Dressing For Your Season: Winter


Traditionally, men dress in colours that complement their surroundings. We wear blue and grey in the city, brown and green in the country and black for formal wear. We also dress for the season: dark colours for winter, bright warm colours in spring, light, cool pastels for summer and earth tones for autumn. But most people look their best in one season’s colours, and some image consultants will recommend you only dress in colours for that season. In this article we will look at the winter Bonds: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. These men look their best in traditional winter colours. 

Winter is the colouring most associated with Bond. People with a winter complexion are typically characterised by a cool or olive skin tone and dark hair. Dark brown eyes like on Sean Connery and George Lazenby are most common on winters, but winters can have other eye colours, like Timothy Dalton’s grey-green eyes or Pierce Brosnan’s grey-blue eyes. 

Winters look best in clear colours and high contrast. Winters can wear black and white better than any other complexion because of their own high contrast. They look best in a dark true navy and all shades of grey, thus traditional colours for business-wear and formalwear look best on winters. Sean Connery wore mostly grey suits in his Bond films, and he wore all shades of grey very well. His contrasting shirts also suited him well, in cool, icy tones. He wore mostly white and icy blue shirts, as well as icy cream shirts occasionally. Lazenby followed the same colour palate. There are of course exceptions to this, but when the winter Bonds wear brown tones they are always greyed. When they aren’t so greyed, such as the case is with Lazenby’s rusty Ulster coat, they aren’t as flattering. Though beige and tan aren’t in the winter palate, Dalton and Brosnan wear those colours successfully when they are paired with a darker, richer colour (usually navy) closer to the face to provide contrast.

To read more about what colours flatter your complexion best, Carole Jackson’s bestselling book Color for Men gives advice for men of all colouring. But you need to find a balance of dressing to suit your complexion and dressing in the right colour for the occasion. Later this week we will look at how Roger Moore and Daniel Craig differ from the traditional Bond mould in their colouring.


  1. Very interesting and informative article and a clever break from the traditional analysis of a single outfit.

    I have dark brown hair and blue eyes. Though I’m rather pale, I look my best in dark blues and greys contrasted with lighter shades of the same. But I tend to look washed out in simple black and white.

    Does that make me a winter or something else?

  2. Thank you for your blog. It is meticulous, fascinating and eloquent. How would you define “dark true navy”? How far is it from midnight blue?

    • It’s really just half a shade lighter than midnight blue. Midnight blue is technically slightly towards indigo on the spectrum, while navy is a truer blue.

      • Thanks Matt for the info. Also I was told that winters can wear black successfully, specifically ones with black hair. Is it true that black suits are best worn by winters with black hair?

      • Yes, black suits only look good on winters. But just because a black suit can look good on a winter doesn’t make it a good suit to wear for most occasions.

      • Thanks Matt, and thankfully I to know that while black suits are successfully worn by winters, they are far from nessecarry as a suit to be worn a lot and I agree that navy and dark, light grey and charcoal suits are more versatile

  3. Matt, supposing one has a similar complexion to these winter Bonds, actually blue eyes, white/pale skin and dark brown hair, what color tie would be the most appropriate in daytime and the same question for the evening considering one is wearing a white shirt, a medium to dark grey suit and black/chocolate brown shoes ?

  4. I’m trying to figure out what I am. I’d say I’m similar to you Matt. Maybe a bit more contrast. I’m definitely in between all of the Bonds on contrast. What would you say you are?

      • In my job, as a trial attorney, I’m very limited in what is appropriate in a courtroom. Conservative navy and grey suits are all that is really acceptable in my line of work. For shirts, whites and blues are the norm. I generally wear navy or dark red ties. I’d say half my ties are various conservative navy ties. I really think I’m a mid contrast that leans summer. What would recommend as far as shirts and ties? Darker blue shirts and lighter ties? Should I go with lighter grey suits? Thanks! Love the blog by the way it has really got me back into investing in better menswear!

      • Considering a balance of flattering your complexion and dressing for your profession, the best suits would mid to dark greys that are lighter than charcoal. Shirts of light to mid blue are best, and a mid blue end-on-end that has white mixed in is preferable to a more vivid blue. Wear ties that are lighter than navy, and they can be a mix of navy and a lighter blue or white. Daniel Craig wore some great ties like that in his first three Bond films.

  5. “Though beige and tan aren’t in the winter palate, Dalton and Brosnan wear those colours successfully.”

    See this is where the seasonal palate can get confusing for me. The tan gabardine Tangiers suit with cream shirt in TLD definitely isn’t a Winter outfit, but I think Dalton wears it very well.

  6. Considering that Navy is often considered a flattering colour to men with a Winter Complexion, could the Winter man wear richer Navies (or any shade of Navy) and still flatter them well (or would it slightly wash him out compared to muted and true dark Navies)?

      • Thanks for the clarification as I am a Winter man with a complexion similar to Connery and would want to choose the right shade of navy for me.

        Considering that while Connery and Brosnan are both winter men, could it be that Brosnan’s grey-blue eyes and slightly fairer and cooler skin compared to Connery’s brown eyes and more olive skin, allows Brosnan to look good in both rich and muted navies while Connery looks better in richer navies?

      • I think you have it right. Brosnan indeed has fairer skin and eyes than Connery. His former dark hair places him in the winter category because of the high contrast, but now with his silvery hair he has more of a summer complexion. People can still look good in colours beyond the ones that might suit them best, and it’s often just a matter of taste.

    • For the sake a style and versatility, I would not recommend a black suit. A navy suit, a charcoal suit and a second blue or grey suit in a different shade, pattern and/or texture would be better.

      • And also, flannel or tweed for first choice, heavy herringbone for close second (fall crossover).

      • The colors fit for winter man as same?
        The blue atmosphere belong to Midnight blue or navy . They fit more than grey colors I think.

      • Agreed with Matt. In fact, I try to steer my customers — both MTM and RTW — away from it unless it’s absolutely necessary. The reasoning being you have a lot more flexibility with what shirts, ties, shoes/belts, and pocket squares to wear with blue and grey suits.

        Unless they’re a man of the cloth… then I’m going to assume they’re wearing the traditional black clergy shirt and black shoes/belt with it all the time anyway. :P

  7. Would have an example of a Bond character who is a summer and one who is a spring, please ?
    Also Connery being often very tanned in his Bond movies, Dr No, Thunderball, how can he be a true winter at the time since he has dark black hair and dark tanned skin ? Doesn’t this combination make him a low contrast complexion then, or am I wrong ? Thanks !


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