James Bond’s Beach Suitcase – Sean Connery Edition

Sean Connery with Claudine Auger in the fourth James Bond film, Thunderball (1965), set in the Bahamas.

Sean Connery with Claudine Auger in the fourth James Bond film, Thunderball (1965), which was set in the Bahamas.

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, British secret agent

Nassau, September 1965

Film: Thunderball
Release Date: December 29, 1965
Director: Terence Young

Background

Bond: Sir, I respectfully suggest that you assign me to Nassau.
M: Is there a reason besides your enthusiasm for water sports?

You really can’t blame James Bond for eagerly volunteering to take on MI6’s post in the Bahamas. Of all of Sean Connery’s early 007 adventures, Thunderball always struck me as the most aspirational, perfectly blending adventure, danger, style, and wit with the necessary Bond elements of exotic surroundings, clever gadgets, and a bevy of international beauties. Lurking threat of nuclear disaster aside, Thunderball presents the ideal summer holiday.

To celebrate the summer solstice, I’m somewhat departing from the usual BAMF Style format for a feature that highlights the best of Bond’s warm-weather duds… and where you can find them today to pack for your own beach vacation.

What Clothes to Pack

007’s pro tip: Think pink and blue with a touch of neutral sand tones as needed.

For purposes of practicality and ease, this feature will focus solely on the warm-weather casual wear worn by Sean Connery during his tenure as James Bond, mostly centered around Thunderball and Mr. Bond’s timeless dressed-down wardrobe for a mission in the Bahamas.

NB: All products sourced in June 2018. If linked products are unavailable as you’re reading this, you can use the details as a guide to researching and finding your own Bond-inspired beach gear.

Shirts

During the Connery era, James Bond’s preferred top for warm-weather casual wear was a short-sleeve shirt with a one-piece camp collar and breast pocket made from lightweight, breathable fabric like linen or summer-weight cotton.

Assuming you’ll be gone for a week, Connery’s Bond showcases enough shirts to last you each day from Saturday to Sunday:

Pink linen camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with light blue linen short-inseam swimming trunks and Rolex Submariner on a striped NATO strap.

Pink linen camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with light blue linen short-inseam swimming trunks and Rolex Submariner on a striped NATO strap.

Pink Linen Camp Shirt

As seen in: Thunderball (1965)

The situation: Enjoying a refreshing boozy drink by the waterside with a lovely new acquaintance.

The details:

  • Color: Rose pink melange
  • Material: Linen
  • Style: Button-up sport shirt
  • Collar: Camp collar
  • Sleeves: Short sleeves
  • Other details: Breast pocket, side vents, no placket
  • Read more at BAMF Style

Since this outfit seems to be a particular fan favorite and received plenty of screen time, I went looking into the most modern alternatives as I could find on a spectrum of pinks and light reds in materials like linen, cotton, and silk.

Where to find similar shirts with the camp collar:

  • 28 Palms “Relaxed Fit” camp shirt in coral silk (Amazon)
    • Differences: slightly different color, silk fabric, and edge stitching
  • Cremieux “Solid Dobby Short-Sleeve Woven Camp Shirt” in pink (Dillard’s)
    • Differences: collar loop and cotton/rayon blend material
  • Gitman Brothers vintage chambray shirt in pink (Lyst)
    • Differences: slightly different color and no pocket
  • Port Authority “Textured Camp Shirt” in deep coral (Amazon)
    • Differences: texture and cheaper cotton/polyester blend material
  • Tommy Bahama “St. Lucia Fronds Camp Shirt” in fuchsia rose (Tommy Bahama)
    • Differences: slightly darker color with subtle rose print and silk material

Where to find similar shirts without the camp collar:

  • 28 Palms “Standard Fit” shirt in coral (Amazon)
  • American Rag “Men’s Linen Shirt” in sunvolt (Macy’s)
  • Banana Republic “Camden Standard-Fit” in red clay (Banana Republic)
  • H&M “Regular Fit” in light red chambray (H&M)
  • Old Navy “Slim-Fit Chambray Shirt” in red (Old Navy)
  • Polo Ralph Lauren “Men’s Classic Fit Linen Shirt” in pink (Macy’s)
  • Tommy Bahama “Sea Spray Breezer Shirt” in spring fuchsia (Nordstrom Rack)
  • Vintage 1946 “Linen Blend Pocket Regular Fit Shirt” in pink (Nordstrom Rack)
Pink-and-white gingham camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with pink linen short-inseam swimming trunks, black sunglasses, and Rolex Submariner on a striped NATO strap.

Pink-and-white gingham camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with pink linen short-inseam swimming trunks, black sunglasses, and Rolex Submariner on a striped NATO strap.

Pink-and-White Gingham Shirt

As seen in: Thunderball (1965)

The situation: Romantic rendezvous on the beach after a private swim

The details:

  • Color: Pink-and-white gingham check
  • Material: Cotton
  • Style: Button-up sport shirt
  • Collar: Camp collar
  • Sleeves: Short sleeves
  • Other details: Breast pocket, side vents, no placket
  • Read more at BAMF Style

Where to find similar shirts:

  • Amazon Essentials “Short Sleeve Gingham Shirt” in pink gingham (Amazon)
  • Penguin “Short Sleeve Gingham with Stretch” in fuschia (Amazon)
Blue-and-white gingham camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with light blue linen short-inseam swimming trunks.

Blue-and-white gingham camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with light blue linen short-inseam swimming trunks.

Blue-and-White Gingham Shirt

As seen in: Thunderball (1965)

The situation: Helicopter ride over the ocean

The details:

  • Color: Pink-and-white gingham check
  • Material: Cotton
  • Style: Button-up sport shirt
  • Collar: Camp collar
  • Sleeves: Short sleeves
  • Other details: Breast pocket, side vents, no placket
  • Read more at BAMF Style

Where to find similar shirts:

  • Amazon Essentials “Short Sleeve Gingham Shirt” in blue gingham (Amazon)
  • Calvin Klein “Men’s Gingha Pocket Shirt” in nautical blue (Macy’s)
  • Gap “Short Sleeve Shirt in Seersucker” in comet blue (Gap)
  • Penguin “Short Sleeve Gingham with Stretch” in Dresden blue (Amazon)
  • Untuckit “Bogle” in blue gingham linen (Untuckit)
  • Untuckit “Greco” in light blue gingham (Untuckit)

    Slate blue-striped camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with cream linen trousers, brown leather sandals, and steel Breitling Top Time dive watch. 007 holds Largo's Remington 1100 semi-automatic shotgun, though there's no good reason you'd need one of these for a beach getaway... depending on what kind of getaway it is, of course.

    Slate blue-striped camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with cream linen trousers, brown leather sandals, and steel Breitling Top Time dive watch.
    007 holds Largo’s Remington 1100 semi-automatic shotgun, though there’s no good reason you’d need one of these for a beach getaway… depending on what kind of getaway it is, of course.

White-and-Slate Striped Camp Shirt

As seen in: Thunderball (1965)

The situation: Lunch and cocktails on a private island estate

The details:

  • Color: White with slate-blue butcher stripes
  • Material: Cotton
  • Style: Button-up sport shirt
  • Collar: Camp collar
  • Sleeves: Short sleeves
  • Other details: Breast pocket, side vents, no placket
  • Read more: BAMF Style

Where to find similar shirts:

  • American Rag “Brock Striped Shirt” in cerulean and white stripe (Macy’s)
    • Similarities: fit, fabric, and pocket
    • Differences: wider stripe, point collar, and brown buttons
  • Calvin Klein Jeans “Loose Twill Striped Shirt” in almond milk (Macy’s)
    • Similarities: fit, fabric, and camp collar
    • Differences: spaced-apart stripe pattern and no pocket
  • H&M “Regular Fit” in dark blue and white stripe (H&M)
    • Similarities: fit, fabric, and pocket
    • Differences: bolder stripe and hidden button-down collar
  • Obey “Avalon Shirt” in black multi (East Dane)
    • Similarities: stripe, camp collar, fit, fabric, and pocket
    • Differences: the stripe is slightly less blue than Connery’s actual shirt
  • Tommy Bahama “Stripe Del Soul Camp Shirt” in blue spark (Macy’s)
    • Similarities: fit, fabric, and pocket
    • Differences: broken stripe, point collar, and pocket button
Blue silky short-sleeve camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with matching flat-front trousers (ill-advised) and a NATO-strapped Rolex Submariner soon to be replaced with a Breitling Top Time geiger-counter watch.

Blue silky short-sleeve camp shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with matching flat-front trousers (ill-advised) and a NATO-strapped Rolex Submariner soon to be replaced with a Breitling Top Time geiger-counter watch.

Blue Three-Pocket Camp Shirt

As seen in: Thunderball (1965)

The situation: Shopping… and running into an old friend

The details:

  • Color: Royal blue
  • Material: Silk or high-twist cotton
  • Style: Button-up sport shirt
  • Collar: Camp collar
  • Sleeves: Short sleeves
  • Other details: Breast pocket and hip pockets, side vents, no placket, and matching trousers (not advised)
  • Read more: BAMF Style

Where to find similar shirts:

  • Calvin Klein “Short Sleeve Shirt” in atlantis blue (Nordstrom Rack)
    • Similarities: bold blue color and texture
    • Differences: point collar and no hip pockets
  • Tasso Elba guayabera in asphault blue (Macy’s)
    • Similarities: camp collar, extra pockets
    • Differences: guayabera detailing, point collar, and linen fabric
  • Tasso Elba “Textured Shirt” in new cerulean (Macy’s)
    • Similarities: bold blue color, silky material, and white buttons
    • Differences: point collar and no hip pockets
  • Tommy Bahama “Royal Bahama IslandZone® Camp Shirt” in blue sea (Tommy Bahama)
    • Similarities: camp collar, style, and fit
    • Differences: slightly bolder color, silk/polyester blend material, and no hip pockets
  • Tommy Bahama “St. Lucia Fronds Camp Shirt” in dockside blue (Tommy Bahama)
    • Similarities: camp collar, style, and fit
    • Differences: slightly darker color with subtle rose print and no hip pockets
  • Tommy Bahama “Weekend Tropics Silk Shirt” in navy (Macy’s)
    • Similarities: bold blue color, silky material, white buttons
    • Differences: point collar and no hip pockets
Tan linen camp shirt in You Only Live Twice (1967), worn with brown linen trousers and brown leather sandals.

Tan linen camp shirt in You Only Live Twice (1967), worn with brown linen trousers and brown leather sandals.

Tan Linen Camp Shirt

As seen in: You Only Live Twice (1967)

The situation: An earthier day spent further inland

The details:

  • Color: Tan
  • Material: Linen
  • Style: Button-up sport shirt
  • Collar: Camp collar
  • Sleeves: Short sleeves
  • Other details: Breast pocket, side vents, no placket
  • Read more: BAMF Style

Where to find similar shirts:

  • 28 Palms “Relaxed Fit” camp shirt in tan silk (Amazon)
    • Similarities: color, fit, camp collar, and pocket
    • Differences: silk fabric
  • Cremieux “Solid Dobby Short-Sleeve Woven Camp Shirt” in sand (Dillard’s)
    • Differences: collar loop and cotton/rayon blend material
  • Harriton “Barbados Textured Camp Shirt” in khaki (Amazon)
    • Similarities: color, fit, camp collar, and pocket
    • Differences: cheaper synthetic fabric
Navy cotton Fred Perry polo shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with white short-inseam swim trunks, Rolex Submariner dive watch on undersized NATO strap, and light blue canvas espadrilles.

Navy cotton Fred Perry polo shirt in Thunderball (1965), worn with white short-inseam swim trunks, Rolex Submariner dive watch on undersized NATO strap, and light blue canvas espadrilles.

Navy Polo Shirt

As seen in: Thunderball (1965)

The situation: A nighttime ride

The details:

  • Color: Navy with white-embroidered “laurel” logo on left breast
  • Material: Cotton pique
  • Style: Polo shirt with two-button placket
  • Sleeves: Short sleeves
  • Read more: James Bond Lifestyle and BAMF Style

Where to find similar shirts:

  • Fred Perry “Slim Fit” in navy (Amazon)
    • Almost exactly the same shirt that Connery wore
  • Nautica “Classic Fit” in navy (Amazon)
    • Same shirt, different (and less expensive) branding
  • Amazon Essentials “Slim Fit” in navy (Amazon)
    • Budget-friendly alternative in slightly lighter navy and obviously without the Perry logo

Swimwear

Sean Connery in his light blue linen Jantzen swim trunks, flanked by co-stars Claudine Auger and Martine Beswick, on location in the Bahamas for Thunderball (1965).

Sean Connery in his light blue linen Jantzen swim trunks, flanked by co-stars Claudine Auger and Martine Beswick, on location in the Bahamas for Thunderball (1965).

Short-inseam swimming trunks

As seen in: Thunderball (1965)

The details:

  • Color: Light blue, pink, or white
  • Material: Water-resistant linen
  • Style: Black-belted, short-inseam swimming trunks
  • NB: Jantzen, the original maker of these shorts, no longer produces swimwear for men
  • Read more: James Bond Lifestyle and BAMF Style

Where to find light blue trunks:

  • Goodfellow & Co. “Fiat Hybrid Shorts” in blue (Target)
    • Not only do they have belt loops, but they work equally well on beach or boardwalk
  • H&M short swim shorts in light blue (H&M)
    • Connery would have been proud of the inseam on these… though you don’t have a belted option
  • The North Face “Class V” belted trunks in blue (Amazon)
    • Too long and much too dark, these swim trunks have a black elastic belt like Connery wore
  • Orlebar Brown “Setter” in riviera blue (Orlebar Brown)
    • These classic-inspired, quick-drying polaymide trunks were worn by Daniel Craig in Skyfall (2012)
  • Polo Ralph Lauren 9″ swim shorts in French turquoise (Amazon)
    • Though a darker, richer blue, these quick-dry cotton/nylon shorts are fitted with belt loops
  • Polo Ralph Lauren “Pony logo” swim trunk (Amazon)
    • Simple and short… though sans belt
  • Royale Filmwear “James Bond SKYFALL” swim shorts (Royale Filmwear)
    • This replica of Daniel Craig’s swimwear in Skyfall presents an affordable alternative to the actual Orlebar Brown shorts worn on screen
  • Southern Marsh Men’s Shoals Seawash Swim Trunk in breaker blue (Islanders Outfitter)
    • The cotton/nylon blend is probably as close as you can affordably get to the linen-like texture of Connery’s shorts, not to mention the short, 6″ inseam
  • Sunspel “Men’s Technical Nylon Swim Short” in sky (Sunspel)
    • Sunspel created their first swimwear for men in response to a similar pair of light blue swimming trunks that Connery was photographed wearing during the production of Thunderball

Where to find pink trunks:

  • Gap 5″ swim trunks in willow pink (Gap)
    • Not belted, but Connery wore the pink trunks without the belt anyway…
  • H&M swim shorts in coral pink (H&M)
    • Also not belted…and in a bolder shade of pink
  • Native Youth “Sandside Salt Faded Swim Shorts” (Nordstrom Rack)
    • Faded pink à la Connery with a black drawstring in lieu of the belt
  • Polo Ralph Lauren 9″ swim shorts in pink frosting (Amazon)
    • Fitted with belt loops and made from a quick-drying cotton/nylon blend to transition from beach to boardwalk

Where to find white trunks:

  • Dyorigin board shorts in white (Amazon)
    • Though belt-less, they’re white, short, and well-reviewed
  • H&M swim shorts in light gray (H&M)
    • A few shades grayer than white, the black printed motif echoes 007’s Jantzen “diving girl” logo

Trousers

Cream linen trousers in Thunderball (1965), worn with a white-and-slate blue striped camp shirt, brown leather sandals, and Breitling Top Time dive watch.

Cream linen trousers in Thunderball (1965), worn with a white-and-slate blue striped camp shirt, brown leather sandals, and Breitling Top Time dive watch.

Cream Linen Trousers

As seen in: Thunderball (1965)

The situation: Lunch and cocktails on a private island estate

The details:

  • Color: Cream
  • Material: Linen
  • Style: Flat front trousers
  • Other details: Button-tab side adjusters, side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Read more: BAMF Style

Where to find it:

  • Berg & Berg “Alfons” linen trousers in sand (Berg & Berg)
    • Same: color, fabric, fit, and side adjusters
    • Different: hardly different other than the nit-picky fact that Connery wore button-tab side adjusters rather than buckle-tab
  • Cubavera “Flat Front Easy Care Linen” trousers in khaki (Macy’s)
    • Same: fabric and fit
    • Different: darker color and belt loops
  • Gap “Linen Khakis in Slim Fit” trousers in stone (Gap)
    • Same: color and general style
    • Different: these are more RTW with belt loops and a linen-cotton blended construction
  • Tasso Elba linen trousers in natural (Macy’s)
    • Same: color, fabric, and fit
    • Different: belt loops
  • Tommy Bahama “On the Beach” trousers in natural linen (Amazon and Macy’s)
    • Same: color and fabric
    • Different: elastic waistband and looser fit
Brown linen trousers in You Only Live Twice (1967), worn with tan linen camp shirt and brown leather sandals.

Brown linen trousers in You Only Live Twice (1967), worn with tan linen camp shirt and brown leather sandals.

Brown Linen Trousers

As seen in: You Only Live Twice (1967)

The situation: An earthier day spent further inland

The details:

  • Color: Brown
  • Material: Linen
  • Style: Flat front trousers
  • Other details: Button-tab side adjusters, frogmouth front pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Read more: BAMF Style

Where to find it:

  • Berg & Berg “Alfons” linen trousers in chocolate brown (Berg & Berg)
    • Same: fabric, fit, and side adjusters
    • Different: slightly darker color and more traditional side pockets
  • High Style linen pants in chocolate brown (Amazon)
    • Same: fabric
    • Different: slightly darker color with more traditional details and pockets

Footwear

No socks needed!

Light blue canvas espadrilles in Thunderball (1965), featured on screen as Bond disarms a thug of his Beretta pistol.

Light blue canvas espadrilles in Thunderball (1965), featured on screen as Bond disarms a thug of his Beretta pistol.

Blue Espadrilles

As seen in: Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965)

The details:

  • Color: Light blue
  • Material: Canvas uppers, rope soles
  • Style: Slip-on espadrilles
  • Other details: White elastic side gussets
  • Read more: BAMF Style

Where to find them:

  • Ben Sherman “Jenson” espadrilles in navy (Amazon and Nordstrom Rack)
  • H&M espadrilles in blue (H&M)
  • Soludos “smoking sandal” in blue (Amazon)
  • TOMS “Classic Earth Day” in blue earthday (Nordstrom Rack)
  • TOMS “Grey Linen Rope Sole Men’s Classics” in gray linen (TOMS)
  • Viscata Spanish Espadrilles in blue (Amazon)
Brown leather sandals in Thunderball (1965), featured on screen as Bond hands Domino's yellow towel to her.

Brown leather sandals in Thunderball (1965), featured on screen as Bond hands Domino’s yellow towel to her.

Brown Buckle-Strap Leather Sandals

As seen in: Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967)

The details:

  • Color/material: Brown leather
  • Style: Triple-strapped (two over vamp, one on heel), with brass single-prong buckles
  • Read more: BAMF Style

Where to find them:

  • Birkenstock “Milano” sandals in Amalfi brown (Amazon and East Dane)
  • Crevo “Men’s Sedono Slide Sandal” in brown (Amazon)
  • Dr. Martens “Fenton Fisherman Sandal” in dark brown (Nordstrom Rack)
  • Merrell “Men’s Downtown Backstrap Buckle Sandal” in dark earth (Amazon)

Accessories

Sean Connery sports a pair of black rectangular-framed sunglasses in Thunderball (1965)

Sean Connery sports a pair of black rectangular-framed sunglasses in Thunderball (1965)

Black Rectangular Sunglasses

As seen in: Thunderball (1965)

The details:

  • Color: Black
  • Frame: Plastic/acetate
  • Style: Rectangular “wayfarer”-style

The online Bond fan community has invested considerable time and arguments into the discussion of who exactly made Sean Connery’s über-cool shades in Thunderball. The big names like Persol and Ray-Ban are easily ruled out, with the most likely contender being the Polaroid Cool-Ray N135, though some still insist upon the Oliver Goldsmith “Consul” model. (Check out Iconic Alternatives for specific evidence in favor of the Polaroid!)

Where to find them:

  • Curry & Paxton “Sean in Piano” in black cellulose (Mason & Sons)
    • Co-developed with Mason & Sons, this pair takes direct style cues from the classic Polaroid sunglasses that are hypothesized to be the model worn in Thunderball by Sean Connery
  • Gamma Ray polarized sunglasses in black plastic (Amazon)
    • If your plan is to just have a pair of cheap shades for the sand, sun, and surf, don’t spend more than $10!
  • Oliver Goldsmith Consul in black plastic (Eyegoodies)
    • Favored by many 20th century icons, though decidedly not the pair worn by Sean Connery in Thunderball
  • Ray-Ban RB2140 “Original Wayfarer” in black acetate (Amazon)
    • Though certainly not what Connery was wearing, there’s a reason that Ray-Ban’s iconic Wayfarer model has stood the test of time
Straw hat and sunglasses in Thunderball (1965), worn with Bond's ill-advised matching blue shirt and pants combo.

Straw hat and sunglasses in Thunderball (1965), worn with Bond’s ill-advised matching blue shirt and pants combo.

Straw Pork Pie Hat

Bond’s flat crown indicates that his hat is of the “pork pie” style rather than the pinched crown of a trilby or fedora.

Keep in mind that genuine straw is expensive  but often worth it, especially when compared to its lesser “paper straw” cousins.

The details:

  • Color/Material: Natural coconut straw
  • Hat band: Navy, blue, and white plaid cotton
  • Style: Short-brimmed pork pie hat

Where to get it:

  • New York Hat Company “Be Bop” in natural coconut straw with black band (Village Hat Shop)
  • Stetson “Madrigal” in natural coconut straw with plaid band (Amazon, Levine Hats, and Stetson)
  • Fred Perry straw trilby in natural straw (Amazon)
    • It’s a trilby and it has a plain band… but we know Bond likes Fred Perry!
Sean Connery wears 007's classic Rolex Submariner 6538 on a striped NATO strap in Thunderball (1965), just as he had the previous year in Goldfinger (1964).

Sean Connery wears 007’s classic Rolex Submariner 6538 on a striped NATO strap in Thunderball (1965), just as he had the previous year in Goldfinger (1964).

Dive Watch on NATO Strap

As seen in: Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965)

The details:

  • Case: Stainless
  • Dial: Black
  • Bezel: Black rotating
  • Band: NATO strap with black, olive, and thin red stripes

Though 007 is issued a Breitling Top-Time pilot watch with a geiger counter function, the Rolex Submariner 6538 is the classic Bond watch, not to mention that a dive watch is more apropos the beach setting and the NATO strap would be far more comfortable on your wrist on a hot sunny day than the metal pilot-style bracelet of the Breitling.

Rolex discontinued production of the ref. 6538 Submariner in 1961, four years before Thunderball was even made.

If you want the real deal, you either need to get lucky or plan on spending a pretty penny either for a classic Rolex or a newer evolution of the Submariner, like the 6538’s spiritual successor, the non-date ref. 114060. Luckily, budget-driven shoppers are not devoid of options…

Where to find the watch:

  • Casino MDV106-1A (Amazon)
  • Invicta 8926OB Pro Diver (Amazon) – BAMF Style recommended!
  • Orient “Ray II” FA002004B9 (Amazon)
  • Seiko SKX007K Diver (Amazon)

Where to get NATO straps:

  • Barton “Jetson” in black, red, and olive (Amazon)
  • Benchmark Straps in black and gray (Amazon) – As worn by Daniel Craig in Spectre
  • Clockwork Synergy in black, green, and red (Amazon)
  • Geckota in dark navy, red, and olive (Amazon)
  • Stylelover in navy, ivory, and crimson (Amazon) – If you want some red, white, and blue on your wrist for the 4th of July

Sleepwear

White cotton pajama pants in Dr. No (1962)... Bond's only armor when fighting off a deadly tarantula.

White cotton pajama pants in Dr. No (1962)… Bond’s only armor when fighting off a deadly tarantula.

White cotton pajama pants

As seen in: Dr. No (1962)

The details:

  • Color: White
  • Material: Cotton
  • Style: Drawstring-waist long pants

Where to get similar pajama pants:

  • Goodfellow & Co. “Men’s Knit Pajama Pants” in bayshore blue or light heathered gray (Target)
  • J. Crew “Cotton pajama pant in stripe” in bold peri (J. Crew)
  • Polo Ralph Lauren “Men’s Supreme Comfort Pajama Pants” in new sand heather (Macy’s)

Where to get white pajama sets that include similar pants:

  • Brooks Brothers “Wrinkle-Resistant Oxford Pajamas” in white (Brooks Brothers)

What Else to Pack

Let’s assume you plan on leaving your Walther PPK at home and focus instead on some of the other essentials of Bond’s travel: books and booze.

Even Sean Connery doesn't let an exotic island location interfere with his reading plans! The light blue trunks he wore for this photo session inspired Sunspel to create its first swim shorts for men.

Even Sean Connery doesn’t let an exotic island location interfere with his reading plans! The light blue trunks he wore for this photo session inspired Sunspel to create its first swim shorts for men.

Literature

In the novels, Ian Fleming focused much more on Bond’s reading habits, providing his own readers with a solid glimpse of what was on 007’s bookshelf. Assuming that instructional guides about golf, genealogy, and card-playing aren’t your idea of the ideal summer reads, check out this list of Bond-inspired reading material:

  • Eric Ambler – The Mask of Dimitrios (Amazon, published in the U.S. as A Coffin for Dimitrios)
    • Bond reads this 1939 thriller to wile away a flight to Istanbul in From Russia With Love, and fans of the story can also check out the 1944 film noir adaptation.
  • Ian Fleming – Thunderball (Amazon)
    • Fleming’s eighth full-length Bond novel was intended to serve as the first film in the series, hence its even more cinematic style than its predecessor.
  • Ernest Hemingway – A Farewell to Arms (Amazon)
    • Timothy Dalton’s Bond alludes to Papa’s classic story of love in wartime when asked to hand over his PPK in Licence to Kill… while on the balcony of the Hemingway House in Key West.
  • Anthony Horowitz – Forever and a Day (Amazon)
    • The latest installment in the James Bond literary canon serves as a prequel to Casino Royale and includes original excerpts from Fleming himself, described in Steven Poole’s review for The Guardian as “an enjoyably compact thriller.”

Libations

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Bond’s tried-and-true Vodka Martini. The preferred ingredients of the Connery era appear to be:

  • Smirnoff 100-proof vodka (look for blue in the label), as seen in Dr. No
  • Cinzano extra dry vermouth, as seen in Thunderball

For proportions, the six-to-one ratio of vodka to vermouth as stipulated in Live and Let Die will serve you well: six parts vodka, one part vermouth, shaken with ice until it’s ice-cold, and poured into a a chilled martini glass.

After sending a hapless henchmen on his way, Bond eagerly mixes a martini for himself. Whether or not this feckless Felix (Rik Van Nutter) will get a cocktail is well has been lost to time.

After sending a hapless henchmen on his way, Bond eagerly mixes a martini for himself. Whether or not this feckless Felix (Rik Van Nutter) will get a cocktail is well has been lost to time… or the editing room floor.

Now, the more beach-friendly option: the Rum Collins. Bond is served this refreshing Caribbean alternative to the venerable Tom Collins cocktail before his lunch with the villainous Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) at Palmyra, Largo’s Bahamian estate.

The Tom Collins first emerged in the United States in the late 19th century, recorded by “father of American mixology” Jerry Thomas in his 1876 edition of Bar-Tender’s Guide. Little has changed in the preparation of the Tom Collins in the last century and a half, and the basic ingredients are gin, sugar, soda water, and lemon.

The Rum Collins replaces the original cocktail’s gin with light rum, delivering a more tropic-friendly flavor. The rum is up to you, though Daniel Craig’s order of Mount Gay and soda in Casino Royale makes the aromatic Mount Gay Silver a reasonable choice. Since Largo’s bartender doesn’t share his secrets with the audience, we have only the expert word of the Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide to guide us in the actual concoction…

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice (rather than the Tom Collins’ lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar or simple syrup
  • club soda

Shake the rum, lime juice, and sugar or syrup in an ice-filled shaker, then strain into a tall, chilled Collins glass. Add a few more ice cubes to ensure it’s cold, fill the mixture with club soda, and stir. The finishing touch à la Largo? Garnish with a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry.

A courteous lunch guest always accepts a Rum Collins from his host... even if said host is a pompous megalomaniac.

A courteous lunch guest always accepts a Rum Collins from his host… even if said host is a pompous megalomaniac.

Can’t live without brown liquor? Blended Scotch whisky seems to serve Bond’s needs in the film series’ tropical settings, beginning with Black & White in Dr. No and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label that shows up in Paula Kaplan’s hotel room in Thunderball. Decades later, Daniel Craig’s exiled Bond swigs down Macallan while living the island life, but one suspects the influences of product placement at work than an earnest reflection of Fleming’s original character.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the movie.

Make this year's beach vacation one to remember!

Make this year’s beach vacation one to remember!

Looking for more? Iconic Alternatives lives up to its name with countless options to channel Bond’s attire across all price points, from his revere-collared sport shirts and swim trunks to sunglasses and espadrilles.

Have you found other items that help you evoke Bond style at the beach? Share in the comments below!

The Quote

Bond: My dear, uncooperative Domino.
Domino: How do you know that? How do you know my friends call me Domino?
Bond: It’s on the bracelet on your ankle.
Domino: So… what sharp little eyes you’ve got.
Bond: Wait ’til you get to my teeth.

13 comments

  1. Simon

    Wow…a lot of research and links in this post. Well done!

    I’ve always liked Thunderball but felt that it drags in the underwater sequences. This tends to be the case in all films with underwater sequences.

    I’d argue that the classic Bond film is Goldfinger. Whenever anyone sends up spies and the Cold War it is Goldfinger they are sending up. From Get Smart to Inspector Gadget they are all using the elements from Goldfinger as a basis of their satire. And no Bond has ever looked fitter and more confident than Connery in Goldfinger. I think that was his peak as Bond.

    Like

    • luckystrike721

      Thanks! I know a lot of people are always curious about appropriating the Thunderball summer look, so I hope this is a helpful guide!

      I agree that Goldfinger is definitely the quintessential Bond film, from the style to the story elements. However… if I had to be Bond in a movie, I’d pick Thunderball; he never really gets captured or tortured and his whole experience is basically “a day at the beach” full of lovely women, refreshing cocktails, and the occasional underwater adventure. (Though the frequency and duration of the underwater sequences do drag, in my opinion!)

      Like

  2. Jay Small

    You should specify that Connery Bond’s Rolex was on a pull-through (also called a G10 or RAF) strap, rather than a modern NATO strap. They may not be as secure without the extra strip under the spring bars, but I do like the lack of extra hardware on a simple pull-through.

    Like

      • Teeritz

        @ George, I read a long time ago (pre-internet) that the Submariner belonged to one of the crew, who was ex-Royal Navy. Others have since speculated that the Sub belonged to Producer Cubby Broccoli, but he has never struck me as a dive watch kind of guy. My theory about the ‘under-strapping’ , hear me out, is this; the props guy, rather than attempt to remove links from the steel bracelet -‘cos you need a tiny screwdriver for that – rushes out and buys a nylon pass-thru strap, available from newstands, right next to the LifeSavers and Camel no-filters, but since most men back in 1962 probably wore a plain dress watch with 16mm to 18mm lug widths, the newstand only had these two sizes available. Or, as my watchmaker hypothesised, most military watches back in the ’50s and ’60s had 16 to 18mm lug widths and maybe this crew guy put the old strap off his service watch onto his 20mm lugged Rolex Sub. Some Sub owners have gone for total realism and have put 16mil straps on their Submariners. But that’s just nuts, 007.

        @ Jay Small, the extra strip of nylon on a NATO strap prevents the watch from sliding off the strap, but a G10 (RAF) will work the same way as a NATO in the event that a spring bar fails. Either way, these nylon straps are great. A ten dollar strap on a ten grand dive watch. Drives the watch snobs crazy. Love it!

        Like

  3. Preston Fassel

    Two cents from your friendly neighborhood eyewear enthusiast/historian– as soon as I saw the pic of Connery in those shades at the top of the page, I thought to myself, “Oh, he’s wearing Polaroids.” Though they’re a departure from Bond’s usual luxury goods, in the 1960s, Polaroids had a reputation for durability (they were rumored to be favored by the Hell’s Angels for rides), so it makes some degree of sense that Bond might prefer to spend less on an easily lost item that would nevertheless prove versatile and sturdy while he was using them.

    Like

  4. RM

    This is great. I suggested a similar idea to Matt Spaiser ie ‘What is the optimum choice of capsule wardrobe from Bond’s entire history of clothes to take on summer vacation, weekend in the country etc’. Providing a selection of modern options is most welcome.

    Like

  5. Thomas Michael

    The best Sean Connery Bond movie? Without question Goldfinger based entirety by the famous three-piece suit he wears. A timeless classic you could wear today!

    Like

  6. jdreyfuss

    I think it’s out of production, but Murano (DIllards house brand) makes or made a slim fit linen camp shirt that looked almost exactly like the ones Connery wore in Thunderball. I know it’s still available on eBay new with tags in natural and light blue.

    Like

  7. Gregory Dickinson

    Rolex sister brand Tudor’s Black Bay Black or the newer (and more classically sized) Black Bay 58 models are an ideal mid-priced alternative to the Connery-era classic Submariner.

    Like

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