The Bond Suits website has been active for over 12 years. I have long been passionate about both James Bond and classic menswear, and I am passionate about menswear because of James Bond. It is Bond who put me on a journey to dress better, and I know I am not the only person with this story. I have always hoped this blog would appeal to people like me, as well as inspire people to discover the same passion in menswear through Bond.
The primary goal of this website is to teach people about how to dress via the lens of James Bond. More specifically, this blog teaches people how to dress through the outfits in which I myself find inspiration. It’s why this blog not only uses James Bond as inspiration but outfits from other films and television shows, like North By Northwest and The Saint. When the blog breaks away from Bond, it takes inspiration from films and television shows that have some kind of connection to Bond.
I’ve always hoped that this blog would appeal not only to Bond fans but also to people who are more interested in menswear than Bond. The blog started as a way of writing about clothes via my own research, experience and observations. This is a clothing blog in the sense I share my opinions on clothing but not about Bond. This isn’t to say that I am not a huge Bond fan. I have been a Bond fan since before I can remember, and I have been a serious Bond fan since about the age of 9 or 10. But I have been interested in menswear almost as long as I’ve been a big fan of Bond, and it is an even bigger interest of mine than Bond is.
If anything, my interest in menswear is from a practical standpoint; I wear clothes everyday of my life, whereas I am not living James Bond’s life. As much as I’d like to be like James Bond in many ways (but certainly not in every way), I am my own person living a much different life. But I am person who is passionate about the clothes he wears every day, and that’s what I’m ultimately writing about.
As far as this blog is concerned, it is first and foremost about menswear and primarily tailored clothing. If I think an outfit is bad but it works well for the context Bond wears it in, it’s still a bad outfit for the purposes of this blog. Clothes are never worn without context, and the context always says something about the clothes, but that context might be a purposefully tasteless disguise.
Nothing on this blog exists without the context of James Bond. I have found a way to connect any menswear topic I am interested in covering to Bond, even if it’s a very loose connection to Bond.
Since connecting more with other James Bond content creators over the years, particularly since 2016, I have felt a stronger connection to the Bond aspect of the blog. Bond was initially just the vehicle to the menswear destination. While classic menswear still is the angle of this blog, being constantly connected with other Bond fans and Bond content creators every day has pushed me deeper into the world of James Bond. I also have friends who are on the menswear side, but I now find myself more of a Bond guy than a menswear guy. It doesn’t change my approach to this blog, but I feel a stronger connection to other Bond fans than other classic menswear fans.
Many Bond fans have recently been complaining that James Bond has become too much about clothes. This concerns both the amount of official 007-branded clothing that has been released in the past few years as well as the amount of fans who are interested in clothes. Neither are anything new. Since the 1960s there have been 007-branded clothes along with fans who were interested in dressing like James Bond.
Bond Suits certainly contributes to the clothing-focused fan community that exists today. This blog may even be one of the outlets that has enraged a number of these outspoken fans regarding the relationship of luxury clothing with James Bond, and these people don’t believe Bond should be about luxury products. Luxury products are one of the many things that James Bond has always been about—clothes in particular—going back to Ian Fleming writing about James Bond’s silk and Sea Island cotton shirts and his soaps from Floris in the 1955 novel Moonraker. While Fleming didn’t say much about Bond’s clothes, he emphasised that Bond was fond of the finer things.
I admit that there is too much focus on luxury Bond merchandise these days and not enough more accessible merchandise. There should be more available for the average fans and for younger fans like there used to be, like toys, games and trading cards. But most of the luxury products are on brand for Bond.
To those people who don’t like that James Bond has become too focused on menswear, think of it as the other way around: People who are interested in menswear might also like James Bond. And likewise, there are those who are interested in menswear who hate it when people talk about clothing as it relates to James Bond. From the perspective of those who admire the style of earlier on-screen men such as Cary Grant and Fred Astaire, Bond’s style is either boring or breaks the rules too often. And there are many who think that Bond, even Daniel Craig’s portrayal, dresses too old-fashioned and old-mannish. But just as we all have our favourite and least favourite Bond films and Bond actors, not everything is for everyone.
Bond is the very reason why this blog started over 12 years ago. It was personal inspiration for me, and this blog is just as much my own personal journey as it is James Bond’s. Bond eventually inspired me to write a book about his tailors and costume design (it’s called From Tailors with Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films), though my co-author Peter Brooker was just as much an inspiration for writing the book. Whether it’s this blog, its related social media or the book, the focus for me always surrounds the clothing, not Bond. If I’m critical of the clothes your favourite Bond actor wears, the criticism is not directed at the actor or his portrayal.
I’m still interested in learning more about menswear than I am in learning more about James Bond. Yet, I’m still finding inspiration in James Bond’s style, and I look forward to new Bond films for fresh inspiration. I did not find No Time to Die particularly inspiring from a menswear perspective, but there’s always the next film. I never stop looking at the clothes from the old Bond films, and I’m always trying to discover something new in them to find new inspiration, to better my own clothing knowledge and to better serve this blog.