The Casino Royale grey suit makes its first appearance as Bond departs the seaplane in the Bahamas. The pale grey linen two piece from Brioni features a three button, double vented jacket with peak lapels paired with flat front, straight cut trousers. The jacket appears on screen for all of 10 seconds before 007 ditches it to drive his rental Ford to the One and Only Ocean Club. The suit is a symbol of elegance and, when it comes to selecting your own, the process should be done with thought and consideration. Take a look at this article on the best suits for men to see how different locations around the world agree and deviate on what constitutes the greatest suit style. The always reliable Matt Spraiser gives more insight into the suit design on The Suits of James Bond, and additional information can be found at BAMF Style.
Features wanted for the Casino Royale Grey Suit
- Pale grey/pearl grey linen or linen blend fabric
- 3 button jacket with double vents, peak lapels and flap hip pockets
- Flat front trousers in wider cut with belt loops, jetted, button closure back pockets and cuffs
There’s been some discussion over the years about the general fit of the suit (“Too Big!” vs. “Baggy linen is better in the heat”). Personally, I think the slightly oversized jacket and looser fitting pants with the extreme break make the suit look dated. So for the options below, I’ve focused on more contemporary styles while trying to avoid any super-cropped, completely unstructured, radically tight options.
The Elie Tahari Slim Fit Solid Gray Cotton Suit for $249.00 at Amazon U.S. The fabric is 100% cotton, the grey is perhaps a shade dark, and the jacket only has a single vent. But the jacket has some structure to it (unlike some casual cotton blazers) and the fit and cut seem to strike a nice balance between traditional and more contemporary.
The River Island Grey Slim Fit Suit is priced at $300.00/£150.00. 100% wool fabric, with a single button closure, double vented jacket and slim fit, flat front pants. If you want something a little more fashion forward, and can live with wool, then it’s not a bad choice.
At Macy’s, the Tallia Light Grey Slim Fit Suit is going for $650.00 (or $325.00 with the 50% off sale they’re running right now). First the bad news: the fabric is 100% lightweight wool. Good news? The color is very close to the Casino Royale grey suit, the jacket has double vents and four button cuffs like the original, and the overall cut looks up-to-date without crossing over into “skinny everything!” territory.
NEXT’s Light Grey Linen Cotton Suit Jacket (£75.00/$136.00) and Suit Pants (£35.00/$63.00) are another step towards a more modern style. The fabric has a noticeable, almost heathered, weave; the jacket is a two button, single vent, cropped style and looks to be very unstructured; and the picture below tells you all you need to know about the fit of the trousers. The fabric is 50% linen/50% Cotton.
The splurge: John Lewis has the Reiss Garda Peak Lapel Three Piece Suit on sale for $744.00/£495.00. 100% wool again, with a single button, double vented jacket, and comes with a vest you may never use.
I know, I know … avoid synthetics whenever possible. But today, this peak lapel thing mainly shows up on lower-priced, ‘hip’, younger-market-skewing suits, which, unfortunately, means polyester.
Marks and Spencer’s Grey Super Slim Fit Suit for £99.00/$164.00 is a more modern take on the Casino Royale suit, with a single button closure jacket with double vents and “super slim” fit. The grey color seems to be a tone or two off the original and the fabric is 65% polyester/35% viscose.
The Moss Bros. Moss London Skinny Fit Light Grey Suit is £149.00. Single button, double vented jacket, 100% polyester fabric, and another vest you probably won’t wear.
Notch Lapel Options
If we start listing any old light grey suits with notch lapels, we could be here forever, so I’m going to try to be strict about at least matching the color and the material (cotton/linen). Even with those restrictions, there are plenty of options.
The best affordable alternative is probably the Stafford Light Gray Linen-Cotton Suit Jacket (on sale for $80.00) and Suit Pants (on sale for $39.99) at JC Penney. This is a classic fit suit, so if you want to achieve the slightly-too-baggy screen accurate look, go with your normal size. If you want a trimmer, more contemporary fit, sizing down should definitely be considered. Honestly, if this one had the peak lapels, it probably would have been a “Best Option”.
I’m not familiar with Men’s USA, but they currently have a Two Button Linen Suit in silver for $199.00 which, apparently, has 4.9/5 stars after 702 reviews. Jacket is half lined and double vented; it also says it’s available in a 3 button model, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out how to get to it on their website.
I personally think the whole “super skinny lapels” thing is going out of style very quickly, but if it’s still your thing you can check out the ASOS Linen Mix Skinny Suit Jacket ($138.00/£85.00) and Suit Pants ($65.00/£40.00). The material is 65% linen, 33% cotton and 2% elastane and the two button jacket has a single vent.
I’m going to stretch the “no polyester” rule a little for the Zara Textured Weave Suit; the fabric is 36% polyester, 35% viscose, 28% cotton and 1% elastane, but they list the jacket liner as 100% polyester, so don’t expect it to be the most breathable jacket in your closet. The blazer sells for $119.00 and the trousers go for $49.90, so total cost is $168.90. Remember this is Zara, so unless you’re six foot and 145 pounds, you may want to size up. Zara has another option in pearl grey for about the same price, but the fabric is 55% viscose, 42% polyester, 3% elastane.
The “I have money to burn” option …
Have some alternatives you want to share? Such as an ethnic mens suit for a cultural difference? Fire away in the comments!