Autumn is the season for both conventional worsteds and tweeds in tailoring. The hot summer weather has passed and the autumn weather is perfect for the most quintessential items of tailored menswear. While earth tones are most associated with autumn, it’s also the time when dark blues and dark greys come back into season after being largely absent for summer. Tailored clothing in three-season weights are perfect for autumn, and such clothes are represented here for this season.
1. Barathea Dinner Suit
Barathea is the most classic type of wool for a dinner suit, and its heavier weight means its best for cooler weather. Bond wears it often because it’s such a standard type of wool for formal tailoring. It has a slightly pebbled look that makes it stand apart from standard plain-weave and twill-weave suitings. In either black or midnight blue with peaked lapels or a shawl collar it is a classic dinner suit and a classic Bondian look.
2. Grey Sharkskin Suit
The grey sharkskin suit is a recurring Bond suit throughout the Connery, Brosnan and Craig eras. Sharkskin, also called pick-and-pick, is a two-tone suiting that has a pattern resembling a descending staircase close up, but from a distance it has a crosshatched appearance. Bond’s sharkskin suitings are either in shades of grey or in black and white and look more interesting than a more typical solid suiting. Sharkskin suitings are made in a variety of weights, but it’s a pattern that can be worn year-round for both business and social occasions.
3. Dark Pinstripe Suit
The pinstripe suit in either navy or charcoal worsted wool is the quintessential business suit, and it’s a suit that has every James Bond since Roger Moore has worn. Bond usually wears his pinstripe suits to the office in London, but he also wears them occasionally for taking care of business abroad. It’s the perfect suit for looking sharp and serious, and it’s something that can look both classic and modern at the same time. While it has the perfect look for the ‘back to work’ look of autumn, its another year-round suit.
4. Herringbone Suit
The herringbone suit in either navy or grey worsted wool is another classic suit for both autumn and the rest of the cooler half of the year. James Bond frequently wears herringbone suits, both as two-piece and three-piece suits. Like sharkskin, it’s a more interesting take on the solid or semi-solid suit. Pierce Brosnan’s navy birdseye suit that reappears in each of his films fills the same role as the herringbone suit that all the other Bond actors wear.
5. Brown Donegal Tweed Suit
Earth tones can be worn at any time of the year, but they are most at home in autumn in the country. Brown tweeds are particularly associated with autumn, and the brown Donegal tweed suit from Moonraker is one of Bond’s most classically autumnal looks of the entire series. Bond’s tweed suit is detailed in the classic British manner with sporty hacking pockets and a ticket pocket as well as a flapped breast pockets. The stereotypical elbow patches perfectly complement the suit and give extra strength for this suit for shooting in. Bond wears his brown tweed in a muted shade to look more modern.
6. Tan Needlecord Suit
The tan cotton needlecord suit from No Time to Die is the perfect suit for autumn thanks to its colour and texture. If the tweed suit fills the role of a sporty suit, the corduroy suit is a more casual suit. A suit in cotton is always going to be more casual than one in wool as it tends to looks slouchier. Cotton does not hold a crease or much shape, and corduroy is the worst offender of this kind. But it’s the perfect look for a retired Bond, and its the best suit for a person today who wants to wear a suit but doesn’t want to look too dressed up.
7. Brown Barleycorn Tweed Hacking Jacket and Fawn Cavalry Twill Trousers
Like the brown donegal tweed suit, the brown barleycorn tweed hacking jacket is a Bondian staple for autumn in the country. The jackets are hardly different from each other in style, though the true hacking jacket has a long single vent for horseback riding. In Goldfinger and Thunderball, Bond pairs his hacking jackets with fawn-coloured trousers in cavalry twill, a heavy, hard-wearing wool with natural stretch that makes it perfect for country activities. In A View to a Kill he wears dark brown trousers and proper riding boots for riding a horse in his barleycorn hacking jacket.
Could the famous doeskin blue blazer of the Connery years have made the mix Matt?
It could. I’ll be including it with winter.
I’ve never fancied Connery’s outfit in Goldfinger actually. First of all I think the colours of the jacket and the trousers are too similar, they look mismatched. And I also think the shoulders are a bit too wide.
And Connery’s habit of keeping one hand in the pocket doesn’t really work good with frog mouth trousers.
Speaking of that, is there an article about hands in pockets? I know that Connery, Brosnan and Craig do it a lot, but how about the rest?
I doubt Moore ever did!
I think trousers that don’t contrast as much with the jacket is a James Bond staple. Take a look at Connery’s navy blazer and charcoal flannel trousers for more examples of this.
The trousers in Dr No and Thunderball are fine. Thunderball is slightly lighter which is better. The trousers used in DAF look more charcoal and too dark. you can’t hardly see any contrast. Peter Lawford wore charcoal trousers with a navy blazer in Ocean’s Eleven (1960), it must be an English thing to dress up a blazer or simply to use a charcoal suits trousers in a pinch.
Lawford (or at least the costume designers) apparently liked the look well enough – he wears a Doug Hayward navy blazer with charcoal trousers in Salt and Pepper (1968) and they show up again – along with at least one suit – in Buena Sera Mrs Campbell (1968) as well.
My Mam always told me it was bad manners to have your hands in your pockets. I can’t say I’ve always complied with this dictum, especially as a younger man, but I very rarely do it these days. Craig has almost made it his trademark red carpet pose which is a shame as it’s not very flattering to a well cut suit. That’s on the off chance that Craig might actually be wearing a well cut suit!
Yeah, I consciously don’t put my hands in the pockets in more serious settings, like a funeral or wedding ceremony.
I’ve read somewhere that German suits traditionally were made ventless, because it’s considered rude in Germany to keep your hands in your pockets, thus vents wouldn’t be needed. It does sound far fetched, but maybe there’s a little truth in it!
Jackets without vents definitely make it more difficult to put your hands in your pockets, but I think drape is the best reason for vents. Not having vents never stopped Pierce Brosnan from putting his hands in his pockets in Remington Steele!
It is considered bad manners to put your hands in your pockets as you are concealing them from other people. And it makes you look lazy as if you had nothing to do. Terence Young directed Connery not to put his hands in his pockets which he however does a bit in the films but not as much as in Godfinger where Hamilton barely directs him.
There is a story that on Licence to Kill Dalton and Glen argued over Bond putting his hands in his pockets.
Moore solved the issue with Cyril Castlle and Angelo Roma trousers. No side pockets!
The vast majority of my jackets are ventless. In many cases I‘ve bought OTR suits and jackets and had the vents closed. Side vents CAN look OK but I can’t stand the sight of gaping vents, or that of the rear hem of a jacket with those vertical ruffles like a half-drawn curtain! I like the look of a smooth unbroken expanse of cloth from neck to hem. Cary Grant’s famous NXNW suit as an example, or Connery’s silver-grey sharkskin that he wore for the Junkanoo in Thunderball which is my favourite in the entire canon. It’s true that ventless jackets don’t pair well with hands in pockets. I’m not sure which came first for me – the avoidance of hands in pockets or the decision to go ventless – but there may be some inadvertent connection!
Goldfinger outfit is very good, coat/trousers are not mismatched, it’s just tonal match, trust me: it works!
Keeping a hand in pocket is all right in UK, it may be traditionally not so good in Italy, but according to me these are just old fashioned concepts. Today, a man is well accepted if he’s relaxed, confident and kindly polite. All things beyond are useless, nowadays. So keep your hand in your pocket without fear, and work on your personality and style, indeed.
Of the seven my personal favorite is the grey sharkskin suit, particularly the medium dark grey one in From Russia With Love. One of the best Bond suits ever and a classy timeless look. On an unrelated note it also reminds me of the suit Alain Delon wore in Le Samourai, a shark grey sharkskin suit. Just perfect.
Roger did it a lot in the Saint and the Persuaders (with frogmouth pockets)
Well, if anybody has ever read some of my comments, it won’t come as a surprise that the only suiting I would not wear nor find attractive nor find appealing is Craig’s needlecord jacket and/or suit! Especially paired with a washed-out blue shirt (yikes), he looks like he could have played the part of Ripley (Matt Damon) in Patricia Highsmith’s ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ as the slovenly, badly dressed social climber tracking Dickey Greenleaf!
I’m honestly surprised to see so many of these sentiments here about the needlecord suit. If it fit him better in the collar or wasn’t unstructured and unlined, would you feel the same way?
My 5 cents here…I grew up in a family with German heritage and anytime my father, grandfather or anyone else for that matter would see me with hands in my pockets they would always say : ” Should I call a doctor for you? Why? To take those hands out of your pockets you rude boy/man.”
So that is a big no no, other that that I love the article and actually have most of the things on the list (bar the DJ) . I’m very fortunate that when I get my Bond itch I have Elliott from Mason and Sons to help me realizing it. One perk of living in London
Wow, so maybe there’s some truth to what I’ve read about German suits then! (It could actually have been Bernhard Roetzel that wrote it.)
As a woman who can hardly even find functional pockets on trousers, let alone ones that are barely 5cm deep, I’m going to use them if I have them. Sorry to your German family but I’m going to politely disagree. ;)
Nice read Matt as this is a well interesting read for the next few months! This is one of the many things I do find interesting to read about on this blog. When you cover different outfits worn by James Bond throughout the series and apply them to how we can make relevance out of them in our lives. I will use this article as a reference in the next few months in the clothes I chose to wear! As always keep up the fine work Mr. Spaiser!
I love all these different ensembles. With the autumn/halloween season coming Matt, maybe you could write about Donald Pleasence suit in the 1978 Halloween film. This topic can be related to the blog due to Pleasence’s connection with Bond.