For his final assault on Janus’ Cuban base and satellite dish, James Bond is appropriately dressed in a tactical outfit of shirt, vest and cargo trousers in various shades of olive drab. This outfit is Brosnan’s second combat look of GoldenEye after the military outfit he started the film with at the Russian base. These two costumes from costume designer Lindy Hemming completed James Bond’s transformation from a Cold War spy into an action hero for the 1990s. Timothy Dalton had previously worn tactical gear in The Living Daylights for an exercise at Gibraltar, which illustrated the start of James Bond as a more physical action-oriented character.
Check out BAMF Style’s insightful description of this outfit, where he compares Brosnan’s look with real-life military outfits.
This is a rare green-focused look for Bond. Bond usually wears a lot of blue because he’s a naval man, while green is more of an army colour. Olive green is the best choice for this outfit, and the various shades throughout the outfit help to camouflage Bond within the Cuban jungle.
The cotton utility shirt is a shade of dark olive. It has a point collar, front placket and two box-pleated breast pockets with pointed buttoned-down flaps. The shirt has long sleeves with matching elbow patches and button cuffs, and Bond wears the sleeves rolled up the forearm. At the underarms are two ventilation grommets to help the shirt breathe in the Cuban heat. The shirt’s buttons are a variegated light tan urea.
The shirt’s full fit is characteristic of the 1990s, but it’s also practical for keeping Bond cool in the Cuban heat. The shirt is a piece that could easily be worn casually as civilian wear, with the sleeve patches and armpit ventilation being the only aspect that separates it from an ordinary sports shirt.
Over the shirt Brosnan wears a lighter olive drab cotton vest with pockets and patches in a lighter shade of olive. The vest is constructed with front and back yokes, and the front yokes are vented. The armholes are piped in a light olive colour while the front edge and neck are piped in a dusty brown colour. The vest zips two-thirds up the front. There are straps at the sides of the waist to cinch it.
The vest has three small breast pockets with flaps that fasten with black poppers; two are on the left and one is on the right and angled slightly towards the face. There are three larger pockets at the lower front of the vest with Velcro-fastening flaps. The one left pocket and far right of two right pockets have inverted box pleats with bellows and flap piping that match the brown piping on the front. The inner of the two right pockets is trimmed in green to match the armholes. The angled pocket, unbalanced placement of the pockets and mismatched piping give the vest a makeshift look as if it were pieced together from different parts that were lying around.
Cotton or cotton-blend cargo trousers match the olive drab colour of vest. Cargo trousers were popular for casual dress at the time of GoldenEye in the mid-1990s, but Bond wears them for their original purpose as tactical gear. They have a flat front, slanted side pockets, two rear pockets with large flaps and flapped cargo patch pockets on the thighs. With the numerous pockets on the shirt, vest and trousers, Bond will never run out of convenient places to store items.
The trousers are supported by a wide medium-brown leather belt. The belt has a large double-prong steel buckle.
The medium-brown leather commando boots have an apron toe and four pairs of reinforced eyelets with three pairs of speed hooks. The soles are heavy black rubber commando lug soles for the best grip. Bond wears light-olive-green socks with the boots, which he tucks his trousers into.
The outfit is sort of an update of Roger Moore’s safari clothes, which he also wore for jungle missions. Brosnan’s tactical gear is more practical and is much more up-to-date, but both styles have military roots. Roger looked more stylish in his safari clothes, while Brosnan looks more badass and ready for action in his tactical gear.
I love “tactical Bond” and this is one of the best examples of that look.
I’m a fan of the Omega Seamaster that Brosnan wears, including the basket weave steel bracelet (some deride it as a bit ’90s, but whatever)… that said this would’ve been a good section of the movie to swap it for a camo strap of some sort.
I would imagine an opened vest to be much more of a hassle than a proper, fully enclosed ALICE gear setup, but it might just be me. Looks great onscreen, but for what the old Force Recon folks would call a “black mission” (bringing the fight to the enemy), a flight suit with full kit would have done better.
Oh well, Bond was supposed to be sartorially inclined anyway.
Matt, why not a future post on the James Bond’s haircut?
There are a few different styles there to look at, from the regular haircut of the Connery era through to the more blow dried look of Moore in the 1970’s and 80’s. Dalton had two different variations of the of a similar style in TLDL and LTK, basically up and back or brushed to the side and down. Basically the same cut through. Pierce Brosnan has a longer more helmet style in GE, a more slick short style in TND than a matte voluminous brush back style in TWINE and DAD. Then you go to the various short styles of the Daniel Craig.
Yes,but could be interesting talk about.
Furthermore,as it exists a ideal James Bond style in clothes, exists a ideal haircut for Bond?
Roger Moore was was obliged to short and trim his hairs for play 007,this is interesting.
Is maybe Connery/Lazenby the perfect ,definitive, haircut for the character?
Lazemby to get the role went to Connery’s barber in London and bought a suit from Anthony Sinclair,ordered but not collected by Connery
So the haircut is important for James Bond look as clothing?
I tend to think, with Bond, it’s always a reserved and balanced English haircut, and it should be, as was with his outfits.
If you look close when Bond and Natalya meet Jack Wade, he hands them an Eddie Bauer bag who is likely to have provided the clothing for them both. I wasn’t, however, able to ever find any of the items on their website. The assumption is that season had changed by the time the movie came out. It was great kit and fit the mission well.
Thanks for the information! It’s certainly possible that some of those items came from them. I might have had a pair of cargo trousers from them around that time.
Been waiting on an article for this outfit, thanks!
I am happy that you covered this Matt! I have looked forward to it for a while now! Great job!
Boots were listed as Timberlands in the making of Goldeneye book and I had a pair of Timberlands that were identical to those
How would one go about assembling this ensemble? Cargo pants are easy, but an olive green utility shirt and the vest are more elusive than I thought. I checked Eddie Bauer per a previous comment, and nada.
I just did a Google search for “green utility shirt” and there are many options. The vest is trickier.
you could search for photographer’s vest. It kinda looks like a photographer’s vest vs a tactical vest.
Excellent, complete article. The outfit is stylish and appropriate for the location and occasion, and while being military like it’s not boring. Brosnan really looks badass here in that action packed climax. Thinking of buying cargo pants and a green sports shirt now ahah, at least it’s more affordable than a Brioni suit
I’d just like to point out, although unofficial, I think Bond’s tactical gear in the beginning of Never Say Never Again may be the first time he sported the look….perhaps I’m overlooking something though?
1983 was truly the height of the Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis notwithstanding. Britain had just been through the Embassy Siege in 1980 and then the Falklands in 1982. Civilian fashion had started to pick up on these trends as well and more military style clothing became popular. Epaulets and flap chest pockets and so on. I think that may be a huge source for Connery’s outfit, green kit instead of black. Protective Mask in either of these enviroments would have been murder, I can assure you. Bond’s outfit here is not at all innappropriate, however the vest wouldnt have been worn open and flopping. His bloused trousers are very jungle savvy, creepy crawlies. All in all, todays more visible clandestine warriors could learn from the passing for a civilian look. Instead we get frat boys in a polo and 5.11 pants.