Ten years ago I, Matt Spaiser, posted my first article on Bond Suits (then called The Suits of James Bond) detailing James Bond’s first on-screen outfit, the shawl-collar dinner suit in Dr. No. I would like to thank everyone who has visited this website since over past the decade! It makes doing this so much more enjoyable.
I set out to write about every outfit that James Bond has ever worn, and I achieved this a few years ago with the exception of a few technical outfits and maybe a few other pieces.
This blog has been a tremendous learning experience for me. Though I had spent a number of years researching James Bond’s clothing and menswear in general prior to starting the blog, I learned a lot more through writing about the clothes. I would like to thank the people who leave comments here and reach out to me through email, for either sharing new information with me or asking questions that have led me to discover new things for myself.
An Evolution of Style
My opinions about clothing have evolved over the last ten years. When I first started this blog ten years ago, I was a classic menswear purist stuck in the 1930s. I had read Alan Flusser’s books, most notably Dressing the Man, and I held the belief that the standards Flusser wrote about were the be-all and end-all of menswear. I thought that if James Bond went against something that was written in that book, Bond was wrong. While I still believe that Dressing the Man is one of the greatest books ever written on the subject of menswear, the well-dressed man has the option to evolve from the standards set in the 1930s.
I now believe that it’s perfectly okay when James Bond foregoes a waistcoat or cummerbund with black tie, or it’s not the end of the world is Bond wears brown in town. James Bond may have been breaking 1930s rules, but conventions in England had changed by the 1960s, and Bond did not contravene classic menswear for him time and place. I acknowledge that menswear conventions and fashions change with the times, and that’s okay because they always have changed. The 1930s was a particularly elegant era in menswear, but while it set many of the precedents for how we dress today, it’s just one of many great eras of men’s style.
I will admit that my preferences in menswear don’t include any innovations since about 1970. Apart from a few transgressions, James Bond’s style hasn’t included much that would be a shock to a sophisticated person from 1970. Anything that would surprise a man at that time would still look like a mistake to me.
James Bond has helped me to define and understand my own preferences in menswear, and, as I’ve attempted to demonstrate over the past decade, he’s as good a model as any for learning how to dress. But we can also learn from others. I use Bond to reaffirm the choices I make when purchasing clothes or getting dressed. It’s difficult to go wrong with using him as a template.
More Experience is More Knowledge
Another change since the time I started this blog is that I now have experienced another decade of wearing clothes! Until the pandemic, I was wearing some sort of tailoring clothing to the office daily. Though it’s possible to comprehend some menswear concepts without wearing the clothes, so much of being able to understand the clothes comes through wearing them. It’s impossible to understand the cut and fit of a suit without wearing it. Being able to know what makes certain clothes or fabrics good or bad comes through wearing them.
I’ve also had bespoke clothes made for me, including shirts from Frank Foster and Turnbull & Asser and a dinner suit from Anthony Sinclair. These experiences helped bring me closer to James Bond’s classic style and helped me better understand the clothes he wears. Meeting Frank Foster in particular and wearing shirts made by him and his family just as they made shirts for three James Bond actors is an especially meaningful experience.
Thank You to A World Network of Agents
Meeting people has been the best thing about writing this blog. From the comments below the articles to meeting people in person, getting to know others all over the world who are passionate about James Bond and/or menswear has been the most wonderful part of running this website. Thank you to all those who visit and reach out to me. I love hearing from you!
I would like to give a special thanks to my friend Peter Brooker, with whom I started the From Tailors with Love podcast two years ago. Four years ago he twisted my arm to get me on the Menswear Style podcast, which I was hesitant to do. I had never done a podcast before and he opened up a whole new world to me on that front, but he’s done so much more as well. I still prefer to be able to carefully choose and edit my words in written form, but it is a lot of fun to speak about menswear too!
I would also like to thank David Zaritsky for the videos we’ve done together, the Bond events and the friendship. To everyone who has not met him, yes, he is a real person!
And another thanks needs to go to my friend David Mason, of Mason & Sons and Anthony Sinclair, for indulging so many of my tailored Bond desires! He has been a tremendous part of my sartorial education.
There are so many more people who have been a part of this journey. My beautiful wife Janna deserves credit for taking most of the photos of myself and my clothes that appear on this blog. Though I have been the sole writer of this blog — which is only ten posts away from 1,000 — many people have made this happen. It has been a tremendous journey over the past decade, and I look forward to another ten years with the stylish Bond fan community!