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You know that opening scene from the most recent James Bond film? You know, the sexy one (okay, they’re all sexy)? The one where James Bond is walking through Mexico City during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) wearing that sexy skeleton tuxedo with a sexy bond girl on his arm? Yes, that one. What a beautiful scene and a beautiful couple. There may have been wine involved but I looked at my husband and said “you need to wear that!” …which meant I needed to make it for him. And duplicate his arm candy for myself. This blog post contains my build on his costume, specifically. If you want to see the build on her costume, it can be found here.
Other than wanting to see my husband wear this (hello!), this one spoke to me on a creative level. I wanted very much to paint that skeleton tuxedo and I did exactly that! I painted the tuxedo for him, modified a Mexican dress from the 1970s for me, made a flower crown, and assembled the rest of the accessories from Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon. We wore these costumes to Comicpalooza in Houston in May(Photos by my super adorable niece, Brittany https://www.instagram.com/invasionsofthestuffies/) and at DragonCon in Atlanta earlier this month. They may also be resurrected for a local Day of the Dead event and/or Halloween. They’re just so much fun (and comfortable) to wear and very easy to make! Here’s how I made and assembled the James Bond costume:
James Bond from Spectre: The Coat
The most striking feature and main part of the costume is the painted skeleton tuxedo with black button down shirt, and painted skeleton black tie. The tuxedo jacket itself is actually a knee-length day coat (or Prince Albert Coat) and is rather hard to find since most overcoats out there are wool/cashmere and not the tuxedo suiting material seen in the film. This coat on Amazon comes very close: Historical Emporium Men’s Double Breasted Frock Coat. Since the tie needed to be painted as well, I opted for a permanently tied tie that could be zipped in place: Moda Di Raza – Men’s / Boy’s Zipper Tie Neckwear Polyester -Black/20 IN.
Not wanting to screw up a perfectly good tuxedo jacket, and not able to just freehand a skeleton, I pulled screenshots from the film into PowerPoint, traced every single bone, scaled the digitized skeleton up to human size, and saved the shapes as a file I could cut foam with my Cricut/Silhouette to use as a stencil. This took hours and several episodes of Black Sails. Download my PDF skeleton pattern here: SpectreSkeletonPatternRSRW (disclaimer: pattern will need to be scaled up to fit jacket).
But it worked! I used a silver paint pen to stencil out the skeleton on the jacket and tie, then painted in the lines with white fabric paint. I can’t tell you how worried I was that I would ruin this hard to find jacket!
I painted over buttons and repeated the painting steps on the back of the jacket and tie. Any stray oops marks or paint outside the lines were covered up with a black paint pen (I’m not sure why I worried so much in the first place). I’m incredibly proud of how well the skeleton turned out!
James Bond from Spectre: Accessories
- Black button down shirt
- Black slacks (tuxedo slacks not necessary)
- Black socks and shoes
- Top hat: Deluxe Victorian Dickens Black Felt High Crown Costume Top Hat (order one size larger to accommodate mask)
- Skull cane: Skull Cane Black, Metal Chrome Finish Handle
- Skull mask: James Bond 007 Spectre Skull Skeleton Cosplay Mask Replica
- Bond Girl (Mine)
Anna of Darkstar Photography and Costuming snapped these photos of us at DragonCon. More of her photography and costuming can be found on her Facebook page.
For my Bond Girl costume, read Costuming Mexico City Bond Girl from Spectre (and scroll through the intro, which you’ve already read).
EDITED! Download my PDF skeleton pattern here: SpectreSkeletonPatternRSRW (disclaimer: pattern will need to be scaled up to fit jacket).
More costumes made and worn by me here: