March 7, 2013 by Ville Raivio
“I’m 25 years old and work as a graphic and web designer, I studied graphic design at university. My mother always appreciated that I’ve dressed well, and my father also shares an appreciation for fine clothing. Though my brother doesn’t dress anything like me—he dresses far more casually—he often asks me for advice when clothes shopping. James Bond really got me interested in clothing, mostly from Connery’s Bond. The overall simplicity of his suits, shirts and ties appealed to my already restrained sense of style, but the small, unique details in his clothes really drew me in. Things like cocktail cuff shirts, trousers with side adjusters, and a waistcoat with lapels. I’m a detail-oriented person and I love the things that go unnoticed by most people. My knowledge comes from books, tailors and communicating with people in online forums.
I’m a very logical person, and fashion doesn’t make any sense to me. My body hasn’t changed much from this year to last year, so why should the clothes I wear be different? Alan Flusser’s books do a great job of explaining why classic proportions always look best. Clothes should work with the body to create the most attractive and the most comfortable fit. I appreciate the reasons why a suit jacket should cover the behind, why a jacket’s fastening button should be at the waist, and why trousers should sit at the waist. Because low-rise trousers are fashionable it doesn’t mean most men should wear them. There are plenty of good reasons why trousers have never before had such a short rise.
My personal style is very traditional, and I always try to dress things up a bit. I’m mostly a fan of English style, with a little American thrown in. My interest in the older Bond clothes—particularly Anthony Sinclair’s and Douglas Hayward’s styles—has made me come to prefer the softer English tailoring. But I still like the more structured Savile Row style as well. I live in New York and my favorite ready-to-wear clothes available there are from Polo Ralph Lauren, Paul Stuart and, of course, Turnbull & Asser. My favourite shirtmaker I’ve used so far is Frank Foster, who has probably done more wardrobe work on the Bond series than anyone else. I love how he makes an English-style shirt but with a closer attention to fit and finish more like you’ll find in Italian shirts.
After seeing too many people write online that Sean Connery’s Bond suits had flat front trousers and that the three-piece suit in Goldfinger is sharkskin wool—the trousers have double forward pleats and that suit is a glen plaid—I decided I needed to create a resource that looks at these iconic clothes in better detail. I wanted to examine the clothes as clothes, not so much in the context of the films. I’ve received great feedback and welcome people to comment on what I write about. I’m not always right and I appreciate it when people point it out. I’m very interested in music, particularly jazz and classical music. These days it’s mostly just listening to music and attending concerts, though I enjoy playing a number of instruments myself.
Dressing well commands respect. Neat, well-fitting clothing is always important, whether you’re dressing casually or formally. Sports jackets should be just as well-tailored as a dinner jacket. It’s also important to know what you like, and don’t let fashion tell you that what to like or dislike. For the past few years people have often told me that I shouldn’t be wearing pleated trousers, and it’s mostly salesmen who want to sell me the flat-front trousers they have on the rack. But for twenty five years before that nobody would have said that. I like classic English style, so I wear forward-pleat trousers. It’s great to find inspiration in what others wear, and much of my inspiration comes from James Bond. I don’t dress exactly like James Bond, but rather I’ve let Bond help me develop me own style. Be conscious of the clothes you’re wearing them and why you’re wearing them. If you’re simply copying James Bond, a classic film star, a member of British royalty or any other well-dressed man, you’re just wearing costume.”