Goldfinger’s Shawl-Collar Suit


Goldfinger's Suit

As we all know, Auric Goldfinger loves gold and he loves to wear it. He wears gold cufflinks, a gold watch and a gold ring. Gold clothing would be a bit garish, so he chooses a mostly brown and yellow wardrobe. And it’s a wardrobe that flatters his autumn complexion. Gert Frobe’s peachy skin and red-blonde hair is best flattered by muted, but rich, warm colours that are perfect for the current autumn season out in the country. Goldfinger’s checked suit that he wears in England and Switzerland is the perfect example. The tweed cloth has a golden brown ground with a grid of black and green, intersected by a red overcheck.

Goldfinger's Suit

The suit jacket is a button one with a shawl collar, a 1960’s fashion that didn’t quite catch on. The shawl collar comes from Goldfinger’s love for smoking jackets and denotes a bespoke pedigree. In Goldfinger’s case, the shawl collar gives his suit a relaxed and luxurious look reminiscent of the smoking jacket, but roundness of such a collar also accentuates how round he is. The shawl collar is best saved for smoking jackets and dinner jackets and does not belong on a lounge suit.

The suit jacket is detailed with jetted pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent. The jacket has softly padded shoulders, roped sleeve heads and a draped chest, which gives the illusion of a waist. The cut with its properly placed button stance is a very flattering look for Goldfinger. We can’t see much of the trousers so we can’t tell if there are pleats, but they have a full cut, have plain bottoms, sit above the waist and are most likely supported by braces. That’s the only way trousers will stay up on a corpulent figure and the most flattering look on his body.

Bond and Goldfinger
Bond and Goldfinger both are wearing brown, but notice how Goldfinger’s rich brown clothing flatters his warm complexion whilst Connery’s muted brown clothing flatters his cool complexion.

Goldfinger wears a cream shirt from Frank Foster with a short, rounded point collar and double cuffs. His narrow tie is brown satin silk. He wears black derby shoes or boots. The hat is a medium brown trilby, with a very narrow brim and tapered crown, and it appears to be suede.

Goldfinger's Suit


  1. I must admit this is the only one-button lounge suit that I like. Perhaps one-button suits, if they aren’t cut like todays’ ones, could be a nice option for country or summer suits.
    NB : any idea why they choose a checked suit, Matt ? Of course checks or houndstooth are often associated with tweed, but it only makes him larger.

      • Really ? To me one-button jackets are only good as evening clothes -like the shawl collar- or can perhaps make great sports jackets, even if I don’t have any. Is it indiscreet to ask how your one-button suits are cut ? I mean is it city cloth and colours or are they rather typed country or summer ?

      • I only have one example, and it’s a worsted navy pinhead. It’s not my ideal 1-button suit, but I don’t feel the style should be treated any different than a 2-button as far as suits and sports coats are concerned. For country clothes I prefer the more traditional 3-button.

      • To be honest, I find it to be an incredibly ugly suit. Awful. Incidentally, did you see the dinner suit Craig was pictured in attending the Lonn premier of the latest movie? Dreadful looking thing also.

      • Absolutely, Matt and that’s saying something. It was something any self respecting 14 year old would throw in the nearest garbage disposal unit and none of the previous Bonds (and I don’t just mean polished perofrmers like Brosnan or Moore but even a rough hewn Connery or sartorially disinterested Dalton) would have appeared in such tat.

      • Whatever “polished”, I don’t know what you mean, Brosnan and Moore may be, they can’t beat the level of acting of a Dalton or a Connery, precisely. Of course clothing is very important in a James Bond movie, but the talent of the actor does matter more. And I say that even if I think that Craig’s current suits are awful too. But you’re right about his dinner jacket at the premiere, of course, it’s horrible. It is just that I love Craig’s Bond and hate Moore’s as well as his “sense of style”, so your comment irritated me little…
        About Craig, it’s really a shame because he was correctly dressed with sharp (Tom Ford?) suits at events like premieres seven or six years ago. Apparently, he follows the current trend while wearing Tom Ford suits ; rather stupid because TF suits aren’t with skinny lapels and so on (Tom Ford himself likes wide ones !). The ones in QOS were well cut, not at all like the Skyfall’s ones. Perhaps he listens too much to style advisors or costume designers like this Miss Temime… ^^

      • Le Chiffre, with respect, the blog is concerned solely with Bond’s sartorial prowess. Look at footage of the previous Bond’s at premieres and compare any of their outfits alongside Craig’s latest one. I would not dispute the fact that Craig is, by far, a better actor than Lazenby, Brosnan or Moore but, for me anyway, their clothing choices beat the “Skyfall” era hands down .

      • You didn’t quite understand my point of view, finally : as a matter of fact, I totally agree with you on this choice of outfit… It’s so tight that he looks like he is going to explode at any moment.

      • Saw that as well. It isn’t often that Bond is out-dressed by the villain, but I thought Bardem looked great in his black dinner suit. Definitely better than Craig’s getup!

  2. Hello Matt, since your article deals with a Bond villain, I wanted to ask you if your next article about a villain’s clothes could describes Le Chiffre’s dinner suit, because I was pretty surprised when reading its description in the Sotheby’s sales catalog. They said it was a 3-piece suit and that trousers were high-waisted and cut to be worn with braces, but in some screenshots of the bonuses dvd, one see that trousers are not of black velvet, they appear to be charcoal. And they seem to have a low rise too, so the braces make me smile a little… Last but not least, in the bonuses, we see that Mikkelsen’s shirt and bowtie are dark purple, not black as they said in the catalog… So I am very curious about this outfit. Thanks in advance !

    • I’ll look into his outfit more and write about it in the future. It’s quite an interesting outfit for a villain, though I wasn’t a big fan of Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Le Chiffre. I suppose I was expecting something more along the lines of the always incredible Peter Lorre in the 1954 version. But I take it you’re a fan of Mikkelsen?

      • As a matter of fact, I am a fan of Peter Lorre too. (Could just imagine a Casino Royale movie with Lorre and Greenstreet, by the way ? Awesome !!! I don’t know which actor would play Le Chiffre, but one thing is sure : both would be great) And of baccara too, so I really enjoyed 1954’s Casino Royale, even if the only good thing in it was Peter Lorre.
        ” Come in ! Come in, beautiful ! Why the tears ? ” :)
        But I saw it after 2006’s Casino Royale, to be precise. And liked a lot Mads Mikkelsen’s interpretation -he has an interesting voice, even if it’s not Lorre’s !- as well as his character in the script. Even if I don’t like unshaven faces in a Bond movie, or belts, or black shirts, I really liked his style and his interpretation. But it’s the only film I have seen with Mikkelsen. Not the case with Peter Lorre ! (beautiful white DB dinner jacket, by the way, even if it’s not at all a tropical weather climate, but he’s the villain…)

  3. Gary Shandling often wore shawl-collar lounge suits on The Larry Sanders Show, which is the only other instance in which I’ve seen this style.


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