“Enjoying Death”: Retirement on the Beach in Skyfall

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Skyfall-Leather-Jacket

After James Bond’s supposed death at the beginning of Skyfall, he retires on the beach wearing clothing of quality far below his usual high standards. Thanks to the collectors at ajb007, we know the sources for all the items in this outfit. The light blue-grey shirt with a small blue and dark grey floral pattern is from Zara. It has a small point collar, front placket, long sleeves with single-button mitred cuffs (worn rolled up), and patch pockets with buttoned flaps and inverted box pleats. The shirt is darted in the back for a close fit. The shirt has tails that would suggest that this shirt is meant to be tucked, but they’re for the look rather than function. The brown suede desert boots are also from Zara.

Skyfall-Leather-Jacket-2The trousers are khaki chinos from Topman with a tight fit. They have a low rise and a too-short hem for a part-hipster, part-1960s look. The leather jacket is the “Menlo” from Levi’s Vintage Clothing. It’s a 1930s style jacket with a zip front, turn-down collar and slanted pockets. The cuffs adjust with a tab and button. The back is very interesting, with action shoulder pleats, smaller pleats another couple inches further in, and a belt that adjusts with D-rings on either side. The stubble along with the distressed jacket and poor quality shirt and trousers all contribute to Bond’s very uncharacteristic—but appropriate—dishevelled look in these scenes.

Skyfall-Leather-Jacket-3

40 COMMENTS

  1. Ugh. This is really the pits. Slop like this has nothing to do with any of the 007 ‘s I grew up with and it’s far, far away from the character of Bond. This is the problem I see with Craig; for every time you see an oufit, such as the cardigan ensemble you featured a while back from Quantum of Solace, which actually looks ok, then he then produces some monstrosity such as this. Apart from the jacket, which actually looks fine, the rest is as bad as his previous Madagascar get up, Connery’s dungarees etc.

    • The entire point of this sequence is that Bond has gone off the rails. He’s lost his motivation; lost his belief in MI6, England and M; lost his very reason to live. Hence the drinking, the apparent death wish and, yes, the wardrobe.

      As such, his attire is excellent for the purpose of the narrative.

      • What I was referring to was weather the clothes fit the character, and none of Moore’s clothes did. In my opinion, Bond should wear timeless, classic clothes in discreet colours (like Connery did in his first five films). Connerys’ clothes could easily be worn today, both the suits and the casual wear (chinos, polo shirts and short sleeved shirts being just as fashionable now as it was in 1965). Moore’s clothes have not aged well at all, no matter how good the fit of the suits are (I do agree they are absolutely perfect in cut, it’s the details and colours that spoil the looks). His clothes from the 70’s look just like that – clothes from the 70’s. Huge lapels, flared trousers and worn with colourful ties. His clothes from the 80’s just looks old-manish today, and that isn’t particularly classic iether. Connery’s clothes never looked old-manish, save for the trouser pleats. Lazenby showed a great way to make Bond look fashionable and yet in keeping with the character’s look already established by Connery. And as you have pointed out in your articles Lazenby’s clothes look just as good now as they did in the sixties – with the exeption of the ruffled shirt, another tasteless garment Moore also wore. Again, theese are only my opinions. All I say is this – if today you’d sit on a plane wearing a flashy white suit and pink shirt with matching pocket hankerchief, wear a double-breasted black tuxedo to a carnival or a safari blazer and formal trousers (not to mention a fancy tie) while strolling around in Cairo then people are guaranteed to find you silly or wierd. Craig’s clothes, just like Connery’s, are classic and fit in with the scenarios in wich they are worn (something that could not be said about Moore’s clothes).

      • I agree with the timelessness of Bond, though Moore never wore a ruffled shirt in his Bond films thankfully. And the shirt with the white suit was a very nice beige. The fit of Daniel Craig’s clothing in Skyfall will date it. These tight chinos won’t hold up, nor will the too-small suits.

      • I agree, the suits in skyfall are to tight, the Quantum of Solace cut was far superior. Also, I was referring to the shirt Moore wore with his tuxedo on the promotional photos from Live and Let Die. He would no doubt wear that shirt if there was a scene in the movie that called for a tuxedo. Overall I think Live and Let Die (and For Your Eyes Only too) is where Moore looks his best and dresses the best. He played it more seriously in his first film and as such dressed in a more discreet fashion (I won’t forgive the red tie or jeans outfit, but otherwise). Then in TMWTGG he was back in the role of comedy agent with the tacky dress sence of sir Brett Sinclair.

        And sorry for my mistake about the Moonraker shirt. I always thought that shirt was in a dark shade of pink but looking at the HD images in your article you are indeed right, it’s beige (not that it makes the outfit more Bond).

      • Hagensen,

        A few points for your consideration:
        1. Only very young men worry about looking “old-mannish, silly and weird”. The essence of style is self-confidence and panache, something most cinematic Bonds (except for Dalton and Craig) had in spades.
        2. I am an admirer of Lazenby’s wardrobe, but I am surprised you don’t find his cream suit or his riding outfit “silly and weird”. Of course they are not, because they are worn with confidence and panache, as well as being beautifully tailored.
        3. For what it’s worth, last week I was shopping in Rome in Via Condotti (near the Spanish Steps, the epicenter of Roman chic), and I saw a safari jacket in a shop window almost identical to the one Moore wore in the Cairo scene in TSWLM. Apparently they are not so out of fashion after all…

      • Yet, Matt, the 1960’s influences on this shirt make it far more fashionable (and dare I say dated before its time) than most comparable shirts of the 1970’s.

        At least the latter would have had collar lapels and pocket flaps of a more traditional size, as opposed to the thin, hipsterish look of this thing.

        What’s worse though is that this shirt is the least objectionable piece of clothing in the lot…

        -Kurt

      • “His clothes from the 80′s just looks old-manish today”

        Let’s have it right – these are the best put together outfits in the series. It is unfortunate that a colour palette beyond grey and black offends you but that comment is bordering on uninformed.

        Connery didn’t even know which button to do up on his jackets and for all the sartorial praise heaped on Terrence Young he failed to correct this particular zinger.

        And I’d venture that nothing Moore wore as 70s Bond was as garish as the ‘Diamonds’ wardrobe and no greater sartorial crime was comitted in the series than that damned romper suit in Goldfinger.

  2. I like his shirt, bur it’s below Bond’s high standards, as you said. One can even notice a loose thread inside the collar.

    PS: Everything in my country (Brazil) is pretty awful, particularly clothing. Can anybody tell me the difference between this clothes (low quality) and the rest of Bond’s wardrobe? If they last longer or whatever. I really can’t tell the difference because, here, cheap polyester clothes cost more than high quality clothes in the US or Europe. Besides, it’s almost impossible to find anything decent do wear in Brazil.

  3. In the director’s commentary Sam Mendes mentions how Bond’s appearance in this outfit demonstrates a remarkable lack of vanity. The point is that Bond doesn’t care what he looks like, he’s just thrown on some cheap threads he found off the rack. He’s a physical and psychological mess, and the clothing reflects this.

    • However, I do think that leather jacket is beautiful. Just the kind of thing I’d like. Also Matt, I was wondering if you were ever planning on doing articles on Silva’s sports jacket on the deserted island and Bond’s suit in M’s office at the end of the film?

    • Excellent point. Bond’s clothes are intentionally not bespoke nor are they from a high end tailor. They are from Zara, a mass market retailer.

      Remember Bond’s comment to M; “What was it you said? ‘Take the bloody shot'”?

      He’s being dead. That’s all. He’s dressed *down*, and in an entirely appropriate fashion. Criticisms about how Moore never would have worn this or similar – Moore never played Fleming’s Bond either, just a lecherous octogenarian in a safari suit who shared the name of the cold killer Fleming created. Stuff Moore’s clothes; give us back the wasted years of slide whistles and Tarzan roars and I’ll concede the point on this outfit.

  4. Although I like the 30s leather jacket, and usually appreciate Craig’s Bond casual clothing, this time the all look is too much. It looks like Jack Bauer on retirement, always waiting to be called again…

    • I believe that’s almost the point — not to emulate Jack Bauer, but as many other commenters have mentioned, Bond doesn’t care what he looks like at this point. He’s meant to be disheveled and not ‘put-together’ looking. I don’t think it’s really possible to be trying too hard to look like that — those are just clothes he probably picked up at a flea market (or maybe killed someone for?).

  5. He’s gone from Tom Ford bespoke (albeit ill fitting) to Gap sales clothes. Pretty unlikely for the real 007 but not inconceivable, I suppose, if he’s no longer earning a salary. The problem nowadays is that men have so much more choice in casual wear which actually makes us look worse, not better. Smart advertising deceives us into believing that what looks ok (not necessarily good) on a slim, 22 year old model actually looks good on us. I have made this mistake myself on occasions but am speedily corrected by my wife who says “I’m not going out with you looking like that!”.

    • I feel like this comment about the “real” 007 was made without the benefit of having read a single Fleming novel?

      He dressed as needed on a number of occasions, including cheap clothing if required. See also: Dr No for starters.

  6. The guy’s also living on a beach … I’m surprised they didn’t put him in board shorts and a tank top lol
    Now THAT would represent a big ol’ psychological hot mess.
    ps Whatever happened to film costume designers MAKING the clothes the actors wear on screen instead of popping out to Oxford Circus and buying it.
    Bring back Lindy Hemming I say.

  7. One of the worst Bond outfits to me. Looks like poor man’s Tyler Durden. I guess the book Bond looked better even after Tracy’s death.

  8. James St John Smythe, let’s not pull our punches; the comments you refer to are not really “bordering” on anything. A great majority of them are ill informed and are just illustrate the usual tedious prejudice against the longest serving and, IMO, most entertaining 007. Just some random examples; apart from Douglas Hayward’s beautiful suits being the epitome of refined elegance to anyone with sensibilities in that regard, what about these – “tacky dress sense in TMWTGG”, “I won’t forgive the red tie” as if there was anything offensive about a plain red tie? Moore’s clothes don’t fit the character? What character? If he’s referring to the literary character then none of the actor’s wardrobes truly did. If it’s the cinematic “character” he’s referring to then, supposedly, Connery is the template forever and ever amen. The lapels on Moore’s 1970’s suits, as has been correctly stated for about the hundredth time on this blog, were on the classic side of fashionable and in no way “huge”. Lazenby actually wore a cream suit and pink tie, not Moore, and yet, he finds this timeless. Connery never wore actual “chinos”.

    And, of course, poor old Roger’s safari clothing comes in for inspection. Of course no rant against Moore could ever forego that tantalising, if by now dreary prospect…

    My point, which I reiterate, was that the cinematic Bond, (Connery, Lazenby, Moore or Brosnan) was always impeccably dressed and some variation of the classic gentleman spy template. I cannot imagine any of these interpretations behaving as Craig is here even if they were considering retirement. Lazenby was in precisely this situation but the producers in 1969 viewed the character differently. The clothing Craig is wearing in these scenes, regardless of context, looks overall very cheap and pedestrian and this is something which would never have been associated with the cinematic Bond’s wardrobe hitherto (Dalton aside).

    The trend is toward a spurious realism now. So the gentleman spy is dead and gone and in his place we have a heavy drinking, swearing, “realistic” Bond. Can we look forward to him belching and breaking wind in future installments? If so I’ll take the days of tuxedos, safari clothing, traditional British tailoring, good manners, charm and grace over the revamped Bond anytime and will continue to defend this long standing portrayal on foot of future posts.

    • David–I want to preface my post by saying that I have enjoyed all three of Daniel Craig’s Bond films, and I think Skyfall is particularly good.

      I know that you find his portrayal of Bond to be offensive, but I’m not sure that the “gentleman spy” that you long for would resonate with modern audiences. Therefore, the character, and to some extent his wardrobe, have evolved out of necessity–a basic survival instinct. Of course, you understand this. But where you would prefer the series have come to an end rather than evolve to this point, I would prefer to keep seeing new incarnations of this beloved character.

      That said, I am also a big defender of Roger Moore, both sartorially and otherwise. His clothing is simply excellent, and he always wore it with effortless flair. Likewise, I have always thought that the carefree globetrotting of his films made for great entertainment. But I would have a hard time picking out any sequence in a Moore Bond film that was nearly as compelling as some of the scenes in Skyfall. That’s not an indictment of Moore, but rather an observation that these films shouldn’t be viewed in a vacuum. They reflect the period in which they are made, despite how timeless we may want them to be. Moore was the Bond for his time, and Craig, for better or worse, is the Bond for this one. Likewise, Fleming’s Bond was created very much as a reaction to the time he lived in as well. I believe that I am able to enjoy each version of Bond because I appreciate this basic fact.

      Cheers.

  9. I frankly don’t understand the negative reaction to this costume. And it is a costume, not an outfit for a fashion show. It fits the character, the setting, and the story perfectly. I cannot imagine Bond (played by any of the actors) wearing a more “classic” or “traditional” outfit given the setting and his mental state. He would stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.

    Of the other actors, I can only imagine Sean Connery, besides Craig, also playing this perfect scene, one in keeping with the hard-drinking, blend in with the locals literary Bond. Top marks to Craig, and Skyfall.

    And, whatever one thinks of the cut of the Skyfall suits, Craig certainly looks the part in a very traditional sense the rest of the movie.

  10. We are in agreement David — as ever, I think!

    I’m sure there were people who thought Dalton looked cool and fresh and modern in 1989. Not many people calling their tailors to emulate something from his films these days though, I’ll wager – and it’ll be the same with Daniel Craig.

    And as to red ties being wrong… don’t get me started!

    • While I hate the fit, I actually love the details of Craig’s suits in Skyfall — three buttons with slightly narrower (not anemic) lapels rolled to the middle, side tabs, and centre vent all look nice together. However, they didn’t suit the character. Along with the tab collar, it looks very American. Not a good choice for a film that emphasizes Bond’s British identity quite a bit.

      • The lapel isn’t actually cut to roll to the middle like it is on the Quantum suits. It pulls to the middle because the chest is too small.

  11. A leather jacket and desert boots are both staples of my own casual wardrobe, I really have no objections to Bond wearing either. And though I’m not crazy about the rest of the outfit and I think the trousers are too short, in terms of the story it’s important to remember that Bond has been left for dead and has probably just thrown on whatever he could find. I agree with Matt’s assessment that this is an “uncharacteristic but appropriate” appearance considering the film’s storyline. For all intents and purposes, in this scene, he is not James Bond 007. He’s forgotten who he is and lost faith both in himself and in M/MI6. In that sense I find this less objectionable than the ill-fitting suits that he wears both before and after this scene takes place– they don’t add anything to the storyline, they just look sloppy.

    With regard to another topic that this post has brought up, I’m not sure what is objectionable about a plain red tie, I’m don’t think ties can get any simpler than that. How often do we see the President of the United States, both the current incumbent and numerous predecessors, wearing red ties? As far as I’m concerned they are a basic wardrobe staple.

    Finally I’m not sure what about Moore’s 1980’s suits looks “old mannish.” Granted the button stance may be just on the low side of classic, but to me something like this one is as timeless as it gets.
    https://www.bondsuits.com/?p=178#comments

  12. FS; I can agree absolutely with 100% of what you have said. Your analysis is balanced and reasonable. For me it would definitely have been preferable if the series had not, as you say, evolved to this point and the image of Bond which I have carried with me since childhood hadn’t been tainted. This is why my wife’s description of Dalton and now Craig as “rapists”, while superficially funny, is actually pretty accurate, at least from my perspective. What the phrase intends to convey, in this context is that the image of a character is effectively violated by somebody’s interpretation being radically removed from his predecessor/s. You’re correct that a “gentleman spy” would probably be out of place in the world of 2013 (perhaps this is why the producers ditched poor Pierce so summarily in favour of Craig) but for me it’s just a very unfortunate indictment that the modern world has reached such a shabby and low point that what you say is a truism.
    Christian/Kyle; fair enough and point taken regarding the clothing being appropriate for the context in which he’s wearing it, however, I haven’t watched the movie and am only going on the images presented by Matt here. I would reiterate however, my point about the similarity with Lazenby’s situation in OHMSS and how the producers then never saw fit to depict the character in such a scenario. I cannot imagine any previous Bond interpretation except Dalton being depicted in this fashion and I don’t find it to be part of (for want of a better description) the “classic” Bond’s world. Why would one think we really need to view a beer swilling 007? Why go there at all? The “classic” Bond was always a sophisticate at home in a luxurious setting and that is why we loved him so much (or at least that was what I had always thought) and this type of situation would be an anathema to him.

  13. It’s interesting, and almost amusing to me, to see the consternation that Craig’s outfits can cause among some of the people here.

    Bond’s clothes have always evolved with the times. It’s interesting that someone mentioned that the shirt in this scene looks “hipster-ish” and “dated before its time” as opposed to shirts of a similar nature from the 70s. I own this shirt myself (a lucky buy at Zara on Boxing day) and there is nothing “hipster-ish” about it at all, other than being slim fit (and it doesn’t look overly slim on Craig in the pictures above). In fact, in terms of construction, size of collar, etc it’s on the “classic side of fashionable” much like what someone said about the lapels on Moore’s 70s suits. Every time I wear this shirt I gets lots of compliments, and my circle of friends is made of late-30s to mid-40s professionals, not hipsters or teens that hang out at the mall.

    Will the cut of Craig’s chinos go out of style? Of course – just like every bit of clothing ever. I’m old enough to have seen that there was a time that Connery’s clothes, especially his suits, were made fun of by the current generation for looking ridiculous. Now here we are talking about how “timeless” they are.

    I agree with those above who say that the outfit is appropriate to the film, especially to the character (check out how Fleming has Bond dress at times!) and looks quite good. However, if it somehow offends someone then just wait ten years and the Bond series will be in a very different place.

  14. Unshaven; pre-owned clothes; no self-respect; drinking for England – has Bond ever sunk this low before? In fairness, the Istanbul mission was a fiasco and M seems to have the nasty habit of booting out agents when they disappoint her. Please note that Bond does drag himself out of his dissolute lifestyle and get his act together. Not everyone will agree with this, but I don’t think the jacket is too bad. And even if you don’t agree, it does cover the awful untucked shirt. Hope Bond didn’t pawn the Omega to get it, though. All the menswear of Zara and Topman which I’ve looked out is cut way too small. Esp. the trousers, which look like ballet tights, even on skinny men.

  15. I remember there being some debate at AJB as to whether Craig was rolling the pant legs up:
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/11/05/article-2057927-0EAD16DD00000578-104_306x717.jpg

    https://www.bondsuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Skyfall-Desert-Boots.jpg If let down in this picture I think they might be of adequate length? Maybe my eyes are seeing things.

    I’ve long admired love the no-break look of Connery and Lazenby’s suit/casual pants. But these pants are way skinny and if they aren’t in fact rolled, they are too short at probably negative-break.

  16. Dressing like Roger Moore would make Daniel Craig look like a peacock. Aside from the ultra-skinny suits and chinos I like the way DC dresses. Maybe I have bad taste…

    • Jason, good or bad taste is, to a large degree, subjective and I fully accept that but the “to a large degree” is an important caveat.

      Why, for example, do you think the clothing Bond wore in “Licence to Kill” in 1988 is now, almost universally, derided and the “Skyfall” clothing is not, or at least not to the same extent?

      Nobody, certainly not me, is suggesting that Craig “dress like Roger Moore” (or indeed Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan for that matter). Every Bond has his own individual style, it’s just that, for me anyway, Craig’s often deviates too widely from what I was accustomed to as the Bond template (ditto Dalton from a slightly differing, if related, rationale). If any version of the cinematic Bond dressed like “a peacock” then it was one-shot George Lazenby.

  17. Why don’t all of you who don’t like the tighter fit of Daniel Craig’s suit ask your wives or girlfriends if you even have one what they think looks better the tighter fit or the traditional fit they will probably like the more modern fitted fit don’t be mad if your to old yo pull it off unlike Daniel Craig

    • The problem with the Tom Ford suits in Skyfall isn’t the tight fit, it’s the poor fit. A suit can fit very closely—like Tom Ford’s suits in Quantum of Solace—without fitting poorly. Most people here don’t object to a close fit, but a suit that pulls and creases is simply a poorly tailored suit. A close fit can still be neatly tailored. It could have been done much better. I showed a few women the Skyfall suit, and they liked the tight fit. Then I showed them the Quantum of Solace suit and they immediately changed their mind because they saw how much more flattering a suit is when it doesn’t pull.

    • Thomas, both my wife and my daughter (who is probably your age judging by your tone) dislike the skinny fit of Craig’s recent suits.

  18. I will probably upset a few folks with my take, because I would like to see Bond dressing more realistic like the Enjoying Death scene or the Madagascar scene in Casino Royale. He is after all a spy and his job is to blend in with the locals.

    I find it quite interesting the discussion regarding Bond’s fashion sense particularly after the man’s been shot off of a moving train, fallen what appears to be more than a hundred feet into a river below, washed down a waterfall, and eventually coming to rest on a beach somewhere. Now figuring, MI6 presumes he’s dead so any credit cards he has on him have been canceled. Moreover Bond did not want anyone to know he was alive so he wouldn’t have used them anyway. If he still had his wallet after surviving the aforementioned, he probably had very little cash on him to purchase the style of clothing you all believe he should be wearing.

    Now for those of you who have never worked undercover (I work undercover being in law enforcement), one of the first rules is to blend in with your environment. Typically the easiest way to do this is going to a local thrift shop and picking-up a few items off the rack. In fact, not knowing what Bond’s assignment was in the opening scene, unless is assignment was overt protection (target hardening), Bond should have been dressed down like he was in Casino Royale. Notice during the during the entire opening sequence he is the only one wearing a suit. A true spy would have never allowed this.

    To the plot of the movie, my take was Bond felt betrayed and sacrificed and expressed as much when he met M in her apartment; “…you should have let me finish the job.” Moreover, the plot has us believing that the “new ways” of spying are better than those of the old-guards such as Bond. Which takes us to the Enjoying Death scene. We see Bond in bed with an unknown female pondering, no doubt about what occurred and his future, and drinking. Next we see him getting wasted at the bar and even chancing death with the scorpion. Here is a man who is giving up and who cares nothing about his clothing. They’re utilitarian to him. To quote him from Casino Royale when asked how he wanted his martini, “Do I look like I give a damn.”

    Then we see him struggling to get his old and worn out, ‘old-guard’ body back into shape. As he progresses he regains his self-confidence and self-worth, and we see his sense of style (i.e. pride) returning with him. At the end of the movie, when the DB5 is destroyed (I cringe at even typing that) and his old house is destroyed, it’s symbolic of the old Bond dying and a new Bond being resurrected (perhaps the franchise).

    Now to his suits, I don’t really care much about the width of his lapel or whether or not this movie will be dated 20 years from now. What gets me is the sense that Bond would be more concerned about fashion over practicality, which goes to the fashion designer.

    We can all agree that the suits are too tight. They look great when he’s standing still. However, in the real world Bond would be concerning about mobility and concealment of weapons. When working in plain clothes the one thing you don’t want is printing (the visible outline of your weapon(s) and comms). Even with his shoulder rig and his arms down by his side, with his suit this tight there would have been major printing under his arm. Secondly, the skinny ankles, while fashionable, rule out the possibility of wearing an ankle rig for a secondary firearm.

    In closing, I do understand that this is movie and it is fantasy. But when you’re writing a script that is supposed to be plausible, little things like choice of clothing can go a long way toward adding realism to a movie. And that’s not to say that Bond can’t wear suits or tuxedos. There are plenty of opportunities just not when he should be wearing one.

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  19. From other photo’s I’ve seen It looks like Craig chinos are rolled up slightly at the hem. not quite as much as on his chinos in Spectre though. You can see it on the post about chukka and desert boots, with the capture of Craig walking along the beach.

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