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The Guardian

Bond dresses down in No Time to Die, reflecting post-Covid style

By Priyal Elan

In Skyfall, Daniel Craig tells Moneypenny (played by Naomie Harris): “Well, I like to do some things the old-fashioned way.” Bond’s no-nonsense fashion choices – sharp tuxedos, unfussy beachwear and even leather driving gloves – have come to define elegant, alpha menswear. But in an era where sales of formalwear have been shaken (not stirred), can Mr Bond, in his latest outing, No Time to Die, achieve his most challenging mission yet and save the suit?

Last month it was revealed that Marks & Spencer had stopped stocking suits in more than half of their 245 largest stores. It was a timely business decision: sales of formalwear had fallen by 72% during the pandemic due to people working from home.However, the release of No Time to Die on 30 September coincides with another workwear sea change.

“As lockdown ended, there was an intense yearning to return to formal clothes,” says Prof Andrew Groves, director of the Westminster Menswear Archive.

But it’s also clear there is a resistance to going back to dressing the way we did before the pandemic: Google searches for “smart casual” have increased by 5,000%. The pandemic may have affected Q’s sense of style, too. The work wardrobe of Q, played by Ben Whishaw, now includes a jumper from the Italian designer Marni.

“It may be high fashion, yet it could easily be mistaken for a thrift-store find,” says Groves.

Similar fashion pivots can also be seen in the wardrobes of Moneypenny and Léa Seydoux’s character, Madeleine Swann. Groves thinks No Time to Die will give Bond stylistic longevity.

“The Bond films function in a similar way to classic British tailoring in that they take familiar elements and subtly tweak them so that it feels both new and utterly timeless.”


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