James Bond’s New Love Affair with Corduroy


It’s corduroy season in the northern hemisphere. Corduroy is not a fabric traditionally associated with Bond, but thanks to No Time to Die it has become a Bond staple. It’s certainly a divisive material. Some appreciate its soft comfort while others dislike it for its old-fashioned, geography teacher-associated look or its bulk.

Corduroy is a cotton fabric similar to velvet but with tufted ribs. Corduroy’s ribs, properly known as ‘wales’, comes in different widths, with wider wales having a more traditional look and finer wales looking more modern. Finer-wale corduroy is often called pinwale corduroy or needlecord and is a lighter weight. Regular corduroy has 14 or fewer wales per inch, while needlecord has 14 or more wales per inch.

No Time to Die is the corduroy Bond film, with three different outfits in corduroy. Massimo Alba provided the corduroy clothes for the film, including the sand-coloured ‘Sloop’ suit, the ‘Winch’ trousers in ‘Alluminio’ (a warm grey), the ‘Mauko’ trousers in ‘nero lavato’ (washed black), and the ‘Rain2’ duster coat in ‘agades’ olive green.

Massimo Alba’s corduroy is all needlecord, which is of the finest ‘baby corduroy’ variety. Compared to typical corduroy, it is very lightweight and more breathable, making it appropriate for warm—but not hot—weather. It is nothing like what your geography teacher wore, and it’s not going to keep you warm during autumn’s cooler days.

The ‘Sloop’ suit is one of Bond’s most casual suits of the series, due to both the corduroy and its minimal structure. Corduroy is a great fabric for both suits and sports coats when one wants to look well-tailored but still dress down. Bond’s button-down denim shirt is the perfect complement to a corduroy suit.

Bond wears the ‘Winch’ trousers with a henley and linen jacket in a very casual setting, which they are perfect for.

The ‘Rain2’ duster coat is a very unusual coat for Bond. It’s a long coat, and thus it would work well over tailoring, ideally with something more relaxed like a tweed suit or jacket. But Bond wears this coat more casually over a henley and the Massimo Alba ‘Mauko’ trousers in black. It’s usually difficult to successfully pair two items of corduroy that aren’t a matching suit, but this corduroy is so fine that it reads like a plain material on screen. Instead of black corduroy trousers, black or khaki jeans would have paired much better.

Detail of the Massimo Alba ‘Rain2’ duster coat

No Time to Die is not the first time Bond wears corduroy. In For Your Eyes Only he wears trousers in a traditional heavy black corduroy for his assault on the monastery where villain Kristatos is hiding out. Bond chose corduroy for this mission because it is warm, flexible and hard-wearing. These trousers are made of a medium-wale corduroy, which along with wide-wade corduroy was popular in the 1970s and 1980s.

The corduroy trousers in For Your Eyes Only

Sean Connery wore trousers of a very wide wale on the April 1966 cover of GQ magazine. There he appears decidedly un-Bondian, in trousers that look rather old-fashioned but might reflect what he may have worn growing up in Scotland. There he would have been comfortable in these cords for much of the year.

Roger Moore wore a fawn-coloured corduroy trenchcoat in the television special Happy Anniversary 007 in 1987 to celebrate 25 years of the Bond films. Moore loved trenchcoats and wore them in a number of different fabrics in various roles. It’s didn’t seem particularly Bondian at the time based on what Bond wore in the films, but with Bond wearing a corduroy coat now in No Time to Die it wouldn’t feel out of place for Bond. Moore wears it over a blue blazer, but it would also be a great choice over tweed or other sporty materials.

Carrying on from where Bond left his corduroy in For Your Eyes Only, Bond wears brown corduroy trousers for another assault in Skyfall, this time to defend his own base. Brown is one of the most traditional colours for corduroy, being that corduroy is a classic material for the British countryside. These are of the needlecord variety, but the cord is not as fine as the Massimo Alba cord, so it retains most of corduroy’s traditional character. These are the ‘Iggy Corduane’ Jeans from All Saints. In a jeans style rather than Massimo Alba’s chino style, these are more casual.


  1. I must say I don’t particularly like the old style thick corduroy nor my perceived sloppiness of Craig’s corduroy jacket style. However that being said there is a resurgence of needle cord in the mkt place and great examples in the Anderson&Sheppard bespoke gallery which elevate the elegance of a suit in that materiel especially the cashmere/corduroy blend which would have been better portrayed by Bond imho. Divisive yes but does has it’s place nevertheless.

  2. Interesting topic Matt. I will say that I knew that Bond wore corduroy in the past on screen but not near as much as he did in No time to die. For me personally I do not mind corduroy and I don’t mind seeing Bond wear corduroy either. I think that this is something some people will like while others don’t. I myself do not own a corduroy suit but I do own a corduroy sport jacket. I have found it to be a comfortable jacket to wear for casual wear when it is cold outside.

    I like how you made the comment about how corduroy is a great material to wear while in the English countryside. Where I live there is a lot of countryside so having the chance to wear country sports jackets are quite easy!

    Nice article Matt quite enjoyable!


  3. The corduroy suit was the most interesting garment in NTTD. The two business suits and even the dinner suit he wears in the film are rather mediocre, especially in regard to fit (the trousers have annoyingly low waist and there’s almost always a collar gap). Also, the plain navy tie he wears is just boring. A grenadine would’ve been much more interesting.
    By the way, Matt, are you planning to cover Daniel Craig’s pink dinner jacket he wore to the premiere? Thank you!

  4. My first reaction to “Bond in corduroy” was mild disdain, but after seeing the multiple examples in this article, I discovered my negative reaction is squarely focused on the Craig Sloop suit. for this Canadian, it evokes painful visions of the “Canadian Tuxedo”.

    On targeted pieces in an ensemble, corduroy can definitely have its place, even on Bond. But IMHO, it should never be the centerpiece.

  5. I find it somewhat disconcerting that with the Duster Jacket, Bond is dressing the way I did back when I was twenty. Black corduroy trousers, clashing brown boots, either a dress shirt or a knit shirt (in my case, long-sleeved polos), and a cotton long coat with slash pockets and nothing else.

    I can see why people wouldn’t like it, because frankly Bond should always look better than the way I would dress when left to my own devices.

    On the other hand, I kinda want that Duster coat now.

  6. I have the pleasure to own a corduroy suit, which has a resemblance of Marc Ange Draco sport coat. https://www.bondsuits.com/dracos-dark-brown-pinwale-corduroy-sports-coat/
    It has three buttons on the front just like his, and it has the same dark brown look.
    My suit is made with matching trousers, and features nice surgeon cuffs. I love this suit because I live in an area that is surrounded with a beautiful country side. I think it feels lovely in the autumn weather.

    I love the material and it makes a great suit for a casual event. I also like to use it as a sport jacket as well. I like Draco combination a lot. It gives his status a nod, while he is wearing a casual sport coat. Bond’s corduroy suit is not bad, but I rather prefer Draco’s look. I adore the look of the cravat with this sport coat. I think a necktie looks great as well.

    Craig’s overcoat does not look bad, but I must say I would rather have Moore’s overcoat. Anyway, I enjoyed this topic of curdory. Many may think the looks non-Bondian, but I love the material. Great topic Matt.

    Have a great week,

  7. Maybe they wanted to dress him up in Dad clothes. It takes a bigger man than Bond to make a corduroy suit look “cool”.

  8. I tend to live in a pair of needlecord light brown corduroy trousers when ‘off duty’ I can certainly see the appeal but never thought it a very Bondian look.

    Matt – Would you consider a review of Daniel Craig’s outfit when he appeared on BBC1’s Graeme Norton show in September this year? Lot’s of classic details (Cocktail cuffs etc.) to discuss.

  9. I thought the Sloop suit was a very odd choice for Bond. It’s not a bad suit or anything, and actually something I might wear, but it somehow just didn’t feel right for him as a character. And given it takes place not too long after Spectre, surely he could have been wearing a structured Tom Ford suit for that scene. Even in retirement, even in Matera. The duster certainly looked cool in the scenes it was used in, but I too would have preferred that black and brown didn’t clash in the outfit.


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