Midnight Dinner Jacket in the Bahamas

Thunderball-Dinner-Suit

For his trip to the Bahamas in Thunderball, Bond brings a shawl-collar midnight blue dinner jacket in mohair with midnight satin silk trimmings and buttons. The trousers have a matching midnight satin stripe down each leg. The jacket has a 1-button front, jetted pockets, 4-button cuffs and no vents in the back, so it’s a traditional dinner jacket all the way. Now why didn’t Bond wear a white dinner jacket? That was saved for Largo, to make him stand out as the bad guy. Bond wears a white-on-white striped dress shirt with a spread collar, 2-button turnback cuffs, and a placket with mother of pearl buttons. The slim, batwing bow tie is made in black satin silk, so there is a slight mismatch with the jacket’s trimmings.

This image shows how blue Bond's dinner suit is in comparison to Vargas' black dinner suit.

This image shows how blue Bond’s dinner suit is in comparison to Vargas’ black dinner suit.

This dinner jacket was sold at Bonhams in Knightsbridge on 6 March 2007 for £33,600. This piece was not made by Connery’s usual tailor, Anthony Sinclair, but by famous costumer M. Berman, who made many clothes for other actors in the Bond series. This suit is cut cleaner and trimmer than Sinclair’s suits, but it still has the same overall look. According to the listing, the jacket has a burgundy satin lining, and the jacket was altered for use in later productions. One of the alterations included the addition of black silk gauntlet cuffs like Connery wore on his dinner jacket in Dr. No and From Russia With Love. They call it black in the description, but midnight blue is meant to look black under artificial lighting. The uninformed cannot tell them apart. There’s also the possibility that the dinner jacket at the auction is not what it claims to be.

Thunderball-Dinner-Suit-3

 

10 thoughts on “Midnight Dinner Jacket in the Bahamas

  1. Timeless classic, just like Thunderball itself.

    Matt, can you recommend a place to buy cocktail cuff shirts in the U.S.?

  2. You can sometimes find them off the rack from Borrelli or Finamore Napoli. But you might be better off having them made for you. Read my entry on 2-button turnback cuffs to make sure you get proper cocktail cuffs. They need to gently roll back and have all corners rounded. The fold-back section should look like it's part of the cuff, not added on.

  3. Thunderball is the first film to mention Bond's tailor.
    The end credits says "Sean Connery's suits by Anthony Sinclair". Why didn't Sinclair make the dinner jacket?

  4. Did Sean Connery ever wear a peaked lapel dinner jacket? I don't think Roger Moore wore one other than on a white dinner jacket. And while we're talking about lapels, what type of lapel did George Lazenby wear on his dinner jacket? Could you please answer these questions? Excellent blog, I wish I had discovered it sooner.

  5. Sean Connery and Roger Moore both wore a number of peak lapel dinner jackets. Connery's white dinner jackets all had peak lapels. Moore wore five peak lapel dinner jackets in the series, though 4 of the five were double-breasted. Lazenby's dinner jacket had peak lapels.

  6. Matt,  absolutely love the work you’re doing.  Please keep it up!  Had a question about the dinner jacket in Thunderball and about midnight ones in general.  You state that it was a “…shawl-collar midnight blue dinner jacket in mohair with midnight satin silk trimmings and buttons.” You go on to mention that the jacket was altered including, “…the addition of black silk gauntlet cuffs.”  Why the addition of black cuffs when the rest of the jacket is midnight?  I’ve seen other examples of midnight dinner jackets that have black facings, but Why the inconsistency here?

    • The cuffs did not match the collar. It shouldn’t be like that, and my guess is that it was probably because it was needed quickly for use on another film and the next person to wear it had longer arms than Connery, hence the addition of oversized silk cuffs. Matching silk facings probably weren’t on hand.

  7. Many thanks for your response. On a separate but related note, I’ve seen numerous examples of midnight dinner jackets, but with black facings. The examples in almost all of your relevant posts have blue. I’m having a tux made soon and am thinking about having it done in midnight. Which makes more sense to you — blue or black facings — and why? Thanks!

    • Both are nice. Black facings make it more noticeable that your dinner jacket is blue, though I find that blue facings are more harmonious with the blue cloth. If you’re getting blue facings you’ll need to also have a bow-tie made from the same cloth as the facings. Save some for a cummerbund too if you’re getting a single-breasted dinner jacket and not going with a waistcoat (which would have the same facings on its lapels). You’re not going to find midnight bowties and cummerbunds.

  8. i actually think this dinner suit is a better piece than the Dr. No suit Bond was first introduced in… its a more fitted look on Connery.

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