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Photo courtesy of Thms.nl via Flickr

The name is Bond. James Bond. When I hear that phrase, I want it delivered by one man and one man only—Sean Connery. Five actors followed Connery, the original James Bond. But in my world, the knighted star hasn’t been rivaled yet. The debonair actor is everything I admire in a secret agent, but he wasn’t Fleming’s first choice. He preferred Cary Grant, David Niven or James Mason.

What a tribute to Ian Fleming that the Bond films have such enduring appeal. Isn’t that what makes a great vintage garment? It can travel from one age to the next and still be riveting. The series based on Fleming’s books debuted 50 years ago when I was just a toddler.

By the time I was a teenager, girls my age crushed on people like Elvis or David Cassidy. I didn’t know what a crush was until I saw Connery in my first 007 film. I’ve always joked that if something ever happens to my husband, I’ll be in hot pursuit of Sean. Jim knows this and I think it makes him feel good that I’ve aimed so high. After all, Connery is royalty.

The reality is that James Bond is more like a big brother than an imagined paramour. It’s a wonderful thing to have a sense of shared experience. In the same way I associate my brothers’ lives with my own milestones, I can mark the decades of my life with a Bond film.

  • Dr. No.––I’m two. Mom wants to dress me in my brother’s hand-me-downs. I refuse. Dad intercedes on my behalf. Détente.
  • Diamonds Are Forever—First boyfriend. I hold hands with Terry Barnfield. He gives me his ID bracelet and I think I’ll die of embarrassment.
  • The Spy Who Loved Me—High school junior. I’m living in a new town away from everything and everyone I love. No one’s ever gonna love me.
  • Moonraker—College coed. My dorm mates and I pile in someone’s car on Friday nights and go to the movies.
  • Octopussy—Single girl living out on my own. Except for the questionable boyfriend and a very limited budget, life is good.
  • Goldeneye—Newlywed with my dream job. Pierce Brosnan isn’t doing it for me.
  • The World Is Not Enough—Solo entrepreneur. The world is still enough. A job in the corporate world isn’t.
  • Casino Royale—An administrator in a public library. Daniel Craig is not Bond. I am not happy. Now, why was it that I decided to switch careers? And why did they have to make the death scenes so elegantly grotesque?

Favorite vintage attire from the 007 films: Bond’s white tuxedo jackets. I had a navy one once, but I lost it when I left it hanging over the back of a chair in a Bob Evan’s.

Favorite female lead: The intrepid M, portrayed by Judy Dench. Love her ultra short hair and the authoritative archetype she plays.

When the latest 007 film is released next month, one thing may offset Sean Connery’s failure to come out of retirement and show us he’s still the man. The theme song for Skyfall will be delivered by the powerful voice of Adele.

Who is your favorite Bond film? Who’s your favorite Bond actor, female lead, or vintage attire from the films? What was going on in your life when you saw your first Bond movie? Who wants to go to the premiere with me and what should we wear?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.