Cubby Broccoli’s Dinner Suit at the 54th Academy Awards

Albert-R-Cubby-Broccoli-1982-Academy-Awards

At the 54th Academy Awards® in 1982, Roger Moore presented James Bond series producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. This award is given to “creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production”. Moore wears his black Douglas Hayward dinner suit from For Your Eyes Only as he presents the award to Broccoli, who is wearing a dinner suit most likely made by Moore’s former tailor Cyril Castle. Broccoli probably went to Castle for a dinner suit at the time Castle was making suits for Moore for the Bond films. Since Castle only worked on Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun, this dinner suit would have been made between 1972 and 1974.

Albert-R-Cubby-Broccoli-1982-Academy-Awards-2

Compared to Moore’s matte wool dinner suit, Broccoli’s dinner suit has a sheen that suggests it is a blend of mohair and wool. Broccoli’s single-button dinner jacket has satin silk-faced peaked lapels, satin silk-covered buttons, double vents and jetted pockets. The dinner jacket has many signs that it was made by Castle due to the similarities it shares with Moore’s suit jackets from his first two Bond films. The jacket’s shoulders are softly padded with gently roped sleeveheads. The peaked lapels are wide and cut with no belly, as Castle usually cut his peaked at that time. The cuffs are the same kissing link-button cuffs that Moore wore at the time. The front darts extend through the hip pockets to the bottom of the jacket, just as on the jackets Castle cut for Moore. The jacket has some waist suppression, but the silhouette looks different than Moore’s because of Broccoli’s girthier figure. The back of the jacket needs to be let out, and bespoke suits such as this are typically made with a large seam allowance to accommodate weight gain. Though wide lapels should recall the 1970s, wide peaked lapels on Broccoli help give breadth to his shoulders to balance the lack of a waist.

Not much of the dinner suit’s waistcoat can be seen, but it is made in the same cloth as the rest of the dinner suit. Though waistcoats for black tie should be low-cut and thus almost entirely covered by the jacket, this waistcoat is high-cut with four or five satin silk-covered buttons. Whilst it breaks from protocol, this waistcoat has satin silk shawl lapels to show that its maker is still aware of proper evening waistcoats and has purposely chosen to differ from what is traditional. Castle may have thought that a higher-cut waistcoat was more flattering on Broccoli. The dinner suit’s trousers have straight legs and a satin silk stripe down each side.

Albert-R-Cubby-Broccoli-1982-Academy-Awards-3

The white dress shirt has a spread collar, pleated front and double cuffs. Two square black onyx studs with a white square in the centre show on the front shirt, and the cufflinks are of a similar design to the studs. Double cuffs have the same shape as the kissing link-button cuffs on the dinner jacket. Though what Broccoli is wearing is not incorrect, Moore’s barrel-fastening cocktail cuffs from his first two Bond films are a better match with these jacket cuffs because the shapes do not compete. Broccoli’s bow tie is a black satin silk butterfly, which matches the material of the lapels. It does not, however, match the width of the wide lapels and helps bring the 1970s dinner suit into the 1980s.

Watch Broccoli receive the award at the ceremony in 1982:

A high-resoution image of Broccoli in his dinner suit can be found on a page about the 54th Academy Awards on Oscars.org.

OK Connery: Neil Connery in Black Tie

OK-Connery-Operation-Kid-Brother-Dinner-Suit

In 1967, Sean Connery’s younger brother Neil Connery starred in an Italian spy film called OK Connery, which is also known as Operation Kid Brother and Operation Double 007, amongst other titles. Neil Connery plays Dr. Neil Connery, who is the brother of a well-known British secret agent. The film features a number of actors who had appeared in the James Bond films, such as Daniela Bianchi (Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love), Adolfo Celi (Emilio Largo in Thunderball), Anthony Dawson (Professor Dent in Dr. No), Bernard Lee (M) and Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny). Neil Connery, who is dressed in lab coats, Scottish highland dress and dungarees in this film, also wears suits and sports coats with two buttons like his brother wears, but in shades of brown instead of greys and blues. Neil Connery’s most Bond-like outfit is his black dinner suit.

OK-Connery-Operation-Kid-Brother-Dinner-Suit-2

Since OK Connery is an Italian production, Connery’s suits were most likely made by an Italian tailor. The single-button dinner jacket is cut with lightly padded straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a clean chest and a suppressed waist. The jacket has the traditional details of jetted pockets and no rear vent. The dinner jacket’s only concession to 1960s fashion is the narrow width of the silk-faced shawl collar. Unfortunately, the collar stands away from the neck in some shots, but that may be the fault of the way Connery donned the jacket rather than a problem with the fit. The too-long sleeves, however, are a problem with the fit. The trousers have medium-width tapered legs and likely have pleats.

OK-Connery-Operation-Kid-Brother-Dinner-Suit-3

Connery’s white dress shirt has a short spread collar, double cuffs and a front bib with large pleats that fastens with shimmering mother-of-pearl studs. His narrow batwing bow tie is in black silk with crosswise ribs. Connery appears to be following his older brother’s style and foregoes a waist covering. Though his outfit is not perfect, he convincingly looks the part of James Bond’s younger brother.

OK-Connery-Operation-Kid-Brother-Dinner-Suit-4

James Bond and the Gauntlet (Turnback) Cuff

Dr-No-Gauntlet-Cuff

Gauntlet Cuffs on Sean Connery’s dinner jacket in Dr. No

Before we are introduced to James Bond’s face in Dr. No, we first see his dinner jacket’s satin silk gauntlet cuffs. The gauntlet cuff, also known as a turnback cuff, is a turned back cuff at the end of the sleeve that extends approximately to the first button. It’s a subtle Edwardian detail that saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. The cuff is mostly decorative, but it can add unique character to one’s dinner jacket, suit jacket, odd jacket or overcoat.

There’s almost no restriction on what type of jacket or coat can have a gauntlet cuff. Some say it’s a sporty detail and should only be worn on sports coats and sporty suits. These people may prefer them on heavier cloths like tweeds and flannels because a heavier cloth gives the cuff more relief from the sleeve. Others only favour them on dinner jackets because the dinner jacket descended from the cuff-adorned smoking jacket or they may think the gauntlet cuff is too flashy to be on anything else. A gauntlet cuff can be appropriate on almost any jacket or coat, whether it’s light or heavy, whether it’s formal or informal, or whether it’s single-breasted or double-breasted. Tailcoats and frock coats historically have taken gauntlet cuffs, but the cuffs on those were made in a different style from the cuffs that Bond wears.

Quantum-of-Solace-Gauntlet-Cuff

Gauntlet Cuffs on Daniel Craig’s’s dinner jacket in Quantum of Solace

James Bond creator Ian Fleming was a fan of gauntlet cuffs and often wore them on his jackets, from double-breasted suit jackets to country tweed jackets. He dressed a number of his characters in his James Bond stories in suit jackets with gauntlet cuffs, including Sir Hugo Drax in Moonraker, Wing Commander Rattray in “From a View to a Kill” and Dr. Fanshawe in “The Property of a Lady”, for whose dress he describes as “neo-Edwardian fashion”. Fleming uses the terms “turnback cuffs”, “turned-back cuffs” and “turned-up cuffs”, respectively.  Fleming also specified “two new suits with cuffs” for James Bond to wear disguised as Sir Hillary Bray in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Cuffs in this case still likely mean gauntlet cuffs, since a British person would probably not refer to trouser turn-ups as “cuffs” like an American would. Fleming never specified gauntlet cuffs on Bond’s own clothes, and the literary Bond would probably not have worn gauntlet cuffs considering the minimalist tendencies Fleming gave him.

In the films, James Bond has mostly worn gauntlet cuffs on his dinner jackets. Sean Connery’s midnight blue Anthony Sinclair dinner jacket in Dr. No and his similar dinner jacket in From Russia with Love have midnight blue satin silk gauntlet cuffs with four buttons. Roger Moore wears an off-white silk dinner jacket made by Cyril Castle with single-button self gauntlet cuffs in The Man with the Golden Gun. Daniel Craig brought back the gauntlet cuff on his Tom Ford midnight blue dinner jacket in Quantum of Solace, and this time the cuffs are are half gauntlet cuffs (more on this below) in black satin silk with five buttons. Though this dinner jacket was an homage to the original Dr. No dinner jacket, Tom Ford is a fan of gauntlet cuffs and has them on many of the dinner jackets in his line. Bond’s only piece with gauntlet cuffs that isn’t a dinner jacket is the Roger Moore’s double-breasted chesterfield in Live and Let Die, also made by Cyril Castle. The cuffs on the chesterfield fasten with one button. David Niven wears gauntlet cuffs as Sir James Bond in the 1967 Casino Royale film, for which his clothes were made by Ian Fleming’s tailor Benson, Perry & Whitley.

The-Man-with-the-Golden-Gun-Gauntlet-Cuffs

Gauntlet Cuffs on Roger Moore’s dinner jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun

Cyril Castle made many jackets for Roger Moore with gauntlet cuffs before he was Bond, as Castle was Moore’s tailor for The Saint and The Persuaders television series. Most of Moore’s suit jackets and sports coats in the colour series of The Saint have gauntlet cuffs with a single button whilst the dinner jackets usually have gauntlet cuffs with three buttons. In The Persuaders, Roger Moore wears a striped double-breasted blazer with single-button gauntlet cuffs.

There are a number of different styles of gauntlet cuffs, including some that the buttons go through. Gauntlet cuffs are typically a separate piece laid on to the end of an ordinary sleeve, which is obvious in the case of silk cuffs on a dinner jacket. When in the same cloth as the rest of the jacket, they are still typically made from a separate piece and not just folded back. It’s not impossible to have a cuff that is folded back, but if there’s a pattern it will not match. There are other types of cuffs on a jacket or coat, but James Bond only wears the kind that are laid on separately. Gauntlet cuffs work best on narrow sleeves, whereas on wide sleeves they may look or feel too heavy.

Live-and-Let-Die-Gauntlet-Cuff

Gauntlet Cuffs on Roger Moore’s double-breasted chesterfield coat in Live and Let Die

All of Bond’s gauntlet cuffs have an elegant curved shape—they all curve out of the way of the first cuff button—but there are slight differences in the way the cuffs are styled. Connery’s cuffs starts at the corners of the cuff’s opening and look the most integrated with the sleeve of all of Bond’s cuff designs. Moore’s cuffs start in from the corner to line up with the center of the button, so the corner of the sleeve opening can be tucked under the opposite end of the gauntlet cuff (Moore leaves the corner of the sleeve untucked). These cuffs, however, look less integrated with the sleeve than Connery’s do. Craig’s cuffs are only half gauntlet cuffs, in which the cuffs wrap around only the outside of the arm. They end at and are sewn into the seam at the front of the arm. The inside of the arm isn’t seen much, but this kind of cuff seems like a shortcut when compared to a full gauntlet cuff.

Comparing the cuffs: Anthony Sinclair, left; Cyril Castle, middle; Tom Ford, right

Comparing the cuffs: Anthony Sinclair, left; Cyril Castle, middle; Tom Ford, right

Though gauntlet cuffs are mostly decorative, they have one practical purpose: they protect the end of the sleeve. When worn out, the gauntlet cuff can be removed to reveal an unworn sleeve edge under the cuff. When made in contrasting silk on a dinner jacket, the cuff can be replaced. Half gauntlet cuffs, however, do not protect the full edge of the sleeve and are even more decorative than the full gauntlet cuff. All this said, the protective advantage to gauntlet cuffs is only beneficial on overcoats. The ends of the sleeves on dinner jackets, suit jackets and sports coats should not wear out because one’s shirt sleeves should be a little longer than one’s jacket sleeves to protect the jacket sleeves.

The Untraditional Ivory Dinner Jacket in Spectre

Spectre-Ivory-DInner-Jacket

After a 30-year gap, James Bond finally wears an ivory dinner jacket again in Spectre. A View to a Kill was the last film that featured Bond in an ivory dinner jacket. Daniel Craig’s dinner jacket in Spectre is made in Tom Ford’s “Windsor” model, which is Ford’s most famous model, characterised by its wide peaked lapels with belly and aggressive shoulders. The look is inspired by suits from the 1940s as well as by British designer Tommy Nutter’s suits. Though the overall cut of this dinner jacket in Spectre is classic-inspired, the details are not.

Bond’s visit to Morocco in Spectre necessitated the return of the ivory dinner jacket. Costume designer Jany Temime is quoted about this dinner jacket in the book Blood Sweat and Bond: Behind the Scenes of Spectre curated by Rankin:

I told Sam [Mendes] I couldn’t do a better tuxedo than Skyfall. But then I thought Morocco deserved that colonial touch, a feeling of Casablanca where time stops and everything is so iconic.

Temime is also quoted on the James Bond 007 Facebook page saying something similar about this dinner jacket:

It was very hard to do better than the Skyfall blue tuxedo but I took my inspiration from Humphrey Bogart in the film Casablanca and Morocco. Daniel added the red carnation buttonhole and it looked absolutely sublime.

Humphrey Bogart’s ivory double-breasted, shawl-collar dinner jacket in Casablanca is the most famous ivory dinner jacket in cinematic history (which Emilio Largo copied in Thunderball), and Bond’s trip to Morocco along with his status of “black tie master” gave him an obligation to honour that piece. Though a shawl collar would have brought more of the spirit of Casablanca to this dinner jacket, Temime instead went with peaked lapels to follow the Bond style established by Sean Connery’s ivory dinner jacket in Goldfinger. The wider, more classic peaked lapels on this Tom Ford dinner jacket actually make it more closely resemble Sean Connery’s dinner jacket in Diamonds Are Forever than the jacket in Goldfinger. Though the red carnation makes us think of Goldfinger, the dinner jacket itself is quite different from any dinner jacket Bond has previous worn.

The dinner jacket is made from a breathable silk and viscose faille. It is cut with a shaped—but close—chest and a suppressed waist. The shoulders are straight with a healthy amount of of padding and are finished with roped sleeveheads. The shoulders, however, look less aggressive than on Tom Ford’s usual “Windsor” jackets and have a more natural look. The jacket length is a little on the short side.

Spectre-Ivory-DInner-Jacket-2

The details are what throw off this dinner jacket. The most obvious error is a button two front, which already brings this dinner jacket down to the level of Timothy Dalton’s black dinner jacket in Licence to Kill. A single-breasted dinner jacket should only have one button, no exception. The second button disrupts the elegant lines that a dinner jacket should have. The single vent is another error on this dinner jacket. Most traditionally, a dinner jacket should not have any vents, though short double vents have been acceptable for half a century. The single vent is the sportiest of all vent styles and is completely out of place on a dinner jacket.

Silk facings—grosgrain silk on this dinner jacket—are also an untraditional detail. The lapels, jetted pocket and covered buttons (including the five on the sleeve) are all trimmed in grosgrain silk. Whilst black and midnight blue dinner jackets need silk facings to distinguish them from suit jackets, a ivory dinner jacket does not need this differentiation. Without silk facings, an ivory dinner jacket still looks nothing like a sports coat. On film, the silk facings aren’t very apparent, but the facings on this jacket look quite gaudy in person. Silk facings also mean that there will be two different silks in the outfit—white on the jacket versus black on the the trouser stripes and accessories. The black silk bow tie clashes against the white silk lapels.

All of the untraditional details—the second button on the front, the single vent and the silk facings—are marks of a cheap rental and separate this dinner jacket from the five elegant dinner jackets Bond has previously worn. The construction—apparent in the shaping—and materials put into a Tom Ford jacket, however, ensure that it does not look cheap. This dinner jacket stands above Dalton’s from Licence to Kill based on its better fit and superior quality, but all others in the series—ivory, black or midnight blue—are done better.

Bond wears the ivory dinner jacket with black wool and mohair blend grain de poudre black tie trousers. Grain de poudre translates from French into English as “grain power”, and it has a fine diagonal grainy texture. Mohair gives the trousers a bit of sheen whilst making them slightly more comfortable in the Moroccan heat. The trousers have a flat front, medium-low rise, an extended waistband with a hook-and-eye closure, slide-buckle side adjusters and a black satin silk stripe down the outseam on either side. The lower rise of the trousers is masked by a black satin silk cummerbund from Tom Ford, which has only two large pleats. White moiré braces from Albert Thurston hold up the trousers, and these are the same braces Bond wears with his black Brioni dinner suit in Casino Royale and his midnight blue Tom Ford dinner suit in Skyfall.

Spectre-Ivory-DInner-Jacket-3

The white cotton poplin dress shirt is also from Tom Ford, and its details recall many of the shirts Sean Connery and Roger Moore wore in their Bond films. It has Tom Ford’s “small collar”, which is a slightly short classic spread collar. The front has a pleated bib and is fastened with mother-of-pearl buttons. Spectre marks the first time since The Living Daylights that Bond has had visible mother-of-pearl buttons down the front placket of his dress shirt. The shirts in the films since have either shown studs down the front or covered the buttons with a fly front placket. The shirt also has double cuffs, gauntlet button, a split yoke and darts in the back.

Bond’s black diamond-pointed, butterfly-shaped bow tie should be in satin silk to match the satin cummerbund and satin stripes on the trousers. However, it does not have much sheen and is likely grosgrain to match the texture of the lapels. This is the third time Bond wears the often-neglected classic diamond bow tie, after Dr. No and Quantum of Solace.

Daniel Craig chose a red carnation to wear in the lapel on this dinner jacket to pay homage to Goldfinger, even though the dinner jacket only superficially resembles the dinner jacket Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger. The heavy filters in Spectre make the carnation looks much darker than it looks in reality.

Bond’s shoes are the Crockett & Jones “Alex” model wholecut in black calf. The sleek and clean elegance of the plain wholecut is a modern alternative to patent plain-toe oxford or opera pump. Patent leather looks passé to some, whilst well-polished calf can have a more understated look. The “Alex” has five eyelet pairs and a chiselled toe. Bond wears the same shoes with his midnight blue dinner suit in Skyfall.

Daniel Craig at the Spectre Premiere

Spectre-London-Premiere-Tom-Ford-Dinner-Suit

Daniel Craig arrived at the Spectre premiere at Royal Albert Hall in London properly dressed in Bondian black tie. Craig’s black dinner suit is Tom Ford’s signature “Windsor” model. which is the same model as the ivory dinner jacket that Daniel Craig wears in Spectre. Unlike the dinner jacket in Spectre, this black dinner jacket is properly cut for only one button on the front with a lower stance. The suit is likely made of a wool and mohair blend since it has a slight sheen, and many of Tom Ford’s dinner suits are made of an 85% wool and 15% mohair blend.

The dinner jacket is tailored with strong, straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a lean chest and a suppressed waist. It has a single button on the front, medium-wide peaked lapels, jetted pockets, five buttons on the cuffs and deep double vents. The sleeves are finished with turned back gauntlet cuffs, which wrap around only the outer half of the sleeves and are sewn into inner sleeve seam. The jacket’s peaked lapels, pocket jettings, gauntlet cuffs and buttons are faced in satin silk.

Spectre-London-Premiere-Tom-Ford-Dinner-Suit-2

The cut of the double vents doesn’t work well for Craig’s large seat, which is likely why Craig has been dressed in all single vents in his last two films. It’s not because Craig’s build doesn’t work for double vents but rather because the way the vents on this jacket are cut doesn’t work for him. The vents on this dinner jacket don’t completely gape open, but they’re pulled open so that there’s almost no overlap. The vents need to be flared out more to have the proper overlap, and the double vents on the “Rengecy” cut in Quantum of Solace had the necessary flare.

Daniel Craig with David Walliams, who is wearing the Tom Ford dinner jacket from Spectre

Daniel Craig with David Walliams, who is wearing the Tom Ford dinner jacket from Spectre

The dinner suit’s trousers have a flat front, slide-buckle side adjusters and straight legs with a satin stripe down each leg. The legs are narrow but not tight.

The white dress shirt has a short spread collar in marcella cotton, a marcella bib front with no placket and marcella double cuffs. The front of the shirt takes four studs, but Craig’s studs do not all match each other. The first stud looks like smoked mother of pearl with a black centre whilst the second and third studs are white mother of pearl with nothing in the centre. The fourth stud looks like it’s also white mother of pearl, but it has a larger rim. The double cuffs fasten with round double-sided cufflinks in mother of pearl.

Spectre-London-Premiere-Tom-Ford-Dinner-Suit-4

The black thistle bow tie is not as shiny as the jacket’s facings and may be a barathea weave instead of matching the lapels in a satin weave. Craig wore a cummerbund that matches the bow tie. He had a puffed white silk handkerchief stuffed into his outer breast pocket. On his left lapel, Craig wore a Royal British Legion poppy pin with two red paper petals and a green paper leaf on his lapel, which commemorates those who were killed in war and supports those currently serving. The shoes are Crockett & Jones Alex black calf wholecuts, which Craig wears in Skyfall and Spectre with black tie.

Spectre-London-Premiere-Tom-Ford-Dinner-Suit-5

Daniel Craig wasn’t the only person at the premiere dressed like James Bond. Host David Walliams was wearing the same ivory Tom Ford dinner jacket that Craig wears in Spectre. But whether or not you think Walliams looked good, he was poorly dressed because an ivory dinner jacket should never be worn in the British Isles, especially not in autumn or in London. It does not fit him particularly well, with a noticeable collar gap at times. Likewise, Sam Smith was also poorly dressed in his ivory dinner jacket, looking even worse because of his attached wing collar. Though the wing collar looked bad, it is also too formal to pair with an ivory dinner jacket.

James Bond’s Warm-Weather Black Tie Etiquette

Spectre-trailer-ivory-dinner-jacket

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.

White-Silk-Dinner-Jacket

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.

Octopussy-Ivory-Dinner-Jacket

Roger Moore’s ivory dinner jacket in Octopussy

James Bond’s Dinner Jackets by Colour: Black, Midnight Blue and Ivory

Do you prefer James Bond in a black, midnight blue or ivory dinner jacket? The following infographic shows each colour of Bond’s dinner jackets (also known as Tuxedos) by film. Black and midnight blue dinner jackets make up part of a dinner suit with matching trousers, whereas ivory dinner jackets are worn with black trousers.

James-Bond-Dinner-Jacket-Colours

James Bond’s Preference for 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, and a midnight blue dinner suit is worn the same way as and for the same occasions that a black dinner suit is worn. 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