Bert Saxby’s Stylish Navy Pinstripe Suit in Diamonds Are Forever

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Bert Saxby, played by Bruce Cabot, is a minor character in Diamonds Are Forever, but one with major presence and style. He’s one of Blofeld’s henchmen, and he manages the Whyte House hotel and casino in Las Vegas. As the manager of such a prestigious establishment, he needs to dress the part.

Saxby’s style has much in common with James Bond’s. He wears a navy pinstripe suit with a solid navy tie and a light blue shirt, something that Bond wears later in Diamonds Are Forever. While Saxby’s colour scheme is both Bondian and rather generic, many of the details of Saxby’s clothes also match Bond’s. However, his outfit also has a few important points that differentiate his style from Bond’s style.

While navy striped suits have been a staple of Bond’s wardrobe since the 1960s, Bond usually prefers a well-defined stripe. English tradition is for stripes that can be seen, though not usually loud ‘gangster’-style stripes. Saxby’s suit follows the American tradition for subtle stripes, which only become apparent up close in the right lighting. It is difficult to determine what kind of stripe the suit has; it may be a very thin grey pinstripe, or it may be an even more subtle tonal pinstripe.

Saxby’s suit is single-breasted with two buttons. The suit takes stylistic cues from British suits, but it’s most likely an American suit due to the actor being American, the character being American and the locations being in America. The peaked lapels give the suit a slightly flashy Hollywood look, which is fitting for a Las Vegas hotel and casino manager. The two-button detail on the cuffs, with the buttons spaced apart, indicates that this is likely an authentic American suit, probably made in Los Angeles. The suits takes inspiration from Britain with details like slanted hip pockets, a ticket pocket and double vents, but those details were also popular in Hollywood-type suits in the 1960s and 1970s. Bond’s English suits in the film share these same details.

The suit has narrow peaked lapels, and the width suggests the suit is from the 1960s rather than a current suit for the date of the film’s release in 1971. Sean Connery’s suits in Diamonds Are Forever are trendier with wide lapels to give him a younger and more fashionable look, while Saxby’s narrow lapels are consistent with him being an older man who is meant to look a few years out of date. Realistically, most men would not have a wardrobe of brand new suits to keep up with the volatile fashion trends at this time. Wide lapels had just started to enter mainstream fashion in the early 1970s, and most men, let alone someone like Saxby, would not have been wearing the latest styles.

Peaked lapels separate Saxby’s suit from a suit that Bond would ordinarily wear. Peaked lapels on a single-breasted suit are a traditional style, but they look flashy. On Bond’s ivory dinner jacket at the Whyte House they’re a classic option, but they’re ordinarily too showy for Bond’s suits. Oddly enough, Bond wears a blue single-breasted suit with peaked lapels in a brief shot later in Diamonds Are Forever, but apart from two other occasions in the Craig era—one being a disguise—Bond usually does not wear single-breasted suits with peaked lapels.

The jacket has a yellow lining, a subtle nod to its time.

The suit’s trousers have a flat front with frogmouth pockets and medium-width tapered legs. The rise on the trousers looks too short and sits under his gut rather than over it, which is not particularly flattering. The trousers do not appear to be worn with a belt, but it may have belt loops as he wears his keys on a chain that looks like it may be attached to a belt loop.

Saxby’s shirt is light blue with a spread collar and single-button cuffs. The spread collar is similar to Bond’s, but it has shorter collar points. He wears a solid navy tie and makes it in a Windsor knot, just like Bond does in this film. His collar points, however, are too short and the size of the Windsor knot overwhelms the collar. The tie looks too short since it does not reach the waistband of the trousers, but if the trousers had a higher rise to the waist the tie would be at the perfect length.

Unlike Bond, Saxby wears a pocket square in Diamonds Are Forever. Pocket squares were not particularly fashionable at the time and portray Saxby as an old-fashioned and slightly flashy man, particular with a puffed red pocket square.

Saxby wears black shoes with his suit. The style cannot be properly determined from the film, but they may be loafers.

28 COMMENTS

  1. I am always interested in reading into the other characters that are in the bond films and I think you did a fine cover of that here Matt. I like how you did the compare and contrast of his clothes to those that James Bond would wear. I think it gives a great entertaining aspect of the way each of them are different. Hope to see more articles on different characters from the Bond series in the future!

  2. I must say Matt you made good timing creating this article! I recently reviewed DAF and was curious to learn more about this film. I rarely watched this film when I was younger compared to the other Connery Bond films. The film is overall okay, but I do like the style. The film still has some 70s flair but it is not over the top. I just wish that we could have seen a continuation of Bond’s reaction to the death of his wife.

    I have a question regarding regarding the Church’s dress shoes. I recently viewed a pair at a vintage shop and they claimed to be size 100 C. I know that the size 100 is equal as a size 11 for the United States, but I don’t really understand what the C means? Perhaps the width of the shoe?

    Anyways, great review Matt! And I am looking forward to your response.

    • I have no idea what a shoe size of 100 C is. A US11 is approximately equivalent to a UK10, but the last can make a big difference in how a size is perceived. Church’s usually makes shoes in F or G width. I have never seen C.

      • I appreciate the help gentlemen. I was going to inform you I purchased the shoes and they have a perfect fit. I love the burgundy color and the brogue design. Thank you Matt and Travers for your time and effort.

        My best
        Bill

    • Bill, Matt,

      C usually denotes a narrow fit back in the day, but size 100 is a tad unheard of. Still, check out for yourself.

    • @Bill Tanner “I just wish that we could have seen a continuation of Bond’s reaction to the death of his wife.”

      I’ve become convinced by the argument that DAF makes much more sense as a continuation of YOLT (and OHMSS exists in a separate continuity). DAF literally picks up directly where YOLT left off (Japan) and Connery’s temperament never comes off as a man who has lost his wife.

      • But of course DAF follows OHMSS directly: the opening the former is Bond taking revenge for Tracy’s death. And after the sequence M points it out Bond now that his vendetta has been sorted he can return to ‘plain, solid work’. Which he does.

      • This could also be interpreted as Bond hunting Blofeld after his escape in You Only Live Twice. But the Aston Martin DBS cameo in Diamonds Are Forever at least acknowledges that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service exists.

  3. Exceptionally fine timing. I just rewatched this film this past Friday and I actually noticed and paid attention to this particular suit for the first time.

  4. Nice review! I like it too when you write about other characters in the movies. I think the outfit is good and appropriate for the character. The outfit looks quite tame compared to the other gentlemen in the last picture where the 70s seems to be in full swing.

  5. In this case the peaks lapels are not “flashly”,but very sober in shape.
    The peak is horizontal and little noticeable.
    Is a style see in mid-late 60s in America.

    More interesting the peaks lapels in Connery blue suit in the brief shot on the ship.
    Lapels in this case remember to me some Italian things.
    Peaks are upward and accentuated.
    Flashly?
    Well, blu color turns off more of showiness (and the dark tie helps to subtract).
    I’m not a great fan of huge lapels,but i think that in the large field a peak lapel is more harmonious compared to notched lapel that if very large seems ungraceful.

    Very strange coincidence..in this days my tailor is on work on my new suit…a single breasted two buttons in mohair air force blue….with peak lapels.
    Never had peaks on a single breasted…I wanted to try.
    The the final result (i hope) it should be similar to the suit that Connery wear in the brief scene on the ship.

    • Well, they’re still flashier than notch lapels owing to the style being a lot less common, plus the upward angle draws more attention. That sounds like a great suit, what size lapels are you getting? I’m getting a menswear-inspired navy suit that is single breasted with peak lapels myself soon! They’re going to be decently but not overly wide at 3.75″.

      • Well, the Cabot’s lapels are on the slender side but are not skinny.
        So if I had to bet on a year i’d said 1967-early 68.

        Those type of lapels were around for a while in the trendy side of American menswear (at least from mid 60s) ,but is only from 1967 that lapels began to grow (getting out of control from early 70s,as the ties).

        Concluding, a part the rise of the trousers,the Cabot’s suit is not ugly or gaudy in cut..you could get dressed it also today (thanks the not exaggeratedly skinny lapels).
        Obviously thanks also to the sober cloth color and design…the same suit in a gray sharkskin might scream rat pack.

  6. It’s a nice suit, but yeah, definitely it and the shirt are from the ’60s. I might break away from my friend Matt here slightly and say the shirt collar is not terrible. It could be bigger for his face, but it’s hardly bad next to some of the really tiny spread collars I’ve seen in the last few years. (I got a shirt from an English shirt brand years ago and immediately returned it when seeing how tiny it was. I can’t even remember the brand, just that the collar points were barely 2.5″ and the price point was around the same as Charles Tyrwhitt.) The tie knot wouldn’t have looked disproportionately large were it made with one of the more thinly lined and/or narrower ties like Connery wore in previous movies.

  7. Saxby should have done his tie in a four in hand to avoid the problem of the collar overwhelming the knot and to ensure the blade of his tie reached his belt buckle.

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