Is the Casino Royale Three-Piece Suit a Copy of the Goldfinger Suit?

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I don’t know who started this, but the following quote ended up in Casino Royale‘s trivia section on IMDB: “The three-piece suit worn by James Bond at the end of the film is a navy version of the gray suit worn by Sean Connery in Goldfinger.” Others have repeated this.

Like the iconic grey glen check suit made by Anthony Sinclair that Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger, the Brioni navy pinstripe suit that Daniel Craig wears in the final scene of Casino Royale is also a three-piece suit. And that’s where the similarities end. Both suits are excellent suits, but the basic styles of the suit are different, the silhouettes are different and the small details that make the Goldfinger suit so unique are absent from the Casino Royale suit.

The Goldfinger suit jacket has two buttons on the front whilst the Casino Royale suit jacket has three buttons. The Goldfinger suit jacket is cut with soft shoulders and a full chest whilst the Casino Royale suit jacket is cut with stronger straight shoulders and a lean chest. The Goldfinger suit jacket has a ticket pocket whilst the Casino Royale suit jacket does not. The Casino Royale jacket has wider lapels. Both jackets have straight pockets with flaps and four buttons on the cuffs, and the Casino Royale jacket may also have double vents like the Goldfinger suit, but those details aren’t all that special since that’s what the average suit has.

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The waistcoat in Goldfinger has six buttons with only five to button, whilst the waistcoat in Casino Royale is cut with all buttons able to fasten. The waistcoat in Goldfinger has four welt pockets whilst the waistcoat in Casino Royale has only two. The trousers in Goldfinger have double forward pleats, plain hems andside adjusters whilst the trousers in Casino Royale have darts and turn-ups and are worn with a belt. The Goldfinger suit’s trouser legs are narrow and tapered whilst the Casino Royale suit’s trouser legs are wide and straight.

What makes the glen check suit in Goldfinger special? Apart from it being the first three-piece suit of the Bond series, it’s Sean Connery’s only three-piece suit that has lapels on the waistcoat. Pierce Brosnan brought back the lapelled waistcoat with his pinstripe suit in The World Is Not Enough. This key detail, however, is absent from the three-piece suit in Casino Royale. The absence of lapels on the waistcoat is the most significant detail that shows the Casino Royale suit was hardly inspired by the Goldfinger suit.

Magnoli Clothiers, who makes clothes inspired by the clothes James Bond wears, also says the Casino Royale suit “was based loosely on Sean Connery’s classic Goldfinger Suit.” Magnoli adds a ticket pocket and side adjusters to his version of the suit to make it resemble Connery’s suit more, but those details are not present on the actual Casino Royale suit.

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Even when people attempt to truly copy the grey three-piece Goldfinger suit, they get it wrong. An attempt at copying the Goldfinger suit was done in Catch Me if You Can, but the suit in that film was made in the wrong pattern, and the style was either Americanised or modernised with squarer shoulders, wider lapels, shorter vents and medium-rise flat front trousers. At least they got two of the Goldfinger suit’s key details: a ticket pocket and lapels on the waistcoat.

James Bond has so far worn 20 three-piece suits in the series, with more coming in Spectre, and the three-piece suit in Casino Royale is no more a copy of the Goldfinger suit than it is of most of the other 18 three-piece suits. Costume designer Lindy Hemming may have wanted to put James Bond in a three-piece suit that could be iconic on the level of the Goldfinger suit, but the significance of the suit doesn’t mean the actual suits have much in common. The Goldfinger suit is iconic because it is not only a very unusual suit, but it also has a significant reveal with James Bond exiting the aeroplane lavatory. The reveal of the Casino Royale suit comes along with the introduction of a more confident and mature 007, and the suit has significance in the character development.

If Daniel Craig’s navy pinstripe three-piece suit could be compared to another suit in the Bond series, it has most in common with George Lazenby’s three-piece navy chalkstripe suit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Though the Italian cut of Craig’s Brioni suit is considerably different from Lazenby’s thoroughly British Dimi Major suit, the details and overall styles are very similar. The most obvious thing is that both suits are navy with stripes. Both suit jackets button three down the front, and neither jacket has a ticket pocket. Both suits’ trousers have a darted front and a straight leg, though Lazenby’s trouser legs are considerably narrower than Craig’s trouser legs. Sean Connery’s navy three-piece suit in Diamonds Are Forever also has a few things in common with the Casino Royale suit, such as the lack of a ticket pocket, a full six-button waistcoat and darted-front trousers, though Connery’s jacket only has two buttons and his trouser legs are tapered.

To give a definitive answer to the question posed in the title of this article, no, the Casino Royale three-piece suit is by no means a copy of the Goldfinger suit. If someone was trying to copy any suit from Goldfinger, they did a very poor job. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the Casino Royale suit, it is just a very different three-piece suit.

Basted for Bond: Examining Pierce Brosnan’s Brioni Clothes

The next “Basted for Bond” infographic examines the cuts and details of Pierce Brosnan’s Brioni jackets, trousers, waistcoats and coats that he wears in GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. The main jacket example is based on the middle-of-the-road jackets Brosnan wears in The World Is Not Enough, his best-dressed film. There are special jacket variations for the longer and looser suit jacket in GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies, the double-breasted blazer in GoldenEye, the button one suit jacket in The World Is Not Enough, the linen suit jackets in The World Is Not Enough (with patch pockets) and Die Another Day (with swelled edges) and others. Double pleated, triple pleated and darted trousers are represented, as are five different waistcoat styles that Brosnan wears throughout his first three Bond films, including the unique five-button double-breasted evening waistcoat from Tomorrow Never Dies. Daniel Craig’s Brioni clothes from Casino Royale will be displayed separately.

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Basted for Bond: Examining Anthony Sinclair

“Basted for Bond” is a new series of infographics that examines the cuts and details of the jackets, trousers, waistcoats and coats made by the different tailors who have made clothes for James Bond. The first of the series examines the clothes of Sean Connery’s tailor Anthony Sinclair. The illustrations below account for almost all of the different styles that Sinclair made for Connery throughout his six Bond films, with variations for dinner jackets, blazers, sports coats and more. Please enjoy below.

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The Psychologist’s Houndstooth Check Suit

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Dr. Hall, the psychologist in Skyfall played by Nicholas Woodeson, is one of the best-dressed men in the film. Woodson wears glasses and facial hair as Dr. Hall to give him a more psychologist-like look, and in turn his bald head, facial hair and thick, arched eyebrows make him resemble an older Sean Connery. That may or may not have been intentional.

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Dr. Hall’s three-piece suit is a black and white houndstooth check in a lightweight flannel wool. It’s a country pattern in city colours, making it appropriate for Dr. Hall’s more relaxed profession but not out of place in London. The literary Bond chose to wear his black and white houndstooth suit—most likely a two-piece—in the country, where it is equally appropriate.

The button two suit jacket has wide and straight shoulders, slightly narrow notched lapels, straight flapped pockets, double vents and four buttons on the cuffs. The waistcoat has either five or six buttons. The trousers have a trim leg, but they are hardly seen. The suit’s buttons and buttonholes are both black.

The poplin shirt is white with a blue and black grid check, which slightly clashes with the suit’s check because of a similar scale. The shirt’s texture is much smoother than the suit’s texture, and the pattern is far less intense than the suit’s pattern, so the shirt still works with the suit. The shirt has a moderate spread collar, single button cuffs and a front placket. Dr. Hall’s navy tie has white and purple polka dots, and he ties it in a four-in-hand knot.

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The Avengers: Grey Suit with a Velvet Collar

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We lost another great actor from the James Bond series on Thursday, Patrick Macnee. Macnee played Sir Godfrey Tibbett in A View to a Kill, but he’s most well known for playing the secret agent John Steed in The Avengers. In the sixth series, Macnee’s wardrobe was updated with new suits in the style of his fourth series signature velvet-collar suits. In these new suits, designed by himself, a long single vent replaced the double vents and slanted or straight flap pockets replaced the slanted jetted pockets. Some of the new suits have breast pockets. In memory of Patrick Macnee let’s look at one of his grey three-piece suits from The Avengers‘ sixth series.

This mid-grey flannel three-piece suit made by Bailey and Weatherill of Regent Street first features in the second episode of the sixth series, “Game”. “Game” is the show’s first episode after Diana Rigg’s departure and the second episode with Linda Thorson, and it features new opening titles with Macnee wearing this same grey suit. The suit jacket has a traditional English equestrian cut, with strong straight shoulders, a clean chest, a closely fitted waist and a very flared skirt.

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The suit jacket continues in the same style as the previous velvet-collar suit jackets with a single button on the front, a single button on each cuff and a dark taupe velvet collar. The skirt has a long single vent, which adds to the equestrian look of the suit. The jacket has no breast pocket and slanted hip pockets with flaps. The earlier suits in this style didn’t have flaps on the hip pockets. The pocket flaps make this jacket look bottom heavy due to the lack of a breast pocket.

The six-button waistcoat has a straight bottom and two welt pockets. The trousers have tapered legs, a flat front and likely slanted side pockets. The suit’s buttons are grey plastic.

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With this suit in “Game”, Steed wears an ecru shirt with a spread collar, which looks better with Steed’s round face than the wider cutaway collars that he previously wore looked. The shirt has rounded two-button cuffs, and Steed only buttons the second button. The tie is woven with magenta in one direction and sky blue in another direction like a Solaro cloth, making parts of the tie look sky blue in parts and magenta in other parts, depending on the angle you look at it. The tie is tied in a windsor knot. We don’t see the shoes, but they are likely the grey-green short chelsea boots that he wears with this suit in other episodes.

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In the sixth series opening titles

In the opening titles, Steed wears periwinkle shirt with a spread collar and button cuffs. His tie is a printed pattern in pink, orange and white, and he ties it in a windsor knot. The tie is  pinned about an inch below the knot with a deep red polished stone tie pin. He also adds a red carnation in his lapel.

WIth the suit, Steed wears his trademark bowler hat and carries an umbrella. This bowler is in grey with a grey ribbon to match the suit. The umbrella has a grey canopy, also to match suit, and a light whangee curved handle.

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1980s White Swimming Trunks

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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.

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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.

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James Bond’s Coat Closet

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Only in Dr. No and Live and Let Die so far do we get to see where James Bond lives, but in Live and Let Die we also get a glimpse inside his coat closet. We can see five coats in his closet. From left to right there is a shepherd’s check coat, a light grey suede trench coat, a navy double-breasted chesterfield with a velvet collar that Bond wears to New York in the following scene, a beige cotton trench coat and a charcoal or dark brown coat. Bond enters his coat closet wearing a yellow dressing gown made by Washington Tremlett.

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Only a sliver of the sleeve of the checked coat is seen. It is a black and grey shepherd’s check tweed, which might have some other colours subtly woven in. The coat likely has raglan sleeves. Bond would possibly wear such a coat over his tweeds in winter.

The second coat is a grey suede trench coat, likely single-breasted. It has set-in sleeves (differentiating it from the raglan-sleeved balmacaan), a large, pointy collar, thick belt loops and dark brown buttons. Though Roger Moore doesn’t wear any trench coats in his Bond films, he wears them in many television shows and films including The Saint, The Persuaders, That Lucky Touch, The Wild Geese and The Muppet Show. In the 1987 James Bond retrospective Happy Anniversary 007, Moore wears both a traditional tan gabardine trench coat and a light brown corduroy trench coat.

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The fourth coat is another trench coat, but this one is a more classic double-breasted cotton gabardine trench coat. Traditionally they come in a darker tan colour, and this one is a lighter beige. It has an eight-button double-breasted front and set-in sleeves but lacks the shoulder straps of the classic trench coat. The belt is not visible, but it doesn’t mean there is no belt. It is similar to the more traditional trench coat that Bond carries into the office in For Your Eyes Only. Neither of the trench coats in Bond’s closet are traditional versions of the trench coat and take cues from the fashions of the day.

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The last coat in the closet is hardly seen, and the closet is so dark in the corner that it is difficult to tell what style it is and whether it is black, charcoal or dark brown.

Besides the clothes in the closet, the hangers are also important to note. Bond’s hangers are somewhat thick and slightly contoured to give proper support to the jacket’s shoulders. The more the hangers resembles human shoulders the better support they provide. Structured overcoats and top coats—as well as suits—need the support of hangers that resemble human shoulders to maintain their shape. Thin, straight hangers are fine for unstructured garments like trench coats, but can cause dimples and collapsed shoulders on structured coats.