Not Quite Black—A Charcoal Suit in London in Quantum of Solace

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In honour of Daniel Craig’s 44th birthday on the 2nd of March, we take a look at the charcoal suit James Bond wears in the London scenes of Quantum of Solace. This Tom Ford “Regency” model suit is a very dark charcoal—almost black—in mohair tonic, which is a mohair and wool blend. The slight sheen of the mohair tonic suiting adds to the depth. When compared to black, the very dark grey of this suit is slightly more flattering to Daniel Craig’s light complexion and doesn’t look as flat or as serious. Black is not a traditional colour for a business suit, and James Bond usually only wears black lounge suits for mourning.

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Like all the other suits in the film, this suit’s jacket has structured pagoda shoulders with roped sleeve heads and three buttons on front with the lapel rolled to the second button. This is known as a button two, show one or a three-roll-two. The suit also has flapped pockets with a ticket pocket, five buttons on the cuffs with the last button left open and double vents. The flat front suit trousers have slide-buckle side-adjusters, straight legs with turn-ups and are hemmed without a break.

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The white poplin shirt from Tom Ford has a moderate spread collar, front placket, double cuffs and darts in the back fir a close fit. The tie has white pin-dots on a black and aubergine ground, so the overall look is dark grey with a hint of purple. Bond wears a folded white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket. Bond’s shoes are black punched-cap-toe oxfords from Church’s in their Philip model.

James Bond wears a navy overcoat from Tom Ford over this suit in the previous scene.

45 COMMENTS

  1. A nice looking suit with a modern cut, but fuller lapels. Not quite as luxurious looking as Brosnan, but not as anonymous as Connery either. A good look on Craig, but I think Craig is unique in that he’s probably the first Bond who spends a great deal of his time not in suits. A lot of people seem to envy his street style, which fits our times, I suppose.

    • The shoulders aren’t wider than Craig’s actual shoulders, they are just raised up. Like a slight pagoda shoulder. Tom Ford’s more recent suits have natural shoulders.

    • Shoulders can be described in a number of ways typically shoulders are natural (with a convex curve following the shoulder line) or straight. The less-common pagoda shoulder is concave, and you can see that a little here.

  2. Very nice suit, a modern look which channels the spirit (if not the details) of the young Connery. Speaking of which, if anyone has seen the photos from the set of Skyfall posted at the mi6-hq.com site, Craig’s suits in the next Bond film look like they continue along this line, taking their cues from Connery’s early Sinclair suit-look (slim, lots of blue and grey, solid ties, folded pocket square) but in a 21st century style.

    • The new suits are definitely very modern, but I see little resemblance to what Connery wore. Connery’s suits weren’t very slim, they just fit well. Craig’s suits look too tight.

      • That’s why I said it was a modern interpretation: I was referring to the general look – blues, grays, subtle or solid ties, or at least ties that look solid. A very low key look for the most part, particularly compared to the many of Brosnan’s suits and (mainly) ties. Craig’s suits are a modern interpretation of this general look (which has its roots in Fleming), quite suited to current styles.

  3. I agree, the Skyfall suits look like they’re beyond slim cut, I think they look too tight.

    I like this suit, but I definitely wouldn’t pay MSRP for it, especially considering one could get something just as nice from Brooks Brothers or Armani for a fraction of Tom Ford’s prices or something bespoke for about the same price. Oh, to have 007’s expense account…

    For some reason it seems to me that this particular suit fits Craig better than the brown one he wears in Bolivia. Maybe it’s just the pictures, but the brown suits jacket looks a little too small. This one and the dinner suit look great.

  4. I don’t see similarity to Connery except in the neutral palette. The fit is a little too hipster, with the exception of the fuller lapels. Like I said, it fits him and the time, but lacks the anonymity of Connery and isn’t quite as luxurious looking at Brosnan’s Italian tailoring.

  5. My main beef with the modern cut of suits is the low rise on the trousers and the short jacket length. The ugly result; glimpses of shirt and tie between the two. This topic has been kicked about before. However, an overview on the Sinclair suits worn by Connery or Moore’s Cyril Castle or later Hayward ones show an infinitely superior grasp of tailoring in comparison to Ford’s bling, superficially slick look. The longer length jacket with deep vents, a higher trouser rise and a lower button stance than is currently fashionable which the earlier Bond’s wore is, in my opinion, unbeatable in terms of timeless elegance.
    It’s not entirely Ford’s fault, rather it’s symptomatic of modern “tastes”. The current, appalling trend for low slung trousers sitting mid distance on the wearer’s ass would have been unthinkable anytime before the turn of this century.

    • I agree, I can’t do the off the rack suit thing anymore. Most brands have way too relaxed of a fit, or are way too hip, with a low rise and skinny features. Plus, everyone seems to misinterpret the “Mad Men” look. Skin tight suits with a low rise are not typical of early 60s tailoring, much less the show Mad Men.
      Has anyone checked out the Magnoli Clothiers recreations of Connery’s wardrobe? I’ve considered ordering one…

      • I’d recommend Anthony Sinclair’s Special Order suit instead. It will cost almost twice as much, but you’ll get something far closer than Magnoli’s recreations. I’ll be posting an article on the new Anthony Sinclair company very soon.

      • Matt, what is Bond’s rule to wearing black? Does he treat it only as a formal color to wear? Like at dinners, funerals, night events? Or would bond walk out in the middle of the day with a black suit on? I normally tend to wear black at night and stick to navy’s and shades of grey and blue in the daytime due to heat patterns and weather conditions. But if you could shed some light on Bond’s rule of black I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks kind sir

      • Bond hardly wears black, apart from the occasional black dinner suit and some casual wear. Well-dressed men tend to avoid solid black whenever possible. For night events, wear navy. For more formal daytime events and funerals, wear charcoal.

  6. “My main beef with the modern cut of suits is the low rise on the trousers and the short jacket length. The ugly result; glimpses of shirt and tie between the two.” David, you are referring to the currently fashionable “shrunken look”, which makes grown men look like ventriloquists’ dummies. Tom Ford’s suits for Craig aren’t as extreme as what one sees in the men’s magazines, and they would be acceptable in a trim, “look-at-my-physique” sort of way, if it weren’t for the low rise trousers. Also, whatever happened to pleated trousers?

    • If you’ve seen some of the pictures from the set of Skyfall, Craig is wearing the “shrunken look.” But Tom Ford’s latest fashions have gone the other direction, and on his website he shows suit trousers with “reverse pleats,” which are really forward pleats and not the usual reverse pleats.

  7. It seems as if in terms of fashion, “60’s” has become synonymous with “tight.” I’m all for a slimmed-down, modern silhouette, like the new Sinclair suits or the limited Mad Men Edition suit Brooks Brothers put out a couple of years ago. I like that aesthetic a lot. Look at Connery particularly in his first three films or Jon Hamm today, this is the way to approach that look. Their clothes fit them. The cuts are narrow, but far from the bursting-at-the-seems tight that many designers are putting out today.
    I prefer fashions that avoid extremes, be they in terms of size, fit, color, etc. Timeless is always better in the long run than trendy, especially for an icon like 007. Brosnan did a great job with this in his final two films, and Craig’s suits are pretty good thus far, but it looks like the Skyfall suits are going for today’s skintight look. We’ll find out for sure come November!

  8. “Like all the other suits in the film, this suit has a structured shoulder and a 3-button front with the lapel rolled to the middle button. ”

    Isn’t that suit a 2-button?

      • How do you find suits that are 3 buttons that are rolled down to the 2nd button? Are those special ordered suits?

      • The style is common in traditional American suits, which aren’t so easy to find anymore. Polo Ralph Lauren makes 3-button suits that are similar, though the lapel rolls gently over the top button rather than straight past it. A classic example of the style can be found on Cary Grant’s suit in North By Northwest.

      • Thank you Matt! Are you going to wait till after Skyfall is released to start blogging about Bond’s suits in that movie?

  9. Other than Tom Ford being a brand that is known for their suit sleeve buttons for opening, what are some alternative brand choices? I bought a sport coat from Charles tyrwhitt and it’s a 3roll2 front with 4-buttons on the sleeves but I leave one open. I like that bond-swag…any brands you know of Matt?

    • Tom Ford suit sleeves are finished after buying the suits so the length is correct before the buttonholes are cut. It’s actually very un-Bond-like to wear the last cuff button open because it is only done to show off that it can be done. Bond shouldn’t be showing off. Working cuff buttonholes that are sold ready to wear make it very difficult to alter sleeve length, so I would never recommend a brand that does that. You can have a tailor add working cuffs to almost any suit coat or sports coat after having the sleeve length fitted to you.

      • Gotcha. But don’t you think that this is just a way of bond kinda adapting his tastes a bit and modifying just a smidgen? Obviously Connery -Brosnan bond never did that, but it’s like how they went through different suit trends and fads throughout the decades, this is Craig’s way of adding his taste to bond. That is just me but I see what you mean about having to get the sleeve length corrected first before adding working cuffs. Thanks for replying!

      • Unbuttoning the last button has nothing to do with trends. For many years it has either been done to show off or to show “sprezzatura,” a practised carelessness. Most people consider leaving the last button open rather pretentious. That’s neither Bond nor an English gentleman.

      • Matt,
        You are so right! Sprezzatura has been done to death – sometimes I think it is a smokescreen for the postmodern era’s morbid delight in ugliness and slovenliness. Either that, or the depth of affectation!

  10. Matt,
    How do you distinguish charcoal from other dark shades of grey such as gunmetal or a simple dark grey? Could this suit possibly be considered gunmetal in color because of how dark it is?

    • Gunmetal isn’t a colour typically used to describe suits. Some people call a grey this dark “oxford grey” but I’ve never found an actual definition that calls it this dark of a grey.

      • Hello Matt, great site!
        I wonder if I have different video/screen settings, as I often cant detect the suit being “not quite XY”, for example here, not black. Can you decide that in the photos posted – or on basis of additional material?
        I have checked my settings with some graphics test sites, and they seem to be all right (but admittedly only SRGB color space), including a gamma of 2.2 (unfortunately I cant set it a bit lower, what some recommend to experience brighter nuances).
        Thank you!

      • Thanks, Chris. I look at as many different images of the suit as I can. For the best colours I often look at stills or press photos, which I did to determine the colour of this suit. It’s especially difficult to determine colours directly from Quantum of Solace because the darks were made darker.

  11. How are you able to tell that this suit is not black, but a very dark charcoal? I own a Brioni suit that is really dark, but I am not sure whether it is black or charcoal. The suit is in the same style that Brosnan and Craig wear in Goldeneye-Casino Royale. I tried wearing it with a black shirt, and they looked pretty much the same, but I always had the feeling that they are not quite the same color. I know that black can have slightly different shades. How do I determine for sure which of the 2 colors it is?

    • This suit is charcoal because it’s not as dark as the black clothes people wear around it. The best way to see if your suit is black is to compare it to a black wool in natural daylight.

  12. How long is the collar from the top to the bottom? If I am 5 ft 5.5 in, what collar length would most flatter my body? Does Tom Ford Make shirts with collars of that length?

  13. I really love this shade of charcoal! Is it arthracite, like the one Bond wears at the end of Spectre? Would they look the same if the checks had not been there on the Spectre 3-piece at the end? Would you prefer this shade of charcoal or a shade of charcoal a bit lighter? Also, would a burgundy tie be appropriate with this suit and shirt? I really like this shade of charcoal suit with a white shirt and a burgundy tie.

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