New Years Resolution #2 - Become more James Bond

There’s no doubt that James Bond is the quintessential gold standard for men. Men want to be him and women want to be with him. Like most fictional characters, being James Bond is obviously an unattainable goal, but I’ve decided that there’s definitely a few of his traits that I would certainly like to adopt into my own personal character this year.

James Bond Style Icon Aston Martin DB5 Daniel Craig Grey Suit

Whether it’s the current gritty era with Daniel Craig, or any of the previous iterations of the character, James Bond has always maintained a consistent identity. You know who he is, and what he’s about, as well as what he’s capable of. 

James Bond Style Icon 007 Aston Martin Grey Suit Sean Connery
James Bond Style Icon 007 Big Ben London Suit

Now obviously I have no desire to be a secret agent. There seems to be far too much running involved for my liking, although I’m definitely up for the travel side of things. With that being said, I’m a photographer, so technically I do shoot people for a living right? They tend not to be bad guys though! Hahaha

James Bond Style Icon 007 Daniel Craig
Jay McLaughlin Lucy Campbell Spain Zarautz Surfer Photoshoot Beach Olympus PEN Shoot

The main thing most people notice about Bond is his style. He always dresses well, and in the latter part of last year I definitely started to improve my look. I started by losing weight, which in turn meant buying new clothes, because nothing fit me anymore. At some point I just decided I wanted to wear suits more often. I’d always been the sort of person who attributed suits to special occasions, but nowadays I’ll often wear a suit just to go shopping on oxford street, just because I feel like it.

James Bond Style Icon 007 Grey Suit Daniel Craig

James Bond Style Icon 007 Grey Suit Daniel Craig

Jay McLaughlin Grey Suit Newsboy Cap Pocket Square Black Tie Glasses Style 

Frustratingly, unlike Bond, I don’t seem to get invited to that many black tie events, so I don’t get to wear a tuxedo all that often. I did however, get to go to a black tie wedding last year. Just need more reasons to get out the bow tie... and before anyone asks... it’s a real one! I learned to tie it from a YouTube tutorial haha. One of the coolest things a guy can ever do is undo his bow tie as the night begins to wind down.

James Bond Style Icon 007 Daniel Craig Black Tie Bowtie Tuxedo
Jay McLaughlin Tuxedo Bowtie Black Tie Bowler Hat Olympus PEN-F Ravello Italy Amalfi

It’s not just about suits though. If you watch most of the films, Bond is always dressed appropriately for the situation. That’s definitely something I’m trying to aspire to. Having distinct summer and winter wardrobes arranged around key staples, and then sticking to a limited colour palette helps. But on top of that, it’s good to invest in a few things for certain situations that you know you’ll find yourself in sooner or later. A tuxedo for example, or a proper winter coat for If it suddenly snows. Obviously th we can be packed away for most of the year, but it’s good to have them just in case.

James Bond Style Icon 007 Roger Moore
James Bond Style Icon 007 Sean Connery Beach Bikini Bond Girl Sea
James Bond Style Icon 007 Roger Moore Snow Lotus Esprit

I suppose I should mention the Bond body. I’m working on it! Hahaha!

James Bond Style Icon 007 Daniel Craig Shirtless Speedos Trunks Beach Sea

The main thing I really want to work on this year, and what I think sets James Bond apart from any other stylish man, is that he’s capable. In any situation he exudes confidence and has the knowledge, skills and talents needed to be at ease, no matter what he’s faced with. He doesn’t really talk about these things as interests. He just keeps them in his back pocket, in case the situation arises where they might become useful.

In several of the movies, he demonstrates that he knows about wine. I’ve been on a couple of brief wine tasting events, but they were very short and I didn’t really retain much of the information. I’d like to do more.

I’d also like to expand on this beyond just wine. I mentioned in another blog that I’m trying to learn more about fragrance, and I’ve been on a tea tasting course too. I want to be able to identify all the various notes with my different senses and then to be able to articulate what I’m experiencing as well as be able to differentiate between good and bad. 

Wine Red Glass Tasting
Wine Tasting Somelier Lanzarote

We all know about Bond and his love for fast cars, and his ability to drive them. I used to be a hardcore petrol head, and have driven many fast cars and around the most treacherous race track in the world, the Nürburgring in Germany. So I’m going to say I’ve got this aspect of the character sorted... not that I wouldn’t want to miss out on any car related opportunities that come up anytime soon though hehe.

From my trip to the Nürburgring in 2009

From my trip to the Nürburgring in 2009

Something I’ve never learned is Poker... or really any card game beyond Snap! (I’m a dab hand at UNO though!). I’ve already got my hands on a pack of cards to start learning. I have no desire to become a ‘poker player’. It’s more that if I’m in a situation where someone says ‘let’s play poker’, I don’t wanna be the guy that asks to have the rules explained. I guess that’s the basis to all of these things. It’s not about being amazing at all of them. Just passable... good enough to be impressive, simply because it’s unexpected.

James Bond Style Icon 007 Poker Casino Royale Daniel Craig
James Bond Style Icon 007 Poker Sean Connery
Cards Cardistry Playing Ace of Spades

A byproduct of learning poker is that I’ve also decided to learn a bit of cardistry. If you’ve never seen it before, check the video out below. Now again, I don’t have the time to be the best in the world, but if I can learn a couple of 1 handed shuffles etc, then that’s enough.

Now I’m gonna put it out there that I’m probably not gonna have time to learn to tango this year. That being said, I did dance 6 classes per week many many years ago, although very different to the tango. I wouldn’t rule out taking up some sort of dance again, although I suppose I’d need to find myself a willing partner to practice with! Hahaha! 

So those are some of the things I’m working on this year in order to become a little bit more like James Bond. Who’s your favourite Bond? What are some of the traits you like in him? Leave a comment below!