The Rock: Sean Connery’s Navy Three-Piece Suit

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A happy 85th birthday today to Sean Connery. In The Rock, Sean Connery plays John Mason, a British national who escaped from Alcatraz. The Mason character was written as an homage to Bond and has a lot in common with Bond. John Spencer’s character FBI Director Womack states that Mason is a British operative but says, “Of course the British claimed they’d never heard of him.” Womack also says, “This man knows our most intimate secrets from the last half-century…Mason’s angry. He’s lethal. He’s a trained killer.”

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Mason even speaks like Bond when he responds to Nicolas Cage’s character Goodspeed’s introduction with the Diamonds Are Forever line, “But of course you are.” For Mason to agree to cooperate with the FBI, he makes a Bond-like demand: “I want a suite, a shower, a shave, the feel of a suit.” The new navy worsted three-piece suit he gets is what matters most, as far as this blog is concerned.

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Though The Rock was released in 1996, Sean Connery’s suit more closely resembles an late 1980s/early 90s suit. The button two suit jacket has a low button stance and a very low gorge, which places the lapel notch almost in the middle of the chest. Sean Connery’s prominent shoulders make the jacket’s shoulders look more padded than they actually are. Still, the shoulders have a fair amount of padding, but natural sleeveheads gives the shoulders a natural but neat curve.

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The suit jacket is cut with a moderately full chest and a gently suppressed waist. The jacket is detailed with flapped pockets, three cuff buttons and no vent in the rear. The suit’s waistcoat has five buttons. The suit trousers have a full cut, likely with double or triple reverse pleats. The legs are wide but slightly tapered. The suit is very similar to the suits Timothy Dalton wears in Licence to Kill, but Connery’s suit has a much cleaner fit. Though this suit is strongly influenced by fashion in its proportions, it follows the principles of a good fit.

Connery’s white shirt has a spread collar with tie space and a sewn interfacing (revealed by a poor sloppy job), front placket and square cuffs with either one or two buttons. The collar design and construction could mean that this shirt is from an English maker. The tie has alternating wide navy and gold stripes. The navy stripes are woven in a twill weave whilst the gold stripes are woven with floats to look like a basket weave. Connery’s shoes are black single monk shoes.

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Daniel Craig Dresses Up For Heineken

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Yesterday, GQ-Magazine.co.uk published three photos of Daniel Craig taken for a partnership between James Bond and Heineken. Though this partnership with the beer company involves Spectre, Daniel Craig is not in costume as James Bond, though he is dressed in a Bond-like manner. Though GQ identifies this navy pick-and-pick suit as a Tom Ford O’Connor suit, this is certainly not a Tom Ford Suit. This suit isn’t as interesting or unique as a Tom Ford suit, and it’s most likely a ready-to-wear suit, but Daniel Craig looks like James Bond in it.

Tom Ford suit jackets always have a curved “barchetta” breast pocket, which this suit jacket lacks. O’Connor suit jackets also have slanted hip pockets, whilst this jacket has straight pockets. The O’Connor jackets in Spectre are button three roll two, whilst this jacket is just a button two like the ready-to-wear O’Connor jackets. The Spectre suit jackets also have four cuff buttons whiles this jacket has only three cuff buttons. The buttons on this navy suit contrast in medium-light grey urea. And whilst Daniel Craig’s O’Connor jackets always have a single vent, this jacket has double vents. The narrow lapels are around the same width as the O’Connor lapels, but the notch on this jacket is smaller.

Craig’s suit jacket is cut with straight padded shoulders, gently roped sleeveheads, a lean chest and a suppressed waist. Overall, the suit has a very close fit, but it has a slightly cleaner fit than the Tom Ford suits he wears in Spectre. Because of his pose, it’s difficult to tell if the pulling at the waist is a result of the jacket being a little too tight, or if it’s because of the pose. The only serious problem with the fit of this jacket is the short length, which is fashionably on purpose. The suit trousers have a narrow, tapered leg with turn-ups, which contrast with the straight leg on Tom Ford trousers.

Under the suit, Daniel Craig wears a white shirt with a point collar and double cuffs. Though Craig wears similarly styled shirts made by Tom Ford in Spectre, this shirt is not one of those shirts. This shirt’s point collar is a bit shorter than the Tom Ford point collars and does not frame his face as well, but it doesn’t look bad either. The navy tie with white pin dots could possibly be from Tom Ford, but any number of brands could have provided this tie. There’s a folded white handkerchief in the jacket’s breast pocket to add to the Bond look. Craig’s shoes are black three-eyelet derbys with a chiselled toe and Dainite studded rubber soles. The shoes are likely the Crockett & Jones Highbury, which Craig wears in Skyfall.

GQ is also wrong about something other than the suit: Daniel Craig’s hair in Spectre. The longer hair in these photos gives Daniel Craig a more mature and sophisticated look, but if they looked at the Spectre trailer they would see that Craig’s hair in the film is the usual shorter length it has been in his other Bond films.

There are more photos GQ-Magazine.co.uk.

Strangways: A 1950s Silk Suit

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Kingston-based British agent John Strangways, played by Timothy Moxon, is talked about far more than he is seen. He appears in the opening scene of Dr. No and is soon killed. His death brings James Bond to Jamaica and is the reason for Bond’s first cinematic mission. From the looks of his suit, it would appear that Strangways hadn’t returned to England for quite some time to update his wardrobe. His suit has a full cut dating it to the 1950s.

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Strangways’ suit is made of silk and is the natural silk colour, which is a light beige. The jacket has a full cut with drape in the chest and a nipped waist. The shoulders are soft and natural, and in following the drape cut they are slightly extended. The jacket has two buttons on the front with a medium stance. The lapels are slightly on the narrow side, and they have a low buttonhole. The welt breast pocket has a steep slant and is placed low on the chest. The hip pockets are difficult to see, but I believe they may be open patch pockets. There are three buttons on the cuffs and no vents. The suit trousers have forward pleats—likely two on each side—and very full, tapered legs with plain hems.

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With the suit Strangways wears a white shirt with a short spread collar and button cuffs. His tie is deep red with a subtle tonal pattern and is tied in a four-in-hand knot. It has a crest or some decoration embroidered on the top, though I can’t tell what it is. He also wears a white linen handkerchief stuffed into his breast pocket.

Strangways’ shoes are perhaps the most adventurous part of his outfit. They’re casual two-eyelet desert boots in tan suede with crepe soles. Though they are less formal than the rather informal suit, they fit the relaxed country club setting.

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Tiger Tanaka’s Grey Suits

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M’s Japanese counterpart in You Only Live Twice, Tiger Tanaka, dresses more like James Bond than M. Tanaka, played by Tetsuro Tamba, likely wears Japanese-tailored suits in a style that appear to be inspired by what Sean Connery wears as James Bond. It is also possible that the suits are English-tailored. Tanaka wears a charcoal grey lightweight wool two-piece suit when he first meets Bond, and later he wears light grey lightweight pick-and-pick wool suit.

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Like Bond’s suit jackets, Tanaka’s suit jackets have two buttons with a low stance, a full chest, suppressed waist and narrow lapels. Like many of Bond’s suit jackets in other films, Tanaka’s jackets have straight, jetted hip pockets. Both the charcoal grey and light grey suit jackets have three buttons on the cuffs. The charcoal grey jacket has a single vent whilst the light grey jacket has no vents.

Tanaka’s suit jackets differs from Bond’s primarily in the shoulders. Whilst Bond’s jackets have soft shoulders, Tanaka’s jackets have extended, straight shoulders to give him the look of a man in power. The jackets’ shoulders, however, are too conspicuously built out. Building up the shoulders can indeed make a man look more powerful, but it must be done in moderation. The jackets look big on Tanaka, and indeed they have the intention to make him look bigger, but they still have mostly a neat fit. There is excess drape in the back, but it was likely accepted due to the desire for a full cut.

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Tanaka’s suit trousers have pleats like Bond’s suit trousers have, but Tanaka’s trousers have a single reverse pleat instead of double reverse pleats. The waistband has an extension with a hook and eye closure. There are likely adjustable tabs at the sides since Tanaka needs neither a belt nor braces. Compared to Connery’s more traditional tapered legs with turn-ups, Tanaka’s suit trousers have more fashionable straight legs and plain hems.

With both suits Tanaka wears a white shirt with a spread collar and double cuffs. The ties that Tanaka wears with each suit are printed and held against the shirt with a silver tie bar. With the charcoal grey suit, the tie is a navy and burgundy print, with the two colours fading into each other. With the light grey suit, the tie is a light grey geometric print. Tanaka knots his ties with a windsor or half windsor knot. Tanaka also wears black slip-on shoes and a white folded linen handkerchief in his breast pockets, an item Bond stopped wears a few years earlier.

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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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Street People: A Familiar Tan Cotton Suit

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Sean Connery’s suits in Goldfinger aren’t the only clothes to have been worn by a James Bond actor in a previous non-Bond film. In Connery’s case, many of his clothes in Goldfinger were originally made for Woman of Straw. During Roger Moore’s longest break between Bond films, he made an Italian film called Street People in 1976. Though Street People was released half a year before filming in Egypt began for The Spy Who Loved Me, a certain cotton suit jacket from Roger Moore’s Street People wardrobe was reused. That cotton jacket is the tan jacket with safari details that Moore wears in the Cairo and Giza scenes in The Spy Who Loved Me.

In Street People, the cotton jacket was part of a tan suit with matching trousers, possibly made by Angelo Roma, Moore’s tailor at the time. In most cases, suit jackets don’t work well without the matching trousers, but the casual cotton material as well as the sporty safari details make this jacket work well on its own. It may even work better with the stoned-coloured trousers that Moore wears it with in The Spy Who Loved Me. In Street People, the details on the jacket are brought to attention more by the wearing trousers that don’t distract from the jacket (not that the trousers in The Spy Who Loved Me are distracting).

The suit gets soaked.

The suit gets soaked.

Tan is one of the best colours for a cotton suit since it looks great for warmer weather and fits the suit’s casual material. Tan also looks great with Roger Moore’s warm tan complexion and golden brown hair.

The structured suit jacket could have been made by Angelo Roma since the silhouette is similar to the other suit jackets that Roger Moore wears in both The Spy Who Loved Me and in Street People. It has a clean, trim cut with straight shoulders, roped sleeveheads and a suppressed waist. If the wide lapels don’t make the jacket look dated, the safari-esque details do. It has shoulder straps, a belted back with a deep single vent, belted sleeves, patch hip pockets with flaps and a set-in breast pocket with a flap. The jacket has swelled edges all over to reinforce the garment.

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Differing from Roger Moore’s typical suit jackets at the time, the lapels have a slight fishmouth shape and the front quarters are cut closed with the bottom corners only a little rounded. The closed, straight quarters give this jacket a more military look that goes with the safari details. The jacket’s brown buttons are probably made from the Tagua nut which comes from the seed of a tropical palm and is similar to ivory. These buttons are also known as corozo and are commonly used by Italian makers for suit buttons since they can be dyed in colours to match the suit. In brown they go especially well with the safari jacket look.

The suit trousers are similar to the Angelo Roma suit trousers that Roger Moore wears in The Spy Who Loved Me. They have a flat front, no belt loops and wide, flared legs. They differ from Moore’s trousers in his Bond films by having turn-ups. The turn-ups are approximately two inches, but they don’t look so tall because the bottoms of the trouser legs are so wide. Ordinary 1 1/2 inch turn ups would look very short on such a wide hem. Despite the suit being one of the most fashion-forward items Roger Moore has ever worn, it is well tailored and creatively tailored.

Notice the turn-ups on the trousers

Notice the turn-ups on the trousers

Moore wears this suit either with a open-neck cobalt blue shirt or a dark brown polo neck jumper. The cobalt blue shirt has a long point collar, a front placket and cocktail cuffs with a rounded and contoured shape. The shirt is made by Frank Foster. The contoured shape of the cuffs is different from the straighter cocktail cuff design that Foster made for The Man with the Golden Gun and Moonraker before and after this film, respectively, but Foster used to experiment more with cocktail cuff shapes. The collar and collar band shapes on this shirt are very similar to the collars Foster made for The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, but this collar is a little shorter. The shirt’s buttons are shiny medium blue and possibly made of shell. Moore wears the collar button as well as the first three buttons below the collar open. The buttons are spaced a little closer together and higher than on an ordinary shirt, but it’s still a lot of buttons to have open and looks a bit sleazy.

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The dark brown ribbed polo neck jumper must be lightweight to be comfortable in the seemingly warm weather in this film. However, even a lightweight jumper looks too heavy to wear with a light cotton suit.

With the suit, Moore wears dark brown socks, except for one shot where light brown socks are visible. His shoes are chestnut brown square-toe slip-ons. Briefly he wears a pair of large plastic oval sunglasses.

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Osato’s Charcoal Suit

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Though black is now the prevailing colour for the lounge suit in Japan, that is not shown to be the case in You Only Live Twice back in 1967. Mr. Osato (Teru Shimada), the head of Osato Chemicals and Engineering and a SPECTRE agent, wears a charcoal grey suit for his meeting with James Bond, or rather “Mr. Fisher”. Though black would suit his complexion well, charcoal is just as flattering and gives Osato a more approachable appearance. Osato’s outfit, though not ostentatious, is fitting for a man in charge of a large company.

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Though weather can get hot in Japan, Osato’s suit is made of a heavy, fuzzy woollen flannel. The suit jacket is cut to make Osato look larger than the short man of no more than five and a half feet that he is. The button two jacket is cut with a full chest and a gently nipped waist. The shoulders are straight and narrow with a lot of padding, to give Osato’s shoulders a little extra height. The jacket is too short to cover his rear, but since Osato’s legs are very short in comparison to his torso, the shorter jacket length actually gives his body better proportions. The a short length also makes Osato’s legs look longer to help make him look a little taller. The jacket’s button stance is low by today’s standards, but it helps to give him the stronger look someone in his position desires to show authority. The jacket has jetted hip pockets, four buttons on the cuffs and no vents. The trousers have tapered legs and plain hems with no break.

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Osato’s cream shirt has a wide spread collar and double cuffs. He wears two different ties with this suit. During his meeting with Bond he wears a dark grey satin tie, tied in a windsor knot. Because the tie is narrow and has a lightweight interlining, the windsor knot ends up being a respectable size. However, it could possibly be a half-windsor knot. Later in the film in Blofeld’s volcano lair, Osato wear the same suit and shirt with a navy tie with subtle self-stripes ascending from Osato’s right to left. This tie is also tied in a windsor or half-windsor knot. With both ties he wears a silver tie bar straight across the tie in the middle of his chest. It should ideally be on the lower half of the tie so it doesn’t distract from the face. Osato also wears a white cotton or linen handkerchief with a grey border in his breast pocket. With the grey tie Osato angles the handkerchief to point towards the face, and with the navy tie he angles it to point toward the shoulder. Osato’s shoes are black plain-toe derbys with either three or four eyelets.

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Count Lippe’s Casual Brown Tweed Suit

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Count Lippe (Guy Doleman) is a SPECTRE agent Bond encounters at the Shrublands health farm in the English countryside in Thunderball. The basis for Lippe’s clothes in the film was taken from Ian Fleming’s description of Lippe in the Thunderball novel:

He was an athletic-looking six foot, dressed in the sort of casually well-cut beige herring-bone tweed that suggests Anderson and Sheppard. He wore a white silk shirt and a dark red polka-dot tie, and the soft dark brown V-necked sweater looked like vicuna. Bond summed him up as a good-looking bastard who got all the women he wanted and probably lived on them—and lived well.

Like in the novel, Count Lippe’s suit in the film is tweed, though it is not herringbone. The mottled appearance makes it very difficult to tell what pattern the cloth is, though if I had to guess I think I see a fine check. It is not beige, however, but a darker taupe-brown overall that looks great in England’s countryside. The tweed is made up of brown yarns likely mixed with cream and green, and possibly other colours too.

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Though the suit in the film is casual in style, the button two jacket with slightly narrow lapels does not have the uniquely relaxed Anderson and Sheppard drape cut that the literary Bond identified Lippe’s suit by. The chest does not have much drape, and the shoulders have too much padding. Anderson & Sheppard’s cut, by contrast, is known for its soft look in both the shoulders and the chest, and sometimes foregoes the front darts on the jacket. Lippe’s suit jacket has the casual details of two open patch pockets at the hips and a matching breast pocket. The cuffs have three buttons, placed very close to the end of the cuff. Based on the way the jacket pull at the skirt, it likely does not have any vents, though the rear is not seen. The jacket’s buttons are light and dark brown horn, and the buttonholes are a bold medium brown that stands out. Judging by the suit jacket’s oversized shoulders and buttons being vey close to the ends of the sleeves, this suit was likely made for another actor for another production and altered to fit Doleman for Thunderball. The suit trousers have gently tapered legs. Though the top of the trousers is not seen, they likely have double forward pleats.

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Notice Lippe’s elegant chestnut brown shoes

Under the suit jacket Lippe wears a light brown doeskin wool waistcoat, which has a felt-like appearance. Its inclusion was likely inspired by the “soft dark brown V-necked sweater” that Fleming writes about, but the waistcoat is not quite a casual as a sweater. Lippe’s tattersall shirt has a cream ground with a large check in a number of colours, which are difficult to decipher. It may include navy, green, purple, red and orange. Country tattersall shirts are typically woven in a twill weave to have a softer and more casual look than crisp poplin. Lippe’s shirt has a spread collar and button cuffs. His tie is medium brown wool and tied in a half-windsor knot. Just peaking out of Lippe’s breast pocket is a puffed green silk pocket handkerchief with purple dots, which would suggest that those two colours are very likely in the tattersall shirt. Silk handkerchiefs go well with wool ties because of the contrasting textures. Lippe’s shoes are elegant chestnut brown plain-toe slip-ons. Though they are beautiful shoes, such a heavy suit would look better with sturdier brogues.

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Over his suit, Lippe wears a car coat that is designed to resemble a shearling coat, particularly with its lambswool-faced shawl collar. Whilst the body of a shearling coat is sheepskin suede, this coat is brown wool melton. The heavy, firm, dull, felted melton has a fine nap that can look almost like suede, especially in the drab brown colour, but it is a traditional cloth for overcoats as well as blankets. The double-breasted coat has four brown leather buttons on the front with two to button. The hem and sleeves are finished with four bands of stitching, like one would find on a covert coat. There are slanted pockets on the front with flaps, and the flaps also have the same four rows of stitching to match the hem and sleeves. The sleeves have buttoned straps, and the back has short double vents.

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