The Second Dinner Suit

Bond is introduced to us in Dr. No wearing a midnight blue shawl-collar dinner suit. In the From Russia With Love pre-title sequence, Bond (or rather a man wearing a James Bond mask) wears a very similar dinner suit, though it is not the same one as I previously though it was. The dinner jacket has a 1-button front, jetted pockets and satin gauntlet cuffs with 4 buttons. The collar is narrower and has less belly than the Dr. No dinner suit, giving this dinner suit a more modern look. It’s difficult to tell if this one has vents, but probably not. The trousers have double forward pleats. The pleat-front shirt has mother-of-pearl buttons and double cuffs, and the placket stitching suggests a maker other than Turnbull & Asser. The bow-tie is also different. Instead of the pointed ends from before, this bow-tie is a narrow standard batwing shape with straight ends. Bond again wears a white linen handkerchief folded in his breast pocket.

10 thoughts on “The Second Dinner Suit

  1. The shirt was from Lanvin? I didn’t know that. The collar looks the same as T&A’s classic English spread.

    It’s funny the details one notices upon a second viewing. Bond’s doppelganger has very little expression and his makeup looks almost doll-like, which helps sell the “realistic” latex mask that is removed at the reveal.

    • Terence Young had mentioned the original shirt was from Lanvin. But after looking at this closer, I think the shirt may be from another maker.

    • Huh? Clearly It’s all Sean Connery until the final moment the mask is pulled from the dead man’s face.

    • I don’t think either one of us meant to suggest otherwise. I’ve made some changes in the article thanks to a reader who corrected me on a few points.

  2. Iconic. Along with the Somerset suit later in this movie, this is, to me, the lasting sartorial image of Sean Connery, at his peak, as James Bond.

    How do people feel about vents on dinner suits? Bond seems to wear them with vents quite a bit.

    • But then, how did they get an exact mould of his face? Suspension of disbelief is required if one examines many details of James Bond movies…

      Plain and simple, it was a gag to make the audience think that Bond had died and show that Red Grant was quite a match for him.

  3. Matt,

    I know this topic was mentioned before by myself and others but given this subject matter, here is an appropriate enough forum to wherein raise it again; the two dinner suits featured in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker and again the one in For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy appeared to be very similar models and almost certainly produced, in both cases by the same tailor. Do you think they were reused in both cases or did the tailors in question just construct similar suits for the two successive movies concerned?

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