The Top (00)7 Tailored Outfits of a Winter Bond Wardrobe

28

Winter is the time of year for wearing heavy and fluffy tailored clothes, with a focus on flannel. Autumn and winter tailored clothes are mainly interchangeable, so most of Bond’s tailored outfits that I put in the top (00)7 list for autumn can also be worn in winter, depending on the temperature outside. This list is of tailored clothes that are appropriate for the cooler half of the year in a temperate climate, and in some colder parts of the world these clothes may be appropriate for the three colder seasons of the year.

Many of these winter Bond outfits were more common in the first three decades of the series when Bond’s tailored clothes came from British tailors. Heavy cloths have largely fallen out of favour today due to modern heating, and they can sometimes look old fashioned, but they are still popular with British tailors who appreciate their drape.

1. Midnight Blue Velvet Dinner Jacket

James Bond only wears a velvet dinner jacket once in the series—on a cruise ship in Diamonds Are Forever—but it’s Bond’s only dinner jacket in the series that is exclusively for colder weather. The black or midnight blue wool barathea dinner suit is Bond’s usual choice for black tie in cooler weather, but the velvet jacket is a more iconic look for winter. Bond’s dinner jacket has one button and a self-faced shawl collar. He pairs it with midnight blue wool evening trousers with a stripe down the side. Bond dresses it down with a light blue shirt, but his usual white pleated dress shirt would be a more classic choice.

2. Grey Flannel Suit

The plain grey flannel suit, usually in dark grey, is Bond’s most common suit of the series. Though he has not worn one since Tomorrow Never Dies, it’s the ultimate suit of the classic Bond. Flannel also is the quintessential winter suit, with a soft and fuzzy finish that makes it warm, relaxed and comfortable. He wears it as either a two-piece suit or a three-piece suit, which builds on flannel’s warmth. The grey flannel suit is his first suit of the film series in Dr. No when he arrives in Jamaica. It demonstrates how he dresses on an average day for business in London, but it’s unbearably warm in Jamaica’s heat and humidity.

While the flannel suit is a menswear classic, it is not a particularly durable suit. For James Bond its status as a classic suit for the middle class businessman trumps its delicate nature, even for his rough lifestyle. Bond wears both woollen and worsted flannel suits, but in grey he chooses the classic woollen flannel variety more frequently. The fuzziness of woollen flannel accentuates the varied shades of grey twisted into the yarns.

3. Navy Flannel Suit

Bond wears plain navy flannel suits less frequently than grey flannel, but for Connery and Moore it’s a reliable cold-weather business suit. Bond’s plain navy flannel suits are made in worsted flannel rather than woollen flannel. The worsted variety milled to have a soft and fuzzy finish, but compared to woollen flannel it is sturdier and better suited for Bond’s active lifestyle.

4. Chalk Stripe Flannel Suit

The chalk stripe suit in grey or navy is Bond’s alternative to the solid flannel suit for the office, usually as a three-piece suit. The chalk stripe is reminiscent of the soft line drawn on a fabric by a tailor’s chalk. Bond often wears it throughout the first three decades of the series. Compared to the plain flannel suit, the navy chalk stripe suit can look more serious like the dark pinstripe suit, but fuzziness of the stripe makes it less formal than the sharp pinstripe.

5. Navy Doeskin Blazer

The metal-buttoned navy blazer was a Bond staple for the first four decades of the series, and his first four blazers of the series—Sean Connery’s three single-breasted blazers and George Lazenby’s double-breasted blazer—were made of wool doeskin, a type of flannel with a short nap. Unlike ordinary flannel, doeskin has a slight lustre to it. Connery’s blazer has two buttons and three patch pockets. Lazenby’s blazer has three buttons with all three to fasten and hacking pockets, an unusual but then-trendy style for a double-breasted blazer. Bond pairs the doeskin blazer with dark grey flannel trousers, matching those of his dark grey flannel suit. Bond wears a doeskin blazer in Jamaica and the Bahamas, but because doeskin is a type of flannel it is much better for the cooler half of the year such as in its later appearances in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever.

6. Grey Tweed Jacket

The grey tweed jacket is not a Bondian staple, but it’s a classic winter sports coat that Bond wears a few times. Compared to the earthy brown tweed jacket of autumn, grey tweed looks more wintry. Both colours, however, are appropriate for both seasons. The first time he wears it is in the form of a grey herringbone jacket in Never Say Never Again. This jacket is one of Bond’s most classic sports coats and is detailed in a classic British manner with hacking pockets.

Roger Moore brings the grey tweed jacket into the EON Bond series in A View to a Kill, and his is plain grey tweed detailed with three patch pockets instead. Though he wears it in disguise as James St John Smythe, the jacket’s simplicity is equally appropriate for Bond. Like with the navy doeskin blazer, Bond pairs the grey tweed jacket with dark grey flannel trousers.

As an honorary mention, Pierce Brosnan’s grey windowpane tweed suit in The World Is Not Enough almost fits into this same category, but it’s a full suit.

7. Navy Overcoat

No winter tailored wardrobe is complete without an overcoat to wear over a winter suit or jacket, and the navy overcoat in heavy wool melton is the perfectly Bondian complement to any tailored winter outfit. Bond’s are usually knee-length, but sometimes the length is a little longer or shorter. Bond’s relationship with the navy overcoat started with Sean Connery in Dr. No wearing a Chesterfield coat with a fly front, but every James Bond has since worn a navy overcoat, often as a double-breasted coat in various styles. Daniel Craig continued the tradition with navy topcoats in a lighter weight and slightly shorter length to follow modern trends. The length and weight of a coat should be determined by the temperature and wind, not by fashions. Hat and gloves are optional, but they are a very practical complement to the coat.

28 COMMENTS

  1. (00)1, For a midnight blue velvet dinner jacket and midnight blue wool evening trousers, a light blue evening shirt isn’t such a bad idea per se, but it somehow falls short in the scene and would have worked much better as a very pale blue pleated dress shirt.

    • Of course, light blues are used often in movies, probably more so than in real life, because white shirts can flare under studio lights. A subtly off-white colour solves this problem.

      • Yes, but what I meant was that I kind of liked to idea of keeping the whole outfit in different shades of blue.

    • Opportunities to get Bond into a dinner jacket are going to be harder and harder as we move into the future but he managed three in DAF. For that reason, although I’d put both film and wardrobe near the bottom of my personal ranking of the cannon, I can look past the break with tradition this time as the blue shirt is worn for a romantic dinner with Tiffany and aside from the chef and sommelier perhaps no-one else would have even witnessed this mini faux pas.
      I can remember a period when blood red evening shirts worn with dinner jackets enjoyed a thankfully brief moment in the seventies. With that in mind we can be thankful that Bond’s shirts have almost always followed a more classic tradition.

      • Yes, very true, but black tie is such an iconic look for Bond and he will probably be the last bastillion for evening wear. Bond manage to wear black tie in most films except You Only Live Twice and From Russia with Love.

  2. Strangely enough, James Bond rarely wears a serge suit in the movies, but I think an ‘old-fashioned’ well-made serge would also work well for a midwinter suit.

    Specifically, being heavyweight. A minimum of 14 to 18 oz is good.
    『Old-fashioned serge』 often have fluff.
    It can also be found in the heavyweight ones mentioned above. From a distance, it looks just like Worsted Flannel (Saxony).

    This fluff is probably important.

    The fuzzy serge has a heat retention similar to that of flannel.

    There are many things called Worsted Flannel that are out in the world that cannot be distinguished from serge just by looking at them.

    That means you can see the twill clearly.

    There was also a bunch of books from a few years back named 『Worsted』.
    It has already been discontinued, but it was released by Fox Brothers.

    Included in this bunchbook was what they called the 『Original Serge』.
    It was named Serge, but in their classification it was 『worsted flannel』.

    It’s really complicated and still puzzles me to this day.

    Perhaps by nature, the line between worsted flannel and old-fashioned serge is a very blurry one.

    I said they were hard to tell apart by sight. However, there may be a big difference in how to make it on the side of the creator.

    Now, this is what anyone in a flannel suit would face, whether it’s Worsted or Woolen. That means the crease line disappears quickly.
    That is also the taste and the charm of flannel.

    However, for many ordinary businessmen who need a suit, it will make them look slovenly. It is very likely that it will be seen as a fatal flaw.

    In the past, the image quality was poor, and even the colors were unclear.

    Therefore, this blurry atmosphere of flannel should not have been directly linked to a slovenly atmosphere.

    However, in today’s movies, where the image quality has improved dramatically, you can clearly see Bond wearing pants with flannel crease lines.

    James Bond is the epitome of a sophisticated man.

    Once the uniform of the middle class, the flannel might not feel sophisticated to most people who aren’t into fashion.

    I think this is one of the reasons why James Bond stopped wearing the old-fashioned woolen flannel suit.

    Combined with its durability, I think this is the reason why the number of flannel suits has decreased dramatically.

    For these reasons, I think 『Old Fashioned Serge』 is worth considering as an alternative to flannel.

    The crease lines are kept clean and require less ironing.

    The result is a sleek, clean look. And 『Old-fashioned serge』gives a flannel-like warmth and a seasonal look. Serge durability is much better than flannel.

    I see! That’s why it is used in military uniforms.

    A well-tailored made-to-order suit does not make you feel the weight of the cloth, so I would like everyone to try it.

    But old-fashioned woolen flannel has a good vibe that you just can’t get anywhere else.

    My story is only talking as a modern alternative.

    • The old-fashioned serge is a beautiful cloth, and I agree that it is perfect for winter. What made it special was that the yarns in one direction are worsted and in the other direction they are woollen. That gives it those wonderful properties you speak of. The blue suit in From Russia with Love could possibly be this old-fashioned serge rather than worsted flannel, but as you say they are difficult to tell apart by sight.

      • I have serge at home, along with cavalry twill, both in dark navy and regular navy. Couldn’t put them to work because of the plague and David wasn’t traveling. I can tell you, that suit Connery wore, at best was a homage to lit. Bond, but that’s not serge at all. Serge is a very tough cloth, and while it flows and drapes nicely, it is nothing like the softness of that navy suit.

      • You are absolutely right!

        I personally think that the From Russia With Love suit may used the 『old-fashioned serge』.

        The reason is that when he sits on a chair and talks to M, he crosses his legs. Notice his legs.

        We can see the crease lines on his pants quite clearly at this point. In my experience, neither Woolen nor Worsted flannel will ever have such crease lines.

        In order to be able to see the crease line so clearly, it must be quite heavy… about 18 oz of flannel.

        Suit cloth in the 1960s was basically made more carefully than it is now, so it may be that the crease came out well as a result of being tightly woven.

        It’s hard to imagine that the crease lines that disappeared while reshooting the movie had to be ironed over and over again to restore them.

        Now, even if the actual Connery suit were to appear in front of us, there is a possibility that we would have different opinions.

        『Old-fashioned serge』 and worsted flannel can be difficult to tell apart just by looking.

        If you are reading this comment, please do not misunderstand. I’m not saying that Matt is wrong.
        That’s how mysterious this navy suit is.

      • The president of Holland & Sherry, who is highly knowledgeable about cloth, thinks that it’s worsted flannel. I’m leaning towards it being worsted flannel because old-fashioned serge looks shinier than this suit. But as you say, they do look very similar.

  3. If I have a Christmas gift request, it would be for one day, some mill somewhere in England will produce worsted flannels 15oz and heavier. I want to like worsted flannels, but they are always 10 oz or lighter.

  4. I feel like the grey tweed jacket has been far too underused in the Bond films given how well it suits his character. It’s the subtly elegant way of wearing tweed. While earthier coloured tweeds can look great, they can also look out very out of place outside of rural locations. Grey tweed is more versatile and can be worn in both town and country locations. A grey tweed jacket is nearly as versatile as a navy blazer.

  5. I recently purchased a grey heavy wool overcoat that features surgeon cuffs. This overcoat has been a blessing with the transition with the weather. I have plenty of overcoats but this garment is my go to item to keep myself warm. Excellent job on this entry Matt.

      • Yes, ready-to-wear overcoats are sized just like jackets, but they’re sized to fit over jackets. If wear a 40L jacket, a 40L overcoat will fit over your 40L jacket. I believe some modern overcoats are sized like a jacket and you’ll need to size up to wear over a jacket, but traditionally that’s not the case.

  6. Another great read Matt! How would you say Doeskin holds up in terms of durability in comparison with worsted or woollen flannel?

    • I don’t have personal experience with doeskin except for a waistcoat I rarely wear, but I get the impression it holds up better than woollen flannel. Since it isn’t worn for trousers, it doesn’t need to be as sturdy.

    • It’s a great coating or waistcoating cloth, but anything else outside of these two, it’s highly and heavily questionable.

    • Doeskin absolutely does hold up wear-wise. I worked in a tourist spot for ten years where we’d dress up as Napoleonic era redcoat soldiers every day. The coats were made of red and buff doeskin. We marched, did gun drills, fired weapons etc. in all kinds of weather, they also got dry cleaned four times a year. When I left, after 10 years of wear, they were still going strong with minimal signs of wear.
      Now, that’s just fabric longevity, whether you actually want the fuzziness, warmth, and weight is another thing entirely.

    • Thanks all, that’s good to know. I have the Anthony Sinclair navy blazer with the gunmetal buttons and it’s a beautiful piece which I hope to get many years out of. I only wear it once every two weeks on average in cooler months. Was thinking about one of their flannel suits but a little concerned about how long it would last, particularly the trousers and they are an investment piece.

      • Ed, you can request the garment to be made out of similar fabrics of your choice. Then again, their cloths came from Holland and Sherry, so…

  7. Wonderful selection of Bondian Winter outfits. But I wonder, what is Bond wearing on his feet when it’s zero degrees and snowing heavily and he still needs to wear his business attire?

    • I’d say reversed waxed calf footwear. That leather is built like a tank and traditionally British. I mean, it’s even better than shell cordovan in all manners. Outside of suede or straight up pebble grain leathers, or even regular box calf, then it’s pretty much reversed waxed calf, especially because of how traditionally British it is.

      For reference, I have a pair of bespoke wholecuts made out of Baker’s waxed calf, and that thing is just short of indestructible. I can wear it to hell and it will still be functional.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.