I realize it’s a bit of a chiché to name James Bond as a style influence, but in my case it is completely honest and true. Watching those early Bond films on VHS with my father definitely had an effect on me. And I’m fairly certain that others reading this post have had a similar formative sartorial experience via Mr. Bond.
James Bond of the Connery vintage was especially known for wearing a light grey suit and I’ve wanted that suit for myself for quite some time. In order to get it completely right, it was most important to consider the fabric.
Bond was always well-dressed, no matter what the climate. Often you see him in his signature light grey suit in tropical climates. This is achieved (comfortably) with what is known as a “tropical weight” wool, or fresco fabric as it is known. Fresco is such a great warm-climate fabric because it has a high twist. What that does is give the fabric a very open weave, which in turn makes it quite airy, allowing the breeze to blow freely through it, making you feel cooler.
A bonus result of the high twist and open weave is that the fabric is somewhat coarse, giving it a very interesting feel in the hand as well as the appearance of texture. This inevitably increases the suit’s versatility, especially when you are thinking of breaking it into separates.
But let’s get back to the British spy portion of this post, particularly how James Bond like to style his light grey fresco suit. As a sartorial classicist, you are most likely to see Mr. Bond style his suits extremely simplistically. Often tonally, as I’ve done here. The perfect Bond shirt and tie combo with a light grey suit is as follows: white shirt, mid-grey to charcoal tie.
While black shoes often reek of formality, somehow when paired with a light grey suit they don’t seem quite as stuffy, while still adding some gravitas. They also complete the tonal spectrum–white, light grey, charcoal, black–and provide the most solid anchor to this look that you could ask for.
Well, now that I’ve got the suit, all I need is the Aston Martin!
Thanks for reading.