Photo: Getty

    The next 007: Who would be the best-dressed Bond?

    3 October 2020

    Supposedly the next Bond has been cast. Much speculation was made about whether Tom Hardy has been given the role. I think it’s unlikely this will be confirmed by Eon in advance of the release of No Time to Die. So, if we all accept it is for now, untrue, we can at least all agree the topic is still up for discussion.

    There is a futility in deciding on a Bond via acting alone, Bond is one half pantomime after all. What he wears, and his demeanour when wearing it, is essential to the character. So let’s look at the candidates who have been named on most of the shortlists and see how they stack up sartorially.

    Tom Hardy

    Photo: Tom Hardy (Getty)

    Hardy was the subject of speculation after a story with questionable sources came out and named him as the heir to Craig. It makes enough sense: they both carry that same weight of the world-on-their-shoulders moodiness, they have a dark edge, they may or may not be posh, can’t quite figure it out.

    Where he actually betters Daniel Craig is how he wears a suit. By all accounts he is a big guy and the issue with Bond at the moment is that his suits cling like the wrapping of a Kinder Egg. I salute Hardy’s attempt at drape despite his bulk, and small details like contrast club collars on his shirt and nifty accessorising with tie bars (a little higher than they should be but still) and pocket watches is why I think he should be top of M’s pecking order.

    Sam Heughan

    Sam Heughan (Photo: Getty)

    I have had the good fortune of meeting and photographing Sam Heughan. The only issue that comes with that is his fans, they are quite heavy-handed if due affection is not paid to Sam. In my case, he was not on the cover of the magazine I edit (Pierce Brosnan was) and I received all manner of unkindness as a result. Sam stirs the sinews and looks like a soldier in a war propaganda poster. He dresses well, and always with a nod to his native Scotland – earth tones, fabrics for inclement weather etc. He would be terrific.

    Henry Cavill

    Henry Cavill is a self-professed fan of good tailoring (Getty)

    Henry Cavill is a gentleman, he’s a furled umbrella and bowler hat with a six-pack. We featured him on our cover and I did the interview. He oozed charm and has a terrific dog. The best part of all was that he really loved talking about clothes. He has much more to say about the Cifonelli shoulder than any layman ought to, wears Gaziano & Girling and Cleverley shoes. He really cares.

    He said: ‘I don’t have a typical off the peg shape, it’s difficult for me to throw any old suit on. So as soon as I wore my first bespoke suit I thought, ohhhhhh ok, this is what it is supposed to look like. You notice the difference, it feels better, you walk taller, you feel more confident and everyone does treat you differently, the same way when I wore the Superman suit on set, people talk to you differently because you are Superman in their eyes. You have people walk past and say, that’s Superman, not that’s Henry Cavill the actor wearing a Superman suit, the same goes for bespoke tailoring, people may not know your name, but they want to. People can’t necessarily put their finger on what looks so cool, but they want to engage in one way or another.’

    A man after my own heart and he takes top billing as a result.

    Idris Elba

    Idris Elba (Photo: Getty)

    Leaving aside the fact he’s probably too old to play Bond in the long term, as is Hardy, Idris Elba is perfectly positioned to take the role on. He has that unique British suave which balances the ‘he’s going to kill me/he’s going to have sex with me’ vibe extremely well. As much as he’s the kind of guy that would be everyone’s choice, if there were to be a groundbreaking black Bond, I think it would be the next candidate on the list.

    Abubakar Salim

    Abubakar Salim (Photo: Rex Features)

    Though he may not be on anyone’s shortlists so far, I’d place a bet on him, his publicist is one of the top five in Hollywood, so I think she knows something we don’t. Young, unbearably attractive, sexy voice, well-built and dresses beautifully. Though off-brand for Bond, his extraordinarily patterned scarf draped over his shoulder at the BAFTAs was a masterstroke, whatever Jany Temime wants to put him in, will work.

    James Norton

    James Norton (Photo: Getty)

    I feel sorry for James Norton, as the young, attractive, well-built and well-dressed candidate, he should be the bookies favourite, which is why he probably won’t get the role. From a sartorial perspective he is indisputably suited to it, very few people make ecclesiastical clothing look as good as when wearing a tuxedo – as any budding spy might wish to do.

    Robert Pattinson

    Robert Pattinson (Photo: Getty)

    On the performance of his cover shoot in Wonderland in 2017, Pattinson has scuppered any possibility of being 007. If, and it’s a big if, he was on Barbara Broccoli’s shortlist, it would be because Tenet’s suiting was exquisite. As an expression of character, his suit demonstrated how fashion suiting can never match up to the energy that tailoring can have. Tom Ford should take note. His role as the new Batman might also understandably mean his time is taken up elsewhere.

    Richard Madden

    Richard Madden (Photo: Getty)

    On paper, Madden has a fighting chance for the role. I will let others deliberate on the acting chops but his dress sense is extremely uninventive and a bit bland. He would do well to make a few more exciting choices with his dress sense and made us care, he’d be further up the list. Alas…

    Tom Hiddleston

    Tom Hiddleston (Photo: Getty)

    Ever since he wore the I heart T.S. T-shirt, the chances of him becoming James Bond fell to virtually nil. In his defence, it is unlikely he’d have acted in such a way if he thought he was in the running.

    Laurence Fox

    Laurence Fox (Rex/Shutterstock)

    This would be lol considering his current profile as the left’s bête noire, but probably not. He smartens up but always maintains an edge of hobo-chic about him, which isn’t particularly appropriate for 007.