Skip to main content

Signature style: Dress like James Bond, the ultimate in suave sophistication

Let James Bond be your guide to men's fashion

One of the most influential men in the history of cinema and men’s fashion is the suave James Bond. With his gadgets, trickery, and ability to woo almost any woman into the sheets, he has gone up against the worst the world has to offer on behalf of queen and country. Of course, it isn’t simply the hard-hitting way he dispatches henchmen or his quick-witted battles with the fiendish members of Spectre that brought Bond into the forefront of pop culture. It was also his impeccable sense of style.

If you have looked at the style Venn diagram and found yourself drawn to the James Bond archetype, it means you value two things above all else: Function and quality. You combine the dedication to dapper dress with the preference for adventurous function. The life you lead isn’t sedentary; you are a man of action and someone who will always step up when the time comes. Your wardrobe supports that lifestyle by being of the highest quality not only so it looks like it’s made from the best materials but also so that you can move, breathe, and function at the highest level of efficiency.

If you want to improve your James Bond wardrobe, there are three places you can focus your attention to always ensure you’re at the top of your game.

Daniel Craig as James Bond

The spy who loves luxury

When you live the life of a spy, you know that each day could be your last. You put your life and limb on the line and don’t think twice when doing it, but that’s at work. At home, you adopt the work hard, play hard mentality and indulge in life’s luxurious sides. You’re Armani and Rolex, not JC Penney and Timex. You don’t just choose to buy the highest-quality garments and gadgets; you can also tell the difference by looking at them on the street.

That doesn’t mean you break the bank every chance you get. James Bond doesn’t mortgage the house for his Omega dive watch or his Aston Martin. You shouldn’t either. Just know the brands that are the highest quality you can afford at your phase of life and always look to improve. Choose Fossil over Timex, then upgrade to Citizen, Omega, and finally, Breitling or Rolex. Learn the difference between the high-quality Tom Ford suit vs. the more affordable online retailer, and spot the benefits of higher-end garments.

MI6 is constantly sending James Bond off on suicide missions that lesser men wouldn’t return from, but they do so stylishly. You can do the same. Understand that your wardrobe is an investment and that every piece enriches your lifestyle.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in a blue suit

From tailors with love

Here’s a little trick the high-end men’s apparel world doesn’t want you to know: You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to look like you have money. What makes the highest-quality garments appear to be of higher quality than the rest sometimes comes down to fit. If you watch James Bond move, virtually every outfit looks like it’s specifically curated for him. The suits he wears look like they were cut to fit his body, with every curve attended to expertly.

This is where a tailor comes in. You don’t have to spend $10,000 on a suit to look like James Bond; you can spend a fraction of that on a tailor to make a lesser suit look like a $10,000 one by finding the right tailor to work on your outfits. Tailoring doesn’t stop at suits either; pants, shirts, and even denim can be altered to fit you perfectly. We’re not saying to skimp on the more luxurious garments in favor of cheaper ones. Instead, take advantage of your trusted tailor’s abilities to take you from one bracket to the next through attention to detail.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in a white suit jacket and black slacks and leaning against a fancy car

Basics are forever

Here’s where many men make the biggest mistakes when shopping for high-quality clothes. They mistake the most expensive for the highest quality. They also often find themselves wearing bright colors and outlandish patterns that cost money instead of investing in those pieces that last forever, both in durability and sartorial longevity.

If you look at James Bond, you’ll notice he doesn’t wear outlandish items. As a matter of fact, not drawing attention to himself is typically a big part of his work, all while being likable and forgettable. So how does he accomplish this? By picking up only the highest-quality basics. He doesn’t go crazy with wild patterns on the suit; instead, he makes your basic blue the coolest it can look. He picks up simple solids and classic cuts that never go out of style, then pairs them with trendy details.

The James Bond archetype embodies the mentality that men’s style isn’t about what you wear; it’s about how you wear it. Where most men can put on a basic blue suit and get lost in a crowd, the men of this archetype buy the best of the best and trust their tailors to make their garments look even more luxurious. Live hard, play hard, and treat yourself to the best men’s apparel this world has to offer.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark D. McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
What is the business casual dress code for men? The dos and don’ts you should know
Here are some tips and tricks to master business casual
best chinos for men man choosing on new trousers

Dressing for the office used to be pretty straightforward. If you worked in an office, you wore a suit and a tie. There was no real reason to deviate, as many businesses that had offices were also client-facing. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and dressing for the occasion is the way to do that.

In the late 1970s and early '80s, Silicon Valley became a place that prioritized results over everything else. While many businesses lived on processes, some of them antiquated, the tech field started to focus on processes in their product and letting their employees be comfortable in their wardrobes. Thus, the idea of business casual was born, and the suit became a whole other elevated level of office wear.

Read more
Men’s style: 10 fashion influencers to follow who can help elevate your look
These 10 men's fashion influencers have massive style (and Instagram follower counts)
man looking at closet

New job with a different dress code? Just leaving your house to go grocery shopping? Just throwing on “any old suit” or stepping out in the same outfit you just worked out in won’t do for the fashionable man.
However, you may find yourself in a massive men's style rut. Though men’s fashion can often be boiled down to “just change ties,” you may like being more creative with your look. It's a fun way to show individuality and stand out in a sea of people following the "just-change-ties" framework.
Enter fashion influencers. No, they’re not just for feminine style. Many men’s fashion influencers have racked up huge followings for their regular, accessible style inspiration. Browsing just a few of their snaps will help you realize that you do, in fact, have something to wear.

Mariano Di Vaio
Username: @marianodivaio
This 33-year-old Italian blogger has served as a brand ambassador for a who’s who of designer brands, including Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss. His feed is curated with styles for multiple occasions, from casual monochrome tracksuits with white sneakers to sharp-but-classy blue-checkered suit jackets. He’s Italian, so you can catch him sporting head-to-toe white after Labor Day without care, much to the delight of his 6.7 million followers.

Read more
The best ‘Yellowstone’ fashion: The western wear you need to dress like the Duttons
The 'Yellowstone' series is a hit, and so is western wear. Here's how to dress the part
Yellowstone cast.

There are certain, rare TV series that come along and are an instant triumph from episode one. Master story crafter Taylor Sheridan had already brought to life amazing cinematic masterpieces with the movies Sicario (2015), Hell or High Water (2016), and Wind River (2017), yet he initially struggled to get his western series onto the screen. As he stood before executives prior to the launch of Paramount Plus, he was quoted as saying, “You’re not ready for this.” Few truly were.

The phenomenon he was talking about became the ratings breaker Yellowstone. Not only is the series beyond good —it's basically a westernized version of The Sopranos — but its subsequent spinoffs, 1883 and 1923, deliver just as well on the backstory of the Dutton family. If you’re not watching them, let this be your sign to join the Yellowstone frontier bandwagon (pun intended).

Read more