The Bond edge


POSTED: Thursday, November 13, 2008

There were a lot of doubters three years ago when Daniel Craig was named the new James Bond. Naysayers groused he was too blond, too short (at an alleged 5-foot-11), too craggy looking, etc., etc.

Never say never again to appearances. If Craig made for a thoroughly convincing Bond, then why can't the quiet boy next door or guy in the next cubicle take a few cues from the super spy in how to look more current and vital, sexier, perhaps a little more dangerous? In other words, a little more of what women think they want.

It's natural for a guy to look at an iconic character like Bond and feel he doesn't measure up. But even if you can't wield a gun, choke a guy to death or seduce a harem of women - and hey, that's not what we want anyway - you can learn to look better, for the one woman who does love you, anyway.

Taking a few cues from Bond style, and the new movie, “;Quantum of Solace,”; set to open tomorrow, we headed to Nordstrom to find a Bond look off the rack.

If you're wondering why Bond looks as good as he does in the film, suits worn by Craig in the movie were custom created by Tom Ford, known for his sexy approach to fashion.

  In the end, it didn't take a lot of clothing to dress Star-Bulletin Assistant Editor Michael Rovner in Bond style, and according to Nordstrom stylist Trevor Isabel, that's true for most men once they set their mind to the task.

The only problem, he said, is “;Old habits die hard. If they're used to a certain look in their closet, they'll wear it until they wear it out. Then they'll go out and buy the same thing to replace it, but they're not updating their fashion. They're updating what's in their closet, which is old.”;

Updating one's wardrobe does pay off, he said. “;It's like getting a facelift that can make you look more polished.”;

The basics called for were a good pair of jeans, a sleek pullover, a dress shirt and slacks, and a tuxedo that - let's face it - is optional for most men here. You can find Hugo Boss and Nordstrom label dress shirts starting at about $85, and pants at about $100.

  Isabel said men do have an interest in their appearance, and he receives a lot of questions when he's setting up window or floor displays.

“;I might be dressing a mannequin and they'll say, 'I could never pull that off,' but I tell them how they can. There are a lot of people, like my dad, who thinks fashion is designed for people in their 20s and 30s. He says, 'I can't wear that, I'm 53 years old,' and I'll say, 'It's because you're 53 that you should be wearing that. It'll compliment you.”;

Start with classic styles and dark colors that make individuals look leaner. Fit is important and difficult to get right.

Isabel, who grew up in Florida and worked in LA before moving to Hawaii, said men here tend to be “;really big guys or really small, without a lot in between.”;

He said Nordstrom is aware of the sizing issues and offers free hemming, sleeve and waist adjustments on pieces purchased at regular price. They'll also take in shirts and jackets at $15 to $17 to help you achieve the more tailored Bond look.

It all starts with trying garments on, and getting comfortable with what you see, Isabel said. “;A lot of guys are afraid of trying on, but it's changing with younger guys who are competing with other guys in the nightclubs, and they want to look as good as any other man. You can make anything a competition between guys, and of course, may the best man win. We'd go in just for sport.”;