Suitings for the Setting

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There are two ways to choose the colour suits we wear. One way is to wear what best flatters our complexion. The other way is to dress according to our surroundings, which considers the physical location, its climate and the season. This is the most traditional way men pick the colours they wear, particularly their suits. Just as there are four general types of complexions, the same four types each correspond to a location and a season.

Winter and the City

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Suits for the city reflect the cold-looking grey stone and metal and the blue asphalt of the city, hence grey and blue are the suit colours worn there. Because it is where business is conducted, the city is a formal place, and blue and grey suits may have become the most formal colours for suits due to their association with the city. And since the city is a formal place, the blues and greys of the city are dark, serious shades like navy and charcoal. City greys can be in lighter shades than city blues since medium grey retains an austere look whilst medium blue looks more festive. Black is traditionally reserved for more formal clothes than lounge suits, and because of this it will not be discussed along with blue and grey suits. City suits are typically in smooth, dressy cloths such as serge, herringbone and plain-weave worsteds as well as in woolen and worsted flannels. For more luxurious city suits, mohair, cashmere and silk may be blended in with the wool. City suitings are, for the most part, the only suitings that appropriate with pinstripes and chalk stripes.

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These dark, cool colours of city suits belong to the winter season, which feels as dark and cold as the stone and metal of the city. The colours of the city fit in well anywhere that is dark and cold. These colours can be worn quite appropriately outside of the city in the winter, and grey tweed is an example of this for winter in the country.

Timothy Dalton wears a navy suit with grey chalk stripes in The Living Daylights

Timothy Dalton wears a navy suit with grey chalk stripes in The Living Daylights

Dark, cool city colours best flatter people with a “winter” complexion, which is a cool complexion with a high contrast between the skin tone and hair. James Bond classically has this sort of complexion, and it is exemplified by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. Bond usually wears classic city suits when at the office and around London. Sean Connery’s navy worsted suit in From Russia with Love, George Lazenby’s navy herringbone suit and flannel chalkstripe suit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Roger Moore’s charcoal rope stripe worsted suit in Octopussy and Daniel Craig’s grey herringbone track stripe worsted, silk and mohair suit in Spectre are all solid examples of suits to wear in the city.

Autumn and the Country

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The colours of country suits are earth tones from nature, and the trees tell us what colours to wear when surrounded by nature. Tree trunks are brown, and brown is at the core of country suits. We generally think of leaves as green, hence another country colour. In autumn, leaves turn red, orange and gold, and these in turn are also country colours. The most traditional country suits are in shades of brown, olive and rust, which reflect the colours of the country but aren’t as bold as the colours of autumnal foliage. Country suits have more texture than city suits to reflect the textures found in nature, and they also need to be in harder wearing cloths to withstand country pursuits such as riding and shooting. Because the British countryside is a cool place, country suits are traditionally heavier suits. Often they are made in hearty tweed, cavalry twill, covert twill and whipcord wools. Cotton corduroy in a great choice for more casual suits in the country.

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Though autumn is a cool season, autumn and country colours are warm and best flatter people with a warm complexion, particularly one with a high contrast. Auric Goldfinger has the classic complexion that looks best in country colours.

Moonraker Donegal Tweed

George Lazenby’s brown tic-pattern tweed suit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Roger Moore’s brown donegal tweed suit in Moonraker are classic country suits. Pierce Brosnan exchanges browns for something cooler and wears a charcoal windowpane tweed suit in the Scottish countryside in The World Is Not Enough. Charcoal is more flattering to his cool skin tone than earth tones are, and because it is wintertime, Brosnan’s wintry charcoal is appropriate in a country tweed. James Bond wears very few country suits throughout the series, partly because the classic Bond’s cool complexion doesn’t look good in country colours and partly because heavy country suits tend to look old-fashioned.

Summer and the Tropics and Desert

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Though the tropics are wet whilst the desert is dry, both are hot places where light-coloured suits are worn so they reflect the heat of the sun rather than absorb it. The suits worn in the tropics and desert are in light, neutral colours such as light grey, tan, beige and cream. Lighter muted blues such as air force blue are also excellent in the tropics, though they may look too colourful in the desert.

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Suits for the tropics and desert foremost need to breathe. Warm-weather wool should be high-twist in an open plain weave, such as tropical wool or, ideally, fresco. Twills should generally be avoided, though gabardine has the right look in the tropics for those who can bear the heat. Mohair and linen are the fibres that are best-known for their cool-wearing properties. The former is perfect for dressier suits whilst the latter is better for the most informal of suits because it wrinkles the moment it is donned. Cotton poplin is also popular for warm-weather suits, but its only advantage is that it is inexpensive. Though it feels light, it doesn’t breathe as well as open-weave wool, mohair or linen, and at the end of the day it only looks marginally less wrinkled than linen looks. It also wears out more quickly than other warm-weather suitings and isn’t worth being made as a bespoke suit.

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The colours of summer suits best flatter someone with a light, low-contrast and muted complexion. Grey is best for people with a cool complexion like Sean Connery, whilst tan, beige and cream are best for people with a warm complexion like Roger Moore. Sean Connery wears a light semi-solid grey mohair suit in the tropical Bahamas in Thunderball, and he wears a light grey tropical wool suit in the Las Vegas desert in Diamonds Are Forever. Also in Diamonds Are Forever, Connery wears a classic summer cream linen suit in Las Vegas. Roger Moore continues with a light grey tropical wool suit in Live and Let Die when visiting the tropical island of San Monique, but he switches to a more flattering (colour-wise) cream polyester suit in Moonraker that looks appropriate in sunny Rio de Janeiro but surely must wear warm. Pierce Brosnan darkens Bond’s tropical suit with tan linen suits in GoldenEye and Die Another Day. Daniel Craig brings back the light grey suit in linen in Casino Royale when arriving in the Bahamas.

Spring and the Mediterranean

A View to a Kill Tan Suit

The Mediterranean is a colourful region with beautiful weather, and the suits to wear in the Mediterranean and regions with a moderate mediterranean climate reflect this. Blue suits in medium shades like marine blue and air force blue recall the sea and the sky. Brown, tan and cream suits recall the sand of the Mediterranean beaches. These warm colours fit the sunny yet moderate weather of the region.

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The rich, warm and bright colours of mediterranean suits follow the essence of spring and best flatter people with a low-contrast warm complexion. For those with cooler complexions, medium grey—particularly in checks—fits in with the moderate weather. Mediterranean and spring suits are typically in medium weight worsteds, from lighter serge to gabardine to fresco. Cloths with a sheen, such a mohair and silk, are also excellent for mediterranean areas since they take full advantage of the sunny weather.

Fine Glen Check Suit

Sean Connery wore many medium-grey-toned glen checks throughout his Bond films, including two in the mediterranean Istanbul in From Russia with Love. He also wears a grey pick-and-pick suit in Istanbul in From Russia with Love, which Daniel Craig wears in a lighter tone when Bond returns to Istanbul in Skyfall. Roger Moore wears classic warm-toned mediterranean suits, not only because he spends a lot of time in the Mediterranean in his Bond films but also because these mediterranean colours best flatter his warm complexion. His suits include a marine blue mohair suit in Beirut in The Man with the Golden Gun, a light brown dupioni silk suit in Sardinia in The Spy Who Loved Me, a grey dupioni silk suit in Venice in Moonraker and a light brown gabardine suit in Corfu in For Your Eyes Only. In A View to a Kill, Moore wears a tan gabardine suit in San Francisco, where there is a mediterranean climate. In Spectre, Daniel Craig wears a medium blue Prince of Wales suit in Spectre in Mexico City that reflects the region’s moderate weather.

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These are all only guidelines as to the best cloths to wear in different locations during the different seasons. All four of the categories presented have some overlap with every other category. The best-dressed man looks both in to himself and out at his surroundings when choosing his clothes. The ideal colours for us to wear need to be a compromise between what flatters our own complexions whilst fitting out with our surroundings. For example, someone with a light complexion should avoid the dark colours that dominate the city suits in favour of medium shades of blue and grey. Someone with a cool complexion should wear greys instead of tans in mediterranean regions and mute the browns of the country with taupe and grey.

Since dark city colours are the most formal, they can be made up in non-city suiting for formal occasions in other types of locations and climates. Daniel Craig’s dark and breathable midnight blue mohair tonic suit in Quantum of Solace is an example of this. Country colours can be made up into more formal city worsteds for suburban business. An example of this is the dark brown mohair suit that Sean Connery wears to the office in London in Thunderball. Because it is brown, this suit should have ideally been worn further from Whitehall. But this particular brown is very dark and mixed with black for a serious look that doesn’t stand out amongst the standard navy and charcoal. This would be a flattering choice in the city for someone with a warm complexion who doesn’t look good in the usual city colours. There are many ways to bend the guidelines presented here, and with a bit of thought one can always be well-dressed to suit both his surroundings and himself.

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The Persuaders: A High-Buttoning Green Suit

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For his character Lord Brett Sinclair to wear in The Persuaders, Roger Moore designed some very unique and innovative pieces of tailoring that went beyond the fashion of the day. One of these pieces is a high-buttoning green suit tailored by Cyril Castle with an equestrian and military heritage, featured only in the 1971 episode “Take Seven”. Rather than try to be creative with an unflattering fit or awkward proportions, like most fashion designers have done over the past half century, this suit is creative through its unconventional colour, historical cut and unusual details. Though these elements altogether make this suit look like a piece of costume, it’s a fascinating study in creative tailoring.

The unusual colour of this suit can be described as rifle green, which comes from the uniform of rifle regiments. Rifle green is a statelier and richer colour than a lighter and warmer army green, but still it has a long military heritage. The suit’s medium-heavy cloth is woven in a herringbone weave and has wide but subtle rust-coloured stripes. Though Moore wears this suit in the heart of London, being green automatically labels this a country suit. At least Moore visits Hyde Park wearing this suit, where it harmoniously blends with the greenery. Anywhere, rifle green has the benefit of being one of the most flattering colours to Moore’s warm spring complexion.

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This suit is hanging onto the “New Edwardian” from the 1960s and has taken nothing from the trends that had emerged by the start of the 1970s. Rather than take on the flamboyance of the 1970s, this suit has a flamboyance all of its own. The lapels are a balanced width and wider than lapels on a 1960s suit would have been. Though it’s inspirations are clear, this suit is ultimately too peculiar to look dated to any time. The suit jacket takes its high buttoning from the Edwardian era, when lounge coats usually had three or four buttons down the front in a higher stance than in more modern times. This button three suit jacket places the bottom button just below the natural waist, and the foreparts are cut away below that button. Because the foreparts are only cutaway below the high bottom button, and because the bottom button is up near the waist, all three buttons can be fastened. One a typical button three jacket, the middle button is near the waist and the bottom button is on a cutaway portion of the jacket so it not designed to fasten. Fastening the bottom button on an ordinary button three jacket (or button two jacket, for that matter) pulls the jacket out of shape and restricts the legs. The cut of this jacket has much in common with the button two “paddock” style jackets that the Duke of Windsor was known for wearing, where either both buttons or only the bottom button would be fastened.

Moore’s suit jacket is almost like a short version of the high-buttoning Edwardian morning coat—a garment that was originally designed for riding a horse—and the cutaway in the front of this jacket would spread apart nicely on horseback. If the colour of this suit didn’t already place it in the country, the equestrian cut would. The structure follows the traditional British equestrian and military cut. The jacket has straight shoulders, a clean and full chest for a strong polished-marble look, a nipped waist and a flared skirt. This cut has a sporty look, but the structure gives it a rather formal and martial look too.

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This jacket also has many sporty and equestrian details, such as swelled edges, steeply slanted hacking pockets and a flapped breast pocket, which is slanted down towards the side of the jacket instead of up towards the shoulder. The jacket’s most important equestrian detail is the long single vent, which balances the cutaway in front. This is Moore’s second jacket in The Persuaders, and in any of his appearances, with the flared link-button cuffs he would go on to wear on his jackets throughout his first two James Bond films. This detail was supposedly his idea that he pitched to tailor Cyril Castle. The jacket’s buttons are smoke mother of pearl, which give a more urbane look to this country suit. The excellent fit gives credence to this unusual suit, though the sleeves are noticeably an inch too short.

The suit trousers, cut by Cyril Castle’s and Anthony Sinclair’s apprentice Richard W. Paine, have jetted cross pocket on the front, and a dart centred on either side of the front cuts through each front pocket. The trousers have narrow straight legs, an elegant look from later 1960s fashion.

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This suit’s fancy details and unusual equestrian cut are reminiscent of and in the spirit of suits that Patrick Macnee’s character John Steed in The Avengers wore. Some of his high-buttoning Pierre Cardin suits in the first colour series were very similar in style, and a navy high button two suit made by Hammond & Boyle from the same series came close as well. It’s certainly not the kind of suit James Bond would wear, and it’s not the kind of suit the the average man could wear either. The suit’s jacket would work as a fancy riding jacket, but few people need that. It’s too structured and buttoned-up to work as a casual piece today, but even in navy it would also be too unusual to work as a dressy suit, neither for business nor for social use. Though few people would have use for anything like this suit, there’s much to be learned from and admired about this distinctive piece.

With this suit, Moore wears a pale yellow shirt made by Frank Foster that has a spread collar and button-down cocktail cuffs that fasten with a single button. The jacket’s too-short sleeves show off the shirt’s special cuffs. The tie has wide dark blue and dark green stripes and is tied in a four-in-hand knot. This is the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps regimental tie, and the tie signifies that former army officer Lord Brett Sinclair was a part of this regiment. Moore’s shoes are black calf monk shoes with a square apron toe. He wears black socks to match his shoes.

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In later episodes of The Persuaders “The Old, the New & the Deadly” and “Read & Destroy”, Roger Moore wears an almost identical suit in a much lighter and more olive shade of green.

Marnie: Sean Connery’s Taupe Herringbone Suit

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For Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 film Marnie, costume designer James Linn came up with varied wardrobe or suits and sports coats for Sean Connery to wear. For a large portion of the film, Connery wears a taupe suit quite unlike anything he wears as James Bond. Though Connery wears a few brown suits as James Bond, Bond’s are all in dark shades of brown. This suit is in a medium shade of taupe, which is a grey-brown. The name for the colour comes from the French taupe, a noun for the mole animal. A mole is dark grey-brown, and the colour is named after it.

Connery’s taupe suit is a heavy worsted wool woven in a herringbone weave with a white pinstripe bordering each repeat of the herringbone. This suit is what might be called a “town and country” suit, being neither completely a town suit nor a country suit. It is made in a worsted cloth, which is typically worn in town, and it has the details of a town suit, such as a vent-less rear and straight pockets. But taupe’s marginally warm tone brings it into the country. Since taupe is between grey and brown, it makes the transition nicely. Formality-wise, a taupe suit also fits between grey and brown.

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Taupe can be considered a neutral colour, but it has a slight warmth that is most flattering on people with a warm complexion. Sean Connery has a cool complexion and looks better in cooler greys than he does in a warmer taupe. However, Connery looks much better in taupe than he does in warmer and richer country browns. Taupe’s warmth reflects the country’s surroundings but is neutral enough to still look good on someone with a cool complexion. It is therefore an excellent compromise in the country for someone with a cool complexion. Likewise, it can also be a good compromise in the city for someone with a warm complexion because it is neutral enough to fit in amongst the greys of the city.

This suit is made in the same style as all of Connery’s other suits in Marnie, and the cuts of both the jacket and the trousers suggests an English tailor. The jacket is cut with a full chest and a gently suppressed waist. The shoulders are on the natural shoulder line with more padding than his suits in the Bond films have, and the shoulders have roped sleeveheads. The jacket buttons three with the lapels gently rolled over the top button, and it is detailed with flap pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent. Connery briefly rides a horse in this suit, and the lack of vent does not make the task impossible. A vent, however, would likely have made Connery more comfortable on the horse.

Connery is bent forward, causing rumples at the waist

Connery is bent forward, causing rumples at the waist

The suit’s trousers have double forward pleats, a tapered leg with turn-ups, an extended waistband closure and button side tabs to adjust the waist. Instead of the tabs extending forward as they ordinarily do (like on Connery’s Bond suit trousers), these tabs extend rearward.

The cream shirt has a spread collar, front placket and single-button rounded barrel cuffs. The shirts resemble Frank Foster’s shirts, with a familiar collar shape and a placket stitched close to the center. Connery’s narrow tie is solid dark brown in a shiny satin weave, and it is tied in a windsor knot. The tie is held to his placket with a tie bar at the height of the jacket’s top button so it is just barely seen when the jacket is closed at the middle button. Connery’s shoes are medium brown derbys with an elongated and slightly squared toe. The shoes likely have double leather soles for extra durability in the country.

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Jim Fanning: Navy Worsted Flannel Suit and Bow Tie

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Douglas Wilmer, who played Jim Fanning in Octopussy, died Thursday at the age of 96. Wilmer was best known for playing Sherlock Holmes in the 1965 television series, but he made a lasting impression to James Bond fans in his brief role alongside Roger Moore in Octopussy. Wilmer also appeared with Roger Moore in an episode of The Saint titled “The Rough Diamonds” and filmed a scene for—but was cut from—Sean Connery’s film Woman of Straw.

Wilmer’s character Fanning in Octopussy is an art expert employed by MI6 who is excited about the auction he attends with Bond, but he’s quickly frustrated by Bond’s antics. His old-fashioned and relaxed outfit is stylish and detail-focused, and it perfectly suits the character.

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Fanning’s light navy lightweight worsted flannel suit is made in a soft drape cut that suggests an Anderson & Shepard inspiration. It’s certainly a bespoke suit, and it’s likely Douglas Wilmer’s own suit from his personal tailor. It’s unlikely the film would budget for a bespoke suit for such a minor character. The suit has a worn-in look, which would be appropriate for an older gentleman who has likely had this suit for two decades.

This suit jacket’s drape cut is characterized by soft and slightly extended shoulders with light wadding and by a full chest with vertical folds at the side. The waist is suppressed, but how much so cannot be determined from an unbuttoned jacket. The jacket’s soft construction allows the narrow fishmouth lapels to roll gently over the top of the jacket’s three buttons, but the actual lapels start at the top button. The fishmouth shape of the lapels suggests that this jacket is likely not from Anderson & Sheppard, despite the rest of it resembling their style. Still, Anderson & Sheppard could be a possibility. The jacket is detailed with straight flap pockets and two buttons spaced apart on the cuffs, and there is no vent in the rear.

The details of the suit trousers cannot be seen clearly, but the trousers likely have double forward pleats and are worn with braces. They have a medium-long rise to the waist.

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Fanning’s light grey and white narrow-striped shirt follows the traditional English design. Whilst solid grey shirts can look very dull and bland, the fine stripes on this shirt give it a livelier appearance. The collar is a wide spread with a little tie space and stitched a 1/4-inch from the edge. The front has a narrow placket identical to Turnbull & Asser’s and is stitched 3/8-inch from the edge. The cuffs are double cuffs.

The bow tie is navy with a woven pattern of large tics, each made up of a green tic, a yellow tic and a red tic. Unlike James Bond’s perfectly tied black bow ties, Fanning’s bow tie is left askew. The back and front don’t perfectly line up, giving the bow tie some character. He accessorises his suit with a white linen handkerchief stuffed into his breast pocket with the corners sticking up. Reading glasses hang from Fanning’s neck on a thin red lanyard whilst a magnifying glass hangs from a thicker black lanyard.

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How James Bond Looks Masculine and Sophisticated in His Suits

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Nobody else combines masculinity and sophistication in the way that James Bond does. The masculinity comes from looking as much like the ideal man from the western perspective. This ideal man’s body is lean, strong and overall athletic. it is tall with broad shoulders, a muscular chest and small waist. The ideal man’s torso has a V-shape, which is masculine because it’s not a common shape for women to have. The sophistication comes from a well-tailored suit. A well-tailored suit can give man a more masculine shape, can show off a masculine figure or can downplay a masculine figure. All three of these aspects of tailoring can be desirable, depending on the body type one has. This article focuses on the suits that Bond wears that best deal with a masculine but elegant silhouette.

Sean Connery’s Anthony Sinclair suits emphasise his masculine physique whilst downplaying some aspects of it. Connery doesn’t need much help in the shoulders, and his jackets have soft shoulders that follow his shoulder line but have a little structure to smooth out the shoulders to give them more elegant lines. The chest has a full, swelled shape to build on the strength in the chest. There are two buttons on the front of the jacket in a low stance to create a deep “V” on the front of the jacket to highlight Connery’s masculine shape.

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Because Sean Connery had a very athletic physique, Anthony Sinclair decided to soften it by not making the waist as suppressed as he normally would. A tightly suppressed wasp waist in the normal Savile Row fashion with Sean Connery’s fabled 13-inch drop would look neither elegant nor manly. The waist on Connery’s jackets is still very shaped, but it’s not tight. Too much waist suppression can make one look feminine, and stressing an overly athletic physique detracts from the elegance of a suit by making someone look too much like a body builder.

I find that Sean Connery’s narrow lapels in the 1960s also help drawn attention to his large chest. Narrow lapels make the chest look wider by showing more expanse of chest. Connery’s considerably wider lapels in Diamonds Are Forever cover two-thirds of his chest, giving him a visually narrower chest.

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For the slighter Bonds Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, large shoulders on their jackets give them a stronger look. If they wore suits with natural shoulders they wouldn’t have the necessary imposing look that an action hero needs. The shoulders on many of Dalton’s suit jackets, however, were too strong and draw too much attention to themselves. Brosnan’s Brioni suits, however, gave him a more natural look that was still built-up. Additionally, the two buttons in a low stance on Dalton’s suits, like on Connery’s, give him a more athletic look by drawing attention to the chest.

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Daniel Craig takes a different approach to looking masculine and strong in his suits. Whilst Connery’s suits work with his body, Daniel Craig’s suits in Skyfall fight against his body. They have the goal to make him look like he worked out so much that his muscles are bursting out of his suit. He wears suits meant for someone with a 38-inch chest and more likely has a chest around 40 inches. Narrow shoulders on the jackets allow Craig’s deltoids to push the sleeves out a little. A too-small chest splays open to give the impression Craig’s chest muscles are bigger. Ripples at the waist further the impression that Craig is turning into the Hulk. Unlike Connery’s method of looking stronger, Craig’s method is devoid of elegance and sophistication. Clean lines, not ripples, are a mark of refinement.

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Craig’s method also does not achieve its goal to make him look more muscular. Suits—particularly Tom Ford’s—are very structured and can’t stretch like a t-shirt or jumper to show off the form of his muscles. Knitted, not woven, garments are best used to show off one’s body. A suit that is too small ripples and pulls the same way whether one is too muscular or too fat for it. And putting Craig in a suit that is too small for him has the effect of making him look smaller, not bigger. This method would work better with someone who is genuinely more imposing with a chest much larger than Craig’s 40 inches. Narrow shoulders downplay his breadth and the V-shape of his torso. The short jacket length makes his torso look smaller overall. The positive effect of a short jacket length, however, is that it makes Craig look taller in wide shots by extending the perceived length of his legs. That’s the one way his suits in Skyfall make him look more masculine. However, the lower rise on his trousers partially negates the height benefits of the shorter jackets by shortening his lower half. The suits in Spectre mostly have the same problems but to a lesser extent than in Skyfall. The shoulders in Spectre are wider in comparison to Craig’s body and allow the sleeves to hang more elegantly.

Like on Connery’s 1960s suits, most of Daniel Craig’s suits in Skyfall and Spectre have narrow notched lapels that make Craig’s chest look larger. But one of Craig’s suits in Spectre has wide peaked lapels: the black herringbone Tom Ford “Windsor” suit. These wide peaked lapels have a different effect from wide notched lapels. Peaked lapels point up and out, extending the width of the chest and shoulders. The belly of the lapels added perceived depth to the chest. Wide notched lapels with a higher and more horizontal gorge, as well as some belly, can counter the narrowing effect of wide lapels.

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Though the right tailoring can make a man look more masculine or more sophisticated, clothes can not add the attitude, charisma and personality needed to truly be like James Bond.

Max Denbigh’s Grey Glen Check Suit

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Andrew Scott’s Max Denbigh, the Director-General of the Joint Security Service who also goes by “C”, dresses in dark suits with a fashionable edge in Spectre. Denbigh’s modern clothes contrast with M’s traditional clothes without looking inappropriately fashion forward. The clthes reflect C’s attitude when he speaks to M regarding his new methods versus the old 00-section: “It’s the future, and you’re not.” C’s suits are rooted in the British tradition with a hint of 1960s fashion, whilst his shirts take their cues from fashion.

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When meeting with M in M’s office at the beginning of Spectre and when encountering M in the corridor later in the film, Denbigh wears a black and grey glen check suit. The suit jacket has an English silhouette with straight shoulders and roped sleeveheads. The chest is lean with a close fit and the waist is suppressed, but it’s not as tight as the waists of Daniel Craig’s suit jackets.

The suit jacket has two buttons on the front in a slightly high stance. The lapels are medium-narrow with small fishmouth notches, and they are finished with noticeable pick stitching. The jacket is detailed with straight pockets with flaps, four cuff buttons and a single vent. The suit’s trousers have a flat front and side adjusters. The legs are narrow and straight.

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On the two occasions Denbigh wears this suit he wears it with different shirts and ties. The first shirt he wears with it is ecru with a self stripe. With this shirt he wears a black tie with s random pattern of printed white dots that looks like a star-filled night sky. The second shirt he wears with it is cream with grey diamonds, most likely a printed pattern. The tie with the second shirt is black with alternating white and dark grey dotted lines. The dots on the tie clash with the similar scale of the shirt’s pattern. Both shirts are made in the same style. They have spread collars with short stands and short points, button cuffs and front plackets. The ties are tied in four-in-hand knots.

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M: Double-Breasted Chalk Stripe Suit in Spectre

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After creating masterpieces for Skyfall, Timothy Everest returned to tailor Ralph Fiennes’ wardrobe for Spectre. Fiennes plays Bond’s boss M, known as Gareth Mallory in Skyfall, and his suits follow the same styles as the suits in Spectre. When we first see M in Spectre he is wearing a similar double-breasted suit to navy chalk stripe double-breasted suit he wears in the last scene of Skyfall. But whilst the suit in Skyfall is made of a traditional heavy flannel, this suit is made from a lighter flannel. Timothy Everest’s website commented on this change in cloths:

Working closely with the 007 wardrobe team, the brief was to contemporarise M from heavy worsted wools and flannels to a more modern, medium weight Super 120’s worsted wool and baby cashmere coatings.

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Though this new suit is still a flannel, it’s a lighter weight than before. This lightweight flannel is likely 11 oz, which gives the traditional cloth an updated look. M wears a navy suit with white chalk stripes spaced about 3/4″ apart in his office when he meets with Bond. When dealing with Max Denbigh in the corridor later in the film he wears the same suit.

The suit jacket is a classic button two, show three double-breasted. M fastens both buttons on the jacket, which reflects the way a naval officer would button his double-breasted uniform. It has a classic Savile Row cut with straight shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a full chest, a nipped waist and medium-wide peaked lapels. This is the ultimate authority style and gives M an incredible presence. The jacket is detailed with straight flap pockets with a ticket pocket, double vents and four buttons on the cuffs. The edges are finished with subtle pick stitching, and the buttons are dark horn with a four-hole domed centre.

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The suit trousers have a plain front, slanted side pockets and medium-width tapered legs that likely have turn-ups. The waistband has a tab extension with a hidden clasp closure and slide-buckle side adjusters. The rear has two tabs for the braces to attach to, which raises the back of the braces like a fishtail back would do to make the braces more comfortable.

The suit is thoroughly traditional and completely timeless. It may not look as hip as Daniel Craig’s Tom Ford suits, but this suit will never look outdated. The chalk stripes and powerful—but not excessive—cut give M the appearance of the important and commanding man that he is. It’s an old-money look but not a pretentious look.

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At his meeting with James Bond at the start of the film, M gives this outfit a modern look with a french blue cotton poplin shirt rather than a more traditional lighter shirt. The shirt has a spread collar, plain front and double cuffs. M wears a navy tie with magenta squares with this shirt. When encountering Denbigh in the corridor later in the film, M wears a sky blue shirt with a spread collar, front placket, double cuffs and side pleats over the shoulders. The shirt has a traditional full cut. With this shirt he wears a navy tie with a tiny motif that may possibly be pink. The lighter sky blue shirt is more flattering to Fiennes’ pale complexion than the vivid french blue shirt.

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M wears braces with his suit trousers, and they may be the same braces he wears in Skyfall. The Skyfall braces are navy with a navy embroidered fleur-de-lis braces motif and were made by Albert Thurston. The braces have black leather ends and trimmings and brass levers. Wearing braces rather than using the side-adjusters gives M an old-fashioned air, but with all of his problems at least he doesn’t have to worry about his trousers slipping.

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What Is James Bond Style?

Dr. No Dinner Suit

Since this blog usually looks at the many specifics of Bond’s clothes, let’s take a step back and look at the overall picture of what defines James Bond style. There’s no way to make generalisations about Bond style overall, but there are a number of different themes that Bond style has followed over the years. At its essence, Bond style is about looking good in a suit, or more specifically looking good in a dinner jacket. Bond has worn much casual clothing, but it’s the tailoring that sets Bond apart from other heroes. There have been multiple approaches to Bond’s style, from the quirky styles in Fleming’s novels to the classic styles in Connery’s films to the fashion in Moore’s and Craig’s films to the continental power look in Brosnan’s films. At the end of the article you can vote for which Bond you think best represents Bond style.

When most people think of James Bond’s clothes, it’s the black tie ensembles that first come to mind. Bond’s iconic black tie looks have kept the dinner jacket alive, and Bond’s consistently classic way of wearing black tie makes him the world’s number one black tie model. Wearing black tie well is a key element to Bond style, and something that has been kept consistent through all of the iterations of Bond. But there’s much more to Bond style than black tie.

Fleming Bond Style: Personal Peculiarities

The literary Bond’s style is defined by an unassuming manner of dress with many idiosyncrasies. Fleming typically dressed his Bond in a uniform of a blue suit with a white short-sleeve shirt, black knitted tie and moccasins. This isn’t ordinarily the description of a stylish man. The literary Bond’s clothes are still of high quality (notably his silk and Sea Island cotton shirts), and because of the consistency in his dress he obviously cares about what he wears. He doesn’t just put on anything. But he really dresses down his suits and never wears anything fussy or flashy. He doesn’t come off as a fussy man or a dandy, but he is snobbish about the clothes other people wear and judges them for it, whether it’s a windsor knot or an Anderson & Sheppard suit.

The plain-weave glen check suit in From Russia with Love

Connery Bond Style: Sober Sophistication

Sean Connery’s Bond has a similarly understated and uniform approach to style that the literary Bond has. Unlike the literary Bond, Connery’s Bond can be considered thoroughly well-dressed. His style is defined by understated, classic British style. He follows a uniform of a button two suit in a grey suit—solid, semi-solid, flannel or glen check—with the occasional blue, brown or striped suit. He usually wears his suits with a cocktail cuff shirt in light blue or cream, a dark grenadine tie and derby shoes or short boots with elastic. Apart from the boots, narrow lapels and straight-bottomed waistcoats, Connery’s Bond went for a classic style that didn’t follow many trends that showed he was a man of traditional tastes. His uniform has a thoroughly, though not overtly, British look. Connery Bond style is one of a well-tailored man who knows how to put together an outfit, but it’s a understated style where nothing stands our or is overly fashionable. Though his clothes are top quality, they don’t call attention to that fact. Connery’s Bond never stands out in crowd, just as a spy should not.

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1970s Moore Bond Style and Craig Bond Style: Fashion Forward

Roger Moore’s Bond in the 1970 and Daniel Craig’s Bond in his last couple of films have a fashionable or flashy style that boldly infuses trends with classic style. For 1970s Roger Moore it means wide-lapelled jackets and flared trousers occasionally in flashier suitings like silk. But the suit jackets have a classic cut and the suits are often in staid solid worsteds, chalk stripes and tweeds. For Daniel Craig it means everything shrunken—tight jackets with narrow lapels and a short length, and skinny trousers with a low rise—but made in classic suitings with traditional British details. Though Moore’s and Craig’s Bonds dress very differently from each other in execution, in concept they have a similar approach to mixing blending what Connery established with the fashions of the time. Moore’s and Craig’s Bonds always stand out as fashionable but also as men with good taste. 1970s Moore Bond style and Craig Bond style are about considering the current fashions without forgetting about how to dress like an English gentleman.

Timothy Dalton’s suits in Licence to Kill follow the fashionable edge of Moore’s and Craig’s Bond’s suits but lack all elements of classic style apart from the colours.

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1980s Moore Bond style and Lazenby Bond style: British Brilliance

Roger Moore’s Bond’s style in the 1980s and George Lazenby’s Bond’s style are about dressing in a British mode. Like Connery’s style, 1980s Moore and Lazenby follow classic British style with some fashionable touches, but their suits look more British than Connery’s due to sharper silhouettes, brighter ties and bolder suitings. They wear a lot of navy and grey, flannel and chalk stripe three piece suits in the city, and they wear earth tones outside of the city. They wear both single-breasted and double-breasted jackets. 1980s Moore Bond style and Lazenby Bond style is about being dressed classically, but with in modern edge in a way only the British can do.

Timothy Dalton’s Bond’s style in The Living Daylights fits into the British category, though there’s little brilliance in it.

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Brosnan Bond style: Overt Opulence

Pierce Brosnan’s Bond’s style is one of a successful and worldly businessman, and it’s defined by continental power suits and luxurious overcoats. The long cashmere overcoats solidify Brosnan’s Bond’s image as a rich man. The confidence (or sometimes overconfidence) with which he wears these clothes only adds to the look. Brosnan Bond style works for Bond’s cover as a businessman who socialises with the wealthy, though apart from some subtle details, it forgets about the origins of the character. Though the strong cut of Brosnan’s Bond’s suits makes him look powerful, it translates more to money power rather than physical power. Though fashions now have moved away from the strong shoulders and full cut, a soft Italian suit could more subtly give the same effect of a well-travelled businessman today.

Which Bond best represents what Bond style is to you?

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