James Bond: 5 Things He Taught Us About Style
Any man, without a doubt, has at least once introduced himself in jest as,”Bond, James Bond,” and has also been tempted when asked how he would like a martini to say, “Shaken, not stirred.” The main reason any man wants to be James Bond is obviously for the cars, adventures, beautiful women, and all the ridiculous spy gadgets. But there is also something else that attracts many men to Bond, and it’s not just the lifestyle and accessories — it’s how he embodies sophistication and style. He exudes such confidence, strength, and power — all the traits that every man wants to have.
During its 53-year franchise, starting with Dr. No in 1962, each incarnation of Bond, from Sean Connery all the way to Daniel Craig, has given men a look into living the high life, as well as a blueprint for male sophistication and grace (although far from gentle). Here are five things that Bond has taught us about style.
1. It all starts with a tuxedo
When you think of Bond, the first thing that comes to mind, besides his martini order, is his tuxedo. With more than five men having worn the classic tux as Bond with a similar ease of wearing a T-shirt, each has added something of their own to the look. As time has passed, cuff links, cummerbunds, and studs have been added and removed from the look, but it’s still this tailored piece that stands out. The main takeaway: Formal attire should be worn with the confidence, ease, and comfort of wearing a pair of sweats.
“A suit — not a good suit but a very, very good suit — is the one garment a man can wear that can make him feel like he owns the world,” says Jany Temime, award winning costume designer who worked with Daniel Craig, to The Telegraph. Invest in a good, fitted suit, gentlemen.
2. A jacket is a necessity
For both formal and casual wear, Bond has been seen over the years in a variety of jackets that have truly defined his character. Sean Connery, who played Bond from 1962 to 1971, proved several times over that a suit jacket is an everyday necessity. In fact, Connery made this white dinner jacket look infamous in Goldfinger, solidifying just how much the right suit jacket (or blazer) can instantly streamline and add sophistication to your look. Also consider Roger Moore’s tweed shooting jacket from Moonraker, which is not only fashionable but seasonally appropriate.
3. Stick to a neutral color palette, or choose colors with care
James Bond is not a fan of different clothing colors, and there is a reason why you never see 007 in any flashy colors: “Clothes should never dress the man or overpower him,” Temime said to The Telegraph. “You should see the man first and the clothes second, which is why Bond’s wardrobe is based around a neutral palette — it allows his personality to shine through.”
Color tends to distract from the sophisticated, strong, and rugged handsomeness of Bond. Although the colors may seem somber, wearing a more neutral color palette of blacks, greys, whites, and blues prevents any kind of sartorial slip-ups.
4. Once you master the suit, everything else is a cakewalk
Daniel Craig deviates completely from the traditional Bond not only because he’s a blonde, but also because he’s not as reliant on the suit. Since the franchise has mastered the fit and appeal of the suit, today’s Bond feels comfortable in less formal attire, but still looks sophisticated as ever. Sure, Craig still wears a suit as Agent 007, but the modern-day Bond proves that you can wear causal sportswear and still look sharp. If you can master the confidence and sophistication it takes to wear a suit, then every other outfit is sure to exude just as much sophistication, if not even more appeal.
5. Lastly, dress with purpose and always have your clothes pressed or ironed
If there is anything that each incarnation and scene in every Bond movie has taught us, it’s that everything must be worn with purpose. In Bond’s world, there are no accidents; he is always dressed for the occasion, no matter what. Since Bond is the ultimate in style achievement, he also never walks out in public without a nicely pressed outfit. The lesson: Always look well kept no matter the situation.