We will never know for sure how much say any of the James Bond actors have had over the clothes they wear in the character, but some have provided more input than others. The Bond films have costume designers to make the final call on what Bond wears on screen, and some directors like Terence Young had a large input as to what Bond wears, but the Bond actors have at times also had a say in what the character should wear.
Daniel Craig has likely provided the most input of any Bond actor in his on-screen wardrobe. Craig had little say over his wardrobe in his first two Bond films, but since Skyfall he has brought much of his personal taste to Bond. He has a strong personal interest in clothing, and it must be fun for him to choose the clothes he can wear on screen, especially since he doesn’t have to pay for the clothes.
Despite a new costume designer—Suttirat Anne Larlarb—for Bond 25, the suits that Daniel Craig will be wearing for the film are hardly any different than what he wore in Spectre. This is evidence that Daniel Craig is making some of the choices with his Bond wardrobe, since we have seen significant wardrobe changes over Daniel Craig’s first three Bond films, each with a different costume designer. Tom Ford is staying on because of the product placement deal they have with the production, but the suit is not a Tom Ford signature style and such a specific style would have no reason to appear again in Bond 25 if it weren’t Craig’s choice.
Skyfall and Spectre‘s costume designer Jany Temime attributed the tight fit of Daniel Craig’s suits to his preference, saying in an official videoblog for Skyfall, “Daniel wanted suits which were very near his body.” This matches how he wears his suits in his personal life. The suits may not have been so tight if Daniel Craig did not request them to be so, and we may have seen a more typical Tom Ford fit like Craig wears in Quantum of Solace.
Daniel Craig himself has introduced a number of his favourite clothing brands to Bond. As Zane Olive of New York’s Billy Reid store told The Bond Experience, the Billy Reid peacoat in Skyfall was an item he owned before Skyfall, and he asked to include it in the film. Zane said that Billy Reid has also provided a jacket for Bond 25. For Spectre, Daniel Craig brought in Brunello Cucinelli, a favourite brand of his at the time. He wore a light brown jacket and khaki trousers from the brand, which likely replaced an unused khaki suit that Tom Ford made for the film. Craig was spotted wearing Vuarnet 06 sunglasses on the street in New York last year, and now they are going to be featured in Bond 25. Other brands from Temime’s films, like Crockett & Jones and N.Peal are returning for Bond 25. We don’t know if these are Craig’s choices or the new costume designer wanting to stick with a known quantity.
Roger Moore also provided significant input in what he wore as James Bond. For his role that immediately preceded Bond, Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders!, he designed his own wardrobe. He was even the director of cloth merchant Pearson + Foster, which provided the cloths for both his and Tony Curtis’ clothes in The Persuaders!. When Moore became Bond, the look of his wardrobe was sobered from what he wore before. If he was given free rein for Bond, we likely would have seen something flashier like what he wore in The Persuaders!. But he still brought in his long-time tailor Cyril Castle from both The Saint and The Persuaders! to tailor his Bond films. He also used his shirtmaker Frank Foster, who already had a relationship with the Bond films and made shirts for Sean Connery, George Lazenby and many supporting actors.
Moore wore his Bond clothes in his personal life, partly because he liked the clothes and partly because he didn’t want to spend money on clothes when perfectly excellent clothing to his own taste was made for him to wear as Bond. Roger Moore said on the DVD commentary for The Man with the Golden Gun of the scene in Saida’s dressing room about not being able to take home a suit from the film:
“This actually is, this little set that we were shooting in, and this was the last sequence we shot in filming. And so this nice blue suit that I was looking forward to taking home from the wardrobe after shooting, Cubby [Broccoli, the producer] appeared near the edge of the top of the set with a bucket of paste and threw it all over me, ruining my suit.”
When Moore became a tax exile after The Man with the Golden Gun and could no longer visit Cyril Castle, he found a tailor in Italy called Angelo Roma. Later he used celebrity tailor Douglas Hayward. These tailors made his clothes for his Bond films and other films, and later Hayward made Moore’s clothes—many blue blazers—for his personal wardrobe. Moore did not just choose his tailors; he stopped wearing Gucci shoes for Bond after The Spy Who Loved Me and personally brought in Ferragamo for Moonraker.
Sean Connery did not care much about his clothes as Bond. He had purchased many bespoke clothes of his own, but likely because it was expected of someone of his fame and fortune in the UK. At the time he became Bond he was said to have been “rough around the edges” and wasn’t comfortable wearing a suit. Director Terence Young brought Connery to his favourite clothiers: Anthony Sinclair, Turnbull & Asser and Lanvin. Connery didn’t have the same appreciation as Young did for the fine bespoke suits and paid his accountant with his Bond suits instead of wearing them.
George Lazenby did not even want to wear suits for Bond because he wanted to dress like the younger generation to attract the young women he was interested in. Thankfully he had no say in his Bond wardrobe or we could have ended up with a hippie Bond instead of one dressed in many beautiful bespoke suits and jackets.
Timothy Dalton was at the mercy of his costume designers, and because of his last-minute casting for The Living Daylights he had to wear whatever ready-to-wear suits the costume designer found for him. For Licence to Kill he was able to provide important input. In a 1989 interview with Garth Pearce, Dalton said he didn’t want to wear the pastel colours that costume designer Jodie Tillen wanted to dress him in. Dalton told Pearce, “The clothes say so much about Bond. He’s got a naval background, so he needs a strong, simple colour like dark blue.” Thanks to Dalton’s advice, Jodie Tillen did not dress Bond in the same colours that she dressed the characters on Miami Vice, but she still incorporated the relaxed looks of the era.
For Pierce Brosnan in his four Bond films, costume designer Lindy Hemming had full control over his wardrobe. She has discussed her choices for Brosnan’s clothes at length. Some elements of his wardrobe in GoldenEye had similarities to what he wore previously in Remington Steele, such as a black peaked lapel dinner suit with a low-cut waistcoat and the use of pocket squares, but it is unknown if Brosnan had any input in that despite the similarities.