From gloves to goggles, the James Bond guide to skiing style
We’ve dug through an avalanche of novels and films to find the best snowy style advice to glean from 007’s alpine adventures…
James Bond — though always cool — is also frequently cold. In the film franchise alone, 007 has journeyed to almost every crisp corner of the world, with death-defying missions taking him on chilly excursions to Siberia, Iceland and even the baltic slopes of Bratislava. But the spy’s favourite frosty destination? The Alps.
On film, Bond has travelled to Europe’s highest peaks and pistes at least five times. On the page, Ian Fleming also took 007 to alpine climes; a trip to Switzerland’s snow-capped Schilthorn. This is the only time the spy skis during his literary adventures — but it’s a pastime he’s honed in half a dozen of EON’s official films.
So what can we learn from Bond’s skiing style? From the novels to the film franchise, the spy has zipped coats, clipped skis and pulled on plenty of jumpers, gloves and goggles. And, whether he’s hurtling away from henchmen or on the trail of a mountain lair, the man from MI6 always nails his subzero style. Here’s what you can learn…
To tackle alpine temperatures, find a practical, tactical jacket
In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Ian Fleming describes the moment Bond touches down in Switzerland’s Engadine valley. “He buttoned up his raincoat,” the author writes, “and prepared for the rasping dagger of the cold air on his lungs when the door was opened”. It’s evocative, misty-breathed stuff. And it shows that, despite his raincoat being a little too flimsy for alpine conditions, Bond has always appreciated a good coat.
It’s the same on the big screen. From the 1969 adaptation of that very novel — in which Bond pulls on a plaid wool ski jacket when hiding from Irma Blunt — to the tactical, padded jacket worn by Daniel Craig in Spectre, 007 has always put practicality first. And never more so than when Roger Moore filled Bond’s ski boots; with a selection of ‘Bogner’ brand jackets, fur-lined and full of down, worn in For Your Eyes Only and A View to a Kill.
To emulate Bond’s jackets, a checked overshirt from Wax London will have you looking like Lazenby, a puffy, padded parka is more Moore, and the very same Tom Ford blouson sported in Spectre is still available to buy if Craig’s your alpine icon.
Tom Ford Nylon-Merino Blouson
Ralph Lauren Recycled-Shell Parka
Wax London ‘Whiting’ Overshirt
Ditch the tuxedo — and go for a trimly-tailored snowsuit
Bond’s Bogners weren’t just jackets. The German label, founded in 1932 by Willy Bogner Sr, also helped to protect 007 from the elements (and the odd bullet) with its handsome snowsuits. These all-in-one options were the perfect no-nonsense option for the spy — and the brand became affiliated with the film franchise when Willy Bogner Jr, an Olympic skier and filmmaker, was employed as a cameraman for four Bond films.
Starting with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in which George Lazenby’s Bond wears a sleek blue suit, Bogner Jr went on to work on a trio of Roger Moore films. The first of these, The Spy Who Loved Me, features perhaps the most famous Bogner snowsuit of Bond’s; a lemon yellow design worn with a Union Jack parachute. It’s a bold look, so we wouldn’t suggest wholly mimicking it (perhaps just adopt the colour).
Yet the snowsuit endured beyond Moore. In The World Is Not Enough, Pierce Brosnan steps into one when he’s being attacked by paragliders in the Caucasus Mountains. That suit, from Omega Outdoor Agencies, is equipped with an avalanche-beating inflatable safeguard from Q-Branch. And, while your snowsuit may not be quite so advanced, it’s a strong look well worth trying out next time you hit the slopes (sans assassins).
Bogner ‘Bode’ Ski Overalls
KJUS ‘Ligety’ Hooded Ski Jacket
BOSS x Perfect Moment Belted Ski Suit
Ensure nobody ever notices your knitwear
His snowsuits may be striking, but Bond’s knitwear stays true to his inconspicuous, espionage-oriented character. But a proclivity for practicality makes sense. In From Russia with Love, Fleming writes: “As the pine forests began to climb towards the snow patches between the beautifully scoured teeth of the Alps, [Bond] remembered early skiing holidays”. It’s a fair bet, then, that 007 — skiing for decades — has learnt the value of effective, nondescript knitwear over flashy fashion-forward options.
In Timothy Dalton’s first outing as Bond (1987’s The Living Daylights) his 007 pulls on a grey crewneck sweater when he hits the slopes (swapping skis for a makeshift sledge made from a cello case). The jumper is a mediocre choice — mundane, even. But British cashmere brand N. Peal considered it memorable enough to immortalise in its 2019 ‘007 Cashmere’ collection.
The brand has also dressed more modern Bonds, with Daniel Craig pulling on a grey cable-knit roll-neck to cross the alpine Lake Altaussee in Spectre. For Pierce Brosnan, however, the costume department chose an Italian brand — likely to align with his Bond’s penchant for Brioni tailoring — by giving a cosy Ballantyne cashmere sweater some softly-woven screen time in Die Another Day.
N. Peal 007 Fisherman’s Rib Sweater
Ballantyne Cashmere Turtleneck Pullover
Sunspel Lambswool Roll Neck
Never skimp on your snow-bound shoes
Considering the steady-stepping, mountain-gripping importance of a solid pair of shoes, Bond’s alpine antics have rarely been securely laced up. There were the Danner ‘Mountain Light II’ boots worn by Daniel Craig’s 007 during the snowy Sölden Chase in Spectre (in No Time To Die, the spy laced up a pair of the brand’s ‘007 Tannicus’ boots). But, aside from those heavy-soled hikers, Bond’s frosty footwear choices offer little inspiration.
Promotional photography for The World Is Not Enough revealed that Pierce Brosnan wore a pair of Sorel’s ‘Caribou’ boots with his snowsuit, and this winter-defying, snow-cuffed design at least offers an emerging pattern. Bond appears to appreciate a chunky, utilitarian boot — but demands at least a touch of flair or style to stand it apart from the crowd. And, when Bogner created its ‘007 Collection’ last year, its ‘Helsinki’ boot was imbued with the very same level of fashion-meets-function.
Danner Mountain Light II Black Boots
Sorel ‘Caribou’ Boots
Bogner ‘Helsinki’ Boots
It pays to invest in some slope-specific sunglasses (or goggles)
In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, when Fleming’s Bond is poised to escape from Piz Gloria — SPECTRE operatives hot on his frosty tail — the author describes his meticulous preparation. “He softly retrieved his gloves from the bathroom,” the passage reads, “put on the goggles so that they rested in his hair above the forehead, tied the handkerchief tightly across his nose, schnapps into pocket, passport into hip-pocket”.
Those goggles — though lost during Bond’s escape — hold the key to our next skiwear tip; prioritise your eyes. Early cinematic Bond exhibited a similar obsession with eyewear, with George Lazenby wearing a huge, bug-eyed pair from Paraski, and Roger Moore opting for a natty clear pair of black ’30/7’ goggles by Pierre Cardin. Sadly, the label no longer produces goggles — but fellow French brand Moncler offers a similar pair.
And another fine-framed cue to take from Bond’s alpine wardrobe? His predilection for snow-specific sunglasses. Whether it’s Moore’s huge, white-framed Bogner shades from A View to a Kill or Daniel Craig’s choice of Vuarnet’s ‘PX Model 027’ in Spectre, there are plenty of winter-ready options with side-shields and straps. We would, however, advise against Pierce Brosnan’s dreadfully dated Calvin Klein ‘2007’ frames.
Vuarnet ‘Glacier Round’ Sunglasses
Moncler ‘Terrabeam’ Ski Goggles
Bogner ‘Les Gets’ Sunglasses
Slip on a pair of trigger-friendly gloves
At the gaming table, Bond never shows his hand. In the mountains, he never shows his hands. And, while the majority of us won’t have to worry about our Walther PPKs on the slopes, Bond’s fondness for thinner leather gloves is an affectation worth imitating.
In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Fleming writes that Bond “spent the next morning in his room, changed into his ski clothes, and sent out for a pair of snow-goggles and thin leather gloves, sufficient to give some protection to his hands but close-fitting enough for the handling of his gun”.
For 007, it’s a necessity. For the rest of us, it’s simple common sense. Invest in a lightweight pair of gloves — cut from quality leather to still ensure warmth — and you’ll have enough dexterity to unscrew your hip flask, unlock your phone or, if the mood takes you, dispatch a horde of snowbiking henchmen. In Spectre, Daniel Craig adds a pair from French brand Agnelle to his alpine wardrobe (he also wears Dent’s ‘Daniel’ gloves in Skyfall). Alternatively, imitate Roger Moore’s The Spy Who Loved Me gloves; bigger, bulkier, Bogner.
Racer skis are ready for anything — even assassins
Quality equipment matters. Just ask Soviet agent Sergei Bargov — an assassin who fell foul of Bond in A View to a Kill. The film begins with Roger Moore’s 007 gunning down Bargov with a ski pole rifle and, whilst we’re in the market for slightly less-weaponised gear, there are lessons to be learnt from his sophisticated ski kit.
In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, for example, Fleming describes Bond’s ski-picking process. “The pair of metal Heads with the red V’s painted on the black curved tips was the best bet,” he writes. “They were of the stiffer, Master’s, category, designed for racing. His choice had the Attenhofer Flex forward release with the Marker lateral release. Two transverse leather thongs wound round the ankle and buckled over the instep would, if he fell, which he was certain to do, ensure against losing a ski”.
Go for racers, then, if literary Bond is to be believed. On the big screen, Bond also prefers these speedier, more responsive designs; he straps on Olin ‘Mark VI’ skis in both A View to a Kill and The Spy Who Loved Me. Unfortunately, this New York-based brand was bought out in 1989 — but you can still pick up a pair from K2, the sports company that bought Olin, and a brand that maintains that original snow-slicing spirit.
Head ‘Shape E.V5’ Performance Skis
Marker ‘Race 10’ Bindings
K2 ‘Wayback 80’ Skis
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