Clothed in Espionage

The apparel of spies

When you think of the classic male spy, you probably cut straight to James Bond. Crisp suits, fancy cars, and an incorrigible flirt. When you think of female spies, who do you think of then? Maybe Marvel’s Black Widow, in her skin tight, cleavage flashing catsuit and seduction skills. Male and female spies are portrayed in fundamentally different ways in popular culture, starting with things as basic as their clothes.

Spotlight on the costumes of Richard Hanney and Pamela.

Spotlight on the costumes of Holly Martins and Anna Schmidt.

Spotlight on the costumes of Roger Thornhill and Eve Kendall.

“I like suits,” he said. “They feel good. I like Italian suits, actually. I’ve had a couple of British suits, and they were okay, but they felt… constructed. Like I was wearing a building. But the Italians – they know how to make a suit.”

“Ever try French suits?”

“Yeah, three or four times. They’re okay, but a little… sharp-looking. They made me feel like a watch salesman.”

“How about American suits?”

“Efficient,” he said. “Do the job; don’t feel like much. You always wear an American suit if you don’t want people to notice you.”

John Sandford, Secret Prey
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