The Casino Royale Three-Piece Suit

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The last time James Bond wore a striped three-piece suit was in the final scene of Casino Royale. The choice to put Bond in a three-piece suit at the end of Casino Royale was made to show the final transformation of a rough novice to the more familiar sophisticated OO7. Bond no longer has a disdain for fine suits but is now wearing a suit because he wants to wear one. He has no obligation to wear a suit, let alone a three-piece suit, in the Italian countryside.

This Brioni suit is navy with a subtle light grey track stripe in a lightweight worsted wool. The name “track stripe” is commonly used to describe a double-pinstripe, when the pinstripes are paired a yarn’s width apart. Stripes on a suit usually mean business, and though Bond is not in a business environment in this scene he means business when capturing Mr White.

However, is a dark business suit the right choice of clothing for James Bond in this scene on Lake Como? A striped navy three-piece suit is what Bond would ordinarily wear in London, as we see in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only and The Living Daylights (Diamonds Are Forever would be an exception). Dark, striped three-piece suits are most associated with boardrooms and banks. A sporty checked three-piece suit, on the other hand, would have been a better choice for this scene. A copy of Sean Connery’s grey glen check three-piece suit from Goldfinger would have be an inspired choice for this scene, and a light-coloured checked cloth would fit in better with the sunny, country setting of Lake Como.

The Brioni suit jacket has a button three front, four-button cuffs, and flapped pockets. We don’t get a good look at the rear but we see enough to tell that it’s vented, though it’s difficult to discern how many vents. The jacket is cut with straight, padded shoulders with roped sleeve heads and a clean chest.

The trousers have a darted front and turn-ups, and might even have a belt. There appears to be a bit of a bulge under the waistcoat where a belt buckle would be, which is one reason not to wear a belt with a waistcoat. Ideally one should only wear braces with a three-piece suit to keep the trousers neatly in place under the waistcoat. There is no need to be scared to wear braces; they will never be seen because they are always hidden under the waistcoat. The waistcoat isn’t fitted particularly well as you can see large ripples across the chest. A properly-fitted waistcoat should always lay completely flat. The full six-button style is too long for Daniel Craig’s less than 6-foot-tall body. A six-button-five style like what Sean Connery wore in Goldfinger would be a better match for his height.

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Whilst I’m critiquing the fit, another problem that stands out is the too-long sleeves. Sleeves should end at the wrist and allow 1/4- to 1/2-inch of shirt cuff. Not only is showing a bit of linen aesthetically pleasing, it also eases the wear on the ends of your sleeve. Fraying shirt cuffs are easier and cheaper to repair or replace than a suit.

Daniel Craig’s Broni shirt is light blue poplin with a tall spread collar and double cuffs. The tie is a honeycomb pattern in blue and white. The shoes are black plain-toe two-eyelet derbys (John Lobb Luffield).

See a comparison of this suit with the navy pinstripe suit in Quantum of Solace.

15 COMMENTS

  1. How come no one noticed that Bond wasnt wearing the same suit at the beginning of Quantum of Solace? It takes place not an hour after the end of Casino Royale, and yet Bond took the time to change his clothes after stuffing Mr. White into the boot.

  2. A new costume designer and new source for Bond's suits is what explains the change, though I think they could have done better. More on this tomorrow.

  3. Yeah, I understand they moved over to Tom Ford and such, but come on…what happened to continuity?? 90% of people didnt even notice, Im sure, but for me it was very distracting and it took away from the idea that it was a direct continuation.

  4. The movie was not well received on any level so it's not just the poor transition of costumes. I suggest your next QOS review be on the Brioni suit he wore on the train to Montenegro.

  5. Most of us would never notice what Bond was wearing because we are too focused on the movie itself than his suits. My wife always brags about him being hot and handsome, makes me feel so jealous. Makes me want to look like him too!

  6. Is it just me, or has navy become darker in recent years? This suit almost looks black where as Connery’s suits are noticeably blue.

    • I think you misunderstood. Darker shades of navy were popular at the time is Casino Royale, but trends in suits have changed a lot since then. Light navy is more popular now than it was ten years ago.

  7. Ah, I understand what your saying now. Regardless of what shade of navy Bond wears, no trend of the last ten years is as horrible as the shrunken suit with a high button stance.

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