In a brief scene at the Banco De Isthmus in Licence to Kill, Timothy Dalton’s James Bond wears an all-khaki casual outfit. Costume designer Jodie Tillen put Dalton in this comfortable outfit suitable for the warm and sunny fictional locale of Isthmus City in Central America.
This outfit demonstrates the classic-inspired neutral colours and full fits that were popular in the 1980s without being attention-grabbing or fashion forward. The monochrome look is not easy to pull off, but wearing a matching shirt and trousers is a classic Bond casual look going back to the matching light blue polo and trousers in the first Bond film Dr. No. In khaki, this outfit recalls Roger Moore’s safari suits but in the form of everyday sportswear. The colour also makes it reminiscent of an army uniform, particularly with the shirt pockets.
The khaki linen or linen-cotton blend sports shirt has a small point collar with edge stitching and two button-through breast patch pockets with centred inverted box pleats, and the sleeves are rolled up to to the forearms. The wide shoulders and the inverted box shoulder pleats in back contribute to the shirt’s full fit. The shirt’s buttons are brown, lending a more tropical feel to this shirt. The buttoned patch pockets and brown buttons remind us of Moore’s safari outfits without this shirt being a proper safari shirt.
The khaki cotton chinos have a relaxed fit with with triple reverse pleats and slightly slanted side pockets. The chinos are worn with a dark belt.
The outfit is in the same vein as the other casual outfits in the film, such as the dark blue shirt and trousers worn earlier in the film. The full fits may not look so attractive at the moment, but for 1989 they give Bond a relaxed coolness that would have been very appealing at the time.