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Daniel Craig’s new ‘Antiques Roadshow presenter’ look is actually his most sophisticated yet

Daniel Craig with Esquire's Creative Director, Nicholas Sullivan
Daniel Craig with Esquire's Creative Director, Nicholas Sullivan - Esquire/YouTube

Hang up those skimpy La Perla trunks, Daniel Craig has entered a new style era and it’s more bookish than beach-ready. Of course, the trunks were never his, but in the persona of James Bond he came to typify a kind of action man brawn and grit, even as his 007 – and Craig’s own photocall moments – segued into sweaters.

Which is why new images of Craig shot by Esquire magazine have created a flurry of social media comments. Looking donnish and polished in a neat navy-blue suit, sky-blue shirt and matching accessories (note the tie pin), Craig’s appearance was swiftly likened to a bank manager, Antiques Roadshow presenter and – in somewhat better terms – a sexy tenured professor. We’ll take that.

daniel craig
Doig: 'Craig’s appearance was swiftly likened to a bank manager, Antiques Roadshow presenter and – in somewhat better terms – a sexy tenured professor' - Esquire

Craig has always been specific about his appearance, and at 55 and without the identity of Bond bearing down on him, perhaps has found his groove. The little details are telling; that tie-pin, a relic from a bygone sartorial era that’s due a comeback now that there’s increasing interest in ties. Then there’s the glasses, by Caddis, a brand that champions reading specs, as well as the hair, which is longer and more “polite” than the blunt, spiky crops he’s favoured previously. In fact, squint and he could be a meticulous, Savile Row-centric Bond villain.

“Daniel Craig is very particular and knows what works for him,” says renowned stylist Catherine Hayward, who has worked with Craig several times, as well as helping to finesse the fashion sensibilities of Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne. “He likes structure and tailoring, and I think it’s common for men in their 50s to double down on a certain formula. He likes fully bespoke tailoring from Anderson & Sheppard and Brunello Cucinelli.”

Craig sporting longer hair and glasses in September
Craig sporting longer hair and glasses in September - Taylor Hill/WireImage

The eyewear, says Hayward, is telling. Caddis’s mission statement is to “age awesome”, to  call out the “whole fountain of youth illusion and on the many industries that are profiting on vanity and fear of age”. How refreshing. A brand that is upfront about the fact that their reading glasses won’t guarantee you look like Clark Kent.

Craig’s frames lent a certain softness because of their lighter shade, while his hair is lighter and longer than it has ever been – the Telegraph beauty editor Lucia Ferrarri recently coined the term “sweep” to describe the style. The cut gives a more gentle frame to his face; darker hues around older, more pale complexions can look somewhat harsh and stark.

With Rachel Weisz at Wimbledon in July
With Rachel Weisz at Wimbledon in July - Getty

“I think it’s a sign of a certain mellowing, and just being happy to ease up a little,” says Hayward. “He’s shown that, in life post-Bond, he’s up for a bit of fun too,” she says, referring to Craig’s last outing in which he gyrated in skinny jeans and a racy little vest for Belvedere Vodka; M would be choking on the morning kippers.

'In life post-Bond, he’s up for a bit of fun too'
'In life post-Bond, he’s up for a bit of fun too' - Belvedere Vodka/YouTube

Craig knows how to make a quiet impact in terms of style, making his own presence felt rather than becoming a facsimile of his on-screen persona. There was the pink Anderson & Sheppard velvet blazer for the premiere of 2021’s No Time To Die, plus a general shift to a more “athletic” cut of suit – neat and lean, close on the body, as featured on Bond too – as well as an enjoyment of great knitwear, which is something that previously would have been altogether too fogeyish for the man playing the world’s most seductive and dangerous spy.

Craig wore a pink Anderson & Sheppard velvet blazer for the premiere of 2021’s No Time To Die
Craig wore a pink Anderson & Sheppard velvet blazer for the premiere of 2021’s No Time To Die - Getty

It’s certainly a far cry from when he was first unveiled as Bond in 2005, when the rather awkward Craig stepped sheepishly into those glossy Oxfords looking like a cross between Richard Madeley and a tax accountant.

Unveiled as James Bond in 2005
'A cross between Richard Madeley and a tax accountant': Craig's look when he was unveiled as James Bond in 2005 - David Lodge/FilmMagic

“He’s a modern mix of Cary Grant and Steve McQueen,” says Oliver Woods, founder of his namesake haircare brand, who has styled Craig’s hair on fashion shoots. “Not being able to put him into any bracket – both sophisticated, educated world citizen and also a tough geezer – makes him all the more appealing.” So take that, social media detractors; Craig’s latest look is as nuanced as he is.

See more of Craig’s leading man style...

Craig in 1992
Craig in 1992 - Getty
At the photocall for Knives Out
At the photocall for Knives Out - Getty
The segue into sweaters: Craig at the Spectre photocall in Rome
The segue into sweaters: Craig at the Spectre photocall in Rome - Getty

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