Two- and Three-Eyelet Derby

19

2-Eyelet-Derby

The black three-eyelet derby—known as blucher to the Americans—is worn by James Bond with his suits throughout Dr. No and From Russia With Love. In Goldfinger, Bond switches to a two-eyelet derby with his glen check suit. On derby shoes, shoelace eyelet pieces are sewn on top of the vamp. Daniel Craig wore this style with two eyelets (specifically the now discontinued John Lobb Luffield, pictured below) in Casino Royale with his dinner suit, in ordinary calfskin nonetheless. Derby shoes with two or three eyelets extend the vamp to give shoe long, sleek lines. This style can be found from most English shoemakers yet it is difficult to find in America. Bond’s shoes usually either have a cap toe or plain toe. In Diamonds Are Forever Bond wore a full brogue, wingtip three-eyelet derby with his black suit and blue pinstripe. Especially in a plain-toe style, it’s an elegant and minimal design well-suited to the James Bond character.

JLLuffield

19 COMMENTS

  1. "[The plain-toe, two-eyelet blucher] can be found from most English shoemakers yet it is difficult to find in America."

    For what it's worth…

    The "Andrea" from Ferragamo is remarkably similar to the one under discussion. Available at Bloomingdales for sure, possibly at Nordstrom too.

  2. It retails for $530, but if you catch a sale at Bloomies (like the one that just ended), you can get it for $371.

    So: not that bad.

  3. But for that price a lot of the English shoes are still better quality and Goodyear welted. I also prefer the English lasts, but that's a personal preference.

  4. the biggest problem I have always had with two eyelet derby has been that the laces seem to come undone faster than with regular oxfords (balmorals)!!! not something Bond would have appreciated in real life!!!

  5. The literary Bond abhorred laces. The style Bond wore in Goldfinger’s laser scene would be to literary Bond’s tastes.

  6. Matt, you said in your article that Bond’s derby shoes either have a cap toe or plain toe. I was only able to find cap-toe derbies in Spectre (Crockett & Jones Norwich), due to high-resolution photos. Do you by any chance know if Connery wore any cap-toe derbies?

  7. If Bond were to wear one pair of shoes, would these be the ones, Matt? I wonder what he wears most frequently in the series.

  8. Matt,

    Where does a shoe like this fall on the formality scale? All else equal, an oxford would be more formal than a derby. However the plain toe is more formal than a cap toe or wingtip. It would seem to me a shoe like this would be slightly less formal than a cap toe oxford, but would be more formal than a wingtip oxford. What say you?

    • It’s less formal than a cap-toe oxford and more formal than a brogue. But that’s not as relevant as much as whether or not the shoe works for the outfit and occasion. A quarter brogue is technically more formal than a two-eyelet plain-toe derby, but for black tie the derby is more appropriate because brogueing is traditionally frowned upon for black tie. The cleaner lines of the derby would make it preferable over the more historically formal shoe. With a suit, both shoes would be equally appropriate. With a blazer, the derby might be slightly preferable because it is a little less formal, but both would work.

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