Clothes do make the man when it comes to attracting women. Just look at James Bond, who is celebrating 50 years of successful wooing. Search for photos online, and most of the results show the character in an elegant black tux, regardless of who is playing him (currently Daniel Craig).
Indeed, a study conducted by John M. Townsend and Gary D. Levy found that women consider the same man more or less attractive in relation to the status of his clothes.
Few understand this better than Alan Au, co-designer at Jimmy Au’s in Beverly Hills, who has outfitted many of Hollywood’s leading men, including Tom Cruise, Al Pacino and Mark Wahlberg. The store specializes in men under 5 feet 8 inches, just like Sidney Reilly, the Russian spy who inspired 007.
According to Au, these are the five items every aspiring Bond should have in his closet:
Black tuxedo: “Right now the trend is toward a two-button, single-breast style. The biggest thing is making sure it’s not a rental. That looks a little too cardboardy and doesn’t fit well, and you end up looking more like the wait staff. You want your tuxedo tailored to fit you. If you ever get invited to something important by your boss at the last minute, you want to have something available. It makes them know you always are ready to go out to something important and typically important people go to formal events.”
A good navy blue suit: “Blue generally speaking means you’re trustworthy, and it’s easy to dress up or down. It can be conservative or contemporary, day or night, and it’s the perfect undercover suit. Right now the trend is wearing tone on tone, with a light blue shirt with a dark blue tie. Or you could wear a dark shirt with a light blue tie. It also would look great with a turtleneck.”
Khaki suit: “For some reason, Bond always goes somewhere warm, so you have to have the option of a khaki suit. You can dress it up with a shirt and tie or dress it down with a T-shirt or a polo. It’s good to be dressed up for day events, luncheons and things like that.”
White pocket square or hankerchief: “It’s stylish and classy. You can simply fold it and put it in your chest suit pocket. It’s perfect for all kinds of things — a grieving widow, picking up a glass without leaving fingerprints, wrapping a wound, gagging a counterspy.”
A good utility-style jacket: “It could be leather or cotton canvas or high-tech thermal fabric. It should be the kind that has a lot of pockets, some in and out — places to put things. The whole point of Bond is he is in different situations all the time.”