The Cream Linen Suit and Pink Tie in Diamonds Are Forever

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Yesterday in the United States was Memorial Day, the day that starts the summer clothing season. To celebrate the beginning of summer let’s look at the cream linen suit made by Anthony Sinclair that Sean Connery wears in Diamonds Are Forever. The suit is made of a heavy Irish linen, which is heavy to resist excessive wrinkling but still wears cool.

The suit has a button jacket jacket with soft shoulders and roped sleeve heads. The suit jacket has an open patch breast pocket and lower open patch pockets, a common sporty detail of lightweight suits such as this. The jacket also has double vents and four buttons on the cuffs, typical of English tailoring of the time. The jacket’s lining is bronze. The suit’s darted front trousers have a waistband with a square extension and “Daks tops” button-tab side-adjusters with three smoke mother-of-pearl buttons on each side. The legs are tapered with plain bottoms. The trousers have on-seam side pockets, a hidden coin pocket under the waistband on the right side and a single-jetted pocket on the right side in the rear. The trousers also have a line of pick stitching about 6 mm away from the outseam to keep the seam flatter and give the trousers a sportier look.

When Connery arrives at Willard Whyte’s home he can be seen with both his suit buttons fastened, a mistake he first made in Dr. No. It’s the mark of an amateur suit wearer and shows that even though he made it through six Bond films, Connery still wasn’t entirely comfortable wearing suits. Not buttoning the bottom button isn’t an arbitrary rule. The bottom of a suit jacket is cut away and the bottom button and buttonhole do not line up. This causes unsightly bunching, and someone on the set should have corrected this.

When James Bond enters the house, his suit jacket is removed. The filmmakers likely had the suit jacket removed so that when he is later thrown into the pool the jacket wouldn’t get wet, as every take would then require a new set of clothes. It’s easier and cheaper for Anthony Sinclair to make numerous pairs of trousers than it is for him to make a suit jacket to go with each additional pair of trousers.

Bond’s Turnbull & Asser shirt is cream, with a spread collar, two-button turnback cuffs (though Bond only fastens the first button), a front placket and rear shoulder pleats. Bond wears the suit twice; the first time is in the pre-title sequence with a brown tie, beige socks and brown derby shoes. The second time is with a wide pink satin tie, black socks with a light blue band at the top and brown leather monk strap ankle boots. The shoes and boots are both likely from John Lobb Ltd of St. James’s, London. The shoes are their “V-Front Plain” and the boots are the “Strap Hilo Boot”.

Connery wearing John Lobb Strap Hilo Boots

The notorious pink tie that Bond wears with this suit is very un-Bond-like, but the worst part about the tie is the extremely short length. The front blade makes it only three quarters of the way down to his waist, and the rear blade is only a few inches long. Bond ties a Windsor knot, which takes up too much of the tie’s length. Because the tie is wide, the windsor knot ends up gigantic. A four-in-hand knot would at least halfway solve the problem of the length and knot’s size. Because more ties than usual would be needed for the pool scene, it’s likely this pink tie is of lower quality than the Turnbull & Asser ties Bond wears throughout the rest of Diamonds Are Forever. It certainly does not match the other ties in width or length.

The tie is reminiscent of the short, wide and loud “kipper” ties that were made popular in London in the late 1960s by designer of flamboyant fashions Michael Fish. Kipper ties were wider than Connery’s pink tie, often approaching five inches as opposed to Connery’s under-four-inch tie. Connery’s tie looks wider than it is because of the short length and because we’re used to seeing him in considerably narrower ties in the 1960s. But this tie checks off the short and loud boxes of the kipper tie, since a pink tie is very loud as far as Connery’s usually dark-tied Bond who likes is concerned.

Wearing the suit (only the top buttoned here) with a brown tie in Diamonds Are Forever‘s pre-title-sequence

This suit was sold at Christie’s in South Kensington on 14 February 2001 for £2,115.

22 COMMENTS

  1. This outfit–especially the pink tie–always bothered me. It presaged the hideous 1970s leisure suits that Roger Moore wore.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. This outfit is one of the lows for Connery as Bond. The ludicrously short pink tie is not only a poor color choice for Bond, it's pale coloration makes the whole outfit too monochromatic. The only contrast in the whole ensemble are the dark brown shoes, which by default appear out of place. A classic-Bond solid navy tie would have provided a dose of contrast and nicely counter-balanced the aesthetic weight of the brown shoes.

  3. I see also that you deftly managed to work-in a photo featuring an interesting reverse-angle shot of Thumper.

  4. The shot of Thumper was the best shot of Bond's ankle boots.

    Sir James Molony, when did Moore wear leisure suits? The only thing that came close was the cream safari jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun. Wide lapels does not make a leisure suit. And Moore's suits were quite tasteful considering what some of the people around him wore.

  5. I will never understand the snide references to Moore's "leisure suits" often seen in the blogs. In spite of his concessions to 70's fashions, Moore remains the most elegant of the Bonds in terms of mixing colors and textures, and simply in terms of sheer good fit. The elephant gray suit in Moonraker fits more perfectly in the shoulders and the back than any suit I've ever seen, either in the movies or in real life. Could it be that the Moore-as-Bond-haters actually resent his uncomplicated delight in playing the character?

  6. I don't even know what to say about this suit. Or for that matter, the other fashions in Diamonds. But that tie may be the single worst look in the series. It is hard to believe it is from the same team that brought the sartorial excellence of Goldfinger, and this movie was only two years after OHMSS's fine suits, and two years before the mostly excellent suits in Live and Let Die.

    Dan – I concur completely, particularly regarding the elephant gray suit's fit.

  7. The suit would be ok. If he actually wore it properly.

    Matt, I’d have to look closely at Diamonds are Forever again, (as he first wears the suit, fleetingly, in the pre credits sequence) but I though the first tie was a navy colour rather than brown?

    The pink tie is especially bizarre as Connery’s ties hitherto (as well as the rest he wears in Diamonds) were all, uniformly dark in colour and conservative. I did read somewhere that there was one wardrobe for the USA and another for the European shooting on the film. I doubt this is true but could it be that some items were purchased Stateside and this tie was one of these, perhaps purchased last minute for the sake of…well, who knows!

    The remarks re; Moore, as yourself, Dan and Christian point out, are as predictable as they are ill informed. I don’t know what a “leisure suit” is. The nearest I can think of is Connery’s poolside outfit worn in Miami in Goldfinger, though I suspect that’s not what Sir Whateverhisnameis is referring to. What I can be sure of is that Moore would not have worn this hideous tie with this suit. (He wears a similar shade of suit in Live and Let Die two years later with a brown Bengal stripe and brown tie)

    Safari suits (the kind worn as a shirt), as worn by Moore in Golden Gun, Moonraker and Octopussy actually have a very distinct British colonial heritage and the look became popular in the 1970’s due to Yves Saint Laurent (I think) creating this look as a fashion in the late 1960’s. Moore also wore these as early as 1964 in a number of “Saint” episodes so it wasn’t a fashion thing on his part and the versions he wore were quite classic and restrained in their style.

    Christian, I don’t think the other suits were too bad. The 3 piece black/charcoal grey (Slumber Funeral scenes) and navy pinstripe (oil rig scenes) and the light grey (Nevada desert and moonbuggy scenes) were all quite nice, I thought. Ditto the blazer. Although, again, I thought Moore wore blazers with more flair. Better contrasting and stripe colour ties.

  8. The image I posted of the PTS suit is the most you get to see of the tie. It looks like brown to me and brown is a likely colour considering the suit is in the brown family. I just went through the scene frame by frame to see if I missed anything. I agree that all the suits in Diamonds Are Forever are nice. Even the black suit is nice (and I am certain it is black) because it is worn properly (to a funeral parlour). The only thing I really don't like is the black dinner suit.

    The safari jacket worn in Macau in The Man with the Golden Gun and the denim outfit in Live and Let Die are the closest Moore gets to a leisure suit. Whilst it has its roots in traditional British safari clothes, it breaks from tradition in some of the finer points. Roger Moore wore traditional safari jackets (from what I can remember) in The Saint and in The Sea Wolves.

    For reference, here is a typical leisure suit:
    http://www.thehenryford.org/exhibits/pic/2004/june.asp

  9. Thanks Matt.

    Just to clarify, re the safari jackets. I did specify in my previous comment that i was referring specifically to the ones worn in the same maner as a shirt (with nothin further underneath). In Golden Gun Moore wears one for the scenes in the boxing stadium in Bangkok (in Moonraker its in the Amazon/Iguacu scenes and in Octopussy on the elephant hunt in India). These are the traditional ones you mention and which featured in the Saint and other Moore films and which are based on the British tradition.

    The other jacket featured in Golden Gun is also a safari jacket but in this case is a safari style sports jacket and, as such, he wears it with a collar and tie and contrasting dark brown trousers. The other sports jacket which falls into this family is the one with the interesting features (half Norfolk style but with epaulettes and wrist belts) which he wears in Cairo in The Spy Who Loved Me and which, as you previously mentioned, you will feature in the next few weeks.

  10. David,
    Once again we are in agreement: Moore wore blazers with more flair than Connery because his ties had more "heft" and more color/pattern (usually stripes if there was a pattern). I also agree with Matt – the safari jacket has a distinguished heritage and is emphatically NOT a leisure suit. I myself wear safari shirts/jackets when I travel to Central America to teach tropical ecology, but I would concede that they would look a little affected worn as streetwear.

  11. Matt,
    Your comment about Connery not being comfortable wearing a suit raises an interesting point: both Connery and Lazenby (usually) looked terrific as Bond because, besides having ideal builds and excellent tailors, THEY HAD SOPHISTICATED OLDER MEN (Terence Young and Peter Hunt) TEACHING THEM HOW TO DRESS AND HOW TO CARRY THEMSELVES! Nowadays there is almost no one around to teach handsome but uncouth young men how to become a little more polished. When my students do their senior seminars, I often have to teach them how to button a suit and how to tie a necktie, because it's the first time in their lives they have ever had to dress professionally. Of course the breakdown of the family and the general absence of fathers may have something to do with their lack of knowledge. I was in the lobby of a hotel once when the (female) concierge asked whether there was anyone around who could tie a necktie for a young guest on the way to a banquet. I was the only person who volunteered – the young man came downstairs holding his tie and WEARING A MUSCLE SHIRT – I had to tie the necktie loosely around his neck and told him to slide it over his dress shirt collar and then tighten the knot when he went back upstairs. What is the world coming to?

  12. The pink tie definitely ruins it. It could have been better in a four in hand — the problem is that fashionable ties had become thicker and wider by the early '70s thus take up more slack in a Windsor knot compared to, say, his ties in Dr. No.

  13. Matt, I looked at the pre credit sequence of Diamonds are Forever again and, you're right, definitely a brown tie.

    Again, like the pink one in your first shot above, it's loosely tied with the top of the shirt open. The brown one, (from the blink and you miss it shot of it) looks perfectly ok so you're left wondering the obvious question, when it, and the suit itself, was hardly glimpsed initially in this brief scene, why didn't they use the same ensemble for the scenes at Willard Whyte's house later in the movie instead of substituting it for something infinitely worse??

  14. I have to concede that the suit would look much better with a navy or other darker tie. But as a matter of personal taste, I dislike the suit’s beige color. And the pink tie is maybe the single worst item Bond has ever worn. At least some of the other poor ties, for example, were fashionable for their day. I find it hard to believe this tie was ever fashionable.

    I will admit David has a very good point that some of the suits in Diamonds are quite conservative (though I still don’t know what to make of the Half-Norfolk Jacket and its color). But, perhaps like David’s views on Licence to Kill, I can’t stand anything about Diamonds. Without going into details not really relevant to this blog, I find it aesthetically ugly, and there is something about the suits that bother me. I don’t know if it is Connery’s physique, the ill-fit on some of the suits, the over-lit cinematography, or the 1971-era details that bother me far more than anything in 1973, 1979, or even 1989, but I am sure my judgment of the suits is clouded by my opinion of the movie and its look.

    Dan has a very good point on the importance of the director.

  15. Least favorite outfit ensemble in one of my least favorite Bonds. Really the only film in which Connery is sartorially distasteful.

  16. Matt, your hypothesis to explain why Connery buttoned both buttons of his two-button jackets may be wrong. Could it be that there is another reason why – as eccentricity, or to conceal something – a gun holstered, or for some technical reason? (Of course, one source would be Connery himself, although he may have forgotten or whatever.)

  17. Connery almost always wears only one button fastened, so he would not need two to hide a holster (that he clearly wasn't wearing one anyway). If it was some kind of eccentricity, then he would always do this, not just twice in the series. Connery didn't care much for suits, so there's no other reason other than someone not directing him to button it properly. He clearly just forgot.

  18. It’s amazing how much Connery had aged in the 9 years between Dr. No and Diamonds Are Forever. He looks at least 50 here, yet he was only 41. By this point he is no longer the lean, hungry actor he was in Dr. No. He’s jaded by the runaway success of Bond and really doesn’t care to do the character again. That attitude may be reflected in his dress. Let’s face it, Connery never really cared too much about clothes. Comfort was always key. In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade he wore a tweed jacket and boxer shorts in his close-up shots in the desert, to be more comfortable.

    • Gotta agree there. Even though he technically had gotten greyer and more wrinkles, he had better energy and was more physically fit 12 years later in NSNA, which made him actually seem younger overall.

      You underestimate how taxing shooting a film can be over a day, though. A tweed suit in the desert? You can bet your ass I’d have the trousers off whenever possible, too! Peter Cushing similarly wore bedroom slippers when shot from the knee up in Star Wars because he found the tight riding boots painful. These sort of things are not uncommon in filming and have nothing to do with being a clothing enthusiast or not. Anything to ease the comfort of actors over a long shooting day.

      I find the accusation that Connery didn’t care for suits interesting, too, considering he kept some of the ones he wore from the James Bond movies precisely because they fit so well.

  19. Now, I always really liked this suit with the pink tie. As much as I loved Connery’s “standard grey” suit (the one he wears when he visists Henderson in “You Only Live Twice” comes to mind), one of the things I liked about the tailoring in “Diamonds Are Forever” is that, while it’s not all wildly successful, it is at least more varied and colourful (in more ways than one) than any of his other films. If the tie was longer (and he hadn’t buttoned the second button!) I think this would’ve been a superb combination with the cream linen. I brought a tie in a similar shade of pink to go with a light brown suit I got inspired by this, and I think the pop or colour really works and makes for something a bit different than the norm.

  20. I never understood why Connery always wore such tiny socks in most of his movies (including non Bond films).

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