Skyfall is here, the hotly anticipated new James Bond film starrig Daniel Craig.
There's something about Bond, James Bond, that appeals to both men and women. for one thing, he epitomizes the best styles for men that both sexes can get on board with. Even the New York Times announces the film with the headline "What a Man! What a Suit!"
But is his style, like his character, too elusive to pin down?
Alan and Jimmy Au, award-winning LA stylists to the stars (Mark Wahlberg,Tom Cruise, Joe Pesci, and more) and founders of the only short-men's designer store in th country, Jimmy Au's for Men 5'8" and Under, not only provide some highly practical tips on how to achieve 007's style, they offer some fun facts along the way.
- the suited hero was actually short, dark and handsome — the real James Bond was only 5'9!
- Sidney Reilly, the Russian spy who inspired Ian Flemming's 007, may have been diminutive but every inch had stylish savoir faire.
- 33% of the U.S. male population is under 5'8.
And I will add:
- the average male height in the U.S. is 5'10
- Daniel Craig, 44, is 5'10 (Brad Pitt, 48, is 5'11)
Skyfall marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond; it also happens to be Jimmy Au's 50th anniversary... Coincidence? I think not.
Q. What are 5 items that every Bond wannabe should have in their closet?
- A black tuxedo. Always be prepared for formal occasions. Not a rental, or you'll look like the wait staff. A tuxedo that is tailored or altered to fit you. Important people go to formal events. If your boss knows you are ready at any time, you will be asked again. Getting your face in front of important people is good. And if you dress like you go to these events often, the more important you look, too.
- A navy blue suit – good for any occasion, the color exudes trust, can be dressed up, down, contemporary or conservative. Good day or night. The perfect undercover suit.
- A khaki suit – Spies seem to always need to travel to someplace warm. A cotton poplin or linen khaki suit is perfect for those warm locales (like Brad Pitt's above). Like a navy suit, can be a versatile disguise used in multiple ways. For instance, you can match with a great shirt and tie, or just a shirt, more casual with a polo shirt or even more casual with a t-shirt. Great for afternoon events or to look like a seasoned traveler.
- A white pocket handkerchief – It's return is the latest men's style. Stylish and classy simply folded and placed in your chest suit pocket. Handy when needing to console a grieving widow, to pick up a glass without contaminating fingerprints, for cleaning a wound or gagging a would-be assassin or counterspy — the list is endless. Easily concealed as a perfect accessory.
- A good utility jacket – It could be leather, cotton canvas, hi-tech thermal fabric for the cold, but it has to have a lot of pockets. Something for everything including hidden pockets for those things you don't wish to have people find. When you're not on a mission, the extra pockets make travel a little more hands-free — who doesn't want that?
How to Dress To Kill – 3 Tips to Creating the Bond Look (& Look Taller or at least not Shorter)
- Purchase the right size. Clothing trends aside, be true to yourself. If you need a short size, don't buy a regular size. Alterations can only take you so far. If it's altered so much it's going to look out of proportion, you have the wrong size. Also do not purchase something oversized thinking you will be more comfortable. A proper fit, not the most fabric, gives you the most mobility.
- Find and use a good tailor you trust. That means someone who will tell you that you bought the wrong size and it will only be altered until it's out of proportion. If you are wearing the right size, your tailor can do wonders in making it go from looking from good to great. Especially if you are shorter. The right measurements in coat length, sleeve lengths, and pant hem lengths can do wonders in making you look amazing and that includes making you look taller.
- Choose appropriately sized patterns. Whether suits, sportcoats, shirts, or pants, patterns need to be a smaller scale in order for you to look bigger or taller. If you are short and very broad, stripes may not be the best choice. Too many vertical lines actually brings horizontal attention. Most stripes are best suited to average to slimmer men. Medium to smaller checks, windowpanes and plaids are appropriate provided they are not too bold. The bigger the body, the bigger the pattern. If you are really slim, then smaller patterns will look more proportioned on you and will help make you look a little bigger. The goal is to fit in, so loud colors and patterns are not necessarily the Bond way. But if you must, make sure it brings attention up to your face, rather than to your feet. A bold neck tie or pocket square might be in order or a great matching hat or fedora, even a great pair of sunglasses.
Sounds like good advice to me! If I were furnishing a man's wardrobe, I'd certainly follow it. But then, Bond doesn't work that way, does he?
More clothing trends and latest men's styles a la James Bond: