Fleming’s Bond Wardrobe
In Fleming’s Live and Let Die James Bond was dispatched to New York to takedown Harlem kingpin Mr Big. There he is ‘Americanised’ at the hands of the FBI. In chapter 3 Fleming describes Bonds new wardrobe as thus,
A tailor had come to measure him for two single breasted suits in dark blue light weight worsted, Bond had firmly refused anything more dashing. And a haberdasher had bought chilly white nylon shirts with long points to the collars.
He had to accept half a dozen unusually patterned foulard ties, dark socks with fancy clocks 2-3 display-kerchiefs for his breast pocket nylon vests and pants called t-shirts and shorts.
A comfortable lightweight camelhair overcoat with over buttressed shoulders a plain grey snapped brim fedora with a thin black ribbon and two pairs of hand stitched and very comfortable black moccasin casuals. He also acquired a swank tie clip in the shape of a whip. An alligator skin billfold from mark cross a plain zippo lighter.
A plastic travel pack containing razor hairbrush and toothbrush a pair of horn rimmed glasses with plain lenses a various other oddments and finally a lightweight Hartmann ‘Skymate’ suitcase to contain all these things.” – Chapter 3, Live and Let Die – Ian Fleming.
Drawn by Mum
Above is a preliminary sketch. All illustrations are done by my dear Mum. As I posted on Instagram, my Mum is not a fashion illustrator. She is a hobbyist drawer and I happen to think a very good one.
She was tasked with this brief after I gave her the passage from Fleming and a mood board of iconography and products which you can download in the PDF below.
What is a Foulard Tie?
I have since learnt through my good friend David Evans over at Grey Fox Blog what a Foulard tie means. It’s a lightweight cloth but usually refers to a pattern on a tie. A geometric pattern usually. In men’s ties, foulard refers to the pattern rather than the material; it is a small-scale pattern with basic block repeat, also called a set pattern or a tailored pattern. The picture above was sourced through this link here.
The above photo is one of a Hartmann ‘Skymate’ suitcase I’ve found on eBay. I won’t link to the product as chances are it’s probably already been sold, but eBay is a good place to shop for these oddments. You can also take a look at ETSY where I managed to procure the swank tie clip in the shape of a whip.
Learn more about the style of James Bond in the book From Tailors With Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films, available on Amazon.
The Camel Overcoat
Although the 50s Bond would have had a much longer overcoat, a modern day one can be shorter in length with softer shoulders. I borrowed one from Carl Thompson and you can buy one through his website Hawkins & Shepherd.
I’m not making commission on any brands associated. However, here are a couple of other places to shop the 50s Fleming’s Bond wardrobe. The Archive Crocodile Bi-Fold Wallet by Mark Cross and below is a 50s Gentleman’s toiletry kit you’d find on eBay.
Many thanks to my Mum for the drawing. To David Evans and Matt Spaiser for their combined efforts.