THE JAMES BOND STYLE GUIDE
August marked the 50 year anniversary of the death of James Bond writer Ian Fleming. To this day the film franchise continues to be a growing success and plans are currently in place to start filming for the 24th instalment with Daniel Craig starring as secret agent 007. The un-named film is expected to premiere in November 2015.Bond is arguably one of the best dressed fictional characters to have graced both page and screen and has become a beacon for many men to seek sartorial guidance.
Country Attire are celebrating the life and work of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. We have collaborated on a style guide with a number of Bond experts who have very kindly lent their expertise. Below are their top three all-time Bond outfits as well as a number of their top picks from Country Attire which would be ideal for 007.
Roger Moore’s navy blue Chesterfield overcoat in Live and Let Die is classic Bond luxury. The cut, the colour, the velvet collar – it all whispers, very quietly, an Englishman abroad. Tailor Cyril Castle of Mayfair did wonderful work with Roger, perhaps the best in the series, though is often overlooked for Anthony Sinclair’s comparatively minor contribution to Sean.
Roger Moore’s medium blue single breasted suit with light blue shirt and red tie from The Man with the Golden Gun is probably my favourite Bond ensemble full stop. It has just the right amount of seventies influence, e.g. funky jacket lining and kick flare leg, which I really like to see. The same tiresome argument of all Sean Connery’s suits being so wearable now is nonsense. Sure, they are easier to reconcile than Roger’s infamous safari suit, but the high trouser waistline and fullness around the hips is now ridiculously dated. Just look at the fit of Roger’s ensemble here; it’s perfect, and the blue mohair suiting, timeless.
George Lazenby’s cream linen single breasted suit in OHMSS is how Daniel Craig should have looked in Skyfall, instead of those ill-fitting boyband-esque ensembles he was actually sewn into. Worn with a pale pink shirt and navy tie, the cut of this Dimitrio Major suit is modern lean, but crucially not tight. Out of all the Bond suits on all the Bonds, this might be the most appropriate to slip on and wear now.
James Bond's first dinner suit is everything I look for in a dinner suit. The midnight blue looks blacker than black and the shawl collar is a timeless width. The addition of double vents to what should traditionally have no vents doesn't detract from the elegance of the dinner jacket and makes it more comfortable to wear.
James Bond's country outfit in Goldfinger is inspirational because it combines a jacket, trousers and tie that contrast in texture rather than colour or pattern. The hacking jacket is a classic, but with two buttons instead of three it has a more modern and elegant look that most country outfits lack.
The three-piece glen check suit that Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger is perhaps the most memorable suit in the series, and it's the details like the ticket pocket and double vents on the jacket, lapelled waistcoat and forward pleat-trousers. The fine glen check adds a depth to the suit that is often absent from light-coloured suits.
Bond’s outfit in Scotland scenes in SkyFall is one of my favourite casual outfits.
Daniel Craig wears an olive green Barbour X To Ki To Beacon Heritage sports jacket, with a blue N-Peal sweater, dark All Saints corduroy trousers and brown leather Crockett & Jones Islay boots.
The Barbour jacket became my favourite winter jacket. It was beautifully designed by Tokihito Yoshida, with a very slim fit around the shoulders and waist, classic Barbour tartan lining, many useful pockets and subtle leather details.
The limited edition jacket was very popular and sold out quickly when the movie came out, but Barbour was clever enough to issue a new version of the Beacon Sports Jacket in the Dept B collection, which is virtually identical to the original X To Ki To jacket seen in SkyFall.
When Craig’s Bond arrives in the Bahamas, chasing up a lead, he steps off the plane in his lightweight pale grey three-button linen suit, short-sleeve self-stripe military cut shirt and brown suede derby shoes, and we know instantly that this is Bond. Craig wears this suit with authority and confidence, exuding a genuine sense of cool. It might seem unusual to wear a short-sleeved shirt under a suit jacket, but this harks back to the literary Bond and his creator Ian Fleming. Fleming was known to wear short-sleeved shirts under his suit jackets.
Connery looks effortlessly stylish and poised in his burgundy V-neck from Slazenger with its yellow-gold embroidered panther logo. Underneath the sweater he wears a soft, long-sleeve grey polo shirt, and on his head is perched a grey straw trilby with black, white, and red striped band.
His midnight blue trousers sport casual frogmouth pockets and his shoes are brown Kiltie Derbies with cleats. It’s possible that no one before or since has ever looked as good on the golf green.