Ian Fleming: Goldfinger (1959)

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“Bond changed his socks and put on the battered old pair of nailed Saxones. He took off the coat of his yellowing black and white hound’s tooth suit and pulled on a faded black wind-cheater. Cigarettes? Lighter? He was ready to go [for the golf match].” (Chapter 8)

This is the only mention I can find of Bond’s clothing in Goldfinger, though there are many descriptions of other characters’ clothing. The following is from the same chapter as above, describing Goldfinger’s golfing outfit:

“But Goldfinger had made an attempt to look smart at golf and that is the only way of dressing that is incongruous on a links. Everything matched in a blaze of rust-coloured tweed from the buttoned ‘golfer’s cap’ centred on the huge, flaming red hair, to the brilliantly polished, almost orange shoes. The plus-four suit was too well cut and the plus-fours themselves had been pressed down the sides. The stockings were of a matching heather mixture and had green garter tabs. It was as if Goldfinger had gone to his tailor and said, ‘Dress me for golf – you know, like they wear in Scotland.’ Social errors made no impression on Bond, and for the matter of that he rarely noticed them. With Goldfinger it was different. Everything about the man had grated on Bond’s teeth from the first moment he had seen him. The assertive blatancy of his clothes was just part of the malevolent animal magnetism that had affected Bond from the beginning.” (Chapter 8)

See Bond’s golfing outfit in the film Goldfinger.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It's been a long time since I read any of Fleming's novels and it's interesting to see Bond's transformation from the character of the written page to the screen.

    In the books, Bond seems a more frugal character who, despite his fondness for exclusive brand names in cars and cuisine, is a little more reticent in his clothing than his cinematic portrayal. Your description of his golf apparel reflects this.

    I think the cinematic transformation came about, in no small part, due to the influence of the director of the first couple of movies: Terence Young, who was a man of natural style and elegance. Young took Connery to his tailor and shirtmaker for Dr. No and so, when considering the Bond that followed, one has to tip the hat to Young.

  2. Matt, I’m in the market for a new windcheater, and famcy something worthy of James Bond. All of the brands I’ve seen have been the lightweight, foldaway kind. Do you have any idea of any brands that would supply a good quality windcheater? Thanks

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