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.
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.