Anthony Sinclair in Gentlemen’s Quarterly, April 1966

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GQ-April-1966The April 1966 issue of Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) takes a look at Sean Connery’s tailoring and gives us a closer look at the tailor responsible, Anthony Sinclair:

Mr. Sinclair has made Mr. Connery, for his personal and film wardrobes, over 100 suits, “every overcoat, odd jacket, pair of slacks, dinner suit, everything.”

Sinclair’s other clients are also named: Gene Kelly, Robert Taylor, Richard Conte, Dane Clark and Richard Ney. Sinclair also made clothes for another actor known for playing a spy: Patrick McGoohan. Sinclair commented in detail about the style of his suits:

“I make clothes in the classic English tradition. I won’t make exaggerated, flamboyant clothes. I make only a Savile Row style. Nor will I put in any gimmicks. The only comment I want about my suits is that they are elegant. And I’ve given Connery the same cut I’ve given every customer all my tailoring life.”

What is that cut? Natural shoulders: “I don’t believe in padding.” If Connery’s suits look squarer in the shoulders than the grey herringbone suit Mr. Sinclair himself was wearing, it is because Mr. Connery’s shoulders are broader. A medium-width lapel: “I hate exaggerated styles. Everything should be in proportion. The eye shouldn’t be riveted on very narrow or wide lapels or wide shoulders or anything else–the suit is taken as a whole is the thing.”

Mr. Sinclair prefers two buttons, the top button falling naturally at the waist. Flapped pockets, with a ticket pocket, and side vents, about 10″ deep…Mr. Sinclair likes a bit of waist suppression, achieved with a front dart in solid fabrics, at the side in patterned fabrics, but too strongly defined waist, he feels, distorts the jacket’s lines. Sport jackets he cuts slightly longer, with a bit more flare to the skirt of the jacket, and he will sometimes use a deep center vent, starting from the waist, in a sport coat.

Sinclair kept to his traditional, sensible ways at a time when many tailors were going for even narrower lapels and gimmicks, like Cyril Castle across the street was starting to do with his suits for Roger Moore in The Saint. Sinclair also spoke about the construction of a good suit:

“But if you use a good woollen, tailor the insides properly, you should be able to take the suit, roll it into a ball, shake it out and have it fall into perfect shape. It’s the fabric and canvas and inner work you invest in a garment that should do the work.”

Also interesting are the prices for his suits in 1966: “$215 for a two-piece suit…$145 for a sport jacket, $250 for a dinner suit.” $215 in 1966 adjusted for inflation would be $1,550 today, but the equivalent today would cost three times as much. In a second article in this issue, Connery is said to have a 46″ chest and 33″ waist.

And finally, do any of the older American readers here remember a line of “007” clothes made by Trimount Clothing? The second article mentions it but goes into no detail.

52 COMMENTS

  1. Some thought:

    Wow, 100 suits for Connery!

    Lapels: are medium-width in Doctor No,but in Goldfinger and Thunderball seems relatively narrow (look for exemple to famous three-piece”Goldfinger suit”),okay not so ugly tiny like in Cyril Castle’s suits for Moore/The Saint,but undoubtedly not medium widht.

    The price: $1,550 in money of today; no wonder.
    In 60s, in Europe the cost of living was lowest than now.
    So bespoke suits costing less,also because tailors were hundreds.
    Was a blessed time.

  2. That’s an impressive 13″ drop. That nears Steve Reeves and his 20″ drop. Great article on tailoring and principles that still hold true to this day.

    • Shaun, it’s a trivial point but don’t believe the 13″ drop. It was more like 8″. You only have to look at Connery’s physique in his prime to realise that 13″ is pure fantasy and exaggerated reporting. Sinclair’s point about excessive waist suppression is very valid, in my opinion. The suit should look like a suit, not a workout outfit.

      • I don’t know Steve. I mean I have 11″ and you wouldn’t think it to look. I’d believe the 13″ drop. What I wouldn’t believe is the 46″ chest. But I guess really you have to believe one to believe the other. So yeah you are probably right, not impossible, but fairly improbable.

        I’d say Connery was at his heaviest in “Thunderball” and I’d say he was a 44 chest with maybe a 34/35 waist.

      • He weighed 14 stone 4 lbs (200 lbs) in Thunderball, the last of his films in which he was in acceptable shape.

  3. Interesting sartorial choices for the cover of GQ and most un-Bond-like. Also, by the look of his face, the older Connery is starting to emerge here.

    As for the discussion of Connery’s measurements, I am not sure sure we can really judge that well based on photographs. There was already a discussion about Connery’s jacket and neck size here https://www.bondsuits.com/?p=7

    I would think at over 6’2″, Connery is at least a 44 and his torso is thick. I don’t see him having a waist much over 33″ at this point (1965 and prior) based on other comparisons. But the entire discussion really is conjecture disguised as certainties.

  4. Great post, Matt. While I favor a good deal more waist suppression than Sinclair, his rationale is completely understandable.

    Steve, I also find it hard to believe that Connery had a 13 inch drop, even in his prime. I would say 11 is the maximum based on the way he looks in his early Bond films.

    • I used to work as a personal trainer and have had to take measurements for people training for competitions. Based on my experience I’ve never seen a photo of Connery – at least when he played Bond – that would make me believe he had a 13″ drop. I suppose that it’s *possible* but it doesn’t seem likely. Could it be mis-reported and be from his bodybuilding days?

      • Muhammad Ali in his prime had a 43″chest and 34″ waist. He was 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighed just under 15 stone in his earlier days. You will not see a more natural, lean, mean fighting machine than that and he was considerably more muscular than Connery. I am truly sick of exaggerated, false, sensationalistic headline grabbing journalism, even in this area, which simply distorts the truth!

      • Just to be clear, Matt, those last comments of mine were in no way directed at you, heaven forbid! My gripe is with other so called journalists who report rubbish and distort facts to feed their own sensationalistic egos. I think like all readers here, I find your articles extremely well researched, perceptive, stimulating and a pleasure to read.

      • I know where your comments were directed. I appreciate you reading my blog. The 13″ drop doesn’t make sense to me either. I’m wondering if this GQ article is where those measurements originated.

  5. Perhaps it is just my training as a lawyer, but does anyone have any authority for these numbers that are being tossed out? I know mine are guesses. And what’s found on the internet does not necessarily count as authority. Has anyone actually scene a suit Connery wore with the measurements identified? Or does anyone have a photo of a tailoring card?

    Looking at Connery, I would guess he had an 9 to 11 in. drop or so. But, his chest is very thick – look at him in the Dunn River scene in Dr. No, in the bedroom scene with Tania in From Russia With Love, in the bedroom scene with Jill Masterson in Goldfinger, and on teh boat with Paula when he first meets Domino in Thunderball. His torso has depth that I have rarely scene in movie stars of his era and is quite noticeable when teh films are scene on the big screen.

    A suit Tom Selleck wore in 1985 on Magnum, P.I. put Selleck’s waist at 35 inches. Selleck is two inches taller than Connery, but has a similar frame, if better maintained physique, but his waist seems thicker proportionally to Connery circa 1965. I can’t see Connery’s waist being 34 or 35 given Selleck’s waist size as marked by the suit that was auctioned off.

    A 13 inch drop – maybe, or even likely not. But is there really criticism of Connery’s 9 to 11 inch drop that seems to be the estimate here? Whatever the number, aren’t we really talking about a very imposing guy? How many people on this blog have that? For the record, mine is 8.

    • You are right Christian. Personnaly, I wouldn’t mind having Connery’s drop, whatever the number is. His physique is really impressive while having a certain slim, lean elegance – it’s different from Craig’s bodybuilder body that is also imposing, but perhaps in a more brutal way.
      The 13 drop looks also unrealistic. Connery had very large shoulders and an imposing torso, but not such a slim waist. I mean not a waist some bodybuilders could have -very thin in the waist and then a monstruous torso-, but a waist that was thin, but long. Sorry, it’s not really understandable. I mean he had one like Cary Grant’s, but didn’t have the same torso.
      It’s rather funny to see all this fuss about Connery’s drop although -a hotter debate than the ones about some other actors’ outfit ! I don’t really care for the exact drop, but it in one of the documentaries in the Dr. No dvd, we get to see Connery’s chest and waist measurements (I don’t have the dvd in my possession actually, but perhaps someone has it. Anyway it was already mentionned in a post you referred to, Christian) at Turnbull & Asser. Perhaps a 44 chest and a 36 waist indeed. Of course, we don’t know these were taken for Dr. No of for Thunderball. I think Connery is at his beefiest in his first movie. In Thunderball, we see he has gained some weight in the stomach, while still having an impressive drop. I think he looked athletical in his first three movies.
      I am quite happy that Brosnan tooked the role too. It shows that one doesn’t have to be an athlete to play Bond. Besides the original Bond was of medium height and slim, if I remember. Fleming even noted his measurements in one of his novels.

      Matt, a question about the chest size. If Connery’chest measured 44 inches, then would it mean that if he bought a ready-to-wear suit, he had to buy a 46 ? Or a 44 ? I am a bit confused about it.
      Anyway, if Craig was a 50 or 52 in size in Casino Royale, that is a bit enormous, IMHO. But still he looks good.

      • Actually an European 52 is roughly comparable to an American 42 – that is, a man who wears an European 52 jacket probably has a 42″ chest and wears a 42R suit, which actually should measure 44″ in the chest.

      • Thanks Dan. I was a bit lost. I remember Matt saying that Craig was a 50/52 in a post, but I thought an US 50/52. Thus I was a bit puzzled – a 60/62 European is just monstruous !

      • The general rule is deduct 10 off the EU measurement for it’s rough equivalent. However because metric and imperial don’t line up exactly, often times it can make a size difference. Often times however, a chest measurement is a rough guide and many can wear suits of different sizes depending on the cut.

        For example, My chest measures 41.5″ but I can comfortably wear both a 38 or 40 in various cuts. This is not uncommon.

        A 54 euro is roughly a 43 1/4 and a 52 is closer to a 41 than a 42.

        Craig’s suits are EU 50’s.

      • It’s funny the huge variety in sizing in men’s clothes now. I have a 42″ chest and the last suit I bought (J Crew) I had to buy a 36S!

        However, I also have a 32″ waist and my pants range from size 28 to size 33 depending on the store…a spread that big is insane in my opinion.

      • A similar sizing issue oddly enough occurred with Brunello Cucinelli shoes this past season. Prior to this year, Cucinelli had been subcontracting shoe construction to Artisan makers in Italy. So sizes weren’t being consistent, it was basically whatever the shoe maker’s interpretation of what the size should be. So customers were buying 3 different sizes depending on the shoe, due to fit. It caused enough of a stir that my company pulled the shoe line due to customer complaints and confusion.

      • Interesting situation with the shoes, Shaun. I put my experiences down to vanity sizing. When I would buy a polo or tee shirt 20-25 years ago a medium fit me well though occasionally I would have to go up to large. The last two polo shirts that I bought were both extra-small and both are still too large around the stomach (quite a bit so in one case). And I’m almost exactly the same size as I was as back then.

        To further my argument, I know a few people who have moved here (Canada) from Europe (England, Croatia, Spain, Poland) and they can’t believe how huge the clothes are here (short of going to a European chain like Zara). As I say to them, keep eating our food and adopting our lifestyle and the clothes will fit you soon enough 😉

      • Is Connery’s chest measured 44 inches that means he wears an US/UK size 44. That would typically measure 23″ across the chest, though Anthony Sinclair’s suits were cut fuller. Craig would have been a 50 or 52 European size, which would be roughly equal to US/UK sizes 39 and 41, respectively.

      • That means that in Casino Royale for example, he wears 52R suits but he’s slimmer in the shoulders and in the torso than Cconnery ? Interesting. I always thought he was way larger, but that may be due to him being shorter than Connery, having a long torso while Connery had both long legs and a long torso.

      • Daniel Craig is not a big man. He’s typically very medium at 178 cm tall and about 180 lbs
        So I’d guess he’s a 40 chest. He is more like a middle weight boxer than a bodybuilder. Muscular but not large.

  6. Hmmm… I seem to recall a documentary I once saw where they had an interview with Anthony Sinclair… And In one of the few stills you could see a small card with his measurements, and they were something like Chest: 44, Waist: 36… I’m pretty sure it was “The James Bond Story” or something like that. TWINE wasn’t even in cinemas when that came out. I think I still have the DVD, but I’ll have to check…

  7. Great article, Matt. In one of the Dr. No’s documentaries, we only see and hear Sinclair for less than a minute. Now we’re talking !
    I like his philosophy about tailoring -no excesses, a simple and flattering cut. I think his last remark is really interesting too to check if one’s suit is of good quality, but I am too afraid to do the same thing to my suit !
    About the outfit of the first page, it looks really terrible to me. Allright Connery pulled it off, like his playsuit in Goldfinger, but there’s nothing to be proud of. Why didn’t they showed him in a simple suit ?!

    That said, in Thunderball the grey semi-solid suit has very narrow lapels though…

    • They wanted to show Connery’s personal style. I can tell you more about the outfit from the article later. Inside there’s a photo of the brown three-piece suit from Thunderball, which could have made a better cover photo, but I think they wanted to show Sean Connery and not James Bond.

    • Well, Connery is being interviewed as himself. I’m sure many people at the time were interested in how Connery dressed, and for many, Connery and Bond were indistinguishable. This is just Connery being himself.

  8. Interesting that AS also made Patrick Mcgoohan’s clothing at the time. I remember Danger Man with fondness, and McGoohan looked great ( although I must confess to not having seen it recently). Thanks Matt.

  9. The 13in drop sounds like he had his chest expanded, thus the 46in mesasurement. So relaxed he’d be about 44 chest and 33 waist, or thereabouts in the first 3 films. For the last three films, add an inch or so with every film around his waist so 34,35,36 for Thunderball, YOLT, and Diamonds respectively. Say what you will about his weight in Diamonds, I don’t think his waist was more than 36, he didn’t look as fit as before but I wouldn’t call him fat at all. Notice from the back you could still see that he had a fairly well defined v shape.

  10. Love those prices, but it’s just incredible that suits/jackets of that quality went for such reasonable sums. Could Mr. Sinclair have been talking about what he charged EON Productions for partially finished suits used up during the shooting? 13″ drop or not, Sean Connery in his prime was a very strong man and a true icon of ’60’s cinema. Kudos also to Mr.Sinclair for standing away from the Swinging 60s/Mod nonsense that other tailors had to deal in. Can’t say I’m thrilled by Connery’s outfit on the cover, though. Perhaps they were wardrobe items from a very strange film he made in 1966, A FINE MADNESS, in which he played a schizophrenic writer who is close to being a derelict.

    • Those are the prices Sinclair charged his customers on his US visits.

      The article says about the clothes on the cover: “He personally prefers a much more casual, offhand way of dress, the kind of clothes you see him in on our cover.”

  11. Thanks Matt. Great insight on the sporadic Connery PR machine of the mid-60s. Weirdly, the cover shot of Connery seems to have been reversed so as to accommodate the GQ logo. This mean’s that Connery’s bewigged parting is on the right rather than on the usual left and adds to the general imbalance of those middling clothes.

  12. The 44/46″ of Connery’s chest measurement is deceptive, in that from photographs and the films, generally we’re looking at his front/chest.

    The cause of a potential 46″ measurement is principally coming from the size and development of his back muscles (lats). Many times this detail is overlooked when discussing the “drop”. The lats are about the widest where the chest measurement is taken too, so for someone of his height, and being a body builder at the time where the V-shape torso (created by well developed lats, not shoulders which is a misconception) was most desirable (in addition to the sheer focus on proportion) 46″ with 33″ at the waist (naval) is realistic for the Dr. No fittings.

    Coupled with his naturally broad frame, 46″ is likely (/perhaps 45″). Of course whilst he no doubt decreased his weighted exercised and his body fat percentage went up it’s likely his drop decreased with measurements being in the 44″ and “35/36 range.

  13. Edit: Sent this to Matt Spaiser as an email. I felt it not worthy of any thread. He suggested I post it here. The movie was First Knight (1990’s not 1960’s). To counter my description of Mr Connery, Richard Gere was was the complete opposite. They were like chalk & cheese:

    Just stumbled upon this site while trying to find Tom Ford info. My first post. Hope it’s appropriate:

    Many years ago, I had a friend who needed walk-on people for a big budget blockbuster. The film was shot at Pinewood Studios, and I remember the arduous trek down to Charing Cross Station at some ungodly hour (4:00pm I seem to remember). We’d arrive at Pinewood Studios in the dark, attach armour in the dark, then collect our metal swords.

    It was NOT acting by any stretch of the imagination, but for six weeks I got to see just where all those millions go. What I also got to see was Mr Connery up close and personal. I was surprised. From his films I never felt his sense of menace or size. I’m 6’2″ and muscular. He was all that and more, but with added muscular depth from front to rear shoulder. I was alone in a room at the time standing to attention, when he silently padded past me, eyeing me up as would a tiger. I swear, I found it hard to return his gaze. I was expecting charm and wit, not a man of such menacing steely-eyed strength. The film set was oozing testosterone: stunt men, a few hundred Parachute Regiment soldiers and more toughies than you’d find in an Australian boozer. However, I still remember that moment above everything.

    Days later I and another were picked for an interior scene. All went well until out of the blue Mr Connery exploded in a rage, ranting about the heat from the lights and lack of air conditioning. The cast were scared, I was scared… even the director was scared. Filming was halted for the day and the room quickly emptied.

    The point to my post: few will be able to duplicate Mr Connery’s look. His walk is dangerous and purposeful. Most muscular men look awkward, as if they’re trying too hard. Mr Connery’s strength comes from the fact that he doesn’t even try; it’s effortless and natural. He appears to be a man in complete control. He wears the clothes. I really don’t know what it is… but he has it.

    This post is praise not criticism, of a man who through virtue has something most of us never will. Rich, poor, even screen accurate attire…. you either have it, or you don’t…

    He has 🙂

    • Wow.. I just saw this comment. I find it very interesting, thanks for suggesting the poster to put it here, Matt.
      I think I read somewhere that when casting Connery, aside from the sex appeal, the producers liked the way he walked. The way he moved with purpose and his presence. I guess this is kinda what Harry is talking about and is what made Connery such a successful movie star.
      And try as we might to imitate his “walk” (God knows I try everyday), we’ll never have it if we never had it.

    • Harry,
      Thank you for the post, I also, like Sethblack, just saw this comment. I guess a lot of Mr Connery’s total presence showed on screen and may be why I find the more recent Bond’s lacking. I always think it is because they have narrow shoulders compared to Mr Connery and not quite so charmingly, menacingly sexy.

      Anyway, thank you, again for your post.

  14. Ha, ha, I just checked my post. That “ungodly hour” we arrived on set was 4:00am not 4:00pm 🙂

    I’ve been wanting to tell this Connery story for years. Thanks for the outlet Matt.

    Harry

  15. >> $215 in 1966 adjusted for inflation would be $1,550
    >> today, but the equivalent today would cost three times as much.

    Goes to show how fraudulent “official” inflation statistics are.

  16. The price: $1,550 in money of today; no wonder.
    In 60s, in Europe the cost of living was lowest than now.
    So bespoke suits costing less,also because tailors were hundreds.

  17. In the Inside Dr. No documentary, you see Connery’s measurement card from T&A. It lists a 17″ collar, 44″ chest and 36″ waist. However, since T&A don’t have any of the shirt patterns from the early Bond days, and only have it for Never Say Never Again, it’s possible these might be his measurements from that time period (when he wasn’t quite at the physical peak as his early movies).

    • That’s quite possible. He had an incredible drop and v-shaped torso when he started his first Bond movies.
      The 36 waist and 44 chest isn’t a big drop at all, it’s quite a standard one.
      It’s just an intuition but his waist size in Dr No was probably more of a 32/33. Maybe 34 in Thunderball, and 36 in DAF.
      The neck size also… maybe more a 16. His neck and face are quite thin when you compare them to his broad shoulders and chest in Dr No.
      I read somewhere he was about 91kg in Thunderball. So probably 85 in Dr. No.
      These measurements also make me doubt that Pierce may have been the heaviest Bond in DAD, it was definitely Connery in DAF. Connery had more muscles and bigger bones than Brosnan. He was also slightly taller.

      • Agreed… I think that thing about Pierce being the lightest and heaviest Bond is just an apocryphal story. Pierce may not have been as fit as he was in TWINE (when he probably looked his best), but he clearly wasn’t the size of DGAF Connery in DAF.

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