Connery vs Moore: Two 1970s Conduit Street Suits

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Sean Connery and Roger Moore had much different interpretations of the James Bond character, but they dressed with a few similarities. Sean Connery and Roger Moore both used tailors located on London’s Conduit Street for their suits in their Bond films. Connery’s tailor for all six of his EON Bond films was Anthony Sinclair of 29 Conduit Street. Moore’s tailor for Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun was Cyril Castle of 42 Conduit Street, across the street from Anthony Sinclair.

Previously I compared one of Connery’s Sinclair suits with one of Moore’s Castle suits from 1963, but a comparison between Connery’s grey suit in Diamonds Are Forever with Moore’s grey suit in Live and Let Die considers both of their suits during their times as Bond. The grey suit is one of the most classically Bondian suits, so it makes for a good comparison.

New Styles for Moore

Moore’s Bond was purposefully different from Connery’s in many ways. He smoked cigars instead of Connery’s occasional cigarettes and he didn’t order vodka martinis. His clothes in Live and Let Die also differed from Connery’s in many ways. He is introduced in Live and Let Die wearing a dressing gown rather than a dinner suit like the first two Bond actors were introduced in the role. In fact, Moore doesn’t even wear Bond’s trademark dinner suit at all in Live and Let Die. He wears a lot more dressing gowns that Bond ever did before.

Though he wears one solid tie in the film, the rest of his ties are patterned. The Royal Navy regimental tie may be different from what Bond wore before, but it’s still an appropriate choice for the character. Moore introduces the double-breasted suit to Bond. He replaces Connery’s camp shirt with a leisure suit.

His shoes are all loafers instead of derbys and boots. Connery and Lazenby had worn loafers before, but Moore wears various kinds of loafers exclusively and introduces the tassel loafer and bit loafer to Bond in Live and Let Die.

Two Conduit Cuts

The light grey single-breasted suit that Connery wears in Diamonds Are Forever can be directly compared with the light grey single-breasted suit that Moore wears in Live and Let Die. The films were released a year and a half apart; Diamonds Are Forever was released in December 1971 and Live and Let Die was released in June 1973. They come from the same era of fashion but interpret the fashions of the time a little differently.

Both suits are light grey tropical wool with button-two jackets. Connery’s grey has more variation in the yarn colours than Moore’s does, which gives Connery’s suit a brighter and more vibrant look. Both suits are yarn-dyed and have variation in the grey, but Connery’s grey has more dramatic variation.

The button stance on the jackets is fairly low on both, which helps the actors look as athletic as possible. The jackets are cut with clean chests and soft shoulders. Connery’s jacket has roped sleeve heads while Moore’s has natural sleeve heads. Connery’s shoulders look proportionately wider, which may be due to the roping, but Connery also had a larger build than Moore.

Connery’s lapels are wide to represent the trends of the time, at around 4 1/2 inches wide. Moore’s lapels are in medium-width territory, at about 3 3/4 to 4 inches. Moore’s lapels are wide compared to the trends of the 2010s that we are used to, but it’s a visually balanced width and historically a medium to medium-wide width. The lapels on both suits are cut with a little belly, a characteristically English style. Moore’s collar is angled to have a narrower notch with the lapel than Connery’s has.

Both suits have slanted hip pockets with flaps, reflecting popular trends in British tailoring that started in the late 1960s. Though slanted pockets are an old and traditional style for hacking jackets, until the late 1960s they were not commonly used for anything other than tweed jackets and suits. The pocket flaps follow the lapel width. Connery’s jacket has very wide pocket flaps to match the wide lapels. Moore’s pocket flaps look more balanced overall.

Both jackets have long vents of approximately 12 inches to lengthen the leg line. Long vents were trendy in the 1970s and harmonise with the larger proportions of the era.

Connery’s jacket has the traditional four cuff buttons while Moore’s suit has a flared cuff design with two back-to-back kissing buttons. Connery’s buttons are dark grey horn whilst Moore’s are grey polyester. Paisley jacket linings were now standard for both Connery and Moore, a mostly hidden 1970s fashion.

Cyril Castle would bring Moore’s suit jackets a bit further into 1970s trends in The Man with the Golden Gun with slightly wider lapels.

A Fashionable Trouser Update

The suit trouser legs are the more significant difference between the two suits. Connery’s trousers have a trim and slightly tapered leg with plain hems. The trousers still look current today. Moore’s trousers, on the other hand, famously updated Bond’s look with a gently flared bootcut leg. While the flares are not exagerrated, they are unquestionably a style of the 1970s and are a step too far for many Bond fans. However, from the knee-up, Moore’s suit is the less outdated one.

The cut of Moore’s trousers is easier to see in his beige suit in Live and Let Die.

Both trousers with a darted front. The darted front does not have pleats but instead has a dart on either side to provide fullness. Darts are primarily a bespoke feature. Moore’s darts are centred above the crease whereas Connery’s are off to the side to direct the fullness towards the hips.

Both trousers have ‘Daks tops’-style elastic button-tab side adjusters with three buttons on each side. Connery’s trousers have grey pearlescent buttons while Moore’s have grey polyester trouser fly-style buttons. Connery’s trousers have side pockets. Moore’s have no side pockets but instead they have hidden cash pockets under the waistband. Connery’s trousers have one jetted pocket on the rear right whilst Moore’s have two rear jetted pockets.

Classic Shirts and Wide Ties

Sean Connery’s shirt is from Turnbull & Asser in cream cotton poplin. This shirt has a spread collar, a front button placket and two-button cocktail cuffs. Compared to his shirts in the 1960, the collar has been slightly raised to better balance the larger proportions of the suit. The shirt has timeless proportions compared to the suit.

Moore’s shirt is also cream cotton poplin and has two-button cocktail cuffs, but the cuffs are deeper and are not as rounded as Connery’s cuffs, though the overall shape is similar. The collar is a narrower semi spread and is higher with longer points to better match the wider lapels. The placket has hidden buttons and one line of stitching down its centre.

The most notable difference between the two outfits is the tie, as it’s the only thing that changes in colour. Connery’s tie from Turnbull & Asser is black with ribs of varying size. Moore’s tie from an unknown source is burgundy silk satin. Black is not as flattering on Moore as it is on Connery, and a black tie would look too somber on Moore. So Moore’s choice of a burgundy tie is both appropriate for the situation and it’s something that looks perfect on him as well. Connery uses his favoured Windsor knot while Moore uses the more classically Bondian four-in-hand knot. The ties are both wide to match the wider lapels.

Shoes

Connery wears two different pairs of shoes with this suit from John Lobb Ltd of St. James’s, London. His main pair of shoes are black three-eyelet derby brogues in the ‘Full Brogue V-Front’ model, except when on the bike he wears black suede strap ankle boots in the ‘Strap Hilo Boot’ model.

Moore’s shoes are not seen with this suit, but they are most likely black tassel loafers because that is what he wears with other suits in the film. Moore’s shoes are significantly different from Connery’s, but the change doesn’t make a noticeable difference.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Both magnificent suits. The early ’70s is my favourite era of fashion* and both these suits perfectly exemplify why. Almost classic proportions but just a little bigger and bolder to make the wearer appear slim but strong, but not yet too far in the excesses that would make the decade as infamous as it has become.
    I happen to prefer Moore’s outfit here but I think it’s just because I prefer Castle’s cut over Sinclair’s in this style. This is a fascinating follow up to the ’60s comparison, where I think Sinclair took the prize hands down!

    *I will always choose balanced timeless cuts over anything else, but if I had to choose a specific fashionable trend, I’d choose this era every time.

    • My own sentiments exactly! I’m probably in the minority (nothing new there!) in finding Connery’s suits in Diamonds Are Forever to be the best he ever wore as Bond and for the reasons which you say yourself. I find slim proportioned suits with slim features like lapels, pockets and trouser width simply look, to my eye , miserable and skimpy and the opposite can be said for suits with wider features, Not necessarily as wide as the later 70s Bond suits but the tailoring worn in the first three Bonds was only conservatively fashionable for the era, if that makes sense.

  2. Interesting article. I really enjoy these comparison posts and hope you could do more like this. It may be only 2 years, but the comparison shows that small details and variations to tailoring can look very different to 2 different people of different physiques.

    For me whereas the 60’s fashion of narrow lapels and slight drape flattered Sean Connery better than Roger Moore (who looked too bulky and disproportionate in comparison because it was more extreme than Connery’s), I think the opposite is true wherein 70’s fashion of wider lapels and cleaner cut (at least in LALD and TMWTGG) flatters Moore better than Connery, considering the former’s barrel and boxy body was better flattered by wider lapels and slightly flared lapels and thus looks a lot more proportional whereas the latter looks a little bit more fashionable to the 70’s despite the relatively conservative style of Sinclair’s suits.

    Just a question Matt, you mentioned that Moore’s buttons in his suit jacket and trousers are made of polyester buttons. Wouldn’t the default choice of buttons at that time be plastic (if not mother of pearl) and not something as “cheap” as polyester? What would indicate them as polyester buttons and could it have been used as a result of the fashions of the day wherein polyester was extremely popular at that time?

    • The more flattering cut on Moore is also helped by the fact that he also is in a much better physical shape than the Scotsman 2 years before and thus looks much better.
      It is a shame because overall, the 1971 suit would be almost timeless and perfect except for the exaggerated pocket flaps.

  3. Nice comparison! I would have to say that both outfits are great. Live and Let Die is my favorite film from the series, and I love all the outfits in the film. I love the underrated and underused double breasted grey suit at the end. DAF has some great ensembles as well. I try to give DAF more credit because I love Connery’s Bond, but Moore’s Bond is my favourite. I love how both of there style involves a turnback cuff. I do not own a turnback myself, but I think it is the best cuff for Bond. To me, it is Bond’s trademark cuff.

    Keep the great work coming Matt!
    Bill

  4. Interesting article Matt! It is interesting to look at the difference between the two with someone as knowledgeable as you on this subject. Keep up the good work!

  5. Thank’s for a great article. Can you please comment further on why you think ”a black tie would look too somber on Moore”.

    • I’m not Matt, but I could respond to that.

      Basically because of Moore’s low-contrast warm complexion, a black tie would look too harsh on him whereas Connery’s cooler high contrast winter complexion makes the high contrast of a black tie with his light grey suit and cream shirt work better for him than Moore. The warmer burgundy tie on the other hand flatters Moore better. People with Moore’s complexion tend to avoid wearing black close to their face (save for say a funeral or formal black tie) as it would wash them out.

      Hope this helps!

  6. How useful is a light grey suit as say a sixth suit after getting navy, charcoal and a medium dark gray? Is it just limited to daytime events in spring and summer or would navy and charcoal suits be more useful?

    • Light grey indeed tends to look best as a daytime suit. In this form it’s a summer suit, but light grey flannel looks great in the winter. If you have other suits that look great at night, light grey is very useful for daytime. A light grey with sheen, from mohair or silk, may be a bit more useful for evening. The flashier the suit, the more of an evening suit it is.

    • I have a light grey suit that when I wear to work gets a lot of compliments. It helps that almost any tie I own goes well with it. I wore it to a wedding recently and as I saw photos from the day, the suit looks amazing, but the photos from the reception do not look as good. Definitely agree with Matt on it being limited to daytime events, and certainly not just the summer, if anything it stands out just the right amount in winter.

    • I love wearing my light grey suit! In a high twist wool, I really don’t hesitate to wear it with a polo underneath, or a tie. It also doesn’t have that “oomph, I’m gonna wear a light coloured suit and have all the attention in the world” feel to it either, compared to a cream suit or suits of that shade.

  7. Excellent article Matt. Even though l am a Connery fan and l later thought that Moore’s clothes learned far to much into the fashion later in the decade. Bond would never wear flares. I do think Moore wins hands down on this comparison. To me to the suit just fits him better. Connery in his last couple of films tended to slouch more so maybe that explains (to me anyway) why his suits in Diamonds tended to be a bit ill fitting. The jackets seemed slightly too large for him. The only time in the film l thought he looked great was in the dark suit at the end on the oil rig.

    • Thanks, Mark! I appreciate your thoughts. Connery’s jacket isn’t too large, considering how it pulls across the waist because it’s too tight at the waist. Connery’s posture as well as his small weight gain is why the suit fits poorly. I do love that suit on the oil rig. I agree that it is the best he looks in the film.

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