OK Connery: Neil Connery in Black Tie

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In 1967, Sean Connery’s younger brother Neil Connery starred in an Italian spy film called OK Connery, which is also known as Operation Kid Brother and Operation Double 007, amongst other titles. Neil Connery plays Dr. Neil Connery, who is the brother of a well-known British secret agent. The film features a number of actors who had appeared in the James Bond films, such as Daniela Bianchi (Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love), Adolfo Celi (Emilio Largo in Thunderball), Anthony Dawson (Professor Dent in Dr. No), Bernard Lee (M) and Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny). Neil Connery, who is dressed in lab coats, Scottish highland dress and dungarees in this film, also wears suits and sports coats with two buttons like his brother wears, but in shades of brown instead of greys and blues. Neil Connery’s most Bond-like outfit is his black dinner suit.

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Since OK Connery is an Italian production, Connery’s suits were most likely made by an Italian tailor. The single-button dinner jacket is cut with lightly padded straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a clean chest and a suppressed waist. The jacket has the traditional details of jetted pockets and no rear vent. The dinner jacket’s only concession to 1960s fashion is the narrow width of the silk-faced shawl collar. Unfortunately, the collar stands away from the neck in some shots, but that may be the fault of the way Connery donned the jacket rather than a problem with the fit. The too-long sleeves, however, are a problem with the fit. The trousers have medium-width tapered legs and likely have pleats.

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Connery’s white dress shirt has a short spread collar, double cuffs and a front bib with large pleats that fastens with shimmering mother-of-pearl studs. His narrow batwing bow tie is in black silk with crosswise ribs. Connery appears to be following his older brother’s style and foregoes a waist covering. Though his outfit is not perfect, he convincingly looks the part of James Bond’s younger brother.

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Marnie: Sean Connery’s Taupe Herringbone Suit

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For Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 film Marnie, costume designer James Linn came up with varied wardrobe or suits and sports coats for Sean Connery to wear. For a large portion of the film, Connery wears a taupe suit quite unlike anything he wears as James Bond. Though Connery wears a few brown suits as James Bond, Bond’s are all in dark shades of brown. This suit is in a medium shade of taupe, which is a grey-brown. The name for the colour comes from the French taupe, a noun for the mole animal. A mole is dark grey-brown, and the colour is named after it.

Connery’s taupe suit is a heavy worsted wool woven in a herringbone weave with a white pinstripe bordering each repeat of the herringbone. This suit is what might be called a “town and country” suit, being neither completely a town suit nor a country suit. It is made in a worsted cloth, which is typically worn in town, and it has the details of a town suit, such as a vent-less rear and straight pockets. But taupe’s marginally warm tone brings it into the country. Since taupe is between grey and brown, it makes the transition nicely. Formality-wise, a taupe suit also fits between grey and brown.

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Taupe can be considered a neutral colour, but it has a slight warmth that is most flattering on people with a warm complexion. Sean Connery has a cool complexion and looks better in cooler greys than he does in a warmer taupe. However, Connery looks much better in taupe than he does in warmer and richer country browns. Taupe’s warmth reflects the country’s surroundings but is neutral enough to still look good on someone with a cool complexion. It is therefore an excellent compromise in the country for someone with a cool complexion. Likewise, it can also be a good compromise in the city for someone with a warm complexion because it is neutral enough to fit in amongst the greys of the city.

This suit is made in the same style as all of Connery’s other suits in Marnie, and the cuts of both the jacket and the trousers suggests an English tailor. The jacket is cut with a full chest and a gently suppressed waist. The shoulders are on the natural shoulder line with more padding than his suits in the Bond films have, and the shoulders have roped sleeveheads. The jacket buttons three with the lapels gently rolled over the top button, and it is detailed with flap pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent. Connery briefly rides a horse in this suit, and the lack of vent does not make the task impossible. A vent, however, would likely have made Connery more comfortable on the horse.

Connery is bent forward, causing rumples at the waist

Connery is bent forward, causing rumples at the waist

The suit’s trousers have double forward pleats, a tapered leg with turn-ups, an extended waistband closure and button side tabs to adjust the waist. Instead of the tabs extending forward as they ordinarily do (like on Connery’s Bond suit trousers), these tabs extend rearward.

The cream shirt has a spread collar, front placket and single-button rounded barrel cuffs. The shirts resemble Frank Foster’s shirts, with a familiar collar shape and a placket stitched close to the center. Connery’s narrow tie is solid dark brown in a shiny satin weave, and it is tied in a windsor knot. The tie is held to his placket with a tie bar at the height of the jacket’s top button so it is just barely seen when the jacket is closed at the middle button. Connery’s shoes are medium brown derbys with an elongated and slightly squared toe. The shoes likely have double leather soles for extra durability in the country.

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Never Say Never Again: Bond Borrows a Striped Bathrobe

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When Bond arrives aboard Largo’s yacht the Flying Saucer in Never Say Never Again, he’s wearing a wet suit. He removes the wetsuit immediately and when he climbs on deck he’s only wearing a pair of tight, mid-thigh-length navy swimming trunks with red and white stripes. Largo’s butler greets Bond and gives him a bathrobe and matching towel to wear over his shoulders to dry off.

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Bond’s briefly seen swimming trunks

Bond’s striped bathrobe in Spectre makes the striped bathrobe from Never Say Never Again relevant again, though the colour schemes are vastly different. The bathrobe Largo provides Bond has a bold pattern of wide and narrow yellow, navy and periwinkle stripes. There are also narrow sections of white and coloured pin stripes in each of the three respective colours. The bathrobe is made from a very absorbent waffle cotton or microfibre.

The calf-length robe cinches around the waist with a belt. There are two open patch pockets at the sides below the belt. The chest has a black patch with a gold insignia.

Close-up of the waffle fabric

Close-up of the waffle fabric

Like many of the bathrobes and dressing gowns that Bond wears, this one is not Bond’s own and not something to judge his taste by. The pastel colours were very popular in the 1980s, and his polo later in the film follows the same colour scheme. The shared colours between the bathrobe and polo may signify that Bond also got the polo from Largo. However, the shirt and trousers that Bond wears aboard the Flying Saucer inexplicably match his own since he brought no clothes with him.

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015): Glen Urquhart Check Suit

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Henry Cavill stars as Napoleaon Solo in the 2015 film The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which is a remake of the 1960s television series of the same name that starred Robert Vaughn. London tailor Timothy Everest, who tailored Ralph Fiennes for Skyfall and Spectre and Christoph Waltz and Dave Bautista for Spectre, tailored Henry Cavill’s suits. Whilst the character in the original television series is dressed in a wholly American 1960s Hollywood style, the film’s costume designer Joanna Johnston wanted to give Solo a British look. Solo’s suits are inspired by the experimental fashion of mid 1960s England, which isn’t right for the film’s 1963 setting or for the traditionally minded character, but Solo nevertheless dresses very stylishly.

The television character often wears checked suits, and a number of checked suits were brought back for the film. One of these is a three piece suit in a black and white Glen Urquhart check with a blue windowpane overcheck. George Lazenby wears a suit in a similar cloth in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The jacket has buttons covered in the Glen Urquhart check cloth, and the buttons alternate between the large and small parts of the Glen Urquhart check.

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Everest tailored the suit with a three buttons down the front (instead of the single button that Solo often wore in the television series), straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a clean chest, and a close-fitting but straight waist. The squared-off foreparts combined with Cavill buttoning both the middle and the top buttons give the jacket a rather boxy look, but it has a dynamically shaped silhouette that fits Cavill’s athletic physique very well. The jacket is detailed with narrow lapels, straight flapped pockets, a ticket pocket, four cuff buttons and a single vent. The jacket’s length is about an inch shorter than the traditional length. The squared-off foreparts make the jacket look longer in front, though the short length is noticeable from behind.

The trousers have a flat front and narrow, tapered legs with plain hems. The waistcoat has five buttons and a straight bottom, which complements the straight bottom of the suit jacket. There are two welt pockets on the front of the waistcoat.

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The ecru shirt’s point collar contrasts with the button-down collars that Solo typically wore in the television series. The point collar is fashionably short for the 1960s trends—too short for the points to stay anchored to the chest—and has no tie space. The shirt also has double cuffs.

Solo’s tie is dark grey with a black and white pattern, most likely printed. The scale of the pattern is larger than the houndstooth section of the Glen Urquhart check but smaller than the repeat of the whole check, so it is able to pair well with the checked suit. Solo ties it in a four-in-hand knot. The ecru silk pocket square with black polka dots is casually stuffed into the out-breast pocket with one point up. This is rather flashy for the 1960s, when people usually wore folded white linen handkerchiefs in their breast pockets. In the television series, Solo did not wear pocket squares. Cavill’s shoes are dark brown oxfords.

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Overall, the suit is interesting and unique, and the outfit is stylishly put together. The suit, however, does not reflect the American character from the television show nor does it reflect the year when the film takes place. This was all done on purpose for the sake of dressing the character in the costume designer’s taste with a blatant disregard for what the character should authentically be wearing.

You can read more about Timothy Everest’s work on the film at TimothyEverest.co.uk

James Bond Brings Back the Turtleneck

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If Daniel Craig’s fashion sense is anything to go on, the turtleneck has boldly returned. Craig had the power to return shawl collar cardigans to the forefront of fashion after wearing them as James Bond in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and he will no doubt do the same for the turtleneck after wearing three in Spectre.

The turtleneck, also known as the polo neck or roll neck, is a knitted jumper that has a close-fitting high collar that rolls over to cover the neck all around. An alternative to the turtleneck is the shorter and more modern mock turtleneck, which does not fold over. Turtlenecks saw their heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, while mock turtlenecks ruled in the 1990s. Both the true turtleneck and the mock turtleneck are returning in Spectre.

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Daniel Craig wears a dark charcoal grey fine gauge mock turtleneck made of cashmere and silk from British company N.Peal on the teaser poster for Spectre with charcoal tick-patterned trousers and a shoulder holster. This look immediately recalls the 1973 film Live and Let Die, in which Roger Moore wears a black full turtleneck with black trousers and shoulder holster. Craig’s dark grey version better flatters his fair complexion and adds more subtle interest in updating the look. In the film, Craig will be wearing a dark blue-grey suede Racer Jacket from John Varvatos over the mock turtleneck to conceal his gun.

Both Daniel Craig in Spectre and Roger Moore in Live and Let Die were inspired to wear this look after Steve McQueen famously wore a dark blue turtleneck sweater with a shoulder holster as police lieutenant Frank Bullitt in the 1968 film Bullitt. This look is only seen briefly at the end of the film since he is usually wearing a brown herringbone, elbow-patched tweed jacket to hide his gun and holster. Bullitt‘s poster and publicity stills, which are without the jacket, are what made the look so iconic. Not only does Daniel Craig copy McQueen’s turtleneck and shoulder holster look in Spectre, but he also wears the same brown suede Sanders & Sanders “Playboy” chukka boots that McQueen wears in Bullitt.

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Steve McQueen in Bullitt

Before Steve McQueen wore the turtleneck and holster in Bullitt, it was a popular look for agents in the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Robert Vaughn first wore this look as Napoleon Solo in the 1965 episode “The Four-Steps Affair”, but David McCallum’s character Illya Kuryakin is more famous for the look and first wore it in the following episode “The See-Paris-and-Die Affair”.

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David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin in “The See-Paris-and-Die Affair”

Besides the charcoal grey mock turtleneck, Daniel Craig wears another mock turtleneck in Spectre under a dark grey nylon-front knitted wool blouson from Tom Ford while on his mission in snowy Austria. This example, which is also from N.Peal, is identical to the dark charcoal grey piece, except it is made in a vivid medium shade of blue called “Lapis Blue”.

Daniel Craig wears a third turtleneck in Spectre from N.Peal in a colour they call “Fumo Grey”, which is a light and warm shade of grey. This turtleneck is the more traditional full roll-neck style and is designed for warmth. It is cable-knitted and in a heavier Mongolian cashmere. Craig wears it under a heavy navy wool zip-front blouson in the Austrian Alps.

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N.Peal turtleneck in “Fumo Grey” from Spectre

Spectre and Live and Let Die are not the only two James Bond films to feature turtlenecks. Sean Connery introduced the mock turtleneck to the Bond in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice when he wears a grey top to infiltrate the SPECTRE volcano headquarters. Sean Connery wears full turtlenecks in Diamond Are Forever with his brown tweed jackets. In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, George Lazenby wears orange and white turtlenecks as part of his golf and ski outfits, respectively.

Roger Moore undoubtedly holds the status as the turtleneck James Bond. In The Spy Who Loved Me he wears a navy turtleneck as part of his naval battle dress, and in Moonraker he wears a cream turtleneck under a double-breasted navy blazer. The 1981 Bond film For Your Eyes Only is tied with Spectre for featuring the most turtlenecks. In this film, Moore wears his turtlenecks under a shearling blouson and a ski jacket in the Italian Alps as well as under a lightweight blouson in Greece. Until Spectre, Die Another Day was the last Bond film to feature a turtleneck. Pierce Brosnan wears a heavy cashmere cable-knit mock turtleneck from the Scottish company Ballantyne, now liquidated, in the 2002 film.

Bond's last turtleneck in Die Another Day

Bond’s last turtleneck in Die Another Day

This article was originally published in 20 Minuten.

A Blue Bathrobe, Courtesy of Dr. No

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James Bond wears many bathrobes and dressing gowns throughout the series, and they all started in Dr. No with the bathrobe Bond given after his decontamination shower by Dr. No’s men. The bathrobes and dressing gowns that Bond wears are rarely his own. Bond’s calf-length bathrobe is made of sky blue cotton terrycloth and it is made like any ordinary bathrobe with a shawl collar, turned-back cuffs a patch pocket on the left side of the chest and two patch pockets on the hips. A belt ties around the waist. Bond’s sandals are also provided by Dr. No’s men and are made of woven rope in the natural tan colour of the fibre they are made of. Though slippers are the ordinary footwear to wear with a bathrobe, sandals fit the island location.

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Honey is holding Bond’s sandals, with hers inside

The Wild Geese: Tan Leather Bomber Jacket

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To celebrate Roger Moore’s 88th birthday today, we look at his classic 1978 action film The Wild Geese. The Wild Geese stars Moore alongside Richard Burton and Richard Harris in a film about mercenaries in Africa. In two scenes in The Wild Geese, Moore wears a tan leather bomber jacket along with some of his classic wardrobe items.

The bomber blouson-style jacket is in a flattering dark shade of tan known as Windsor tan. The jacket buttons up the front with seven gilt buttons, and there are two additional buttons on the collar that button backwards from the revers of the left side onto the right side of the collar. The leather jacket is constructed with a yoke in front, raglan sleeves and only two pieces in back. The inside of the collar, the cuffs and the hem are made of mottled beige ribbed knit wool that’s a close match to the jumpers he wears under the jacket. Slash pockets on either side at the waist have tabs that fasten with gilt buttons.

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Under the bomber jacket, Moore first wears a v-neck jumper and a sky blue shirt. The jumper is beige with a hint of olive and most likely made of cashmere. The shirt is made by Frank Foster with the same long point collar that he made for Roger Moore to wear in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. The shirt has a front placket stitched close to the centre. The shirt also has button cuffs, but since the jumper’s cuffs are mostly covering the shirt’s cuffs we can’t tell if they are the Lapidus-style tab cuffs that Moore was wearing as Bond at the time. It’s unfortunate that Moore leaves the first two buttons open on his shirt, since the purpose of such a low V-neck opening on the jumper should not be to show off his chest and necklace. The low V-neck is better suited to a buttoned shirt collar with a tie. But alas, this was the fashion of the 1970s.

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In the following scene, Moore replaces his V-neck jumper and blue shirt for a tight-fitting, beige cashmere polo neck jumper. With both outfits, Moore wears tan trousers with a flat front and flared legs. Because the trousers have a sharp crease down each leg, they are likely wool gabardine. But judging by the creasing around the crotch, the trousers are probably lighter weight than one would typically wear with a heavy bomber jacket. Moore wears tan socks and light brown slip-on shoes with the first outfit, and he probably wears the same with the second outfit.

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The Thomas Crown Affair: Date Night in a Midnight Blue Suit

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Pierce Brosnan wears a large variety of suits from Milanese tailor Gianni Campagna as Thomas Crown in his 1999 film The Thomas Crown Affair. The Campagna suits cost $3,400 each at the time, and they are made of Super 150s wool. For a date with insurance investigator Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Cipriani, Crown wears a midnight blue suit. Midnight blue is ordinarily reserved for dinner suits, but the ultra dark shade of blue is also the perfect colour for a suit worn for a less formal evening out.

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The suit jacket buttons three, and the lapels roll gently over the top button. It is cut with a clean chest and has straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads. The jacket has double vents, straight pockets with flaps and four buttons on the cuffs. When Banning is cold at the museum, Crown gentlemanly removes his jacket and places it over her shoulders. The suit trousers are belted and have double reverse pleats and tapered legs.

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Crown’s french blue poplin shirt from Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar, double cuffs with the link holes close to the fold, a narrow front placket and shoulder pleats in back. The shirt has gauntlet buttons on the sleeves, which means that if it is a ready to wear shirt it is made of Sea Island cotton since those are the only shirts Turnbull & Asser adorns with gauntlet buttons. The royal blue silk tie—likely in a satin weave—is a bit darker than the shirt. In the late 1990s it was fashionable to wear ties that were close to or matching the colour of the shirt, but there is a good amount of contrast in this outfit for a tasteful shirt and tie combination. Crown ties the tie in a four-in-hand knot with a dimple. With the suit, Crown wears black oxfords and a black belt.

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