If you’re reading this article, hopefully you’re interested enough in how Bond dresses to want to take personal inspiration from his wardrobe. Exactly copying Bond’s clothes can sometimes be rather like wearing costume, especially if your circumstances are not the same as Bond’s are. So if you’re going to dress like Bond it is best to make it your own, whether you add a bit of yourself into an otherwise Bondian outfit or give a touch of Bond to something more of your own. There are many ways to make Bond style your own, but first it helps to know something about Bond’s style.
What is James Bond style?
Understanding James Bond’s style is the best way to dress in a Bondian manner. Understanding what Bond wears and how he wears his clothes to better our own sense of style is the mission of this website. But there is no single way to describe Bond style as Bond does not have a single style. Bond style has now been interpreted and reinterpreted in countless ways by different authors, costume designers, tailors, film directors and Bond actors over the seven decades of Bond history. There are some styles that are quintessentially Bondian—styles that Bond has worn frequently, styles that are unique to Bond, styles that are most memorable or styles that best fit the essence of the character—but Bond style overall is very flexible. Bond style ultimately includes anything that Bond has worn, and its vast scope is one of the things that makes it so appealing to so many people.
There is an argument to be made that the most true Bond styles are the originals, Ian Fleming’s words for the books and Sean Connery’s outfits for the films. And whatever the most current Bond style is—which at time this article is written would be Daniel Craig’s styles from Spectre and No Time to Die—is perhaps the most relevant Bond style. But for the purposes of making Bond style our own, we can take inspiration from all the variations on Bond style from the books and films. For example, James Bond has worn many different styles of suits from many different tailors over the years. Though one can make generalizations about Bond suit style, there is no single James Bond suit style. Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan had their own consistent suit styles in their Bond films, but Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig wore suits in different styles throughout their tenures as Bond.
There are many different Bond looks to choose from for inspiration. In suits you may like the narrow lapels of Connery or the wide lapels of Moore, the tight fits of Craig or the loose fits of Dalton. We can pick and choose what we like from Bond style in the way we dress to make it our own.
There are a few consistent elements of Bond suit style. Bond’s tailored styles have been British or Italian (Tom Ford suits have an British style). The shirts he wears with his suits are light-coloured. He just about always wears black shoes with blue, grey, dark brown and black suits. He wears few patterns apart from the glen check, and the other patterns he wears, like a fine glen check, rarely draw attention. But if you’re taking inspiration from Bond to dress in your own way, you can feel free to ignore these conventions.
For Bond’s casual dress, there has been even less consistency over the decades and plenty to be inspired by. Orlebar Brown and N.Peal have recently interpreted Bond casual looks in new ways, which shows how flexible and timeless these styles can be.
How can you incorporate Bond style into your own wardrobe?
When dressing like Bond it is important to wear what you like, wear what fits your needs and wear what looks best on you. Do not wear something Bond wears just to be like Bond.
Start by looking at the different outfits that Bond wears and take note of what you like best in his clothes. It could be a certain colour combination, a silhouette or a special detail that you notice. If a whole outfit that Bond wears speaks to you and you want to copy it, go ahead. The only people who will think you’re dressing up in a James Bond costume have would need to be as familiar with Bond clothing as you are. But if you do that, I recommend finding something of your own to bring to the outfit, even if it’s something as subtle as adding, changing or removing a pocket square.
Follow the colours that Bond has worn to suit your own complexion. Sean Connery sets a great example for colours to wear if you have a cool complexion, while Roger Moore’s colour palate is best for those with a warm complexion. If you want to wear an item that doesn’t best suit your complexion, you can try to balance it with a colour that does suit you. For instance, if you have a warm complexion but like to wear grey suits, wear them with a cream shirt instead of a white shirt to give the outfit some warmth.
Though I like to focus on wearing what best suits you rather than following trends, you should still consider current trends. The best Bond styles stand the test of time, but Bond has always incorporated trends in tailoring and casual wear in his outfits. He rarely lets trends dictate his style but he always considers what is in fashion so he fits in with his world around him and doesn’t look like an old man.
It is important to know what not to copy from Bond. Many things looks great on Sean Connery or Daniel Craig because of their athletic builds, but wearing their styles may not make you look like them, and they may even look bad on you.
You can also incorporate Bond style into your wardrobe without knowing much about Bond style. This is often a way people get interested in Bond style. Maybe you saw a tie on Bond you liked and wanted to incorporate it into your wardrobe. Or perhaps seeing Bond look so good in his clothes just inspired you to pay more attention to your clothes without having the desire to copy what he wears.
Making a James Bond suit your own
The suit has always been the centrepiece of Bond’s wardrobe. To truly copy a Bond suit or dinner jacket would involve going to Bond’s own suit makers or bespoke tailors who makes suits in styles similar to Bond’s tailors. To wear a Bondian suit in your own manner you only need get a suit that fits your own style, and more importantly fits your body.
With tailoring, you can incorporate Bond style elements into any type of tailoring. Though an American-cut suit is not a Bond look, you can make a Bond-inspired American-cut suit out of a Bondian cloth and give it Bondian details. Or you could get a suit in a Bondian cut but in a colour, pattern or kind of cloth Bond doesn’t wear.
One of the most crucial elements to get right when wearing a suit is wearing a flattering shirt collar. Bond has worn all sorts of shirt collars, from narrow point collars to wide cutaway collar, though never the extreme for either. The wide Dr. No collar works well on someone with a chiselled face but not on someone with a round face.
What tools can help you dress like Bond or give you inspiration?
The Suits of James Bond is here to provide the tools to help you learn to dress like Bond and to learn how Bond dresses so you can apply the same concepts to your own wardrobe. This site can help you discover everything you want to know about how James Bond wears his suits. But how you interpret Bond style in your own wardrobe is up to you.
There are many other online channels to go for Bond style inspiration. The Bond Experience is a great place for Bond clothing reviews. Bond Lifestyle will show you where to get many of the clothes that Bond wears. Iconic Alternatives can show you where to find Bondian budget clothes. And now Instagram is a fantastic place to find Bond style inspiration on a daily basis.
If you can afford it, a good tailor and shirtmaker can dress you in a way that will best suit you and your lifestyle, just as Bond’s tailors and shirtmakers have done for the many actors who have played Bond.
How do you make Bond style your own?