In Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery shows off a better body than he had when he had left the James Bond series in Diamonds Are Forever. For his final scene as James Bond, Connery wears a pair of white swimming trunks. They have red stripes down the sides that curve into the hem and form a vent. Between the red and white sections is a thin line of black piping. The swimming trunks sit about three inches below the waist and have a short inseam of approximately 3 inches.
These swimming trunks have a similar fit to what Sean Connery wears 18 years earlier in Thunderball, but the style has been updated. They are a little looser around the hips, and the material looks lighter. These swimming trunks resemble the athletic shorts that were popular in the 1980s. Instead of a belt, these trunks have an elasticised waist and maybe a drawstring.
In trying to find out who sold these swimming trunks, I’ve discovered that many brands at the time made very similar trunks. Some of these brands include Balboa, Jantzen (who made Sean Connery’s swimming trunks in Thunderball), Islander, Laguna and Styled in California. Most of these brands make their trunks with a flapped patch pocket on the right side, with Jantzen being the exception. Since these swimming trunks do not have a side pocket, Jantzen possibly the maker of these trunks. That would be a welcome throwback to Thunderball, the film that Never Say Never Again remade.
After looking at Roger Moore’s velour tracksuit in A View to a Kill, let us compare it to Sean Connery’s tracksuit from two years earlier in Never Say Never Again. Connery’s tracksuit is made in the classic ash grey heavy cotton jersey as opposed to Moore’s fashionable midnight blue. Unlike Moore, Connery wears his tracksuit for its intended athletic use, and he wears it at a health clinic, no less. The tracksuit jacket has a red zip, red ribbed elastic at the hem and at the sleeve openings, and red piping down the side of the sleeves and on the side openings of the front patch pockets. The jacket also has a hood, which closes with a red drawstring.
The tracksuit bottoms have red piping down the side seams and at the pockets, and they have red ribbed elastic at the leg openings. The elastic waist has a red drawstring that Connery keeps tucked in. Under the tracksuit, Connery wears a white poloneck in cotton jersey, and the outline of his vest (A-shirt) can be seen through it. Wearing just an A-shirt under a tracksuit is more typical, but Bond shows a little modesty here. He also wears the perfect complement to the classic ash grey tracksuit: white athletic socks and white trainers.
Connery also wears the tracksuit bottoms with an ash grey jersey over a black mock polo neck for working out.
In Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery wears a warm weather shirt staple: the chambray shirt. Chambray is a plain woven cotton cloth with a coloured warp and white filling yarns. It looks a little like denim and a little like pinpoint oxford, but it’s a light, sporty cloth for spring and summer shirts.
Like the standard chambray shirt, Connery’s is blue, and its two breast pockets would make this a sports shirt if it weren’t already part of a uniform. It’s a United States Navy issued shirt with a patch on the upper left sleeve to denote rank, though without the patch it would be no different than a civilian’s chambray shirt. The shirt has button-through breast pockets, a soft point collar, a front placket and long sleeves with single-button, rounded barrel cuffs. The stitching is white, which matches the white threads in the cloth but contrasts with the shirt overall for a more casual look. He wears a tan military web belt to hold up his dark trousers, which are either black or navy.
In Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery wears an odd choice of clothing aboard the Flying Saucer. A sky blue shirt with black trousers is more like the standard uniform today for a casual office than it is a stylish yachting outfit. The sky blue shirt from Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar, button-down cocktail cuffs, shoulder pleats and a front placket. The black trousers—probably made of tropical wool—have a flat front, slanted side pockets and plain hems. Connery wears a black shoes and a black belt with a brass buckle. With the exception of button-down cocktail cuffs, this boring outfit would fit in without notice at almost any business casual job. For a yacht, cream gabardine trousers and brown shoes would have been a more fitting choice, like we saw from the cream suit from earlier in the film.
Does anyone recognise where the belt comes from?
In a brief scene from Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery wears a similar outfit to what he wore back in the Bond films. The light warm grey semi-solid suit is similar to the light grey suits he wore in Dr. No, Thunderball and Diamonds Are Forever. His suit is the same cut as the other suits in the film: a button two jacket with natural shoulders and a clean chest. It has 3-button cuffs, flapped pockets and double vents. The trousers have a flat front. It’s a timeless suit and very flattering on Sean Connery.
The shirt is a very light grey with a spread collar, front placket and button-down cocktail cuffs. The tie is a twist on a Connery Bond classic. It’s a grenadine, but it’s the first time Connery wears one in medium grey. However, just two years earlier, Roger Moore wore a medium grey grenadine tie in For Your Eyes Only. Connery ties his in a Windsor knot. His tie looks a little short, but it also looks like his trousers have sagged down a little. He wears his trousers with a dark grey belt that has a brass buckle.
In Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery briefly wears a mid-grey merino wool V-neck jumper over a polo shirt. The polo is a yellow and light blue horizontal stripe, with a ribbed light blue collar. Connery wears it with two buttons open and the collar outside the jumper’s. We don’t see the trousers worn with this outfit, but the khaki jeans he wears in the following scene may have also been worn here. The summer colours on the polo are fitting for the Mediterranean, though not as Bond-like as the blue polo in the original film, Thunderball. When on a boat, dressing in layers is always helpful since the jumper can be removed if the weather gets too warm.
Turnbull & Asser’s main shop at 71-72 Jermyn Street
Whilst visiting Turnbull & Asser in July, employee Steven Quin brought some James Bond shirt patterns out of the archive to show me. Though they didn’t have Daniel Craig’s pattern on hand, they had two other Bond actors’ patterns.
Pierce Brosnan’s Pattern
Above is Pierce Brosnan’s pattern, showing the body and various collars. Though not shown in the picture, also included in Brosnan’s pattern envelope was a cocktail cuff pattern, in the same style as Connery’s cocktail cuff. They said Brosnan had a cocktail cuff shirt made for his personal wardrobe, though he didn’t wear one in any of his Bond films. Most of his shirts in the Bond films had Turnbull & Asser’s standard double cuffs
Sean Connery’s Pattern
Though Turnbull & Asser no longer has Sean Connery’s pattern from the 1960s, they were able to show me his pattern from 1982, which would have been made for Never Say Never Again. Above you can see the button-down cocktail cuff pattern on the bottom right. Above the cuff are a collar band and two different collar patterns, the lower one being very similar to the Classic Turnbull & Asser collar. The upper collar was the one used mostly in the film, though the lower one may have been used as well.
And pictured below, in a corner at the bespoke shop, is a James Bond wall featuring three of the Bond ties that can still be purchased. Beneath the ties are two signed photos.
Sean Connery wears a well-cut black, notch-lapel, button one dinner jacket in Never Say Never Again. For such a grand occasion peak lapels should be in order, but Bond isn’t usually one for being the most formally-dressed in the room. Nevertheless, he still is far better dressed than Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Largo dresses similar to the original, played by Adolfo Celi, in a white double-breasted dinner jacket, but wears a black shirt and has none of the elegance of the original villain’s clothing. Back to Connery’s clothing, the dinner jacket is tailored with natural shoulder and has jetted pockets, double vents and 3-button cuffs. The buttons are black horn. The dinner suit’s trousers have a flat front and a satin stripe down the side.
with the Turnbul & Asser shirt
Connery’s shirt has a spread collar, placket with onyx studs, and single-button cocktail cuffs that button down. The shirt is made by Turnbull & Asser, though he wears a Frank Foster shirt in at least one shot. The Frank Foster shirt can be identified by its narrower placket with stitching close together down the middle. Foster is the inventor of the button-down cocktail cuff that we see here, first worn by Roger Moore in an episode of The Saint. The bow tie is black satin in a classic thistle shape, and Connery wears no waist-covering. The shoes are black derbys that appear to be well-polished calf leather and not patent.
with the Frank Foster Shirt