Daniel Craig’s James Bond has followed fashion trends, popularised fashion trends and even set fashion trends. Of all the James Bonds, Roger Moore has long been known for being one of the most fashion-forward James Bonds, but Moore didn’t even wear anything extreme for the 1970s. Moore also didn’t set trends; he merely updated the styles he favoured in the 1960s. Daniel Craig’s Bond is the one most aware of and most taken to fashions of his own time, and he is the Bond who has likely had the most influence on the fashions of his time. If the James Bond series is a leader of any industry, that industry would be fashion.
1. Shrunken suits
This shrunken trend has been discussed on this blog ad nauseam, but it is an important part of Craig’s look. The suit is James Bond’s uniform, and in Skyfall and Spectre he wears his suits slightly undersized. The chest of his suit jackets is too snug to conceal his PPK, and length of his suit jackets is too short to cover the bum. The trousers fit tightly and have a moderately low rise. Overall the suits look strained on his body. Craig’s suits have not taken this trend to the extreme seen on runways over the past decade and a half, but when he first adopted this look in Skyfall in 2012 it was a shock. Craig helped bring this look to mainstream fashion—many men must have thought, “I thought this look wasn’t for me, but if Bond is wearing this style I should wear it too”. Now that it is mainstream the more fashion forward men have been moving away from it to more classic fits.
2. Mid-blue suits
For the past few years, men have been moving away from the conservative navy and charcoal suits and away from bland black suits in favour of mid-blue suits. Daniel Craig wears two mid-blue suits in 2015’s Spectre: one is a Prince of Wales check with a light blue windowpane and the other is sharkskin. These suits looks decidedly darker on screen than they do in person due to Spectre‘s yellow colour grading. Though light brown or tan shoes are the ubiquitous choice to wear with these mid blue suits, James Bond sticks with his classic and formal black shoes.
3. Blue dinner suits
Though James Bond has been wearing midnight blue dinner suits ever since he first appeared on the silver screen in 1962’s Dr. No, Skyfall pushed the blue dinner suit to mainstream fashion. Before Skyfall, the midnight blue dinner suit was the domain of English bespoke tailors and high-end brands like Brioni and Ralph Lauren Purple Label. After Skyfall‘s poster revealed Daniel Craig wearing a midnight blue dinner suit that was colour-enchanced to look mid-blue, dinner suits in many shades of blue showed up at retailers of all markets. It took 50 years for people to realise that the blue dinner suit is James Bond’s main choice, but thanks to Daniel Craig this classic (and its bastardised lighter variants) is now a popular black tie trend.
4. Ivory dinner jackets with silk-faced lapels
Ivory dinner jackets had unfashionable for a few decades after James Bond wore one in 1985’s A View to a Kill, but costume designer Jany Temime made the bold choice to bring it back to Bond after 30 years for Spectre in 2015. Tom Ford had included ivory dinner jackets—along with bolder warm-weather dinner jackets—in his collections for years, but they didn’t come back into popular fashion until Daniel Craig wore it in Spectre. Traditionally there are societal limitations that restrict the ivory dinner jacket to specific locales and seasons, but men today prefer to not let others dictate how they can wear certain clothes, so many have worn the ivory dinner jacket year-round since Spectre was released. The modern iteration of the ivory dinner jacket features ivory silk facings on the lapels, buttons and elsewhere, something that was previously absent from the typical ivory dinner jacket before Spectre.
5. Shawl-collar cardigans
Steve McQueen made the shawl-collar cardigan cool in the 1960s, but the cardigan has also long been a look associated with older men. Daniel Craig wears a shawl-collar cardigan in Casino Royale, but it’s his Tom Ford cardigan in Quantum of Solace under the direction of costume designer Louise Frogley that helped popularise the garment and make it a young, hip look again. But sometimes it’s not as much about the garment as it is about the man wearing it. Most of us cannot wear clothes like Daniel Craig can, and none of us can wear clothes like Steve McQueen could.
6. Pea coats
Daniel Craig’s Bond helped bring back a classic short double-breasted naval coat called a pea coat or P coat. Daniel Craig wears a pea coat in his first scene as James Bond in Casino Royale‘s black-and-white pre-title sequence, but it is his Billy Reid pea coat in Skyfall that Craig is best known for wearing. This is a versatile coat for casual wear, and during Craig’s long tenure as James Bond it has been a popular piece of clothing.
7. Three-quarter-length coats
The heavy full-length overcoats that were popular in the 1990s when Pierce Brosnan was Bond are now unfashionable in favour of shorter, lighter topcoats. Traditionally a man would own both an overcoat and a topcoat to wear in different seasons, but now that overcoats are unfashionable (they cost more to make than lighter, shorter coats), men are wearing topcoats through the winter. Daniel Craig wears navy top coats in Skyfall and Spectre. He also only fastens the middle of the three buttons on each coat for a dramatic look rather than fastening all of the buttons for warmth, and now many men’s coats are now fashionably made only with two buttons to have a lower opening for that dramatic look. Today’s outercoats are more for looks than for warmth.
Daniel Craig also helped to kill the cummerbund in Casino Royale. Costume designer Lindy Hemming wanted him to go without a cummerbund or waistcoat to make the most of his flat stomach. However, she had done the same for Pierce Brosnan in his last two Bond films. And James Bond was never much of a fan of the cummerbund or waistcoat in the first place, wearing no waist-covering in the first Bond film Dr. No, over 40 years before Casino Royale. People didn’t notice the lack of a cummerbund until Casino Royale (it was the first time people truly paid attention to Bond’s abs), so that helped kill off the cummerbund. Craig wears cummerbunds in his next three Bond films, but starting off his Bond tenure without one has stuck in our minds.
Despite three costume designers, two suitmakers and many casualwear brands, some of Daniel Craig’s fashions have been consistent amongst multiple films. Part of this may be due to Craig’s input into his wardrobe, and he is sure to provide input for his Bond 25 wardrobe. Should we expect any of these trends to return in Bond 25?