The big man’s baby-grow
Director Terence Young famously got Sean Connery to sleep in a Saville Row suit to take the rough edges off the ex-shipyard worker in preparation for being Bond in Dr No. All that style grooming was undone after the credits of Goldfinger, when our man in Miami is seen poolside wearing what appears to be a blue terry-towelling playsuit. Oh, James!
A Highland fling
Poor George Lazenby – he didn’t stand a chance. Not only did he have to follow Connery, but for his solo outing as Bond they dubbed his voice in certain scenes, made him cry and even stuck him in a frilly shirt and skirt. OK, not a skirt, a kilt, but even his predecessor didn’t have to do that, and he’s a genuine Scot. Fair play to the man from Oz, though, he does still manage to charm a bevy of international lovelies (including a young Joanna Lumley) – albeit sex-starved ones living a nun-like existence atop a Swiss alp.
Roger Moore had designed his own clobber for his role as Lord Brett Sinclair in TV’s The Persuaders. And he brings something of the dandy to his incarnation of Bond, most memorably with the succession of safari jackets and suits he sports in The Man with the Golden Gun, Moonraker and Octopussy. Alan Partridge remains a firm fan of the look, and even sported a cheeky short-sleeved powder blue number for the premiere of Alpha Papa.
The yellow peril
In Quantum of Solace, Mr White claims his mysterious organisation has people “everywhere”, and perhaps someone infiltrated the wardrobe dept during the Roger Moore years. How else do you account for the succession of horrific yellow onesies our hero found himself sporting? In The Spy Who Love Me, he’s an assassin’s dream target in a banana ski suit (don’t even mention the Union Jack parachute); Moonraker finds him wearing a silky, marigold space outfit (someone had the good sense to change it to a sci-fi friendly silver-coloured one for the posters); and in For Your Eyes Only, Moore tops off an impressive run with a custard-coloured radiation-proof diving suit.
Bland, James Bland
Increasingly, Roger Moore had to lean on badly-bewigged stunt doubles for his action and love scenes (rumours abound that an eyebrow stand-in was even used when he couldn’t get that up). Timothy Dalton was the man charged with putting Bond back on top. However, his debut in The Living Daylights found him less-than-resplendent in chunky-knit jumpers and sloppily oversized jackets. Together with his incessant chain-smoking and uncontrollable hair, it all screamed “barely-functioning alcoholic” rather than world-class secret agent. He had to go.
Pierce Brosnan enjoyed three adventures without any serious couture transgressions. Then Die Another Day happened, and his license to play Bond was revoked. This wasn’t helped by the scene in which he walks across the lobby of Hong Kong’s Yacht Club wearing little more than his own body hair. The blue PJs he is just about wearing don’t even have the buttons done up, showing off his flabby tum-tum (say what you like about North Korean prisons, but they feed their enemies of the state pretty well). It’s an unbelievable sight – and we haven’t even got to the invisible car bit yet.
Forty-two years after Ursula Andress emerged, Venus-style from the waves in Dr No, Daniel Craig pulled the same stunt in his debut, Casino Royale. The sight of him in those skimpy swimmers prompted much tummy-sucking-in from male viewers, not to mention a sudden re-evaluation of the franchise from women. But sorry, frolicking around in the surf like you’re in an early Take That video is just not Bond. Craig goes for another, impromptu swim in his clothes in the film’s climax, which may be a little less practical, but is far less distracting.