Come October 2021, the favourite fictional character of many a classic gentleman, James Bond, will (finally!) return to our cinema screens in 007's No Time to Die. As with every release from the storied franchise, lots of attention will be drawn to the cars, gadgets, locations, cocktails, watches, and of course, the clothes MI6's lovable maverick dons in the movie - from his formal evening wear to casual tailoring.
Speaking of casual tailoring, one outfit featured in the upcoming film that has particularly caught our collective eye here at Maison Leporem is the sand-coloured corduroy suit (made by Massimo Alba), which Commander Bond pairs with a chambray button-down shirt, avec et sans tie, suspenders, and naturally, brown suede desert chukka boots.
If history is to repeat itself and our experience after the 2015 release of Spectre is anything to go by, we anticipate multiple enquiries in October from clients asking to commission "a suit like that one James Bond wore". But then again, corduroy? Really? Surely, it's more difficult to achieve "double 0 status" than it is to make this enigmatic fabric cool again, right?
Well, hold that thought! I posit that corduroy is more popular than you think. In almost 6 years in the custom tailoring business, I am frequently asked of my thoughts on this fabric. Yet, I have only made one corduroy suit for a client in all those years. It would seem that we (yes, I have also contemplated corduroy for the longest time without ever commissioning one for myself) all fantasize about wearing corduroy, but worry about its acceptance by a society that has unjustifiably given this beautifully versatile cloth a bad rep. What nonsense!
Thankfully, the only client who has, so far, commissioned a corduroy suit with us is none other than the highly regarded author, producer, and classic menswear aficionado (in every sense of the word), Pedro Mendes. If there is a non-fictional man who can make a case for the casual corduroy suit, dare we say, it is our dear friend and mentor, Pedro.
As Pedro explains in his thorough expert review of his suit (and the Maison Leporem made-to-measure service):
It all comes down to the fact that since I’m not required to wear suits or even sport jackets for work, I wear them because I love to. And since I don’t live in a formal atmosphere (yes, it’s true, I don’t have a butler and I don’t “dress for dinner”) I prefer to keep my tailoring as casual as I can. Which is still formal for many people, but that’s their problem, not mine. I wear this corduroy suit around the house and for all types of occasions. From going out for coffee to casual events. I love how it combines sharpness, due to its silhouette, with a sense of relaxation, thanks to the rough texture of the corduroy.
Personally, I am sold! I will be getting one or two corduroy suits made, in time for next Fall. My next dilemma is, which colour(s) should I select? Currently, I am leaning towards navy for the first suit, and perhaps, a sand-coloured second suit à la Mr. Bond.
How about you? Will you be joining Pedro, 007, and I in this nouveau "Corduroy Gang" (as the kids would say)? Or would you rather continue living your life secretly in love with, yet in fear of, corduroy?