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James Bond 101: How to dress like the world’s most fashionable spy

British author Ian Fleming began a new era of pop culture with his James Bond series. The books were immortalised in 1962 with its first movie and the rest is history. With the 25th Bond film ‘No Time To Die’ making its premiere very soon in early-April, here is a handy guide on how to emulate the style of James Bond. Guns not included.

The style of James Bond has been revered since Sean Connery stepped onto the silver screen in his immaculately tailored suits almost 60 years ago. Since then, the suave aesthetic has been replicated across 25 films and five other sartorially-inclined Bond actors. 

But what makes the world’s most famous spy a renowned fashion icon? It’s a few factors that go beyond just the clothes. There’s the tailoring; the elegance and luxury; the tastefully-curated accessories. Bond also benefits from having a charming swagger that lets him bend the rules occasionally.

The capital rule of tailoring

You’ll never catch James Bond on a mission in an oversized shirt or an off-the-rack suit. His clothes, whether they are Tom Ford tuxedos or a casual polo shirt/chino outfit, are almost always suited to his body type.

That’s not to say you should get your tailor to pinch out all the excess fabric and tuck in every seam. Not all of us are built like a superspy, and it can be tough getting the right fit. That’s why dressing rooms exist for you to try out different pieces and make sure they sit nicely on your body.

Buttoned-up shirts should not look like you’re hiding pockets of air, and jeans should taper to your legs (avoid it being too skinny and skintight unless you have calves like Daniel Craig). A little slack will do wonders for your mobility.

Keep it classic with basics

Contrary to popular belief, James Bond does not live 24/7/365 in a suit. Many portrayals of the spy have had him wearing anything from an unbuttoned polo shirt with shorts to a skimpy La Perla blue swimsuit. These basic essentials might already be sitting in your wardrobe, letting you take the James Bond aesthetic out for a spin without needing an occasion for a suit.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you could also try this all-black look from Roger Moore in ‘Live and Let Die’. The black turtleneck tucked into a tailored pair of black pants make for a chic, timeless outfit that screams “I’m a secret agent, but not really.” This iconic ensemble was recreated by Daniel Craig for ‘Spectre’s poster, proving that classics can’t be beaten.

Have a taste of luxury

It’s no secret that Mr. Bond is a purveyor of luxury, and chances are if you’re reading this, you are too. We already know of the usual outfits in his wardrobe like his custom Tom Ford suits and Orlebar Brown swim shorts.

However, much like the British Royal Warrant approved by the Queen, 007 also has a stable of brands he turns to for his daily apparel. Sunspel is responsible for the polo shirts and underwear, while N. Peal is behind the charcoal turtleneck and other knitwear. His shoe rack also consists of boots, Oxfords, and Derbies from Church’s, John Lobb, and Crockett & Jones.

Accessories and the little details matter

No competent spy goes on a mission without an accurate watch on his wrist, and James Bond has been wielding Omega Seamasters since ‘Goldeneye’ in 1995. The partnership has grown to the point that Daniel Craig had a hand in designing the latest timepiece for his next (and potentially final) film, ‘No Time To Die’. 

Other accessories favoured by Bond include his signature sunglasses. We struggle to fathom the collection of wayfarers and aviators he has amassed over six decades, but we can tell you some of his most iconic pieces. You can channel your inner secret agent with a pair of Tom Ford Snowdons, the Edge 1613 from Vuarnet, and the Barton Pereira 007 Joe.

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore. 

James Bond 101: How to dress like the world’s most fashionable spy

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