Bond Wardrobe Review 14: A View to a Kill (1985)

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James Bond Is Happiest, in the Sports Coat

Roger Moore as James Bond
Director: John Glen
Costume designer: Emma Porteous
Costume supervisor: Tiny Nicholls
Tailoring: Douglas Hayward
Shirts: Frank Foster

Overview

A View to a Kill is not only Roger Moore’s final Bond film, it also completes a trilogy. It’s the third and final of Moore’s 1980s Bond films, the third and final of Moore’s Bond films directed by John Glen and the third and final of Moore’s Bond films tailored by Doug Hayward.

A View to a Kill Tan Suit

Doug Hayward made the suits in the same style as he did for Octopussy. The jackets have a soft shoulder, high gorge, low button stance and medium-width lapels. The trousers have a flat front and a medium-width straight leg. The suits still look superb today.

Costume designer Emma Porteous might not have had as much room for creativity in A View to a Kill as she did with Octopussy, but here she curated one of the most timeless, tasteful and down-to-earth wardrobes of the series. Moore is beautifully dressed while never looking ostentatious. The wardrobe features a lot of grey, which looks timeless but isn’t the most flattering choice on an ageing Roger Moore. The occasional blues and browns he wears are also classic but at the same time make him look slightly more youthful.

Formal Wear

A View to a Kill features the most formal dress of all of Moore’s Bond films, and Moore is able to pull it off better than any other Bond actor could. He starts off with the perfect example of morning dress for Royal Ascot and sets the template for how Bond should wear morning dress. Hayward made a dark grey herringbone morning suit, where all three pieces match. It’s a modern way to wear morning dress. The shade of grey is perfect for Bond, as it doesn’t draw as much attention as a lighter shade of grey would but isn’t dark enough to make a statement. When King Charles was Prince of Wales he had morning suits in both lighter and darker shades. Bond’s suit being in the middle is perfect for him.

He wears it with a white shirt that has a wide spread collar and double cuffs, which is a classic but subtle shirt. Moore rarely wears such a wide collar, but this more formal style is both appropriate here and flattering. The grey patterned tie is equally subtle and very Bondian. The obligatory grey top completes the look, and Moore looks superb in the hat.

Like in Octopussy, Moore once again wears two dinner jackets: a dark and a light. The dark dinner suit is like an updated version of The Spy Who Loved Me’s dinner suit: double breasted with peaked lapels and midnight blue. It’s in Hayward’s preferred 4×1 style with one fastening button at the bottom, which was trendy in the 1980s. It’s also a traditional style for a dinner jacket. The double-breasted cut isn’t seen much on screen, and it’s also not the best choice for the action sequence. A single-breasted dinner jacket would have moved better on screen. The medium-width straight-leg trousers like in Octopussy look great again.

The Frank Foster shirt is a repeat of the shirt Moore wears with his black dinner suit in Octopussy: ivory silk crepe de chine with a pleated front, mother-of-pearl buttons and double cuffs. The warmth of the silk’s colour is flattering against Moore’s complexion, particularly in the early evening French summer sun.

The ivory dinner jacket returns in a new form for Bond: a single-button jacket with notched lapels. Instead of mother-of-pearl buttons, Hayward used light brown horn buttons. While Hayward’s black horn buttons look good on dark dinner suits, the light brown horn buttons and notched lapels almost make this dinner jacket look like a sports coat. The jacket’s shiny cloth that suggests a silk blend, and a single-button front and jetted pockets tell us it’s a dinner jacket, but if the jacket were paired with matching trousers or tan linen trousers it could just as easily work in a more casual context. I appreciate the jacket’s versatility, but I don’t think it’s particularly strong as a dinner jacket.

The Frank Foster dress shirt paired with this dinner jacket is one of my favourites. It’s like the other pleated dress shirt but in white cotton voile instead of silk. It’s the same style as the original Dr. No dress shirt and one of the most classic styles. I have same shirt, and it’s one of my favourites. The large round tortoiseshell sunglasses may be bold and a very unusual choice for Bond, but I love them.

Lounge Suits and Jackets

Moore continues tradition for a fourth time and wears a three-piece suit to the office. The suit’s dark grey woollen flannel cloth continues another Bond tradition that started back in Dr. No. This is the quintessential suiting of the on-screen Bond, or at least it was in the 20th century.

The suit jacket is made in the three-roll-two style, which is the only time Hayward made this style for Moore. It’s more relaxed than the button-three suits made for the previous two films, but in this context worn unbuttoned it makes little difference. I think it looks good, but I prefer the more traditional British button-three style from the previous two films.

The Frank Foster shirt brings back the white collar and cuff style from For Your Eyes Only but does the body in a red and white stripe instead of blue and pairs a red tie with the look. The shirt and tie reflect the power-dressing style of the 1980s while also keeping to classic styles. It looks good on Moore but the red shirt is rather bold for Bond, especially when paired with a red tie.

The semi-spread collar lacks tie space, suggesting that the collar button was moved to make the collar smaller to accommodate Moore’s weight loss. The shirt’s cuffs are rounded with a single button like in Octopussy, but all the cuffs have a regular small button. The cuffs are deeper than typical cuffs, but they lack any kind of special details, which defined the cuffs in Moore’s previous Bond films. While the lack of fussiness may be in line with the spirit of the literary Bond (who preferred short sleeves because he hated all cuffs), it makes this film’s wardrobe a little less exiting.

For the third time in a row, Bond enters the office with a trilby, and this time it’s brown. Even though we still don’t get to see Moore wear the trilby, it’s always a nice touch for him to bring it to the office to remind us of the 1960s Bond films.

A View to a Kill Tan Suit

For scenes in San Francisco, Bond wears a tan wool gabardine button-two suit. It’s the ideal choice for the Bay Area’s Mediterranean climate, and the warm-toned low-contrast outfit with a cream voile shirt and tan tie looks perfect on Moore. Of Moore’s three similar looks in his 1980s films, this one is the most iconic because it has the most screen time, but it also is a successful look on Moore.

The scenes at Max Zorin’s French chateau necessitate three sports coats, all of which blend Bond’s tastes with those of his alias James St John Smythe. These are technically disguises, but the disguises in A View to a Kill are much more subtle than in Octopussy. When Bond masquerades as James St John Smythe, he’s dressing as himself but with different neckwear. It’s a subtle distinction that is highly effective because Bond still looks like Bond.

A grey tweed jacket with three patch pockets worn with dark grey flannel trousers and a light blue oxford shirt is undoubtedly a Bondian look. It’s somewhat like a more subtle, cool-weather version of the checked jacket look from The Man with the Golden Gun, but I think this one is more successful for the character. A checked navy wool tie from Burberry’s is what transforms this look from Bond’s to St John Smythe’s. It’s still a tasteful tie, but it’s not what Bond would wear, so I consider it an element of disguise.

The blue blazer in a later scene is again a modified Bondian look. The blue blazer, khaki wool trousers and white shirt are all Bondian, but to look the part of St John Smythe he wears a burgundy day cravat under the shirt collar. It’s a small adjustment but an effective one because the cravat is subtle.

A View to a Kill shares a number of similarities with Goldfinger, and a variation on the brown barleycorn tweed jacket from the earlier film reappears in this one. It is a different kind of barleycorn pattern and it lacks hacking pockets, but it’s otherwise the jackets are very similar. He wears it with a Bondian ecru shirt. Unusually for Moore, he leaves out the collar stays for a more relaxed look. I think this way enhances the outfit. He also wears brown trousers tucked into tall black riding boots, a fantastic choice to show that Bond is wearing his barleycorn tweed jacket for riding this time.

The yellow knitted tie is fantastic for being a Bondian knitted tie, but this pale shade of yellow is a poor choice. It is unflattering on most people, and it doesn’t anchor most outfits like a tie should. In a 1983 episode of Remington Steele titled ‘A Good Night’s Steele’, Pierce Brosnan makes fun of someone’s yellow tie (even though the character has worn them himself), and that comment has stuck with me. It may be another choice to distinguish St John Smyth from Bond, but it is unnecessary. A brown knitted tie would have worked much better.

Casual Attire

White Bogner Ski Suit

This film has a diverse wardrobe of casual style and sportswear. It starts with Bond in a white ski suit from Bogner. It’s elegant, particularly with the fur-trimmed collar, and the colour makes sense from a camouflage standpoint. However, Bond is spotted easily enough. I think it’s Bond’s most sophisticated ski suit of the series.

The Fila velour tracksuit may be part of Bond’s cover as James St John Smythe, but it’s unnecessary. It may have been chosen to portray St John Smythe as a flashy person who is interested in the latest fashions, but that doesn’t fit with the other outfits he wears. St John Smythe is supposed to be an old money aristocrat, so the fashionable tracksuit seems out of place for the cover. It may have been chosen so that if Bond was caught when sneaking around at night, he can use the excuse that he was out for a jog. But the snoring recording in his room would raise questions.

It is ultimately a poor choice. It is unflattering on a 56-year-old Roger Moore, who needs a higher collar around his neck to look his best. It was a missed opportunity to bring back a more Bondian sneaky look, like the half-zip jersey shirt in Moonraker or a dark long-sleeve polo like in Thunderball.

A Japanese robe makes a brief appearance at a spa in San Francisco’s Japantown. It’s an appropriate look for the location but doesn’t have enough screen time to make much of an impression.

Bond’s most significant casual wear consists of button-down shirts with leather jackets. The button-down shirts are made by Frank Foster in England but are well suited for the film’s American location. This first is a grey striped shirt, which Moore pairs with a grey suede jacket and grey flannel trousers. The suede jacket has unique details that keep in interesting, while Bond looks sophisticated in the flannel trousers. The grey monochrome look is especially Bondian.

Later he wears a more conventional outfit of a dark brown leather blouson over a light blue button-down shirt and charcoal flannel trousers. The higher contrast in this outfit has a more dramatic effect that suits the scenes, and while the clothes are all bespoke the outfit still looks accessible. It’s one of Moore’s most ordinary looks as Bond, yet it’s still very effective.

To disguise himself in Zorin’s mine, Bond steals an pale teal Zorin Industries blouson to replace his leather jacket. The blouson looks like a flight jacket with a large Zorin Industries patch on the back. Bond also takes a hard hat for his disguise but does not wear it long. The logo patch is only on the rear of the jacket, so we’re not constantly reminded that Bond is wearing a stolen jacket throughout the rest of the film. The jacket looks appropriate on Bond, but it’s not the type of garment Moore’s Bond would normally gravitate to.

The button-down shirts contribute to the ordinary look, even if the shirts are English bespoke. It’s an unusual look for Bond, but at least he isn’t wearing them with a tie. While the button-down collars look neat and are controlled during the action sequences, they don’t seem quite right for Bond to me. Fleming wouldn’t have liked the fussiness. The semi-spread collars that Bond wears casually in For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy would have worked just as well here and looked more traditionally Bondian.

The Zorin Industries blouson with the blue button-down shirt is the final outfit of the film and of Roger Moore’s long tenure as James Bond. Moore’s Bond films often end with him disrobed—as in A View to a Kill—or in loungewear. Frequently loungewear comes immediately before disrobing. As far as outfits before the customary final bedding scene go, A View to a Kill doesn’t have the worst example—it’s not a spacesuit. But a Zorin-branded blouson and button-down shirt aren’t exactly the most exciting items for Moore to end his seven-film run with. None of Moore’s Bond films did the final outfit better than The Spy Who Loved Me‘s naval battle dress.

Other Characters

Christopher Walken’s character Max Zorin is a well-dressed villain. His unusual charcoal morning suit may have been inspired by Prince Charles’ morning suit, but the wing-collar shirt effectively portrays him as an outsider. His single-breasted and double-breasted power suits with red power ties are perfect for a character who demands ‘More power!’, and they’re a good example of 1980s fashions without being a caricature of them. Just as many other actors have worn Frank Foster shirts in their roles in the Bond films, it’s wonderful to see Zorin in them too. The pleated, fly-front dress shirt that he wears with his black double-breasted dinner suit is one of the best shirts of the film.

Well Done, James

This film’s wardrobe benefits from having a large amount of tailoring with plenty of variation. Costume designer Emma Porteous did brilliantly in giving each outfit its own identity. There’s a three-piece suit, a two-piece suit, a morning suit, a double-breasted dinner suit, an ivory dinner jacket, two tweed jackets and a blue blazer, all contributing to an exciting wardrobe. The casual pieces have a theme of blousons, but each one is unique.

There are also a lot of grey and blue clothes in this film, which help it date well. When there are earth tones, they are used in classic settings in classic garments. As usual for Moore’s 1980s Bond films, he wears little that screams ‘1980s’. At a time when large shoulders were in vogue, Bond was wearing soft shoulders that still look good today because they look natural. His jackets’ low button stance and the low-fastening double-breasted dinner jacket are of their time, but they aren’t necessarily dated.

Photo sourced from Thunderballs.org

There was a cut scene that featured Moore wearing a Chevron-branded cap, plaid shirt, dingy white undershirt and blue jeans. Though the outfit would have been an effective disguise, it’s considerably un-Bondian, and cutting the scene was an excellent decision by John Glen to not subject us to seeing Roger Moore in this outfit.

Not Perfected Yet

The Fila tracksuit was a poor and unnecessary choice, but I know it has its fans. The garment has its place in the world, but I don’t think it’s place is on an ageing Roger Moore. It’s the most dated item of clothing in the film too, particularly compared to how almost all the rest of the wardrobe is so classic and elegant.

I’m also not crazy about the red striped shirt with the white collar and cuffs paired with a red tie. It’s too much of a banker look for Bond and a power 1980s look, though it’s not exclusive to the 1980s.

The ivory dinner jacket looks good, but its more casual details don’t quite work for me.

The lack of any interesting shirt cuffs in this film, which was a Bond hallmark until this film (with a couple exceptions), takes this wardrobe down a notch. This is, however, only a minor complaint. Many of the shirts look too large around Moore’s neck, which is probably because he lost weight. He’s noticeably slimmer in this film than he was in the last few Bond films and in his previous film, The Naked Face.

Verdict

Emma Porteous put together a wonderful wardrobe for A View to a Kill that feels down to earth and realistic for James Bond. Sometimes the clothes look a little too realistic and end up a bit dull. However, I still find the wardrobe inspiring because I can see myself wearing so many of the clothes in the film. Apart from the tracksuit, the majority of the clothes are both flattering and appropriate on a 56-to-57-year-old Roger Moore. While Moore may have aged out of the character by this time, his wardrobe did its best to keep him looking the part.

Rating: 8/10

Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? Leave your comments below.

35 COMMENTS

  1. I know this is controversial, but I think that in this movie Bond suits the more casual clothes. The formal clothes all make Moore look older than he actually is, and that line up at Ascot was the original fifty shades of grey (in the actors faces) and just winceworthy. Yes, even the tracksuit works for me. I grew up in a rough area in the eighties, and I cannot tell you how many ageing “hard” men there were wandering around in trackies, less posh trackies admittedly, and not a single one of those I would cross because they would still cut you as soon as look at you. At this stage in his life, that is what Moore needed in Bond, the ageing hard man look. And I think it works with the more casual styles than the formal ones.

  2. Good review. Interesting that as Sean’s suits got worse over the years, Roger’s, arguably, got better. My main feeling about the film is just how old Roger looks. There was a lot of chat at the time that he was over the hill, and how much younger the love interests were. I appreciate the classic tailoring, but I wonder if this contributed to how old he looks? I really like the casual suede and leather jackets and wonder if these have a rejuvenating effect? Anyway, thanks for the post. Agree the neckwear could be improved in this film

  3. I love that the Hayward suits in these three films really feel like they have continuity. Bond has a pretty consistent wardrobe of grey and tan suits, and leather jackets for casual-wear. Unfortunately, when it comes to the suits, I think this is the weakest of the three. They’re all beautiful, but I prefer the charcoal 3-piece in For Your Eyes Only to the one here, I prefer the tan suit when arriving in India in Octopussy, I prefer the ivory dinner jacket from that same film over this one, etc. etc.
    They’re all stunning, but certainly less exciting in this one. I’d put it below Octopussy on my list, but only just.

  4. The thing that really stands out toe when watching this movie is that Bond spends a lot of time wearing casual grey jackets, and IMO they look a bit frumpy. I know the grey one pictured above is suede and probably a very nice looking jacket in person, but that doesn’t come across when watching it on TV. The first time I saw this movie my reaction was “why is Bond wearing a “members only jacket”.

    After reading more about these outfits, I feel bad saying that because I know a lot of work went into them. Maybe it’s harder to dress Bond well with an aging actor, because he might look too stuffy in formal wear but a bit silly in more casual wear?

    • Some people, like me, think Moore looks better in the tailored clothes, while others think he looks more youthful in the casual clothes. I think the casual clothes age him more because looks older in the more youthful styles. I think the issue with the grey suede jacket is that the grey isn’t a flattering shade on him. I don’t think it looks anything like a Members Only jacket, but the Zorin-branded flight jacket does.

    • I agree somewhat and said in another recent review that blouson jackets are difficult to execute well. All too often there is too much unflattering fabric around the mid section which, if cinched in by an elasticated hem, gives the impression being of four months pregnant in front or else has a load of superfluous cloth sagging out above the backside. As Matt says an older fella will often look like he’s trying too hard to relive his youth with this kind of jacket. Adding to that is Rog had had some ‘work done’ and his obvious blepharoplasty gives him a bit of a scared rabbit in the headlights look around his eyes.

      Excellent review Matt and I agree with your summary. Very decent if mostly non-flashy (classic) wardrobe. Atrociously bad film. There had been an evolving trend since TSWLM for the Bond Girls to be more independent, resourceful and the equal of Bond (Anya Amasova, Holly Goodhead, Melina Havelock, Octopussy, and then we have screaming, wailing, flailing, clueless hapless Stacey Sutton which set things back by decades and was continued into TLD with equally hapless (would-be sniper-assassin – Ha!) Kara Milovy and was only finally re-set by Pam Bouvier in LTK.

      • Both Stacey and Kara are portrayed as talented professionals, and even Stacey has her tough moments. I think Stacey was supposed to be a character that the average woman could relate to: a strong, principled professional who finds herself in unexpectedly dangerous situations. I don’t know how successfully this came off to women in the 1980s, but she was a new kind of character for the Bond series. I think Kara was supposed to be relatable as well: a young woman with a promising career who finds herself in a dangerous situation. They’re both almost Hitchcock-type characters. The screaming is the only real problem, and I’d probably put the blame on John Glen (as much as I love his films). Natalya continued this kind of character but was tougher and more capable. They got her character right by showing her scared at the start of the film but overcoming her fears to be able to handle the situations she has to face.

      • I think you’re being kind there but I do agree with your assessment of Natalia who rose to the task of accompanying Bond. How hapless must Stacey have to have been to have been abducted by a blimp? Who could have seen that coming? Still the cameramen and editor deserve Oscars for managing to show her being hauled aloft but still spared her blushes by avoiding an upskirt shot – all of which could have easily been avoided with a more situation-appropriate wardrobe choice.

  5. For horological aficionados it COULD be considered somewhat of a shame that Moore’s best suits in his Bond series be paired with a bit of a low point in the series’ featured timepieces with Seiko’s Quartz Chronograph taking center stage on Moore’s wrist, even if a Rolex Datejust makes a brief but welcome appearance once or twice (and I’m a guy who LOVES both Seiko and the Grand Seiko high-end quartz range so this opinion isn’t merely based on ‘anti-quartz’ snobbery!) . . .

  6. Well done with putting together these sum up reviews, Matt as they obviously involve quite a bit of work and pulling together all the factors to make the whole.

    In this case I’d agree; the 8/10 award is probably about right. I don’t really see any glaring errors with this movie (something we won’t be able to say for another couple of movie reviews down the line!) but as you point out, there are things which aren’t ideal, not massive mistakes but just could have been improved with small tweaks.

    While I firmly believe the first movie featuring Doug Hayward’s tailoring showcased it best and while I probably prefer the overall looks, without reservation, in FYEO, AVTAK is a tie with Octopussy for having some great pieces and some which aren’t perfect (the DB navy suit in Octopussy and both examples of evening wear in AVTAK). That said, the sports coats and blazer are terrific here and it was nice to see Roger in his favoured SB blazer for the first time in 6 years. The cravat worn with this I had never really thought about as being distinctly associated with his St John Smythe alias until you pointed this out as Pierce wore a cravat in Goldeneye purely as Bond. Frank Foster’s shirts were, as expected, amazing; in particular the shirts worn with both evening wear examples but the cream voile shirt worn with the tan suit and the blue shirt worn with the dark brown leather jacket were very flattering for Roger and I don’t mind the shirt worn for the office scenes as it was a continuation/variation on the FYEO version of this outfit but perhaps, with the bright red tie a very pale pink stripe or solid shirt might have been a little more subtle.

    The issue, as others have mentioned, is the juxtaposition here between Roger’s age and the character’s supposed age and the need to balance the wardrobe appropriately. On the whole, again, they succeeded very well here. In the individual appraisals of both blousons I seem to recall comments along the lines that Roger’s flannel trousers were “old mannish” and had he worn some less formal trouser with the leather jackets (something which would have been out of line with all his previous Bond outings plus his own natural clothing taste) this would have worked better. I don’t think so and in fact this would have only drawn attention to his age more. The grey flannels worn with the grey suede jacket and the cool dark brown/charcoal flannel trousers (they aren’t grey charcoal, Matt) match the rest of the outfits very subtly and without appearing jarring and drawing any attention to themselves.

    The Bogner ski suit is a beauty and very, very distinct and memorable but again is a youthful look which wasn’t the case with the more classic looking blue ensemble in FYEO. The same with the track suit. Yes, it was going to be a track suit of some kind, I suppose, as Bond/Smythe was allegedly out for an energetic, late-night run (before his even more energetic late-night workout with Mayday!) but maybe, instead of the T shirt, a dark blue jersey cotton roll neck like the one worn with the bomber jacket in FYEO, under the FILA track suit would have enhanced the look (Connery wore such a roll neck under a track suit 2 years earlier in NSNA) and reduced the criticism of the outfit? At least the cut scenes with Bond in jeans, baseball cap and bargain basement jacket and shirt thankfully never made it on to the screen!

    What I think was happening in 1984 was the producers, to keep in step with the times, were aiming for a very youthful look for this movie which they hadn’t focused on with the previous two 80s Bond movies. The title song by Duran Duran ( who were at their absolute peak of popularity in 1984), the initial proposal of David Bowie to play Zorin and the inclusion of pop diva Grace Jones all show clearly the producers’ leaning. Alongside this, they had a mid-50s Roger Moore who they were afraid to lose from the role because obviously they couldn’t find an actor with his presence to take on the role at that point. In my view, Roger did a damn good job of maintaining the popularity of Bond in an era of younger superheroes like Christopher Reeves’ Superman and Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. He didn’t seek to compete with these in any way but firmly held his own, keeping Bond as an arch British icon, a stolid warhorse defending the realm and both he and Doug Hayward played a huge part in this image. It’s a shame that he went out on the sartorial low point which you mention but these depths would be maintained and indeed plumbed much further for two movies with a mish mash of clothing, only a small fraction of which should have ever been worn by the screen Bond on an actor who had no sartorial nous but who came the closest ever to having brought the Fleming character to the screen in terms of physical appearance and portrayal.

  7. I would have preferred a solid white or pink shirt with that 3 piece. Would the jacket look better closed than when it was open? I am not controversially a fan of button cuffs with 3 piece suits either. And would a regular tie with the pointed blade work better than that yellow knitted tie with the straight hemmed end? And if so what colour would work best?

    The tracksuit was a misstep from the word go.

  8. Excellent review.

    I’m not crazy about all of the wardrobe, but maybe the problem with it is inseparable from Moore simply being (and looking) too old for the role?

    He looks great in beige. Am not a fan of the grey sports jacket, and I think you’ve posted elsewhere that it might’ve worked better if the jacket had been darker than the trousers? And with the suede and leather jackets, I can’t help feeling that he looks a bit ‘dad’ – that the trousers look a bit too formal for the top half. Not trying to have a go at dads – I am one!

  9. Moore looks like Methusalah here. It’s utterly ridiculous to try to convince people that he’s capable of the action scenes and I recall embarrassed laughter in the cinema when Moore was intercut with a stuntman half his age. What were they thinking?
    No amount of facelifts, toupees or corsets would make Moore anything other than a joke.
    Moore had a problem with appearing as a past his sell by date swinger ever since Cross plot. Remember his disco dancing in The Persuaders?
    The same could be said of Connery in NSNA but at least Sean had the wisdom to play Bond as an older man slightly out of touch with a changing world. Moore didn’t have the self awareness or the talent to attempt that.
    Thankfully this was Moore’s last film and we got a superb successor.
    As for the wardrobe, my opinion on the clothing is the same as my opinion on the film itself. Some nice ideas but lazy and dull.

    • Roger was a humanitarian and a gentleman to his finger tips who always operated the adage of “if you’ve nothing good to say about somebody then don’t say anything”. This (aside from his immaculate taste in how he presented himself to the world) is one of many reasons he was liked far and wide. Perhaps you might consider a similar approach yourself.

      • Hahah. This advice, coming from you David, who almost never misses an opportunity to make a negative remark about either Craig or Dalton here, is pretty hilarious. Apparently you never thought about applying the adage to yourself ! No hard feelings, just teasing you ;)

  10. Another great review Matt, I share your thoughts and score. I think it was a difficult balance to strike with Roger’s age and the look of the character of Bond and I think all involved got it right on the whole. Roger was dressed appropriately for a man his age in 1984/85 and any further steps towards a more youthful approach would have as David Marlborough has previously said, resulted in an ‘oldest swinger in town’ look which would not have been a good result. It’s really disappointing that Bond has not been in British bespoke tailoring since AVTAK given the character and his background. I hope that is resolved in the future. I agree with Matt that Bond should not be dressed in American or Italian tailored clothing, no matter how nice or high quality it is (although it’s been a few years since I’ve seen Bond in a well fitting suit), I think he should be a champion for British tailoring because it fits the character.

  11. How do you notice the shirt cuffs on the 3 piece when you don’t see them that much like in Octopussy?

  12. Interesting analysis, Matt. I would have go with a 7/10 myself. Personally what I think is missing the most here is that I don’t feel the clothing in general is especially Bondian. The tailored suits are well tailored as usual. But I don’t see such a big difference between St John Smythe’s wardrobe and Bond’s own. I think they pretty well could be reversed without a problem. St John Smythe would wear such a morning suit, dinner jacket, 3-pizce flannel suit. Bond would wear the blazer, hacking jacket, tweed sports coat. The overall tailored wardrobe of the movie is one of a typical English gentleman who follows sartorial traditions ane codes, but I feel the « Bondian factor » of the wardrobe has disappeared, even if such factor may be very difficult to define. Maybe Feels more like what Moore would have worn in real life than a 007 wardrobe.

    Regarding the non tailored wardrobe, I could take it or leave it. The leather jacket with flannel trousers is nice, I would have ditched the button down shirt for a polo shirt or a polo neck. The kimono styled wardrobe, pretty superfluous, is an item that would maybe work on a younger/more athletic actor, it looks pretty out of place here. The ski suit makes him look heavier and out of shape. I guess it was not easy for the costume designer to design a whole wardrobe with an ageing actor : you don’t want him to look like he’s trying too hard to look younger (although that battle was already lost because of a stupid script making him having sex with women half his age or less and doing unbelievable stunts) but you don’t want Bond to look too old either. Quite an unsolvable problem !
    It’s funny this used to be my favorite Bond film when I was a kid, I thought (and still do) that Chris Walken did a terrific job, which in my humble opinion is the main reason for seeing the movie. And his grey power suits are excellent.
    It’s too bad Moore didn’t stop after Octopussy, which had great moments (especially the dramatic bomb scene in the circus where he is excellent). A Dalton vs Walken fight would have had much more punch.

  13. Le Chiffre, I don’t take your “teasing” personally and yes, I aren’t a fan of the two gentlemen who you named, in the role of Bond and this is confined ONLY to their wardrobe issues. However, I don’t have a deep personal dislike of either Dalton or Craig. I freely acknowledge that while Tim’s portrayal was dour in comparison to all 3 actors who preceded him in the role, his interpret of Bond as Fleming wrote him and his personal appearance, made him the closest any Bond actor came to bringing the Bond of the books to the screen. This could have still been acheived with a slightly better wardrobe and without compromising his approach. Craig I simply believe was miscast on many levels, primarily on the most basic criteria; he completely lacked any physical resemblance to the character of Bond as described by his creator so even if his wardrobe was superior to how it was, he’d still be inadequate.

  14. Wait up – it’s sartorially possible to wear an ivory dinner jacket with tan trousers and brown shoes? That would make the brown horn buttons make sense but then would a black bow-tie not conflict with the brown accruements?

    • What I was trying to say is that this dinner jacket could double as a suit jacket or odd jacket because of the notched lapels and horn buttons. If you were to wear it with tan trousers, it would need a different shirt and tie because it would no longer be a dinner jacket. This jacket is only a dinner in the context of the outfit.

  15. Am I missing something or are we due a review of Never Say Never Again? That was 1983… Or are you excluding that because it wasn’t a Broccoli production?

  16. I’m remember very well when this movie was released.
    Moore seemed terribly old,and out of place, the movie was dull.
    A change was not only required,was vital.

    The wardrobe….yes was quite fine; but even if had worn clothes even more fine wouldn’t have helped much.

  17. Matt, what kind of trousers would you pair with a solid black double breasted blazer ? Except grey morning dress trousers of course. I know it’s a tough question, but I have faith in you !

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