The linen suit seems to be almost as much a staple of Bond’s wardrobe as the navy wool one. Almost every actor to play Bond has worn one at some point, with Dalton being the exception. In this post, we’ll be looking specifically for alternatives for the James Bond cream linen suit. George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Sean Connery in Diamonds are Forever, Roger Moore in Moonraker, and Pierce Brosnan in The World is Not Enough all used this color.
And as an added bonus, you can use the same suit for Pierce Brosnan’s look from Noble House (if you don’t mind substituting linen for silk) AND Daniel Craig’s look in Layer Cake!
Features wanted for the James Bond cream linen suit
- Cream colored linen or linen/cotton blend fabric
- Two button jacket with notch lapels, double vents and soft shoulders
- Flat front trousers
- Classic to contemporary fit
I’ll be the first to admit it’s getting a little late in the summer to be thinking about a linen suit. However, this is exactly the time when we’re going to find the best deals, as you’ll see below. And if you go with a more classic style, it’s a suit you’ll be able to use year after year.
I’ll also admit that a cream linen suit can be a challenging look to pull off. For advice on how to wear it, I defer to the experts at Put This On, The Idle Man, and GQ. What I can say is that it’s not nearly as hard as you think if the context is right and you have some self-confidence.
Best Option for the James Bond cream linen suit
Gagliardi Chalk Herringbone Suit: on sale for €210.00/£179.39/$240.00
When it comes to the combining form and function at a reasonable price, Gagliardi nailed it. They’ve used a 53% linen/47% cotton fabric with a very subtle herringbone weave (like Brosnan’s in TWINE) and a simple butterfly style jacket lining for maximum breathability. The jacket has double vents, contrasting buttons and the slightly rounded front skirt of Lazenby’s suit. As for fit, Gagliardi offers the suit in both slim and contemporary fits in regular and long sizes. Just note that the vest is extra. I’ll have a full review of this suit coming soon.
Claiborne Linen-Cotton Blazer and Linen-Cotton Pants: on sale for $65.98
The price has dropped from $170.00 at JCPenney, so that’s a good thing. The Claiborne is the cream linen suit for the guy who plans on using it one or two times a year. The description doesn’t list the percentages for the linen/cotton mix of the fabric. However, it does say the lining is poly/cotton, which is better than full on polyester. I wouldn’t expect great quality in either the material or construction. But, hey: it’s a linen suit for under $70.
Perry Ellis Very Slim Linen Suit in Natural Linen: on sale for $77.99
Very slim? Yeah, that has me a little worried. Especially considering PE is normally stingy with sizing information so there’s no data to go on. Fabric is a linen/polyester/rayon blend and the jacket is fully lined (why do you do this on a linen jacket?). The jacket features a single vent and tonal buttons. Tall, lean guys need suits too, right? These could be a good budget option if that’s your frame.
Roll of the dice? Maybe. It’s being sold on Amazon UK and there are no reviews as of yet. Claims to be 100% linen with a “satin” lined jacket. Made in India, which really doesn’t mean much in this day and age (that’s where men’s style forum favorites Spier & McKay have their suits made). If you’re looking for a more contemporary (but not super skinny) fit for under £80.00, this may not be a bad bet.
Stafford Tan Linen Cotton Classic Fit Suit: on sale for $109.98
Meanwhile, for the stockier men. The price on this alternative from JCPenney’s other house brand has dropped from $320.00. The jacket has double vents, higher contrast buttons and a full polyester lining (bye bye breathability, me thinks). Could work well as an early spring/late summer option for the bigger guys.
ASOS Skinny Suit Jacket and Skinny Suit Trousers in Linen Mix: on sale for £75.00/$121.50
You want a skinny fit? You got a skinny fit. The price on the ASOS option has dropped from £125.00. Fabric is 65% linen, 33% cotton, 2% elastane blend. So it should still have some breathability, even with the full 63% polyester/37% cotton lining.
Perry Ellis Portfolio Tan Slim-fit Suit: on sale for $169.99
I’m going to cautiously assume that this option from Perry Ellis has a more generous fit than the earlier option. The jacket has double vents and a full lining (the fabric used isn’t mentioned). The suit has a standard 6″ drop, so a 40 jacket will come with size 34 pants. On sale at Macy’s.
The Investment Pieces
Lauren Ralph Lauren Slim Fit Tan Linen Suit: on sale for $319.99
To be clear: “Lauren” is NOT a true Ralph Lauren brand. So if you want Polo quality you’ll need to look elsewhere. Having said that, this 100% linen option on sale at Macy’s does do a nice job of straddling the line between contemporary and classic. The jacket, once again, has double vents and a full lining. The pants have a nice 10.5″ to 11″ rise and taper to an 18″ leg opening. So slim fit but not Topman or Zara skinny.
Chester Barrie Cotton Linen Blazer and Cotton Linen Trousers in Cream: on sale for £320.00
The heading does say “Investment Pieces”. And the price doesn’t seem that bad when you consider the full suit originally sold for £820.00. The fabric is a 55% cotton/45% linen blend. And the jacket is (finally!) completely unlined and unstructured with double vents. Pictures of the model wearing the suit make the tail look cropped, but not aggressively so. If anything about the suit is likely to turn people off, it’s the belly on those lapels. Some will love ’em, so won’t.
Have some suggestions for Bond worthy cream linen suits? Add them to the comments below!
Image of Sean Connery in Diamonds are Forever sourced from The Wall Street Journal, image of Pierce Brosnan in Noble House sourced from The Suits of James Bond and the image of Daniel Craig in Layer Cake sourced from BAMF Style.