In the Bratislava winter in The Living Daylights, Timothy Dalton recalls classic James Bond suits with his medium grey flannel suit. It’s a shame we don’t see more of this suit since it’s one of the best-fitting suits in the series, from the little we see of it. It’s clearly not the same as the rest of the Benjamin Simon suits that Dalton wears throughout the film and probably is from a different brand.
What most stands out are the narrow, soft shoulders that flatter Dalton’s build. We don’t see much of the suit, but the jacket is a button two. The jacket also has wide lapels, but with a classic gorge compared to the low gorge on Licence to Kill‘s wide lapels. A publicity still reveals that this suit’s trousers have double reverse pleats instead of the classic English forward pleats that the rest of his suits have. Dalton wears the suit trousers with a black belt.
Dalton wears a white shirt with a spread collar, button cuffs and a placket front. The shirt has many hallmarks of an English shirt, such as a collar stitched 1/4 inch from the edge with a sewn-in interfacing and a narrow placket stitched 3/8 inch from the edge. His tie is solid navy and tied in a four-in-hand knot. His shoes are black cap-toe oxfords.
Over the suit, Dalton wears a dark navy cashmere, full-length overcoat. The overcoat has a 1980’s large shoulders, a low gorge and a low button stance, with three buttons. The low button stance exposes more of the chest, and the low gorge means that folding over the lapels won’t cover the neck, making the coat not as effective at keeping out the cold as it could be. But still, the coat fits well. It has a vent, flapped pockets and three buttons on the cuffs. Though the clothes are not bespoke, they are some of Dalton’s more impressive clothes of the film due to their decent fit and classic Bondian style.
Dalton looks great here. Classic Bond.
Fair enough, it’s not the worst at all from Dalton but surely, if the producers’ aim was to go back to the style of the earlier movies, then it’s a hit and miss result. Why not a grenadine or silk knit tie rather than this nondescript thing? Yes, the suit is definitely one of the better ones we have seen Dalton wear but the coat, from my recall, was pretty unremarkable and very much a late 1980’s look.
Overall, the movie was inconsistant sartorially, a mish mash; a lower gorge on one suit and a higher one on another. Wide lapels, mid width and somewhat narrower ones. The shirts with fuller spread collars like here and ugly 1980’s short collared things with the leather car coat and the beige suit. Of course, Dalton didn’t view this aspect of the character as important. Connery had no innate feel for these things either but he had better guidance.
Dalton looks good here, as he does throughout the first half of The Living Daylights. While I generally agree with David and the clothes are unremarkable, I think it more or less fits the actor and the character, and is of a style I prefer to the some of the more colorful Moore choices and the fussy Brosnan.
Aren’t the lapels a little unusual for 1986? I don’t recall these wide lapels being in fashion at all then. They look more 1930s or 1970s to me.
I also recently saw this movie on the big screen and as mediocre as Dalton looks, he actually is much better dressed and his clothes are much better fitted than just about everyone else around him. Apparently the creative team was exhausted by 1986 (actually, I would argue that exhaustion set in with the Tarzan yell and some of the India sequences in Octopussy, marring an otherwise very good film) and did not have the time, thought, or money to pay attention to clothing.
“Aren’t the lapels a little unusual for 1986? I don’t recall these wide lapels being in fashion at all then. They look more 1930s or 1970s to me.”
Given the wider lapels, tasteful gorge height, and the natural shoulders of the suit, I’d wager that it might be just that – one of Dalton’s own personal suits – by then, 10 years old – thrown on for a quick take.
Because the trousers have pleats they suit most likely isn’t from the 70s. It was a little early for wide lapels, but they were back in full swing by Licence to Kill. The more traditional suits sold in America at the time had natural shoulders and a tasteful gorge height, so I wouldn’t think it’s impossible to a British or Austrian suit to do the same.
The lapels are so wide they cover a significant part of the breast pocket. Is this normal? If so, it seems like a rather impractical piece of design.
The “normal” width for a lapel would be roughly halfway across. These lapels cover about a third of the breast pocket. Typically, the lapels of a button two jacket would cover about a quarter of the breast pocket. What do you find so impractical about this design? The breast pocket isn’t to be used for anything other than a handkerchief, so I can’t agree that the lapel covering the breast pocket is impractical.
Yes, I think you’re right. I guess I’d never really considered the matter before and had just assumed that the breast pocket ought to be fully visible, but there’s no particular reason why it should be. If anything, a bit of lapel overlap could help to keep a pocket square in place.
since I’m in the Pacific rim I’m planning on getting this suit cut for me and taking it back to the states. I really do like this lapel width. what should i tell the tailor when constructing the lapel. Also did you get a chance to look at my pics on what type of colorings I should and shouldn’t wear?
the wannabe Johnny english
These lapels are about 4 inches wide. You would look best in dark, cool colours. So grey and navy.
Is the suit center vent or douvle vented?
I do not know. Because Dalton mostly wears an overcoat over the suit, we do not see the back of the suit. I have not been able to find any still that show the back of the suit either.
In the article you referred to a publicity still in which the suit is featured.
I saw some BTS photos with Maryam D’Abo, but I think is the herringbone one.
Do you have a link to the photos you refer above?