A Light Grey Mohair and Wool Suit in Dr. No

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Sean Connery’s light grey mohair suit from Dr. No was previously covered here, but it shared a post with another suit in the same cut with the same details. Since this suit is currently seasonable in the northern hemisphere, here is a closer look at it.

A blend of mohair and wool is one of the best suitings for dressing up in hot weather. Mohair is a stiff fibre from the Angora goat that when added to wool gives it a stiffness to help it wear cool and resist wrinkles and a dressy sheen. Mohair even resists wrinkling in light weights, which helps it perform exceedingly well in hot weather. Mohair is almost always blended with wool rather than worn on its own because alone it is too stiff and does not drape well. The amount of mohair in a wool blend often ranges from 15% to 40% to temper stiffness and sheen, but any ratio of mohair to wool is possible, as are blends of mohair with other fibres like cashmere and silk.

James Bond wears a silvery grey mohair and wool suit for scenes at Puss-Feller’s club in Jamaica in both the daytime and the nighttime. In the daytime, the light colour reflects the sun and looks appropriate (as much as a suit can in Jamaica) for the tropical weather. Because this suit is made of a mohair blend and thus has some sheen, it transitions well into the evening scenes at the club while the light colour gives Bond a more relaxed look than a dark suit would have. The white shirt also helps the suit transition into evening. Even though a mohair blend is perfect for the setting, Bond is likely also wearing mohair because it was very popular in the 1960s. Though Sean Connery’s Bond does not let fashion trends dictate the styles of suits he wears, he still takes inspiration from popular trends.

This light grey mohair and wool two-piece suit is one of three lounge suits that tailor Anthony Sinclair made for Dr. No, and it follows the same style as the other two suits that James Bond wears in the film. Despite Bond telling Felix Leiter that this suit was fitted by his tailor on Savile Row, Sinclair was in reality located a block from Savile Row on Conduit Street, which intersects Savile Row. Sinclair’s style was not a whole lot different from that of his neighbours on Savile Row and used subtle aspects from the equestrian, military and drape tailors on the Row.

The suit jacket follows the same style as the other suit jackets in Dr. No, with a modern button two front with the top button at the natural waist. The lapels are a medium-narrow width, giving a subtle nod to the narrow-lapelled fashions at the time. The jacket is cut with soft shoulders, roped sleeve heads, a full chest and a gently suppressed waist, giving the suit a classic English silhouette. The chest has a bit of drape, which helps Bond to conceal his Walther PPK inside the jacket. The jacket has double vents, straight jetted hip pockets (without flaps), a low welt breast pocket and four buttons on each cuff. The buttons are light grey plastic to match the colour of the suit.

The suit trousers have a traditional English cut with a high rise to the natural waist and double forward (inward-facing) pleats. The trousers legs taper to a moderately narrow hem with turn-ups. The waistband has an extension with a hidden hook, and on each side there are button-tab side adjusters with three buttons.

Bond’s shirt is a soft white Sea Island cotton poplin from Turnbull & Asser. The fabric is very lightweight and breathes well in Jamaica’s hot weather. The shirt’s collar is a cutaway with 1/4-inch stitching that is similar to the Regent collar they make today, but they made a bespoke collar for Sean Connery. The shirt follows typical Jermyn Street style with a narrow placket stitched 3/8 inch from the edge and no front pocket. The cuffs are Connery’s Bond’s standard cocktail cuffs, with a rounded shape.

With this suit, as with the others in the film, Bond wears a dark navy blue grenadine tie from Turnbull & Asser, which has a moderately narrow width of about 7 1/2 cm. In the outdoor scenes we can see the outlines of the ties’ folds under the tips of the blades, signifying that Connery’s grenadine tie is untipped. Such ties usually are finished with hand-rolled edges, and this tie most likely still has the traditional three-fold construction with a lining inside. Since the tie’s knot is small, the tie likely has a very lightweight lining. He ties it with a Windsor knot, which is Sean Connery’s preferred knot.

Bond’s shoes are black calf three-eyelet cap-toe derbys on a pointed last, possibly made by bespoke shoemaker John Lobb Ltd.

Now Pay Attention

SUIT
TailorAnthony Sinclair
FabricLight grey wool and mohair
JACKET
Front buttons2, medium stance
LapelsMedium-narrow notch
ShoulderSoft with roped sleeve heads
Breast pocketWelt
Hip pocketsStraight, jetted
Vents2
Cuff buttons4
TROUSERS
FrontDouble forward pleats
Support‘DAKS Tops’ 3-button side-adjusters
Front/side pocketsOn-seam
RiseHigh
LegTapered
HemTurn-ups
SHIRT
ShirtmakerTurnbull & Asser
FabricWhite cotton poplin
CollarCutaway
Cuff2-button cocktail cuff
FrontPlacket
TIE
BrandTurnbull & Asser
FabricNavy grenadine
KnotWindsor
SHOES
ShoemakerPossibly John Lobb Ltd.
StyleBlack three-eyelet cap-toe derby

27 COMMENTS

  1. Haha I wondered if you’d be profiling this suit as I was watching Dr. No (again!) on the TV last night. I’m surprised you didn’t include a screen shot of Connery in his hotel room getting ready to meet Strangways’ friends at the club, as we get a good look at the strides sans jacket to reveal the rise, waistband etc.
    Anyway, this is one of my favourite suits in the canon. Matt I wonder how much it differs, if at all, from the silver grey mohair he wore in Thunderball getting ready for the Junkanoo with Fiona Volpe?

  2. Thanks for the article Matt, I always loved this timeless suit with timeless details all in a perfect cut. I think it really is appropriate for a suit like this for the warm summer months these days and especially in the tropics. Is the white shirt Bond wears here one of the few times Connery has worn a solid white shirt with his lounge suits, besides the subtle striped white shirt in Goldfinger and are these the only times Connery wears a white shirt with lounge suits.

  3. I have always noticed the different shape to the lapel, the gorge, on these Dr No suits when compared to Conner’s later suits. To be honest, these as well as the YOLT suits, don’t look as polished as the Sinclair suits from Connery’s other movies especially DAF. So, while I can appreciate this suit overall, the look of the lapels sort of jars

    • IMO it is vice versa: I prefer the Dr. No shape of lapel because it is more on the classic side, whereas the DAF ones are a bit too wide (already pointing a bit towards 70s fashion). And to my eye, the DAF suits’ jackets are a bit out of balance because of the rather low buttoning point.
      But each to his own.

      • I agree with you Renard on the lapels and find the Dr. No suit timeless. But I also agree with David that DAF wardrobe is also nice and quite colorful

      • With Dr. No, it’s not the lapel width, which is actually fine and classic in proportion but rather the shape in the area of the gorge part of the lapel. It strikes my eye and seems out of sync with Sinclair’s cut in the later movies. Just not as aesthetically pleasing as the suits in Connery’s other movies. With YOLT, it’s a different issue in relation to the fit of the suits. As for DAF, well, I’m just more predisposed to lapels which err on the wider than narrower side, lower button stance, deep vents and slanted pockets. For me, sartorial perfection!

  4. Looking back, this is probably my favorite light grey suit in the series. Yes the hip pockets could have been a little higher and I’m not a fan personally of Connery Bond’s pant style (double forward pleats, turn ups, Daks adjusters and on seam pockets) but the cut of the suit is otherwise pretty much perfect. The color is the perfect shade of light grey, a nice silver right in the middle between white and medium grey and the mohair blend gives it a nice subtle metallic sheen. If I got a light grey suit, I would want it to look something like this

    • Looking at other suits Sean Connery wore from Anthony Sinclair, I wonder if the hip pockets just look that way in relation to the button stance? It was lowered a bit more to coordinate with the lowered rise on the trousers, but the pocket height looks about the same in following movies. At least to my eye. I have noticed suits in the ’50s and ’60s seem to have lower pockets in general compared to now, breast pocket included and observable on Connery’s suits. Most of today’s suits have the breast pocket noticeably higher by comparison, sometimes to where the lapel will partially or even half-cover it depending on the cut. The hip pockets seem to have followed suit. I don’t mind those aspects so much, I just wish they’d stop making the button stance higher while the trouser rise remains so low. Women’s wear is pushing higher rises even with close fitting trousers. They have the right idea. I wish menswear would follow suit, no pun intended.

      This late night rant brought to you by insomnia.

      • Giselle,

        You’re not wrong. Matter of fact, you might be right. We tend to think balancing a suit is an easy task, because it’s easy focusing on individual components, but when “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (Aristotle), that’s when s#!$ hits the fan. A suit is more than just a composition of its components, thus.

        Of all things being equal, balance is the hardest, yet, feature to be achieved. But how, we would have to ask, is balance achieved? Sometimes, no matter how close we are, we still have to make certain uncomfortable rooms.

        My two cents. Still, you have it right.

      • That’s certainly true in the broad sense that with a suit,“the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” You can read off any of my suit descriptions to a tailor, and only the most nuanced tailor with the correct training can make a proper copy. On the other hand, all of those details are part of the sum. The whole is always the sum of its parts, there are just parts that we’re not thinking of that deserve credit.

      • Travers, sometimes I definitely have to make “uncomfortable rooms” for my clients who insist on a low rise or higher button stance! For instance, a 6’5 gentleman I helped recently was dissatisfied with how high my fellow saleswoman made his trouser rise. To me, it looked balanced with his long torso and overall height but we had our tailors shorten the rise a bit to his preferences. Still looks good. I suspect his age group was accustomed to wearing low rise jeans. Some of Gen Z don’t even know what pleats or turn-ups are when I ask if they want them! Not a judgement of their character, just amusing how times have changed. When I was their age, that was still what was being sold even by many fashion houses. But some are getting single reverse pleats and turn-ups out of curiosity and they look good in them.

      • Giselle, I’m a ’96 born, late millennial, and I always prefer pleats and turnups. I suppose, yes, there are so-called uncomfortable rooms, but to think, I was able to convinced kids who wear low rise jeans on a daily basis to wear proper trousers once they graduated (pleated and cuffed), well, there has to be hope somewhere.

        But I get you. After all, even for David Mason, it’s always what the client wants first. I guess this is why I don’t go directly into the industry, i.e. I can always influence the change easier as an outsider with inside ties (pun half intended). If only I can get darted front trousers to come back, though… Hey, at least my cordwainer wears high rise trousers with cuffs these days, and he’s a full, pure blooded millennial!

  5. I just saw on Mason and Sons they now have this suit available for sale and it looks killer. Two things I’ve noticed is that their suit looks darker than the suit in the movie, more like a medium grey than a silver grey and the fabric is 7.5 oz 85% wool and 15% mohair which seems rather light. Was the suit in the movie really light grey and would it be able to be worn year round with that light weight?

    • It does seem darker than what was in the movie, imo. The gorge is quite high too (not even sure it could be any higher, going by the picture). That said, it does seem to be all custom now though so you can probably adjust what you want.

    • Their suit is indeed darker than Connery’s suit, and probably lighter in weight too. They use Holland & Sherry cloths, and if they are using 2821000 I believe they are using the closest one from them that is possible. 2821500 is a heavier 9.5 oz weight and is better in that regard, but it may be slightly darker. 7.5 oz is a warm-weather suit, particularly in mohair. I don’t know how easily they can source cloths from other merchants, but Standeven has some excellent choices (particularly 5000 and 5018). Also, William Halstead and Dormeuil might be worth looking into.

  6. The color I don’t mind at all. It’s just the weight the concerns me. Obviously it would be wonderful in warm weather which is what I mostly have, but I was wondering if it would work as a year round suit.

    • Mohair is a cool-wearing fibre, so especially in 7.5 oz it’s going to really only be a summer suit. The 9.5 oz mohairs from Holland & Sherry are better for year-round wear.

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