The (00)7 Coolest James Bond Suit Moments

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The most iconic clothes in the James Bond films are tied memorable moments that draw attention to the clothes. These great moments make great clothes even more memorable. Not only do the costume designers deserve credit for these moments, but the films’ directors do as well. Find out what these seven coolest suit moments in the Bond series are below.

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7. Stealing a suit

James Bond is startled when he sees a mannequin of himself in Scaramanga’s funhouse in The Man with the Golden. But Bond is able to use this dummy and its black suit to his advantage. Bond happened to be wearing the same cream shirt and black trousers that the dummy was wearing, so all he needed to do was take the dummy’s black suit jacket and black knitted silk tie to pose as the dummy. Taking the dummy’s place in the dummy’s clothes, Bond is able to outsmart and defeat Scaramanga. Using purely a suit and tie for disguise is one of the coolest ways Bond has gotten himself out of a difficult situation.

 

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6. A Velcro trick

When James Bond arrives at a concert in The Living Daylights wearing a shawl collar dinner suit, agent Saunders scolds Bond by saying, “this is a mission, not a fancy dress ball!” Little does Saunders know that Bond came dressed for both work and play. When Bond and Saunders arrive at their location to protect KGB defector Georgi Koskov, Bond flips up his dinner jacket’s shawl collar and secures it in place with a strip of Velcro. This covers the bright white shirt that Bond is wearing. Only James Bond would have a such a cool dinner jacket that can turn into a piece of tactical gear.

 

Casino-Royale-Three-Piece-Suit

5. “The name’s Bond, James Bond”

When James Bond meets Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, she judges him as a man who doesn’t care about the fine suits he wears. “You wear it with such disdain”, says Vesper about Bond’s Brioni suit.

By the final scene of Casino Royale, James Bond’s feelings toward dressing up have markedly changed. We see him standing confidently with a submachine gun in hand wearing a navy track stripe three-piece suit. At this moment, he is now the familiar, mature character from all of the previous films who has just captured a bad guy. Bond has no obligation to wear a suit—let alone a three-piece suit—in this scene, but he chooses to wear this suit because he wants to. And he certainly enjoys wearing it. Even though this suit is only shown on screen for a few seconds, it is one of the most memorable suits that James Bond has ever worn because it is part of a character-defining moment.

 

Daniel Craig in a Brioni dinner jacket in Casino Royale

4. “There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets”

“I have a dinner jacket!”, Bond exclaims in Casino Royale when he sees that Vesper Lynd provided him with another dinner jacket. She obviously didn’t think that Bond’s own dinner jacket was good enough for him. It probably had multiple buttons on the front and notched lapels.

Vesper responds, “There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets; this is the latter. And I need you looking like a man who belongs at that table.”

James Bond dons the dinner jacket and admires the look in the mirror, straightening his cuffs and bow tie. He immediately learns what wearing proper black tie is and knows at once that he’s going to be the best-dressed man at the poker table. This perfect dinner suit gives Bond an added sense of courage. The significance of this suit to defining Bond’s character makes this one of the most memorable dinner suits of the series. And it’s a damn nice dinner suit!

 

Dr. No Dinner Suit

3. The iconic introduction

In the first Bond film Dr. No, the first shot of James Bond is from behind in a midnight blue, shawl-collar dinner jacket. Then we get a close-up of a dinner jacket adorned with satin silk gauntlet cuffs, which tell us that the man wearing this dinner jacket is someone out of the ordinary. Then we finally see his face as he utters the immortal line, “Bond, James Bond”. Because of this dinner suit is what he wears when first seen on screen, black tie immediately became James Bond’s uniform. Anthony Sinclair’s tailoring helped solidify this image by making the first dinner suit one of the best of the series.

 

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2. A grand entrance in a grand suit

James Bond’s most iconic suit of the entire series is undoubtedly the three-piece grey glen check suit that he wears in Goldfinger. The light, vibrant fabric and the lapelled waistcoat make this suit a memorable piece on its own, but the way it is presented tells us that this is a special suit. We watch Bond unpack the suit from his suitcase and place it on the back of the aeroplane lavatory door, blocking Mei-Lei’s view inside. After he shaves, we finally we see Bond make his grand entrance into the cabin of Auric Goldfinger’s private jet wearing this elegant three-piece suit. Can you imagine Bond making his entrance in an ordinary charcoal suit? It just wouldn’t be the same. This glen check suit is the first three-piece suit that Bond wears in the series, and no suit since has compared.

 

Goldfinger-Ivory-Dinner-Jacket-Wetsuit

1. Uncovering style

No clothing moment in the Bond films is more iconic than in Goldfinger when James Bond unzips his diving suit to reveal a perfectly pressed ivory dinner jacket underneath. Sean Connery’s tailor Anthony Sinclair said, “if you use a good woollen, tailor the insides properly, you should be able to take the suit, roll it into a ball, shake it out and have it fall into perfect shape. It’s the fabric and canvas and inner work you invest in a garment that should do the work.” We’ll take the ivory dinner jacket after being packed into a diving suit as proof of what Sinclair says about the resilience of good tailoring.

According to an article in The Telegraph, a Dutch spy in World War II actually wore evening clothes under his diving suit decades before Bond did. But because he also pretended to be drunk, a wrinkle-free suit was not a requirement. Knowing that wearing a tailored suit under a diving suit can actually work in real life makes Bond wearing a dinner jacket under his diving suit even cooler.

What do you think are James Bond’s coolest suit moments? Comment below.

32 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with this list more or less, though I just don’t think very highly of Craig’s brioni suits. Also I think Lazenby’s checked suit in the Bern scene in OHMSS, Connery’s grey pick-and-pick suit on the train in FRWL and, although not a suit (we don’t see it), Moore’s fantastic coat and outfit in the New York scenes of LALD are incredible and iconic as well.

    • Hagensen, Lazenby’s checked suit in the Bern scene in OHMSS might be my favorite suit in the entire series, but I’m not sure I would quite call it “iconic” because it doesn’t appear in a quintessentially Bondian moment. If anything, I might add Connery’s hacking jacket in GF.

    • Dan, I actually find it a very Bondian moment. It has great suspense, humor (with the playboy magazine), incredible editing and music and of course loads of class, a lot of it thanks to Lazenby’s performance and indeed to that suit. I too find this one of the nicest suits of the series, if not THE nicest. But I do see how the moments from Dr No, Goldfinger and even Casino Royale will obviously stand out more in terms of being iconic. The same goes for the other examples I gave. Goldfinger will continue to top most “top Bond” lists.

  2. I would agree with every choice you have put here. And thank you for putting in Dalton’s tuxedo. I always thought this was the epitome of cool yet a moment that seems to be under appreciated by most people. It’s the Bond of the books wearing the costume of the Bond of the films because it is expected by the moviegoing audience, and yet he still uses it to his advantage. Brilliant.

    I might add at number 8 Connery smelling the carnation in his lapel as he climbs on top of the external elevator in Diamonds are Forever. That’s a pretty Bond-like blasé moment.

  3. Good list Matt.
    I always picture Roger Moore struggling to get the jacket off the mannequin, its arms twisted behind it unnaturally.
    Like identical twins fighting badly.

  4. Anytime Bond adjusts his suit after a fight or a sequence. Like in the tank in Goldeneye, in the Q boat in TWINE or Skyfall when he changes train cars and adjusts his cuffs.

  5. I also like a lot the moment when Felix Leiter is checking Connery Bond’s suit :
    ‘Interesting. Where did you get measured for this, bud ? -My tailor, Savile Row. -Is that so ? Mine is a guy in Washington. Felix Leiter, CIA.’

    Brosnan had some nice moments too, especially when he strengthens his tie underwater in TWINE or in the tank in Goldeneye.
    The velcro scene, I’m not convinced. Actually I think it’s a bit ugly to add some velcro strap to such a beautiful dinner jacket. A button tab like some on a hacking jacket would have done the job as well, and would be much more stylish. It’s a bit like putting a zip pocket on a suit coat to me, even if it’s on an internal pocket !

    • Actually Leiter (Jack Lord) is admiring Bond’s Walther PPK. The MI6 armourer told Bond,” The American secret services swear by them.”

  6. I think we can all agree no one does it better then Connery. He has the most iconic moments. Even though all the Bonds to some degree have had these great suiting moments, even if it was just popping the cuffs in Skyfall or after falling from the building in Spectre, dusting off and readjusting, then just going on with the chase.

  7. One moment I thought might have made the list was the opening scene in Spectre, where Bond swaps his Day of the Dead costume for his blue suit. (Fit aside of course.)

  8. Some great suggestions Matt.
    My personal favourite suit is the gray sharkskin in Thnderball, worn during the Junkanoo scenes. I’m probably in a minority but I don’t rate Goldfinger very highly (all shot in England) and I’m not that impressed with the suit (don’t like three pieces). And to offer another suggestion for the sake of discussion, I’m on record as not being a fan of Moore’s tenure but there’s a scene in LALD when he lands the hang glider in a dark suit then rips off the strides like an NBA player and reverses his jacket to make it a tan suit.

  9. I thought Connery using his tuxedo braces to scale a building in Diamonds are Forever, and Brosnan using his dress belt to escape in Goldeneye were some cool moments.

  10. The velcro trick is repeated in Licence to Kill when Bond is trying to assassinate Sanchez with the signature gun, but we don’t get to see him actually do the trick and it’s also while he’s wearing the worst dinner suit of the entire series!

  11. Also, I think an honorable mention, despite the blatant product placements, has to go to Brosnan in Die Another Day transforming from his Robinson Crusoe beard to well-barbered and Brioni

    • That was very good, I remember being about 15 years old when I saw Die Another Day. I liked everything at the start of the film. The scenes where Bond had long hair and a beard shocked me at the time, I was like what’s going on here. Going from homeless chic to tailored Brioni and his usual clean-cut appearance worked well. The movie though lost me after a point. It was a very full cinema though, the film made a lot of cash, it was pure entertainment, no real character development at all. You could see Bond was going to get shaken up a bit after Die Another Day. And like the Bond character the series lives to die another day.

    • Totally agree. At the first viewing liked it – as I usually do – but in time came to think the first half of the film was a great set up but as soon as they went to Iceland (who drives to Iceland?) the plot went to shit and they were back to cramming as many set pieces in as possible whilst including not so subtle references / homages to all the previous films.

  12. The film just became too light in my opinion, the homages became increasing corny. They did a few subtle homages in Skyfall and Spectre and it worked a lot better. I like Brioni’s tailoring, but considering Brosnan had a personal trainer and in the shirtless screen in Hong Kong looked more muscular then ever and his chest looks larger, his look though should have been maintained better throughout shooting and the suits probably could have let out a little, quite easily I would think. Some scenes it’s obvious his suits are tight at the button and he looks a little paunchy.

  13. But that said I’m a big Brosnan fan and he pumped much need blood into the series with Goldeneye; a series that had struggled with LTK. He revived the series and brought Bond back from the ashes like Craig did, but the series was in a worst place before Goldeneye then the series was post Brosnan. The series was still a huge Box Office draw.

  14. I’d give an honorable mention to Jaws getting kicked off a train, falling through an electric fence, and just dusting himself off and straightening his tie.

    Actually, you could do a (00)7 Bond Villain Clothing Moments!

  15. I love how fair you are in considering all the Bonds, regardless of how popular they are. The cold open of TLD, along with him closing his dinner jacket collar to conceal himself, are among the film’s finest moments.

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