A Farewell to Arms: Navy Shirt-Jacket and White Shirt in Licence to Kill

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Bond is brought to the Earnest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida in Licence to Kill wearing a baggy, casual outfit. The shirt-jacket is probably made of some synthetic material and is too large, most notably in the shoulders, which results in the sleeves being too long. The jacket has a four buttons down front, has pockets on both sides and is constructed with a yoke in the back of the shoulders like a shirt. The cuffs are single-button shirt-type cuffs, and the sleeve is gathered into pleats at the cuff. Bond wears the jacket open and turns down the collar to show the revers.

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The white shirt has a plain front and a flapped chest pocket on each side. Also, notice how the shirt puffs out; it gives the impression that Bond has a pot belly. Bond wears beige chinos with triple reverse pleats that give the trousers an unnecessary bagginess. A brown leather belt holds up the trousers, and Bond’s shoes are navy canvas espadrilles with a white rubber sole. Bond’s socks match the trousers in beige.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. I noticed this when I watched this film, and I always thought "why so baggy?" Bond certainly can do casual a lot better than this.

  2. In concept only, this ensemble is actually pretty on target for the literary Bond, from whom Dalton let it be known in his 1989 interviews he took inspiration; the basic colors, even the slightly bizarre choice of what matches with what, recalls Fleming and his literary creation. But on screen and for the cinematic Bond, it is not good at all, with the time period's excesses taking its toll. Looking at the guy behind Dalton with the mullet and the acid washed jeans, it could have been worse though…

    On the other hand, the secret service agent in the three piece suit in Key West looks very out-of-place.

  3. I know people are going to rag on Dalton for looking a little sloppy here, but don't forget, he's in Key West. I've been to Key West. If anything Bond is over-dressed! It's also very warm there, and the bagginess of the clothes would help keep cool and the jacket conceals his PPK. It's not Brioni, but I reiterate, he's in Key West! Anyone not wearing shorts stands out a little.

  4. Christian, the clothes themselves are okay by me. It's the oversized fit that doesn't work.

    Anon, I don't see why Bond should lower his standards based on where he is. But I don't see how Bond is overdressed. He's wearing more than underwear if that's what you mean. But he's dressed no more formally than Hawkins is. He only wears a jacket to hide his gun. And he's not the only person on the street who isn't wearing shorts.

  5. Oh, I definitely agree there are more stylish ways that Bond could remain cool and incognito in a very informal location. Craig's navy polo and tan slacks in Nassau or Brosnan's Hawaiian shirt in Cuba come to mind. Still given temperature, the fact that it's 1989, and the need to blend in, Bond could have done (and for that matter in this film does) worse.

  6. In defense of Tillen, I think overall her costumes for the film were rather good; Davi, Soto and Lowell are for the most part very effectively dressed, and not without panache. I suspect the problem here was the inclination and influence of the lead actor.

  7. This is what he was wearing when he was supposed to be travelling to Istanbul, I believe, and surely would have dressed a little better. Sloppy.

    • Not so, Mark. He goes to the airport to check in for that flight wearing a dark navy suit with a blue shirt. It’s here he learns Sanchez escaped and heads back to Felix’s house.

  8. As Matt said, the clothes aren't reaaly that bad, it is the baggy fit that is the problem.

    Still, this outfit is very much in the Fleming literary mould of casual dress, although Fleming would have preferred dark blue slacks like he wears later in the film. And of course, a better fit. But overall, true to the character as originally conceived.

    Very much appropriate for Bond.

  9. Sometimes when I see this outfit I wonder if it’s something that Bond just walked into a store and bought. He wasn’t expecting a long-term visit to Key West, so it’s speculative that he ran out of clothes to wear, and thus went into the nearest shop and bought the quickest thing he could find that would be fairly comfortable and hide his shoulder holster. What we’re seeing may not be Dalton Bond’s wardrobe of home, but this and the later clothing he wears in Ithsmus may be stuff he bought on the fly.

    And, I hate to add unknown character motivation, but if my above theory is correct, then at this point, all Bond is thinking about is getting back at the guy that maimed his friend, killed his friends wife, and made his friend, (And Bond himself) experience what Bond himself went through on his own wedding day. With that much hatred and anger in the character at that point, looking fashionable is probably one of the last things Bond is thinking about at this point in the film, and later in Ithsmus. He’s just looking to blend into the woodwork so he can get his shot at Sanchez.

  10. I think the shirt-jacket is fine in LTK, the bagginess isn’t. Shirt-jacket’s are in fashion at the moment, but with a much more fitted look that is much more pleasing to the eye. The ones I’ve seen have two front darts and some gentle waist suppression. With more tapered chinos and a more fitted shirt Daniel Craig could wear this outfit now and still look good. Do you think if they were more quality brands and material that Craig would be fine in a similar more modern like outfit Matt ?

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