Woman of Straw: The Charcoal Flannel Suit and Navy Overcoat

Woman-of-Straw-Grey-Flannel-Suit

It’s time again to look at one of Sean Connery’s Goldfinger suits in its original setting in Woman of Straw. Both Goldfinger and Woman of Straw end with Sean Connery in the same charcoal grey woollen flannel, three-piece suit. This slightly rustic suit does just as well in Woman of Straw‘s country setting as it does in Goldfinger‘s dressier setting of Bond on his way to meet the president. It’s Connery’s usual Anthony Sinclair suit. The button two jacket has natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a full chest and a nipped waist. It has four buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and no vent. The waistcoat has six buttons with five to button, though Connery fastens the bottom button. Because the bottom button is not meant to close, the bottom of the waistcoat bunches up rather unattractively. The trousers have double forward pleats and button side adjusters.

Woman-of-Straw-Grey-Flannel-Suit-2The shirt and tie differ slightly from what Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger. The elegant white shirt has a self-stripe pattern, which is either created by a mini-herringbone weave or a fancy white-on-white weave. Due to the country context the mini-herringbone is more likely since it’s not as formal as a white-on-white stripe. The shirt has a spread collar, front placket and double cuffs with rounded corners. The black satin tie is a little formal for a woollen flannel suit, but at the same time it creates a pleasant contrast with the texture of the flannel suit. It is tied in a small four-in-hand knot. Like in Goldfinger, Connery wears a white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket, but here it’s folded in a single point instead of in a TV fold. His shoes are black.

Woman-of-Straw-Navy-OvercoatSean Connery wears two stylish double-breasted overcoats in Woman of Straw that didn’t make it into Goldfinger. Over this charcoal flannel suit he wears a very dark navy double-breasted, knee-length overcoat. It has six buttons with three to button, narrow notched lapels and slanted hip pockets. The overcoat is cut with natural shoulders, has set-in sleeves and is slightly shaped through the body. There’s no name for this style of overcoat, but nevertheless it is a very elegant coat. With the overcoat Connery has a dark hat with a white lining, but it’s difficult to what type of hat it is or what colour it is. A trilby would be most likely considering the relative informality of the coat and flannel suit, and it could be the same brown trilby that Connery wears in Goldfinger or one similar to it.

Woman-of-Straw-Grey-Flannel-Suit-3

Suede Derby Shoes

Goldfinger-Suede-Shoe

The brown suede shoes that Sean Connery wears with his hacking jacket and cavalry twill trousers in Goldfinger and Thunderball are something people often ask me about. Thy are 2-eyelet derby shoes in what essentially looks like a short chukka. The soles are dark brown rubber. The suede uppers, rubber soles and thicker laces make these more casual—but also more versatile—shoes. They work well with informal country wear like in Bond’s case, but they could just as easily be at home with a pair of jeans. They have a slight edge of formality over chukka boots, which allows them to be dressed up a little more whilst at the same time they can still be relatively casual shoes.

Suede-2-Eyelet-Derby

My best approximation of the style of this shoe.

Daniel Craig wears very similar shoes with his grey linen suit in Casino Royale.

Woman of Straw: The Dinner Suit

Woman-of-Straw-Dinner-Suit

Like most of the clothes in Woman of Straw, Sean Connery’s black dinner suit almost exactly resembles its counterpart in Goldfinger. It has notch lapels, a single-button fastening and no vents. The biggest difference are that the lapels on this dinner jacket are narrower than the ones in Goldfinger. This dinner jacket also adds gauntlet cuffs like Connery previously wore in Dr. No and From Russia With Love. Connery wears it in the same fashion as he does in Goldfinger: a small, private dinner. Just like the older men Bond has dinner with in Goldfinger, the older Ralph Richardson in this scene wears a shawl collar dinner jacket.

Woman-of-Straw-Dinner-Suit-2

The dress shirt has a spread collar, small pleats on the front, mother of pearl buttons down the placket and double cuffs. Connery wears it with a narrow black bow tie and a white linen pocket handkerchief folded with a single point. If he is wearing a waist covering, it can’t be seen.

Woman-of-Straw-Dinner-Suit-3

Odd Job: A Servant’s Uniform

Oddjob

Though not in his manner, Oddjob makes a convincing servant in his dress. He wears black lounge, the same type of outfit that Bond wears for his wedding. The black button-three jacket has a high button stance and high lapel notches, which are more flattering to the shorter man that Oddjob is. The jacket has has three-button cuffs and jetted pockets and no vent. The jacket has some fit problems in the chest and shoulders, but a servant wouldn’t likely be wearing a bespoke suit anyway. Oddjob wears a matching five-button waistcoat, and he fastens all the buttons.

Oddjob-2

The cashmere stripe trousers in grey tones—originally from morning dress—are commonly worn with black lounge. Oddjob’s trousers have double forward pleats and plain hems. His white shirt has a wing collar, front placket and double cuffs. Though the wing collar was once worn with morning dress—like the striped trousers are—it is too formal for black lounge. A wing collar also should not be worn with a four-in-hand tie—though it once was the norm. The inappropriate mixing of formalities is what identifies Oddjob as a servant. His black, military-like derby shoes are also not up to the same formality as black lounge.

Oddjob-3

Oddjob’s black, flat-crowned bolwer hat—his most famous accessory made by Lock & Co.—is unusual for a servant, but it is the perfect match for his black lounge outfit. Two examples of the hat used in the film have been sold at auction. The first was sold at Christie’s in South Kensington on 17 September 1998 for £62,000. The second was sold by Julien’s Auctions in June 2006 for $33,600.

Drape

Sean-Connery-Drape

In Dressing the Man, Alan Flusser defines drape as:

The manner in which a garment hangs from the shoulder or waist. For example, the English drape (or English lounge) is an intended style feature of men’s jackets or outercoats pioneered in the early 1920s by the Prince of Wales’s maverick tailor Frederick Scholte, inspired by the guards coat; it is characterized by fullness across the chest and over the shoulder blades to form flat vertical wrinkles for form, comfort, and the impression of muscularity. The draped silhouette dominated men’s tailored fashions throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

The classic drape cut has large, padded shoulders and a nipped waist, to emphasise and build upon a man’s V-shaped torso. Sean Connery’s Anthony Sinclair suit jackets were cut with a mild amount of drape, though his jackets do not have the built-up shoulders of the classic drape suit. Though Cyril Castle made some of Roger Moore’s suits in The Saint with a draped chest, the drape was mostly absent from his Bond suits. The extra chest fullness practically serves Bond, by not only offering extra ease in movement but also better concealing his PPK. Even though the chest is larger than usual, it doesn’t mean the suit is a size larger. Very few tailors still do a drape cut, and even Anderson & Sheppard who was once known for their drape now mostly cuts a trim, clean chest. Drape has a markedly old-fashioned look that isn’t in line with today’s trim fashions. Still, English tailors use drape in the most basic definition of the term: they allow the cloth to hang from—but also conform to—the body rather than cling to it.

Roger Moore Suit-The Helpful Pirate

A drape cut in The Saint

Catch Me If You Can: The Goldfinger Suit

Catch-Me-If-You-Can

After seeing Goldfinger, Leonardo DiCaprio’s real-life character Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can is inspired to have not one but three suits made just like Sean Connery’s famous three-piece suit in Goldfinger.

“Now you’re sure this is the suit, right?” says Abagnale.

“Positive. It’s the exact suit he wore in the movie,” replied the tailor.

It’s actually not an exact replica of the suit suit but rather what many people think the suit is without taking a close look. One could say it’s an American tailor’s interpretation, and going by the story the mistakes are understandable considering there weren’t home video tapes in the 1960s to pause. But the film’s costume designer should have had enough resources in 2002 to make a better replica of the suit. Like Connery’s suit, DiCaprio’s is a light grey three-piece suit with a button two jacket that has a ticket pocket and double vents. The waistcoat is actually very close to the original, but plenty of mistakes are made elsewhere.

Catch-Me-If-You-Can-Goldfinger

The biggest mistake is the cloth. Connery’s suit is a fine glen plaid whereas DiCaprio’s is a light grey pick-and-pick. At first glance, Connery’s suit appears to also be a pick-and-pick weave—and one of the plaid’s four sections is pick-and-pick—but a closer look reveals that the cloth is a fine glen plaid. Though the jacket has double vents, DiCaprio’s vents are only half the length of Connery’s. Short vents were a popular 1960s trend that Bond never wore. Whilst Connery’s suit has natural shoulders and a draped chest, DiCaprio’s suit has straight, padded shoulders and lacks the drape. They’ve also put only three buttons on the cuffs instead of four. The waistcoat is very close, with six buttons, notch lapels and four welt pockets. But the bottom button is not on the cut-away portion of the waistcoat. The cutaway needs to start higher, and that mean the trousers would also need to have a longer rise than they’ve given him.

Catch-Me-If-You-Can-2

The trousers are another one of the biggest mistakes after the wrong cloth. Few Americans in the 1960s wore pleated trousers so they didn’t expect Connery’s trousers to have pleats. Thus they made the trousers with a flat front and a modern low rise. The hem is also too short and just barely touched the shoes. Though the suit incorporates a few popular 1960′s trends that weren’t present on the original suit, such as short vents and flat front trousers, the only part of Sean Connery’s suit that dates it to the 60s was not included: narrow lapels! DiCaprio’s suit has much wider lapels.  Whilst the suit isn’t an exact replica, it’s still a nice homage to the original.

It’s hard to tell if they were trying to copy the shirt and tie as well, but—to give them credit—let’s say not. DiCaprio’s shirt collar is much smaller and narrower than Connery’s, and it the cuffs are button cuffs rather than double cuffs. It’s a very typical shirt for the men in the mid 60′s who weren’t wearing button-down collars. DiCaprio’s tie is black and woven, whilst the original was a navy knitted tie. DiCaprio wears V-front derby shoes like Connery did, but DiCaprio’s have wing-tips rather than plain fronts.  They did get the pocket square right.

Catch-Me-If-You-Can-Shoes

 

On a Plane to Meet the President

Goldfinger Charcoal Flannel

The final scene of Goldfinger features Sean Connery in his second three-piece suit of the series, a charcoal grey woolen flannel. Bond believes he’s on his way to meeting the President, giving Bond a reason to wear the added formality of a waistcoat. A flannel suit is also comfortable for an flight, since it’s both comfortably soft and warm. The suit is the usual Anthony Sinclair suit, a button two with natural shoulders and a full chest. The jacket is detailed with four buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and no vent. The buttons are made of dark grey horn.

The waistcoat has 6 buttons with 5 to button. The inside of waistcoat and the sleeves share the same navy and white striped lining. The trousers are cut with double forward pleats and have button side adjusters and plain hems. Connery wears a white shirt with a spread collar and double cuffs with rounded corners, and he wears a black knitted silk tie. His shoes are black. The suit is very similar to the next one Bond wears, featured in Thunderball‘s pre-title sequence. The Thunderball suit differs most obviously by having a straight bottom to the waistcoat and turn-ups on the trousers.

Goldfinger Charcoal Flannel

Goldfinger’s Shawl-Collar Suit

Goldfinger's Suit

As we all know, Auric Goldfinger loves gold and he loves to wear it. He wears gold cufflinks, a gold watch and a gold ring. Gold clothing would be a bit garish, so he chooses a mostly brown and yellow wardrobe. And it’s a wardrobe that flatters his autumn complexion. Gert Frobe’s peachy skin and red-blonde hair is best flattered by muted, but rich, warm colours that are perfect for the current autumn season out in the country. Goldfinger’s checked suit that he wears in England and Switzerland is the perfect example. The tweed cloth has a golden brown ground with a grid of black and green, intersected by a red overcheck.

Goldfinger's Suit

The suit jacket is a button one with a shawl collar, a 1960′s fashion that didn’t quite catch on. The shawl collar comes from Goldfinger’s love for smoking jackets and denotes a bespoke pedigree. The jacket has jetted pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent. The jacket has softly padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads and a draped chest, which gives the illusion of a waist. The cut with its properly placed button stance is a very flattering look for Goldfinger. We can’t see much of the trousers so we can’t tell if there are pleats, but they have a full cut, have plain bottoms, sit above the waist and are most likely supported by braces. That’s the only way trousers will stay up on a corpulent figure and the most flattering look on his body.

Bond and Goldfinger

Bond and Goldfinger both are wearing brown, but notice how Goldfinger’s rich brown clothing flatters his warm complexion whilst Connery’s muted brown clothing flatters his cool complexion.

Goldfinger wears a pale yellow shirt with a short, rounded point collar and double cuffs. His narrow tie is brown satin silk. He wears black derby shoes or boots. The hat is a medium brown trilby, with a very narrow brim and tapered crown, and it appears to be suede.

Goldfinger's Suit