The cloth of Sean Connery’s blue suit in Q’s lab in Goldfinger is quite mysterious. It is a heavy weight, has a mottled colouring and has a woollen texture. That means it’s most likely tweed. We get another look at the same Anthony Sinclair suit in Woman of Straw, and in this film—the suit’s original appearance—the suit is a three-piece. There’s no question it’s the same suit. The cut is the same button two with natural shoulders and a draped chest. It has swelled edges, cloth-covered buttons and jetted pockets. The vents are still a mystery. The poor lighting in this film makes the vent style difficult to make out, but I believe I see double vents. See the enhanced screenshot below.
Click image to enlarge
The trousers have double forward pleats. The waistcoat is the same style as the waistcoats in Goldfinger: six buttons with five to button. Connery, however, fastens the bottom button, which is meant to be left open. This disrupts the otherwise clean lines of the waistcoat. The covered buttons down the waistcoat make a big impact, since without the waistcoat the covered buttons almost go unnoticed. Covered buttons aren’t ordinarily seen outside of formalwear, but they were popular in the 1960s on lounge suits as well. The Avengers’ John Steed also wore suits with covered buttons.
This is a town and country suit, meaning it can effectively transition between relaxed country wear and business. The cloth has a country texture in a city colour, and the jetted pockets are a more formal city touch. Even though this suit is appropriate in both the city and country, it fits in better here than it does in Q’s lab. The houndstooth suit that Bond wears in M’s office also seems more appropriate in this film.
Connery wears this suit a few times throughout Women of Straw. Early in the film he wears a solid light blue tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot just like he does in Goldfinger. The white or off-white shirt has a moderate spread collar, a placket and double cuffs. Later in the film he wears a solid black tie, also tied in a four-in-hand knot, and the white or off-white shirt has a wider spread collar like in Goldfinger. He wears a white pocket handkerchief with both outfits.
Bond’s second hacking jacket of the series is a bit more bold than the first one, but it’s just as traditional. Goldfinger features Bond’s first hacking jacket, a subtle barleycorn tweed. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service features Bond’s second hacking jacket, a bolder houndstooth tweed. But it’s a rather simple check, in black, brown and cream with a red overcheck. The jacket is made by Dimi Major, with lightly padded shoulders, a swelled chest, a nipped waist and a flared skirt. It’s a button three with one button on the cuffs and the hacking jacket features of slanted pockets and a deep single vent. Slanted pockets are easier to access on horseback whilst the deep vent helps the jacket to split in back over the horse.
Click the image for a close-up of the weave.
Bond almost never fastens the top button on his button three jackets. On most of Bond’s button three jackets the lapels gently roll at the top button. Here, Lazenby interrupts the roll by fastening the top button. Dimi Major cuts his button three jackets to look great either with both to the top and middle buttons closed or just the middle button closed. Unlike ordinary sports coats, riding jackets are longer and have three buttons placed higher on the chest, with all three meant to fasten. Lazenby’s hacking jacket is cut like a typical sports coat, meaning the bottom button isn’t meant to fasten. Closing the top button puts this jacket more in the spirit of riding jackets. But fastening the top button is also necessary to hold in the day cravat.
The beige shirt has a stock collar, which extends around to close at the left side of the neck instead of the front. It looks unbroken across the front and is meant to be worn with a stock tie or a day cravat, of which Bond wears the latter. Bond’s cravat is also beige and is worn with a pin. The beige jodhpurs—likely made of cavalry twill wool due to its elastic properties—are worn with a belt and fit into Bond’s tall, black riding boots. Since I’m not involved in the equestrian world, I cannot judge the appropriateness of the outfit. The only part of this outfit that may be worn outside of equestrian activity is the hacking jacket, and the rest of the outfit should be limited to equestrian pursuits.
In A View to a Kill, Roger Moore wears another equestrian outfit, but with a conventional shirt and knitted tie.
Roger Moore wears a smart casual outfit of a tweed jacket with a polo neck jumper in a fifth series episode of The Saint titled “The Death Game”. The jacket is made in a grey tweed with a small check and is in a button-three cut with a little drape and natural shoulders. It has the trendy 1960s details of narrow lapels, short double vents and single-button cuffs. The open patch pockets allow this jacket to be worn more casually.
The polo neck jumper is made in beige cashmere. The trousers are light grey wool, most likely in a cavalry twill weave. They have a narrow, tapered leg with plain bottoms. The hem is short with no break because of the narrow leg, and to compensate for the short length Moore wears black, short elastic-sided boots. Though black boots go well with grey trousers, brown would be better suited for the country setting and casual nature of the outfit.
In 1964′s Marnie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Sean Connery wears an elegant mix of American Ivy League—as worn by Felix Leiter in Goldfinger—and English Savile Row style. I’m not talking about the “Updated American” suit, which takes the American sack suit and adds darts to the jacket—and sometimes pleats to the trousers. I’m talking about the way one wears his clothes. Another Hitchcock leading man, Cary Grant famously dressed in an English-American manner, often combining English tailoring with American accessories. Polo Ralph Lauren is currently the most well-known purveyor of this style, whilst New York and Chicago’s Paul Stuart and Charleston’s Ben Silver also excel at selling this style of clothing, both in their tailoring and in their accessories.
Though Connery’s sports coats and trousers in Marnie are likely English in origin, he wears them in a decidedly American manner. This jacket is a woolen herringbone tweed in black and grey. It buttons three, with the lapel rolling over the top button. That type of lapel roll is typically associated with American tailoring, though English tailors have been known to cut their suits this way as well. Though all of the suits in Marnie have a somewhat full cut, this jacket may be cut a bit fuller, since Americans often wear their sports coats larger to be able to accommodate a jumper underneath. The full cut works well on Connery, since a more athletic cut wouldn’t drape as well considering his large drop. Still, the jacket has plenty of shape. Like the suits in Marnie, this jacket has flap pockets, 3 buttons on the cuffs and no vent.
The trousers are English in cut. They have double forward pleats, a tapered leg with turn-ups, side tabs and an extended waistband closure. The choice of charcoal for the trousers isn’t the best since there is little contrast with the jacket. However, there is contrast in texture, and that counts for something. In comparison to the trousers, the shirt is an American classic that Connery never wore as Bond: a button-down. The key to a successful button down collar is in the roll. The buttons are placed a bit higher up than where the collar points fall to assist the roll. The button-down is a rather casual collar, and thus Connery only wears it with sports coats in Marnie. Most people in England would never wear a tie with a button-down collar, since the buttons are there to help the collar stand up when it is unbuttoned more than they are there frame the tie. Connery also wears his ties in Marnie much different from how he wears them as Bond. The ties are narrower in Marnie, and narrower than his already somewhat narrow lapels. The tie is plain black, and he clips it to his shirt with a tie bar. He wears the bar with a slight downward angle. And in some shots the tie tucked into his trousers, meaning his ties are an extra-long length considering Connery’s height. Because the tie is so narrow, it’s difficult to tell if he is using a Windsor or Half Windsor knot. The lace-up shoes are black, keeping all the colours of the outfit in black, white and grey.
At M’s flat in Casino Royale, Bond wears a topcoat in a light blue barleycorn pattern on a black ground. The coat has straight shoulders which may signify that it is Brioni-made like the suits in the film. The coat has notch lapels and a collar like a typical lounge coat. The coat buttons three down the front and has 3 buttons on the cuffs, straight flapped pockets and a single vent. The coat is approximately knee length, though we don’t see Bond wearing the coat whilst standing.
Blue and Black Barleycorn Detail
Underneath the coat Bond wears a black polo with three buttons. Though a long-sleeve polo would be most appropriate since Bond is wearing a topcoat, we don’t see black sleeves under the coat’s sleeves. It’s likely the sleeves are pushed up because it would be odd and impractical to wear a short-sleeve shirt under a topcoat. It’s difficult to tell the material of the polo, but its likely to be cashmere. The trousers are in a black and white Glen Urquhart check with an overlaid light blue plaid, which picks up the blue in the topcoat. The trousers have turn-ups. Bond also wears black socks and black calf chukka boots.
Though suitable for winter nights in Las Vegas, for the most part a tweed jacket is out of place there. Bond wears a plaid tweed in tan, black and red during his stay in Las Vegas in Diamonds Are Forever. The jacket is in the same half-norfolk style as the herringbone jacket he wears earlier in the film. The jacket buttons three down the front and has a half belt and deep double vents at the back. It’s styled with two buttons on the sleeves, bellows patch pockets with flaps on the hips and no breast pocket. The buttons are dark brown leather. And the jacket has the same extended collar as the herringbone jacket. Though Anthony Sinclair made the suits for the film, we don’t know if he made the two tweed sports coats.
A tan knit polo neck shirt—tucked in—adds to the outfit’s warmth. The trousers are brown with a darted front, plain bottoms and frogmouth pockets. His shoes are medium brown ankle boots that close with a strap, as we have seen elsewhere in the film.
Bond is still the best-dressed in the room. Notice Felix’s yellow shirt.
This outfit is a bit too warm-toned for Sean Connery’s complexion, but the herringbone jacket from the beginning of the film is a much better brown for Connery. The rich tans in the polo neck and within the jacket’s check don’t work so well for Connery, and in the context of a bold plaid makes Connery as much a victim of 1970′s fashions as much as Roger Moore ever was. However, Willard White’s (Jimmy Dean) western jacket and Felix Leiters’s (Norman Burton) yellow shirt make Connery’s clothes look tame.
As we all know, Auric Goldfinger loves gold and he loves to wear it. He wears gold cufflinks, a gold watch and a gold ring. Gold clothing would be a bit garish, so he chooses a mostly brown and yellow wardrobe. And it’s a wardrobe that flatters his autumn complexion. Gert Frobe’s peachy skin and red-blonde hair is best flattered by muted, but rich, warm colours that are perfect for the current autumn season out in the country. Goldfinger’s checked suit that he wears in England and Switzerland is the perfect example. The tweed cloth has a golden brown ground with a grid of black and green, intersected by a red overcheck.
The suit jacket is a button one with a shawl collar, a 1960′s fashion that didn’t quite catch on. The shawl collar comes from Goldfinger’s love for smoking jackets and denotes a bespoke pedigree. The jacket has jetted pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent. The jacket has softly padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads and a draped chest, which gives the illusion of a waist. The cut with its properly placed button stance is a very flattering look for Goldfinger. We can’t see much of the trousers so we can’t tell if there are pleats, but they have a full cut, have plain bottoms, sit above the waist and are most likely supported by braces. That’s the only way trousers will stay up on a corpulent figure and the most flattering look on his body.
Bond and Goldfinger both are wearing brown, but notice how Goldfinger’s rich brown clothing flatters his warm complexion whilst Connery’s muted brown clothing flatters his cool complexion.
Goldfinger wears a pale yellow shirt with a short, rounded point collar and double cuffs. His narrow tie is brown satin silk. He wears black derby shoes or boots. The hat is a medium brown trilby, with a very narrow brim and tapered crown, and it appears to be suede.
In 1964, Sean Connery starred in a crime thriller called Woman of Straw, and it features many of the same clothes that Connery wears a few months later in Goldfinger, including suits and dinner jackets most likely made by Anthony Sinclair. The classic brown barleycorn hacking jacket that we saw in Goldfinger and Thunderball also appears in this film. It could possibly be a different piece altogether, but the resemblance is striking. It would seem odd that the Bond films would use leftovers from another film, though it may have been planned this way. The clothes in this film didn’t see nearly as much wear as they did in Goldfinger, and the production could save money and time by using perfectly good suits already made.
Connery wears both the hacking jacket as well as the tan cavalry twill trousers with frogmouth pockets that are later seen in Goldfinger and Thunderball, but what he wears them with is different. The shirt is the same style as the shirt in Goldfinger, with a spread collar and double cuffs, but in sky blue instead of ecru. Connery wears a solid brown tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot, and he wears the same waistcoat seen in Goldfinger under the houndstooth suit from M’s office. The beige wool waistcoat has a 6-button front, and Connery closes all the buttons. The bottom button isn’t supposed to be buttoned on this waistcoat and it causes the bottom to bunch up and pull.
Later I will be writing about other clothes from Woman of Straw, whether seen in Goldfinger or just exclusive to this film.