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Evolution of the Bond Suit: Goldfinger to Skyfall

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If you haven’t noticed by now, we love Bond. And really, who doesn’t? From his impossibly cool and cavalier swagger to his regular involvement with gorgeous women, guys (and girls) can always bond over some Bond. One of our favorite characteristics of this uber spy is his prowess with his wardrobe. 007 has an enviable collection of impeccably tailored suits and one-of-a-kind accessories and gadgets. He’s got killer style and it’d be tough to find a situation where the words don’t fit. Simply put, James Bond is the absolute archetype of a well-dressed man.

With the recent release of the 23rd Bond movie, Skyfall, we’ve seen a lot of changes to the Bond character and franchise, including a more human Bond haunted by ghosts of missions past, a Q who’s younger than our current intern and some modern updates to Bond’s classic style. And while we won’t go into the “who’s the best Bond” debate here (you’ve voted on your favorites earlier), we’ll give you a more sartorial take on the progression of Bond. To do this, we chose our two favorite Bonds –  the modern Daniel Craig and the original Sean Connery – and broke down our favorite look of each. It’s Bond vs. Bond and we pull no punches in calling this marquee match-up.

Voted the favorite Bond of all time by Black Lapel readers, Sean Connery is often seen as the iconic Bond when it comes to his style. One of his most famous looks is pictured above. Dubbed the “Goldfinger suit”, this gray checked (very subtle checks) three-piece has become one of the most renown suits of the Bond franchise. The fit is roomier than the slim, modern cut of Daniel Craig’s Bond, but certainly not at any expense of class. As you can see, the original Bond kept it simple when it came to colors, wearing his suit with a solid white shirt (with French Cuffs), solid black silk knit tie and solid white pocket square. Here’s how you can replicate this dapper ensemble.

The Sean Connery Gray Suit (from Goldfinger)

  1. Cool Gray Custom 3-Piece Suit (pictured above with 2 buttons, slim lapels, and a ticket pocket) or the new Gray Glen Check suit (coming soon!)
  2. White Solid Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt with spread collar and rounded French cuffs
  3. Solid Black Silk Knit Tie
  4. Solid White Pocket Square
  5. Crockett & Jones Solid Black Oxfords
  6. Grappling Gun (Disclaimer: Black Lapel is not responsible for any well-dressed men who decide to rappel down commercial buildings)
  7. Homing Device (just in case the everyday Bond in you forgets where you parked your car, where you left your keys or where your child went)
  8. Aston Martin DB5 (yes, we would all like to have one of these)

His ego may be bruised and he may be a step or two slower than his card hustling days, but his style is clearly undiminished. Daniel Craig wears a flawlessly tailored charcoal blue suit in Skyfall, pictured above. This slim suit is well tailored to flatter the modern Bond’s more athletic physique. Craig wears this suit with a solid light blue shirt and finishes it off with a slim, solid navy tie (worn with a classic four-in-hand knot) and a simple straight-folded, solid light blue pocket square. The simplicity of the outfit represents the classic timelessness that Bond is known for, while the sharp, clean and slimmer details of the look signify a new, resurrected Bond.

The Daniel Craig Charcoal Blue Suit (Skyfall)

  1. Charcoal Blue Custom Suit
  2. Light Blue Solid Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt (Bond wears a tab collar, which is available upon special request)
  3. Slim Solid Royal Blue Tie (four-in-hand knot)
  4. Light Blue Twill Pocket Square (straight fold)
  5. Black Oxfords
  6. Biometric-keyed Walther PPK (or just a Walther PPK for those of us without our own Q)
  7. Sony Xperia Android w/ Tracking App 
  8. Aston Martin DB5 (of course)

So whether you’re a Bond traditionalist or Bond modernist, you can’t go wrong if you take some style hints from 007 himself. The best part about all of Bond’s outfits is that they are simple and timeless, consisting of basic colors and simple accessories. Your closet probably already contains most of what you need to dress like 007. What really makes Bond look so good is that his clothes fit properly and are worn with the utmost confidence. Bond always wears his clothes – his clothes never wear him. It’s time for you to do the same!

Which suit do you prefer? The “Daniel Craig” Charcoal Blue or the “Sean Connery” Cool Gray? Share in the comments below! 

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30 thoughts on “Evolution of the Bond Suit: Goldfinger to Skyfall”

  1. Looks to me like Craig’s blue pocket square was probably cut from a spare shirt in the same color, maybe you could offer a square made from the shirting material for a better match.

    1. That’s not a bad idea! We’ll definitely take it into consideration for our future pocket square selections!

  2. jack.vincennes says:

    I actually own both suits. In the new Skyfall movie Craig wears a similar grey suit, so the old style is also the new style.

    Both suits are fantastic

    1. Sounds like you’re a true Bond fan!

  3. sticking with the Skyfall talk, i hope blacklapelCC comes out with a Navy Glen Plaid Suit, and bring back the charcoal (rope) pinstripe suit with narrower stripes!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Mercado, we hear you! We’ll definitely take it into consideration for our future product launches!

  4. The three piece has better lines. The grey.

  5. When will the Charcoal Blue suit be available?

    1. Noah, the Charcoal Blue should be available this week! 😉

  6. You guys planning to come out with a grey pick-and-pick suit as well?

    1. We’re always looking to test new fabrics. A gray pick-and-pick may be in the works for late 2013. Sorry, we know that’s ages from now! Lots of other cool fabrics to come between now and then however! :) Stay tuned!

  7. C’mon black friday sale! please please do something! 😀

    1. We’ll announcing something in the next 24hrs! Stay tuned!

  8. I really like Daniel’s Charcoal suit with light blue serge pinstripe. Plans to come out with something similar?

    Also, adjustable side tabs; when will you guys start offering these?

    Things like button stance and 3/2 rolled lapels, available by special request?

    1. Lawrence, you might like our Charcoal Lightblue Pinstripe or Navy Light Blue Pinstripe. Adjustable side tabs, buttons stance adjustments, and 3/2 rolled lapels are all available upon special request to our concierge service (side tabs will be available as an online customization option soon). Hope that helps!

      1. Sure does! I really do like you that you guys have these options available (upon request). Other companies normally stick to just what they have on the site.

        1. We aim to please. 😉 Hope we get a chance to make something unique and fresh for you sometime soon!

  9. Great article !

    I love the charcoal blue suit too, it’s a great timeless colour, but very modern at the same time.

    1. Agreed – we can’t wait to release it to the public! You’ll be 2nd in line right after Jim!

  10. At 55 years old I can’t rock the super slim look. It breaks my main rule of never looking like I’m trying to hard. Tailored yes, skinny no. The promise of a charcoal blue suit has me enthralled. I want in!

    1. Jim, we fully endorse a tailored fit suit for a distinguished man of your vintage! Our slim fit would work as well (trust us – its not built like a pair of hipster “skinny jeans”) but we hear you nonetheless. We are equally excited about our Charcoal Blue suit! We’ll look out for your order to be one of the first when it comes out! 😉

  11. Great fashion diagrame guys! One thing you guys forgot to include;
    Look at the new Bond shirt collar! It happens to be fastened into a particular shape by an accessory of some sort. After talking withto few friends which played part styling the movie’s cast, I have learned of a great castluxury
    brand of collar-links that gives any shirt collar the right look They are called flux quantum Collar-Links.
    by Collaterals.

    Thanks for the great post! ,

    1. Thanks Michael, glad you liked the post! And kudos on noticing the collar shape. We actually referenced it in our breakdown of Daniel Craig’s look. It’s called a tab collar. Scroll up for a link with images of how it actually looks and works. They’re pretty neat!

    2. Wow, we just googled those flux quantum collar-links (a bad-ass name!) and they lived up to our expectations. Very slick looking mate. Here’s a link for inquiring minds. http://www.thecollaterals.com/#!new-collar-links/c16c2

  12. Mm, I wouldn’t quite say Daniel Craig is /flawlessly/ tailored. It’s fitted a bit too tight in a way that the waist button pulls quite a bit and there’s lots of little creases at the sleeve and crotch (both on this suit and the tuxedo). Daniel Craig has a muscular physique but trying to put him in a skinny suit at his age… not a good look.

    Don’t forget that the suit has a three button front with the lapels rolled to the second button, something your customers could probably get with a special request too. (And they’ll be better fitted with your help I’m sure!)

    1. Jovan, that might have more to do with the fact that 007 just killed a couple of baddies and blew something up – which have been know to give a suit that lived-in look. A little bit of that bulge in his chest may also be that Walther PPK – which is clearly happy to see us. 😉

      And the 2nd part is 100% true.

      1. I think that has more to do with the fact that it’s a Tom Ford. His suits are too fitted in my tastes. His Brioni suits were better, a la Casino Royale.

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Sounds like someone knows their Bond suits! 😉

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