In the famous scene in Fort Knox in Goldfinger, Bond wears two-piece suit tailored by Anthony Sinclair in brown—or a weave of brown and black—with a subtle, closely-spaced stripe in the same or a slightly darker brown. This kind of stripe is called a shadow stripe. Either the stripe is created by a variation in the weave, made on a dobby loom, or is just darker yarns. The suit’s brown harmonises well with the surrounding gold.
The suit is cut the same as the rest of Connery’s suits in Goldfinger, with a button two suit coat with soft shoulders, roped sleeve heads, a full chest and a gently suppressed waist. The suit coat has jetted pockets, four-button cuffs and no vents. The trousers have double forward pleats, slanted side pockets and button-tab “Daks tops” side adjusters with three mother-of-pearl buttons on each side.
The shirt, likely from Frank Foster, is white with a broken grey dobby stripe with a spread collar, double cuffs and a raised placket. Bond wears the suit with a black knitted silk tie tied in a four-in-hand knot, black socks and black short, elastic-sided boots, showing how brown and black can effectively be paired together. Knitted ties don’t pair so well with worsted suits because of the difference in formality, and a grenadine tie like what Connery wears in his other Bond films would have been a better choice. The black boots become derby shoes in some action shots, since the boots don’t stay on as well when for jumping around. Bond also wears a white folded handkerchief in his breast pocket. It’s sloppy of Bond to leave his collar unbuttoned whilst wearing a tie, but it’s a heated moment and for one he unbuttons his collar.
Excellent and informative post, Matt. I had never realized that this suit was brown – I always thought it looked charcoal. It is, surprisingly, a nice pairing of brown and black from, what I think, is one of the best suit movies of the series. As for the unbuttoned collar, though I wouldn’t want it to be a regular occurrence, it is nice to see Bond not as buttoned down (no pun intended). Given the setting, perhaps Bond decided a slightly more casual look was warranted, or out of a show of disrespect for Goldfinger and his insane plan. I have a vague recollection of both Moore and Connery loosening their ties but I don’t think it was for an entire sequence like this one.
In answer to your question Matt, he leaves it open because Connery, if left to his own devices, will revert to comfort mode not being a natural fan of formal dress. Little mistakes can occur like the buttoning of the two buttons on his jacket as we’ve seen elsewhere. Nevertheless, because of guidance esp. in the Terence Young directed Bonds his faux pas’ arent as bad as subsequent actor’s other notable mistakes.
Just a guess but it could be from putting the gas mask on earlier in the movie.
Any particular reason why Connery goes with double cuffs in Goldfinger as opposed to the cocktail cuffs he wears in every other film? I’ll hazard a guess that it’s because this was the first Bond not directed by Terence Young who by most accounts is responsible for putting Bond in cocktail cuffs, but then again he didn’t direct any Bond films beyond Thunderball either. I think both look great, I’m just curious as to the change-up. Thoughts anyone?
Is it possible that director Hamilton wanted to leave his own mark in the films, and therefore wanted a few differences in style? Hence the double cuffs…
There is no-one credited as costume designer in Goldfinger, only John Hilling as wardrobe master. Anthony Mendleson and Jocelyn Richards were the costume designers in Thunderball and From Russia respectively. I wonder if Hamilton had his own say in the costume design?
Out of Hamilton’s four Bond films, this is the only one where Bond does not wear cocktail cuffs, but it’s hard to say who is responsible for this change.
The following Monday after I read this post, I wore my vintage dark brown pinstriped flannel suit with a white oxford, black knit tie and matching black belt and wingtips. I have usually avoided the black and brown mix in nice clothing, but I really liked the dark neutrals on the white canvas and got quite a few compliments. I actually liked the black better than when I wear colored shirts or ties with that suit. Of course, the compliments all said that I looked “Very Mad Men.” Still a compliment, but not quite the same inspiration :)
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It’s very difficult to tell if it is charcoal or brown. It looks brown in many shots inside Fort Knox, but that could be due to the lighting in an attempt to make everything inside look gold. It’s definitely not black because it’s not as dark as Odd Job’s black coat. The cloth wouldn’t be solid brown anyway, but a mixture of brown and probably black to give a dark, dull brown look. It looks more brown in the Blu-ray than in the old DVD from 10 years ago, but I’m not sure where to find the original. A lot of cinemas that are screening these films now are showing the Blu-ray DVD, so that wouldn’t help much either. I believe this suit is also in Woman of Straw. He wears a dark brown suit on the boat the morning he uncle is found dead (as well as in a couple other scenes), but the quality of my version is poor and it’s difficult to tell if it is indeed the same suit. That suit looks charcoal at first, but in better light it looks brown.
Interesting. In the print I saw last night, which was a 35mm one, it looked charcoal most of the time, but once in a while, had a tinge of brown. The mixture of brown and black that you conjecture about makes sense. Anyway, thanks for the follow-up, and keep up the good work.
I have a feeling it took Oddjob and Bond, and prehaps even Kisch and the asians, a fight to get Bond onto that truck. His hair is messy, his shirt is unbuttoned and he looks sweaty and exhausted, even before the real action has even started. Bond is in a situation where the most important thing is not to re-button his shirt properly.
I’d have to watch again, but my recollection is that when Goldfinger’s henchmen throw him in his jail cell, he loosens his tie and shirt collar, then the camera zooms in on him tapping the heel of his shoe (where the mini “tracker” is hidden). His entire demeanor in GOLDFINGER is far more casual and flippant than in the two previous, Terence Young helmed films, so no surprise that while struggling to drag the “device” over to Kisch to get the handcuff key, he loosened his collar again.
Is it me or is the button stance of Connery’s suits in Goldinger very slightly higher than in FRWL ? Like half an inch ?
Also, Matt, could the shadow stripe here be due to a mini herringbone pattern ?
Perhaps to both.
Maybe Odd Job grabbed Bond by the collar and the button came open and sloppy. That would make sense, Odd Job is very heavy handed.
Well , Matt , l think l can answer your question with two possible theories .
1) Maybe This particular shirt was a bit too small in the collar size for Sean Connery. You know… Tailoring imperfections. It happens from time to time. Take the following into consideration : This is Connery’s only Bond film where he is not using Turnbull and Asser for his shirts . Now , Turnbull and Asser ( Being Connery’s established shirt maker since Dr. No ) knew Connery’s collar size very well by this point. But who ever made the shirts for Sean Connery in Gold finger , probably never made shirts for Connery prior to this film. So out of all the shirts they made for this film , maybe they got the collar size in one of them a tad smaller than it was.
2) Connery , during his youth , was known to be particularly not keen on wearing formal clothing. He does other things throughout the series , like buttoning both buttons of his suit jacket , or leaving one button in his cocktail cuff shirts undone or tying a pink tie sloppily in Diamonds are Forever or hooking his shoulder holster for his Walther PPK to the button of his Daks Tops Trousers ( which in long term would cause severe strain on the button and cause it to pop off ). Therefore , leaving the collar Button undone could simply be Connery’s attempt to be more comfortable. He did mention in an interview in the 1960s that he and James Bond dressed very differently and that he likes T shirts and Jeans ( Cringe ! )
On a related note , l finally found out who made the shirts for this film. I came across an auction site a few days back , which auctioned a white French cuff shirt claiming it was screen worn by Sean Connery in ” Goldfinger “. They listed the maker as ” Washington Tremlett ” . Unfortunately I have never heard of this brand before.
Getting the collar size weong would be highly unlikely for a bespoke shirtmaker. The tense situation is probably the reason.
Could you please share the link to the auction? I have never seen that before! Washington Tremlett was on Conduit Street, and they also made shirts and loungewear for Roger Moore.
Alright , Matt. I am looking for it now and will post it here as soon as l find it. It’s one of those things l randomly came across on Google search , while trying to find more about the clothing worn by Connery in the ” Untouchables ” . I wish l took a screenshot . Hopefully l can find it.
I definitely think shadow stripe suits should be more common these days. They’re a nice subtle hybrid between a plain solid suit which can look a little boring to some and a pinstripe suit which can be too flashy. I wouldn’t have it in brown obviously, but in a navy, charcoal, dark or medium grey it can look classy. It’s a shame Bond has never worn any shadow stripe suits after this.
This suit is likely a herringbone suit, and Bond has worn other solid or low-contrast herringbone suits. The navy herringbone suit in Skyfall is perhaps the closest.
Really? So you think that the suit is now actually herringbone? In that case that’s better. More classic.
I think it is herringbone, but nevertheless the effect is a shadow stripe.
Shadow stripe is a fad. There are various better patterns from weaves or threads. Go classic and understated; never go crazy.
The mini-herringbone pattern here is quite classic, proven by its reoccurrence throughout the Bond series. It’s not particularly common, but it’s still classic.
Matt, my apologies, it’s just that usually, shadow stripes that I come across are often the faddy, dyed type, not herringbone. Stripe-y as it is, often times, I refer to herringbone as a weave. I understand where you’re coming from, though.