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 button 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.
The 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.
Sean 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.
James Bond isn’t the only government agent who is a master of black tie. Cary Grant wears a textbook example of classic black tie as American agent T.R. Devlin in the Alfred Hitchcock film Notorious, which also stars Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains. Devlin’s suit is the ultimate example of the three-piece black dinner suit. Suits like this one inspired the three-piece dinner suit that Pierce Brosnan wears in GoldenEye. Devlin’s dinner jacket is a button one with satin-faced peaked lapels, and it is cut with a full chest and suppressed waist. The shoulders are straight and wide, made to balance Cary Grant’s large head against his very slim body and to give him more presence. The wide peaked lapels also give him more presence and were fashionable at the time. The dinner jacket has the traditional details of jetted hip pockets, button four cuffs and no vent in the rear. The buttons are black plastic. The dinner suit’s trousers have forward pleats, wide legs, and a satin stripe down each leg. They are finished with a straight hem and no break.
Underneath the dinner jacket, Devlin wears a black low-cut waistcoat. The waistcoat can hardly be seen, and that’s the way it should be. It probably has four buttons, and the buttons are closely spaced on the front. Two buttons can be seen peaking out above the dinner jacket’s button. Traditionally, black waistcoats for black tie are made in the same cloth as body of the dinner suit with shawl-style lapels in silk to match the jacket’s lapels and trouser stripe. Since the waistcoat can hardly be seen, this is only a likely possibility of what the waistcoat may look like.
The dress shirt has a marcella bib, spread collar and double cuff. The collar and cuffs have traditional quarter-inch stitching, and the shirt does not have a separate placket on the front. The front closes with two square mother-of-pearl studs, and the cufflinks match the studs. There only problem with the shirt is that in some shots the left side of the collar seems to have a difficult time laying flat under the waistcoat. Either Cary Grant’s shirts weren’t made to take collar stays and the collar wasn’t starched enough, or he didn’t like collar stays. The black satin silk bow tie matches the jacket’s facings. The bow tie is a thistle shape and is a little smaller than usual. Alan Flusser writes in Dressing the Man that “its width should not extend beyond the outer edge of a person’s face, and definitely not beyond the breadth of the collar.” This bow tie easily meets those requirements. Devlin wears a white pocket handkerchief with his dinner suit, though the amount of it peaking out of the breast pocket varies throughout the scene. Devlin’s black shoes are plain-toe oxfords (balmorals to the Americans), and whilst they are shiny it is difficult to tell if they are patent leather as they properly should be.
When Devlin leaves the party he dons the full-length chesterfield coat that he carried in with him. The double breasted chesterfield is most likely charcoal grey and it has six buttons with two to button. We see Devlin fastening the anchor button inside the coat—which is behind the middle button on the left side—when he puts it on. The coat has peaked lapels, straight, flapped hip pockets, a welt breast pocket, three-button cuffs and a centre vent.
Pierce Brosnan wears a number of beautiful suits from Milanese tailor Gianni Campagna in The Thomas Crown Affair (1999). The suits in the film were reported to be made of Super 150s wool. Higher Super numbers indicate a finer fibre but not necessarily a higher quality cloth. Finer fibres make for a cloth that has a softer hand, but the resulting cloth is often less durable, is more prone to creasing and shining, and doesn’t usually tailor as well. Quality has more do to with the way the cloth is woven and finished. Whilst finer wools are often thought to be better, a Super 120s cloth from a reputable merchant is far superior to a cheap Super 150s cloth. The Super number is unrelated to the weight of the cloth.
One of Pierce Brosnan’s many suits in The Thomas Crown Affair is a navy suit in a large herringbone weave, but since the cloth is a fine Super 150s the stripe effect from the herringbone weave is very subtle and can only be seen in certain lighting. The suit jacket buttons three, and though Brosnan only fastens the middle button, the lapels roll at the top button. It is cut with a clean chest and has straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads. Peaked lapels add an air of formality to this lounge suit, whilst also giving it a bit of a 1940′s Cary Grant look. Though peaked lapels are currently very trendy, the current examples are typically very narrow and on high button two jackets. This jacket has the most classic and elegant of proportions. It looks great on Pierce Brosnan, and it would look just as great now as it did in 1999. This jacket probably has double vents like the other jackets in the film do, though we don’t get a good look at the rear of this suit. Like the other suits in the film, the full-cut trousers most likely have reverse pleats. Brosnan wears the trousers with a belt.
Brosnan’s cornflower blue shirt from Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar and double cuffs. The silver tie is probably also from Turnbull & Asser. Brosnan ties the tie in a four-in-hand knot with a dimple. Like the suit, the tie is in a herringbone weave. It’s not the same weave as the tie he wears in The World is Not Enough, which is a pointed twill weave that looks like a chevron pattern rather than a herringbone. To not clash with the texture of the suit, the tie’s herringbone is larger than the suit’s herringbone. Also, the herringbone in the suit is subtle enough that it nothing will really clash with it.
Daniel Craig wears a double-breasted suit with a double-breasted overcoat in the 2011 film Dream House. This double-breasted suit is not a suit James Bond would wear. The cloth is a fancy stripe with sections of fine brown and blue stripes between thick medium blue stripes, which are bordered by navy stripes that are half the thickness of the medium blue stripe. It’s also hard to imagine James Bond wearing a double-breasted suit again, but Daniel Craig looks good in it. This one has four buttons with two to button. Craig only buttons the top, but since the button stance is rather high it would look better with both buttons fastened or just the bottom button fastened, like how the Duke of Kent and the then Prince of Wales wore theirs. It has straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a clean chest and slightly narrow lapels. There are four buttons on the cuffs, flap pockets and double vents. We don’t get a good look at the front of the the trousers, but they are probably flat front. They have a plain hem.
Skyfall isn’t the first time Daniel Craig wears a tab collar. Craig’s white poplin shirt has a tab collar and double cuffs. The collar is is narrower than the collar in Skyfall, making it look more old-fashioned whilst also being less flattering to Daniel Craig’s face. His tie is navy with a printed pattern in medium blue, which matches the colours of the suit’s stripes. it’s tied in a four-in-hand knot, which is the only knot that will fit in such a narrow collar. The silk pocket handkerchief is medium blue with a thick navy border, also pulling from colours in the suit. His shoes are chestnut brown derbies, but he makes the mistake of wearing a black belt with his suit trousers. It’s something he’s done again in the Bond series as well, but at least when he has the jacket on the belt is hidden.
Over his suit, Daniel Craig wears a rather unconventional Chesterfield-style coat. It’s neither as dark as the traditional Chesterfield nor does it have a velvet collar—which isn’t necessary for the coat to be a Chesterfield—but in all other ways it fits the name. It’s difficult to wear a double-breasted overcoat with a double-breasted suit since there are so many layers in front. The double-breasted closure has six buttons with two to button and the hem hits just below the knee. The overcoat has set-in sleeves, darts in the front, three-button cuffs, a breast pocket and slanted hip pockets with flaps, which are for the most part kept tucked into the pocket. The cloth is a light grey and dark grey glenstripe, which is like a Glen Urquhart check sans the crosswise overcheck. The warp alternates in sections of four light and four dark yarns with sections of two light and two dark yarns. The filling just alternates with two light and two dark yarns. With the overcoat, Daniel Craig keeps warm with red-brown leather gloves.
It’s a flashier outfit than James Bond would ever wear. Whilst it’s not particularly fashionable, it’s very stylish. The suit’s cloth, cut and style along with the tab-collar shirt gives this outfit a very 1960s look, making it one of Daniel Craig’s most interesting outfits outside of the Bond series.
After looking at Roger Moore’s velour tracksuit in A View to a Kill, let us compare it to Sean Connery’s tracksuit from two years earlier in Never Say Never Again. Connery’s tracksuit is made in the classic ash grey heavy cotton jersey as opposed to Moore’s fashionable midnight blue. Unlike Moore, Connery wears his tracksuit for its intended athletic use, and he wears it at a health clinic, no less. The tracksuit jacket has a red zip, red ribbed elastic at the hem and at the sleeve openings, and red piping down the side of the sleeves and on the side openings of the front patch pockets. The jacket also has a hood, which closes with a red drawstring.
The tracksuit bottoms have red piping down the side seams and at the pockets, and they have red ribbed elastic at the leg openings. The elastic waist has a red drawstring that Connery keeps tucked in. Under the tracksuit, Connery wears a white poloneck in cotton jersey, and the outline of his vest (A-shirt) can be seen through it. Wearing just an A-shirt under a tracksuit is more typical, but Bond shows a little modesty here. He also wears the perfect complement to the classic ash grey tracksuit: white athletic socks and white trainers.
Connery also wears the tracksuit bottoms with an ash grey jersey over a black mock polo neck for working out.
Evelyn Tremble, played by Peter Sellers, is one of the many characters who become James Bond in the 1967 spoof of Casino Royale. He wears a very interesting tweed jacket on his visit to MI6. The button three jacket is made in a check with wide stripes of brown and a mix of brown and blue, separated with a grid of dark brown and a red overcheck. The jacket has softly-padded shoulders, a clean chest, narrow lapels, double vents and three-button cuffs. Though it must have been on purpose, the jacket’s collar noticeably stands away from the neck. This could be due to a poor fit, or the jacket could just deliberately be placed hanging off one side to make the character look sloppy. Tremble’s character is nothing like the James Bond he is recruited to be, and one of the things that sets him apart from Bond is his occasionally careless manner of dress.
The pockets are a very unique part of this jacket. In addition to the usual breast pocket and two hip pockets there is also a ticket pocket. All of the pockets are patch pockets with slanted flaps. Patch pockets with flaps creates a very casual—but also bulky—look. Ordinary welt breast pockets are typical on jackets with flapped patch pockets to avoid having an awkward flapped patch breast pocket, but this jacket has the flapped patch breast pocket. When a jacket has a patch breast pocket, most often all the pockets are all open pockets. Most unusual is the inclusion of a patch ticket pocket. Because it’s a patch pocket, the pockets cannot overlap and the flap ends up above the waist because of the extra height needed for the patch. An ordinary welt and flap ticket pocket would have been best so the flap wouldn’t be so high up. Such a high ticket pocket visually shortens the torso considerably, and Peter Sellers was a slightly shorter-than-average man at 5’8″. Thus the extra patch pocket makes the jacket look very crowded. Ticket pockets in general can look crowded on a shorter man, but in any case there’s far too much going on with the pockets on this jacket.
Tremble’s cream shirt fits much better than the suit does and may have been made by Frank Foster, who often made shirts for Peter Sellers. The shirt has a spread collar and double cuffs. Tremble wears a red knitted tie. The taupe trousers have a flat front and, most likely, cross pockets like his other trousers in the film have.
The cloth of Sean Connery’s blue suit in Q’s lab in Goldfinger is quite mysterious. It is a heavy weight, has a mottled colouring and has a woollen texture. That means it’s most likely tweed. We get another look at the same Anthony Sinclair suit in Woman of Straw, and in this film—the suit’s original appearance—the suit is a three-piece. There’s no question it’s the same suit. The cut is the same button two with natural shoulders and a draped chest. It has swelled edges, cloth-covered buttons and jetted pockets. The vents are still a mystery. The poor lighting in this film makes the vent style difficult to make out, but I believe I see double vents. See the enhanced screenshot below.
Click image to enlarge
The trousers have double forward pleats. The waistcoat is the same style as the waistcoats in Goldfinger: six buttons with five to button. Connery, however, fastens the bottom button, which is meant to be left open. This disrupts the otherwise clean lines of the waistcoat. The covered buttons down the waistcoat make a big impact, since without the waistcoat the covered buttons almost go unnoticed. Covered buttons aren’t ordinarily seen outside of formalwear, but they were popular in the 1960s on lounge suits as well. The Avengers’ John Steed also wore suits with covered buttons.
This is a town and country suit, meaning it can effectively transition between relaxed country wear and business. The cloth has a country texture in a city colour, and the jetted pockets are a more formal city touch. Even though this suit is appropriate in both the city and country, it fits in better here than it does in Q’s lab. The houndstooth suit that Bond wears in M’s office also seems more appropriate in this film.
Connery wears this suit a few times throughout Women of Straw. Early in the film he wears a solid light blue tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot just like he does in Goldfinger. The white or off-white shirt has a moderate spread collar, a placket and double cuffs. Later in the film he wears a solid black tie, also tied in a four-in-hand knot, and the white or off-white shirt has a wider spread collar like in Goldfinger. He wears a white pocket handkerchief with both outfits.
In celebrating Roger Moore’s 86th birthday, let’s look at an outfit that fit Roger Moore’s flamboyant tastes during the 1970s. In comparison to his James Bond and SImon Templar of The Saint, Roger Moore’s character Harold Pelham, in The Man Who Haunted Himself, dresses more conservatively and more old-fashionedly. Pelham sees a psychiatrist and as Pelham is leaving the psychiatrist comments on the traditional City clothing he wears:
Psychiatrist: I don’t like the look of all that.
Pelham: Of all what?
Psychiatrist: Your clothes. The bowler hat and umbrella. Your tie and starched collar. These things symbolise all that we want to get rid of. Be yourself, Mr. Pelham. Don’t be a slave to convention.
In the following scene, Roger Moore dons an outfit far flashier than what Bond or Templar would ever wear, but it probably suits Moore’s own tastes at the time and is along the lines of much of what Moore would wear in his next role: Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders.
The double-breasted suit, made by Cyril Castle, is olive with white pinstripes. The jacket is the double-breasted equivalent of the single-button jacket. There are only two buttons, with one to button, and the row is placed at the waist. Minimalism in this case is flasher than the typical six-button double-breasted jacket. The jacket has double vents, slanted pockets and an open-vent sleeve sans buttons—like Patrick MacNee wore here and here in The Avengers. The jacket is constructed with a clean chest and gentle shoulder padding. The trousers have a straight leg.
The pink shirt from Frank Foster has a spread collar and 2-button cocktail cuffs, with both buttons fastened on the left and only the first button fastened on the right. A pink shirt is a natural pairing with an olive suit, since red and green are complementary colours. The tie is a fancy print of white, green and pink, which picks up the colours of the suit and shirt. It is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Pelham wears brown shoes, which are out of the norm for City business but go well with this suit. The outfit may be flashy, but it’s well-coordinated, well-proportioned, well-tailored and well-suited to the story.