Article up on theidleman.com – How To Dress Like James Bond
By Min A. Lee
“An in-depth look into 007 reveals a complex protagonist with immaculate style. We examined a selection of Bond films for some of the best lessons in tailored menswear and accessories you’ll ever receive. You’ll be dressing like James Bond in no time!
Read more Men’s style guides.
While we are obsessed with the current James Bond, Daniel Craig, the iconic style that has become vital to bringing the literary character to life on the silver screen began with three men: Terence Young, Anthony Sinclair and Sean Connery.
TerenceYoung coached Connery into portraying the Bond that would set the bar since his first film Dr. No. Using his own bespoke tailor, Anthony Sinclair, Young felt everything worn by Bond was a huge proponent of the persona.
We asked Remmert van Braam, founder of the popular Bond Lifestyle, from the clothes to personality, what is it about James Bond that attracts men and women:
Bond always knows his stuff, from the wine he drinks to the car he drives, he knows what he wants and wants the best. This is something Bond creator Ian Fleming already put in the novels, naming specific brands and Bond’s sartorial preferences. Usually these are high-end, quality products. It might sound materialistic, but what men and women might admire in Bond is that even though he gets all the best things, he just as easily ruins bespoke suits, handmade shoes, or expensive vehicles and he doesn’t seem to care. Except of course when it’s his beloved Aston Martin DB5 (or his Bentley in the novels).
— Remmert van Braam, Bond Lifestyle
Clean silhouettes, easy shoulders, a slight flare to the jacket and movable fit define the Conduit Street tailor’s aesthetics. The British style embedded by Sinclair still translates across all of the 007 films to this day.
Let’s break down all of Bonds’ main looks, and how to achieve them.
Tuxedos appear heavily throughout the Bond movies. It’s important to remember, tuxedos are notably different from suits:
- Suits can be worn anytime of the day, while formal tuxedos are for evening.
- Color plays a role; tuxedos are usually black or extremely dark blue. Suits can be lighter shades.
- Traditionally tuxedos will contain satin: the lapels, buttons, trimming down the trouser legs, while suits don’t.
- The jacket lapels themselves are different. You won’t see tuxedos with notched lapels.
- Tuxedos should have a bow tie versus wearing casual neck piece for suits.
Whenever we think of ‘Dr. No’, the first scene that comes to mind is that epic moment when through a cloud of cigarette smoke, Connery introduces himself as, Bond. James Bond. He was wearing a Sinclair designed tuxedo in midnight blue with a Lanvin shirt, these moments were the start of many.
The Grey Suit
Throughout the Connery era, Sinclair’s clean aesthetics were at the forefront. A popular style was his glen check three-piece suit in Goldfinger, featuring narrow lapels, ticket pocket along with the slip of a handkerchief and notched lapel waist coat.
Here’s Roger Moore working a grey, chalk stripe jacket with a peaked lapel. What’s the difference between pinstripes and chalk stripes? The latter is set wider, and sewn at an angle to mimic a tailor’s chalk line.
As time progressed, Brioni dressed Pierce Brosnan in neutral, but with a wider lapel with a higher gorge and no waist coat. The pleated trousers of Sinclair disappeared for slimmer cuts with darting.
Brioni was switched out for Tom Ford by “Quantum Of Solace.” While Craig did wear the Italian brand for one movie, a change in costume designer also influenced the change to Ford. Though there is variation between the designers of Bond’s suits, the fact remains from Sinclair to the more modern take we see now—grey is timeless.
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