Light-weight suitings are more often woven in a plain weave than a twill weave because a plain weave breathes better. With an equal number of ends and picks per inch, a Glen check in a plain weave will be half the scale of the more traditional twill-weave Glen Urquhart check. The pattern below shows the black and cream Glen check that Sean Connery wears in Dr. No.
The button two jacket on Connery’s Glen check suit made by Anthony Sinclair has natural shoulders, a slightly draped chest and a nipped waist. The button stance is higher than in Connery’s subsequent Bond films and the breast pocket is placed quite low, but it effectively breaks up Connery’s height. The jacket has jetted pockets, four-button cuffs and short double vents (about 8 inches long).
The trousers have double forward pleats, elastic button tabs on the sides of the waistband and turn-ups, with a high waist and tapered leg. Bond’s full-cut, pale blue Turnbull & Asser shirt has a cutaway collar, placket front and two-button turnback cuffs. The tie is a navy blue grenadine also from Turnbull & Asser. And he wears a folded white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket.
The lightweight large-checked sports coat that Roger Moore wore in The Man with the Golden Gun is a popular one. It is made from either worsted wool or a silk and wool blend in black, white and red check. It’s woven in an open plain weave with high-twist yarns so it wears cool, and the pattern is similar to, but much different from, a typical glen check. Each section of the pattern mirrors itself. See the illustration below for the structure of the check:
The button two sports coat has Cyril Castle’s classic English cut with a full chest and narrow waist, and the shoulders are narrow and soft with roped sleeveheads. It has slanted flap pockets, deep double vents and link-button cuffs.
The dark charcoal trousers and ecru shirt match the charcoal suit that Bond later changes into, planned that way to make Bond’s change of clothing easier and more believable. The trousers look almost black, but when compared to Nick Nack’s black coat you can see the difference. The trousers have a darted front, no side pockets, large coin pockets on both sides of the trousers accessed from just below the waistband and two rear button-through pockets. The leg is tapered to the knee and flares out to the hem. The belt buckle has a “G” motif, meaning it’s most likely from Gucci, who also provided Bond’s black slip-on shoes.
The ecru poplin shirt from Frank Foster has a spread collar, front placket stitched close to the centre and two-button cocktail cuffs. See the image below for a look at Frank Foster’s cocktail cuff design. Compared to Turnbull & Asser’s cocktail cuffs, Foster’s are not as rounded and the buttons are spaced farther apart. Bond wears a textured black tie, though it is neither a knit nor a grenadine tie.
Bond’s only outfit in From Russia With Love that isn’t a suit is a pair of swimming trunks and a checked shirt. The pale blue swimming trunks have a short inseam, an elastic waistband and a pocket on the top right that closes with a button-down flap.
Bond’s shirt is a large indigo and white gingham check with metal buttons. It has two patch pockets on the lower front. The shirt is meant to be worn un-tucked and the front is darted like a suit jacket (or a women’s blouse). The darts would indicate that the shirt should be more fitted, but the shirt looks too big overall. The shoulders are clearly too wide, indicating that this shirt was probably bought off the pegs. Bond wears the sleeves rolled-up.
Bond is also seen with a blue suit jacket here, presumably the one he wears in the following scene. The blue garment hanging over the seats is probably the trousers to the suit.
Moore’s famous sports coats started with this one, a button two in a fancy tan basketweave. I’m not sure what the fabric content is, but I would guess linen and silk. Like the suit jackets Cyril Castle made for Live and Let Die, this jacket by Castle has soft shoulders, a clean chest, deep double vents, slanted pockets with flaps, and flared link-button cuffs. The buttons are light brown horn. This jacket has roped sleeveheads, whilst the suit jackets in Live and Let Die do not. It also has swelled edges on the lapels and pocket flaps.
A close-up of the sports coat and shirt fabrics.
Is there a more specific name for the sports coat’s weave?
Bond wears contrasting dark brown, flat front trousers. The trousers have two rear pockets but no side pockets for a clean look. The cut narrows at the knee with a slight flare towards the bottom, for more of a “boot-cut” look. Since these trousers lack the front darts and top pockets of the other trousers in the film, and the rear pockets are placed much lower, these trousers are likely not made by Cyril Castle.
Notice the link-button cuff on the sports coat
and the turnback cuffs on the shirt.
Bond’s shirt from Frank Foster is ecru with a jacquard figure. The shirt has a spread collar, hidden-button placket front and two-button cocktail cuffs. The brown abstract tie is tied with a four-in-hand knot. Roger Moore thought it would be clever to wear crocodile shoes at the crocodile farm, so he found some burgundy crocodile slip-ons. The shoes have a squared bicycle toe, which makes these some of the least attractive shoes Bond wears. The belt, however, is just plain brown leather.
Roger Moore’s appreciation for fine tailoring can be seen in Live and Let Die with a tailor’s visit to Bond’s hotel suite for a fitting. The tailor is played by an actor (at least I think so), but the basted suit jacket is made by Roger Moore’s tailor Cyril Castle (a “Cyril A. Castle” label can be seen when Bond takes off the jacket). The suit is made of brown wool with a red and purple printed lining.
The button two jacket has the same cut the same as the rest of the jackets in the film. Well, it’s not a button two jacket yet since no buttonholes are cut and no buttons are sewn. The jacket has lightly-padded shoulders and a clean chest. There are basted slanted pockets with flaps. The cuffs are also basted without any buttonholes. The jacket is made with a single vent, but Bond does not like it and reminds the tailor, “don’t forget the double vents.”
Bond’s tailor has brought along his assistant, who presents Bond with a selection of ties. Bond chooses a crocodile scale-like patterned tie to wear with the sports coat he wears in the following scenes, along with a few others for later. The rest of Bond’s outfit here follows with his beige basketweave sports coat.
In Thunderball, Bond wears light blue canvas slip-on espadrilles with his outfit of a rose shirt and light blue swimming trunks after a swim. These casual shoes are appropriate for the beach or poolside, and they breathe well in hot weather whilst keeping the toes covered. The shoes have double elastic gussets.
Bond and Tibbett wear morning suits in lighter shades of grey whilst M wears a more formal dark grey morning coat with a contrasting waistcoat and trousers.
In A View to a Kill James Bond visits the Ascot Racecourse, where the Royal Ascot is currently happening this week. Morning dress is required for attending the Royal Ascot. Most traditionally, morning dress consists of a black or dark grey morning coat (a type of tailcoat known to the Americans as a “cutaway” because of the cutaway front), waistcoat (either matching the morning coat or in a contrasting, lighter colour), and striped or checked trousers (stripes being more formal). But Bond chooses a less formal variant called the morning suit, where all three pieces are made in the same cloth. These are typically made in mid to light grey, and Bond’s is made in a medium-dark grey mini herringbone. The morning suit may have been made by Roger Moore’s usual tailor Douglas Hayward.
The coat is cut with natural shoulders. It has peak lapels, a breast pocket (not all have them), three-button cuffs and most likely a one-button front (most traditional). The waistcoat has six buttons. Bond’s white shirt from Frank Foster has a cutaway collar, which is a very wide spread collar. It also has a front placket and double cuffs. Bond wears a light grey woven Macclesfield tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot. A light grey top hat, grey suede or chamois gloves and a white carnation in the lapel buttonhole complete the outfit.
“He [Count Lippe] was an athletic-looking six foot, dressed in the sort of casually well-cut beige herring-bone tweed that suggests Anderson and Sheppard. He wore a white silk shirt and a dark red polka-dot tie, and the soft dark brown V-necked sweater looked like vicuna. Bond summed him up as a good-looking bastard who got all the women he wanted and probably lived on them—and lived well….
“All he learned—from the clothes—was that the Count was a much-traveled man—shirts from Charvet, ties from Tripler, Dior, and Hardy Amies, shoes from Peel, and raw-silk pajamas from Hong Kong. The dark red morocco suitcase from Mark Cross might have contained secrets, and Bond eyed the silk linings and toyed with the Count’s Wilkinson razor.” (Chapter 2)
In all the stories written about Bond, we never get this kind of detail about his clothes. Bond (and Fleming) appreciates the quality of Lippe’s clothing, but the clothes mark him as a man of little integrity in Bond’s eyes. It might be the case that the drape cut of Anderson Sheppard reminds Bond of the drape suits worn by the Duke of Windsor. Whilst the Duke of Windsor is well-known for his style, most of the English thought little of him.