Agent Saunders rudely greets James Bond, first telling him that he’s late and then saying that he’s overdressed. “This is a mission, not a fancy dress ball”, says Saunders. For our first look at Timothy Dalton as James Bond in tailored clothes, he proves that he looks the part. To a classical music concert in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in The Living Daylights, Bond wears a traditionally detailed black shawl-collar dinner jacket with a button one front, no vent, jetted pockets and four-button cuffs. Though the shoulders are a little wide as per late 1980s styles, the dinner jacket fits well through the body. The shawl collar is noticeably wider than the more familiar shawl-collar dinner jackets Bond wore in the 1960s.
The dinner suit’s trousers have double reverse pleats and a black silk stripe down the sides, and they are held up by white clip-on braces. Proper braces button into the waistband—most typically the inside of the waistband, but sometimes onto the outside of the waistband in front—and do not clip-on. In the traditional James Bond fashion, he is not wearing a cummerbund or waistcoat, which at least would hide the clips.
Bond shows Saunders that he is properly dressed for both a fancy dress ball and his mission when he turns up the dinner jacket’s shawl collar and closes it with a Velcro strap, better to hide himself in the dark without a bright white shirt over the chest.
Underneath the dinner jacket he wears a white dress shirt from an English brand with narrow pleats, mother of pearl buttons down the placket, a spread collar and double cuffs. The shirt proves to be from an English brand with a placket stitched 3/8 inch from the edge and double cuffs with link holes close to the fold. He wears a well-tied black satin silk thistle-shaped bow tie.
This dinner jacket was sold at auction by Prop Store on £11,250 on 9 November 2021. The auction listing indicates that it was originally made for Brenda Starr but went unused in that film, so it found its way into The Living Daylights. It has a label from costumer Bermans & Nathans, indicating that they either made the dinner jacket or procured it for Brenda Starr.