What does James Bond keep in his pockets?


James Bond’s clothes have pockets, and he uses them. Bond has the luxury of being a film character who doesn’t have to carry anything in his pockets unless the shot requires him to put something in his pocket or remove something from his pocket, so he never has to worry about stored items ruining the lines of his clothes.

Here are some of the items that Bond keeps in his pockets and where he keeps them.

Suit Jacket

A tailored jacket has more pockets than any other garment, and Bond takes advantage of almost all of them to store his personal effects. Read more about suit pockets.

Outer Breast Pocket

The outer breast pocket on a suit jacket, dinner jacket or sports coat is most commonly used to display a pocket square. Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig all wear pocket squares as Bond.

Bond uses his blazer’s breast pocket in Moonraker to keep a vial of nerve gas safe before delivering it to M, allowing him to keep Drax’s secret weapon ‘close to his chest’ in a literal sense.

The breast pocket is one of the most convenient pockets to access, yet we tend to use it for display. Bond uses this pocket in two of his ivory dinner jackets for more useful items. In Octopussy Q places a poison pen here. In A View to a Kill, Bond keeps his sunglasses here. The breast pocket is one of the safer places to store sunglasses, though Cary Grant’s were crushed here in North by Northwest.

Outer Hip Pockets

People do not commonly use outer hip pockets because placing items in them can cause a pocket opening to sag and is more apt to ruin the line of a jacket more than using the inner breast pockets. But using these pockets is not against any rules; pockets are there to be used.

On Bond’s iconic glen check three-piece suit in Goldfinger, he uses his outer right hip pocket to store both a homing device and a gun he took from his prison guard. A jacket’s hip pocket is not the natural place to keep a gun, but he didn’t have a holster on him at the time.

In Octopussy, Bond stores cash from his backgammon winnings in the outer hip pockets of his ivory dinner jacket.

Inner Breast Pockets

The go-to pocket for most items when wearing a suit is the inner breast pocket. The left pocket gets the most use since it’s easily accessed from the right hand. On a modern slim-fit suit, placing items in these pockets can cause printing, but a jacket should ideally be tailored with enough fullness to be able to keep a slim wallet-sized item in each pocket. Daniel Craig’s Bond does not often use his suit pockets because his suits are too slim.

In From Russia with Love, Bond uses this pocket to store his cigarette case along with his pager that M can contact him with in the days before mobile phones.

In Diamonds Are Forever, Bond places Peter Franks’ passport in his blue blazer’s inner breast pockets, using pockets on both sides for this at different times. He keeps Franks’ death certificate in the right breast pocket of his black suit and the money he’s given for smuggling the diamonds in his left breast pocket.

In Octopussy, Bond stores cash from his backgammon winnings in both inner breast pockets of ivory dinner jacket in addition to the cash in the outer hip pockets. The cash in his breast pocket protects him during a street fight when ‘someone stuck a knife in [his] wallet’. He later places his papers for travelling to East Germany in the inner breast pocket of his navy double-breasted suit.

In both A View to a Kill and in The Living Daylights, Bond places his wallet in the left inner breast pockets of his tan suits.

Bond also uses this pocket in his charcoal suit to store his first mobile phone in Tomorrow Never Dies, which also acts as the keys to his BMW 750iL. In Spectre, he takes an earpiece out of this pocket that works with his laser microphone.

Inner Hip Pockets

Bond does not use the inner hip pockets of his jackets as much as the others. It is the most difficult pocket to access when wearing the jacket, being the only one that necessitates unbuttoning the jacket to access. He uses this pocket in Octopussy to store the Fabergé egg. Bond never uses as many pockets in one garment as he does in this ivory dinner jacket.


Right Side Pocket

Bond uses his trousers’ right side pocket the most for simple reason that it is easiest to reach for a right-handed person. In a very closely fitted suit, using trouser pockets instead of jacket pockets can help preserve the lines of the jacket. It also allows one to remove his jacket while still keeping important items on the body.

A View to a Kill and Quantum of Solace Bond keeps his wallet in this pocket of his suit trousers. In The Living Daylights he keeps his wallet in this pocket of his chinos.

In Casino Royale Bond keeps his mobile phone in his right trouser pocket. In most cases it would be too uncomfortable to store a wallet and a mobile in the same pocket, so one would likely have to be kept in the left side trouser pocket if jacket pockets are not being used.

Left Side Pocket

In Dr. No, Sean Connery walks around with his left hand comfortably in the left side pocket of his grey suit trousers. The double vents of his suit jacket allow easy access to this pocket and drape elegantly around his arm. People are discouraged from keeping their hands in their pockets because it signifies nervousness, but Connery looks cool and relaxed while doing so.

Frogmouth Pockets

Frogmouth pockets are the most secure trouser pockets. Items will not fall out of these pockets in a low car seat or comfortable sofa like they can with side pockets, and pickpockets cannot easily reach inside them like they can with rear pockets.

Despite this security, Bond prefers to use these pockets only to rest his hands. Bond sticks his hands in his pockets in Goldfinger on numerous occasions, such as while standing in front of his Aston Martin DB5 on the precipice, and while standing around in Q’s lab in Octopussy.

Right Rear Hip Pocket

The right rear hip pocket is a common place for men to keep their wallet, which is known to cause back problems. Bond uses this pocket on rare occasion.

In Moonraker when Bond’s only trouser pockets are in the rear, he keeps his safe cracker here.

In Octopussy he supposedly keeps the Fabergé egg here. On two occasions he reaches in the area of his rear trouser pockets to retrieve the egg. The first is when he presents it to Kamal Khan at the backgammon table, and the second is when he gives it to Q at Q’s lab. There’s no way Bond could realistically keep the egg in his close-fitting evening trousers from Douglas Hayward, and the egg cannot be hidden in any pocket of the clothes he wears. When at the backgammon table there was likely a crew member hidden on the floor handing the egg to Bond. In Q’s lab the shot starts with Bond’s hand holding the egg behind his back.

Coin Pocket

Trousers may have small pockets for coins at the base of the waistband. Bond digs a coin out of this pocket of his suit trousers in The Man with the Golden Gun to pay a taxi driver.

Coats and Jackets

Slash pockets

Slash pockets are some of the most convenient pockets on any garment, placed at a near vertical angle to allow the hand to reach inside comfortably. These pockets are found on casual jackets and outer coats, and they are especially good for hand-warming on outer coats.

In For Your Eyes Only, Bond uses the slash pockets in his green suede blouson to both store the keys to his Lotus Esprit and to rest his hands while held at gunpoint.

In Skyfall, Bond uses the right slash pocket on his pea coat to store his Walther PPK/S for quick access. Ray Kromphold of The Bond Armory is not a fan of placing guns in pockets but said, ‘the only upside is that you can have your hand in your pocket, directly on the firearm ready to draw, and nobody would know it was there. While if you had to go for your holster, it would be a little more obvious what you were doing.’


Shirt Breast Pocket

Bond’s shirts rarely have pockets, with them mostly on his sports shirts and safari shirts. Shirt breast pockets are convenient, but using them can look sloppy because they have no structure to support their shape.

Bond uses the breast pocket on his black half-zip sports shirt in Moonraker to store a vial of nerve gas when he retrieves it from Drax’s laboratory.

Later in Moonraker Bond takes a poison pen out of the flapped left breast pocket of his safari shirt-jacket. The pen sits inside the pocket while the clip hangs over the outside, all hidden by the flap.


  1. “A View to a Kill and Quantum of Solace Bond keeps his wallet in this pocket of his suit trousers”. This being the side pocket. But, in AVTAK, the trousers made by Hayward had no pockets; only coin and back pocket. Unless, a suit had frogmouth pockets?

    • Hayward’s suit trousers and evening trousers in For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy have frogmouth pockets. It’s possibly he put side pockets in this suit. We don’t have a good look at any suit trousers in this film.

      • Is it the tan suit, Matt? Of course, you could be right because the trousers I have seen him wearing isn stills, do vary. The charcoal trousers worn with the grey sports coat in the chateau are the usual with no side pockets and the same applies to the dark brown flannels worn with the leather jacket. Unusually, the grey worsteds worn with the grey suede jacket have a pleat.

  2. Lazenby keeps his cigarette lighter (dunhill?) in the hip pocket of his dinner jacket early in OHMSS from memory.

  3. Hi Matt. I noticed a few other examples in Dr.No that may be of interest. Connery uses the outer RIGHT hip pocket of his suit jacket to carry his business card (given to Sylvia Trench), his cigarette lighter, tip money for the porter at the airport in Jamaica, and money to pay the taxi when visiting Quarrel for the first time. When re-entering his hotel after the Geiger counter scene with Felix and Quarrel, he slips his hotel room-key into the outer LEFT hip pocket of his suit jacket. So he seems to quite regularly use these jacket hip pockets in ways that are perhaps not so common today. Conversely, following Bond’s meeting with Quarrel and Felix at Puss-Feller’s nightclub, Bond pays the taxi outside his hotel with money kept in the right side pocket of his trousers (better for loose change?). The next outstanding thing I noticed was the way Connery uses the RIGHT inner breast pocket of his suit jacket (and blazer) rather than the LEFT. For example, he uses it to put away his winnings upon leaving the casino in his dinner suit, to carry the receipt from Prof. Dent while wearing both his dark grey flannel suit (at Strangways’ house) and his navy blazer (at Dent’s office), and to carry his cigarette holder when visiting Pleydell-Smith in the grey Glen check suit (at Government House). I have two related theories here. Since the outer breast pocket (obviously on the left) is filled with a pocket square on the above occasions, it may have been Terence Young who advised Connery to avoid using the LEFT inner breast pocket of his suit jacket, as this would unnecessarily bulk out the left side of the jacket from both the outside (pocket square) and inside (money, papers, cigarette holder). Don’t forget Bond is also wearing a shoulder holster on the same (left) side, so there’s the additional bulk of the gun and the holster to consider under the jacket, too (not to mention Conner’s chest!). So purely from an optical perspective, it’s advantageous to do things this way. Which brings me to my second, but related theory. Using the RIGHT inner breast pocket of the suit jacket is not just practical in a general sense, but also CRITICAL to Bond’s profession. If he quickly reached inside his suit jacket on the left to retrieve the gun from his shoulder holster, imagine what would happen if his hand snagged on a large wad of money, or on a paper document from Prof. Dent sticking up out of the LEFT inner breast pocket of his suit jacket. Potentially disastrous! As a “00” agent, Bond would have been properly trained to be careful in this regard as a matter of survival. And remember that he’s just been chastised by M for having gun trouble on his last job: ‘If you carry a double-0 number, it means you’re licensed to kill, not get killed.’ So Bond’s use of the RIGHT inner breast pocket of the suit jacket makes complete sense on many levels, despite the fact that Connery is right-handed (“The left pocket gets the most use since it’s easily accessed from the right hand”). Perhaps future Bond movies lost sight of these practicalities.

      • You’re welcome, Matt. Thank YOU for the innumerable insights we have all received from you over so many years of tireless dedication and painstaking attention to detail.

    • Yes good analysis. I’m right handed but always have a pocket square in the outer left pocket and sunglasses behind the pocket square when I’m indoors. Plus my fountain pen in the inner left pocket (for a ‘quick draw’!). My phone is always in my inner right pocket exactly as you say, to avoid overly bulking the left side.

      It’s a divisive issue but I never use the hip pockets of a jacket. Doing so often causes unsightly bulges, stuffing hands in there a la Prince Charles will cause them to sag. I don’t even open the basting if they’ve been sewed shut!

      • I’m with you, Rod, when it comes to the hip pockets. I used to use them often, and sure enough they began to sag. Not as bad Prince Charles’s poor old jackets but enough that I would notice. But once I decided to stop using them I found the temptation in a spot too much and would still do so, so I decided to leave the stitching intact henceforth.

        Since making that change I haven’t missed their use and my jackets have thanked me for it. It also removes the opportunity for the one-flap-in/one-flap-out problem, or the dreaded half-tucked in pocket flap. Even the most vigilant man can make mistakes, so I’ve taken away the possibility.

  4. Interesting observation about the egg not fitting in the back pocket. I imagine it’s pretty standard “movie magic” for things to randomly appear out of pockets they were never in to begin with. Same probably goes for the PPK – the actor probably isn’t carrying the prop gun in the shoulder holster unless and until the holster itself is meant to be shown on screen because it would print on closer-fitting suit jackets.

    • I’m guessing that only in Dr No were the jackets cut large enough for the PPK not to imprint. Subsequent films had a closer fit in the jackets, trousers, and shirts. Likely the costume department just thought it looked better. Anthony Sinclair himself talks about it in an interview: https://youtu.be/RfpDyBbgzUk

  5. The amount of things that modern man needs to carry on his person throughout the day, wallet, car keys, smartphone, business cards, glasses, something with which to freshen the breath, comb, pen, etc. etc. necessitate pockets pockets pockets! It’s certainly one of the advantages of wearing tailored clothing, especially in a business environment. It is also for this reason that I always wear a jacket of some kind, even if it’s just a windbreaker, to the airport.
    James Bond has the luxury of being a fictitious character so he isn’t troubled by these concerns!

    • Yes and no to this!
      At an absolute minimum for me it’s wallet, keys, phone and sunglasses. For work I’d be wearing a jacket so add fountain pen, pocket handkerchief … not much more. There’s a tendency for some people to leave the house loaded up like a Himalayan Sherpa but you can mitigate this by not having a ‘Costanza’ wallet and editing down what you need to carry in your wallet and on your key ring. I did a blog post on ‘EDC’ – every day carry – and mentioned the website on which people post pictures of their EDC. It’s laughable what people consider essential and how they must carry these things – field notebook, SLR camera, pry bar, firearm, hunting knife, torch…

      Back to Bond, I agree that it’s doubtful in the films that the Walther is in place (in the Berns Martin triple draw bolster!) unless and until it’s needed in a scene, and this must surely be true of the Craig era and some of his sausage skin suits, beneath which it would be hard to secrete a door key without causing a bulge, much less an automatic pistol (and spare ammo clip).

      That might be an interesting post Matt – how does James Bond carry his gun? The first few films seemed to stay close to the novels with use of the shoulder holster. In SPECTRE at Blofeld’s secret lair Craig hands over a paddle style holster from the small of his back.

  6. I wholeheartedly agree that using the pockets on a suit or a blazer, inside and out, should be thought about prudently. I vividly remember the words of my very first tailor in London about 40 years ago (charcoal grey mohair suit, by the way, Connery-style – quite something in 1980!). He said, ‘Don’t you dare ever put anything in the coat pockets!’

    He was especially against fountain pens, Rod, not just because they could ruin the line of the jacket (especially with mohair), but because they could also ruin the LINING. I actually had this happen to my school blazer as a kid, when a fountain pen leaked ink into the left inner breast pocket, leaving a huge blue stain the size of a fist. It wasn’t a pretty sight. There’s also always a danger that the clip of the pen (think Parker and the arrow) can tear at the lining (again, just my experience, I’ve even had this happen inside suitcases).

    Connery’s tailor, Anthony Sinclair, seems to have had a different philosophy about how to treat a suit, famously saying that if it was well-made you should be able “take it to a ball, crush it, stamp on it, sleep in it” and it would sort of just spring “back again” into its original shape. So, as Bond, Connery never molly-coddled his suits. Perhaps because suits were more commonplace back in the 1960s. Many men wore them every day. It wasn’t so much about dressing up as about conforming to a cultural norm. Bond was supposed to be an expense-account business executive working for Universal Export (or “Exports” in the movies). So, given that he had to wear a lounge suit on most occasions just to look the part, it would simply be the daily “armour of his profession” (Neil Norman).

    That armour had to be not just aesthetic (Bond obviously had high Savile Row standards) but highly functional. Hence his use of the pockets. In a previous comment, I outlined those uses in Dr. No. We see a similar pattern in From Russia With Love. For example, as Matt mentioned in the article, Bond fills the LEFT inner breast pocket of his jacket with his pager (on an informal occasion – a romantic date – when he understandably wasn’t wearing a shoulder holster on the left). Later, it’s his gunmetal cigarette case (arriving at Istanbul airport, where he no doubt couldn’t wear a shoulder holster either, even in those days), and a small, folded wad of cash (before and after the fight with Grant on the Orient Express).

    He uses the RIGHT inner breast pocket for the photo of Tatiana in M’s office, his passport on the train, a large wad of money for paying off the train conductor, and his cigarette case (all occasions when he would have been wearing his shoulder holster on the LEFT side, so the RIGHT inner breast pocket was a better place to keep these things).

    Then there are the dreaded hip pockets. Bond uses the RIGHT hip pocket of his suit jacket for his cigarette lighter, and for the roll of secret film taken in the honeymoon suite in Istanbul (both in the train carriage after the fight and later in the gondola in Venice). And, as for the LEFT hip pocket, he stuffs Kerim Bey’s last belongings in there – wallet, cigarette holder – to give to Kerim’s son on the station platform in Belgrade, and later also the “suicide letter” Grant had with him. Interestingly, Grant also seems to think that hip pockets are there to be filled (a typical notion back in those days?). He uses his LEFT hip pocket for his “killing” gloves, his map, and for the gun he takes from Bond.

    To Rod’s point, Bond sometimes uses his breast pocket for his sunglasses. There are two occasions in this movie when he slips them behind his pocket square. He also pops Grant’s business card – actually Captain Nash’s – in his breast pocket. Then, later in Venice, he uses the breast pocket as a convenient place to keep Tania’s wedding ring – which he refers to as “government property”.

    In Connery’s following three movies, we see less of Bond using his suit and blazer jacket pockets. Although, in Goldfinger, he keeps his lighter and a room key in the RIGHT hip pocket of his ivory dinner jacket in the pre-title sequence. He also pops the homing device from Q into the RIGHT hip pocket of his navy blue suit in Q’s lab, and – as Matt pointed out in the article – later the smaller homer from his shoe into the RIGHT hip pocket of his glen check three-piece suit (he stuffs a guard’s gun in there, too, but as Matt said, he didn’t have a holster on him at the time. He has to keep it somewhere while he scribbles).

    In Thunderball, we see Bond slip the key to Count Lippe’s room into the breast pocket of his Barleycorn tweed hacking jacket, and in You Only Live Twice (for some unknown reason – can anyone enlighten me?) Bond just so happens to be carrying a bulky safe-cracking device in the LEFT hip pocket of his suit jacket, which he uses when inside Osato’s office, and he stuffs it back in the same pocket after opening the safe.

    All in all, considering that Bond is a spy (and a heavy smoker!), these seem to be very practical uses of his pockets. In the course of carrying out his professional duties, Bond’s priority is not to keep his suit or his blazer looking pristine. His only concern is to get the job done. In this regard, his pockets can and often do serve a purpose as a place to keep necessary items, and he doesn’t hesitate to use them.

    So, what about us? Should we use our suit pockets the same way as Bond? Or should we try to preserve the elegant look of our clothing by avoiding unnecessary bulges or sagging? Was my first tailor right all those years ago when he warned me, ‘Don’t you dare ever put anything in the coat pockets!’?

    Rod and Timothy make excellent points. Their solution is to keep their hip pockets sewn shut with the tailor’s basting. Fair enough. I used to do the same. These days I’ve gravitated more towards keeping things real. A pocket is a pocket. If it’s sewn shut, it’s a fake pocket. It’s only there for show. I prefer to have the option of leaving the hip pocket flaps out or, if I’m in the mood, tucking them in for the jetted look (hope I never make the mistakes Timothy mentions – we’re only human!). I’ve also come to the conclusion that a jacket hip pocket is not a bad place to keep one or two business cards (like Bond) or a cardkey to a hotel room, for example, because these items are flat.

    If we truly wanted to keep all of our jacket pockets in mint condition, we would never remove the basting on the breast pocket either, and we would never stuff a pocket square in there because it definitely bulges the pocket over time, causing it to sag. But Matt’s right: pockets are there to be used.

    I’m also with Rod on storing the phone in the RIGHT inner breast pocket. It bulks out the left side too much and it’s kind of the modern-day equivalent of Bond’s gunmetal cigarette case – a must-have item that we need to keep with us at all times (and that looks terrible when stuffed in a suit trouser pocket).

    Anyway, who’d have imagined we’d have so much to say about Bond’s pockets? And our own? Thanks again, Matt, for thinking about all the little sartorial details that turn out to be anything but trivial.

    • Excellent post Rowan. Very comprehensive and food for thought. One thing I’ve come to believe about those of us who are inclined towards matters sartorial is that the devil is in the details. The thing is, each of us obsesses over a DIFFERENT set of details so what one person finds to be essential another thinks any concern over such minutia is pointless. That’s OK, life would be boring if we all felt the same and it makes for some interesting discussion points as evidenced above!

      • Thanks, Rod. Nobody would argue that Bond is a man who concerns himself with very particular details – in many way, a direct reflection of his fastidious creator, Ian Fleming. A real-life ex-CIA spymaster once told me, ‘A spy’s job is to notice EVERY DETAIL, while not BEING noticed.’ The question, as you rightly say, though, concerns WHICH details actually matter. I would add to that WHY they matter, and WHEN they matter (because circumstances are always changing).

  7. I generally subscribe to the policy that pockets are there to be used – it seems silly and affected to have so many pockets all over my jacket and keep them sewn shut. To preserve the line of my jacket I will generally only keep light and flat things like paper tickets in my hip pockets, but I do use them all regularly, especially a ticket pocket if one is available. And the only things in my trouser hip pockets are usually my hands, a habit I probably picked up from Connery,

  8. This is a very interesting topic, one that I have thought about in the past. But I am really interested in the literary Bond. Judging from the type and amount of items he carries, he must have had quite large pockets and his tailor must have tailored his suits to his substantial needs!

    Just taking what today we would call “wallet” (Ian Fleming seems to use notecase & pocket-book interchangeably, at least in several instances (for example in LALD)):

    In the novel LALD, Bond takes five thousand dollars Solitaire had hidden beneath the lining of her handbag (taking out a small knife to cut the lining), and puts them in his ‘pocket-book’. Earlier, he had put the long vodoo-note that was slipped into their compartment on the train to Florida also into his ‘pocket-book’. At the beginning of LALD, he puts the envelope with one thousand dollards he receives from the American agent picking him up from the airport into his ‘notecase’. In Moonraker, Bond verifies that his cheque book was in his ‘notecase’ when getting dressed for Blades.

    Given the amounts of money and the cheque book that Bond’s notecase/pocket-book contains at various points in the novels, it must have been quite large. But, Bond seems to have no problem with overloading his pockets, as, in CR, he divides 24 million francs in casino plaques equally and puts them into his coat pockets – the resulting bulges in his dinner jacket cannot have looked very elegant! (In CR, Bond also jots down some figures into a small notebook after gambling.)

    So, in contemporary parlance, the literary Bond’s “Everyday Carry” would have looked something like this:
    Beretta (or later the Walther), probably also an extra magazine or two, his (as we have noted, rather large) notecase/pocket-bok, a notebook & pencil/pen, large cigarette case (with room for 50 cigarettes!) which he carried in his hip pocket, Ronson lighter (probably the size of a Zippo, and quite possibly heavier), a pocket knife, handkerchief (NOT a display kerchief in his outer breast pocket – according to Mr Fleming, Bond never wore these – except temporarily after his “Americanisation” in LALD). There were probably other items, too, that Mr Fleming does not mention in the novels, such as keys, perhaps business/visiting cards (although those might have been in his notecase/pocket-book), coins, etc., not to mention items added to his pockets that he would not carry every day but just when needed.

    It must have been quite a challenge to keep his clothes looking neat and smooth!

    • Another good post adding some further detail.
      My Dad had a flat silver cigarette case that he only used when he wore black tie. I imagine it to be very similar to Bond’s gunmetal one and even though I don’t smoke and hate smoking as it killed both my parents, I love having this memento of the ol’ fella. One of the coolest things about it is that it doesn’t have a visible catch, it opens by sliding the front and back panels against each other between fingers and thumb and it opens with spring loading, so you can look very suave as you retrieve it from your jacket pocket and open it to offer the fags around the company in one smooth movement. Ring right handed, I would have to store this in my inside left pocket to do that. But if it was traditional to only use it with evening wear at least that side of the chest wouldn’t be padded with a pair of sunglasses in the outer pocket! Still a bit crowded if I carried my Walther in a shoulder holster!

    • A 50 cigarette case, are you sure ?
      That sounds enormous and bulky. Connery and Lazenby had a similar case, probably the same, very flat, which holded 10/12 cigarettes maximum. You could only fill one side of it.
      I tried to find a similar one but never did !
      By the way Rod, great article about your father’s style, and the clothing and accessories you inherited look very nice ! I especially like the cigarette case and cufflinks.

      • I am certain about the gunmetal cigarette case holding fifty cigarettes. Ian Fleming specifically refers to it in multiple novels, for the first time in Casino Royale. He carries it in his right hip pocket.

        A case for fifty cigarettes does seem enormous, and I have wondered about it, but there do not seem to be commercial manufacturers producing cases accommodating such a volume, and neither do there seem to be vintage specimens.

      • Sami remember that cigarettes in those days were a fraction of the length they are now. My brother who was once a smoker tried out my Dad’s cigarette case and it didn’t really work as there’s just one sort of elastic spring chain to keep the cigs in place and he had to insert his cigs at an angle as by then they were too long to fit in cross-wise. They didn’t really stay in place. I suppose a thicker case could accommodate 25 on either side but even with Bond’s appetite for the Morelands that seems a hell of a lot of smokes for one session.

      • They were not quite “a fraction of the length”, but before the widespread adoption of filters, cigarettes were a bit shorter indeed – some online research suggests about one centimetre compared to contempary cigarettes, give or take depending on the manufacture of course.

        Naturally, since Bond’s were specially made, it is impossible to know their length with any certainty (unless one were to successfully win an auction for leftover cigarettes from Fleming’s estate, which could be measured), but judging by pictures of Ian Fleming’s Morlands I would conclude that if they actually are shorter than an average cigarette today (about 80 millimetres), they were probably not less than 70 millimetres or thereabouts. But even if they were 65 or even 60 millimetres long, a cigarette case for fifty would be quite large.

        Incidentally, there exists a picture of Ian Fleming’s Asprey cigarette case – and, funnily enough, the cigarettes are inserted at an angle because they are too long – much like Rod’s brother in the anecdote cited . It’s not possible to judge the dimension from just a picture, but that might suggest that his cigarettes are actually on the longer side.

        Be that as it may, for fifty cigarettes, one would probably have to use a cigarette box or tin (which is certainly not fit to be carried in one’s trouser, or suit, pocket), rather than a cigarette case. If such a case ever existed, Bond probably would have had to have it made specially. Considering that he smoked 60-70 a day, it would have been a worthwhile investment for him, since otherwise he would have had to refill a regular-sized cigarette case 3-4 times per day.

        To return to the subject of the article: no matter how that cigarette case would have been crafted and even if the cigarettes were one or two centrimetres shorter than today’s, it would require an extraordinarily generous amount of pocket space.

      • Details – details … I love it! Well I just measured the interior width of my Dad’s case and it looks like it would accommodate cigs of slightly less than three inches long or approx 7.5 cm. I haven’t had a cigarette near me in decades so can’t comment on current length but I seem to remember at one time cigarettes being advertised as ‘110s’ which I suspect referred to 110 mm or 11 cm. 7.5 is indeed a fraction of 11, slightly over 2/3!!
        We used to buy our Dad his cigs on a Saturday morning back when there was no age restriction and I have to admit three inches seems almost liliputian even to my clouded memory. There must only have been enough length for two or three drags and it was gone! Also interesting to learn that Fleming‘s tabs we’re so long he had them inserted at an angle in his case. My brother found that a full case of cigs at an angle works OK but when you’re down to your last few there’s nothing to KEEP them wedged at an angle and they just end up sliding long ways under the spring band. Maybe that’s why he stopped using it and then finally gave up smoking so I was able to inherit the case!
        Another interesting yet off topic anecdote is that Winston. Churchill bought his son a cigarette case with his return address and a postage stamp engraved on it as he was tired of the lad losing his cigs all the time. (The rate that postage increases over here he’d have to buy one every year for his birthday!!)

  9. Just a note on the use of pocket handkerchiefs by Connery’s Bond in the early movies.

    On at least two occasions, he pulls a white (or off-white) handkerchief from the left trouser pocket of his suit. Once, in From Russia With Love, inside the Hagia Sophia, where he uses it to wrap the gun in his hand. The second occasion is in Thunderball, when he uses the pocket handkerchief to wrap the bleeding gunshot wound on his lower leg.

    So Bond seems to be in the habit of carrying a handkerchief around with him in his left trouser pocket, just in case he needs it. Like your father, Rod, my late dad always did the same. And, as Saul reminds us in a comment above, the literary James Bond did this in the novels. It was customary in those days for a gentleman.

    However, there is an earlier scene in From Russia With Love, where Connery pulls out the pocket square from the outer breast pocket of his suit jacket and uses it to wipe his greasy hands after eating food with his fingers. Why didn’t he use the handkerchief in his left trouser pocket for this purpose, which might have made more sense? Perhaps because the pocket square was quicker and easier to access at that moment without touching any other part of his suit. Trying to reach his pocket handkerchief would have involved perhaps opening the jacket and certainly putting greasy fingers down inside his trouser pocket. Maybe he would also have needed to stand up at the table to free up the trouser pocket, not a very courteous gesture to his volatile dinner host.

    In Dr. No, we also see Bond using his pocket square to wipe his hands, during the early fight scene in Jamaica with the chauffeur (by the way, on this occasion Bond ends up with a heavy gun in each of the two hip pockets of his suit jacket! Ouch!). Again, why not use the pocket handkerchief from his trousers? Was it the same issue? Was the pocket square simply quicker and easier to access at that tense moment? Maybe.

    And what about the handkerchief Bond uses shortly afterwards to display the cyanide-laced cigarette at government house? Was it the one from his breast pocket that seems to go missing during the fight? Had he refolded it in the meantime to keep this deadly souvenir? Probably the most likely answer. Or was this a second handkerchief, taken from the pocket of his trousers? We’ll never know. (We do know that Bond didn’t put the soiled pocket square back into his breast pocket).

    In his classic book “Dressing the Man,” Alan Flusser writes: “Immediate access to a handkerchief is crucial, whether to head off that unexpected sneeze or to mop up spilled champagne.” As noted above, Bond sometimes has other reasons calling for immediate access to a handkerchief. Flusser adds that while the “one for blowin'” should be “safely tucked away” in a “trouser pocket,” the “one for showin'” should be “permanently displayed in the jacket’s breast pocket.” That makes the decorative pocket square the one that is easiest to access immediately whenever there is an urgent need and no time to reach into the trousers.

    In this context, Bond’s handkerchief behavior in these instances makes sense.


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