Let’s take a break from the 1960s and take a look at what Bond was wearing just two years ago in Quantum of Solace. Starting in this film Bond wears suits by Tom Ford, and much of the details have been publicly described by costume designer Louise Frogley herself, most notably the shiny mohair tonic reminiscent of mod suits of the 1960s. She said, “It was extremely popular in the ’60s; all the Mods and all the wannabe Bonds wore it. I’m sure Sean Connery would have worn it at least once.” Conney’s Bond always struck me an an anti-mod, and in Goldfinger he even made a disparaging remark about the Beatles. Connery, however, did wear mohair-blend suits on occasion, but they weren’t the flashy type of mohair tonic. Bond’s suits weren’t supposed to stand out as Daniel Craig’s suits do. Tom Ford has a much flashier look overall than an English bespoke suit, and one that doesn’t fit Ian Fleming’s character.
There are at least four distinct suits featured in Quantum of Solace but for now we will focus on the midnight blue suit pictured above. At first glance it would appear that this suit is black but a few well-lit shots and promotional images show that the suit is actually a dark midnight blue, the same as his dinner suit. Black is not a traditional colour for a lounge suit and isn’t one that Bond wears often. The only time Bond wears a black suit is in Diamonds Are Forever, and it was the ideal choice for when mourning his “brother”‘s death. Midnight blue looks just about black (and sometimes blacker than black) but will shine blue under a bright light (see picture below). Black under a bright light will usually look brown or green. Midnight blue has a richer and deeper quality than black.
This suit has a three-button front but the lapel is rolled down to the middle button so it behaves like a two-button suit. The cuff has the five buttons that are typical of Tom Ford but Craig leaves the last button open. It’s an ostentatious practice that I usually don’t recommend, but as there is one more button than usual here undoing the last one makes the cuff look not so crowded. The pockets are straight with flaps plus a ticket pocket. The trousers are flat front with a medium rise, higher than the standard Tom Ford suits. The bottoms of the trousers have turn-ups (cuffs), and contrary to what many people say these days, turn-ups are fine with flat front trousers. Turn-ups and pleats are independent of each other and it all comes down to personal preference. Both Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan wore flat front trousers with turn-ups. The trousers also have buckle side-adjusters, placed on the waistband seam above the side on-seam pockets. All of the suits in this movie have the same features.
The shirt is a plain white poplin with a spread collar, double cuffs and no pocket. The tie is a blue and white basket weave. Bond’s shoes are the Church’s Philip model in black, which is a perforated cap-toe oxford (balmoral to the Americans).