Which James Bond is the best-dressed?

24 October 2015

Tags:fashion, fashion style, women clothing, fashion for men


From Roger Moore’s yellow all-in-one to George Lazenby’s ruffle-fronted dinner shirt, and Sean Connery’s slim suits, who had the clothes to die for?

Shaken not stirred: L to R, Sean Connery, Daniel Craig and George Lazenby as James Bond.
Shaken not stirred: L to R, Sean Connery, Daniel Craig and George Lazenby as James Bond. Composite: Rex/Allstar

Timothy Dalton

Timothy Dalton and Maryam d’Abo in The Living Daylights, 1987.
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Timothy Dalton and Maryam d’Abo in The Living Daylights, 1987. Photograph: Allstar/United Artists

Look, you don’t get to choose your Bond. Your Bond is the first one you watch in the cinema as a giddy hormonal teenager, rather than on the telly on Boxing Day. The Living Daylights came out in 1987. I was 14. Ergo, I got Dalton. I remember thinking how suave he looked in his flamboyantly baggy trousers, like a new recruit to Spandau Ballet. With hindsight, he looked shocking, actually: it was the 80s, and they were going for that unstructured, Armani thing with the suits, which ended up just looking too big for him. Casualwear has always been tricky for Bonds, and while Craig can rock a Harrington, Dalton in a leather blouson looks more cab driver than Her Majesty’s Secret Service. But at least he looked good in a tux. JCM

Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace, 2008.
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Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace, 2008. Photograph: Allstar/United Artists/Sportsphoto Ltd

What Daniel Craig lacks in pretty-boyness – try un-reading Peter Bradshaw’s review, which likens him to Shrek – he makes up for in pure henchness, which, when poured into an Armani suit, a pair of Orlebar Brown swimshorts or a Prada-inspired poloneck, is quite a sight. But really, Craig’s physique isn’t his Bond USP, rather it’s the way he does normcore Bond. He likes a boring grey suit, naff old aviators and a tight black snoozefest of a tee. Why? Because the most effective spies tend to blend in and look a bit blah. Rest assured, though, his version of normcore is pretty expensive. MF

Roger Moore

Lois Chiles and Roger Moore in Moonraker, 1979.
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Lois Chiles and Roger Moore in Moonraker, 1979. Photograph: Allstar/United Artists

Thanks to the current catwalk love-in with the 70s and 80s, Roger Moore is the Bond who strikes the most fashionable note today. Moonraker is a case in point – what could be more 2015, as we whip ourselves into a Star Wars episode VII frenzy, than an intergalactic look? Moore’s yellow astronaut suit (Rog is from the school of go big or go home, as his shirt collars attest) has next season, JW Anderson vibes. In general, he is not a man afraid of a banana-coloured all-in-one (hello, Craig Green SS16) – see also the Spy Who Loved Me, arguably the best skiwear exit of any Bond. In For Your Eyes Only, his ski look again turns heads: a black V-neck sweater with white stripe layered over a white rollneck, under a blue Puffa-style jacket with a B zip pull – so damn cool, with notes of vintage Prada and Raf Simons. But if you think it’s all ski and no après with Roger, you’d be wrong: for this mission he wears a very Hermès taupe suede bomber accessorised with a Lotus. And of course, his services to the polo neck go without saying. HS

Sean Connery

James Bond in Thunderball, 1965.
James Bond in Thunderball, 1965. Photograph: Allstar/United Artists/Sportsphoto Ltd

As a child of the 90s I should have graciously accepted Piers Brosnan as my Bond, but when I later discovered Sean Connery I was blown away by his suaveness. It’s pretty simple, really: the hair is in a perennially slick side parting; for special occasions he wears a tux; otherwise, a slim suit. Occasionally he will chill out in a neat polo shirt, though – like an off-duty Apprentice contestant – dressed down isn’t really his oeuvre. His most Bond-y look, though, is post-coital: a towel, or a white furry rug, and a whole lot of chest hair. Like so many snappy dressers – and, let’s face it, so many Bond films – he sticks to a winning formula. HM

Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997.
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Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997. Photograph: Allstar/United Artists

There can’t be too much more of a 1995 combination of talent than Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean – as seen in Golden Eye. Brosnan as Bond is a slightly rumpled proposition, in suits a little bit too big. He’s best when in action adventure gear, like padded jackets and hiking boots, all the better to slide down zip wires, enjoy a motorcycle race and hang off the bottom of helicopters. He stuck with this formula through his three Bonds, with a camel overcoat inTomorrow Never Dies a high point, and shirts unbuttoned to his stomach probably best consigned to history. Brosnan’s arched eyebrow and slightly quizzical expression will remain his most significant contribution to the Bond look. LC

George Lazenby

George Lazenby, On her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969.
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George Lazenby, On her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969. Photograph: Allstar/United Artists

The best dressed men in Bond films are clearly never actually Bond: that it is almost always the villains – hello Christopher Walken, Christopher Lee, Javier Bardem. However, George Lazenby gets my vote as best dressed Bond based purely on the lace-ruff-and-kilt combo he donned for the excellent On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), even if it was sported as part of a disguise. Note: a vogue for lace is bubbling in menswear just now – see Gucci and Burberry – making him a thoroughly in-vogue pinup. Lazenby was no one-trick sartorial Bond pony either. There is the ruffle-fronted dinner shirt, which seems to me to be a brilliantly off choice for the usually sleek 007, and what about the baby-blue ski clobber complete with bright white slope goggles? In my head, those ski frames are totally a precursor to Kurt Cobain’s bug-eyed sunglasses of the 90s. And if off-ruffles and snazzy ski goggles leave you cold, there is always a camel cardigan with football buttons. This is a piece of clothing that is pure Ben Whishaw-Q, and Whishaw’s Q is arguably one of the best-dressed characters to ever have graced the 007 franchise. So you see. George, actually a striking one-off, with ahead-of-the-curve moves. Snappy. SC

Tags:fashion, fashion style, women clothing, fashion for men

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