James Bond presents us with no fewer than six ways to dress. Each Bond actor has his own stylistic sense in the character, showing that there is not only one way to interpret Bond’s style. Not even my interpretation is the only valid way to view Bond’s clothing.
What Does Bond Style Mean to You?
For some, Bond style is all about how to wear a suit well. For others it’s about looking elegant in more casual situations because not everyone wears suits very often. Bond has worn just about anything of note in menswear of the past 60 years, so any man today should be able to find something that speaks to him, unless that man wears graphic tees exclusively. There is something every man can learn and take from Bond’s wardrobe, no matter what our lives require.
Bond serves as a superb style inspiration not only because he dresses well but because we like the character and we want to be like him. It takes more than a mannequin or a model to influence. It takes a Bondian level of confidence to convince us that he’s an example of how men should dress.
Bond can introduce us to clothes we might not ordinarily consider, such as cocktail cuff shirts, mohair suits, self-supporting trousers, grenadine ties, military-style sweaters and much more. He reminds us that we can refine our looks with accessories like tie bars, pocket squares and boutonnieres. In a series of 24 films, Bond presents us with plenty of options to consider.
Avoid Cosplaying as Bond
Cosplaying as James Bond instead of dressing like James Bond comes from wearing his clothes without considering ourselves. Buying an item of clothing or patronising a brand only because Bond wore it is cosplay. Buying a budget alternative to a Bond piece is also cosplay if the intent is the same.
There is nothing wrong with wearing clothes that Bond wore or clothes that mimic what Bond wore, but they need to work for our lives. We need to understand our own needs and tastes before we can add Bond’s clothes to our own wardrobe. It’s great to buy a piece of clothes that you love because of Bond, but if it’s not right to wear for yourself, you’re wearing it as cosplay. If you buy it and don’t wear it, it’s sitting in your cupboard as a collectible rather than a piece of Bondian clothing.
It is also important to understand what makes Bond’s clothes special before buying them and wearing them. Wearing Tom Ford suits simply because Bond wears them is cosplay. But understanding why James Bond would wear Tom Ford—or rather the reasons why the brand was chosen for Bond to wear, beyond the product placement deal—can help us make the same decisions that Bond makes for ourselves. This applies to both brands and to individual clothes.
Taking the First Steps to a Bondian Wardrobe
The first step to dressing more like Bond is to find what speaks to you in his clothes. It might be focusing on what outfits are most similar to what you already like to wear. Dressing in a Bondian way should not be about defining your fashion sense; it should be about enhancing it. This is how we dress like ourselves and avoid cosplaying as James Bond.
Start with small upgrades to your wardrobe. This can take the form incorporating clothes from Bond brands you appreciate into your wardrobe. Or it can be slightly refining your tastes, such as if you wear t-shirts every day, instead try wearing polos some days. Likewise, replace jeans with chinos or replace chinos with seasonal wool or linen trousers. Maybe even put on a jacket and tie for a special occasion that doesn’t require it. But never force any of these changes to your wardrobe.
It can often help to ask, ‘would Bond wear this?’, either when purchasing an item of clothing or putting together an outfit. This is a way you can apply critical thinking to wearing clothes in a tasteful, Bondian way. Doing so helps you understand how Bond wears his clothes rather than simply what he wears.
Consulting Bond’s Style
If your wardrobe requirements suddenly change and you need to purchase a type of clothes that are new to you, consult Bond. Bond presents us with an example of just about any type of clothes the modern man requires.
In particular, Bond’s suited expertise is tailored to providing a model for our wardrobes. When purchasing a suit, whether it’s your first suit, or if you’ve decided to improve your tailored wardrobe, Bond is the best man to consult. Wearing a suit does not come naturally to many people, and Bond’s typically elegant but restrained sense of style serves as accessible inspiration, despite the high costs of the brands he wears. We don’t need to wear the same suits as Bond to learn from his sense of style or aspire to the usually perfect fit of his clothes.
For those who are more advanced dressers, Bond’s top-of-the-line suits, whether from British bespoke tailors or from brands like Brioni and Tom Ford, provide us with aspirational goals. Bond’s own suits demonstrate, in various forms, the best a suit can be. We can aspire to wear the craftsmanship and the specific stylistic details that are only found in the best suits.
This website can help you dress more like Bond, but ultimately every person’s individual wardrobe needs are specific to their lives, where they live, their own tastes, and so much more. There are 24 Bond films and 24 style lessons available to help us all dress better, and they exist for us to interpret in the best way for our own lives.