What Would James Bond Wear? A Guide to Formal Wear

03 February 2014
What Would James Bond Wear? A Guide to Formal Wear

With the festive season fast looming, and the recent release of the latest Bond adventure Skyfall, we thought that the combination of the two made it the perfect time to take another look at the classic formal function look – perfected by Bond through the ages.

Although referred to primarily in the US as the Tuxedo, and more prominently in the UK as the Dinner Jacket, whatever you call this stylish look, it has certainly become a timeless classic. The earliest recorded use of either term is 1889 and although the look has evolved through the ages, it hasn't radically changed.

The image of James Bond is so intrinsically linked to the Dinner Jacket (it has been worn in 21 of the 23 films) that it is rumoured that anyone who signs on to play the title character in a James Bond film also signs away the rights to his own image in a tuxedo.

The Black Tie dress code is the formal look for events that take place after 6pm. Certainly November/December is one of the busiest periods in the Tailor’s calendar with various Christmas functions, charity dinners and award ceremonies taking place – and giving us all the chance of creating that Bond look!

So what is the secret to a great Dinner Jacket? The key, as always, is that is fits perfectly. Our bodily landscapes are unique to each and every one of us, so in order to ensure the figuration of the garment is perfect, it needs to be cut to your specific shape.

There are a number of different elements to consider when deciding on how to create your own personal Bond look. Firstly, would you like your jacket lapels to be satin or grosgrain faced. There are a number of alternative options and styles when considering the shirt. Although the shirt is conventionally white and made of cotton or silk, it can feature a bibbed front that is either marcella or pleated, encompassing a turn down collar or wing collar. The shirt can also feature studs, button or a fly-front placket and would usually feature double cuffs.

Apart from the obvious accessories, such as a bow-tie, cufflinks and pocket squares, there is the additional consideration of a waistcoat or cummerbund if wearing a single breasted jacket. The cummerbund, derived from military dress uniform in British India, is worn with its pleats facing up, and is normally of the same cloth as the bow tie and lapels though strictly, the cummerbund, bow tie and lapels should be of different material. A cummerbund is never worn with a double breasted jacket, since this style of jacket is never unbuttoned, the waist of the trousers is never exposed, and therefore does not need to be covered.

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