The Untraditional Ivory Dinner Jacket in Spectre


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.


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 are 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.


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 is has a pleated front 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.

James Bond’s Warm-Weather Black Tie Etiquette


Daniel Craig’s ivory dinner jacket in Spectre

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

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

Bond's first ivory dinner jacket in Goldfinger

Bond’s first ivory dinner jacket in Goldfinger

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

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

Sean Connery's ivory dinner jacket in Diamonds Are Forever

Sean Connery’s ivory dinner jacket in Diamonds Are Forever

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Roger Moore’s ivory dinner jacket in Octopussy

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.


50 Years of James Bond in Black Tie Infographic

I’ve created an infographic that breaks down James Bond’s 28 black tie outfits by every part of the outfit. All illustrations are based on examples from the James Bond films. For instance, the first three dinner jackets are based on the midnight blue dinner jacket from Thunderball, the black dinner jacket from Casino Royale and the ivory dinner jacket from Goldfinger. Can you figure out the where the next four dinner jacket illustrations are from?

Though there are 28 dinner jackets, there are 29 shirts. George Lazenby wears two different ruffled shirts with the same dinner jacket in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Also, shoes are unfortunately missing from this infographic since they are rarely seen in the films.

Feel free to share this infographic. You can enlarge it by clicking the image below.


Peter Lorre’s Le Chiffre


In the 1954 “Casino Royale” television play on CBS’s Climax!, the legendary Peter Lorre became the first actor to play Le Chiffre. Lorre wears a warm-weather dinner jacket like the dinner jacket Barry Nelson wears as Bond, but Lorre’s double-breasted dinner jacket is slightly lighter than Nelson’s buff (pale yellow-brown) or burma (pale red-brown) dinner jacket. Lorre’s dinner jacket is probably light buff, with lapel facings in a similarly-coloured satin silk. Anything but a self facing on a warm-weather dinner jacket’s lapels is not traditional, and it may have been trendy in the 1950s. The satin lapels add an unnecessary flashiness to the dinner jacket, but the flashiness is appropriate for a Bond villain.

Le-Chiffre-Dinner-Jacket-HomburgLorre’s dinner jacket has four buttons with one to button, and the two rows of buttons are evenly spaced about and below the waist. The jacket has natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, and the jacket’s chest is clean but cut with a little fullness. This contrasts with the large shoulders, oversized fit and low button stance of Barry Nelson’s dinner jacket, which now looks very outdated. The natural shoulders and clean fit keep the corpulent Peter Lorre from looking any larger than he needs to, whilst the classic proportions and higher button stance keep the 5’3″ Lorre from looking any shorter than he needs to. He may be very short, and nothing can hide that, but he still looks as menacing as always.

The jacket also has three buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and no vent. The type of buttons on the jacket is difficult to determine, but they are dark and very shiny like black mother of pearl. Lorre wears traditional black trousers—which probably have a black stripe down each leg and are supported by braces—with the dinner jacket. The white dress shirt has a point collar, double cuffs and a wide placket. The black bow tie is in a thistle shape. Briefly, Lorre carries a black homburg hat with him, and you can see it on the table in the photo above.

Notice the different dinner jacket

Notice the different dinner jacket

In Lorre’s final scene, he wears a different, but very similar, dinner jacket. Either the original dinner jacket was damaged, or this dinner jacket is an accidental continuity error. This jacket doesn’t flatter Lorre nearly as well as the original dinner jacket does, which is because the new dinner jacket has larger shoulders and a lower button stance like Barry Nelson’s dinner jacket has. The lapels are darker and narrower, and the lapel peaks point more upwards than outwards like the original jacket’s lapels do. The buttons are white or cream. The top of the trousers shows at the bottom of the dinner jacket’s opening.

Robbie Coltrane as Valentin Zukovsky wears a very similar dinner jacket in The World Is Not Enough.

A Mostly Classic Ivory Dinner Jacket


Whilst an ivory dinner jacket is appropriate in a Monte Carlo casino, it’s not so appropriate in a Las Vegas casino unless you’re James Bond. Bond wears one in Diamonds Are Forever at a Las Vegas casino where most people dress down. Apart from Bond’s wide bow tie and the wide pocket flaps on his dinner jacket, this is a classic warm-weather black tie outfit. It looks especially traditional compared to the flamboyant black dinner jacket Bond wears later in the film. The ivory dinner jacket has the same cut as the other Anthony Sinclair jackets in the film have: a clean chest and natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads.

Diamonds-Ivory-Dinner-Jacket-2The button one dinner jacket has medium-width peaked lapels with a very high gorge. Today you can find examples of peaked lapels where the peaks rise up above the shoulders, but the peaks on the dinner jacket are about as high as peaks can tastefully be. The jacket’s hip pockets are slanted with large flaps, a utilitarian pocket style that is out of place on a dinner jacket. The slant gives easier access to the pockets on horseback, and flaps keep items inside the pockets. However, the benefits of slanted and flapped pockets are unnecessary on a dinner jacket, and such a sporty pocket doesn’t have the elegance of a straight jetted pocket. The dinner jacket also has deep double vents, which are another practical sporting element added to this dinner jacket that breaks from tradition, but Bond’s dinner jackets have often had double vents. There are four buttons on the cuffs, and all of the buttons on the jacket are white mother-of-pearl.

Diamonds-Ivory-Dinner-Jacket-3With the jacket, Bond wears black trousers with a darted front, tapered legs and a satin stripe down each leg. The white-on-white stripe shirt from Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar, double cuffs and pleated front with mother-of-pearl buttons down the placket. Connery’s bow ties always followed the trendy width, and his wide black satin silk bow tie in Diamonds Are Forever is no exception. Since Bond keeps his jacket buttoned, we can’t tell if he wears a cummerbund with this dinner jacket like he does with his black dinner suit later in the film. In the unlikely event that he is wearing a cummerbund here, it probably isn’t the same fancy cummerbund that he wears with the black dinner suit. He wears the same black patent leather two-eyelet derby shoes that he later wears with the black dinner suit.

Valentin Zukovsky: The Light Taupe Dinner Jacket


Valentin Zukovsky, played by Robbie Coltrane, wears one of the more flamboyant warm-weather dinner jackets of the Bond series in The World Is Not Enough. White and other light-coloured dinner jackets are most appropriately worn in the tropics and in summer months in certain other parts of the world (not Great Britain), but Azerbaijan is not tropical and this film takes place during the winter. Zukovsky isn’t the only person in the casino wearing warm-weather black tie, but nobody else is wearing a dinner jacket quite like his. It’s a light taupe four-button double-breasted jacket with one to button. Light-coloured dinner jackets are ordinarily made without facings, but the satin silk lapels, hip pocket jetting, breast pocket welt and covered buttons make Zukovsky’s dinner jacket a rather flashy one. The cuffs button four and the jacket doesn’t have a vent. He wears the dinner jacket with black trousers.

Peter Lorre Le ChiffreFlashy clothes like this satin-faced warm-weather dinner jacket are typically left for the villains, and Zukovsky’s dinner jacket is remarkably similar to the dinner jacket that Peter Lorre’s Le Chiffre (right) wears in the 1954 “Casino Royale” television adaptation. Whilst Zukovsky isn’t exactly a trusted ally, he certainly isn’t a villain either. The flashiness of his dinner jacket, however, indicates that he’s not a man that Bond can put his trust in.

Zukovsky-Dinner-Jacket-2Some larger men can look good in double-breasted jackets since the two columns of buttons break up their breadth. The dinner jacket’s low buttoning give it flattering long lines whilst wider shoulders give the body better proportions. Even though the shoulders are wide, they aren’t built up as not to give Zukovsky extra bulk. The shoulders droop more than they should, but apart from that the dinner jacket fits fairly well. The front is cut with an extended dart, a style that is used by many Neapolitan tailors. The extended dart along with the natural shoulders could indeed mean that was made by a Neapolitan tailor, but tailors often use a separate cutting system for a corpulent man.

Zukovsky-Dinner-Jacket-3With the dinner jacket Zukovsky wears traditional black tie accessories. The white dress shirt has a point collar and double cuffs, both with edge stitching. Though English shirtmakers don’t ordinarily use edge stitching, some think it looks dressier than traditional quarter-inch stitching. The front has narrow swiss pleats and two visible black onyx studs. He wears a classic black thistle bow tie. His shoes are black.

Poll: What is your favourite type of lapel on a dinner jacket?

James Bond’s dinner jackets—or tuxedos—have featured the three basic types of lapels:

Daniel-Craig-Peaked-LapelPeaked/Pointed/Double-Breasted Lapel: The most formal type of lapel, the peaked lapel is the standard on the double-breasted suit, the evening tailcoat and the morning coat. It can also be found on dressier single-breasted suits lounge suits. The peaked lapel was carried over from the formal evening tailcoat to the single-breasted dinner jacket. Sean Connery first wore this style on his ivory dinner jacket in Goldfinger, and Daniel Craig has most recently worn it on his black dinner jacket in Casino Royale.

Sean-Connery-Shawl-CollarShawl Collar: Combining the collar and the lapel into one continuous curve, the shawl collar is the dinner jacket’s original type of collar and comes from the smoking jacket. It’s marginally less dressy than the peaked lapel, but it’s perfect for the casino. Sean Connery introduced James Bond in his midnight blue shawl collar dinner jacket in Dr. No, and Daniel Craig continued with the midnight blue shawl collar dinner jackets in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.

Sean-Connery-Notched-LapelNotched Lapel/Step Collar: The standard for the single-breasted lounge suit, the notched lapel is a less dressy option for dinner jackets. Some would even say it’s inappropriate for a dinner jacket, being too much like a standard lounge suit. It’s utilitarian: when made in classic proportions the notched lapel can be buttoned up in the cold. James Bond has worn dinner jackets with notched lapels on a number of occasions, and often those occasions are small, private affairs where the less formal style is suitable. Today the dinner jacket is rarely worn for these private affairs, making the notched lapel a less appropriate style for the dinner jacket. Many ready-to-wear notched lapel dinner jackets are simply black suits with satin facings and trimmings, and those should be avoided. Sean Connery introduced the notched lapel dinner jacket to the Bond series in Goldfinger, and Timothy Dalton last wore it in a low-gorge model in Licence to Kill.

When James Bond wears multiple dinner jackets in the same film they never have the same type of lapel. Diamonds Are Forever and The Living Daylights are the only Bond films to show Bond in three different dinner jackets, and in those films all three lapel styles are represented. Vote in the two polls below for your favourite type of lapel on the jacket on a dinner jacket, for both the black/midnight blue dinner jacket and white/ivory dinner jacket.

What's your favourite lapel type on a black/midnight blue dinner jacket?

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What's your favourite lapel type on a white/ivory dinner jacket?

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