Light blue appears to be Bond’s favourite colour for swimming trunks. We’ve seen it in From Russia With Love, Thunderball and Casino Royale. The ones in Goldfinger are still blue but in a darker shade. The now well-known swimming trunks from Woman of Straw are also light blue. Bond continues with sky blue swimming trunks in Skyfall, in Orlebar Brown’s Setter model. They have a zip fly, a snap fastener waist-closure, side-adjusters on the waistband, angled side pockets, short vents at the side of each leg, and zipped rear pockets. These have a not-too-short inseam of just over 4 inches, but in following the trend of clothes fitting too small these swimming trunks are too short in the rise. Though it grabs the attention of women, there should be no buttock cleavage when seated. Bond’s “builder’s bum” is out of character—it’s just as crass to let the buttocks accidentally show as it is to show them for sex appeal—but this exposure is clearly no accident. If they fit better, these would be some of the nicest swimming trunks of the series.
In Woman of Straw, Sean Connery wears a pair of light blue swimming shorts that are now well-known because of Designing 007 at the Barbican last year. The shorts were hardly seen in the film, but a picture of Connery wearing them surfaced and Sunspel recreated them for the Barbican show since they were mistakenly thought to have been worn in Thunderball. These shorts might have more in common with the From Russia With Love swimming trunks, which have a similar front pocket. They are arguably more elegant and more refined than any that Connery wore in the Bond films. The original shorts have a medium-low rise, an inseam of about 3 inches, an extended waistband closure, and a set-in pocket on the front right with a button-down flap. There is a small round cutout at the at the bottom of the side of each leg. The waist is fitted without a belt. On top Connery wears a light blue shirt with a spread collar and the cuffs rolled up. The bottom is cut with a vent at each side.
The sexual emphasis of the Bond films was always placed more on the Bond girls than on Bond himself. That changed in Casino Royale when Daniel Craig was put into a pair of skimpy blue swimming trunks. Sean Connery’s Jantzen swimming trunks in Thunderball were definitely on the skimpy side, but that was typical for the 1960s. Most men in recent decades wear larger board shorts, but Daniel Craig’s swimming trunks fit tightly with a low rise and short inseam. They go to the extreme of men’s swimming trunks without being swim briefs. These swimming trunks are the “Grigioperla” model from La Perla. They are light blue in the front and navy in the back, have a navy stripe on each side, and have a navy waistband with a light blue drawstring.
If a man wears something made of terrycloth it’s typically a robe. In honour of Sean Connery’s birthday, we’ll look at a more unusual piece of towel-wear, a light blue playsuit from Goldfinger. A playsuit is a jumpsuit with short legs, something typically worn by women. They’re actually quite popular in women’s fashions this summer, but they’re not made of terrycloth. Bond’s playsuit zips three-quarters up the chest and has a button and loop that can close the top, which can occasionally be found of camp collars like this playsuit has. It has a built-in belt around the waist with elastic around the back. There’s an open patch breast pocket and large patch pockets below the belt.
Underneath the playsuit Bond wears tight slate blue swimming trunks, detailed with lighter blue bands just below the top of the waist and just above the hem of each leg. His shoes are light blue canvas slip-ons.
Real men do indeed wear pink. Bond wears a classic pink and white gingham short-sleeve shirt on the beach in Thunderball. The shirt has a camp collar and plain front, an open breast pocket, a straight hem with side vents and shoulder pleats at the back. If you’re wearing this shirt and someone tells you you’re wearing a picnic table cloth, remind them that the classic picnic table cloth is red, not pink. The Jantzen swimming trunks are the same as what Bond wore earlier in the film, but in a mottled pink that looks like linen and worn without a belt. Bond also dons a pair of Wayfarer-style sunglasses.
It’s not too often that Bond wears a logo on his clothes, but Sean Connery does on a navy Fred Perry polo shirt in Thunderball. Not as conspicuous on screen is the Jantzen logo on the left leg of his white swimming trunks. His footwear is the same canvas light blue slip-ons he wears earlier. On top of the polo shirt, Bond wears a red wetsuit top.
Bond’s only outfit in From Russia With Love that isn’t a suit is a pair of swimming trunks and a checked shirt. The pale blue swimming trunks have a short inseam, an elastic waistband and a pocket on the top right that closes with a button-down flap.
Bond’s shirt is a large indigo and white gingham check with metal buttons. It has two patch pockets on the lower front. The shirt is meant to be worn un-tucked and the front is darted like a suit jacket (or a women’s blouse). The darts would indicate that the shirt should be more fitted, but the shirt looks too big overall. The shoulders are clearly too wide, indicating that this shirt was probably bought off the pegs. Bond wears the sleeves rolled-up.
Connery’s pink shirt in You Only Live Twice was not such a hit, but two years earlier in Thunderball he had more success in pink. This rose-coloured, short-sleeve linen shirt has a sportier cut and is worn un-tucked. The hem has a slight curve with side vents and comes to a point in the front. The shirt has a french front, camp collar, a rounded breast pocket and shoulder pleats.
Bond’s light blue swimming trunks sit just below the waist and have an inseam of only a couple inches or so. The trunks have button-down belt loops that accommodate some sort of continuous black belt, which is probably elastic. There’s a logo on the left leg; can anyone identify it?