Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Dress to kill: How to get the Bond look

His wardrobe has a starring role in every film – and it's easy to copy. Harriet Walker spies on 007's suave style secrets

Monday 20 October 2008 00:00 BST

James Bond dresses himself with the same rigour that he applies to killing and seducing. His clothes are like the man himself: quietly confident, expensive-looking, and a hit with the ladies. You may think the Bond look comes down to handguns, wounds and a woman in every warzone, but it's actually more mundane: 007 lets his clothes speak for him, picking timeless pieces and pairing them with traditional accessories made modern by his default smoulder setting.

Action men are smart and slick, whether in five-star hotels or on the frontline, so choose basics wisely. A sharp suit impresses at work and in the bar, so invest in a good one – Tom Ford designed the suits in Quantum of Solace, of which Daniel Craig ruined over 40 versions during filming. Your own turnover will be lower. Bond wears serge, worsted or alpaca, depending on climate and location, but mere mortals should just look for a dark colour and good-quality fabric. A good fit is also essential – too baggy and you'll look like your dad, too tight and everyone will see your MI5 headquarters.

Secret agents rarely relax, but on occasion, Bond dons indigo jeans or cream chinos. He makes even the most Neil Sedaka-esque leisurewear look both threatening and inviting, and styling is all. If you're wearing a casual shirt, leave some (but not too many) buttons undone, and stick to plain cotton in muted colours. With jeans, remember that less is more: stay away from rips, deliberate fading or other types of naff customisation. With his rate of scrapes and daring escapes, Bond doesn't need people to distress his denim for him. Wear with a classic V-neck jumper.

Espionage footwear is tricky, as you require the freedom of a trainer, but the breeding of a formal shoe. Craig's Bond does sport some ill-advised hybrid trainer-boots, but even icons make mistakes. Classic leather brogues in black or tan are a good compromise – they go well with both jeans and suits.

Bond's style sorts the men from the boys, so those unwilling to part with their superhero T-shirts need not apply. Splurge on smaller details: a high-impact watch, a cool weekend bag for jet-setting, and don't let yourself down in the underwear department. The Independent fashion desk can't decide what kind of pants Bond wears – given his irascibility, maybe tight ones. Just ensure that they live up to the rest of your look – get it right, and they definitely won't be "for your eyes only".

Femme fatale Bond girl style

Dressing up isn't only for the boys – ladies, you too can get the look of Bond girl Olga Kurylenko (seen here sporting a chic LBD in the desert). New website is committed to bringing star style to the cyber-shopping cinema-goer, offering affordable equivalents to scene-stealing costumes seen in films like 'Quantum of Solace', 'Sex and the City' and 'Iron Man'. Not the comic book hero's fancy supersonic über-chrome gadget suit, you understand, but the demure trouser suit worn by his comely secretary Pepper Potts, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. And dressed by Austin Reed and the Freemans catalogue, apparently.

Fashion’s revolving door: What’s in & out this week

In... leopard print

Every TV landlady's favourite fabric is having an overdue resurgence. Chiming perfectly with the rock-chick and streetwalker trends on the catwalks at Balmain and Comme des Garçons, this is slum-chic meets cool, as perfected by Kate Moss. Avoid pairing with fishnets, and don't wear it if you think you might have to hang around alone late at night.

Out... polka dot

The revolving door is ever-spinning, and the humble polka dot is the latest trend to be thrown out of fashion HQ. What seemed cute and girly before the credit crunch is now just inappropriate in the face of economic meltdown and 'the new austerity'. Get serious.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in