Sean Connery’s James Bond typically shows restraint in his wardrobe choices, but in Diamonds Are Forever he wears a very flamboyant black dinner suit that can only be a product of the 1970s. Anthony Sinclair did an excellent job cutting the suit, and it is indeed well-cut for Connery with a soft but clean silhouette. Like a traditional dinner jacket, this has one button. There are four buttons on the cuffs and the buttons are shiny and black. The deep double vents are somewhat acceptable but are also very much a fashionable choice.
Even more fashionable are the lapel facings. The lapel facings come in the form of a wavy burgundy and black artificial silk, which now looks very dated. Not only are the lapels faced but so is the collar. And whilst some would deem the notch lapels inappropriate because they don’t differ enough from a regular business suit, that’s one problem these lapels don’t have. The slanted pockets with flaps bring the dinner jacket down yet another level, and the flaps are faced in a simpler black satin silk. Pockets on a dinner suit should neither be slanted nor should they have flaps. Those rustic styles were very popular at the time but are completely inappropriate on a dinner jacket. The trousers have a darted front, tapered leg and a black silk stripe down the leg that matches the jacket’s pocket flaps.
The white-on-white stripe dress shirt made by Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar, double cuffs and a pleated bib, with regular mother of pearl buttons down the placket. The bow tie is black and does not match the lapels, which is a rather tasteful way to tone down the outfit. The bow tie isn’t even satin but a matte silk, probably in a barrathea or faille weave. This is the first film where Bond wears a cummerbund, and the cummerbund here matches the burgundy and black pattern of the dinner suit’s facings. The silk’s pattern goes vertically rather than around the waist, and the cummerbund is rumpled rather than pleated. The main reason for including a cummerbund seems to be for it to act as a harness when hanging outside the building.
Connery wears two pairs of shoes with this outfit. One very visible pair is black patent leather two-eyelet, plain-toe derby shoes. The shoes are made on a long last with an extremely chiselled toe. The other pair are plain-toe black patent leather oxfords.
With Guy Hamilton’s return to directing Bond in Diamonds Are Forever, the film’s dinner jackets share some similarities with Hamilton’s previous Bond film, Goldfinger. Both films feature an ivory dinner jacket with peak lapels and a black dinner jacket with notch lapels. Both feature similar shirts: a white on white stripe with a pleated front. And both films are the only ones to feature Bond wearing a boutonniere, which is a red carnation in Diamonds Are Forever. When the weather turns warmer I’ll be writing about Diamonds Are Forever‘s ivory dinner jacket, which has far more merit than this outfit.
This dinner suit was sold at Christie’s in Knightsbridge on 11 December 1997 for £9,775.