Ever since Daniel Craig dressed in what appeared to be a royal blue Tom Ford dinner suit on some of the Skyfall posters, medium blue became a popular colour for the dinner suit. Rather than in traditional midnight blue, dinner suits lighter shades of blue such as royal blue, cobalt blue, marine blue and light navy were suddenly trendy in an attempt to replicate James Bond’s look on the colour-enhanced Skyfall poster, by Empire Design. This poster, however, spurred many misunderstandings about the colour of the suit that Daniel Craig actually wears in Skyfall and what “midnight blue” means.
These bright blue dinner suits are often mistakenly called “midnight blue” because people have heard of the midnight blue dinner suit but don’t understand what it is. True midnight blue is the darkest shade of blue there is. After all, it is named after the colour of the midnight sky. Most people have likely never seen a midnight blue dinner suit in person, and if they did it likely didn’t register as blue. Midnight blue looks black under artificial light at night, just as darker shades of navy do. Only under sunlight does true midnight blue look blue. So when people saw the colour of Daniel Craig dinner suit on the Skyfall poster they incorrectly thought, “so that’s the mythical midnight blue!” People may have confused mid blue for midnight blue.
Even many who understand what midnight blue is were still excited to see James Bond in a new brighter take on the dinner suit. Midnight blue does not make a statement, but a bright blue where one expects black certainly does.
Neither Daniel Craig, Skyfall‘s costume designer Jany Temime nor clothier Tom Ford are responsible for the medium blue dinner suit trend. The suit that James Bond is wearing in Skyfall and on the poster is in reality true midnight blue, but the poster lightened the colour of the suit considerably. In the film, the suit looks black under the artificial light of the Macau casino. In the natural light on Hashima island, the suit appears to be a very deep blue but nothing as bright as it does on the poster. The poster, however, has stayed in people’s minds more than the very dark blue suit in the film has.
The bright colour that the dinner jacket appears to be on the poster is far from the true colours and is only a result of colour enhancement. The blue on the poster is certainly more eye-catching than true midnight blue would be, particularly on a poster with a white background and black type. Empire Design is responsible for putting medium blue and midnight blue dinner suits on the map for the average man. They made Daniel Craig’s midnight blue suit a brighter blue and started the medium blue dinner suit fashion trend.
Because Skyfall is the first time that many people noticed that James Bond wearing a blue dinner suit, the dinner suit is regarded as unique because of its colour. But there’s nothing special about it for Bond, who has worn more dinner suits in midnight blue than in black. The midnight blue dinner suit for Bond goes back to the first Bond film, Dr. No. Since then it has been featured in the Bond series at least once every decade. Skyfall is not even the first time Daniel Craig’s Bond wears blue for black tie. He wore it previously in Quantum of Solace, but nobody noticed it because it looks like a very dark, true midnight blue on film.
Thanks to the Skyfall poster, medium blue and midnight blue dinner suits alike have been more available in accessible ready-to-wear lines. Midnight blue is no longer exclusive to bespoke and made-to-measure clothes or the most premiere ready-to-wear brands like Tom Ford and Brioni. One can never go wrong with a midnight blue dinner suit, which has been a classic garment since the 1930s. As for medium blue dinner suits, they are more current fashion than timeless and will likely be remembered as a style of the 2010s, just like the powder blue tuxedo will be a relic of the 1970s.
Black tie is supposed to be all about the elegant contrast of black and white, and with a medium blue suit the outfit has less contrast and loses some of the elegant simplicity. Because proper midnight blue is so dark, the full contrast is still present just like it is with black. A man in black tie is traditionally a backdrop for his date, hence the limited colour palate. A man cannot be a backdrop in a medium blue dinner suit, but if your date wants you to dress boldly or if you’re single and want to stand out, the medium blue dinner suit can be effective.
Medium blue looks rather strong for a whole suit, but it works well as a dinner jacket in fancy materials such as velvet or silk, in which case it should be paired with black evening trousers. In worsted wool or a mohair blend, the medium blue dinner jacket should be paired with matching medium blue trousers. A true midnight blue dinner jacket, which is effectively black, should be paired with matching midnight blue trousers because black trousers will create a mismatched effect.