The Afghan Combat Disguise in The Living Daylights


During the climax of The Living Daylights, James Bond dresses as one of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan whilst fighting as one of them and also to disguise himself. On top he wears a medium brown leather—probably sheepskin—waistcoat, and it has four buttons from the neck down to the waist, where it cuts away. He wears the waistcoat open. Underneath the waistcoat Bond wears a warm grey shirt that has a short point collar that is laid flat. The collar has a band but it doesn’t have a button. However, the top button on the shirt isn’t more than an inch below the collar. The shirt also has an open breast pocket on the left side, a narrow placket and square 1-button cuffs.


Bond’s harem-like trousers match the shirt’s warm grey. They aren’t harem trousers to the extreme that M.C. Hammer made popular at the time, but they are very baggy in the thigh, have a somewhat low crotch and are fitted at the ankle. The waistband gathers with a drawstring. Bond wears a black belt around his waist on top of the shirt but underneath the waistcoat to hold his combat gear. To complete the disguise Bond wears a black Afghan turban.


Bond’s black leather derby-style combat boots have rubber soles attached with a storm welt. The boots also have a whopping 14 eyelets, and by that I mean 14 on each side! They are all metal eyelets and there are no speed hooks. They are laced in a standard criss-cross method, but combat boots are often laced in other methods, like the “Army Lacing” method mentioned on Ian’s Shoelace Site. The criss-cross lacing that Bond’s boots are laced in isn’t the best choice for him in this situation because he needs to cut the laces open quickly. Straight lacing methods—there are a few different methods listed on Ian’s Shoelace Site—are best for cutting the laces open because the horizontal sections of the lacing can be cut very quickly with a knife. Different militaries may have different ways of lacing shoes, and Bond may be used to lacing his shoes a certain way. With straight lacing, Necros would have died even quicker, making for perhaps a less suspenseful scene. The boots are the only part of this outfit that isn’t costume. With the boots Bond wears tall black socks.


  1. I’m glad to see that we can now see “recent comments” on the site. Now that the largest part of Bond’s clothes have been covered, it may be time to go back and comment on some of the older articles.

    I agree that the boots are very tall, and that perhaps this was to create more tension while Bond cuts his laces. But a better way would have been for Bond’s legs to be hanging further off the cargo net. As it is, Necros could have simply moved his hand over and grabbed onto the netting!

  2. This may not be Bond’s most stylish and sartorial outfit, but here Dalton looks great. I am not expert of the mujahidins’ costumes, but that’s enough to make him look like almost a native to me.

  3. Dalton is excellent here, looking authentic and comfortable in a way none of the other Bond actors could have at the time the played Bond (Connery’s later career creates this qualification). I am not a big fan of the last act of TLD, but Dalton conveys a determination and a comfort with his surroundings that sell the action, and is seen in even his comfort with the clothes.

    Of course Dalton was excellent in his debut costume drama, the great The Lion In Winter, and I would expect his training and experience lead to this comfort.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly. I also think Dalton is more comfortable in these scenes than he is in the more traditional Bondian situations.

  4. Dear Matt,

    To me it seems that the boots are classic Dr Marten’s boots – you always recognise them by their soles. Is that possible or am I mistaken?

  5. Matt great wedsite, I am now of an age I acn afford the bond style clothes and use this a really good guide.

    The boots shown are I think Dr Martens 1941z Mens Classic Airwair 14 Eyelet Boots.
    I had a pair about the same time during my Mod period.



      • I had thought that these were Docs but then dismissed it as the soles look dark, instead of the yellow-ish opaque colour of Docs. As well, I could not see the “saw-tooth” cutaway of the sole either. But upon zooming in on the pic I suppose they could be Docs. Anyone with a Blu-ray confirm?

      • My shot is the best Blu-ray screen capture you’ll get. I took many frames of the boots and that’s the best shot of the boots. The soles aren’t completely flat, but they aren’t the yellow colour nor are they are thick as most Dr Martens.

      • DM’s do come with darker soles as well as the classic yellowish ‘see through’ ones.
        Also from memory even the yellowish DM soles look very dark unless in a very bright light.
        As for the thickness of the sole I think it is the angle of the shot that might be making them look thiner?

      • You can take a closer look at the soles: There’s a close-up the moment Bond cuts off the last remains of his boot’s laces (you can see the DM sole quite well).

  6. Three thoughts on this outfit:
    – Bond seems more dressed up then some of the Afghans, with his button-up collared shirt and waistcoat. I like to think that they brought Bond some regular clothes (for them) but he needed to be better dressed.
    – There are two shots of Necros holding onto the boot after falling. It’s as if he expected it be a Bond gadget that would get him out of it.
    – I was trying to find info on how the Royal Navy laces their boots. They currently wear zip boots and all the WW2 pictures I saw had gaiters covering them.

    • As Bond was in the Navy it is safe to say he would probably had his training from the SBS, most Special Forces groups let their personnel lace boots the way they are more comfortable.
      The method used in the picture above is used more commonly for combat situations then the straight lace method as it allows for a faster ‘tie up’ when taking the boot on and off, it also allows for a better degree of adjustment for when speed marching.

  7. The garments worn by Dalton in Afghan Combat are Salwar Kameez, traditional dress of Men in North-West Indian subcontinent.
    It is a dress that is worn by subcontinental men in religious affairs, formal parties and a variety of other equesterian affairs. It is also worn as night suits and is country attire in North-West part of Subcontinent.

  8. Wholeheartedly agree with what you said in this Matt and the waistcoat being open adds a flair to it. The laces being done in a crisscross method are easier than doing them the army method and that’s how I do mine (the former).


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