In a brief scene from Woman of Straw where his uncle (Ralph Richardson) gets married, Anthony Richmond (Sean Connery) wears a very appropriate marine blue suit for an informal maritime wedding. This is one of the few suits—or perhaps the only suit—in Woman of Straw that isn’t also featured in Goldfinger. The rich blue colour is most appropriate for social occasions and is very fitting at sea. Anthony Sinclair most likely made this suit since it has his natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, slightly draped chest, and gently shaped silhouette. The style is a more formal button-one cut with narrow peaked lapels that is perfect for a wedding, and it’s has also been a trendy style for the past few years. The pockets are jetted, though we can’t make out any of the other details. We don’t see much of the trousers, but they are most likely Connery’s usual style with double forward pleats and side adjusters.
The white shirt has a spread collar and double cuffs. The solid blue tie is a shade very similar to—but slightly darker than—the suit. It is done up in a four-in-hand knot. The folded white pocket handkerchief is angled so that only one corner sticks out. We don’t see the shoes, but for a wedding they would most certainly be black.
Sean Connery’s second black and white plaid suit in From Russia With Love is almost identical to the glen plaid suit in Dr. No. The cloth is woven in a plain weave, making it better suited for warmer weather than the more traditional twill-weave Glen Urquhart check suit Connery wears earlier in From Russia With Love. The scale of the pattern on this suit isn’t as fine as the similar check in Dr. No, but all the details are the same except for pocket flaps being present on this suit. The button-two suit jacket has natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a draped chest and a nipped waist. It has double vents and four-button cuffs. The suit trousers have double forward pleats and turn ups.
Connery’s pale blue shirt is from Turnbull & Asser and has a spread collar, front placket and two-button cocktail cuffs. He wears a navy grenadine tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot. He wears a white linen folded pocket handkerchief, black socks and black derby shoes. His hat is a brown felt trilby.
Sean Connery has both buttons on his dark grey suit fastened in Dr. No.
Sean Connery’s tailoring in his Bond films is often admired for its clean, simple lines and limited colour scheme. But wearing suits didn’t come naturally to Connery, and on three occasions he makes the mistake of buttoning the bottom button on his suit jackets. The first is in Dr. No, when wearing tailored clothing was still very new to him, and presumably director Terence Young did not catch the brief mistake. The second is when Bond enters his hotel room in Istanbul and suddenly his bottom button is fastened, even though it was when he entered the lift. The third time came in Diamonds Are Forever. On neither of Connery’s suit jackets should the bottom button ever be fastened.
Connery fastens the bottom button on his linen suit in Diamonds Are Forever.
It’s typically advised that only the top button on a button two jacket should be fastened. This is because the front is cut away below the top button and the lower button doesn’t meet up with the buttonhole. Thus, fastening the lower button causes the jacket to pull across the hips. It restricts movement and makes it difficult to sit. Also, it shortens the perceived leg length, rather than extending the leg to the waist. But some button two jackets are designed to have both buttons fastened.
On a paddock-cut button two jacket, both buttons are meant to fasten. The button stance is raised, usually placing the two buttons equidistant above and below the waist. Placing both buttons higher means that the bottom button can be fastened without restricting movement. The front on a paddock cut is only cutaway below the bottom button. President John F. Kennedy, British politician Anthony Eden and the Duke of Windsor are known for wearing this cut. In his later years, the Duke of Windsor only fastened the bottom button on his paddock-cut jackets for a longer lapel line. Roger Moore wears a couple paddock-cut suits with button-three jackets in The Persuaders, which adds a third button at the top.
Cyril Castle made Roger Moore’s paddock-cut suit in The Persuaders. It has a slanted, flapped breast pocket and flared link-button cuffs
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.
A drape cut in The Saint
The velvet dinner jacket fits somewhere between a regular dinner jacket and a smoking jacket. James Bond wears a navy velvet dinner jacket for a private dinner for two on a cruise ship in Diamonds Are Forever. It’s made just like Anthony Sinclair’s regular jackets, with the same roped, natural shoulders. The details are same as the other dinner jackets in the film, with one button on the front, double vents and slanted pockets with flaps.
The trousers are standard black tie trousers, in black wool with a satin stripe down the legs. Bond also wears a standard black satin bow tie. Instead of a classic black tie shirt he wears a pale blue shirt from Turnbull & Asser with a spread collar and cocktail cuffs, made exactly the same way as his regular shirts. The shirting is most likely something a bit more luxurious than cotton poplin, and it perhaps may be silk. A silk shirt would be a great pairing with a velvet dinner jacket, whilst also recalling Ian Fleming’s choice of dress shirt. This outfit is a great example of creative black tie that’s still very tasteful.
Sean Connery’s James Bond typically shows restraint in his wardrobe choices, but in Diamonds Are Forever he wears a very flamboyant black dinner suit that can only be a product of the 1970s. Anthony Sinclair did an excellent job cutting the suit, and it is indeed well-cut for Connery with a soft but clean silhouette. Like a traditional dinner jacket, this has one button. There are four buttons on the cuffs and the buttons are shiny and black. The deep double vents are somewhat acceptable but are also very much a fashionable choice. Even more fashionable are the lapel facings. The lapel facings come in the form of a wavy burgundy and black pattern, which now looks very dated. Not only are the lapels faced but so is the collar. And whilst some would deem the notch lapels inappropriate because they don’t differ enough from a regular business suit, that’s one problem these lapels don’t have. The slanted pockets with flaps bring the dinner jacket down yet another level, and the flaps are faced in a simpler black satin silk. Pockets on a dinner suit should neither be slanted nor should they have flaps. Those rustic styles were very popular at the time but are completely inappropriate on a dinner jacket. The trousers have a flat front, tapered leg and a black silk stripe down the leg that matches the jacket’s pocket flaps.
The white-on-white stripe dress shirt made by Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar, double cuffs and a pleated bib, with regular mother of pearl buttons down the placket. The bow tie is black and does not match the lapels, which is a rather tasteful way to tone down the outfit. The bow tie isn’t even satin but a matte silk, probably in a barathea or faille weave. This is the first film where Bond wears a cummerbund, and the cummerbund here matches the burgundy and black pattern of the dinner suit’s facings. The silk’s pattern goes vertically rather than around the waist, and the cummerbund is rumpled rather than pleated. The main reason for including a cummerbund seems to be for it to act as a harness when hanging outside the building. The shoes are black patent leather 2-eyelet, plain-toe derby shoes. The shoes are made on a long last with an extremely chiseled toe.
Patent Leather Derby Shoes
With Guy Hamilton’s return to directing Bond in Diamonds Are Forever, the film’s dinner jackets share some similarities with Hamilton’s previous Bond film, Goldfinger. Both films feature a white dinner jacket with peak lapels and a midnight blue/black dinner jacket with notch lapels. Both feature similar shirts: a white on white stripe with a pleated front. And both films are the only ones to feature Bond wearing a boutonniere, which is a red carnation in Diamonds Are Forever. When the weather turns warmer I’ll be writing about Diamonds Are Forever‘s white dinner jacket, which has far more merit than this outfit.
Shirt and Cummerbund Details
This dinner suit was sold at Christie’s in Knightsbridge on 11 December 1997 for £9,775.
Fancy Lapel Facings
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.
Bond and Kerim Bey are overdressed for the Gypsy camp
In From Russia With Love, Bond wears a charcoal flannel suit to dinner at the gypsy camp. This is a typical Anthony Sinclair suit: a lower two-button style, natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a little drape and a nipped waist. This suit jacket has double vents, four buttons on the cuffs and flapped pockets. The trousers have double forward pleats with button-tab waist adjusters and turn-ups.
The shirt and tie are also the usual. The pale blue Turnbull & Asser shirt has a spread collar, a placket and cocktail cuffs. The tie is a navy grenadine. At the beginning of the evening Bond starts out with a white linen handkerchief folded in his breast pocket but removes it to wipe his hands. Later in the evening he puts it back in. Bond’s shoes are black 2-eyelet derby shoes. His socks are black with a red band around the top. Or the red band could be something else.
A Gypsy girl repairs Bond’s shirt