Bond Wardrobe Review 15: The Living Daylights (1987)

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This is a Mission, Not a Fancy-Dress Ball

James Bond: Timothy Dalton
Director: John Glen
Costume designer: Emma Porteous
Costume supervisor: Tiny Nicholls
Tailoring: Benjamin Simon and others

Overview

The Living Daylights features a new James Bond actor with Timothy Dalton, but the team of filmmakers was largely unchanged from Roger Moore’s past few films. Though Dalton portrayed Bond much differently from how Moore did, The Living Daylights is a primarily a continuation from Moore’s last three Bond films, which has much to do with director John Glen returning.

Costume designer Emma Porteous also returned for her third and final Bond film, but personal circumstances forced her to hand off many responsibilities to costume supervisor Tiny Nicholls, who came back for his fifth Bond film.

Compared to Bond’s wardrobe in the Moore films, Bond’s clothes in The Living Daylights are more pedestrian. Dalton’s clothes are almost all ready-to-wear, which brings a realism and accessibility to Bond’s wardrobe that we had never seen before. However, this also reflects Dalton’s lack of glamour in Bond.

Formal Wear

The Living Daylights stands out as the only Bond film to feature Bond wearing multiple dinner suits. It’s also the last time that Bond wears multiple dinner jackets in one film. The dinner suits are all black wool, but the styles are all different.

The first and best dinner suit in The Living Daylights is the single-button shawl-collar suit from the concert and mission scenes at the start of the film. Bond’s fellow agent chastises him for dressing up too much on this mission, which cleverly mocks how Bond frequently overdresses in black tie.

Bond, however, proves he dressed in the correct outfit for the mission when he flips up the shawl collar and fastens it around his neck with a built-in velcro strip, turning his fancy-dress outfit into a tactical one. This neat trick is one of Bond’s greatest sartorial moments in the entire series.

Besides this unique feature, the dinner jacket presents a welcome return of the shawl collar. It’s Bond’s first shawl collar since the velvet dinner jacket in Diamonds Are Forever in 1971, and it’s his first shawl-collar dinner suit since Thunderball in 1965. The shawl collar is an effective device to tell us that the classic 1960s Bond is back after the Moore-era deviations. The classic Bond look is emphasised with a narrow bow tie and pleated-front shirt. However, I’m not sure if the callback to the Connery era was intended because this dinner jacket was merely a leftover item made by costumer Bermans & Nathans for the previous film that Dalton made, Brenda Starr. It was the cost-effective option that also happened to be the perfect fit for the film.

The next dinner suit isn’t a tremendous deviation from the first dinner suit. It has notched lapels instead of a shawl collar, so the style is not as special as the previous dinner suit. Dalton wears white clip-on braces with this dinner suit, which are not up to Bond’s usual standards. Bond was not a braces-wearer before this film, so perhaps we can forgive him for the newbie mistake of wearing clip-on braces. He corrected this problem in the next film.

The third dinner suit is only on screen briefly in a cropped frame in the final scene of the film. The only detail we can see in the film is that it has peaked lapels. The Living Daylights is only the second Bond film after Diamonds Are Forever that has Bond wearing dinner jackets with all three lapel styles: shawl, notched and peaked. From an auction listing, we can see that this dinner suit was made by Lambert Hofer and is double-breasted. The double-breasted style is a nice shake-up with the other dinner jacket styles, even if we can’t tell that it’s double-breasted in the film. It is perfect for this non-action moment and wouldn’t have worked as well in the other black tie scenes.

Lounge Suits and Jackets

Timothy Dalton also had a large say in what Bond wears in this film. According to Emma Porteous, he was not interested in wearing Doug Hayward bespoke suits and preferred to wear more ordinary clothes and to dress down. He chose to wear mostly ready-to-wear suits in a relaxed style that was trendy at the time. He even went so far as to remove the shoulder pads from a few jackets, and in doing so demonstrated that he might have liked wearing Hayward’s soft suits.

A number of Dalton’s suits and jackets were from a brand in Leeds called Benjamin Simon. The sources are not known for all of the suits, and the clothes coming from multiple sources adds a realism to this wardrobe. Most of the suits have wide shoulders and a full cut, which may have been the result of Dalton sizing up or being between sizes and choosing the larger. This is how men chose their size at the time. The fits are not all equal throughout the film, with some better than others. The suit fits are on the full side of a classic fit and don’t look oversized.

Apart from the full fit, most of the suits have a classic British style, so on the surface they look appropriate for Bond. Apart from wide shoulders, the tailored clothes don’t look terribly dated to the late 1980s. The shoulders aren’t as big as was typical for the era, which helps. The patterns and overall styles are appropriate for Bond, with many loosely recalling some of Bond’s previous looks. However, they lack the refinement we expect from Bond. Fleming’s Bond was not a flashy dresser, but he was detail-oriented and appreciated wearing the best-made clothes.

The medium-heavy grey herringbone button-two three-piece suit that Bond wears to Q’s lab is the kind of suit that Connery would have worn as Bond. It has classic double-forward-pleat trousers like Connery wore too. It would look like a Bondian suit if the fit and cut were more finessed. As a result it doesn’t look like a suit worthy of Bond or of a big-budget blockbuster film. It’s a suit for a low-budget television series.

The suit is paired with a white shirt with a classic Jermyn Street semi-spread collar and button cuffs. The shirt isn’t overly special, but it’s a solid choice for Bond. The solid black silk repp tie is a fine choice, particularly as one could believe Bond took this tie from his naval uniform. However, it’s also what the average person would mistake Connery for wearing in his Bond films instead of a dark navy grenadine tie. It’s appropriate for Bond albeit a dull choice.

The navy chalk stripe three-piece suit for the M’s office and second Q’s lab scenes is another appropriately Bondian choice, and a more interesting one. The jacket has three buttons and the waistcoat has seven, which matches the style to the navy chalk stripe suit that George Lazenby wears to the College of Arms and later to M’s office in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I love this connection between the two suits, and I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. Dalton’s suit has narrower-spaced chalk stripes, which gives it a slightly more modern look. This suit’s cut and fit are less of an issue than the previous suit’s because the dark colour masks them. The shoulders, however, have an awkward pagoda shape, which may have been the result of padding being removed. He loses points for fastening the waistcoat’s bottom button.

The shirt is another white English shirt, and the tie is a navy with a small purple pattern. It’s a bit more interesting and still appropriate for Bond. Unfortunately the tie is not tightened against the neck in the M’s office scene and makes Bond look sloppy. Bond should never look sloppy, particularly not in this context.

Timothy Dalton Grey Flannel Suit

The next suit is a tremendous improvement over the first two: a grey flannel suit. The cloth recalls the classic suit of many of Connery’s and Moore’s Bond films. Compared to all of the film’s other tailored clothes, this jacket has softer and narrower shoulders for a much more natural look. It’s a look that Dalton must have appreciated. The lapels are wider than the other suits’ lapels, but they don’t look dated. The suit trousers have double reverse pleats, which were fashionable at the time. They don’t have the classic English style that Dalton’s other trousers with forward pleats have, but since the trousers are hardly visible in the film it doesn’t make a difference.

Timothy Dalton Navy Overcoat

Dalton wears the same white shirt again, this time paired with a solid navy tie in a dull silk satin. Again, the tie is a rather uninspired choice, but navy is an improvement over solid, dull black. He wears a full-length navy cashmere overcoat over this suit, which has an appropriate look for Bond in wintertime, but the coat lacks any special details like a fly front or a velvet collar. It’s a bit too boring, though it still does its job well.

Dalton’s best suit also does not get enough screen time. It’s his tan button-two suit from Benjamin Simon that appears in only two brief scenes. Bond’s tan suits up to this point all have limited screen time apart from the ones in A View to a Kill. They’re exquisite suits that deserve to be seen more. This one, again, suffers from being a ready-to-wear suit, but it’s a decent full fit. The style is perfect, including the button-two jacket and double-forward-pleat trousers that recall Connery’s Bond and classic English style in general.

What sets this suit apart is that Dalton wears it without a tie, and it’s only the second time Bond wears a suit without a tie after the cream suit in Moonraker. Dalton wasn’t one for dressing up, so when he gets to dress down he looks more comfortable and confident. The tan suit, being a sporty and warm-weather suit, looks perfect with an open-neck cream shirt and no tie. But it’s Dalton’s comfort in this look compared to the other tailored looks that makes it look so good.

Dalton also wears a sports coat from Benjamin Simon in a black, brown, blue and green gun club check, a classic English pattern but in a darker-than-typical colourway that looks more appropriate for Bond. In traditional Bondian fashion he pairs it with dark brown flannel trousers for a low-contrast look. The ecru shirt, dark brown silk knitted tie and mid-brown loafers are classic Bondian complements.

Casual Attire, Tactical Gear and Disguise

The Living Daylights was both a callback to earlier Bond films as well as a film that moved the series forward. The suspenseful and action-packed pre-title sequence featuring a 00 training mission has Bond properly dressed for the action in a way we’ve never seen Bond dressed before. He’s wearing a black jumpsuit over a black t-shirt with black commando boots for skydiving into Gibraltar. It’s the look of a modern action hero and the perfect outfit to introduce a tougher new James Bond.

Dalton’s first casual outfit is a practical and mature look for winter. The focal point is a dark leather car coat. Various reports differ on its colour, but it was stated to be black when an example of the coat was sold at auction. The leather coat is a practical choice for the winter weather, and its length is dramatic without being too long. It gives Bond a cool and modern look that’s also timeless. The coat’s oversized fit dates it a bit, but it’s one trendy aspect that doesn’t look terrible.

The dark grey fisherman’s rib jumper under the coat is a beautiful casual item that is perfect for Bond. The ecru shirt with the collar tucked in adds an elegant touch and a bit of necessary contrast. I like the charcoal flannel trousers, but I’d prefer if they didn’t have reverse pleats. All in all, this is one of Bond’s best winter casual looks, and with a trimmer fit it would look superb today.

I think Dalton’s warm-weather casual look is equally as effective as the winter look. For his sporty look in Morocco he pairs a tan cotton or linen blend bomber jacket with almost-matching tan forward-pleat chinos over a navy long-sleeve polo that has a deep nine-button placket. While some people don’t like the tan-on-tan combination, I think it’s a elegant look that helps Bond blend in with his surroundings in Morroco. The contrasting shirt is enough to balance the tan-on-tan look. I appreciate the classic styling of both the jacket and the trousers. The polo is a bit odd, but I don’t dislike it. Its oversized fit looks sloppy and unflattering. I think that a jersey shirt with a two-piece collar like Roger Moore wears under his grey jumper in For Your Eyes Only would have been a more elegant option, and short sleeves might have been more comfortable under the jacket.

As Bond escapes from the Soviet air base jail, he steals a green Soviet miliary jacket for a disguise and wears it over the tan blouson. Bond looks pretty good in this disguise, and though it’s obviously from the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, the disguise doesn’t look inappropriate on Bond like a number of Moore’s disguises did. It still has the right image for James Bond, which can’t be said for the next outfit.

Like in three of the previous four Bond films, Bond is once again dressed in a disguise for the film’s climax when he foils the villain’s plan. The Mujahideen provide Bond with an outfit so Bond can blend in with them, but it’s also because Bond didn’t bring a change of clothes when he was dragged away to Afghanistan. The outfit is an odd and awkward look for Bond, and it’s a shame that Dalton didn’t have the opportunity to look more classically Bondian for the incredible climax sequence.

The black commando boots with 14 pairs of eyelets are the best part of the outfit. They are appropriate for any action sequence. The boots’ tremendous height adds to the suspense when Bond cuts his boot laces so Necros can fly away with the boot. Lower shoes wouldn’t have had the same impact, nor would they have provided Bond with the opportunity to use his line, “He got the boot!”

For the film’s coda when Bond takes down Brad Whitaker, he wears a dark polo that looks like the same navy polo he wears earlier in the film. It’s possible it’s the same polo but in black, but the scene is so dimly lit that it’s very difficult to determine the colour. I believe it is the same navy polo, but paired with black trousers, which is a clashing combination. In the context of the film it looks like black on black, and how it looks in the film is ultimately what matters. The outfit would be better if the polo weren’t so baggy. Bond would look more menacing if his clothes looked sharper. The black trainers likewise lack the elegance we’d expect from Bond.

Other Characters

None of the characters’ outfits stand out, but all of the characters are well-dressed and appropriately costumed. General Koskov, played by Jeroen Krabbé, wears a fun checked jacket that is creatively accessorised with a day cravat. General Pushkin, played by John Rhys-Davies, is well-dressed throughout the film, especially in his gun club check jacket when he encounters Bond in his hotel room.

Well Done, James

The wardrobe concepts are almost all perfect for James Bond. Only once does Bond wear an item that looks out of character. The ideas behind all of Dalton’s tailored clothes recall what Bond wore in the 1960s, even if some are new variations on the themes that Connery wore. The wardrobe assists the film’s story to recall the earlier Cold War thrillers.

While this film is one of the sartorially weaker entries to the Bond series, the tactical tuxedo with the flip-up shawl collar is one of the strongest clothing moments in the entire Bond series. It’s the item of clothing that best describes Bond: at the same time an elegant gentleman and a tough assassin.

Not Perfected Yet

“The devil is in the details” is the perfect phrase to describe the faults with The Living Daylights‘ wardrobe. The film really has no bad outfit, but nothing stands out as special. The ready-to-wear suits don’t provide Bond with the elegance and sophistication that he needs. The suits don’t fit poorly, but the cuts lack refinement and make Bond look clunky. Things like suit jacket sleeves being too wide subtly let down the look.

While the smooth solid ties are reasonable choices for Bond, they don’t have the refinement that Bond needs. They represent a lack of texture that Bond usually has in his outfits to set him apart. The loose tie knots throughout the film are another let down, making Bond look unrefined and careless. Bond should never look careless.

Verdict

The wardrobe in The Living Daylights is full of superb and inspiring concepts. It could have been one of the best wardrobes in the series, but the slipshod execution does not befit James Bond. This may have been due to Emma Porteous not being able to focus enough attention on this film due to personal issues, or it may have more to do with the demands Timothy Dalton placed on the wardrobe team. Porteous, Dalton and Tiny Nicholls are all talented people with brilliant ideas, but the end result didn’t all come together quite as well as it should have. The rating would have been lower, but it gets an extra point for the coolness factor of how Bond flips up his dinner jacket’s shawl collar and fastens it with velcro for a tactical look.

Rating: 6/10

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

44 COMMENTS

  1. I think it helps that Timothy Dalton screen persona really suits the sense of near formal dishabile look. It is very rogueish and near piratical. I did like Koskov’s tribute to a 70s American Used Car Salesman suit and cravat though, you can almost hear him trying to talk you into the optional clearcoat and extended warranty. I think it suits the fake nature of the character’s actions, like a (bad) hustler you can see he is trying just a little too hard and is coming across as false.

  2. Great article as usual Matt. There are many things I miss from the 80’s, but fit is not one of them. I wonder if someone knowledgeable like you that had existed in that time did ever criticize these issues you remark so eloquently back on those days, in a given article.

    I must put myself in evidence if it is bad taste but I like the blue jacket-( I have a weakness for those shades of blue)- that Felix Leiter wears in that scene in the boat.

    Regards

  3. Fair verdict. The action outfits are very strong and the tuxes are excellent too. I really like the casual outfit with the overcoat, and the tan suit. I did like the flannel suit, and the sports coat. But the three pieces could’ve been better for example unfastening the bottom button on the jacket of the dark 3 piece and bringing the knot up to the top of the collar as you stated. The supporting characters you nailed and I’d like to see a review of Koskov’s brown 3 piece and Saunders’ 3 piece from the same scene.

  4. This movie has the specificity of featuring 3 great checked sport coats ! Bond hasn’t worn one ever since…
    I agree the suits are a bit bland but they let Dalton’s vision of the character express itself freely. Sometimes some outfits are a bit much and you end up noticing only the suit and not the person wearing it (which would happen occasionally with some outfits Moore and Brosnan wore).

    • That’s a good point. Some of Moore’s clothes in the 1970s stand out more than they should. Hayward corrected that problem, and for him it was never about the clothes. I believe that Hayward suits would have been perfect for Dalton’s portrayal of Bond. Dalton would have felt comfortable in them so as long he didn’t know they were from one of London’s most in-demand tailors.

      • Interesting. It’s after all possible that Dalton was biased towards suits and dressing up from what I can read here and there. I guess it would have been difficult for the costume designer to deal with this. However as an actor, you ideally have to be comfortable to act and move in any kind of costume. I am not sure Hayward would have been so great. The overall silhouette yes but I don’t think the light shoulders would have worked very well with Dalton. Ah, if he wore some Brioni of the early 1980s we would have had timeless suits !

      • I agree that Brioni shoulders would have looked good on Dalton, but I think he would have been more comfortable in Hayward’s shoulders. The shoulders on the grey flannel suit are similar to Hayward’s shoulders, albeit a little narrower, and they look good on him. Thus, I think Hayward’s style could have suited Dalton.

  5. I suppose it didn’t help that Dalton was brought on almost at the last minute, so they may have just had to settle for a lot of ready-to-wear stuff.

    Regardless, I’ve always thought Dalton looked cool as hell in this movie. I love the leather coat and sweater outfit. It’s a shame they don’t seem to make coats in that style anymore.

    The blouson jacket looks a bit cheap, but I like the tan-on-tan look a lot. I think with a bit more refinement these could’ve been some of the best casual outfits of the series.

    I completely agree that the dinner jacket turning into stealthwear is a fantastic moment. And even though it doesn’t hold a candle to the ones Lazenby wore, a navy three-piece suit just screams Bond to me.

  6. I’d cautiously applaud this movie for its depiction of James’ efforts to marry his inner dandy with the realism of his work and (probably), his modest salary, thus being forced to restrain himself with more ‘pedestrian’ pieces that indicate his desire for elegance without necessarily being able to achieve it in the role in lieu of compromise.

    That said, the Benjamin Simon in a black, brown, blue and green gun club check is worthy of Bond’s best.

  7. I have been waiting for this one, Matt and I think you have given (once again) a very fair and balanced assessment of the film’s wardrobe, overall.

    I completely agree with you that Hayward’s tailoring would have been far better but would they have had time given that Tim was drafted in at the 11th hour? I understand that that they proceeded with Pierce that they would have continued with Hayward, Ferragamo and (perhaps) Foster so, given that pierce was actually announced as Bond and unless there are pieces somewhere which were made by Hayward for him, then they would have had to knock some up in jig time had he gone ahead with the role….

    Like you conclude; the overall vision here is ok. It’s the execution.
    It’s interesting that an unprecedented 3 dinner suits, all black, were provided for an actor who had scant interest in tailoring. Seems unnecessary. The dinner jacket becoming a tactical outfit always seemed to me another example of what we saw after the hang glider in Live and Let Die or at the start of Octopussy in Cuba. I agree, it’s great.

    The rest of the outfits lose on the reasons you point out. They lack polish. Sean was a rougher diamond than Tim and wouldn’t have fared better left to his own devices but he was mentored sartorially and provided with the right tailor and so it worked. Tim lacked this and obviously was dogged in his determination to do it his way. His rejection of the Hayward suits seems almost a personal loathing of anything to do with his predecessor who he is on record as saying made the series a joke. Btw, I do recall reading that at least one of the suits said Benjamin Simon, Vienna or somewhere in Austria and I reads that the leather car coat was Valentino.

    I often wonder about a more polished version of this wardrobe had we had Pierce or Roger still in the role. The London office suits would’ve been more of what we saw in the preceding three movies, Roger would have done the sports coat to a tee (though, to be fair to Tim, although the earth tones weren’t ideal for his complexion, he made this outfit look decent). We would have had another beautiful tan Hayward suit for Morocco worn with an ecru shirt and a very tastefully matched stripe tie and the blouson would have likely been suede and a jersey shirt a la FYEO. The car coat I could have seen in dark brown, dark brown flannels, and a more polished sweater and shirt in dark red and cream respectively. I recall those soft collar shirts from the time and many younger men wore them with ties and they looked vile.

    The clothing aside, I have come to appreciate Tim’s contribution to the series more in recent years. He was clearly his own man who operated to his principles and that is admirable. He is also in terms of portrayal and personal appearance, by far, the closest approximation on celluloid to the Fleming Bond of the books. While Connery was the best all-rounder, if the Fleming Bond on screen is what you want then nobody has ever come close to Tim. That said, in bringing this interpretation to the screen, the innate charm expected of Bond the assassin, best exemplified by Connery was lost and this as well as the dishevelled look is what mitigates against Dalton. If this movie (in my view the 3rd best storyline of the 1980s) was a mixed bag, the following one would be the definitive low point up to that point.

    • Dalton’s Bond, I think, has a different type of innate charm. He’s actually pretty sweet when he’s dealing with innocents like Kara, and he’s clearly devoted to people who’ve earned his respect like Felix and Q. Dalton was probably right when he said he was too young to do “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” but on an acting level, he would have hit it out of the park.

  8. 6/10 is far too low. Yet you say that the score would have been lower without the evening jacket turning into “stealth wear”.
    You gave the hideous costumes in TSWLM 5/10. Are you claiming that the clothes in this film are as bad as, or worse than, the appalling 70s outfit. Ridiculous.
    As for the outfits lacking glamour I think that most people are grateful for an intelligent serious portrayal of Flemings character rather than a smarmy playboy who looks like he is playing dress up.

    • Glamour has always been a significant aspect of James Bond, in both all the films before this one and in Fleming’s books. Fleming’s Bond wore luxurious clothes, which was not the case for Dalton’s Bond. Fleming didn’t specify many luxurious details about Bond’s suits (except suggesting that one of his suits may have been made of Alpaca), but he did specify that Bond wore shirts of Sea Island cotton and silk. If his suits were half as nice as his shirts, they still would have been a good deal fancier than Dalton’s suits in The Living Daylights. Fleming based Bond’s wardrobe almost entirely on his own, only swapping out the bow tie for a knitted tie. It would be safe to assume that Bond, like Fleming, also wore well-crafted bespoke suits.

      It’s often said that fit is king when it comes to suits. The suits in The Spy Who Loved Me have a considerably better fit than the suits in The Living Daylights. When the fit is sloppy it degrades the look tremendously.

      • I judge the clothes on many different levels. This wardrobe deserves a similar rating to The Spy Who Loved Me because it has different issues. You mentioned Fleming, and I said that these clothes are not how Fleming’s Bond would have dressed either. I’m not ranking the actor’s portrayal of Bond, but I am ranking how the costumes portray Bond. Dalton was the truest Bond to Fleming’s character in his portrayal. That has nothing to do with my ranking of his clothes. The clothes are equally far from Fleming as the clothes are in The Spy Who Loved Me.

      • The suits in the 70s (particularly those of TSWLM) are fussy and flashy. They look like someone desperate be noticed..
        Apart from being completely wrong for a secret agent, that is far from “glamour” or being well dressed as you can get.

    • I’ve been reading this blog, and all comments, since 2013. And you are by far the rudest person that have commented on any of the posts. I would recommend you to take it down a notch, and follow the lead of the other regular readers that comment here. They can have different opinions, but they express them in a much more polite way. This is, after all, a blog about James Bond clothing.
      Leave the rudeness to Facebook.

      • Matt, I agree that Dalton’s portrayal was the closest to Fleming’s Bond. While Connery’s Bond is far and away my favourite (with Roger/Pierce tied for second) I think Dalton captured what Craig was in many ways trying to do with much more success.

      • Lol, it’s not like we’re discussing politics here; you’d think we’d be able to discuss the 40 year old fashion choices of a fictional character without getting heated!

      • The only screentest photos I’ve seen are in evening dress.
        Its likely that Brosnan wore his dinner suit from Remington Steele.
        The pre publicity images are very Remington Steele too. It’s hard to imagine Bond dressing like that.

      • Samantha,
        few time it is mentioned in this blog, the dinner suit in Remington Steele is very similar to one that appeared in Goldeneye.
        I know in the image of classic movie Bond avoid to wear waist-covering, but the simple waist coat would be approved because book Bond in thunderball or Connery in Diamonds are Forever wear slightly fancy dark red cummerbund.
        About rest of details, are you gonna hate puffed pocket square for Bond?

      • That three-piece dinner suit in Remington Steele was only the first one. The Remington Steele dinner suit that was used in the fourth series, which would have been around the time of the Bond screen test, was a double-breasted 6×1 style.

  9. The gun club jacket ensemble has to be one of my favourite looks of the entire franchise. In terms of country attire I think it’s second only to Connery’s barleycorn tweed look (and maybe the half Norfolk jacket at the start of Diamonds are Forever, but I acknowledge that one is something of a guilty pleasure)

    • Absolutely, a very interesting and subtle pattern, the whole color scheme is harmonious, the dark brown knitted tie is Bondian and couldn’t be more appropriate for a safe house in the country. Too bad we don’t see the jacket buttoned. I personally think it’s one of the best sports coat ensemble of the series. And I like the cigarette case making his ultimate apparition, it’s a very elegant accessory. The Goldfinger one is very elegant as well but looks a bit too studied in matching colors, I prefer the Thunderball take on it.

      • I couldn’t decide if I wanted to specify the Goldfinger or Thunderball version, so I decided to leave it up to interpretation! I prefer the Goldfinger shirt, but the Thunderball tie.

  10. You, sir, are my hero. The sloppy tie knots always bugged me. It’s such an easy fix. Plus, it gives Dalton a chance to do some business. When walking into M’s office he could straighten his tie, showing that he’s nervous in the presence of his boss, or that he take M seriously or that Bond means business when he meets with M. A great opportunity to show and not tell conveyed through a small gesture. I will say that in a time of Miami Vice, seeing men in suits was downright radical. I also liked how the staff was dressed on the farm where they were debriefing Koskov. Really set a mood. Keep up the good work.

    • This bugs me too and it seems to be more common than ever in today’s world, maybe in most cases it’s because so few people wear ties and don’t know how to tie them properly. However I see it a lot in older people like in politics/newsreaders for example who have a history of wearing suits every day and I don’t understand how they don’t see how bad it looks. Even a well tied knot will need refined during the day if the material has a smoother surface. With more textured ties like grenadines they tend to stay put if tied well. Even Pierce Brosnan has a tendency to allow his tie knot to slip in real life’ though never as Bond.

  11. With Dalton, they were trying to get back to Book Bond, or rather, reimagine Book Bond in the 1980s. I think they did a good job, and to me, Dalton does a way better job than Mr Craig. I think it is realistic that Book Bond would buy off the peg suits and wear them in a fairly sloppy way. He is a spy after all and does not want to stand out. In the original books, Bond had his clothes tailor made, but that was totally normal in the 1950s. By the 1980s, must suits were off the peg. However we do miss the majesty of the Savile Row suits worn by Sean and Roger, and from a purely sartorial point of view, I think 6/10 is over generous. Especially when Roger got just 5/10 for TSWLM, which contains some beautiful suits.

    • Book Bond would never wear an off-the peg suit. He certainly prefers not to draw attention to himself, but he also places a lot of emphasis on comfort and sophistication.

    • Book Bond still wears bespoke suits, although he seems to own two of them and nothing else besides his dinner suit and the old houndstooth suit he golfs in. It’s also somewhat mitigated by his other idiosyncrasies like wearing short-sleeved shirts and knitted ties with them.

  12. I remember a quote of Ian Ogilvy.
    Ogilvy (Simon Templar in “The return of the Saint” series) was considered as new Bond after Roger Moore,however someone in the production said to him “If they wanted a new Roger Moore, you would be the choice, but they wanted a new Sean Connery”.
    I think that the idea was back to origin to revitalize the brand.

    I’m not sure that Dalton was the ideal actor for this operation,but at the time he look reasonably “Conneryesque” (and the come back of the Aston Martin was amazing).
    For sure i think, the quotes from Connery/007 wardrobe are more than obvious.
    The problem is that this brilliant idea was poorly made due of ready to wear clothes,
    If they had done the same clothes from a good tailor (but i not are sure that in this case Doug Hayward was the right choice for achieve the Connery look) the wardrobe of “The Living Daylights” would have been one of the best of the series.

  13. In anticipation of Review 15, I recently revisited TLD. In the DVD extra material, it is clearly stated that, after Cubby gave the go-ahead, Tim was brought in really late. Directly from doing another production in the US‚ he literary flew in and immediately started shooting the Gibraltar scene, without much preparation. So, there clearly was no time for bespoke tailoring. Still, sloppy details like the tie knot at the office and clip-on braces in Vienna could easily have been avoided. Anyway, I like the 80’s films directed by John Glen, and I am old enough to have seen them in cinemas at the time. Imagine a new great Bond film every second year during the whole of the decade! It was with great anticipation I looked forward to a new Bond actor in 1987. I remember being very excited about the dinner jacket with the velcro feature and the Aston Martin with a matching leather car coat. I also really liked the gun club sports coat, and the tan suit in Tanger. Regarding the Coda, I was so occupied with absorbing John Berry’s great exit, acting as a conductor in his final Bond movie, and being slightly annoyed by the silly whistling gadget, to even notice that the dinner jacket in the dressing room scene was DB.

  14. Just one point of order Matt – I seem to remember you being less that complimentary about Lazenby’s caramel brown casual golf suit with the orange turtleneck which he wore when he was abducted to meet Draco in OHMSS, yet you are much more forgiving of the beige on beige casual outfit worn here. Accepting the fact that both outfits were of their time and susceptible to appear dated, my view is that the execution by Lazenby was much the better choice in terms of both fit and colour. I’ve always had a dislike of beige bomber / harrington jackets notwithstanding their history of being worn by Presley, Sinatra, McQueen et al. For me they are far too evocative of geriatric old geezers who have given up on style shuffling in to their doctor’s office with shapeless, baggy faded jeans and taupe orthopaedic shoes with Velcro straps! Something with better contrast from the strides and better fit would have been a simple yet vast improvement.

    • I don’t like Lazenby’s outfit because the jacket and trousers are a matching suit, and I don’t like orange. I prefer Dalton’s outfit because the jacket and trousers aren’t a perfect match, and the navy polo is nicer than the orange turtleneck. But I do think that Lazenby’s jacket is much nicer.

  15. I always thought it looked like Dalton was wearing the full-length navy cashmere overcoat directly over his shirt in the Bratislava tram scenes, without a suit coat underneath it.

  16. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like anyone pointed it out, so I’d like to add that the shoes Bond chose to wear with the tan bomber and tan pants were boat shoes, as seen when he’s in jail on the Russian airbase!
    They look like your average Sperry’s or Seabago’s in that classic cognac color, very lightweight and comfortable, but I can’t imagine them being all that comfortable for jumping around rooftops in Tangier. Still looks good with the outfit!

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