Connery wears his ivory dinner jacket in the Goldfinger pre-title sequence in an unknown country in Latin American, a tropical region. Connery again wears the ivory dinner jacket in Diamonds Are Forever in Las Vegas. Las Vegas in not in the tropics, but the ivory dinner jacket is well-suited for its hot desert climate. The ivory dinner jacket is generally considered appropriate anywhere in the United States during the summer months, though some consider the northern states’ climate to not be right at any time of year for it.

In Thunderball, Bond visits the Bahamas, which is an appropriate location for an ivory dinner jacket. In the casino scene there, Adolfo Celi’s villain Largo is dressed in an elegant double-breasted ivory dinner jacket, whilst Bond contrasts him in an equally suitable midnight blue mohair dinner suit. However, Bond opts for the white dinner jacket in Ian Fleming’s novel Thunderball.


Roger Moore’s ivory dinner jacket in The Man with Golden Gun

Roger Moore first wears an ivory dinner jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun for a 9 pm dinner with Hai Fat in Thailand, which is within the tropics. Moore later wears an ivory dinner jacket in Octopussy in Udaipur, India, which lies one degree of latitude north of the Tropic of Cancer. Though technically not in the tropics, the weather is certainly hot enough to justify wearing an ivory dinner jacket. When Bond arrives at Kamal Khan’s club in his dinner jacket, the sky is still light. If it is June or July, it could be 6 pm. Only a few scenes later, Bond is having dinner in the same dinner jacket under a night sky.

Roger Moore’s last ivory dinner jacket is worn in daylight in A View to a Kill at Château de Chantilly in France, just north of Paris. Though it is daylight, the reception Bond attends starts at 6 pm, and because this scene takes place not long after the Royal Ascot at the beginning of summer, the sunset in the part of France would have been close to 10 pm. However, the location for wearing an ivory dinner jacket is questionable as it is very far north of the tropics and has the same climate as England. But since the weather is warm and the reception is outdoors, the ivory dinner jacket doesn’t look out of place. The ivory dinner jacket is more appropriate down south in the sub-tropical Mediterranean region, where Roger Moore occasionally wears a white silk dinner jacket in The Saint.

Roger Moore's ivory dinner jacket in A View to a Kill

Roger Moore’s ivory dinner jacket in A View to a Kill

Daniel Craig wears an ivory dinner jacket in Spectre in Morocco, a country with a largely Mediterranean climate. Humphrey Bogart established a precedent for wearing an ivory dinner jacket in Morocco in the 1942 film Casablanca. Based on the trailer, Bond appropriately wears his dinner jacket in the evening whilst having dinner on a train.

Despite the ivory dinner jacket being just as classic as black and midnight blue, they go in and out of fashion, and some people don’t care for them. Hardy Amies writes in his 1994 book The Englishman’s Suit:

One has to say firmly that a white dinner coat is effortlessly ‘naff’. It was derided by those who knew what was what in Venice ten years ago. I don’t suppose it matters what you wear in the Caribbean. But it looks seriously awful in Europe. It is also very impractical. A dinner suit should be made in a cloth of the lightest weight available, in midnight blue, of course. You can then wear it all the year round. The cloth used in white coats is not lighter and, if not wool, creases unattractively.

Also in the 1990s, Bond shared Amies’ opinion and did not wear any ivory dinner jackets. He could have in the Monte Carlo casino in GoldenEye, but every man in the casino is dressed in black. In The World is Not Enough, some men in the Azerbaijan casino are dressed in ivory dinner jackets, but Bond wears midnight blue. It’s a less appropriate location for an ivory dinner jacket, especially considering that it’s wintertime. Bond’s ally Valentin Zukovsky wears a flashy light taupe dinner jacket, which, like the ivory dinner jacket, is better suited for a warmer place.


Roger Moore’s ivory dinner jacket in Octopussy

What Kind of Underwear Would Bond Wear?


Sea island cotton boxer shorts from Turnbull & Asser, likely what Ian Fleming had in mind for James Bond, and maybe what he wore himself

We see James Bond in swimming trunks, pyjamas and dressing gowns, but we never see James Bond in his underwear in the films. There’s a slight peak of it in Casino Royale, but we can’t tell what kind it is. Bond most likely has varied his underwear styles throughout the decades. Ian Fleming specified “nylon underclothes” in the novel Diamonds Are Forever, which have great drying properties. In The Man with the Golden Gun novel, Fleming wrote about a different, more luxurious type of underwear:

Bond then took off his clothes, put his gun and holster under a pillow, rang for the valet, and had his suit taken away to be pressed. By the time he had taken a hot shower followed by an ice-cold one and pulled on a fresh pair of sea island cotton underpants, the bourbon had arrived.”

The “sea island cotton underpants” are undoubtedly referring to the woven boxer short style, since old-fashioned men in Britain at the time wore little else. The cotton material would be similar or identical to Bond’s sea island cotton shirts that Fleming specified. Some shirtmakers make boxer shorts to match their customers’ shirts. Sean Connery and Roger Moore most likely also wear woven boxer shorts as Bond, considering that was traditionally what men wore in Britain. Roger Moore can be seen in cotton boxer shorts in the 1969 film Crossplot, which took its wardrobe from Moore’s television show The Saint. Connery’s and Moore’s trousers have enough fullness in the thighs to accommodate boxer shorts.

Sean Connery wearing cream boxer shorts and a white vest in Never Say Never Again

Sean Connery wearing cream boxer shorts and a white vest in Never Say Never Again

In the unofficial James Bond film Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery wears cream boxer shorts with a white vest (also known as an A-shirt). Bond had just discarded his dinner suit to escape on a bicycle, so he must have been wearing these clothes under his dinner suit. The British ordinarily aren’t fond of undershirts, and Bond almost never wears them. To blend in as an American in Fleming’s novel Live and Let Die, Bond wears “nylon vests and pants (called T-shirts and shorts)”. However, the “nylon underclothes” that Fleming writes about in Diamonds Are Forever may also include vests.

Sunspel Stretch Trunk

Stretch trunk underwear from Sunspel

Underwear is a very personal garment and there’s no way we can guess the different styles of underwear that Bond has worn throughout the series apart from following what the trends were at any given time. Trends in underwear sometimes followed trends in trousers. Boxer shorts were very popular in the 1980s and 1990s when full-cut trousers were popular. However, in a 1985 episodes of Remington Steele titled “Forged Steele”, Pierce Brosnan wears white knitted cotton briefs.


The James Bond Dossier announced last month that Sunpel, who made some of Daniel Craig’s polos and t-shirts for Casino Royale, has provided their stretch cotton brief and their stretch cotton low waist trunk (a short boxer brief) for Daniel Craig to wear in Spectre. This underwear is made of a 92% cotton and 8% elastane blend so it has more stretch than a pure cotton knit. Neither the brief nor the trunk has a front opening. Briefs and trunks are necessary for Daniel Craig since loose boxer shorts would bunch up under his tight trouser legs and prevent the trousers from hanging smoothly over the thighs.

What kind of underwear do you think Bond would wear?

Stretch brief underwear from Sunspel

Stretch brief underwear from Sunspel

The Rock: Sean Connery’s Navy Three-Piece Suit


A happy 85th birthday today to Sean Connery. In The Rock, Sean Connery plays John Mason, a British national who escaped from Alcatraz. The Mason character was written as an homage to Bond and has a lot in common with Bond. John Spencer’s character FBI Director Womack states that Mason is a British operative but says, “Of course the British claimed they’d never heard of him.” Womack also says, “This man knows our most intimate secrets from the last half-century…Mason’s angry. He’s lethal. He’s a trained killer.”


Mason even speaks like Bond when he responds to Nicolas Cage’s character Goodspeed’s introduction with the Diamonds Are Forever line, “But of course you are.” For Mason to agree to cooperate with the FBI, he makes a Bond-like demand: “I want a suite, a shower, a shave, the feel of a suit.” The new navy worsted three-piece suit he gets is what matters most, as far as this blog is concerned.


Though The Rock was released in 1996, Sean Connery’s suit more closely resembles an late 1980s/early 90s suit. The button two suit jacket has a low button stance and a very low gorge, which places the lapel notch almost in the middle of the chest. Sean Connery’s prominent shoulders make the jacket’s shoulders look more padded than they actually are. Still, the shoulders have a fair amount of padding, but natural sleeveheads gives the shoulders a natural but neat curve.


The suit jacket is cut with a moderately full chest and a gently suppressed waist. The jacket is detailed with flapped pockets, three cuff buttons and no vent in the rear. The suit’s waistcoat has five buttons. The suit trousers have a full cut, likely with double or triple reverse pleats. The legs are wide but slightly tapered. The suit is very similar to the suits Timothy Dalton wears in Licence to Kill, but Connery’s suit has a much cleaner fit. Though this suit is strongly influenced by fashion in its proportions, it follows the principles of a good fit.

Connery’s white shirt has a spread collar with tie space and a sewn interfacing (revealed by a poor sloppy job), front placket and square cuffs with either one or two buttons. The collar design and construction could mean that this shirt is from an English maker. The tie has alternating wide navy and gold stripes. The navy stripes are woven in a twill weave whilst the gold stripes are woven with floats to look like a basket weave. Connery’s shoes are black single monk shoes.


Is the Casino Royale Three-Piece Suit a Copy of the Goldfinger Suit?


I don’t know who started this, but the following quote ended up in Casino Royale‘s trivia section on IMDB: “The three-piece suit worn by James Bond at the end of the film is a navy version of the gray suit worn by Sean Connery in Goldfinger.” Others have repeated this.

Like the iconic grey glen check suit made by Anthony Sinclair that Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger, the Brioni navy pinstripe suit that Daniel Craig wears in the final scene of Casino Royale is also a three-piece suit. And that’s where the similarities end. Both suits are excellent suits, but the basic styles of the suit are different, the silhouettes are different and the small details that make the Goldfinger suit so unique are absent from the Casino Royale suit.

The Goldfinger suit jacket has two buttons on the front whilst the Casino Royale suit jacket has three buttons. The Goldfinger suit jacket is cut with soft shoulders and a full chest whilst the Casino Royale suit jacket is cut with stronger straight shoulders and a lean chest. The Goldfinger suit jacket has a ticket pocket whilst the Casino Royale suit jacket does not. The Casino Royale jacket has wider lapels. Both jackets have straight pockets with flaps and four buttons on the cuffs, and the Casino Royale jacket may also have double vents like the Goldfinger suit, but those details aren’t all that special since that’s what the average suit has.


The waistcoat in Goldfinger has six buttons with only five to button, whilst the waistcoat in Casino Royale is cut with all buttons able to fasten. The waistcoat in Goldfinger has four welt pockets whilst the waistcoat in Casino Royale has only two. The trousers in Goldfinger have double forward pleats, plain hems andside adjusters whilst the trousers in Casino Royale have darts and turn-ups and are worn with a belt. The Goldfinger suit’s trouser legs are narrow and tapered whilst the Casino Royale suit’s trouser legs are wide and straight.

What makes the glen check suit in Goldfinger special? Apart from it being the first three-piece suit of the Bond series, it’s Sean Connery’s only three-piece suit that has lapels on the waistcoat. Pierce Brosnan brought back the lapelled waistcoat with his pinstripe suit in The World Is Not Enough. This key detail, however, is absent from the three-piece suit in Casino Royale. The absence of lapels on the waistcoat is the most significant detail that shows the Casino Royale suit was hardly inspired by the Goldfinger suit.

Magnoli Clothiers, who makes clothes inspired by the clothes James Bond wears, also says the Casino Royale suit “was based loosely on Sean Connery’s classic Goldfinger Suit.” Magnoli adds a ticket pocket and side adjusters to his version of the suit to make it resemble Connery’s suit more, but those details are not present on the actual Casino Royale suit.


Even when people attempt to truly copy the grey three-piece Goldfinger suit, they get it wrong. An attempt at copying the Goldfinger suit was done in Catch Me if You Can, but the suit in that film was made in the wrong pattern, and the style was either Americanised or modernised with squarer shoulders, wider lapels, shorter vents and medium-rise flat front trousers. At least they got two of the Goldfinger suit’s key details: a ticket pocket and lapels on the waistcoat.

James Bond has so far worn 20 three-piece suits in the series, with more coming in Spectre, and the three-piece suit in Casino Royale is no more a copy of the Goldfinger suit than it is of most of the other 18 three-piece suits. Costume designer Lindy Hemming may have wanted to put James Bond in a three-piece suit that could be iconic on the level of the Goldfinger suit, but the significance of the suit doesn’t mean the actual suits have much in common. The Goldfinger suit is iconic because it is not only a very unusual suit, but it also has a significant reveal with James Bond exiting the aeroplane lavatory. The reveal of the Casino Royale suit comes along with the introduction of a more confident and mature 007, and the suit has significance in the character development.

If Daniel Craig’s navy pinstripe three-piece suit could be compared to another suit in the Bond series, it has most in common with George Lazenby’s three-piece navy chalkstripe suit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Though the Italian cut of Craig’s Brioni suit is considerably different from Lazenby’s thoroughly British Dimi Major suit, the details and overall styles are very similar. The most obvious thing is that both suits are navy with stripes. Both suit jackets button three down the front, and neither jacket has a ticket pocket. Both suits’ trousers have a darted front and a straight leg, though Lazenby’s trouser legs are considerably narrower than Craig’s trouser legs. Sean Connery’s navy three-piece suit in Diamonds Are Forever also has a few things in common with the Casino Royale suit, such as the lack of a ticket pocket, a full six-button waistcoat and darted-front trousers, though Connery’s jacket only has two buttons and his trouser legs are tapered.

To give a definitive answer to the question posed in the title of this article, no, the Casino Royale three-piece suit is by no means a copy of the Goldfinger suit. If someone was trying to copy any suit from Goldfinger, they did a very poor job. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the Casino Royale suit, it is just a very different three-piece suit.

Basted for Bond: Examining Anthony Sinclair

“Basted for Bond” is a new series of infographics that examines the cuts and details of the jackets, trousers, waistcoats and coats made by the different tailors who have made clothes for James Bond. The first of the series examines the clothes of Sean Connery’s tailor Anthony Sinclair. The illustrations below account for almost all of the different styles that Sinclair made for Connery throughout his six Bond films, with variations for dinner jackets, blazers, sports coats and more. Please enjoy below.



1980s White Swimming Trunks


In Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery shows off a better body than he had when he had left the James Bond series in Diamonds Are Forever. For his final scene as James Bond, Connery wears a pair of white swimming trunks. They have red stripes down the sides that curve into the hem and form a vent. Between the red and white sections is a thin line of black piping. The swimming trunks sit about three inches below the waist and have a short inseam of approximately 3 inches.


These swimming trunks have a similar fit to what Sean Connery wears 18 years earlier in Thunderball, but the style has been updated. They are a little looser around the hips, and the material looks lighter. These swimming trunks resemble the athletic shorts that were popular in the 1980s. Instead of a belt, these trunks have an elasticised waist and maybe a drawstring.

In trying to find out who sold these swimming trunks, I’ve discovered that many brands at the time made very similar trunks. Some of these brands include Balboa, Jantzen (who made Sean Connery’s swimming trunks in Thunderball), Islander, Laguna and Styled in California. Most of these brands make their trunks with a flapped patch pocket on the right side, with Jantzen being the exception. Since these swimming trunks do not have a side pocket, Jantzen possibly the maker of these trunks. That would be a welcome throwback to Thunderball, the film that Never Say Never Again remade.