The gun club check is a popular pattern for country clothes, such as on the sports coat that James Bond wears in The Living Daylights when visiting the Bladen safe house outside London in Oxfordshire. The check is usually woven in an even twill weave, often with a 32-yarn repeat. The pattern is based on the black and white shepherd check but made in three or four colours. Bond’s gun club check is in black, brown, blue and green, and the pattern can be seen illustrated below. The sports coat has a button two front, two buttons on the cuffs, double vents and flapped pockets. The shoulders are padded with roped sleeve heads. Dalton wears the sports coat unbuttoned.
Bond wears an ecru shirt with a spread collar, a front placket and single-button rounded cuffs. The shirt has many aspects of a traditional English shirt, such as a collar stitched 1/4 inch from the edge with tie space and a sewn-in interfacing and a narrow placket stitched 3/8 inch from the edge.
The tie is a brown knit with a flat bottom, tied in a four-in-hand knot. The dark brown flannel trousers have forward pleats and no turn-ups in the traditional English fashion. In the Connery Bond tradition, there is not a lot of contrast between the jacket and trousers. The less contrast between the jacket and trousers makes the outfit dressier, and outdoors the contrast proves to be enough for the outfit to avoid looking like a mismatched suit. When the pattern on the jacket is bolder, less contrast is needed with the trousers.
The low contrast of this outfit also helps to make it look more modern and more hip. Such an outfit today would still look good, just with the cuts updated to today’s fashions. It avoids the old-fashioned country look.
Bond’s belt and slip-on shoes with apron toes are medium brown, a lighter shade than the trousers. Between the checked jacket, knitted tie and slip-on shoes, Ian Fleming would surely approve of this fine outfit for the country. The Living Daylights marks the last time James Bond wears a tweed odd jacket. Bond comes to the safe house appropriately dressed for the country, whilst Bond’s superiors M and the Minister of Defence are dressed in their more formal city business suits.
This sports coat sold at Christie’s in South Kensington on 12 December 2001 for £411, and the brand is identified as Benjamin Simon.