How I Would Dress James Bond


I am often asked how I, Matt Spaiser, would dress James Bond if I were the costume designer of a Bond film. Particularly since I was unhappy with the way Daniel Craig’s suits fit in Skyfall and Spectre, people ask me how I would do things differently. Naturally, I have some definite ideas about how James Bond should dress.

Whenever a correction needs to be made in James Bond, people say to go back to the original source material—Ian Fleming’s work. However, if Bond on film dressed exactly like Bond in the books did, the wardrobe would be very limited and boring, not to mention rather unstylish. I would instead go back to Sean Connery’s Bond films and use him as a template. The approach of complex simplicity where the overall outfits seem simple but the fine details are crucial would be the approach I would follow when dressing Bond. Connery’s Bond’s costume was directly inspired by Fleming’s Bond but director Terence Young refined his wardrobe so he came across as the sophisticated character he is meant to be.

Sourcing the Clothes

I would do my best to dress James Bond again in English bespoke suits to bring Bond back to his origins—he wears bespoke English suits in 12 of the first 14 Bond films. A View to a Kill is the last film that features James Bond wearing English bespoke tailoring. Bond’s creator Ian Fleming was a customer of a bespoke tailor and his character most certainly would have been one too. In Craig’s era, Bond in bespoke still fits with the character. In Casino Royale in 2006, Vesper Lynd looks at Bond’s clothes and says, “by the cut of your suit, you went to Oxford or wherever. Naturally you think human beings dress like that.” She doesn’t think Bond is wearing Brioni (which he is), she thinks he is wearing a bespoke suit from an English tailor.

Octopussy Grey Rope Stripe

Bond is also the world’s best-known representative of the United Kingdom and should be dressed by his own country, not an Italian or American company. There are, however, a few problems with getting Bond back in bespoke suits: quantity and cost. Because of greater demands in action scenes since Roger Moore was James Bond, more copies of suits are needed now than they were before. Casino Royale‘s costume designer Lindy Hemming told about the quantities of suits required for filming:

So we would have something like 25 suits for that scene because there’s Bond at the table and he always has to be immaculate and you have to have about five (suits) to inter change for that – no creases in the bum and all that sort of stuff. (laughs). And then there’s a huge fight sequences where he’s falling down the stairs. And then he gets kidnapped and driven away into the night and taken to be tortured and he has his clothes cut off before he gets tortured. So there are about 25 suits that are for him and his different stunt doubles.

Getting 25 copies of just one suit from a bespoke tailor is not feasible for a film production, and that is one reason why Lindy Hemming went to Brioni for the five James Bond films she worked on as costume designer. Brioni could quickly make the suits in a large-scale-production factory. Bespoke tailors have small workshops, not factories. And because bespoke tailors do not produce and sell clothes on the kind of scale that larger brands like Brioni and Tom Ford do, most would not be able to afford to provide bespoke suits free to the film production in exchange for their name in the credits and ability to use James Bond in advertising. Just as Turnbull & Asser charged the Bond films for their shirts, most Savile Row tailors probably have the same pride in their names that they would likely also charge for the Bond films for the suits they make. They would likely need to hire extra temporary staff to produce all the clothes quick enough for the film.

Simon Crompton wrote on his blog Permanent Style that the average Savile Row suit costs £4800, so the average bespoke suit price from English tailors overall would be lower. And the Bond films would likely not be charged the full price when purchasing so many suits. But 25 bespoke suits at a cost of, perhaps, £4000 each would be £100,000, and that is not likely where the Bond producers want so much of their budget to go for only part of one outfit.

I would propose using a combination of bespoke and made-to-measure suits to minimise costs. Bespoke suits could be used for non-action scenes and hero shorts when minimal stress is placed on the suits, whilst for the action scenes Bond and the stuntmen would wear made-to-measure suits, produced in the same manner as all of Bond’s suits are produced now. The bespoke and made-to-measure suits would be made in the same style in the same fabrics with the same details. In action shots and for stuntmen, the improved look and fit of a bespoke suit over a made-to-measure suit would not be noticeable as the action distorts the fit.

The bespoke suits and made-to-measure suits would need to come from the same brand to keep costs as low as possible. If the film production is paying English bespoke tailors to make suits for the hero shorts, Tom Ford will not likely want to provide suits free of charge for the other, less prominent shots. Today, many bespoke tailors offer a made-to-measure service alongside their bespoke service as a way to get customers in the door who are not yet ready or unable to purchase bespoke. While a tailor may charge the Bond production for their bespoke suits, they may be more willing to provide the made-to-measure suits alongside the bespoke free or at a greatly reduced cost.

My friend David Mason at Mason & Sons who produces suits under the moniker Anthony Sinclair—the tailor who make Sean Connery’s James Bond suits—would be a natural choice for making the suits. The firm does excellent bespoke work in both Connery’s style as well as in more modern styles, they use a versatile made-to-measure system, and they have a history with James Bond in owning the Anthony Sinclair name. Another capable choice with history in the Bond series could be Timothy Everest, who tailored bespoke suits for Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz and Dave Bautista for Spectre.

Ralph Fiennes’ Timothy Everest’s suit in Spectre

Other English brands who offer both bespoke and made-to-measure include Alfred Dunhill, Gieves & Hawkes, Kilgour, Richard James and Thom Sweeney. Cost and capability may be the primary deciding factors in the brand I would choose to provide Bond’s suits.

If necessary, sticking with Tom Ford would not be the end of the world either. I would actually be more than happy to work with Tom Ford if something with a more proper heritage for James Bond could not be arranged. Tom Ford already has an English aesthetic, and the style and fit could be more classically Bondian than the way Daniel Craig wears their suits.

It would be nice to get Bond back into bespoke shirts from Turnbull & Asser—who made shirts for Sean Connery’s, Pierce Brosnan’s and Daniel Craig’s Bonds—if the budget allows, but if not, bespoke or made-to-measure shirts from the suit provider could be an option as it would most certainly cut costs. The dress shirt (Tuxedo shirt) as the only from Turnbull & Asser, as was done in Die Another Day and Casino Royale, could be an option to get them back into Bond.

Styling the Suits

Lindy Hemming told what she aimed to achieve with the way she dressed Daniel Craig for Casino Royale:

Well we want him to look contemporary but classic, too. These films last a long, long time and people look back at them and so you are trying to create a look that won’t date very quickly.

I would follow this approach in attempting to make Bond look timeless, which was also the approach that was taken in dressing Sean Connery for his Bond films. Most recently this approach was effective in Quantum of Solace, with dressing Bond in classic suits and classic casual clothing inspired by the 1960s. The most important thing in dressing someone is making the person look his best before thinking about fashions. The fit and proportions of the clothes need to be right for the person wearing the clothes. Colours must be chosen based on the person’s complexion.

Then considerations should be made as to how the clothes can reflect current fashions. I would avoid extremes of current fashions, particularly those that do not flatter the person wearing the clothes, but I also would not dress Bond in classic styles that are currently unfashionable, such as a suit that is cut and fitted like what Sean Connery wears in his 1960s Bond films. A suit with a full-cut jacket and high-rise pleated trousers would make James Bond look old-fashioned today, no matter how cool it made Sean Connery look in the 1960s. But the current trend for a shrunken suit does not fit James Bond’s character either. Bond is rarely concerned with being the most flamboyantly fashionable man in the room, even in Roger Moore’s 1970s films.

The fit of the suits in Quantum of Solace is what I would still aim for today, almost a decade after the film premiered. The suit jackets fit close to the body and the trousers have a medium rise with a flat front. I would narrow the lapels slightly to be the same as what Daniel Craig wears in Spectre, which would be more in harmony with current fashions. The lapels in Spectre are narrow, but they don’t look silly. The classic jacket length and medium button stance in Quantum of Solace are still ideal. I would give Bond softer, more natural-looking shoulders than on the Tom Ford suit jackets, along the lines of what Connery’s jackets had. Softer shoulders fit better with both the Bond tradition and with current styles. On the other hand, the Brunello Cucinelli shoulders on the unstructured brown jacket Bond wears in Spectre are too soft, don’t have the right shape or width to flatter Daniel Craig’s build, and look too Italian for James Bond.

For the style of the suit jacket, I would look back to Connery and put Bond back in all button two cuts. The button two suit has been more popular than the button three suit has for some time, though Bond has primarily stuck with the button three since the mid 90s. The button two, show one style (3 roll 2) of Quantum of Solace and Spectre may be classic, but it’s neither classic British nor classic Bond. Double vents in the back of the jacket need to come back to Bond as well because they’ve been the quintessential British style since the late 1960s, they’re currently in fashion, and they give more flattering lines to the jacket than the single vent of the past two Bond films does. I may put a single vent on certain jackets if I felt it was the better choice.

I would put straight pockets on city suits and slanted pockets on the sportier suits and odd jackets. The presence of a ticket pocket depends on the suit. I would put four buttons on all cuffs, as that is the current British standard. There would be no showy longer buttonhole on the end with the button left open. James Bond is not a showy character.

The suit trousers in Quantum of Solace are pretty much what I would put James Bond in today, with a medium rise, flat front, narrow (but not tight) legs and a waistband with slide-buckle side-adjusters. I would not go back to Connery’s “Daks tops” style with buttons because they are not as effective as the slide-buckle style. These trousers may not be as fashionable as low-rise, skin-tight trousers, but they are not old-fashioned either. They are more flattering to most men and harmonise better as part of a suit. Following Bond tradition, the trousers would be hemmed with turn-ups.

I might put Bond in one three piece suit if the occasion called for it. The waistcoat would be the classic six-button, four-pocket style.

At least half of the suits I put Bond in would be shades of blue, in an effort to put Bond in more Fleming-esque suits. Despite blue being the main choice of suit for Fleming’s Bond, grey has always been the filmic Bond’s primary suit colour of choice. My pick of suits may include blues in classic serge, flannel, chalk stripe, birdseye, herringbone and a plain mohair and wool blend. The suit wardrobe would also include greys in pick-and-pick, flannel, chalk stripe, herringbone, glen check, houndstooth and a wool and silk blend. Dark brown, tan gabardine and cream linen could also be options. The specific choices for suits would obviously depend on what is needed by the plot and locations, and particular shades of the colours would need to be determined based on the complexion of the man playing Bond.

Spectre brought back the odd jacket to James Bond, and I would make an effort to continue that. The navy blazer, a Bond classic, needs to return to the Bond films, particularly if he’s in a warm location. Though the classic blazer with metal buttons is out of fashion today, I would update the blazer with mother-of-pearl buttons instead. With a three-patch-pocket design like Connery’s blazers, this navy jacket could still be relevant to Bond.

My ideal dinner suit for Bond would be a button one in a midnight blue mohair and wool blend. If Bond visits a casino, the dinner jacket would have a satin shawl collar. If the occasion for black tie is more grand, the dinner jacket would have grosgrain peaked lapels. A classic button one ivory dinner jacket with self lapels and mother-of-pearl buttons like what Bond wears in Goldfinger or Octopussy would be an option for a tropical locale.

For outer coats, I would try to get Bond in “dark-blue raincoat” that Fleming specified for Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Daniel Craig wears such a coat in Casino Royale, and it needs to come back as long as the weather calls for it. A dark blue wool overcoat like Roger Moore’s in Live and Let Die could be a good substitute for cold weather.

Shirts, Ties, Shoes and Accessories

For shirts I would use Sean Connery as the primary example and put James Bond mostly in light blue poplin shirts and some white poplin shirts. The shirts would have a spread collar—the specific width, height and point length based on the face of the man playing Bond—and cocktail cuffs with the occasional double cuffs for the most formal suits worn to the office. Rather than point, pinned and tab collars, Bond needs to be in a spread collar again, as it’s the quintessential British collar. Connery’s full shirt fit would not work today; a closely fitted shirt is necessary.

I would put Bond in a variety of dark, plain ties based on what Connery wears in his Bond films. There would need to at least one classic Connery navy grenadine tie included, especially since grenadine ties are now more popular than ever. With sportier suits and jackets, I would make an attempt to include the black knitted tie that Fleming specified for Bond, or a dark navy knitted tie as a substitute because it’s substantially more versatile. Black and brown grenadine and knitted ties would also be options, as well as dark solid ties in other textured patterns.

Unlike in Connery’s wardrobe, I believe there should be more subtle variations in the ties. I would be tempted to do an entire tie wardrobe of different solid navy ties, including grenadine, knitted, ribbed, shantung or a self-pattern, all silk. Ties would need to be all tied in a four-in-hand knot to respect Fleming’s dislike of the Windsor knot.

The dress shirt ultimately depends on the type of dinner jacket, but it would be white with a spread collar, a pleated or plain front, buttons down the front in white or black mother or pearl or a fly front, and double cuffs or cocktail cuffs. Bow ties would match the material of the lapels, and the bow tie would be a batwing shape with either straight or diamond ends, following what Connery wears in his 1960s Bond films. The batwing goes better with today’s narrow lapels than the butterfly shape does.

Any cuff links Bond wears would be discreet along the lines of Connery’s and Craig’s cuff links rather than like the flashier links Brosnan wears. Pocket squares would always be included, and they would be white linen and folded. Bond is not the fussy type who would match his shirt to his pocket square.

A shoe wardrobe should bring back slip-on shoes to respect Fleming’s Bond’s abhorrence of laces (as stated in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), though they need to be more sophisticated than moccasins. Though Bond has worn moccasins with suits in the past on film, he needs something more proper to wear with a suit.

The Edward Green Fitzwilliam

A slip-on like the Edward Green Fitzwilliam in black with it’s elastic gussets on the sides could be an excellent choice for Bond to wear with suits. They are more formal than moccasins, and in being very similar to some of the shoes and boots Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger and Thunderball they pay homage to Connery. I’d give the shoes Dainite studded rubber soles instead of leather soles for the added traction Bond needs. But for black tie I would put Bond in the classic shoe: black patent leather plain toe oxfords.

Casual Styles

Some of the best casual clothing of the Bond series has come from Daniel Craig’s last three Bond films, and I would continue with his clothes along those lines with blue polo shirts, round neck and polo neck cashmere jumpers, Harrington jackets, suede blousons, leather jackets, Barbour jackets, pea coats, beige chinos, brown corduroy trousers, grey flannel wool trousers and brown suede chukka boots.

I would source the clothes from classic British brands, just like Bond has been wearing in the past two films. Brands like Sunspel, John Smedley, N.Peal and Baracuta would be amongst my top picks. The casual clothes could have a more fashionable fit than the suits have, currently with close fits all around, but I wouldn’t go to any extremes of fashion at the risk of dating the film too much.

Though I would try to keep Bond wearing suits whenever possible, I think Bond sometimes looks ridiculous wearing suits in some of the action sequences. In the 1970s as the action in Bond films increased, Bond was wearing suits less often. By the 1980s, Bond was rarely wearing tailored clothing for the more intense action scenes that had started to become an important part of the Bond films. For practical reasons, especially if I could put Bond in bespoke suits again, Bond would need to go back to wearing more casual clothes for more of the intense action scenes so that 25 replicas of a suit may no longer be needed. Though Bond has long been known for wearing suits, he has also long worn elegant sportswear as well. If a lot of stuntwork is necessary, sometimes we need to admit that a suit is really not the best choice for Bond at those times.


  1. Thank you Matt!

    Your (well-balanced) suggestions on how to dress Bond are quite apt and show your mastery of the subject and long-time occupation with it. Just two remarks:

    -As to bespoke / made-to-measure: Some English bespoke tailors (the more “traditional” ones) consider it as some kind of cachet not to offer the m.-t.-m option but only true bespoke. To them m.-t.-m. is even some kind of vulgar thing they would not even think of to deal with – they sneer at it. I think those are the tailors more likely to be chosen by the literary Bond. But leaving aside style with regard to hold costs down your approach is of course the more sensible one.

    -Extravagance: I am very much in favour of a no-nonsense wardrobe for Bond but nevertheless here and there one could integrate some more luxurious items, f. i. some classics like a silk suit or silk shirts (which also Connery has worn) or a cream linen suit etc. Nothing overmuch fancy and not to often, more like “the cherry on top”. Craig’s GF inspired white dinner jacket in SPECTRE is a (right) step in this direction.

    But unfortunately, with Temime at the helm, I have little or no hope that Bond costume designing will develop according to your vision. One of the reasons for that is that there seems to be no conscience whatsoever of the origins and the history of Bond style. One can only recommend her to regularly read your articles! :-)


    • I totally agree with you as to the current costume designer. Amongst other things, I really look forward to the suits in a James Bond movie. The tight fitting suits of Skyfall and Spectre have been a particularly poor direction and so have been a bit disappointing. The shame of it is, in the right fit, they’d be great choices (minus the fussy collars, which seem odd on Bond).

      I think you’re right, that the designer hasn’t really got under the skin of the character’s sartorial identity when it comes to suits, though I’d agree there have been some high points when it comes to casual wear.

  2. Dude, when are you going to get in touch with the Matts and do a James Bonding podcast episode devoted to the suits???

    Google it and get on it!! You’re the man on this stuff. The world needs you.

  3. Great article! I would love to see Bond dressed on the manner that you describe.

    One addition: Bond should wear a Rolex Submariner. I know EON’s deal with Omega is lucrative and important for budgetary reasons, but Rolex does a lot of celebrity advertising these days. I have a hard time believing that they wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to rightfully claim Bond as a “customer.”

  4. Great article Matt! If Craig does step down from the role, that is a logical time to revisit the costume design.

    “Bespoke suits could be used for non-action scenes and hero shorts” — for a moment I thought you were speculating on swimwear to wade out of the surf in ;) but it is a very good idea.

  5. Matt – another excellent post. I wholeheartedly agree with your analysis and suggestions. We have to get you out here to L.A. to “accidentally” run into Barbara Broccoli and Michael J. Wilson…

    I frankly don’t know why a customer can’t create the 20+ suits needed for the action sequences/set-ups/stand-ins/etc., while a proper tailor creates the suits for the other scenes. And perhaps the reason Brosnan’s suits always looked new and hardly worn was because they were just that.

    And F.S. – agree about the Sub (which was apparently originally Cubby Broccoli’s), as worn by Connery, Lazenby, Moore, and Dalton. Or an Explorer as worn by Fleming. Nothing against Omega, just certain things are Bond’s.

    • Omega is fine, and the Seamaster makes sense for Bond, but it just doesn’t have the same heritage as the Sub–Bond or otherwise.

      Since they’re going to stay with Omega for the foreseeable future, I’d like to see Bond wear a Speedmaster. It’s got the best pedigree of anything in Omega’s lineup, and I also think it’s their best looking watch.

  6. Matt,i agree with you almost completely.
    I think that a single foward pleat could be nice in the slender-but-not tight Bond’s trouser.
    Maybe in USA pleats are out fashion,but here in Europe,specially for bespoke suit are still much in vogue.
    A single pleat is more clean that two pleats but adds comfort and fit,and help to keep the crease of the trousers.
    About the need of many copies of Bond’s suits for the stuntmen,i agree with your approach bespoke/made on measure.
    If the suits style is a simple and clean two buttons,a good replica can be make also for less expansive mad on measure firms…at least for some sequences.

    Now i have two question for you:

    1-What is your choice for Bond’s tailor,if you had complete freedom and no worries of budget?

    2-The second question is….you can tell us how should be the ideal actor for the Bond role?
    If you could choose the cast for a James Bond movie,and Daniel Craig was not available.what type of actor would you look for 007 role?
    Would be a Connery type or a Roger Moore type, or other?
    Which features physical and aesthetic you would like for your ideal James Bond?

  7. Great extensive article, I pretty much agree with you Matt and the comments above too.

    One thing that irks me a bit is that Bond is a civil servant who has some expensive tastes but not a bottomless budget. Any attempts at realism in the recent films is completely abandoned when it comes to wardrobe, as there seems to be this criteria that he absolutely must be kitted out in an entirely new and extensive wardrobe for every film. The literary Bond, as well as the Craig portrayal, is a no-nonsense utlilitarian (Vesper’s line about him wearing his suit with disdain is spot on!) and it seems contradictory to me that across four film’s Criaig must have accumulated dozens and dozens of suits, casual coats, overcoats, shoes, watches, sunglasses, etc which is entirely at odds with a man who seems to have furnished his flat with orange crates. There are a few outfits in the Connery era that make it to more than one film (as well as recycling togs from Woman of Straw) and for the sake of both budget and realism I wouldn’t mind seeing some clothes repeated from film to film.

  8. Dear Matt. Thank you for the spot-on excellent analysis. As someone who enjoys hats, I’d be interested to know if you have any suggestions of hats for Bond? You often take Connery’s Bond as your muse, and he wore a Trilby and a Homburg.

    Also, how about other accessories? Sunglasses? Gloves? Umbrella, and/or raincoat?

    I’d love to hear your views. Thank you, and keep up the great work.

    • Hats would be seen as too old-fashioned for Bond today. A knit cap would be okay with ski wear, but when dressing up just about all hats tend to look outdated and Bond would have to stay cold! Daniel Craig is a fan of flat caps in her personal life, though it’s not the right style for Bond, and they look awful on him.

      Persol sunglasses, simple black or dark brown leather gloves, a simple black stick umbrella with a curved plain wooden handle (not a whangee) would be some accessories I’d pick. I detailed the raincoat in the article.

  9. Matt why does Tom Ford do such padded shoulders?, I actually have a few suit jackets and sports coat with stronger padded shoulders and it doesn’t look bad on me. I still think lightly padded shoulders like Cyril Castle made for Roger Moore is ideal and very timeless.

    • Most of Ford’s jackets (save for the O’Connor) have a “pagoda” shoulder that curves down and out from the neck to create a stronger silhouette without using a lot of padding. Timothy Dalton’s jacket shoulders were of the same type in TLD. Additionally, the roped sleevehead gives a more structured look than a bald or capped sleevehead typically found on American clothing.

  10. These last two, comprehensive, posts have been among the best you’ve ever done, Matt, and I say that as long-term fan of this excellent and useful blog. If press reports this week are to be believed, Eon Productions are about to announce that Daniel Craig will return for another film in 2018, and even if it is too much to hope for that they will employ you as a consultant, I hope that at the very least the costume team will read and reflect your work.

    To tide us over until James Bond 25, can I suggest that you look at two recent, very clothes-conscious, homages to the Sixties spy craze, namely “The Man from UNCLE” and “Kingsmen: The Secret Service”? I would love to read your take on the way those films riff on classic looks from the Napoleon Solo/Ipcress File/Connery era.

  11. “Though the classic blazer with metal buttons is out of fashion today, I would update the blazer with mother-of-pearl buttons instead.”

    -Aren’t m-o-p-buttons on a navy blazer not a bit too loud for the pared-down Bond look? That’s something to be found on ready-to-wear blazers (often with plastic buttons made up as m-o-p). There are (equally stylish) alternatives like corozo-nut or simply horn buttons. And if it has to be metal than pewter buttons could be chosen instead of brass.

    • Mother of pearl is not nearly as loud as the metal that Bond used to wear. Corozo and horn are possible too, depending on what the jacket is made of. Mother of pearl keeps the blazer look without the classic blazer buttons.

  12. IMO in the gunmetal buttons on his “Dr. No” blazer are rather decent (not at all shiny like the typical brass buttons). But OK – there are smoke m-o-p buttons which are equally understated.

    • I love smoke m-o-p buttons on a blue blazer, but I think gunmetal colored buttons are a fine. I have a blazer with these and I don’t think it looks outdated at all.

  13. Some Ford cuts like the Windsor are more padded then the O’Connor model. There shoulder is more padded then what Roger Moore wore in the early 1970’s. As long as the shoulders aren’t too wide I think it looks fine. But a soft shoulder is more Bond’s style as Matt has said. A lightweight serge navy blazer with mother of pearl buttons would look very fashionable and make up for the now unfashionable brass or silver metal. You could use silver metal but with sewn through buttons with holes like Moore’s Roma Blazer’s that could work too.

  14. I noticed Canali use quite a bit of padding, our Prime Minister Malcom Turnball wears there suits and there is quite a bit of padding in the shoulders and there slightly wide. Obama was also a fan of there made to measure suits, I think there style suited his lean physique. Brioni have step away somewhat from there distinctive strong shoulder, though you still do see some of there suits with a far amount of padding. Denzel Washington was recently wearing one of there suits and it had a strong shoulder.

  15. Regarding the fitted dress shirt vs the full cut Connery-esque fit, I keep thinking about the shirt stay:

    Otherwise I don’t think there’s any other way to keep the messy action puff-outs we see way too much of in Skyfall in check. Honestly I think the fitted shirt (which unfortunately too many young men are not doing right – we see too many wrapped sausages these days) is too affected for Bond’s intended elegance and panache.

    • A shirt that is fitted well will always look better than the men who simply wear theirs too tight. See Roger Moore’s Frank Foster shirts for a good example of fitted well. This may surprise some, but Tom Ford’s “Slim Fit” shirts are not actually tight at all. More akin to an athletic fit with a drop of four inches from chest to waist and darts in the back. I have to assume Temime/Craig dictated the tight fit of the shirts in Skyfall and Spectre. It fits me very well without feeling restrictive. I also own a “Classic Fit” shirt from them which has shoulder pleats but no back darts. The dimensions are pretty reasonable for most men.

  16. I used to wor in retail and one day an older gentleman came up to and asked if I sold shirt suspenders, I told I did not know what that was, he said it was a type of suspender that pulls your shirt down and the socks up, does such an apparatus really exist? If so, what is it really called? Also I recall that the proper length of the necktie should barely be touching the belt. Is this really the case? If so bond in made another mistake, any shorter and he would probably be selling bibles.

    • Those are indeed called suspenders.

      The belt should ideally touch the waistband, but lengths have gone up and down with fahion. Connery was a tall man and may not have been able to tie his ties long enough, especially when using a Windsor knot.

    • I own a pair! They’re often sold in military surplus stores, but those ones often have metal teeth and can damage shirt/sock. So I recommend the plastic clip ones from HoldUp.

  17. Outstanding article, Matt, and one that I think will become an essential reference on the tailoring of James bond in the modern era. It’s like a microcosm of the entire site and it themes that you have so coherently presented to us these past years.

    You’re spot on about how good the casual styles have been during the Craig era. He rocks polo shirt (not to mention chukkas) better than anyone I’ve seen. And unlike his post-Quantum suits, the fit on these shirts has continued to be pitch-perfect.

    My favorite sartorial aspect of the current era films, and this by a country mile, is the Timothy Everest ensembles for Ralph Fiennes. Absolute perfection, and a welcome nod to the kind of classic English tailoring not currently featured in the Tom Ford suits. Can’t wait for the next film!

  18. Mr Spaiser
    Thanks for this awesome post and blog, I’m looking forward for “basted for bond” by Matt Spaiser from this post and for bond 25. Greetings from Peru.

  19. In which movie do you think Bond is dressed the best? So all outfits? I would probably go for From Russia With Love. Timeless, classy clothes. And not just Bond, most of the characters.

    • Dr. No and From Russia with Love both do almost perfectly with Bond’s outfits. From Russia with Love, however, does have the oversized gingham shirt that Terence Young gave Connery for the scene.

  20. I saw an interview where ian fleming himself disliked tea quoting it as marking the fall of the British empire. He also discussed how he disliked winsdor knots. Don’t you think connery should have used a four in hand? Isn’t the four in hand the most appropriate for bond?

  21. Hullo Matt.
    Good evening!

    I hope i chose the right article of yours to ask you this question.

    Well, apart from black colored shirts, such as Sean Connery’s in the opening scene of Diamonds are Forever and Daniel Craig’s when he breaks into M’s apartment in Casino Royale, would you dress Bond in any other dark colored shirt? Such as dark brown or shades of maroon?
    Don’t you think they look tasteful as well without screaming for attention, and that they might please the tastes of a conservative man like Bond?
    Do you not think a wardrobe full of white, cream and blue shirts would be too monotonous? Sometimes there are events where wearing any shirt of these colors might be too formal.


    • The dark shirts are knitted polos and casual. If you are wearing a tie, a light-coloured shirt is never too formal. They would never wear an ordinary dark shirt.

  22. Are there any looks commonly associated with one bond that would have worked well on another
    For example, would the brown-and-blue look for Brosnan have also worked for Connery or Dalton? Or would a Grey Glen-check, like the one Lazenby wore, have worked on Moore?

  23. Mr.spaiser after 20 years I will finally be graduating for medical school at the age of 38. In preparation for this I have saved enough to finally a get a bespoke suit. What are the standards when going about this? What are the staples that a suit in the spirit of ian flemings creation have? Since you have seen me I’m thinking about going the literary bond route. Please help.

  24. I half-suspect Moore strategically didn’t wear Glen check as bond in order to avoid a direct comparison with Connery–just like he refused to order a vodka martini and say “shaken not stirred”.

  25. Hey Matt,
    Referring to your list of tailors as options for a future Bond films, Would you consider adding Huntsman & Sons to the list. I think they have a style that is reminiscent of Dimi Major in OHMSS, and they do have a legacy attached to Bond, having tailored Desmond Llewellyn’s suits. I think their prestige would be perfect for Bond. Your thoughts?

    • Huntsman’s style is actually quite different from Dimi Major’s style, particularly in the shoulders. Roger Moore’s suits from Angelo Roma are probably the closest to Huntsman’s, considering the shape of the shoulders and the trim fit. Daniel Craig’s Tom Ford suits have a stiff construction like Huntsman, though the shoulders aren’t as square as Huntsman’s. Traditionally, Bond hasn’t gone for the strong equestrian look, and I don’t think it’s the most appropriate look for Bond.

      • Speaking of huntsman, I acquired two exact same suits but from different firms. One from huntsman and one from caraceni. It would be interesting how bond wearing the same suit but from different tailoring firms would differ. As much as I adore savile row, I think italy will always be sartorial home.

    • Looking at Huntsman again, I’d have to agree. At first, I thought that huntsman style had soft shoulders and natural sleeveheads, like Dimi Major. Upon closer inspection, I can see that they actually have padded shoulders and roped sleeveheads. The shoulders are just so well padded, I almost missed the roped sleeve head.

      You’ve got a keen eye Matt!

      Also, would you consider Cordings for casual wear, or are they too equestrian like Huntsman?

      • Huntsman doesn’t really do roped sleeve heads. Any roping you see is just a natural part of the construction.

        Cordings is too old-fashioned for Bond.

  26. This may be a rather odd/crazy and stupid idea at first but in the late 60s and early 70s, Bond used to have what appeared to be silk trimmed holsters.
    Why not take it a step further and have his holsters be made from a matching material to the suits lining to avoid detection?

    • Andrew, I think if you’re going to do that, why not just build a holster directly into the lining of the jacket?
      In all honesty though, the best way to have a holster go undetected is one set on the back of the trouser waist, like with Craig in Spectre

  27. Hi Matt. What casual shoes do you think Bond would wear in winter? Suede chukka boots seem like more of a spring/autumn shoe to me, but I’m no expert!

  28. What do you think of bond wearing anything with a logo on it? Not really the character per say don’t you think? I know his luggage is obviously a billboard (i.e. Louis Vuitton luggage and gucci luggage), but is that really appropriate?

  29. Remember that one of the most iconic outfits Sean Connery wore was the Slazenger jumper from the golf game in Goldfinger. There was even a rerelease a couple of years ago in tribute.

    But then again, that’s the only example I can think of, and I daresay it’s far from what you, or I, or anyone else here would consider when we hear “iconic Bond clothes”.

    I agree, it’s not really “Bond”, but it’s not unprecedented either.

    • Connery also wore a polo shirt with a Fred Perry logo and swimming trunks with a Jantzen logo on them. Roger Moore wore some belts branded with the Gucci “G” motifs. I think that logos aren’t ideal for Bond, but Bond might also not want to go out of his way to avoid buying casual clothes without logos.

  30. Excellent perspective and selection! Though I do think something unique for the movie, just one garment/choice of color that’s un-Bondian, un-timeless should also be considered.
    That is because I feel the definition of Bond’s style has evolved and expanded through the years, and years later that specific piece of clothing would date in a way that makes the film and the actor unique.
    For example, the cocktail cuffs, the ruffles, the camp collar shirt, the playsuit, the leisure suit, the suede blouson, the safari jackets, or the mid(night)-blue dinner jacket… something unusual that makes the wardrobe of that film iconic and expands the definition of “Bondian”. Bond has been and is a trendsetter whenever he takes this approach and fails to be when he doesn’t. Though some have considerably failed and dated terribly, some have worked out to be very successful looks that are still considered very stylish today.
    Personally, I feel a lack of this vibe made Brosnan’s wardrobe very conservative but also bland. What do you feel about this?

      • To what extent do you think this is true for Bond in general, as least as far as suits go? Connery’s suit were all very traditional, keeping double-pleated trousers until TOLT and generally full cuts. Moore was much more dandyish and his outfits often look a little dated, but when you compare his wardrobe to what many others were wearing in the 1970s his clothes were much more traditional and timeless. They’ve certainly dated better than the brightly coloured polyester suits and jackets you see others wearing in his 1970s Bond films.

        I’m not really sure how fashion-forward Dalton dressed, because all his clothes look old-fashioned to me, since I’m a millennial/gen z and associate baggy clothes with older fashions and more conservative men, although I prefer them myself partly for this reason.

      • I agree with you – he had some spectacular suits, in my opinion. I loved the suited look of Brosnan’s Bond. I also agree he didn’t really make any big statements. However, is that really such a bad thing?

        Brosnan’s Bond caught a lot of stick for dressing too flashy, looking like a banker. I thought he dressed for the time and the story and looked good doing it. We’re talking about dressing a spy. Is it so bad he didn’t make a statement?

        To me, dressing well without making a statement should be the goal.

  31. @Pete J – I think the ‘flashiness’ of Brosnan’s Bond was mostly in the ties. Bond has traditionally worn solid coloured ties. Roger Moore wore printed ties, but he stuck to mostly simple stripes and geometric patterns. Brosnan wore almost all printed/patterned ties, and few if any solid coloured ties. I think that is what people associate with banking. My grandpa was a banker and pretty much all his ties were printed or had patterns like Brosnan’s.

    • Much of Brosnan’s flashiness came from the way his suits draped. Full-cut suits with big shoulders that drape well without looking baggy have a luxurious look because of all the excess cloth.

  32. I noticed under the suit fabrics/patterns you only listed birdseye weaves in blue suits and not with grey suits. While I do agree Blue birdseye is the best, can the pattern look good in charcoal, dark grey and medium grey?

      • Birdseye in blue looks great, always, but that’s because it breaks away the surface gloss that twills and derivative weaves have. Short of going for either carded flannels or fresco plain weaves, if one truly wants something without gloss and absorb light, birdseye is the best.

        I never caught the appeal myself, especially after seeing the pattern/weave up close, but now that I look back at the swatch, I see how it is. It’s a lovely pattern, but don’t be a freak like me LOL!

  33. I noticed it’s been six years since this article was published. Do you think a QOS-style cut with narrower lapels would still be the ideal for Bond in 2023? I know fuller cuts and pleated trousers have been coming back into fashion recently, but that’s probably too fashionable for Bond, at least at the moment.


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