Bond Wardrobe Review 21: Casino Royale (2006)

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There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets, and too many t-shirts

James Bond: Daniel Craig
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume designer: Lindy Hemming
Tailoring: Brioni
Shirts: Brioni and Turnbull & Asser
Footwear: John Lobb Paris

Overview

With Casino Royale, the Bond series was rebooted ‘as if this is the first Bond picture and there never were any others’, in producer Michael G. Wilson’s words in a 2008 interview with Collider. There was almost a clean slate for how to interpret the character, which meant that the costume design also had an opportunity to start fresh.

However, there was also the idea for James Bond to become the familiar character throughout the course of the film. Director Martin Campbell said in a 2005 interview with IGN, ‘He’s just got his 007 stripes when he gets into the story so he’s got some rough edges on him to begin with and hopefully, by the end of it, he’ll become the 007 we all know and love.’ Costume designer Lindy Hemming returned after four years dressing Pierce Brosnan to dress Daniel Craig with this concept. Hemming was already familiar with how the character should dress, so she took the opportunity to introduce these classic Bond elements throughout the film.

Hemming continued the Bond series’ relationship with Brioni one last time in Casino Royale, again dressing Bond in their suits and shirt. Shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser also returned to make Bond’s most important shirt of the film, while many new brands like Sunspel, Ted Baker and John Lobb Paris (as opposed to John Lobb St James’s that Sean Connery wore) were also introduced to the Bond series for the new Bond.

Formal Wear

Despite all the changes in Casino Royale, the dinner jacket is still the look that defines James Bond. It’s also the most important garment in this film in a way we’ve never seen before in a Bond film because the core of the film is centred around a poker table where all the characters dress in black tie. Bond’s awkward introduction to the dinner jacket is a character-defining moment, and because of this Lindy Hemming took an extraordinary amount of care in designing this updated dinner jacket for Daniel Craig. The dinner jacket is black wool, breaking away from Brosnan’s usual midnight blue. It retains Pierce Brosnan’s classic single-breasted, single-button style with wide, roped shoulders but has a much trimmer cut. Like with Brosnan the dinner jacket has peaked lapels, but the lapels have narrower shape with less pronounced points and a higher gorge. The peaked lapels are in an elegant ribbed ottoman silk.

The dinner suit’s trousers have an elegant cut with single reverse pleats and a more elegantly shaped wide leg than the suit trousers have. Overall, the suit has a classic Roman look.

The evening shirt from Turnbull & Asser is one of the best shirts of the series and brings a needed English touch to this outfit. The shirt has no fancy front bib and instead is made entirely out of a special waffle weave cotton to distinguish it from an ordinary white shirt. It has a fly placket, folded on both side so the shirt has an elegant symmetrical front. It’s a shame that 99% of fly fronts are not done this way. It has a point collar with a significant amount of tie space to comfortably fit the bow tie. The double cuffs have an unusual mitred corner to set this shirt apart.

The black silk shantung bow tie is from Turnbull & Asser as well. It’s a brilliant choice to complement the ribbed silk jacket facings with a different kind of textured silk. The shape is narrower than Brosnan’s bow ties, and it looks classic and flattering on Craig. Albert Thurston white moire braces complete the look, and they are appropriately on display when Bond undresses in his hotel room but not at the poker table.

The shoes are the John Lobb ‘Luffield’ two-eyelet derby in black calf. Some purists may not like this choice, but I think they’re perfect. I appreciate the choice of well-shined black calf instead of patent leather. Patent leather may be traditional, but it typically looks cheap. Well-shined calf shoes look more interesting. The derby isn’t a traditional black tie style either, but the plain toe and two-eyelet facings mean that it’s a very clean style that looks appropriate with a dinner jacket.

Lounge Suits and Jackets

Daniel Craig wears snuff suede chukka boots with his linen suit in Casino Royale

The first suit in Casino Royale stands apart from the rest in the film, being made in England rather than Brioni. This navy linen suit, worn for the toilet fight and a cut scene in Pakistan, is difficult to see in the film and difficult to properly judge. It has a trendy mid 2000s English cut, with two buttons in a high stance and sporty details like swelled edges. The trousers have medium-width tapered legs. The suit is difficult to judge on Craig because he’s always moving and wears the jacket unbuttoned. It looks good for how it moves in the film and for placing Bond in a suit for the makeshift gun barrel sequence.

The light blue linen shirt has a strong two-button collar that looks good on Craig unbuttoned, but it is let down with short sleeves. A linen shirt with long sleeves would not wear much differently in hot weather, yet it would look much better under a suit jacket. Short-sleeve shirts again are a poor style choice, but it’s a Fleming Bond detail so in that manner it can be excused. It portrays Bond as a novice suit wearer, which makes sense in the context of the story. He does not wear a tie, which is an effective choice with a casual linen suit. The snuff suede chukka boots for Loake are a nice choice. They’re a rare occurrence of Bond wearing brown shoes with a navy suit, but they work perfectly here.

Other than the first suit, the rest of the suits are made by Brioni, all in the same cut. The jackets have the same cut as a the dinner jacket, but with three buttons on the front in a medium stance. Medium-width high-gorge lapels roll just through the top button, showing the button but opening the jacket down to the middle button. The shoulders with roped sleeve heads are wide to allow the sleeves to drape cleanly over Craig’s muscular arms. They have padding to support the width and to elegantly smooth out the muscular shoulder line, though the padding could have been slightly lighter and the shoulders a hair narrower to make the shoulders look more natural on Craig without losing the refinement of the clean lines. The excess is emphasising Craig’s muscular build as much as the opposite kind of shoulder would, but this way is more traditional. The body has a close fit to make the most of Craig’s physique, but it’s not so tight that it would sacrifice elegance.

The suit trousers are cut with a mid rise, darted front, a wide leg and turn-ups, and most of them take a belt. The style of the trousers was trendy at the time, and the wide leg also helps balance the wide shoulders.

The idea behind this silhouette is to dress a muscular Bond with taste. Craig’s muscular body in Casino Royale—the most extreme body of the Bond series—is difficult to tailor, both in getting the shape of the clothes to follow the body and in making it look elegant. I think that Hemming and Brioni did a good job at achieving a balance, though I think the shoulders and width of the trouser legs could have been attenuated. The biggest problem with the suits is that the sleeves are too long. They make Bond look like he doesn’t know how to wear a suit. While long sleeves makes sense early in the story, because the sleeves are equally long at the end of the film it means that the sleeve length was not chosen for narrative reasons.

The first Brioni suit is the light grey linen suit when Bond arrives in the Bahamas. Craig looks good in light colours, and this suit is a good choice in that regard. It’s an unusual suit for being single-breasted with peaked lapels, a fashion trend that was new at the time and still continues today. I find that peaked lapels work better on smarter suits rather than on more casual suits like this one, but it’s not a bad choice here. He wears this suit with a short-sleeve shirt, but it has an excuse so that when he removes his suit jacket he can look like a parking valet and look fashionable without the jacket. The short-sleeve shirt has interesting detailing, including shoulder straps. The brown suede shoes are a good choice, but the black belt is a mistake with brown shoes.

The following suit in the train sequence is a smarter one: dark navy with multi-coloured narrow-spaced pinstripes. The suiting was trendy at the time but is rather Italian-looking for a man who dresses like he went to ‘Oxford or wherever’. The same goes for the trendy Italian fancy striped white shirt from Brioni. The stripes on suit clash with the stripes on the shirt because they share a similar spacing. The fancy old-school British image Bond portrays is only present through his trousers’ Albert Thurston braces, which do not appear on screen. The neat tie is conservative enough for this image, but lacks any classic British or Bond style. Again, that may be because Bond hasn’t found his style yet, but he should have been dressing more British.

When Bond arrives in Montenegro, he wears a similar suit in a muted navy glen check, this time with a belt instead of braces. I think this is a much stronger suit because the subtle check is more Bondian and more timeless than a multi-coloured stripe. He wears a blue Brioni shirt with grey chalk stripes, another unusual shirt for Bond. The navy-and-white checkerboard tie, however, is a beautiful choice that has an appropriate look for Bond.

Over the suit he wears a navy herringbone raincoat. This coat has beautiful details such as a belt and a flapped breast pocket. The raincoat is an unusual item for Bond, but this is a perfect coat for Bond. It has an appropriately modern look for Bond compared to the traditional tan raincoat.

The three-piece navy track stripe suit for the film’s final scene is a wonderful choice for showing Bond’s maturity at the end of the film. It demonstrates that Bond has become the familiar, fully formed character after the events of this film. It also shows that he no longer wears suits ‘with such disdain’, as Vesper tells him earlier in the film. A three-piece suit is for someone who appreciates his suits, but this character growth would unfortunately be set back in the next Bond film.

The striped navy suit is a Bond classic, and it’s perfect to demonstrate maturity, but I think it’s out of place on Lake Como. Something sportier, like the checked suit he wears earlier in the film, would have been a more appropriate choice while still conveying the same maturity in a three-piece suit. The light blue poplin shirt is a classic Bond look too, and the blue-and-white honeycomb pattern tie subtly recalls Connery’s navy grenadine ties. This suit is ultimately the most successful one in the film, but it’s a shame it’s hardly visible.

The first two suit jackets have double vents, while the last three suits have single vents. It’s an odd choice to use single vents on the smarter suits, since double-vents are slightly smarter than single vents. Brosnan’s suits mostly had double vents, and it’s odd that wasn’t continued for Craig.

The three smarter suits are worn with Brioni shirts that have a semi-spread collar and double cuffs. The shirts are well made, but they lack the flair of an English shirt. The collars sit slightly too high on Craig’s neck, encroaching on his Adam’s apple. It’s a shame that Turnbull & Asser only made the evening shirt, which is significantly more successful than the Brioni shirts. They saved money by using Brioni for most of the formal shirts.

With the last two suits, Craig wears the John Lobb ‘Romsey’ plain-toe two-eyelet chukka boots in black calf. This is a beautiful boot that has more than enough grace to pair with a smart suit.

Casual Attire

Lindy Hemming reinvented Bond’s look through the casual wear. She mainly dressed Pierce Brosnan’s Bond in tailoring, so the most significant change for Craig was in focusing the wardrobe more on casual styles. The casual styles were able to place an emphasis on both a younger, less mature look and a more action-oriented look. I find that the casual clothes have varying levels of success; some are brilliant while others are weak.

Craig’s very first outfit as Bond is a pea coat and cardigan. The outfit is difficult to see because of the dim lighting, dramatic camera angles and black-and-white colouring, but it’s a wonderful choice for a rookie James Bond who isn’t yet a Double-O. In the navy, the pea coat is worn by younger sailors as opposed to officers, so it’s perfect for portraying a less mature version of Bond. The high-collared cardigan is a nice complement to the coat. A dark t-shirt is visible under the cardigan, which would slightly detract from the look if it were more visible.

The Madagascar outfit has many fans, but I find that it’s one of the weakest looks of the Bond series. The loud Liberty-print shirt is uncharacteristic for Bond and makes him stand out too much in the crowd for it to be a practical choice. He draws more attention to himself wearing this shirt than his fellow agent does touching his ear. Layering an unbuttoned shirt over a t-shirt was trendy at the time, but I find the look unnecessarily complicated, and the mostly unbuttoned shirt looks sloppy. Had he just worn the shirt over his bare chest and buttoned the shirt, I think he would have looked much neater. The linen trousers are nice and practical for the scene. The trainers are suitable as well.

Casino Royale Topcoat

One of the film’s best casual looks is a more mature topcoat for when Bond breaks into M’s flat. The topcoat is in a tweed-like barleycorn cloth and has a pleasantly dramatic look when a short jacket could have been equally appropriate. He wears an excellent black polo with a stand collar under the topcoat. His stylish trousers are in a fine black and white check with an overlaid light blue check. The black calf John Lobb Romsey chukka boots are a beautiful choice. Overall this is one of the best smart casual looks of the series by showing how to look sophisticated while dressing casually in the 21st century.

Light blue swim trunks are a Connery Bond classic that return to the series in a fresh way. Before Casino Royale, baggy board shorts had been the popular style of men’s swimwear. Lindy Hemming wanted to show off Craig’s physique, so she put him in trim swim trunks with little coverage and turned him into a sex symbol in a way James Bond never was before. They are the most effective outfit for showing off Craig’s physique, though his polos and t-shirts also excel at this. These trunks changed men’s swim fashions for the better, if only for practical reasons.

The dark navy silk shirt paired with taupe linen trousers at the Ocean Club is a stylish look. Bond came under dressed for the scene, but it shows a less mature Bond who hasn’t yet discovered who he is. I prefer a Bond who is dressed up as much as anyone else is in a scene. I think the outfit is still a success, it would simply be if others in the scene dressed down as much as Bond did.

He wears the same trousers with a brown leather jacket and a grey t-shirt when he runs off to Miami. This is another popular look that I dislike. The leather jacket is stylish and looks good on Craig, but I dislike the way he wears it. The way the t-shirt is longer than the jacket looks sloppy. T-shirts are unflattering around the neck and face and don’t look refined enough for James Bond, but again it portrays a less mature character.

When Bond returns to the Bahamas he’s wearing a navy polo from Sunspel in their ‘Riviera’ mesh. This is one of the best looks of the film, especially due to how it revived the polo from the Connery era and defined it as a staple of Craig’s Bond wardrobe. The updated trim fit turned the polo into a fresh look, while the unique mesh knit with a self collar instead of a ribbed collar also removed many of the garment’s stodgy connotations. Bootcut trousers and suede chukka boots complete the look. The trousers’ cut represents a short-lived trend for men that doesn’t hold up well now, but it doesn’t detract from the polo’s brilliance.

Casino Royale introduces Bond to the black shawl-collar cardigan, which would find a better home in the following film. I had always associated cardigans with older men, but Casino Royale revived the garment’s Steve McQueen image. The grey checked trousers from earlier in the film return with the cardigan for a successful pairing. The grey t-shirt does not match the elegance of the rest of the outfit and brings the look down. Quantum of Solace improves the cardigan with a better shirt.

Craig is dressed in three outfits while recovering after his torture. The first is a navy dressing gown with a white grid check, worn over a light grey V-neck jumper and black t-shirt. The second is a light blue dressing gown worn over a grey t-shirt and navy sweatpants. The third combines the light grey jumper and navy sweatpants and pairs them with a white t-shirt. These outfits are all logical choices, but they lack anything special. James Bond’s outfits should always have a special quality about them, even in situations like this. He needed a better dressing gown or a better shirt than a t-shirt. Though he has just been through a lot, it looks like Le Chiffre completely destroyed Bond’s manhood when he’s dressed in these clothes. We know Le Chiffre didn’t win.

Bond returns to his full self in black swim trunks with white stripes at the sides and a red stripe across the rear in a fit that rivals the blue trunks. These don’t have nearly as much prominence, but they are a superb choice again, especially to show that Bond is still in superb physical shape. The colour just isn’t as good as the blue trunks.

For the film’s climax, Bond wears a mid-blue rugby shirt from Massimo Dutti over a grey t-shirt and navy chinos. The rugby shirt is a superb choice, but the t-shirt is superfluous and detracts from the look tremendously. The polo’s ability to frame the face is compromised by the t-shirt. The chinos are fine, but nothing special. His suede Nike trainers are another detractor from the look. He’s not on a mission, so he should be wearing more stylish shoes like the suede chukka boots he previously wore in the film. There were much nicer suede trainers available if this was the look he was going to have. Bond is in Venice, and there is no reason why could not have found some better clothes there.

His final casual look of the film revives the black shawl-collar cardigan, this time pairing it with a white V-neck t-shirt and khaki chinos. The chinos are a good pairing, but the t-shirt looks like an undershirt. He needs a better shirt, especially to lead us into the final suit of the film.

Other Characters

The casino table is a work of art thanks to all the creative variations of black tie. Each characters at the table has a distinct sartorial personalities in their clothes, no matter how minor the role. Felix Leiter is a good guy because his clothes follow tradition. Le Chiffre is the bad guy because he’s wearing a black shirt and a sumptuous velvet dinner jacket. The attention to detail in every costume around the table contributes to the significance of the casino scenes and to the glamour needed in a Bond film.

Well Done, James

One of the greatest strengths of Casino Royale‘s wardrobe is in how items are reused throughout the film. The John Lobb Romsey chukka boots are worn perfectly with both suits and with casual outfits. The Sunspel t-shirts reappear throughout the film with different outfits. The Ted Baker Larked trousers are used with both the navy silk shirt and the leather jacket in the following scene. The shawl-collar cardigan and the checked trousers are worn together as well as with other items. Casino Royale demonstrates a realistic wardrobe in this manner.

The dinner jacket and its corresponding dress shirt are some of the best in the series. The film stresses the importance of this outfit, and Lindy Hemming came up with a truly exceptional look.

Lindy Hemming dresses Craig in many blues throughout the film not only because it’s the most Bondian colour but also to bring out his blue eyes. She put Craig in colours that make him look his best.

Not Perfected Yet

Many of the issues with the wardrobe are because James Bond’s personality was not perfected yet and the wardrobe reflects this. However, Bond should have already discovered his sense of style long before the age of 38 and should not have needed the events of this film to learn how to dress. While the stylistic growth follows the film’s character development, it makes little sense overall.

The weakest casual looks are too sloppy for a 38-year-old military man. The t-shirts are overused, while the now-iconic polo has only one brief scene. Though most of the t-shirts are luxurious t-shirts from Sunspel, that luxury doesn’t translate to an appropriate look for Bond. The t-shirts have a place, but their use should have been limited. In the t-shirts he doesn’t look like he’s just getting started, he looks like he has given up.

The sloppiness also comes from an excessive fullness in many of the trousers, from suit trousers to casual trousers. Baggy trousers were still popular for men in 2006, but Craig takes them to extremes, perhaps to comfortably fit his muscular legs.

Removing his dinner jacket at the casino table is an etiquette mistake and a cocky move a properly matured James Bond would never have made. However, Bond should have known not to do this by the time he was a teenager.

The too-trendy wrap-around Persol sunglasses don’t hold up so well today, though they don’t necessarily look bad on Craig.

There are numerous smaller details that detract from the wardrobe, like the suit jacket sleeves being too long, the black belt with brown shoes and the poorly paired striped shirt with a striped suit. I don’t believe that these were to show Bond making mistakes.

Verdict

There are some brilliant looks in Casino Royale, like the dinner jacket, the Sunspel Riviera polo, the blue swim trunks, the navy raincoat, the barleycorn topcoat. The best of this wardrobe is amongst the best of the series. But there are numerous lackluster and mundane looks as well. There was too much emphasis on showing Bond’s growth through his clothes, particularly as a 38-year-old man should already have been dressing like a mature adult from a much younger age based on his schooling and naval experience. There’s little to suggest that Bond’s appreciation for fine clothes—and three-piece suits—should have come from his first mission as a Double-O . The symbolism in the wardrobe is too heavy handed, even if it resulted in a number of exceptional outfits.

Rating: 6/10

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

42 COMMENTS

  1. Great write-up as always! Any plans to take a closer look at the other guests’ dinner suits? I’d love to see more attention to minor characters once you’ve covered all the films.

  2. From a sartorial standpoint, his clothing evolution in reverse film order (NTTD -> CR) would make more sense as going from someone who doesn’t know how to dress to developing some taste. Over time, shedding the collar gaps, fussy choices, tight fits, unbalanced details (low rise trousers), etc.

  3. I think at the time they were trying to create a more down-and-dirty Bond which means less polished, and possibly less stylish looks. I think what they did with Mr Craig is very similar to what they tried to do with Timothy Dalton, which was to create a more gritty Bond who cared less about tailoring. I suppose this was a necessary corrective in some ways to Pierce and Roger, who tended to look overdressed in many situations?
    By the way, what’s the deal with Mr Craig and braces? He seems to really like them, although I have always found that a properly fitting pair of trousers don’t need any extra suspension to keep them up. I don’t think any other Bond ever wears them, or am I wrong?

    • I find that braces offers a completely different feel to other methods of trouser support. In my experience, no other means of support keeps trousers consistently at a desired height. They are also more comfortable because they don’t require trousers to be as tight. What do you mean by ‘properly fitting pair of trousers’? No person’s waist size remains exactly the same throughout the day. Strap side adjusters can accommodate this change, but they don’t work as well as braces. Dalton also wears braces.

      • That’s interesting. To be honest, I have only worn braces a handful of times. The first pair, I found, dug into my collar bones and on the other occasion they just didn’t seem necessary. I’ve never noticed my trousers getting tighter or looser as the day progresses but maybe I should be less closed minded and try braces again. In which movie does Dalton wear braces?

      • Braces are definitely a great method of support, and often more comfortable than a belt. There’s a lot to be said for them including the ‘keeping them consistently at a desired height’ aspect. If I have trousers made or tailored, I invariably have buttons put in the waistband for the use of braces.

        And they work a LOT better than a belt when wearing a waistcoat.

      • I think braces are a great choice for Bond. In motion, the head and shoulders swivel to aim wherever you’re about to go, and the legs follow. Then the waist and legs have to urge the trousers to keep up. Wearing braces, the trousers already “know where you’re going” and ease rather than hinder the lower body’s movement. For a man of action they seems ideal, and to the skeptical I suggest giving them a try at your next formal dance if not before.

  4. Interesting take! There are some stunners, standouts for me being the unique raincoat, the navy-charcoal suit, and of course the dinner suit, but there are an awful lot of tee shirts. I think the point would have been made equally as well if most of the tees were replaces with polos, which still look elegant but don’t reach that formal height we associate with Bond. So instead of reaching for the polo most of the time with a few suits now and then, it became mostly suits with a few polos by the end.

  5. The dinner jacket is one of my least favourites in the series. The width of the shoulders, the extensive padding and the too long sleeves just makes him look like a school boy.

  6. I’ve nothing to add except for my thanks Matt. I bow down to your knowledge and appreciate the effort you go to. Thankyou.

  7. In case anyone else has been wondering, here are Matt’s rankings for all Bond films entering the Craig Era:
    1. Dr. No 9
    2. FRWL 9
    3. Goldfinger 10
    4. Thunderball 10
    5. YOLT 6
    6. OHMSS 8
    7. DAF 6
    8. L&LD 7
    9. TMWTGG 8
    10. TSWLM 5
    11. Moonraker 6
    12. FYEO 9
    13. Octopussy 7
    14. AVTK 8
    15. TLD 6
    16. LTK 4
    17. GoldenEye 7
    18. TND 7
    19. TWINE 9
    20. DAD 7
    21. Casino Royale 6

  8. Nicely written. I’d have said 8 however because I liked how the 3 piece at the end brought Bond full circle. The suit meeting Mathis is excellent and I especially like the suit on the train.

  9. At the time of Casino Royale, it wasn’t all that unheard of for men to wear t-shirts under polos and button ups where the top of the t-shirt neckline could be seen. Like boot cut pants, that “style” choice largely went away as clothing styles got tighter leaving little to no room for a t-shirt. And, less room for pants with wider leg openings. Not that I am a style icon, but I worn them that way back then as well.

    T-shirts are a staple for most men. I would venture to guess that most men own more t-shirts than collared shirts. Though, that likely has little to do with style and more to do with comfort. For instance, some jobs or places of employment may require a collared shirts. With a t-shirt, one can take a nap in a t-shirt or toss a leather jacket atop it and save Miami Airport. :).

    Many of the casual looks in the film weren’t all that uncommon at the time. Having said that, not many of us owned a smart looking cardigan like we do now. I wonder if the use of t-shirts under the Armani jacket was more about the task he was about to undertake. Like in the airport scene. A polo might not have fit the narrative of that type fight with Carlos which also involved jumping off a mobile staircase onto the gas tanker.

    I know you aren’t a fan of t-shirts, Matt. They don’t fit your style palate. It is that way for others too. What is great about how the style moves forward into QoS is that Bond doesn’t really appear in a t-shirt, I don’t think. So that pesky t-shirt problem didn’t last too long. I think it shows back up next really in NTTD, right?

  10. I will file a minority report here but I thought the 3 piece suit at the end of the movie was quite overrated. It had a bit of a gangster look to it, and I didn’t like the combination with the collar and bulky tie knot.

    • I second this opinion. I’m not sure I can properly say why, but this is my least favourite suit of the film. There’s something about the waistcoat which doesn’t work for me which is odd considering I am a three-piece suit kind of guy 9 times out of 10. It’s a shame Quantum of Solace magically removed the waistcoat in the follow up scene, because that ensemble would probably have ended up being my single favourite of the franchise.

      • As I stated I disliked it as well. The ending is such an iconic moment but is a bit wasted because of that. I guess it can be because of several factors : -the cloth is too much business/boardroom/banker like. Not appropriate for the environment at all, even Mr White outfit is more suitable. -the fit of the suit is poor : too long sleeves and the waistcoat doesn’t seem fitted enough on Craig’s chest. Also Craig being the shortest of the Bonds would have looked better with a waistcoat with less buttons and a deeper opening. -finally, the shirt collar looks much bigger and stiffer than the shirt collars worn with the suits before in the train/Montenegro. It seems to overwhelm Craig a bit and doesn’t look comfortable. The tie color also matches the shirt color way too much. It’s almost as if they didn’t have time to fit the suit properly !

      • Its very likely. Maybe it’s this + the bulkier tie knot that gave me this impression.
        Matt, you never mentioned the brief seconds in which we can see Craig’s Bond in a suit and tie in the end of the title sequence of CR. Was he wearing the Montenegro suit, or another suit altogether ? I seem to remember a striped tie ?

    • My least favourite suit in the film is the grey linen in The Bahamas. OK we can agree that Bond is not fully formed yet but here was an opportunity for a really cool summer suit and they botched it with a jacket that he seems to be swimming in! I take the point that the outfit is partly mitigated once the jacket is removed which allows Bond to quickly masquerade as a parking valet but even then the strides are too long! Missed opportunity to perhaps even grab a bit of inspiration from Thunderball somehow (silvery sharkskin?) or tan linen a la TWINE but this one just didn’t work at all for me.
      I have a grey linen suit myself but have worn it very rarely. When a casual summer suit is needed I can grab a tan linen or white linen for that Miami Vice look but grey turns out to be an odd choice for a linen summer suit.

      • I agree that grey is an odd choice for linen. The grey linen suit has the same close fit through the body and the same wide shoulders as the wool suits and dinner suit, but it’s the sleeves that are problematic. It looks like the sleeves may have been cut fuller and longer to help them drape better. Some tailors make linen sleeves longer to account for the wrinkling that makes them shorter, yet they didn’t wrinkle enough in this scene for that to be the case. The drape of the linen may also be making the suit look worse than the others.

  11. Matt, you definitely have a strong bias against t-shirts ! I agree they are a bit overused in the film, especially when providing a totally unnecessary (and ugly) layer like under the blue polo in Venice or under the shirt in Madagascar, but the other times they’re used they fit the setting perfectly. The first two Brioni suits both had a rather interesting look to me, subtles patterns, a bit different than the usual « Bondian » color combinations but I thought they worked perfectly with the scene, setting and were pretty flattering on Craig, minus the too long sleeves and heavy padding. I liked the Brioni shirts as well, I thought a bit of change from the usual white and blue solid poplins was a good idea. I thought their collar were flattering as well. The QoS TF collar seemed a bit too big for Craig’s chiseled face and short hair. The dinner jacket ensemble is definitely one of the best of the series, traditional and modern at the same time. I was disappointed by the last suit however, the choice seems bland and uninspired, and belonged in a boardroom or should have been used for an important meeting. They missed a great opportunity to pay an homage to the Goldfinger 3-piece suit here ! The location was ideal. A medium grey semi solid or a grey/navy flannel could have worked as well. Tredstone, good point !
    This whole concept of Bond growing through the movie was a great idea script wise, but I think by including the costume design in it they just made the job harder for Lindy Hemming. Besides, Bonds first real lounge suit in the train looks immaculate, it wouldn’t make sense for Vesper to give him a proper dinner suit if Bond already knows how to dress/wear a suit properly. But it allowed the director to give us a great scene where both main characters gave each other their proper costumes for the climax that is the poker game, so in the end, I am happy the scene wasn’t cut !

    • I believe this is the first film where Bond is wearing a t-shirt for its style. Perhaps if there were one or two t-shirts, that would be okay. But Bond is wearing them throughout the film. Here they have become a key part of Bond’s style, and I think that is wrong.

      • Fair enough, I see your point. As much as a I am a 1950s-1960s fan, I think that tshirts, as well as jeans, have become so mainstream today that Bond wearing them seems pretty normal to me. In the 1960s, it would have been pretty different alright. As long as their use is utilitarian and as long as Bond doesn’t wear the fashionable kind of tshirts and jeans, it’s alright for me.

    • Some good points made here Le Chiffre and I agree with your criticism of Vesper insinuating he doesn’t know how to dress when he was looking absolutely fine on the train.
      Where our opinions differ is that for me that whole scene with the clothes in the hotel doesn’t work and comes off as shoe horned in. If MI6 was providing Bond with a dinner suit why didn’t they give it to him? Why did they have a girl from the Treasury give it to him?
      “It’s tailored!”
      “I sized you up …”
      If this is to be taken literally it’s ridiculous to think she could provide a tailor with exact measurements on sight alone having just met him. If it’s to be taken as humour it still doesn’t work as it’s fallacious. And to torture the logic even further. Bond has somehow acquired an evening gown for Vesper? He couldn’t get his own dinner suit but he had the time to go and pick up her kit?
      It’s just one of those things that irk me about the canon, particularly in the Craig era where in so many ways the producers have aimed at a more realistic Bond living in a more realistic (relative of course) universe, and yet there are gaping flaws in the internal logic and consistency of the plots which often serve.no purpose at all and could have been easily remedied or just edited out.

  12. Tshirts seem to be have been overused in Casino Royale, but in Craig’s other Bond movies they seem to have disappeared. Replacing them with polos in QoS and Spectre was probably a good idea. I never liked the henleys in NTTD and think they look much worse than a simple t-shirt.

    • Agreed here. For me, even in today’s very casual world I only seem to wear t shirts at home, the beach or the pool, or maybe doing the school run or a quick trip to the supermarket but any occasion more formal than that and I’m at least getting into a polo. Something about a collar just elevates an outfit even if you’re in shorts and trainers! I’ve never understood the point of a Henley at all. Take a t shirt, slash the front and put buttons on … it’s still a T shirt. Reminds me of some sort of archaic underwear, like the top half of an old long Johns set!

      • Exactly, I think of that cowboy look for sleeping, the all red kind ! Even John Wayne or Jimmy Stewart couldn’t make it look cool !

      • Spot on Le Chiffre. You’ll probably also recall Clint Eastwood on ‘For A Few Dollars More’ when he kicks the weakling out of the hotel room: “You forgot these – I don’t wear ‘em!”

      • When I was young, what they’re calling “Henley’s” now, we called “Grand Dad vests”, so your “long Johns” comment seems apt. I certainly wouldn’t wear one.

  13. This is a wonderfully detailed review of the wardrobe in “Casino Royale.” It’s fascinating to see how the clothing not only enhances Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Bond but also mirrors his evolution throughout the film. The focus on both formal and casual attire, and how these choices relate to Bond’s character development, really shows the thoughtfulness behind the costume design. I appreciate your insights on how the outfits serve as both a nod to Bond’s heritage and a tool for character storytelling.

      • A jacket is part of the dress code, so it is expected to be worn. In this context, removing one’s jacket would be akin to exposing one’s undergarments. Someone with James Bond’s background would have known not to do this and would be appalled if someone else did it.

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