You may never be a secret agent, but you can certainly look the part. In our first blog on films that inspired men’s fashion, we show you the secrets of how to dress like James Bond.
Whether you’re a fan of Sean Connery’s suave portray of 007 or Daniel Craig’s more rugged approach, as a character, it doesn’t get much cooler than James Bond.
From the cars he drives to his irresistible charm, the whole world first envisaged by Ian Fleming is a gentleman’s dream. However, perhaps his most notable trait is his impeccable dress sense.
In this blog, we revisit some of his most iconic looks and discuss what it takes to successfully dress like James Bond.
James bond style: iconic looks
Midnight blue tuxedo (Dr. No)
Back to where it all began. Sean Connery sat at a Chemin De Fer table dressed in a divine blue shawl collar tuxedo is the epitome of style.
Black roll neck (Live and Let Die)
Not every gentleman can pull off the roll neck. However, this black turtleneck jumper and leather shoulder holster combo sported by Roger Moore is an iconic look Daniel Craig recreated some years later in Spectre. A fun wintery addition to any wardrobe.
Bloodied tux (Casino Royale)
The pinnacle of any black-tie dinner party. Daniel Craig’s first portrayal of the famous 007 was jampacked with iconic looks, including his blue swimming trunks exiting the ocean, as well as his tropical shirt and khaki chino combo in the Parkour chase. But his tux worn during his poker match with Le Chiffre is the pick of the bunch.
White suit (Goldfinger)
Sean Connery’s 007 makes the best Bond outfit list again with his fantastic white dinner jacket and red rose look.
Green suit (Skyfall)
Skyfall is like a gentleman’s paradise for fashion. The blue peacoat is a fabulous winter look while the sportsman jacket is a diverse take on rural attire. But the green suit (arguably grey or blue) in the latter scenes of Skyfall is magnificent. The green colour imbued in the thread makes Bond look sharp and powerful in the beautiful cinematic shots up in Scotland.
How to dress like James Bond on a budget
Now for the fun part. If you’re not in a position to replicate Mr Bond’s brand choices, don’t sweat. There are many alternative independent brands and sneaky shortcuts you can take to fill your wardrobe up with 007 clothing essentials.
As mentioned earlier, the key to James Bond fashion is the tailored suit. Whether your style is heavily influenced by the 1940s, 1950s or a more modern era, suits are timeless.
Part of the reason why Bond has remained ageless is through his fashion choices. Smart style doesn’t go out of fashion. It’s the very reason why our Oxfords are a must-have in every gentleman’s wardrobe. Oxford Shoes have long had the reputation of the ultimate "smart" shoe, although we appreciate in this day and age, there isn't always the call for ultimate tux wearing occasions so at Percy Stride we created the best of both worlds with our Half Patent, Half Calf Oxfords and at £235 a pair they aren't wallet breaking expensive.
However, it’s worth noting that James Bond knows how to dress for different occasions – especially in the latest films when his job takes him to all corners of the earth. Tropical beaches require a dressed down, cream-coloured suit, while a night at the casino calls for a black tux.
James Bond uses colour as his weapon of choice to influence his style. So, when you buy clothes or shoes, make statement pieces in versatile colours your priority. When you’re working with a small budget, you need to make your money work harder.
Statement pieces, such as coats, jackets, footwear and trousers can be repurposed to suit various seasonal looks, without it looking like you wear the same thing all the time. As a top tip for dressing like James Bond on a budget, stick to statement pieces in solid colours like navy, dark green, grey and black. You can then pair these with bolder colours to add contrast when it’s needed. For inspiration, think James Bond’s tan chinos and solid dark blue polo in Casino Royale. Our previous blog about statement, investment pieces should give you some inspiration and get you on the road to narrowing down your top items.
Once you figure out how to use colour and fuse it with the ever-changing seasonal requirements, you’ll be able to capture his level of sophistication but without the need to splash out on loads of fresh gear.
James Bond budget-friendly wardrobe staples
- Watch – an Omega Seamaster will set you back a few thousand pounds. But you can capture the same sophisticated, versatile look for around £100 with an Alpha, Invicta and Skagen watch.
- Shoes – most Bond shoes in Spectre were designed by Crockett and Jones, ranging from £345 to £460. The key is to find a happy medium between quality and cheap high-street fashion. Our handcrafted, British men’s Oxfords start from £185 and come in a variety of colours and still handmade in Britains footwear capital of Northampton.
- Suit – Daniel Craig may have been given 85 identical versions of his amazing Tom Ford suit for filming, but affording one is hard enough. For a premium, budget-friendly tailored suit, check out our list of the UK’s best-tailored suits. It pays to get a couple of versions in different colours to suit different occasions. You can then dress the lookup with a smart tie and pocket square or keep it casual by wearing it as a blazer with a casual shirt and pair of jeans or chinos.
- Sunglasses – James Bond loves a pair of aviators. His Tom Ford Marko Aviators from Skyfall will set you back around £255. However, if you want to cut costs, Topman has plenty of affordable options for around £20.
Don’t forget your manners
Ever wondered why James Bond is able to aggressively beat the living s**t out of someone and then appeal to the sexiest women? It’s his manners.
Sure, the fancy cars and his immaculate style play an integral role in his ability to woo, but without the charm and the polite eloquence, he’d just be a sleazy bloke with a bit of cash.
A true gentleman minds their ps and qs knows how to listen and is charismatic. Call it old fashioned, but there’s nothing more attractive than a man who has the personality to back up the fancy attire.
We love a good look at how film and entertainment have shaped menswear culture and trends, view our previous blogs for more fashion inspiration from the screen:
- How to Dress Like A Kingsman
- Peaky Blinders, Get The Look
- Time Travelling Trends Style Making A Comeback!
- A Gentleman's Guide To Mod Fashion
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