The Leather Car Coat in The Living Daylights

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Timothy Dalton’s leather car coat is a great casual item for the cold European winters. Bond wears this on his trip from Bratislava to Vienna in The Living Daylights. The coat reaches just below the hips, the typical car coat length. Though Bond mostly leaves it unbuttoned, the coat can button up to the collar. It has numerous external pockets, including angled slash zipper pockets on the chest and flapped patch pockets below. There is a seam around the waist, which probably includes a tunnel housing a string used to cinch the waist. There are button tabs on the sleeves.

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The coat is a little too big by today’s standards but more typical of how people wore their clothes in the late 1980s. The shoulders are too wide and droop down over the arm, and the sleeves cover half the hand.

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The dark grey, crew-neck Shetland wool jumper is also over-sized, as was popular in the era. The ecru shirt, possibly oxford cloth, is well hidden, with only part of the collar and button cuffs peaking through the collar and cuffs of the jumper. The shirt’s soft point collar has traditional 1/4″ stitching. The rounded cuffs fasten with one button but have two buttons to adjust the tightness of the cuff. This is a ready-to-wear method of making cuffs that can fool the wearer into thinking the sleeve length is adjustable. When using the inner cuff button the sleeve can be appear to be shorter by preventing the cuff from sliding over the hand. Using the outer cuff button allows the sleeve to hang lower.

The trousers are charcoal grey woollen flannel. They have a full upper thigh that tapers to a narrow plain hem. Bond wears black leather gloves and shoes with the outfit. Bond’s shoes are black leather apron-toe, derby lace-up shoes in the city scenes and black snow boots with lug soles in the snow.

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Dressed to Kill: James Bond The Suited Hero mentions that the coat is dark green, but a Christie’s lot description says the coat is black. The full description reads:

“A three-quarter length black leather jacket with concealed zip and button fastening, with black ‘art’ silk lining, labelled inside Kenzo, white tape label to inside pocket inscribed in black ballpoint pen T DALTON — purchased for Timothy Dalton as James Bond in the 1987 United Artists/Eon film The Living Daylights; accompanied by a colour reproduction of a corresponding still and a letter concerning the provenance from the film’s Wardrobe Supervisor, Tiny Nicholls.”

It sold for £1,410 on 12 December 2001.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Hello,
    Congratulations for this most excellent blog. A publicity shot of Tim Dalton next to the V8 Aston shows the shirt collar out and it is a soft collar, pointed and not button-down (which would be strange for our British spy). Another one with Ms d'Abo show Tim without the jacket, the sleeves are raglan.
    Good thread on The Living Daylights which has Dalton donning a good updated version of Connery's suits. It clearly showed Tim could wear a suit too. Licence To Kill, despite its qualities is a eyesore regarding wardrobe…
    Best regards from France

  2. Fantastic.

    The perfect outfit for Bond to wear while skulking around the drab streets of Soviet-controlled Bratislava. Stylish but subtle.

  3. It’s nice to be able to revisit some of the old posts now that we’re running out of “new” outfits…

    I well remember what an impact this movie made on me when it came out – after years of the older, clownish Moore we suddenly had a (relatively) young, dynamic Bond. And as I had become a fashion-conscience teen it was amazing to see Bond wearing “cool” clothes.

    As I was still getting my sea legs with men’s more “dressy” clothes I remember thinking that the car coat looked “weird” to me, although the padded, dropped shoulders made it look cool (what can I say, it was the 80s). But the charcoal sweater and pants made the outfit look both dressy and cool, and I remember the sweater looking like it was shaker knit, which was all the rage in 1987. In fact, I saw a very expensive near-identical version of this sweater at Club Monaco last year and almost bought it three times just for the nostalgia value – until I noticed it was acrylic. Extra points for both warmth and added 80s nostalgia, minus a million for the sweater becoming “fuzzy” from just being moved around the shelves a bit!

    Is the shirt really ecru? I thought it was a light greyish blue because I bought a similar shirt right afterwards, and it certainly doesn’t look like ecru in the pics.

    • The shirt is ecru in some pictures and warm grey in others with no hint of blue. Perhaps the shirt actually is grey and it just looks different depending on lighting. You’re probably right that it’s grey. I’ll look at it on the Blu-ray when I have a chance.

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