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.
Very informative indeed! I am pleased with this article topic as this is something that one needs to take in mind as the warm months of the year are now beginning. This will help me when preparing for trips that will be taking place over the course of the summer. I am happy to say that I just recently enjoyed wearing my 2 piece tan linen suit in the warm weather I had been having lately. I also have a blue linen suit which I find to be just interesting given we only see Bond wear this one in the series. Do you own different types of linen suits Matt?
I only have one linen-cotton suit and one linen jacket at the moment. They are very useful in hot weather, though I tend to prefer my navy hopsack blazer.
Very well deserved topic Matt! I often prefer to wear my seersucker suit in the summer, but this suit does not qualify as a Bond suit. I am extremely excited to see your 007 top outfits of each season. My favorite piece in this series I would vote to the blazer.
Great article Matt! As someone who lives in a Tropical country, these articles of clothing would be perfect for many of my tailored needs. I would especially consider some Tropical Wool and Mohair suits and some Hopsack blazers, sport coats and tropical odd trousers. I look forward to future and similar posts such as these in the future.
P.S. If someone was in need of more formal suits for the tropics, could one effectively get tropical wool or mohair suits in the more traditional business colours of Navy and Charcoal (in addition to a Light Grey suit in Tropical/Mohair Wool)
Ivan, where I’m at, it gets insanely hot by about May, and when I was still out and about much, I would often wear my Minnis Fresco suits, and no one would bat an eye at me. Of course, my suits are primarily navy and dark navy blue.
So find the fabric of your choice, be it Holland and Sherry Crispaire, or Minnis Fresco, make sure it’s in a business shade, and go for it.
I wholeheartedly agree and appreciate the advice Travers. It’s definetly part of my game plan to acquire the right fabrics for tropical weather (and thus year round, where I live) in the right business colors of navy and charcoal that would best serve my formal suit wearing needs.
Go for it, Ivan, and if you can, please let us know how it goes!
From my own personal speculation and additional advice – if you’re a fan of smooth, soft handed fabrics, Crispaire might just be your choice, although please be aware, anything smooth and reflective, in a darker shade like Navy or charcoal, tends to induce a lot of additional heat on the skin. If you’re into those flatter, duller fabrics, then Fresco can get you all the way, though they will lack that shine or softness that many prefers, but in return, not only do they wear cooler, in a certain lighting, they will absorb light like crazy, and instantly make your presence known.
Those are the only things left I have for you. Now be free, and go nuts!
I very much appreciate the advice Travers and will keep these in mind! I will be sure to update and share the results of my suits in the future!
Good review Matt, and pertinent for me as I live in Florida. Unfortunately this is a state where you’re considered ‘dressed up’ if you’re wearing long trousers but I will persevere with my rear guard action against the schlubs!!
Number 1, 2 and 5 are among my favourite rigs in the entire canon so it’s good to see we are on the same page with those!
Florida representing. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity….
This article came very timely. I just recently commissioned an ecru/ivory summer suit, initially intended to be a “meme suit”, but will now see much use. It’s not pure silk, so not the mentally ideal ecru/ivory suit, but the handle of this woollen is beautiful.
Folks, get an ecru/ivory suit. You’ll thank yourselves later.
I second this motion! I bought a cream suit on a whim in 2015 and while the trousers were soon after retired I wear the jacket as a summer blazer with light grey or tan trousers to this day. It gets nothing but compliments.
Tim, the thought was out on a whim on my end, too, but I simply cannot pass up the opportunity of an ecru suit, sky blue shirt, burgundy tie, and light brown loafers. It’s a combination that should come back far more often.
Great article. For summer tailored jackets, my two choices would be a navy wool Hopsack Blazer, and a Taupe Wool linen silk blend blazer like this one I want to get from Surmesur https://surmesur.com/en-ca/products/taupe-wool-linen-silk-blend-sports-jacket-875747.
Always my favorite Bond kit ! Summer and the tropics, cocktail parties and palm trees, however is the avoidance of shawl collars on cream dinner jackets you mention a personal rule or some other Bondian particularity ? Rick certainly did not have a problem operating in ‘Casa’ but it is true that Bond in Goldfinger was stopping by an altogether dingier bar ! I have both styles and think the shawl collar is slightly more polished …. ?!
I think Bond avoided the shawl collar on the ivory dinner jacket so he’d look more modern. The shawl collar on the ivory dinner jacket looks particularly more old-fashioned than peaked lapels.
Good point. And probably more appropriate to a down and dingy bar in Central America/south America than a posh club in Casablanca or Monaco for that matter.
Matt, I tend to think that the shawl collar is a necessity for traditional black/midnight blue dinner suits if the person wishes to tone the outfit down. The gracefulness of the curve cuts a lot of the sharpness of the traditional peak lapels, allowing for a certain sense of softness that allows for the suit to be, shall I put it, less of a statement, but equivalent of a presence. With that said, for an ecru or white dinner jacket, that does too much to tone an already relatively toned down outfit, and serves more to be detrimental, rather than anything else.
Well, my take, of course.
It’s a Bond choice, but I recently ordered a double breasted jacket in a moss green linen like Brosnan wore in The Love Punch, which was covered in this blog years ago. I always thought it was a great summer look and I can’t wait for it to arrive in a few weeks…. just in time for the Australian winter.
Great article as always Matt. I used to work in Singapore and Bangkok and was required to wear a suit at least 4 days a week. Most of them were made from tropical wool but I also had a couple of mohair ones. In my opinion Mohair is the best for the heat as it wrinkles a lot less that lightweight wool. For blazers I chose linen but also had a lovely hopsack made in HK by WWChang. Still wear it a lot a lot in London.
I can’t think of single scenario in which us normal folks would be able to wear an ivory dinner jacket. Maybe for a Summer wedding? It really strikes me as something you can only wear at very high class nightclubs.
I’ve worn my ivory dinner jackets for summer weddings. It can also work for opening nights at the opera.
Concerning the Ivory dinner jacket, what does Bond pair it with as far as pants and shirt?
Bond wears it as he would wear a black or midnight dinner suit, with black or midnight blue trousers with a satin braid down the outseams and a cotton or silk pleated-front shirt. On one occasion he wears a plain-front cotton voile shirt.