It’s always too vague …
This type of topic has been covered on almost every menswear blog before, but often in a somewhat superficial manner and without going into great detail. On the other hand, I did not want to go into the ultra sharp analysis a little boring with thousands of words and three blurry screenshots.
It’s good to know the technical characteristics of a garment, but without images, it quickly becomes obscure and abstract.
To find the right compromise, I also inserted Matt Spaiser infographics, the founder of Bondsuits , which is probably the most specialized English site on the James Bond style .
He has published a series of infographics that I strongly encourage you to check out: this is his Basted for Bond column.
He was kind enough to adapt them in French using the translations I provided to him and to allow me to use them here (I also took some illustrations and screenshots from his site).
I would have talked about ALL of his infographics, but that would probably have bored you (and me too). We will probably come back to this later if you like this style of article.
The article is quite long, and I tried to include as many style tips as possible in the review.
In this article, we will therefore discuss the style of James Bond in Specter and compare it to Skyfall and, to a lesser extent, Quantum of Solace. It has changed a lot, and you will see that I personally have not been a big fan of evolution.
- I THE STYLE AND OUTFITS OF JAMES BOND IN SPECTER
- II THE MORE TRADITIONAL STYLE OF JAMES BOND IN SKYFALL AND QUANTUM OF SOLACE
I THE STYLE AND OUTFITS OF JAMES BOND IN SPECTER
With this costume, James Bond wears a white shirt with a French collar. and musketeer cuffs: the reminder is done with a white pouch. The dark navy blue tie is reminiscent of the darker threads of the suit, with a simple Four in Hand knot.
With that, he wears black Norwich derby from Crockett & Jones, with a Dainite rubber sole: this type of sole is one of the most common in James Bond films.
Of all the outfits worn in Specter, this one is the most classic and typical of James Bond style and stands out with understated details. This navy two piece suit with a navy blue tie was typically worn by Sean Connery in most of his films.
The first is a long double-breasted coat: it is a type of coat that favors athletic builds and large sizes (such a buttoning is better highlighted on long coats). With this construction and length, this is surely the most formal coat imaginable.
The second is a Crombie coat, closer to a simple overcoat and therefore more versatile. This type of coat can be worn without worry with a chunky, round-neck sweater and a shirt underneath.
On the other hand, in black, it limits especially to the formal, unless you want to play on a little rock register. (it wouldn’t have been the case with navy blue, if you don’t play James Bond or are not a secret agent in real life I recommend navy blue or camel instead).
From a morphological point of view, this coat is more versatile and can also go to longer physique. We see on the other hand that the single buttoning and the lapels draw more of a V and highlight the physique of Daniel Craig much more (almost a little too much, I find that we are not far from a somewhat vulgar bodybuilder style) .
The previous coat was more suited to the build of the actor and better balanced his figure.
2 THE WINDSOR TUXEDO
The Windsor costume is seen in the film in an ivory version. Like most tuxedos, it is made from wool and mohair (traditionally, Tom Ford evening suits are made from 85% wool and 15% mohair).
This combination makes it possible to give a shiny and a little lustrous aspect to the fabric and is traditionally found on tuxedos.
3 THE COMPARISON BETWEEN SKYFALL AND SPECTER
First difference compared to Skyfall: we replace the tab collar shirt with a classic white shirt with a pronounced French collar and very long tips, which suits Daniel Craig’s square physique a little better. (it is also a little surprising to have a French collar, narrow with long points, rather than an English collar, a little more open and with shorter points).
Small flat: we go from normal wrists to musketeer wrists . Obviously it’s wider, and here it goes much less well in the rather narrow sleeves of the Tom Ford suit.
Another step back: The light blue / navy color contrast of the Skyfall outfit was much better suited to Daniel Craig (who has a weak skin / hair contrast: a bit matte and blond complexion) than that of the Specter costume. If you are careful, the costume stands out much more on the right, while it is more discreet but emphasizes the face more on the left.
In both films, we keep the classic combination of tie and navy blue suit typical of James Bond (most of the time made with a light blue shirt).
On these two outfits, the tie knot used is an oven in hand: we notice that it is really very small, which means that the interlining is fine. It works well with the tab collar, but much less with the French collar.
4 THE O’CONNOR COSTUME: THE BASIC JAMES BOND MODEL
It undergoes some transformations between Skyfall and Specter: the difference is in particular on the level of the roll of the backhand.
While both suits are three-button models, Skyfall’s is a true three-button while Specter’s one is more of a “ three roll two ”: the cuff roll also wraps around the top button and stops at the button. middle. It’s a bit like a fake three buttons that you button more like a two button.
Specter’s outfit is borderline more vulgar: the opening at the bottom of the jacket is more pronounced, due to an accentuated bending. On top of that, the pants have a lower waist than in Skyfall.
Suddenly, we see the bottom of the shirt, while this is not the case in Skyfall. This is the kind of detail that does not pass at all in the codified register of the formal costume.
These construction and cut elements help to better showcase Daniel Craig’s athletic physique, and also to rejuvenate the James Bond costume , but they come at the expense of the codes of a classic formal outfit.
At the shoulders, the construction remains similar: shoulder with a little padding, a pronounced cigarette at the head of the sleeve, a slightly inclined “barchetta” chest pocket and a central slit. Why a central slit? This is explained by the rather athletic physique of Daniel Craig, with pronounced hips and huge thighs which are too accentuated by side slits (and this is one of the only cases where they are indeed inappropriate).
Some fit problems are common to both films: the jackets are short and very fitted (as evidenced by the pleats): it is quite obvious in the photo on the right.
Apart from the twill suit of the poster and the comparison, we also find the O’Connor in these three variations:
– herringbone wool with thick black stripes: despite the conspicuous pattern, it is surely my favorite as much in terms of cut than texture. Difficult to find other photos unfortunately where we can have a better overview.
– a navy blue Prince of Wales check with light blue checks: not a fan, it is a traditional combination not shocking in itself but I have always found this kind of check too showy
– a black striped three-piece
When you see that, there is still something to say that it is neither in the subtlety and understatement of the British style, and that it is not in the discretion of a spy either. So it has a priori nothing to do with a James Bond.
Frankly, if I had been told it was a photo of Vladimir Putin, I would have believed it (it would certainly have taken a bald spot on top of that).
This is probably the most Fordian version of all, which accentuates the build the most (to the point of limiting it a little too much). This kind of cut is actually very influenced by a particular branch of Saville Row: that of Tommy Nutter and Edward Sexton.
Here are two photos: one of Edward Sexton and one from his collection, you will immediately understand:
The recipe for highlighting your stature (but a bit of a failure when you’re already like Daniel Craig)
Simple: we highlight as much as possible the build by taking the curve, with shoulders and a very marked cigarette and oversized lapels. The style effect is nice when you have a normal build, but it just gives a slightly vulgar bodybuilding style when you have Daniel Craig’s.
It is also Tom Ford who dressed Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, let’s see what he offers for these two films …
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II THE MORE TRADITIONAL STYLE OF JAMES BOND IN SKYFALL AND QUANTUM OF SOLACE
Skyfall’s tuxedo is quite different: it is a midnight blue mohair wool suit with a contrasting silk satin shawl collar. It is a variation of the tuxedo quite common at the moment, which can be found in a lot of brands.
The advantage of midnight blue compared to navy blue or simply blue is to remain very close to the register dressed in black , but while having a richer and deeper color. A good midnight blue is supposed to look black in daylight, almost blacker than real black.
It is more of a trend than a true basic in terms of tuxedo and it is squarely seen as an aberration by the purists of the classic wardrobe, for whom a tuxedo is completely black, and with classic spiked lapels.
The Quantum of Solace model is very similar, we can better see the contrasting hems made at the cuffs:
Along with the tuxedo, James Bond wears a cotton voile shirt in Skyfall, with a contrasting cotton pique bib (like polo shirts).
On a tuxedo shirt, the first visible buttons (those on the top therefore) are removable and therefore interchangeable. The buttons you can see here are Tom Ford in mother-of-pearl and adorned with white gold: at 2500 euros a pair (yes, both buttons).
This shirt has 4 removable buttons on the plastron, and 2 on the sleeves: we have suddenly for 7,500 euros of buttons.
THE REGENCY COSTUME FROM QUANTUM OF SOLACE
This one is taken from a cut end scene, but the cut is the same throughout the film: this is a twill wool with a light gray chain yarn and a dark gray / charcoal yarn in frame. We can see a big difference compared to the costumes of Specter: the bending is much less pronounced. On the other hand, the cigarette on the shoulder is always quite accentuated.
On the other hand, we have the same construction as for Specter: a “3 roll 2”, that is to say a three-button jacket whose roll-up on the lapel ends at the middle button.
It’s a variation more easily wearable than the Specter suits and which further normalizes the build of Daniel Craig: we see that he is athletic but without going in a bodybuilt style.
THE O CONNOR COSTUME FROM SKYFALL
We have already talked about it a bit in the comparison, but we can see better in this photo that it is a real three-button jacket, in particular with the roll-up of the lapel which clearly stops at the top button and not in the middle button (which does not make a fantastic fall when closing the middle button at the end).
James Bond only wears tab collar in Skyfall, for me that’s a pretty good stance.
This costume above is not a Prince of Wales, it is made of a Glen Urquhrat: unlike the Prince of Wales, it has houndstooth patterns: here we have an all-season model with a grammage of 270 g / m².
THE FALL OF THE PANTS
I had discussed it at length during my last coaching session: what should an ideal fall on a suit look like? Exactly at that, by simply breaking the fold once and with pants that otherwise hug the shoe harmoniously.
Of course, we will see your socks when you are seated with this kind of length: the important thing is simply that we do not see a single cm of skin. Just make sure you have high enough socks, preferably socks.
The summer version
Just like in Specter, the O’Connor costume is available in different fabrics, which are each time adapted to the environment. Here, a more summery costume:
Here we have a canvas suit (with a weave close to wire to wire called pick and pick). This is a super 110’s with a lighter weight of 260g / m²;
THE CARDIGAN SHAWL COLLAR IN QUANTUM OF SOLACE
Daniel Craig is one of the first to wear the cardigan as James Bond: this very Steve McQueen navy blue shawl collar model is featured in Quantum of Solace and is worn with a Levi’s 306 and Church’s Ryder III. (the classic model of chukkas with Dainite soles). The glasses are Aviator from Tom Ford.
Not much to say about it except that the navy blue – white – beige combination is simple and effective and makes it easy to wear chunky navy blue knits in Spring.
The first coat is worn in Quantum of Solace: the notched lapels are very wide and more in keeping with the build of Daniel Craig.
The second is worn in Skyfall: it is much more generic, with normal cuffs but which seem a little narrow compared to the morphology of the actor.