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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Marnie: A Black, White and Red Houndstooth Jacket

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Previously I wrote about the black and grey herringbone tweed sports coat that Sean Connery wears as Mark Rutland in the 1964 Alfred Hitchcock film Marnie. The houndstooth check sports coat that Connery also wears in Marnie is made in the same style as the herringbone sports coat, and he wears it in a very similar manner. The jacket’s houndstooth check is in black and white (or rather slightly off white), and it has a windowpane that replaces the black in the check with red. The colours of this jacket look great on Connery’s cool complexion and allow it to work in informal settings outside the country. The cloth of this jacket is very similar to the cloth of George Lazenby’s hacking jacket in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

The jacket is likely made by an English tailor and is cut with straight shoulders on the natural shoulder line, roped sleeveheads, a full chest and a full waist. Though the shoulders look English, the jacket has a fuller cut since Americans often like to wear their sports coats fuller than their suit coats. The men’s costume designer on Marnie, James Linn, was likely American, and Rutland is supposed to be either American or English-American in the film. Nevertheless, the jacket still has some shape, which would show better if Connery buttoned the jacket. The jacket buttons three, but the lapel gently rolls over the top button. The jacket is detailed with flap pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent. It’s an odd style choice to make a sports coat without a vent, especially one in a sporty tweed, but when worn for social occasions and not riding, the lack of vent does not matter. Non-vented jackets are very popular amongst the men in Hitchcock’s films since they have a cleaner look than a vented jacket.

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The medium grey flannel trousers are made in an English style. They have double forward pleats, a tapered leg with turn-ups, button side tabs to adjust the waist and an extended waistband closure. The choice of medium grey for the trousers isn’t the best since they have little contrast with the jacket. However, there is a bit of contrast in texture: woollen tweed for the jacket versus woollen flannel for the trousers. Flannel trousers are the perfect match for a tweed jacket. From a distance, however, the jacket’s pattern looks like solid medium grey, and because the trousers have a cooler tone than the jacket, the outfit, unfortunately, looks like a mismatched grey suit. The scale of the jacket’s check isn’t large enough to work with similarly-toned trousers.

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The jacket and trousers look like a mismatched suit from a distance.

In comparison to the English-style trousers, the shirt is an American classic that Connery never wears as James Bond: a button-down shirt. 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 collar is a rather casual collar, and thus Connery only wears it with sports coats in Marnie. Most people in England today would never wear a tie with a button-down collar, and button-down collars aren’t as popular in America as they used to be either. Connery’s white button-down shirt has a front placket and most likely single-button cuffs. Connery’s narrow tie is plain black, and he clips it to his shirt with a tie bar, something he never wears as James Bond. The tie bar, however, comes loose and leaves the tie dangling. There’s nothing wrong with a dangling tie, but it should not be dangling with a tie bar. Because the tie is so narrow, it is difficult to tell if he knotted the tie in a windsor or a half windsor knot. The lace-up shoes are black, and whilst they look rather serious in the informal country setting they match the black in both the jacket’s check and the tie.

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Marnie: A Glen Check Suit Appropriate For Bond

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In honour of Sean Connery’s 84th birthday earlier this week, let’s look at a glen check suit he wears in Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie that’s quite befitting for James Bond. The lightweight black and white glen check cloth is in a hopsack weave, and it’s very similar to the cloth of the glen check suit that Connery wears in Goldfinger. However, the two-and-two—or puppytooth—section of the glen check has a smaller repeat. The cloth is approximated in the diagram below.

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The button three suit jacket has narrow lapels that roll through the top button but not down to the middle button. The jacket is cut with a full chest, straight shoulders on the natural shoulder line and roped sleeveheads, and it has no vent, three buttons on the cuffs and pockets with very narrow flaps. The buttons are grey horn, as opposed to the grey plastic buttons that are on Sean Connery’s worsted Anthony Sinclair suits for Bond. Not much of the trousers can be seen, but they most likely follow the other suit trousers in the film and have double forward pleats, turn-ups and button-tab side-adjusters.

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The white shirt—it looks cream, but I suspect that’s due to the way the film is treated because all of the colours have been warmed—has a spread collar, rounded single-button cuffs and a placket stitched close to the centre like on Frank Foster’s shirts. The narrow black repp tie—which isn’t as interesting as the textured dark grenadine ties Sean Connery often wears as Bond—anchors the overall light-coloured outfit by giving the outfit the necessary contrast to flatter Connery’s cool, high-contrast complexion. Because the tie is so narrow, it’s difficult to tell if the symmetrical knot he is using a Windsor or Half Windsor knot. Connery secures his tie with a tie bar that is mostly obscured by his jacket, slightly angled downward and placed about an inch below the jacket’s top button.

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Marnie: The Dinner Suit

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Sean Connery wears a very Bond-like midnight blue dinner suit in Marnie. The jacket has straight shoulders on the natural shoulder line with roping and less dress drape in the chest than the other tailoring in the film. It has a button-one front and a midnight blue satin shawl collar. The jacket also has 3-button cuffs, jetted pockets and no vents. The buttons are probably horn, but may also be plastic, which was very common on dinner jackets in the 1960s. The trousers have double forward pleats and side adjusters.

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Like in his Bond films, Connery wears neither a waistcoat nor a cummerbund in Marnie. The bow tie is midnight blue satin silk in a batwing shape. He wears a regular white shirt, with a spread collar and button cuffs. It has a placket with stitching closely spaced down the middle and mother of pearl buttons. A regular shirt can work for black tie in a pinch if it has double cuffs and no pocket, but the button cuffs on this shirt make it a less than ideal choice for black tie. The closest to a regular shirt Bond wears with black tie are the white-on-white stripe shirt in Thunderball and the voile shirt in Octopussy.

Marnie: English-American Style in a Herringbone Tweed Jacket

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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.

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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, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent.

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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.

Marnie: Grey and Navy Pinstriped Suits

Marnie Grey Pinstripe

It’s about time I looked into Sean Connery’s beautiful suits from 1964’s Marnie. There’s a wealth of material to draw from this film, including six suits, three sports coats and a dinner suit. Marnie‘s director Alfred Hitchcock had a huge influence on the Bond films and Bond style, especially with 1959’s North By Northwest as well as some of his other espionage thrillers. It’s quite fitting for Sean Connery to do a Hitchcock film.

Marnie Grey Pinstripe

The clothes look English, though it’s very possible that they are made by an American tailor. The suits are similar to his Bond suits, with a full chest and straight shoulders on the natural shoulder line with roped sleeveheads, but they don’t appear to be cut by Anthony Sinclair. In contrast to his Bond suits, Connery’s suits in Marnie button three as opposed to two, though the lapel rolls gently over the top button. The suits have narrow lapels and pocket flaps, 3-button cuffs and no vents. The trousers are very similar to Connery’s Bond trousers, with double forward pleats, turn-ups and side adjusters. But instead of the tabs extending forward as they ordinarily do, these tabs extend rearward. The suits pictured here are a medium grey with a narrow pinstripe (above 2) and a navy with an even narrower pinstripe (below 2).

Marnie Navy Pinstripe

The soft white shirt has a spread collar and single-button rounded barrel cuffs. The shirts resemble Frank Foster’s shirts, with a familiar collar shape and the placket stitching close to the center. The shirt also has shoulder pleats, to better fit Connery’s athletic build. His tie is solid black, tied in a half windsor knot and held to his placket with a tie bar. In addition to clipping his tie to the shirt, he also tucks in the tie. For a man of Connery’s height to tuck in the shirt he must be wearing a very long tie. Compare it to his Bond ties, which just touched his waistband. Look for more clothes from Marnie in the future.

Marnie Navy Pinstripe