The Black Three-Piece Suit in Diamonds Are Forever

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Diamonds-Are-Forever-Black-Suit

The more traditionally-minded people think of the solid black suit as funeral wear. In Diamonds Are Forever, James Bond undercover as Peter Franks appropriately wears a black three-piece suit when mourning the death of his “brother.” Diamonds Are Forever was the first Bond film of the 1970s and Bond’s suit reflects the new decade with it’s wider lapels and pocket flaps and deeper double vents.

But as before, this Anthony Sinclair suit has a button two front, four buttons on the cuffs, soft shoulders and roped sleeve heads. The chest is slightly draped though cleaner than before, and the waist isn’t as nipped as before since Sean Connery’s waist isn’t either. The hip pockets are straight with wide flaps and there is a welt breast pocket. There are deep double vents at the rear.

The trouser pleats that Connery wore before went out with the 1960s; now Connery is wearing darted front trousers without turn-ups. The trousers have a waistband with a square extension and “Daks-tops” button-tab side-adjusters with three dark mother-of-pearl buttons on each side. The side pockets are on-seam and there is a coin pocket beneath the waistband on the right side. The trouser legs are tapered. The waistcoat is a full six-button cut with a cutaway bottom, four welt pockets and without lapels.

Here Bond’s shirt is a light ecru, which helps to offset the starkness of the black suit. The shirt has pretty much stayed the same, though the traditional Turnbull & Asser collar may be a little larger. The two-button cocktail cuff has returned with Connery, but here he only fastens the first button and lets the cuff roll over the second button (pictured below). This will only work with a cuff that has a sewn interlining, not a fused interlining as is common today since the fusing will not roll over as naturally. I initially thought it was a mistake but since Bond does it with other outfits in the film it must have been done on purpose. Bond’s tie is solid black with a strong diagonal rib. Diamonds Are Forever is the first film where Bond goes beyond the silk knitted and grenadine ties (save Bond’s masquerade as Sir Hilary Bray). But it’s still solid.

Bond wears an uncommon style of shoe here, a black full-brogue (wing-tip) three-eyelet derby. This is the “Brogue V-Front” shoe from John Lobb Ltd of St. James’s, London.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately in this movie, the suits don't fit well…you can see in pictures above that the jacket does not sit properly and that there is a gap between it and the shirt collar…something that you don't see in any of the previous movies.

  2. I noticed some fit problems too. I think it might have something to do with Connery's fluctuating weight. Brosnan had the same problem in Die Another Day.

  3. Connery's whole manner was off in that movie. You could tell by his constant slouching that he didnt really want to be there. The way in which you wear your suit can make or break it.

    Its funny that 12 years later in Never Say Never Again, at an older age, he looked much better and much more in shape.

  4. Anon: You may just have something there. I think he was coerced into this movie after Lazenby's premature departure (thank goodness — the man was handsome but he could NOT act) and thus wasn't giving it his all. I'd almost say he looked older in DAF compared to NSNA.

    Speaking of the unofficial film, will its clothes be covered by this blog? That would be interesting. I'd also like to see more of the casual wear covered.

  5. If I do cover NSNA it won't be for a while, and I'd like to focus mostly on the real Bond movies first. I don't even have that movie on DVD, so I'd have to get it first. There is one thing of note in the film that I'd like to mention at some point. But eventually I'll run out of material from the real Bond films and have to look at other related sources such as NSNA and the 1967 Casino Royale spoof, plus some other well-dressed spies. Throughout the series, Bond has had almost 100 lounge suits, 26 dinner jackets (black and white), and 25 sports coats and blazers. So perhaps I'll throw in some casual wear so I don't run out of tailored clothing by the middle of next year.

  6. Jovan: You're absolutely right that Connery was coerced…with the then-unheard of sum of $1million, which he then gave to charity. They had actually signed John Gavin to portray 007, but the studio really wanted Connery back, so they did whatever they could to get him, even going so far as to pay out Gavin's salary in full without even a day's filming.

  7. "Diamonds Are Forever is the first film where Bond goes beyond the knit and grenadine ties".

    Indeed.

    Elsewhere in the movie he wears, unbelievably, a garish pink tie paired with an uncharacteristic (for Connery) pale beige suit. The suit is actually quite smart in itself (just more Moore than Connery in colour scheme) and fine when paired with the navy tie in the blink-and-you-miss-it part of the pre-credit sequence but later on he wears it again for his visit to the Willard Whyte hideout in the Californian desert with this pink tie.

    The tie (and Connery himself) get a dunking in Whyte's pool when he tangles with Bambi and Thumper (Whyte's female bodyguards). He should have left it there!

  8. Just rewatched Diamonds are Forever and this is my favourite of Sean’s suits from the film. Connery looks elegant in this mourning suit in a way he hadn’t since Thunderball.

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