Though Pierce Brosnan didn’t go too far into oversized 1990s fashions in his tailoring, the dark blue linen shirt he wears in Tomorrow Never Dies has a fashionably full fit. A full fit is more practical in hot weather than today’s popular slim-fit is. However, Brosnan’s shirt is simply too large with the shoulder seam down his arms. The shirt’s point collar with edge stitching was fashionable at the time, and other details include square 1-button cuffs, a button-through breast pocket on the left, no front placket, shoulder pleats and a rounded hem. The shirt is made by Angelo Litrico. The black cotton and lyrca blend jogging trousers have an elasticated waist. The blue plimsoll trainers are made by Trax, and Brosnan wears them without socks. This outfit is the low point in Brosnan’s Bond clothing. It could have been done much better, simply with a better fitting shirt and chinos instead of stretch trousers.
This outfit in both its entirety and just the shirt alone have been auctioned at Bonhams in Knightsbridge. On 6 March 2007 the shirt sold for £660. On 16 June 2009 the whole outfit sold for £1,200 and the shirt alone sold for £1080.
Is it possible that the scene is meant to convey that the clothes he is wearing simply aren’t his? They do pick him up from scuba diving in which he expected to be gotten back after dark. My guess is that the shirt purposely doesn’t fit well to illustrate they just threw him some rags and a subtle jab by Carver to make him look less powerful via clothing.
The yacht clothes given to Connery in NSNA looked too much/entirely like his own. This time the getup given to Brosnan looks nothing like anything he would pack. I definitely agree that this is his sartorial low point, but at least it’s not Bond’s fault.
For some reason I always thought those were weird black linen pants. Are these the sort of trousers that belong to a jogging suit?
It’s possible that Bond could have packed his own clothes. Often in the Bond series when Bond wears someone else’s clothes they show it. The shirt’s fit was fashionable in the 90s. Though today it doesn’t look good, you may have thought differently 16 years ago.
They don’t have to be part of a jogging suit, but they are out of place with a linen shirt. The auction listing called them jogging trousers, and I don’t know anything better to call them.
It’s funny how we often try to find excuses when Bond is poorly dressed ! I myself remembered that he was diving too before being captured-and before that he just jumped of an airplane, obviously without any luggage. So this time we can perhaps clearly say that it’s not his own clothes, after all.
The problem I have in term of clothing with Brosnan’s Bond movies, or at least with the first two, is that the outfits are of inequal quality. It’s often divided between :
-the tailored clothing : Brioni lounge and dinner suits that are impeccable, so are the shirts and ties
-clothing made for particular situations (skiing, diving, mountain climbing…), and it’s too often some military-style outfits or, like in Goldeneye at the end, a real military outfit.
The gap in terms of sartorial quality and of look is too big, and there is almost nothing between the two styles, no decent “casual clothing” at all, at least in the first two movies. It improved with the years all right, and there are some nice casual outfits in DAD, even if Brosnan was quite out of shape.
Here the shirt he wore in TWINE with the linen suit would have been a lot better, paired with simple trousers or why not jeans since he drives a motorcycle after. The jogging trousers alone makes the outfit uglier than Connery’s “business casual” one, in my opinion !
Another note, Brosnan seems quite fit in this scene -I know it’s not like Connery or Craig, but whatever-, with shoulders not very large but squared. I guess it’s like Cary Grant’ physique : a big face and neck, but shoulders not proportionnate to the face, so straight padded shoulders resolve the problem.
Do you think that my analysis is correct, Matt ?
Brosnan has a pack on his back that could fit a change of clothes.
Shirts should never have shoulder padding. The best solution is just to have shoulders that fit well and a straight cut through the body. The best casual outfits he wears are the ones with jumpers in GoldenEye and Die Another Day. At least in GoldenEye he benefits from the chunkiness of the cable-knit jumper.
About padded shoulders, I only meant the jacket’s shoulders of course. I can’t imagine what a shirt with padded shoulders would look like !
Women in the 80s often wore them, and I still see them occasionally. Brosnan does well with padded shoulders in his jackets.
Funny thing: Michael Douglas’ shirts in Wall Street had shoulder padding to make him look more powerful.
I’d never thought of this before. I fully concur with your analysis of the gap.
Matt, I look forward to any future reviews you write on Brosnan’s tactical garb -esp from the GE and TND endings!
Great point about Brosnan’s clothes. At times it was either super-luxe Italian lounge suits or military garb. I’m so glad that they’ve managed to keep Craig’s Bond out of commando clothing. For me, Brosnan’a tactical outfits in Goldeneye (beginning and end), TND and DAD are the sartorial low point of the entire series (1989’s LTK aside, of course).
Have you covered the one piece denim dungarees Connery wore in similar circumstances when picked up whilst diving in NSNA?
Definitely not his clothes then… ;)
IIRC, the overalls that Connery wore in NSNA were borrowed from the women who “caught” him while fishing! Surely something I’d never in a million years have thought I’d see – Connery’s Bond wearing women’s clothes! ;-)
Hmm… For some reason I’m beginning to think that If indeed Bond had clothes in his backpack, maybe they were chosen by Jack Wade as some sort of joke…
I assumed that Bond had brought the change of clothes with him, as he would dump the scuba gear after completing his recon of the ship and heading for dry land..
As for the pants, I mean, really – just looking at the film they look okay. I like to think that I’m a fairly clothes-conscious guy and it never occurred to me that they were poly blend track pants. They don’t look fantastic, but they don’t look terrible either.
As for the shirt’s fit that was indeed the style back then – in fact, I had an almost identical shirt in the same colour from Banana Republic. Interestingly, I pulled it out of storage after rewatching TND a couple of years ago, and I couldn’t believe how ill-fitting and baggy it was compared to today’s shirts. Yet at the time I got loads of compliments on it!
According to Raymond Benson’s novelization of Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond has to “borrow” these clothes from one of the Vietnamese sailors killed by Stamper aboard Wai Lin’s boat.
From pg. 162:
“They were allowed to put on dry clothes, then Bond and Wai Lin were handcuffed together. Her own clothes had been aboard the ship– black trousers, a white T-shirt, a red Prada jacket, and tennis shoes. Bond had to make do with a dead sailor’s blue linen shirt, black trousers, and tennis shoes that were a bit too small.”
Re: this particular outfit, yes, definitely Brosnan’s all time low. I thought that in 1997 and I still think it now. It’s not a good Bond look at all. It’s a moot point about whether or not the clothes are his or not as the writers and producers deliberately set up a situation which will present him out of his usual context. It’s not as if they have to do this. Columbo gave Bond clothing in “FYEO” which perfectly matched his own style.
Of course, perhaps, this is not so “realistic” but (we know my opinion on this spurious idea!) it does overcome the potential for the outfit to jar on the viewer.
As for his combat ensembles, I wonder are these going to be Brosnan’s version of Moore’s detested safari outfits? Personally, I could take or leave them. Not particularly offensive but yes, it is interesting that, aside from these combat get ups he didn’t wear a lot of casual outfits. I agree with Matt that the “Goldeneye” cable knit sweater was excellent and probably one of Brosnan’s high points sartorially. I seem to recall a nice short sleeve shirt (in cream I think) with a camp collar which he wore in “Die Another Day” as a homage (I presume) to Connery’s shirts of this style in “Thunderball” and “You Only Live Twice”.
Not even his clothes – and he still looks like a banker.
A banker on holiday in the Bahamas, but a banker just the same.
I don’t really understand this banker etiquette people put on Brosnan. Allright, he poses as a banker twice in two different movies. But here I don’t see the connexion. He just looks determined.
Have people completely forgot the entire story or was it just a really long time since people saw the movie?
The backpack Bond is wearing contains his parachute and next to it are the two oxygen tanks. After dropping down in the water the backpack disappears (a blooper). And it is fairly safe to assume that Bond never would pack a change of clothes when doing a HALO-jump with a following diving session! And to what point or purpose? Wade specified that he would arrange a pick-up after dark.
It is obvious that the clothes are given to Bond aboard Wai Lin’s fishing boat, hence the poor fit.
So let’s end that discussion about this being an all point low of the series since they are definitely not Bond’s own clothes.
A low point, to be sure. Shamefully, I sported a few of these pirate shirts back in the day. Some of them were even in microfiber, if shiny polyester was called that back then. The only defence I can offer is that they balanced out the baggy trousers and jeans infesting the fashion scene. Why baggy trousers require lycra is beyond me, though. The tactical gear Brosnan was prone to appear in doesn’t have many fans, but at least it saved a few Brioni suits.
I thought that was the shirt they got for him from C&A? I remember Lindy Hemming talking about it in an interview at the time.
I was freeze-framing this scene out of boredom and I came across this:
He appears to be wearing low-cut underwear and a belt. Doesn’t that ruin the whole purpose of wearing such a dress shirt for cooling’s sake?
Easy look to pull off. Its definitely not the look to go for, but if youre traveling and you stop in some poor country s village where people look weird at you if you are dressed nicer or even give you trouble, its a good outfit to blend in if you go to store to buy a sandwich. Also a real spy would actually wear something like this in some places. Plus, we do not know if those are Bonds personal clothes or not, but he wear them with confidence and thats a BIG point of dressing in Bond style. Confidence.
A few points:
1. Given Lindy Hemming’s comments on this outfit in her recent interview with The Bond Experience about the clothing resembling Asian workwear, it would suggest that, yes, the clothes are not Bond’s but were given to him by his captors.
2. Even if he did have a change of gear on him, it’s unlikely the bad guys would have let him grab it.
3. Regardless of the fit, Pierce still looks damn good!