A Mostly Classic Ivory Dinner Jacket in Diamonds Are Forever

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Whilst an ivory dinner jacket is appropriate in a Monte Carlo casino, it’s out of place in a Las Vegas casino unless you’re James Bond. Bond wears one in Diamonds Are Forever at a Las Vegas casino where most people dress down. Apart from Bond’s wide bow tie and the wide pocket flaps on his dinner jacket, this is a classic warm-weather black tie outfit. It looks especially traditional compared to the flamboyant black dinner jacket Bond wears later in the film. The ivory dinner jacket has the same cut as the other Anthony Sinclair jackets in the film have: a clean chest and soft shoulders with roped sleeve heads.

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The button one dinner jacket has medium-width peaked lapels with a very high gorge. Today you can find examples of peaked lapels where the peaks rise up above the shoulders, but the peaks on the dinner jacket are about as high as peaks can tastefully be to help slim a heavier Sean Connery.

The jacket’s hip pockets are slanted with large flaps, a utilitarian pocket style that is out of place on a dinner jacket. The slant gives easier access to the pockets on horseback, and flaps keep items inside the pockets. However, the benefits of slanted and flapped pockets are unnecessary on a dinner jacket, and such a sporty pocket doesn’t have the simple elegance of a straight jetted pocket. Slanted pockets were trendy in the 1970s, hence their inclusion here. Tucking in the pocket flaps could instantly remove the bulk of the pocket flap and make for a more elegant and appropriate, though still not entirely traditional, look.

The dinner jacket also has deep double vents, which are another practical sporting element added to this dinner jacket that breaks from tradition, but Bond’s dinner jackets have often had double vents. There are four buttons on the cuffs, and all of the buttons on the jacket are white sew-through mother-of-pearl.

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With the jacket, Bond wears midnight blue trousers with a darted front, tapered legs and a midnight blue satin silk stripe down the side of each leg. They are probably supported with “DAKS-tops”-style button-tab side-adjusters. The white-on-white stripe shirt from Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar, double cuffs and pleated front with mother-of-pearl buttons down the placket. The double cuffs are made in Turnbull & Asser’s usual style with the link holes close to the fold to better show off Bond’s oval gold-set black onyx cufflinks.

Connery’s bow ties always followed the trendy width, and his wide black satin silk butterfly-shape bow tie in Diamonds Are Forever is no exception. The bow tie complements the width of the jacket’s peaked lapels.

As typical for Connery’s Bond, he does not wear any waist-covering (cummerbund or waistcoat) with this dinner jacket. In some shots he wears the same black patent leather two-eyelet, plain-toe derby shoes on a chiselled-toe last that he later wears with the black dinner suit. In other shots he wears black patent leather plain-toe oxfords, a more traditional shoe for black tie.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I like this outfit even if, as noted, it’s more than a little out of place in a Las Vegas casino. But don’t forget The Rat Pack a decade earlier had worn evening wear for their Las Vegas cinematic escapades. Plus, Bond is Bond and “Diamonds” was scarcely an exercise in self restraint!

    The slanted pocket style and deep double vents come down to the same territory as the black flamboyant dinner jacket; the prevailing fashions of the time. However, some era’s fashions reflect better taste than others and, for me the clothing style in “Diamonds” is actually one of the films stronger (no pun intended) suits.

    A lot of current suiting fashions are, frankly, ridiculous and amount to the manipulation of what were traditional proportional norms to proportions that look quite odd. Your observation about peak lapel height is a perfect case in point. Until things became distasteful the height of these here wouldn’t have even merited comment. That was simply the normal proportion for lapels. The same would apply to jacket length. The traditional, normal, rule of thumb was jackets extended to below the reaches of the wearer’s backside. Now they end somewhere far higher and the back of the wearer’s trousers are exposed. Front button stance sits at a point that several inches of tie are visible below. I never recall seeing this on decent men’s suiting prior to the last decade or so.

    Before anyone get’s over excited it’s worth mentioning that, despite current fashions, the style of Connery’s clothing here, plus aspects of Moore’s Bond wardrobe later in the same decade, actually chime more with the taste of current Bond dresser Tom Ford as, from what I have seen, a lot of his current tailoring range boasts slanted pockets, wider peak lapels and deep vents. In fact, either of “Diamonds” three examples of evening wear would, quite plausibly, pass for modern Ford.

    • Agreed, David. In addition to the Tom Ford brand, I also find Mr. Ford’s personal style to be quite similar to Roger Moore’s 1970’s look.

    • It could also be that the slanted pocket style and deep double vents are part of an overall effort to make Connery look a little slimmer!

  2. Once again the tailoring does a nice job of hiding Connery’s weight.

    It’s funny to me to see the changing height of lapel notches. I saw a couple of beautiful RTW suits in the fall that I was quite excited about, but once I tried them on the notches were sitting on top of my shoulders! With the first jacket I thought it was a production mistake, but the second suit had the same issue…the middle of the notch lined up with the seam that ran along the top of the jacket from the side of the neck to the shoulder!

  3. I think this is the nicest ensemble that Bond wears in Diamonds Are Forever. Apart from the out of place pocket style it’s quite tasteful. I particularly like the shirt.

    David, it’s interesting that you mention the Rat Pack, as there is a deleted scene in which Sammy Davis Jr. sees Bond wearing this dinner jacket and makes some comment to the effect that he looks like he’s fallen off a wedding cake.

    • Thanks Kyle. Now that you mention that, I think I recall reading that anecdote some place alright. That would have been funny had they left it in and might have made better sense than a lot they did include!

      FS; exactly. I saw a Tom Ford suede sports coat for sale on e bay recently with safari features which I could have easily imagined Moore’s Bond in.

  4. If there was ever a town that this wouldn’t look out of place, it would be Las Vegas, considering later in this scene we see dancers wearing little more than strips of sequinned string.

    I can’t look at those picture without hearing that annoying voice on the tannoy system in the scene:
    “Mr Wyngarde, calling Mr Wynarde.” I wonder who he was? One wonders if it was Peter Wyngarde, scouting for questionable fashion tips for his Jason King series…

  5. Well spotted, David & Kyle,
    ““They’re never gonna get a cake big enough to put him on top of””
    Here is the scene, at 0’49”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4cU_20TgJ8

    One of the best dinner jackets, in spite of the era’s vagaries.
    The Blue Ray quality makes my latest doubt about the lapels vanish.
    Until the last moment I thought that they were silk-covered, and was very much longing for Matt to cover it.
    So be it, they definitely belong to villains, or to Indiana Jones..

    • I asked Peter Marshall of The Black Tie Guide about a silk-faced white dinner jacket and he said he doesn’t have a single reference to one in his archive, and I don’t know anyone who has researched black tie as thoroughly as he has. He said that Indiana Jones’ white dinner jacket is not historically accurate.

  6. The ivory dinner jacket is so very classically and iconically James Bond. I hope they bring it back in future Bond films! Perhaps with a sharp diamond tip bow tie instead of a butterfly.

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