Jump Back Ball 0023: James Bond Costume Ideas

What are you wearing to Jump Back Ball 0023: Shaken Not Stirred?

What are you wearing to Jump Back Ball 0023: Shaken Not Stirred?

Jump Back Ball is less than two months away, which means it’s time to think about what to wear. If you usually go the dress-and-tux route for Jump Back Ball, but always wanted to try a costume, this year’s Shaken Not Stirred: JBB 0023 theme is perfect. It’s easy to take your formal wear one step further and turn it into a James Bond-inspired costume.

After scouring the internet, I’ve compiled my favorite James Bond costume ideas and broken them down into four categories. However, before we get to that, I have a quick Jump Back PSA:

Did you know you can still get tickets to Jump Back Ball?

This year’s general admission and VIP tickets sold out in less than two weeks. If you missed your chance to purchase a ticket and can’t wait til next year, there are still a few Sponsor level tickets. As far as event sponsorships go, it’s more affordable than you may think.

Sponsorships start at $1,500 which gets you 4 VIP tickets to Jump Back Ball. That breaks down to $375 per ticket, plus $1,220 of the sponsorship is tax-deductible. A $3,000 sponsorship ($2,440 tax-deductible) gets you 8 VIP tickets, plus a 1/4 page ad in the program, logo recognition in select promotional materials, and a listing in all season playbills,

So if you still need a ticket, head over to playhousesquare.org/JumpBackBall/sponsor.html for more information or go here to purchase a sponsorship.

Now, on to Jump Back Ball costume ideas!

Bond, James Bond

An elegant tuxedo or suit matched with a couple of gadgets, and you’re all set as James Bond. However, don’t think you need to stick to a classic black tux. Bond has sported many different suit and tuxedo styles over the years — from Connery’s white dinner jacket to Lazenby’s ruffled shirts. Just don’t forget to practice your British accent.

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Check out thesuitsofjamesbond.com for a detailed look at all of James Bond’s outfits and accessories, as well as Black Tie Guide’s 50 Years of James Bond Tuxedos, which goes through Bond’s evolving style in each of the films.

Bond Girls

Similarly, the right evening gown and hairstyle can transform your outfit into a Bond Girl costume. Learn more about every Bond Girl at 007James.com.  If a slinky dress isn’t your style, try Elektra King’s ski suit from The World is Not Enough. It’s not just gorgeous, but also perfect for our current sub-zero temperatures. 

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Here are a few more links for Bond Girl inspiration:

James Bond Villains

Who says you have to be a good guy? I personally think it’s more fun to be bad:

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For more villainous ideas, peruse 007James.com’s Top 10 Bond villains and the James Bond wiki for the full list of foes.

Bond with a Twist

None of those costume ideas strike your fancy? Try one of these, which put a twist on the typical James Bond costume:

Switch it up: You don’t need to restrict yourself to playing a Bond girl if you’re a woman, or Bond if you’re a guy. If there’s a character you really like, go for it. I’m taking my own advice and going as Oddjob this year – matching a black gown, his trademark bowler, and a golf club as a nod to his caddying.   

Scuba Bond: If you can get your hands on a dive suit and don’t mind walking around in flippers all evening, dress up as James Bond from Goldfinger. Bonus points if you reveal a tuxedo under your divesuit halfway through Jump Back Ball. As Mythbusters confirmed, it’s possible to do this without messing up your tux. If you think the full suit is too much, try a scuba mask and snorkel.

Group Costume: Last year, our friends had a great time going as the suspects from Clue. If you’re looking for a group costume this year, look no further than MI6 and Bond’s allies. In addition to James Bond, you have Moneypenny, Q, M, M16’s Chief of Staff Bill Tanner, and CIA agent Felix Leiter. If you have a large group, you could even do Vintage vs. Reboot MI6 with everyone dressed up as the different versions of Moneypenny, Q, M, etc.

Eve Moneypenny from Skyfall

Eve Moneypenny from Skyfall

Blofeld’s Cat: Appearing in seven James Bond films, Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s cat didn’t care that his owner was an evil mastermind, as long as he was fed. If you’re looking for an offbeat costume for two people, you can go as this pair. 

James Bond Spoofs and Spinoffs:  From Austin Powers‘ Dr. Evil and Inspector Gadget‘s Dr. Claw to Get Smart and Johnny English, there are many James Bond parodies full of costume ideas. And then, of course, there’s James Bond Jr.

Bond, James Bond …Ornithologist??? When he wrote Casino RoyaleIan Fleming wanted an ordinary name for his extraordinary spy. As an avid bird watcher living in Jamaica, Fleming read the book Birds of the West Indies written by ornithologist James Bond. Fleming gave Bond a first edition of You Only Live Twice in 1964, signing it: “To the real James Bond, from the thief of his identity.”

James Bond, Ornithologist

James Bond, Ornithologist

I seriously pestered Scott about going as James Bond, Ornithologist for three weeks until he decided to do something else. It’d be an easy costume – a tweed suit, old bowtie, pipe, and a book made up to look like Birds of the West Indies. You could even get a fake bird to rest on your shoulder as a final touch.

Seriously, if anyone dresses up as James Bond, Ornithologist for Jump Back Ball, please find me. I want a picture with you.

Disclosure: I’m on the board of PlayhouseSquare Partners, the organization that hosts Jump Back Ball. I also blogged about the event’s kickoff party as a Jump Back Ball blogger.
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  1. Is dressing as the child catcher from Chitty Chitty one step too far?! Great article Amanda!

  2. I am SO upset that I’m missing chance to be Moneypenny. Next year, we’re REALLY going to have to blow it out of the water!

  3. How much fun would it be to dress like a Bond Girl?? And yes, that ski suit really would have come in handy when getting to work yesterday :).

  4. Pingback: You Don't Need to be Q to Help Out at Jump Back Ball Shop Night

  5. Thanks so much for linking my James Bond Style Guide! :-) Great tips!

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