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Topic: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

As we all know, James Bond has worn many different styles and types of clothes throughout the history of the series, ranging from dinner suits to lounge suits to spacesuits. There have been some real triumphs of costuming on display over the past fifty-eight years of cinematic Bond. However, my question today is: which film stands out to you as having the worst wardrobe? What are some of Bond's most egregiously offensive fashion faux pas?


Personally I would nominate the wardrobes of FYEO, AVTAK and LTK as especially bland and drab, while more specifically, the red-shirt-with-black-leather-waistcoat combo in OP and the orange-sweater-with-tweed-jacket outfit in OHMSS come to mind as examples of costumiers letting the side down.


What do others think on this topic? Which particular film stands out to you as having the worst wardrobe, and what are some of Bond's clothing choices you'd baulk at wearing yourself?

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

How about this one  ajb007/lol
https://i.postimg.cc/qzhQDQ0H/onesie.jpg

ive smelt that aftershave before and both times ive smelt a rat

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

The gorilla suit in OP  ajb007/lol The clown costume didn't really catch on either!

I was surprised Bond managed to kill Slate in QoS without getting blood on his white trousers.

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

Bond's blue robe shirt in GF is a good catch silvertoe, and one of the less iconic designs from that film.

Actually now I think about it, OP is absolutely laden with bad costumes. Clown costume, gorilla, leather waistcoat, as well as the heavy tweed riding outfit Bond wears briefly in the pre title sequence. ajb007/crap

White trousers in QOS perhaps weren't the most practical of sartorial choices- see also Bond's all-white safari suit when confronting Lazar in Golden Gun.


Another suggestion- the green loose blouson Bond wears by the swimming pool in FYEO...

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

SpectreOfDefeat, I'm on a completely different page than you are, because I think FYEO, OP and AVTAK have some of the best costumes of any Bond film. The clown and gorilla costumes are done very well. The red shirt and black leather vest is a circus disguise. The leather gilet in Octopussy is quite a nice piece, and the tweed riding outfit is perfect for Bond's initial cover as someone who supposedly has horses in tow. The way it converts to the military uniform is genius.

In Octopussy, the clothes all work perfectly in the context of the film. Except maybe the gorilla suit. Are you looking at these clothes as just fashion pieces on their own?

I love the green suede blouson in FYEO. I think it's one of the best casual jackets of the series.

I wrote this article a few years ago on what I think are the worst outfits of the series and how they could have been improved: https://www.bondsuits.com/james-bonds-worst-outfits/

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

I'd agree with most of those selections for 'worst outfits', Matt S, particularly Brosnan's loud shirt in Cuba in DAD and Lazenby's Highland dress (this whole slightly exaggerated, cravat-centred look would later be sent up in Austin Powers.)

I guess the disguises in OP could be forgiven in context- yet they're not really pieces of cool Bond fashion when viewed separately, as individual items. I do think, however, that the costumes in AVTAK lend themselves better to criticism. Moore's tan and beige suits, while they fit Moore's appearance, are out of step with the muted navy and dark grey colours we expect Bond to wear. Elsewhere, Bond is a tad overdressed- his riding outfit makes him seem more like a parody of an English gentleman, and trying too hard. The Velour tracksuit speaks for itself. I do, though, like the white camouflage snowsuit in Siberia, as well as Bond's top-hat-and-tails attire at the racecourse. Its a very mixed bag of costumes, overall.

While it could be said that Moore's outfits in his later films do suit the actor's look, I feel a similar defence is difficult to make in the case of LTK. Dalton's clothes here lack glamour and taste, with even the dinner jacket he wears in Sanchez's casino somehow coming across a bit weak. They also look too oversized on Dalton...

Any other thoughts on the fashion disasters debate?

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

SpectreOfDefeat wrote:

I'd agree with most of those selections for 'worst outfits', Matt S, particularly Brosnan's loud shirt in Cuba in DAD and Lazenby's Highland dress (this whole slightly exaggerated, cravat-centred look would later be sent up in Austin Powers.)

I guess the disguises in OP could be forgiven in context- yet they're not really pieces of cool Bond fashion when viewed separately, as individual items. I do think, however, that the costumes in AVTAK lend themselves better to criticism. Moore's tan and beige suits, while they fit Moore's appearance, are out of step with the muted navy and dark grey colours we expect Bond to wear. Elsewhere, Bond is a tad overdressed- his riding outfit makes him seem more like a parody of an English gentleman, and trying too hard. The Velour tracksuit speaks for itself. I do, though, like the white camouflage snowsuit in Siberia, as well as Bond's top-hat-and-tails attire at the racecourse. Its a very mixed bag of costumes, overall.

While it could be said that Moore's outfits in his later films do suit the actor's look, I feel a similar defence is difficult to make in the case of LTK. Dalton's clothes here lack glamour and taste, with even the dinner jacket he wears in Sanchez's casino somehow coming across a bit weak. They also look too oversized on Dalton...

Any other thoughts on the fashion disasters debate?

The riding outfit in AVTAK looking like a parody of an English gentleman is exactly the look they were going for when costuming James St. John Smythe. Bond's cover is a parody of an English gentleman: someone who has inherited money and thinks he's supposed to behave a certain way. The riding outfit is very similar to hacking jacket Connery wears in Goldfinger. It's a variation on a classic Bond look to make it more appropriate for the context of AVTAK. And even if Bond weren't in disguise, I think that the outfit was in line with what the other characters were wearing for riding. Bond himself would most likely have dressed in a similar manner in this setting, just with a knitted tie in a colour other than yellow.

I also don't agree with your assessment of the tan suit. It may not be the blue, grey or dark brown suits that Connery wore, but Moore had been wearing them as Bond since his first appearance in LALD. And he wore them in the 1960s in The Saint. By this time they were a Bond staple. In this context, Connery would have most likely worn a black and white glen check suit, but that kind of suit didn't flatter Moore's complexion as well as the British tan suit did. I think that flattering Moore was more important than copying everything Connery did. Moore already wore a charcoal flannel suit and a single-breasted ivory dinner jacket earlier in the film, things Connery wore, and paid homage to Connery's hacking jacket in Goldfinger with the riding outfit. There's no lack of Connery-esque Bond style in the film.

The tracksuit is one that puzzles me. Fila tracksuits were very trendy at the time, but they're not Bond nor are they something St. John Smythe would wear. It's what men 30 years younger than Roger were wearing. I think it's the only problematic outfit in AVTAK.

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

"The tracksuit is one that puzzles me. Fila tracksuits were very trendy at the time, but they're not Bond nor are they something St. John Smythe would wear. It's what men 30 years younger than Roger were wearing. I think it's the only problematic outfit in AVTAK."

For the scene where Bond is sneaking into Zorin's steroid laboratory with Tibbett, maybe something more like the black infiltration gear Dalton wears at the start of TLD would have been more appropriate?

In Roger Moore's book Bond on Bond (2012), he discusses how his tailors would try to avoid giving into the temptation to dress Bond in the prevailing styles of the day. The tracksuit in AVTAK, though, definitely feels like it suffers from this.

Any other films/looks where Bond's fashion sense could be described as a bit lacking?

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

SpectreOfDefeat wrote:

"The tracksuit is one that puzzles me. Fila tracksuits were very trendy at the time, but they're not Bond nor are they something St. John Smythe would wear. It's what men 30 years younger than Roger were wearing. I think it's the only problematic outfit in AVTAK."

For the scene where Bond is sneaking into Zorin's steroid laboratory with Tibbett, maybe something more like the black infiltration gear Dalton wears at the start of TLD would have been more appropriate?

In Roger Moore's book Bond on Bond (2012), he discusses how his tailors would try to avoid giving into the temptation to dress Bond in the prevailing styles of the day. The tracksuit in AVTAK, though, definitely feels like it suffers from this.

Any other films/looks where Bond's fashion sense could be described as a bit lacking?

Moore's best stealthy looks would have to be his black roll neck in LALD and the black half-zip shirt in Moonraker. Either of those would work in AVTAK. The clothes at the start of TLD are great, but too militaristic for St. John Smythe.

I think LTK is the only Bond film that has little fashionable merit. Every other Bond film has amazing looks, even if they're not all consistently spectacular.

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

How much would it have helped if Dalton's clothes in LTK were a size or two smaller?

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

SpectreOfDefeat wrote:

Personally I would nominate the wardrobes of FYEO, AVTAK and LTK as especially bland and drab

I think Bond's wardrobe in FYEO is one of the best in the series, particularly these two outfits which still look terrific, imho. The navy blazer, blue shirt and cream/beige trousers look timeless and elegant, while his black rollneck, trousers and jacket are ideal for 'night ops' gear:

https://i.postimg.cc/Tykgdx8g/IMG-3004.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/DJHGGcwz/IMG-3005.jpg

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

Number24 wrote:

How much would it have helped if Dalton's clothes in LTK were a size or two smaller?

They would have looked better if they were properly tailored - but the baggy Miami Vice style, 'fits where it touches' look was adopted for LTK, albeit it was already slightly out of fashion in '89. Dalton infamously also wanted Bond's clothing to look more off-the-peg (I'm not sure what he did with Bond's Corby trouser press  ajb007/bond in this publicity photo):

https://i.postimg.cc/tYPfmXwr/IMG-3007.jpg

This imo is one of the worst offenders in the series - Dad gear at its most anodyne:

https://i.postimg.cc/2Lqp5hHm/IMG-3008.jpg

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

Fashion disasters and views of style in films of the series are, a lot of the time, just a matter of opinion—just look at this thread and the contrasting thoughts on some of Moore’s fashion. Some like a fitted or tighter outfit and think loose clothing is a disaster; some like their clothing very fitted and think loose clothing is a disaster. Some like a double breasted blazer and trousers; others prefer a henley and jeans...and some wouldn’t be caught dead in the latter (looking at you Matt S  ajb007/wink ).

Then of course there’s the terrible outfits that people generally share an opinion on...like that OHMSS shirt, the AVTAK tracksuit etc

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

That second outfit isn't great, CoD- see also the look Bond goes for here
https://i.postimg.cc/QKsnf2t0/felixleiter.jpg

Puffy beige jacket with beige trousers= ick ajb007/crap

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

And here's another example from the aforementioned AVTAK:


https://i.postimg.cc/s1NTQGPT/view091.jpg

Leather jackets don't look as good on Moore as with Dalton and Craig, I think...

Anyone else want to chip in with any other contenders?

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

It just goes to show what an utterly useless fad fashion is! Fashion can ONLY be judged in the immediate time frame when it exists, a year later everyone has moved onto the next big thing and something that looked good a year ago has become a laughing stock.

Mind you, as someone who has lived his entire life in T-shirts and jeans it’s not unexpected that I find fashion pointless and laughable and a total waste of money.

The only reason I got my first bespoke suit a few years ago was because Mrs CHB was trying to make me look smarter  ajb007/lol .

Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

I agree with everyone's thoughts on the outfits of LTK, the reason for the whole emulation of the Miami Vice look was due to the fact that the costume designer on LTK was Jodie Tillen who worked on the show for its five year run. I also agree that the blue terry cloth play suit is pretty bad, you could not pay me enough to wear something like this.

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

When it comes to Bond's fashion disasters, there is one above all others:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcSJ21SvG-E7f6_0mvS28wPvhyAndg2RS5HdZPR0sUwE_w&usqp=CAU&ec=45682160

Brrr. Roger obviously loved it himself though: if you look at the behind the scenes pictures he's wearing it or parts of it throughout shooting of the film! ajb007/smile

I was watching The Persuaders the other say thinking how odd it is that all of the clothes look pretty bad by today's standards, but all of the cars look fantastic still. Weird how car design doesn't date like clothes design does..?

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

emtiem wrote:

I was watching The Persuaders the other say thinking how odd it is that all of the clothes look pretty bad by today's standards, but all of the cars look fantastic still. Weird how car design doesn't date like clothes design does..?

I guess that high end cars, like high end clothes, look timeless. Roger's suits and smart casual outfits, like Sean's, still look great, but the more popular/fashion items of the times look dated.

Similarly, here are some of the most popular cars in 1971... I'm not sure their designs are quite as timeless as Brett's Aston and Danny's Ferrari!  ajb007/lol



https://i.postimg.cc/5XFz3xyM/IMG-3074.jpg

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

PPK 7.65mm wrote:

I agree with everyone's thoughts on the outfits of LTK, the reason for the whole emulation of the Miami Vice look was due to the fact that the costume designer on LTK was Jodie Tillen who worked on the show for its five year run. I also agree that the blue terry cloth play suit is pretty bad, you could not pay me enough to wear something like this.

In one of the deleted scenes in the film, Bond and Sharkey are scoping out the WaveKrest and Tim is wearing a big hat. The hat is massive. It practically covers his face!

Have you ever heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?"

" I don't listen to hip hop!"

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Charmed & Dangerous wrote:
emtiem wrote:

I was watching The Persuaders the other say thinking how odd it is that all of the clothes look pretty bad by today's standards, but all of the cars look fantastic still. Weird how car design doesn't date like clothes design does..?

I guess that high end cars, like high end clothes, look timeless. Roger's suits and smart casual outfits, like Sean's, still look great, but the more popular/fashion items of the times look dated.

Similarly, here are some of the most popular cars in 1971... I'm not sure their designs are quite as timeless as Brett's Aston and Danny's Ferrari!  ajb007/lol



https://i.postimg.cc/5XFz3xyM/IMG-3074.jpg

I agree about Danny‘s Ferrari and Brett‘s Aston.

However, the Dino was regarded as being a dog for decades and could have been gotten very cheap in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

I personally did not like the shape of the modern Aston Martin V8/DBS (OHMSS and Persuaders) at all for many many years, though I see it as being a masterpiece now!

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

Higgins wrote:

I personally did not like the shape of the modern Aston Martin V8/DBS (OHMSS and Persuaders) at all for many many years, though I see it as being a masterpiece now!

I agree, I used to struggle with the nose of the DBS, especially compared to the beefier V8 in TLD, but it has really grown on me over the years. Love it now. It's perfect in OHMSS.

"Any of the opposition around..?"

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

Matt S wrote:

The tracksuit is one that puzzles me. Fila tracksuits were very trendy at the time, but they're not Bond nor are they something St. John Smythe would wear. It's what men 30 years younger than Roger were wearing.

Oddly it's one of the few outfits described on the page - the script says Bond is wearing "a dark sweat suit," so it could've been worse...

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

SpectreOfDefeat wrote:

That second outfit isn't great, CoD- see also the look Bond goes for here
https://i.postimg.cc/QKsnf2t0/felixleiter.jpg

Puffy beige jacket with beige trousers= ick ajb007/crap

Well...

https://www.jamesbondlifestyle.com/sites/default/files/styles/semi_width_image/public/images/product/cl067-matchless-craig-blouson-spectre-timothy-dalton.jpg

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Re: James Bond's Fashion Disasters

Bond does wear deck shoes with black (incredibly long) socks in that TLD outfit: it's an odd look I'm not 100% sure about.
Craig looks great.