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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Anthracite Damier Three-Piece Suit in Spectre

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When Bond visits Q’s lab at the end of Spectre, he wears a sporty checked three-piece suit from Tom Ford. Bond has worn few sporty three-piece suits in the series, and this one follows the iconic three-piece glen check suit from Goldfinger loosely in idea but neither in execution nor iconography. Like the glen check suit in Goldfinger, it’s a suit for relaxed Bond rather than a 00-agent ready for business. And being a three-piece, it shows shows that Bond is a man who appreciates fine clothes even when he doesn’t need to dress up. Though it’s a sporty suit, the dark grey colour, smooth finish and waistcoat also make this a fairly dressy suit, but it’s not a business suit.

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The suit is anthracite—a very dark charcoal—with a pin-point damier check. A true damier is a checkerboard pattern whilst this pattern is more like a variation on the shepherd check. It’s a check made up of pin dots with a 32-yarn repeat in both the warp and the weft. For 16 of the 32 yarns in each direction there is a yarn that creates a line of white pin dots every four yarns. The overall effect is a dark grey check. The content of the suiting is 70% wool, 18% silk and 12% mohair. The silk and mohair give the cloth a subtle sheen and increase its formality.

Like the two-piece suits in Spectre, this suit is the O’Connor model designed by Spectre’s costumer designer Jany Temime along with Tom Ford. The jacket has straight, padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads. The front has three buttons with narrow lapels rolled to the middle button for a button two look. The jacket is detailed with a single vent, slanted hip pockets, a curved “barchetta” breast pocket and four buttons on the cuffs. The last buttonhole on the cuffs is longer than the rest, and Bond wears the last button open. Like the other O’Connor suit jackets, this suit jacket is too short and too tight. This suit jacket is tighter than the rest because of the waistcoat underneath.

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The waistcoat has six buttons with five to button. The bottom button is placed on the cutaway portion of the waistcoat, and the bottom button and buttonhole do not line up. The waistcoat has four curved “barchetta” welt pockets. The low-rise suit trousers have a wide extended waistband, slide-buckle side-adjusters, side seams curved forward at the top with on-seam pockets and narrow straight legs.

Under the suit, Bond wears a sky blue cotton poplin shirt with a point collar, double cuffs, a front placket and back darts, which give the shirt a close fit in the small of the back. He matches the shirt with a folded sky blue handkerchief in his suit jacket’s breast pocket. The tie is solid black—in what may be a panama weave—and tied in a four-in-hand knot. Bond’s shoes are likely the Crockett & Jones Norwich model: black calf five-eyelet, cap-toe derby shoes with Dainite studded rubber soles.

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The Navy Sharkskin Suit in Spectre

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When James Bond enters his room at Franz Oberhauser’s desert crater lair in Spectre, he finds a blue sharkskin suit laid out on the bed for him. Bond is expected to wear this suit when joining Oberhauser for afternoon drinks. The suit from Tom Ford is in the same O’Connor model as most of the other suits in Spectre, even though this is technically not Bond’s own suit but rather one that was only provided for him. This could give an excuse for this suit’s fit problems, but that excuse doesn’t hold up considering all of the O’Connor suits in the film fit the same way.

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The suiting is a 100% wool super 110s sharkskin (also known as pick-and-pick) woven with dark and light blue yarns for an iridescent look. Though there’s no mohair content in the cloth, the different blues in it give it a shiny 1960s look. Depending on lighting, the suit can look anywhere from dark navy to medium blue. In person, the suiting is brighter and more vivid than it looks on screen. This suit is perfect for social occasions, both during the day under the sun and in the evening under artificial light. The cloth is too shiny for most business.

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Being the O’Connor model designed by Spectre‘s costumer designer Jany Temime and Tom Ford, the cut and details match many of the other suits in the film. The jacket has straight, padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a close-fitting chest, a too-tight waist and a fashionably short length. The front has three buttons with narrow lapels rolled to the middle button for a button two look. The lower foreparts are cutaway for a dynamic “X” on the front of the jacket. The jacket is detailed with a single vent, slanted hip pockets, a curved “barchetta” breast pocket and four buttons on the cuffs. The last buttonhole on the cuffs is longer than the rest, and Bond wears the last button open.

The suit trousers have a wide extended waistband, slide-buckle side-adjusters, side seams curved forward at the top with on-seam pockets, narrow straight legs and turn-ups. They have a low rise, which reveals a triangle of shirt below the jacket’s fastened button. The trousers with this suit look even shorter than the trousers in the rest of the film and don’t even touch the shoes. High-water trousers don’t serve a purpose in the desert!

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With this suit Bond wears a white cotton poplin shirt with a point collar, double cuffs, a front placket and back darts, which give the shirt a close fit in the small of the back. The shirt has a close fit overall, but it’s not too tight like the suit jacket is. He matches the shirt with a folded white handkerchief in his suit jacket’s breast pocket. The tie is dark navy silk repp in a colour Tom Ford calls “ink”. It is darker than the suit, but the hue is the same as the suit’s so it matches well. The tie is 7.5 cm/3 inches wide, and it’s tied in a four-in-hand knot. Bond’s shoes are the Crockett & Jones Norwich model. They are black calf five-eyelet, cap-toe derby shoes with Dainite studded rubber soles.

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Crockett & Jones Norwich

This suit is likely the same suit that is in the gun barrel sequence at the start of the film.

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Some of the images here have been colour-corrected due to the filters on the film that make it look overly warm.

The Herringbone Track Stripe Suit and Crombie Coat in Spectre

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For visits to M’s office and to Q’s lab in Spectre, James Bond wears a grey herringbone track strip suit from Tom Ford. Spectre continues in the long history of Bond films where Bond dresses in stripes in London. This suit’s cloth exchanges the standard pinstripe and chalk stripe for a cloth with more interest in the stripe and in the weave. The cloth is woven in a narrow herringbone weave, which changes direction every 16 yarns. The cloth is woven with medium grey in the warp and charcoal grey in the weft for an overall vibrant dark grey. There is a white track stripe where the herringbone changes direction. The track stripe is two single-yarn pinstripes spaced a yarn apart. Because the stripe is part of the herringbone weave, it has a soft chalk-stripe-like appearance.

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The suit is the O’Connor model designed by costume designer Jany Temime in collaboration with Tom Ford for Spectre, and it has the same cut and the same details that the other three O’Connor suits in the film have. The jacket has straight, padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a close-fitting chest, a too-tight waist and a fashionably short length. The front has three buttons with narrow lapels rolled to the middle button for a button two look. The lower foreparts are cutaway and reveal a triangle of shirt below the jacket’s fastened button. The jacket is detailed with a single vent, slanted hip pockets, a curved “barchetta” breast pocket and four buttons on the cuffs. The last buttonhole on the cuffs is longer than the rest, and Bond ungentlemanly wears the last button open.

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The suit trousers have a wide extended waistband, slide-buckle side-adjusters, side seams curved forward at the top with on-seam pockets, narrow straight legs and turn-ups. They have a low rise and are hemmed with no break, which means they are very short and cover little of the shoes.

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With the suit, Bond wears two different shirts and ties from Tom Ford. When he first visits M’s office he wears a white cotton poplin shirt with a medium-dark grey tie and no pocket handkerchief. Later when he goes to Q’s office he wears a sky blue shirt with a matching sky blue folded pocket handkerchief and a navy tie. The navy tie is a deep, rich blue and towards indigo on the spectrum. Tom Ford calls this tie “navy”, as opposed to the similar “ink” tie that Bond wears later in the film. The shirts are both in the same style and have a point collar, double cuffs, a front placket and back darts, which give the shirt a close fit. The ties both are silk repp and 7.5 cm/3 inches wide. The sky blue shirt and navy tie are much more flattering to Craig’s complexion than the white shirt and grey tie since he looks better with less contrast.

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Bond’s shoes are the Crockett & Jones Norwich model. They are black calf five-eyelet, cap-toe derby shoes with Dainite studded rubber soles.

Over the suit Bond wears a navy “Crombie” coat, which is the name commonly used for a three-quarter-length chesterfield coat. Tom Ford does not use the name “Crombie” for this coat, which is trademarked by the British brand Crombie. However, this style of coat is most popularly associated with the Crombie brand. The coat is made of a luxurious 51% cashmere and 49% silk blend. It has structured padded shoulders and a darted front for a closely fitted silhouette. There are three buttons down the front, which are covered with a fly. Bond only fastens the coat’s middle button. The coat is detailed with straight flap hip pockets, a curved “barchetta” breast pocket, a single vent and three buttons on the cuffs. The collar is cotton moleskin in a slightly lighter and more vivid blue than the rest of the coat. When Bond is on his way to Q’s lab he wears a long navy scarf warpped twice around the neck and looped over in front.

The crombie coat, from a cut scene in Spectre

The crombie coat, from a cut scene in Spectre

Bond rudely keeps his coat on in M’s office but takes it off in Q’s office. Neither Bond nor M appear to be in a rush in M’s office, so he has no excuse for wearing it. It makes the same suit look more different in the two separate scenes, when Bond really should have put on a different suit the next day. In Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights and GoldenEye, Bond wears different suits on different days for his office visits and should have continued that tradition here.

The Blue Prince of Wales Suit in Spectre

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In Spectre‘s pre-title sequence in Mexico City, James Bond wears a blue Prince of Wales check wool suit from Tom Ford. A Prince of Wales check in this usage of the term is a glen check with an overcheck, which may also be called a windowpane. The glen check is medium blue and black whilst the overcheck is light blue in a more vivid tone in the warp than in the weft. A black and blue check makes this unusual compared to the more typical black and white and black and grey variations that Bond has worn in the past. The overcheck is a bold six yarns wide, which makes it the dominant pattern on the suit. Ordinarily, overchecks on a Prince of Wales check are thinner and stand out less. Because the overcheck on this suit is so dominant, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to call this a windowpane suit, but that oversimplifies what the suit’s pattern truly is.

Since the base of the suit’s cloth is medium blue and black, the colours blend together into an air force blue. The colour of the suit is still lighter and more vivid than an ordinary blue suit, but the colour looks perfect for Mexico City’s warm weather and helps Bond to stand out from the crowd during the Day of the Dead festival. The lighter blues in the suit are flattering to Daniel Craig’s warm complexion and bring out his blue eyes.

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The jacket is the O’Connor model designed by costume designer Jany Temime in collaboration with Tom Ford for Spectre, with straight, padded shoulders that have roped sleeveheads, a close-fitting chest, a too-tight waist and a fashionably short length. The front has three buttons with narrow lapels rolled to the middle button for a button two look. The lower foreparts are cutaway and reveal a triangle of shirt below the jacket’s fastened button. The jacket is detailed with a single vent, slanted hip pockets, a curved “barchetta” breast pocket and four buttons on the cuffs. The last buttonhole on the cuffs is longer than the rest, and Bond wears the last button open.

The suit trousers have a wide extended waistband, slide-buckle side-adjusters, side seams curved forward at the top with on-seam pockets, narrow straight legs and turn-ups. They have a low rise and are hemmed with no break, which means they are very short and cover little of the shoes.

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With the suit, Bond wears a white shirt from Tom Ford with a point collar, double cuffs, a front placket and back darts, which give the shirt a close fit. A light blue shirt would make this outfit more flattering to Daniel Craig’s complexion, but it would have to be a very pale blue so there is contrast between the suit and shirt. The stark white shirt overpowers Craig’s complexion. The tie is a silk repp in medium blue, which Tom Ford call their “blue” shade. It is 7.5 cm/3 inches wide. The blue is a close match with the hue of the suit, which makes it a good match in the classic Connery Bond mode. Bond ties it in a narrow four-in-hand knot. Bond also wears a folded white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket.

The shoes are the Crockett & Jones Norwich model. They are black calf five-eyelet, cap-toe derby shoes with Dainite studded rubber soles. The socks are a rather boring and unstylish black. Dark blue would have been a better choice, since it would extend the line of the too-short trouser legs.

A Black Herringbone Suit for a Funeral in Spectre

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James Bond’s black herringbone three-piece suit in Spectre introduces Tom Ford’s signature “Windsor” model to the Bond series. This model is characterised by wide peaked lapels and aggressive shoulders. The look is inspired by suits from the 1940s as well as by 1960s and 1970s British designer Tommy Nutter’s suits. Though Bond is in disguise as an Italian gangster, the style of his suit is much more British than it is Italian. Bold and flashy doesn’t mean it’s Italian, but it’s also not the look a traditional English gentleman would sport either.

Bond has typically avoided wearing solid black suits because they’re neither the most traditional nor the most stylish. They have their place at funerals, which makes this black suit fitting for the situation. The only other time Bond wears a solid black suit is to Morton Slumber’s funeral home in Diamonds Are Forever. That suit is also a three-piece, and this suit is its direct successor. Though black suits usually look dull, this suiting is woven in a large herringbone weave to give it texture so it doesn’t look flat. Whilst this suit is 100% wool, the herringbone weave means it reflects more light and ends up looking livelier and shinier. Seeing it in person, it’s brighter than all of the other blacks around, even though it is still black. This is the rare example of an exciting black suiting.

The jacket has straight shoulders with a heavy amount of padding and roped sleeveheads. There is fullness and shape in the chest, which gives it a more bespoke look and feel, but the chest still fits close to the body, as does the waist. The length is a bit on the short side. The front has two buttons at a medium stance and medium-wide peaked lapels with belly. Belly is the convex curve of the outer edge that makes the lapels look wider than they actually are. Tom Ford spoke about his preference for wide lapels in a documentary that aired on 23 October 2011 as the second episode of the television programme Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind:

I like a big lapel. I’ve always hated little skinny lapels. It doesn’t mean I haven’t ever done them before, but I’ve always felt they feel a little sad, like you don’t have enough fabric.

The jacket is detailed with straight pockets with wide flaps and a ticket pocket. The breast pocket has a curved “barchetta” shape. There are five buttons on the cuffs, and the last button has a longer buttonhole and is left open. There is a single vent to the back.

The waistcoat has six buttons with five to button—the last button and buttonhole are placed on the cutaway part at the bottom and would strain if fastened. There are four curved welt pockets on the front that match the style of the jacket’s breast pocket.

The trousers have a flat front, a medium low rise and narrow, straight legs with plain hems. This is the only Tom Ford suit of all the Bond films to not have turn-ups on the trousers, and this suit may not have turn-ups because it is more formal than any other suit Daniel Craig has worn in his Bond films. The waistband has a square extension with a hidden hook-and-eye closure and slide-buckle adjusters at the sides. The side pockets are on the seam, which curves forward at the top.

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Costume designer Jany Temime was quoted about this outfit from Spectre on the James Bond 007 Facebook page:

Bond is in disguise and has to fit in with gangsters, moving in a daring way. The details in the shirt, the collar is more Italian style: it is Bond in disguise.

The white cotton poplin shirt from Tom Ford has a point collar with eyelets and metal bar, cocktail cuffs, a plain front and rear darts for a slim fit. Though Temime says the pinned collar is an Italian style, it’s not particularly Italian these days. It has some historical association with both Italians and Americans. Roger Moore wears a pinned collar in his 1976 film Street People when playing his Sicilian father in 1930s flashbacks. Pierce Brosnan almost always wears pinned collars during the first two series of Remington Steele, which reflected trends in America at the time as well as his character’s love for classic Hollywood films. Pinned collars are too fussy for James Bond to wear apart from being in disguise, and they’re not particularly appropriate for a modern British character.

Tom Ford calls the cocktail cuff on his shirts the “Dr. No cuff”, named after the first Bond film to feature Bond wearing shirts with cocktail cuffs. The cuff has a similarly rounded shape to the cocktail cuffs that Sean Connery wears in five of his Bond films, though the two buttons on this cuff are both positioned closer to the fold. The top button on this cuff is mostly hidden under the fold, whilst it’s always visible on Connery’s cuffs when has has both buttons fastened. Spectre is the ninth Bond film to feature James Bond wearing cocktail cuffs, after five films with Sean Connery and three films with Roger Moore. Turnbull & Asser made a bespoke cocktail cuff pattern for Pierce Brosnan when making shirts for Die Another Day, but no shirts cocktail cuffs were featured in that film.

The black-on-black woven check silk tie is 9.5 cm—or 3 3/4 inches—wide to go with the wide lapels on the suit jacket. The lapels are wider than the tie, though ties that are narrower than the lapels can still work. To fit his disguise as a gangster, Bond knots his tie in a windsor knot. Bond completes his outfit with a white silk handkerchief with a black border stuffed—rather than meticulously folded—into his breast pocket. The handkerchief measures 40 cm by 40 cm.

The boots that Bond wears with this suit are the flashy Crockett & Jones Camberley model in black calf. The style is best described as a double-monk boot, where the straps buckle from the inside quarter over the outside quarter. Like on monk shoes, the quarter are both over the tongue. This boot is not a Jodhpur boot, where the vamp and tongue are positioned on top of the quarters. Boots are a good match with narrow trousers because narrow trousers must be hemmed shorter, and thus boots will prevent sock from showing with shorter trousers. Whilst monk boots are not likely something the literary James Bond would wear, they satisfy his dislike for laces.

Bond wears this suit with a black double-breasted bridge coat, sunglasses and black driving gloves, which will be covered at a later date.

The Saint: A Black-and-White Hopsack Suit with a Double-Breasted Waistcoat

Roger Moore in "Simon and Delilah", with Lois Maxwell who plays Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 Bond films

Roger Moore in “Simon and Delilah”, with Lois Maxwell who plays Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 Bond films

In a number of fifth series episodes of The Saint—including “The Helpful Pirate”, “The Convenient Monster”, “The Angel’s Eye”, “The Persistent Patriots”, “Simon and Delilah” and “A Double in Diamonds”—Roger Moore wears a black and white hopsack three-piece suit. The overall look of the cloth is a medium-dark grey with a lot of sheen. The sheen suggests a wool and mohair blend, which was very popular in the 1960s. Mohair often came in these tone-tone hopsack weaves in the 1960s because the iridescent two-tone look accentuates the natural sheen of mohair. Hopsack—a basketweave—is also a popular weave for mohair because the open weave takes advantage of mohair’s cool-wearing properties.

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With a tie-clip microphone in “Simon and Delilah”

Cyril Castle, who tailored Moore for The Saint, The Persuaders, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun, cut this suit. Like all of Roger Moore’s suits in The Saint‘s fifth series, this suit’s jacket has a button three front. The jacket is cut with softly padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a draped chest and a suppressed waist. A low button stance serves, along with the drape, to make Roger Moore’s chest look more masculine and imposing. The considerably narrow lapels add to this effect and make the entire look overdone.

For a dressier look, this suit jacket has the minimalist touches of jetted pockets and no rear vent. Like on most of the jackets in the fifth series, the cuffs are gauntlet cuffs with a single button. The suits’s trousers have a darted front, no belt, frogmouth pockets and narrow, tapered legs with plain hems.

Moore reaches into the pockets of his double-breasted in "The Angels Eye"

Moore reaches into the pockets of his double-breasted in “The Angels Eye”

The double-breasted waistcoat has six buttons in a keystone formation with three to button. A double-breasted waistcoat is an unusual piece and is more formal than a single-breasted waistcoat. It’s perfect for evening formal dress and morning dress, but it’s equally appropriate on a dressier lounge suit such as this shiny mohair suit. It’s certainly a dandyish piece and serves as a way to stand out from the crowd, but it doesn’t draw much more attention than a single-breasted waistcoat would, especially if the jacket is kept buttoned. It lends a rather old-world look to this suit, but since the suit is very modern with narrow lapels and narrow trousers it doesn’t have enough weight to make the suit look old-fashioned.

Notice the gauntlet cuffs, in "SImon and Delilah"

Notice the gauntlet cuffs, in “SImon and Delilah”

A suit like this is too bold for standard business dress. Mohair is too shiny and thus flashy, and the double-breasted waistcoat is too unconventional. These elements also make the suit too formal for the office. However, it is perfect for a fancy evening out or to wear to a day or night wedding, either as a guest or as the groom. Though mohair is a cool-wearing cloth and good for warm weather, the extra layer of a waistcoat gives this suit a wider temperature range.

Moore coordinates this suit with two different tie and shoe combinations. The shirts are always ecru, and many or all have white hairlines stripes. The shirts have a moderate spread collar, plain front and double cuffs. The collar has a tall stand but short points. In “The Helpful Pirate”, “The Convenient Monster” and “The Angel’s Eye” Moore wears a narrow medium grey satin tie and black slip-on shoes with elastic. In “The Persistent Patriots”, “Simon and Delilah” and “A Double in Diamonds” he wears an narrow olive satin tie and medium brown slip-on shoes with elastic. Moore knots his ties with a small four-in-hand knot.

The suit jacket buttoned in "The Convenient Monster"

The suit jacket buttoned in “The Convenient Monster”. With the jacket buttoned the double-breasted waistcoat doesn’t look so unusual.

In “Simon and Delilah” Moore wears a tie clip with a microphone built in (pictured second from top). A tie clip is typically unnecessary with a waistcoat because the waistcoat keeps the tie in place. Sometimes the waistcoat doesn’t do this job as well as it should and a man may still want a tie clip to keep his tie perfectly in place. In that case, the tie clip should be worn under the waistcoat. It belongs approximately three-quarters of the way down the tie and away from the face. Of course, a microphone would be less effective under the waistcoat. Ideally a two-piece suit should have been chosen for this scene. On the other hand, the waistcoat means that the tine clip is higher and thus in better sight for the viewers of the show.

Though he usually wears dark grey socks with this suit, in “The Persistent Patriots” Moore wears this suit with beige socks—which coordinate with the shirt more than they do with the suit. Though they by no means clash with the outfit, light-coloured socks can draw attention to the feet when attention should be drawn to the face.

Beige socks with this suit in "The Persistent Patriots"

Beige socks with this suit in “The Persistent Patriots”

How James Bond Wears a Suit for Evenings Out

Quantum-Midnight-Suit

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.

The-Man-with-the-Golden-Gun-Charcoal-Suit-Dinner

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.

Thunderball-Grey-Suit

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.