On the 51st anniversary of the release of Dr. No we look at Sean Connery’s favourite complement to his navy blazers: dark grey flannel trousers. The trousers in Dr. No are closer to charcoal and don’t provide enough contrast with the blazer, but in Thunderball he wears trousers a little lighter that look better with navy. Connery’s trousers are made from woolen flannel, which is a very soft but very warm-wearing cloth, making it an odd choice to wear in Jamaica. These flannel trousers are made in the same style as Connery’s suit trousers, with double forward pleats and turn-ups. The waistband has a square extension with a hook-and-eye closure and side-adjusters with the usual three mother-of-pearl buttons on each side.
In the Bratislava winter in The Living Daylights, Timothy Dalton recalls classic James Bond suits with his medium grey flannel suit. It’s a shame we don’t see more of this suit since it’s one of the best-fitting suits in the series, from the little we see of it. It’s clearly not the same as the rest of the Benjamin Simon suits that Dalton wears throughout the film and probably is from a different brand. What really stands out are the narrow, natural shoulders that really flatter Dalton’s build. We don’t see much of the suit, but the jacket is probably a button two. The jacket also has wide lapels, but with a classic gorge compared to the low gorge on Licence to Kill‘s wide lapels. A publicity still reveals that this suit’s trousers have double reverse pleats instead of the classic English forward pleats that the rest of his suits have. Dalton wears the trousers with a black belt.
Dalton wears a white shirt with a spread collar, barrel cuffs and a placket front. His tie is solid navy and tied in a four-in-hand knot. His shoes are black. Over the suit, Dalton wears a dark navy, full-length overcoat. The overcoat has a 1980′s low gorge and low button stance, probably with three buttons. The low button stance exposes more of the chest, and the low gorge means that folding over the lapels won’t cover the neck, making the coat not as effective at keeping out the cold as it could be. But still, the coat fits well. It has a vent, flapped pockets and three buttons on the cuffs. Though the clothes are not bespoke, they are some of Dalton’s more impressive clothes of the film due to their decent fit and classic Bondian style.
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.
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.
The charcoal flannel suit has made many appearances throughout the Bond series, sometimes as a 2-piece suit and other times with a waistcoat, as Roger Moore wears his in A View to a Kill. This suit is made by Douglas Hayward with natural shoulders, a low 3-button front and a single vent in the rear. The coat has flapped pockets and 3-button cuffs. The waistcoat has 6 buttons and the trousers have a flat front, straight leg and plain bottoms.
Bond’s shirt has a bengal stripe pattern in what is probably pink and white, with a contrasting white spread collar and contrasting white cuffs. The contrast collar was a symbol of power in the 1980s, though it’s origins are in the detachable collars and cuffs that are now relegated to daytime formal wear. The repp tie is bright scarlet, a colour that complements Roger Moore’s complexion very well. Bond’s shoes are black slip-ons. Though he doesn’t wear it, Bond places a light brown trilby on the hat rack when he enters the office.
Bernard Lee’s M is known for his likeness to Winston Churchill, partially attributed to his penchance for bow tie. M didn’t wear a bow tie in Dr. No, but he started the tradition in the second film, From Russia With Love. M’s first bow tie is wine red with pale yellow dots, and later in the film wears a very similar bow tie. M’s suit is brown flannel with a red cast. The suit coat has a 2-button front with 3 buttons on the cuffs, flapped pockets and no vents. It actually has a very similar cut to Connery’s suit, with natural shoulders and a swelled chest. The trousers are most likely also the same, with double forward pleats. Though M’s and Bond’s suits are very similar, the difference in their figures is what makes the suits look so much different from each other.
M’s shirt is slightly off-white with a spread collar and double cuffs. His shoes are medium brown, quite unusual for office-wear in London, though a man in his position can wear whatever he wants to. M accessorises his suit with a folded white linen handkerchief in the breast pocket. And though it’s not something he wears, the pipe is is a key accessory to the character. Even though there is nothing particularly outdated with his clothes, the pipe, bow tie, flannel cloth and vent-less skirt all contribute to M’s old-world look.
You can see Bond’s blue suit from this scene here.
In Diamonds Are Forever Bond wears a winter staple, the mid-grey flannel suit. The suit is tailored by Anthony Sinclair and cut in the same style as the rest of the suits in the film, with a natural shoulder and roped sleeveheads, a clean chest and a nipped waist. The fit isn’t as good as some of Sinclair’s other suits, probably because Connery gained weight after the final fitting. This suit coat is cut with a low 2-button front, which is flattering to Connery’s heavier figure, though the coat pulls at the button. The coat has deep double vents, flapped hacking pockets with a ticket pocket and 4-button cuffs. The claret lining can be seen underneath the vents. Now that this is the 1970s the lapels are wider than Connery’s lapels were in the 1960s. What looks more dated, however, are the wider pocket flaps. While not much of the suit trousers are seen they probably are the same darted front cut as the rest seen in the film.
Bond’s cream cotton poplin Turnbull & Asser shirt has a spread collar and 2-button turnback cuffs. The tie is amethyst-coloured grenadine silk, tied in a Windsor knot.
Not all of Anthony Sinclair’s suits for Sean Connery were lightweight. Connery wears a heavy navy flannel chalkstripe suit at the end of From Russia With Lovein Venice. Though this suit appears mostly charcoal on the Blu-ray edition, the suit looks to be navy, matching the tie, in the older prints. It might just be because of the soft fabric, but this suit looks more relaxed than the rest of Connery’s suits. It has a more old-fashioned look than most of Connery’s suits. The 2-button suit coat has a relaxed fit with a draped chest and natural shoulders. The coat has flapped pockets, 4-button cuffs and a single vent. The suit trousers have double forward pleats, button-tab side adjusters and turn-ups.
The ecru poplin shirt from Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar, a placket front and 2-button turnback cuffs. The back of the shirt is shaped with two darts, though the shirt still has generous fit. Bond ties his dark blue grenadine tie in a very small four-in-hand knot. Bond places a folded white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket. Navy socks match the suit, and Bond’s shoes are black 2-eyelet derbies.