James Bond’s coat closet is filled with a coat or jacket for every occasion. I am speaking of Bond’s coat closet metaphorically because his true coat closet in Live and Let Die is not filled with all of the coats a modern man may need.
Since we follow Bond on no fewer than 24 missions, we see many of the coats he brings with him for these missions as well as around town in London. Though Bond has new outerwear in every film, the following seven items are essential for Bond’s world travels.
1. Navy Crombie Coat
The Crombie coat is a dressy three-quarter-length—a length that is mid-thigh to above the knee—coat with a fly front in a medium to heavy weight and is appropriate to wear over suits and sports coats. In a lighter weight this style would be known as a topcoat, but Bond more often wears heavier weights for better protection against the elements.
Navy is Bond’s favourite coat colour, and it is one of the most versatile colours for an overcoat because it pairs well with shades of grey, blue, brown and tan. Bond wears many navy coats throughout the series, but the herringbone Crombie-style coat in Spectre with its moleskin collar is one of the most interesting and one of the most versatile. Bond’s is in a wool, silk and mohair blend, but pure wool melton is just as functional and comfortable.
2. Full-Length Double-Breasted Coat
A full-length coat—knee-length or longer—may currently be unfashionable, but there’s no denying that longer coats are warmer. This kind of coat is best made of cashmere for a luxurious warm feel, but it can be made of wool melton to be more utilitarian. A full-length coat is the ultimate for warmth and the ultimate in elegance to wear over a suit or dinner suit. A long coat can be navy, charcoal or black. Navy works well with suits, sports coats and midnight blue dinner suits; charcoal works with much of the same plus black dinner suits; black works well with dinner suits and grey suits and trousers but is least versatile. A double-breasted coats adds extra material with a large overlap on the front to keep in the warmth.
Though Bond generally prefers navy-coloured coats after his time in the Royal Navy, he occasionally wears coats in other colours. Another navy coat after the Crombie coat, such as the guards coat from Die Another Day or the double-breasted chesterfield from Live and Let Die, serves as a versatile cold-weather coat, and the double-breasted style is a Bond staple.
When it rains, James Bond needs to wear something over his suit to keep it dry. Because it does not rain often in the James Bond films, we only occasionally see James Bond with a raincoat. Both the Bond of Fleming’s novels and Daniel Craig in Casino Royale wear a single-breasted raincoat in heavy navy blue cotton. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bond likes his raincoats in blue as well, and dark blue has a more modern look than the traditional tan raincoat or trenchcoat. For cold weather, a good raincoat may have a button-in warmer made of wool or a synthetic blend to transform the rain coat into an additional cold-weather coat. A warmer can turn a raincoat into a snowcoat! Without a warmer, a raincoat is comfortable in more moderate temperatures.
4. Pea Coat
For cold-weather casual wear, the pea coat is a modern Bond favourite. The pea coat (also called a “peacoat”, “p coat”, “pea jacket” or “pilot jacket”) is a hip-length, straight-cut, double-breasted military coat of wool, traditionally in navy or black. Naturally, Bond prefers the navy version. With the collar popped for extra protection from the wind, the pea coat should be made of wool that is heavy enough to prevent wind and cold penetration. Because this is a coat for cold weather, it should be large enough to wear with layers underneath, and it pairs well over a wool or cashmere jumper. Because the pea coat is a short coat, it should not be worn over a suit or jacket.
For sportswear in the coldest locations such as Iceland and Siberia, Bond needs something colder than a pea coat. A down-filled hooded parka is necessary for Bond to survive on his coldest missions. With the recent popularity of the Canada Goose coats, the parka is now a fashionable garment. Bond usually wears parkas for skiing, but a parka is equally useful for just sneaking around in frigid weather and snow. The parka is for sportswear and casual wear rather than for suits and sports coats, but when the temperature is too cold for a woollen overcoat, only a parka will do.
6. Harrington Jacket
When Bond needs a casual jacket for moderately cool or warm weather, he turns to the classic Harrington jacket. Bond wears a jacket frequently in warm weather because he needs a way to conceal his Walther PPK. Even for people who do not need to conceal a weapon, the pockets in a casual jacket can be useful. The Harrington is great to wear over a polo or sports shirt. Daniel Craig’s navy Harrington jacket in the desert in Quantum of Solace is a stylish look for combat, or for just a weekend jaunt around town.
7. Leather Jacket
Jackets in leather and suede are useful for casual wear in a wide range of temperatures. Starting with Roger Moore’s suede blouson in For Your Eyes Only, leather jackets in various styles have been amongst Bond’s favourites for dressing down. Like the Harrington, leather and suede jackets work well over sports shirts and polos, but heavier leather jackets can be worn over a jumper in colder weather. Bond wears suede jackets in tan, blue, grey and green, and he wears leather jackets in the brown and black.