A Dark Polo for a Showdown in The Living Daylights


Timothy Dalton, who turned 66 last week, wears a dark outfit for his showdown with Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights. It appears that his polo in this scene is the same navy polo that he wears earlier in the film, but this time he pairs it with black trousers. There’s a possibility that the polo is black, but when bright light shines on the out, the shirt looks blue against the black trousers.

Though black shoes are the default choice for a navy suit, the pairing of dark blue and black in most other situations is questionable. The textural contrast between navy cloth and black leather makes the shoe pairing work well. A shiny black silk tie against a matte navy suit can also work. However, navy cotton against black cotton clashes. Colours that are very close need a significant textural contrast to work well with each other.

Dalton’s navy knit polo-like shirt with a ribbed fold-down collar, ribbed cuffs and a long nine-button opening is the same shirt he wears earlier in the film under his beige blouson. The shirt looks black at first, though under bright light the blue shows and slightly contrasts with black trousers. The trousers are also the same double forward-pleat cotton chinos, but in black. Bond wears a black braided leather belt and a black trainers.

This dark outfit works well for hiding in the dark when Bond sneaks around Brad Whitaker’s lair for their final and only showdown. His clothes are not tactical gear; he’s dressed like a normal person in typical 1980s casual clothes. He’s able to walk down the street in these clothes and not attract any attention while also being prepared to take down a villain.


  1. Didn’t Bond wear a lot of blue and black in the Fleming books? I tend to remember blue suits and black ties for sure and perhaps even black sports shirts with dark blue pants. I’m not saying this looks good, but Bond has done this in his past…

  2. Dear Matt,
    I watched TLD yesterday, broadcast on French TV. And noticed the construction of the polo. It looks like it is not constructed with set-in sleeves. It seems to be made with a T-shaped front and a back sewn together with stitching other shoulders and arms. The long front placket is finally not the only original part. Not sure N Peal constructed their homage like that.
    Regards from France,

  3. I believe it’s a cross between a popover shirt and a polo..

    A collared popover shirt to be exact.. it’s a nice style.

      • There’s no difference between what you said and a collared popover shirt – a polo can be a shirt, except that collared popover shirts actually exist as something you can search for and purchase and polos with a popover placket do not. They are the closest thing to what Dalton is wearing and he is certainly wearing cotton pique, have a look at the “Friday Polo” by permanent style as an idea.

      • The difference between a polo and popover is primarily in the construction. The Friday polo is a popover made of a polo material. But it’s also not uncommon now to find polos with a 2-piece collar like a popover has. Dalton’s shirt is a polo because it’s constructed like a polo, it’s made of a polo material, it has a polo collar and it has polo cuffs. Even though the placket is long like on a popover, it is constructed like a polo placket. The length of placket doesn’t define a popover.

  4. I’m afraid you are talking nonsense. There’s no difference, the Friday Polo “popover shirt” has no difference in construction to any other Polo shirt in general. There’s no set construction for a popover shirt, which is a very casual modern creation, and they are usually collarless. There’s no such thing as “Polo material” Polo shirts were originally made from cotton but later from everything else. Dalton is wearing cotton because only cotton would allow his collar to stand as it does (which you will notice Sean Connery’s black wool polo shirt cannot). There’s no such thing as a “Polo collar”, original pique collars on Polos were buttoned down and there’s no such thing as “Polo cuffs” either, you mean ribbed cuffs, Polo shirt’s original style are with buttoned not ribbed cuffs. I see no evidence that Dalton is wearing ribbed cuffs in fact from the photos I’ve seen they look button cuffed to me from the way they lie on his wrists.

    That Friday Polo I alluded to is the most original Polo shirt style as it has existed for over a century with the exception of the low gorge (like a popover shirt) and is the closest style I can find to what Dalton is wearing in the movie.

    • The popover is not a modern creation, and it’s a much older style than what we know of as a polo today. The popover was a formal shirt that took a detachable collar, until 20th century versions gave it an attached collar. What is identifiable as a polo today goes back to the 1920s. While the cloth doesn’t define the shirts, popovers are usually woven while polos are usually knitted. Dalton’s polo has ribbed cuffs, which is not something popovers have. By the standards of the past hundred years, Dalton’s shirt is closer to a polo than to a popover.

      • What you are referring to as “popover” shirts existing for centuries, existed in name as just shirts, the term and name “popover shirt” is a post WW2 casual creation. I know all about detachable collars which used to be the standard, starching etc. it has nothing to do with anything. The original Polo style had button cuffs not ribbed cuffs and buttoned collars. As for them being knitted, that’s a modern iteration,. original Polos were made of woven heavy cotton, not kntted and not of wool and other materials which are laters iterations. We should remind ourselves that the US did not create the Polo shirt, Britain did.. This is a boring conversation and I’m afraid you are wrong.

        As for Dalton’s cuffs, they could be ribbed, difficult to tell from the movie, they look buttoned to me because they seem looser on him, it’s ultimately irrelevant.


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