A lot of folks are bitching about the fact that summer’s over. Take it easy and throw on a cardigan.
Daniel Craig as James Bond, rogue but relaxed British secret agent
Talamone, Italy, September 2006
Film: Quantum of Solace
Release Date: October 31, 2008
Director: Marc Forster
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
After pissing off his boss by killing a few folks in Austria, Bond goes off the map, going rogue for at least the third or fourth time in the series. His first stop is Villa Le Torre near Talamone, a Tuscan village where his old friend Mathis now resides in retirement with his Italian girlfriend Gemma. Brosnan’s Bond would’ve certainly (and unnecessarily) worn a suit for this occasion, but Craig’s Bond smartly wears a professional but indubitably casual cardigan and slacks for his apologetic visit.
What’d He Wear?
Technically, Bond isn’t wearing anything new when he journeys to track down Mathis. The sunglasses and jeans are from earlier in the film, the watch and boots are standard for Craig’s Bond, and nothing says classic like a white button-up shirt. However, the addition of a cardigan – rarely seen on Bond – gives this attire a fresh, cool look.
The last time we saw Bond in a cardigan was a brief moment in Casino Royale as Bond and Mathis conferred on a hotel balcony. Interestingly, though probably coincidental, this was the last time Bond really trusted Mathis. When seeking out his help – and his trust – in Italy, Bond again wears a black cardigan.
Prior to that, the only appearance of Bond in a cardigan was George Lazenby’s beige sweater in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Since then, the look has undergone a revival, catapulting it from old men to young hipsters. In Quantum, Bond avoids the annoyingly hipster look of wearing a cardigan with a t-shirt and cuffed jeans. In fact, his look is very remniscent of Steve McQueen, a man whom many have called “the King of Cool”.
The black cardigan, made by Tom Ford (who provided many costume pieces for both Quantum of Solace and Skyfall), is ribbed knit wool with five black leather buttons, shawl collar, two patch pockets, and turned back cuffs that show just enough of the shirt underneath. Some people may think that a cardigan is silly to wear in such a warm tropical climate, but Bond is right on the water, where it’s very cool. A ribbed cardigan with a pair of lightweight trousers is a very reasonable outfit for Bond in such an environment.
As one of the few film items announced by Tom Ford, it quickly sold out in the exclusive Tom Ford retailers where it was featured and hasn’t been available since. More information and photos are available at the Bond Lifestyle page. Thanks to Bond, cardigans are finding younger wearers that give the garment a much fresher look than when it was Mr. Rogers‘ staple. (Nothing against Mr. Rogers, of course.)
Underneath the sweater, Bond wears a white shirt also from Tom Ford. This is a standard Bond dress shirt with long sleeves, double/French cuffs, and white buttons down a front placket. The tall spread collar marks it as a shirt from Craig’s era. Bond wears it casually, without a tie. We don’t get a good look at the cuff links. At least I didn’t, and I look for these things.
Bond’s watch in Quantum of Solace is, surprise, surprise, another Omega Seamaster. This one is the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronometer 2201.50.00. This self-winding chronometer features a stainless steel bracelet and black dial as opposed to the previous blue dial in the earlier Omega-featuring films. One of the Omegas worn by Craig in Quantum was auctioned by Christie’s during “50 Years of James Bond” last year. The final selling price? £34,850. That number sounds absurd, but all proceeds were donated to Unicef so, well done, Bond fans.
Christie’s describes the watch as:
The circular black dial with Arabic quaters, luminous tapered baton hour markers, luminous hands and sweep center seconds and date aperture at “3” in a brushed and polished tonneau shaped case, with helium escape valve in the band and revolving black bezel calibrated for minuets, screw down engraved case back, co-axial escapement movement, to a stainless steel link bracelet and deployant clasp, caliber 2500, no. 81087613, case 42 mm wide.
The warm light brown trousers worn in this scene are, in fact, another pair of Levi’s 306 STA-PREST jeans. Craig wore a similar pair, in an off-white cream, with a black polo and a blue Adidas Y3 shirt while in Haiti. Although they are Levi’s jeans, they are constructed of a strong diagonally-ribbed twill weave in a cotton/polyester blend rather than the usual denim associated with jeans. This non-stretch fabric prevents wrinkling.
Bond’s are slim fit with tapered legs – as we’ve come to expect from Craig – with a zip fly and plain front. The usual 5-pocket layout is here: two angled slash pockets, a right side coin pocket, and two rear patch pockets. Not much information is available about the khaki jeans, as most people were more interested in the cream-colored ones from the motorbike scene. The STA-PREST model, which dates back to the 1960s, was only available in cream color in the United Kingdom and Belgium. The color has since been discontinued.
According to an excellent pre-release article on Bond Lifestyle:
One area of conjecture were the ‘white’ jeans worn by Daniel in the motorbike sequence. These are in fact – as told to me by Louise and David Zaritsky – Levi’s 307 STA-PREST trousers (almost a chino style trouser) in cream. There was, apparently, a similar pair in khaki used as well. These may well be the ones worn with the white Tom Ford shirt and Tom Ford shawl collared cardigan in navy blue. These trousers were worn with cross hatched black leather belt with silver buckle by Prada.
The article mentions the cardigan as “navy blue” when it is, in fact, black. The Prada belt isn’t readily visible in this scene, but can be seen best in the motorbike sequence in Haiti and the final Bolivian fight scene.
Bond wears his tried-and-true dark brown Church’s Ryder III suede ankle boots with this outfit. He wears these 2-eyelet boots throughout the film with most of his casual wear. Church’s builds their Ryders on rubber sole units which they repair at the factory. Evidently, this need has come up from more than one customer like Bond. The rubber soles increase foot traction and are built to withstand toughness.
Bond’s sunglasses throughout the film are a pair of silver Tom Ford TF108 aviators with black temple tips and smoke blue lenses (19V), handmade in Italy by Marcolin. The frame is a semi matte rhodium. Like most products from the film, these aren’t available anymore either but can be found on eBay for much higher prices than the original $400 asking price. However, you’ll still be paying less than the £23,750 final price from the Christie’s auction back in September.
Go Big or Go Home
Bond owns up to his mistakes. After wrongly suspecting Mathis in Casino Royale, Bond drops in on him face-to-face. Mathis asks, “Come to apologize?” In a way he has, but – although we don’t see Bond’s answer – it’s unlikely that he admits this. After complimenting Mathis on his suitability for retirement, he gets to brass tacks – he needs a favor.
It takes balls to drop in unexpectedly on a man you had imprisoned and tortured and immediately ask for “a passport and matching credit cards.” Sure, Bond is a steely-eyed man’s man who can’t be bothered with pithy things like apologies, but Mathis knows that – under the unremoved sunglasses – Bond is sorry. No wonder he eventually lets Bond indulge in some of his cheap white wine.
How to Get the Look
Take it easy. Get some classic wardrobe staples together and channel your inner McQueen-inspired Bond.
- Black ribbed knit wool Tom Ford cardigan with shawl collar, 5 black leather buttons, 2 patch pockets, and turned-back cuffs
- White long-sleeve Tom Ford dress shirt with tall spread collar, white buttons down a front placket, and double/French cuffs
- Khaki cotton/polyester blend ribbed twill weave Levi’s 306 STA-PREST jeans with zip fly, belt loops, two angled slash front pockets, right coin pocket, and patch back pockets
- Dark brown suede Church’s Ryder III 2-eyelet desert boots with black rubber soles
- Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronometer 2201.50.00 with a stainless steel bracelet, a black dial, and black face
- Silver-framed Tom Ford TF108 aviator sunglasses with smoke blue lenses
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie. People say it might not have been the best Bond, but watch it and then watch A View to a Kill. The choice is easy.
When you can’t tell your friends from your enemies, it’s time to go.