On a Plane to Meet the President in a Charcoal Flannel Three-Piece Suit

Goldfinger Charcoal FlannelThe final scene of Goldfinger features Sean Connery in his second three-piece suit of the series, a charcoal grey woolen flannel. Bond believes he’s on his way to meeting the President of the United States, giving Bond a reason to wear the added formality of a waistcoat. A flannel suit is also comfortable for an flight, since it’s both comfortably soft and warm. The suit is the usual Anthony Sinclair suit, a button two with natural shoulders and a full chest. The jacket is detailed with four buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and no vent. The buttons are made of dark grey horn.

The waistcoat has six buttons with five to button. The inside of waistcoat and the sleeves share the same navy and white striped lining. The trousers are cut with double forward pleats and have button side adjusters and plain hems.

Connery wears shirt in white with a faint broken grey stripe that has a spread collar, front placket and double cuffs with rounded corners, and he wears a black knitted silk tie tied in a four-in-hand knot. The knitted tie is too casual for this dark three-piece suit, and not appropriate for a meeting with the president. A black grenadine tie like Connery usually wears in his other Bond films would go better with the suit and for the occasion. His shoes are black.

Goldfinger Charcoal Flannel

This suit is very similar to the next suit Bond wears, featured in Thunderball‘s pre-title sequence. The Thunderball suit differs most obviously by having a straight bottom to the waistcoat and turn-ups on the trousers.

11 thoughts on “On a Plane to Meet the President in a Charcoal Flannel Three-Piece Suit

  1. It seems that Bond was so excited to meet the President that he lost one of his cufflinks during the trip :)
    By the way, Matt, I always thought that charcoal a very dark grey, and was very similar to black, and thus thought that this suit (and others) was just a dark grey one. Can you indicate me a Connery era suit that is made of dark grey, but not charcoal, please ? Thanks a lot.

    • I was waiting for someone to notice that! It seems to be there in every other shot. Charcoal can be labelled to any type of dark grey. If it’s really close to black, that’s sometimes called oxford grey (which can also be lighter shades of grey). The suit on the train in From Russia With Love is what I consider dark grey. But I have a pair of trousers about that colour that are labelled charcoal.

    • Haha ! Thanks for your explanation. I presume it is the morning coat that has to be made of oxford grey (or black, perhaps). I presume also that, since there are numerous light and dark grey possibilities, the “mid grey colour” does not make sense if charcoal can be labelled to any type of dark grey. I myself would have described the FRWL train suit’s colour as a mid grey, considering the outside scenes, so…
      About this error, Brosnan “made” the same in TND. But, did you notice that at the end of the golf scene in Goldfinger, Connery attached one of his cufflinks the wrong way (I saw it thanks to your screenshot !)? It does destroy a little the myth of the style-conscious Connery… Maybe he didn’t care a lot about clothing, finally.

    • I’ve always been under the impression that Connery cared little for suits or fine clothing, placing far more importance on comfort. Terrence Young made him look more suave, cool and gentlemanly.
      Left to his own devices Connery doesn’t always do even simple things, such as not fastening the bottom button on a 2 button suit.

    • “I’ve always been under the impression that Connery cared little for suits or fine clothing, placing far more importance on comfort.”
      I agree. Connery made few little mistakes : he can be seen with both his suit buttons fastened in DAF, for instance.

    • Ah yes, the cream linen suit with the awful tie. They really dropped the ball on that one. His disdain must have ran deep, as surely after several films he would have known how to dress himself.
      It’s a shame that someone who managed to look so effortlessly cool in some clothes (I’m mainly talking about Goldfinger) didn’t care at all about it. Maybe that was the magic ingredient.

    • That’s right. I remenber he buttoned the two buttons of one of his suits in Dr No, From Russia with love, and of course Diamonds are forever. Another funny thing, buttonning all the buttons is certainly ugly, but it doesn’t even make the suits more comfortable ; it musy be the contrary I think.

  2. I might be totally wrong, but isn’t it that not only is dark grey lighter than charcoal but also that it’s a “warm” nuance as opposed to the “colder” charcoal? The dark grey suits that Connery wore where more brownish while his charcoal suit was more blueish. Am I correct, Matt?

    • It’s not that simple. Charcoal by definition has a hint of blue, as you can see in this suit, but it has come to be synonymous with dark grey as far as suiting goes. A medium grey is around a 50% tint. Dark grey and light grey are relative in comparison.

  3. My only complaint about flannel is that, while soft and warm, in my experience it tends to wrinkle more easily than a hard worsted for some reason. I can’t remember exactly what it is. So for a plane flight… I’d rather avoid crotch spiders personally.

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