This week celebrates the 45th anniversary of the release of You Only Live Twice. In the film, Bond visits Japan wearing a suit in a lighter shade of blue than navy that is ideal for summer. In certain scenes, this suit has quite a shine and suggests a mohair/wool blend. Mohair and high twist wool are two of the best-performing suitings for warm weather because they breathe well and are great at resisting wrinkles.
This is a unique Anthony Sinclair suit with its single-button front, which was a popular style in the 1960s. Though the button one suit goes in an out of fashion, it’s a traditional style that Savile Row tailor Huntsman is known for. A suit with one button has a more rakish look compared to a suit with two buttons, but the only difference in cut is that the foreparts of a jacket with one button may be cut more open below the waist. The slightly open foreparts give Connery’s suit jacket more dynamic lines than his ordinary button two jackets have, but it’s only a subtle difference. Except for at conservative work environments, a button one suit is a stylish and easy-to-wear alternative to the ubiquitous button two suit.
As always, the suit jacket has natural shoulders with roped sleeve heads, a full chest and a gently suppressed waist. The jacket is detailed with a single vent, flapped pockets and four-button cuffs. The suit trousers have double forward pleats, button side-adjusters and turn-ups.
Bond wears the suit with a light blue poplin shirt from Turnbull & Asser that has a spread collar, front placket and two-button cocktail cuffs. For a touch of Fleming, Bond wears a knitted silk tie in a four-in-hand knot, but in navy rather than Fleming’s black. A navy tie is a better match with a navy suit than a black tie is. This is the only time Connery wears a knit tie outside of Goldfinger.
Bond’s shoes are black grain leather, plain-toe slip-ons, probably with elastic connecting the quarters across the instep under the tongue. Grain leather isn’t often seen in black since its rustic look is better suited with brown and burgundy country shoes. Bond brings along a navy felt trilby, which must surely be too warm to wear in what appears to be warm weather in Japan based on other clothes in the film. But he brings along the trilby to keep up the look of a British businessman.
Overall this is one of the most Fleming-esque outfits of the series, and Fleming himself would surely approve of every part of the outfit except the shirt sleeves (Fleming preferred short sleeves, even with suits).