Shaken & Stirred: The Horror Of James Bond's Playsuit

With the new James Bond film doing the rounds at the box office, I'm so glad we don't have to revisit the wardrobe nightmare that was his baby blue towelling play-suit in Goldfinger. *Shudder*
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With the new James Bond film doing the rounds at the box office, I'm so glad we don't have to revisit the wardrobe nightmare that was his baby blue towelling play-suit in Goldfinger. *Shudder*

"Do you expect me to talk?".. No Mr. Bond, we expect you to change. Immediately.

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Picture James Bond. What is he wearing? The debonair dinner jacket and bow-tie Connery filled so well in Dr. No? Moore’s slightly flared marine blue suit from The Man With The Golden Gun? Brosnan’s cream linen ensemble in The World is Not Enough? Daniel Craig bursting out of an Armani tuxedo?

Results vary from person to person, but we all agree Bond is synonymous with elegance and style... apart from one unorthodox outfit. The world’s most stylish spy wears the offending item for a good ten minutes of screen time, yet few remember it.

At the beginning of Goldfinger (1964) the smooth secret agent is on holiday at a Miami Beach club. He foils Auric Goldfinger’s Gin Rummy scam and seduces beautiful Jill Masterson (she of glittery-death fame). But what is alpha-male 007 wearing while wooing the tragic temptress? A baby blue towelling play-suit.

There is something formidable about a man so self-assured he can outwit criminals and bed the baddie’s dame while sporting a terry toweling one-piece.

We’re talking a short-sleeved adult-sized toddler’s romper suit which ends just below the buttock and is snug to the crotch (Connery had to wear trunks underneath to prevent any Partridge-style “come loose at the side” accidents). A zip allows maximum chest rug exposure.  Deep slanting pockets and a belt (toweling, naturally) boasting an ineffectual gold clasp top it off.

Every Bond made the occasional fashion faux-pas: Moore’s safari suit, Lazenby’s kilt, Dalton in that unforgivable yuppie leather jacket, Brosnan looking flabby in fencing gear. But none have come close to this. It’s indefensible. It’s God awful. You can’t even claim “retro cool”... it wasn’t cool then. It’s just plain wrong.

Yet it works. Bond doesn’t worry about trends. This is the man who said he couldn’t imagine “listening to The Beatles without earmuffs” in a film released during the peak of the Beatlemania. He does his own thing (indubitably the definition of cool).  There is something formidable about a man so self-assured he can outwit criminals and bed the baddie’s dame while sporting a terry toweling one-piece.

At 33, Connery was in his prime and oozed rugged charisma. With his sculpted physique, swarthy good looks and sangfroid, he was the epitome of sophistication. Only he could convince as a calculating killer dressed like an overgrown child.

Picture James Bond. He’s the guy dressed as a three year-old and he’s after your woman.

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