A Flamboyant Black Dinner Suit in Diamonds Are Forever

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Diamonds-Dinner-Suit

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.

Patent Leather Derby Shoes

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.

Shirt and Cummerbund Details

This dinner suit was sold at Christie’s in Knightsbridge on 11 December 1997 for £9,775.

Fancy Lapel Facings

16 COMMENTS

  1. I think this is one of the better wadrobe choices in DAF – I appreciate it breaks ‘the rules’ but like Moore’s Persuaders outfits, it is not without a certain style. I have a burgundy velvet dinner jacket by Brioni that is also a bit flamboyant – but I enjoy wearing it to ‘lighter’ formal affairs.

    • I agree with you, except for the pocket flaps. Being lined in satin, a different satin than the lapels even, slanted, and extra large due to the 70’s styling of the jacket, it well and truly demonstrates how pocket flaps are just wrong for a dinner jacket.

      Other than that I think the ensemble is appropriate for the Vegas setting of the movie, and even tasteful compared to much of the attire at the time.

  2. This suit is probably Connery’s most fashion forward and I agree that a few of its features aren’t really in the realm of traditional dinner suits. That said, it’s not, in my opinion the worst dinner suit style Bond has worn in the movies, not by a long shot. For me the joint honour goes to these two beauties from 1989 and 2012 which are more extreme fashion disasters;

    https://www.bondsuits.com/?p=109

    https://www.bondsuits.com/?p=1686

    Perhaps, the high fashions of 1971 were just more aesthetically pleasing to my eye but the most interesting question is why on earth he was wearing this dinner suit (or the white dinner jacket) in both the Las Vegas and storyline context except that he is Bond and well, we shouldn’t look too closely at these things. Then again, a lot about DAF didn’t make much sense.

  3. Isn’t the button stance higher than his 60s lounge and dinner suits ? Or is it just an illusion, since he gained, well… a few pounds.

  4. The silhouette is fine, but the details are awful. This is, for me, the worst black dinner suit Bond ever wears, just as guilty of being “fashionable” and of its time as suits for which other actors are roundly condemned. While it could have been worse given 1971, that is not an attractive look at all, made worse by Connery’s refusal to get in shape for his $1.25 million paycheck.

  5. “Then again, a lot about DAF didn’t make much sense.”
    I agree, David, the smocking had nothing to do in these scenes. I’m not a great fan of this movie, and I really dislike the wardrobe. In fact, the suits reflects the more extravagant and funny direction taken by the Bond pictures.

  6. In a couple of Avengers episodes (From Venus With Love and Bizarre) Patrick Macnee wears a red silk dinner suit with lapels made of the same material as this suits lapels, although the collar is red velvet and the pockets aren’t flapped.

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