For summertime, summery weather, tropical climates and desert climates, James Bond packs a certain group of tailored outfits so he can look his best when dressing up. These seven outfits are all ideal for summer, but they are not all limited to summer. This is the first post in a series about some of the most iconic tailored Bond looks for each season.
1. Ivory Dinner Jacket
The dinner jacket is a Bond staple, and on six occasions throughout the series, starting with Goldfinger, he wears an ivory version for summer weather. Bond’s examples are in wool, silk or blends of viscose and maybe mohair so Bond looks cool and stays cool. They usually are styled with peaked lapels so Bond can look like a modern master of black tie in the hottest climes, and he avoids the traditional shawl collar on ivory jackets. While mohair dinner suits in black or midnight blue are also excellent choices for warm weather, the ivory dinner jacket is the quintessential garment for dressing up in the tropics.
2. Grey Mohair Suit
Mohair makes for the ultimate dressy suit in warm weather. Mohair looks a little flashy, but it’s also practical in warm weather. Its stiff fibres, often woven in a plain weave, allow for air to flow through. The stiff fibres also mean that the cloth has a sheen, so the suit also looks rather formal. Some of Bond’s grey mohair suits are in two different shades of grey or in black and white to lend an iridescent look to the already shiny cloth. It is always mixed with wool, either as a blend in the yarn or woven with mohair yarns in one direction and wool yarns in the other direction. Sean Connery’s examples in Dr. No and Thunderball stylishly and comfortably take Bond from day to night in the Caribbean.
3. Light Grey Tropical Wool Suit
The light grey tropical wool suit is similar to the grey mohair suit but lacks the flashiness. In a light weight and plain weave it’s comfortable in warm weather while its light colour reflects the sun. It’s a daytime suit that looks appropriate for business as well as for social affairs, but it doesn’t particularly stand out unless one is amongst people in more serious dark business suits. Bond wears light grey tropical wool suits while going about his business in Diamonds Are Forever and Live and Let Die.
4. Tan Cotton Suit
Cotton suits show up in the Bond films on rare occasion in hot weather. Cotton does not tailor or drape as well as wool nor does it feel as cool as linen, but it has a cooler hand than wool or mohair and does not wrinkle as much as linen. It also sits between wool and linen in formality, so it looks relaxed but can also serve as a business suit if the weather demands it. Bond wears a tan cotton poplin suit in Octopussy to stay cool in India. He also wears a tan cotton suit in GoldenEye in Cuba.
5. Cream Linen Suit
The cream linen suit is a sporty, relaxed suit. It’s not a suit for business but one for leisure such as out to a nice lunch or garden party. The rumpling of linen makes it more casual than any other suit. Though Bond sometimes wears his with a tie, it’s the perfect suit to wear without a tie. Bond wears a few of these throughout the series, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever and The World Is Not Enough. The first two examples are possible linen mixed with wool or silk so they do not wrinkle much but still have the character of linen. The suit in The World Is Not Enough is 100% Irish linen in a herringbone weave for additional texture and less wrinkling.
6. Navy Hopsack Blazer with Cream Wool Gabardine Trousers
The navy blue blazer with metal buttons is a classic Bond garment, both in single-breasted and double-breasted variations. For warm weather, there’s not a more classic sports coat to wear for dressing down. Bond frequently wears blazers made of wool hopsack, which is a woven in a loose basketweave that breathes well to keep Bond cool. Hopsack isn’t only for summer, but it’s the classic choice for a summer blazer. Metal buttons are a classic part of the blue blazer, but Bond often wears blazers with silver or grey-toned metals instead of the classic brass for a modern twist on the garment. For warm weather he pairs the blazer with cream or beige wool gabardine trousers, which have an appropriate look for summer. Tropical wool trousers can be a more comfortable choice in hot wear, but they look slightly more formal. Bond wears summery blue blazers in The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, A View to a Kill and GoldenEye.
7. Tan Linen Jacket with Brown Trousers
The tan linen jacket is the perfect alternative to the navy blazer for an even more dressed down look while still being tailored. In a blend with silk and/or wool it can limit wrinkling while still looking summery. Bond wears such jackets in Live and Let Die and Spectre. In Live and Let Die he pairs the jacket with dark brown wool trousers for a high contrast while in Spectre he pairs it with taupe cotton gabardine chinos for a very low contrast and a more casual look. While Bond pairs his tan jackets with brown ties, it can be dressed down easily without any tie. The Spectre jacket is unstructured with a quarter lining, giving it a more casual look that’s also more more comfortable in the Moroccan heat.