Marnie: Grey and Navy Pinstriped Suits

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Marnie Grey Pinstripe

It’s about time I looked into Sean Connery’s beautiful suits from 1964’s Marnie. There’s a wealth of material to draw from this film, including six suits, three sports coats and a dinner suit. Marnie‘s director Alfred Hitchcock had a huge influence on the Bond films and Bond style, especially with 1959’s North By Northwest as well as some of his other espionage thrillers. It’s quite fitting for Sean Connery to do a Hitchcock film.

Marnie Grey Pinstripe

The clothes look English, though it’s very possible that they are made by an American tailor. The suits are similar to his Bond suits, with a full chest and straight shoulders on the natural shoulder line with roped sleeve heads, but they don’t appear to be cut by Anthony Sinclair. In contrast to his Bond suits, Connery’s suits in Marnie button three as opposed to two, though the lapel rolls gently over the top button. The suits have narrow lapels and pocket flaps, 3-button cuffs and no vents. The trousers are very similar to Connery’s Bond trousers, with double forward pleats, turn-ups and side adjusters. But instead of the tabs extending forward as they ordinarily do, these tabs extend rearward. The suits pictured here are a medium grey with a narrow pinstripe (above 2) and a navy with an even narrower pinstripe (below 2).

Marnie Navy Pinstripe

The soft white shirt has a spread collar and single-button rounded barrel cuffs. The shirts resemble Frank Foster’s shirts, with a familiar collar shape and the placket stitching close to the center. The shirt also has shoulder pleats, to better fit Connery’s athletic build. His tie is solid black, tied in a half windsor knot and held to his placket with a tie bar. In addition to clipping his tie to the shirt, he also tucks in the tie. For a man of Connery’s height to tuck in the shirt he must be wearing a very long tie. Compare it to his Bond ties, which just touched his waistband. Look for more clothes from Marnie in the future.

Marnie Navy Pinstripe

12 COMMENTS

  1. Some great looking suits. Clearly from the 1960’s although they have a timeless look about them overall. Also loving the skinny ties which have seen a great comeback as of late, I have about 15 myself.

  2. Interesting post from what was probably Hitchcock’s last really good movie, Matt.

    Indeed, the shirt does look like a Foster alright but of course other shirt makers do place the placket stitching close to the centre like that so there’s not really much else to go on. It would be interesting if they really were Foster’s though. Nice suits too overall although the lapel shape doesn’t please my eye too much and doesn’t match Sinclair’s style.

    My only real quibble is with Connery’s natural predilection for variations on the Windsor knot. The four in hand he wore in, for example, “Goldfinger”, “Thunderball” and “You Only Live Twice” (I think), is better and, to be honest, Windsor knots, for me, go along with buttoning all the buttons on a 2 button suit and are an aspect of dressing someone with an innate flair for sartorial elegance would never do.

    • It is interesting how differently we see things, David. The Connery outfit in Marnie strikes me as a beautifully resolved sartorial image, in some significant measure because of the relationship between the proportions of the knot and the tie overall, and their relationship with the jacket’s lapel breadth and button stance. I still can’t quite fathom blanket objections to the Windsor and half-Windsor knot, and in the context of an outfit such as this these objections to me doubly curious. The spread collar of the shirt, the narrow isosceles triangle created by the slender lapels, and the steep gorge create a crisply linear, insistently geometric effect that to me to begs to be “completed” by a symmetrical knot, in a way that would not be true with the combination of a deep point collar, broader lapels and a higher, less steep gorge. With a spread collar, a four-in-hand’s inherent asymmetry is doubly exposed by the way that it is framed, and might seem to some untidy, especially with a relatively narrow tie. Conversely, “innate flair” (which, as an intermittent Windsor wearer, I hate to think I lack!) might reasonably be thought to entail choosing a good knot for the context.

      • For me, a lop-sided knot is unattractive in proportion to its skinniness; a broad tie in a four-in-hand knot looks well enough set into even a moderately spread collar with deep points. However, a lop-sided skinny tie to me looks mean, and negligent — and not in a Beau Brummell way. (Elijah Mackintosh makes the point well, below.) As I said, for me this is a matter of proportionality, not of dislike of the four-in-hand per se. I equally dislike knots whose depth exceeds the depth of the collar, as often seems to happen in an era when the cutaway spread collar and club collar are being paired with monstrously large, thick, ties. In short, if I’m advocating anything, it’s a case-by-case approach, rather than dogma which defines one kind of knot as “correct” and others as automatically “incorrect” — or, worse, lacking in flair.

      • I’m also sure that a four-in-hand knot would have looked a bit small with this particular tie. I have a navy blue skinny silk tie and if I wear it in a four-in-hand it looks silly, almost like a dot. Although with almost any other tie I prefer the four-in-hand to any other knot.

    • For once I have to (partially) disagree with David; a Windsor knot can give some “heft” to a lightweight tie, as well as provide balance to someone with a thick neck or a broad face. My father was one of the most elegant men I’ve known, and he favored the Windsor knot for that very reason. I know that Will over at A Suitable Wardrobe practically fetishizes the asymmetry of the four-in-hand, but I think that kind of dogmatism pushes things too far.

      Cordially,

      Dan

  3. My only complaints with Connery’s four-in-hand knots were that they always appeared too small for his head. I personally think a Prince Albert would have been a healthy compromise, with all the breadth off a Windsor/half-Windsor and none of the symmetry.

  4. Personally I’m a big proponent of the four in hand. Though with skinny ties I’ve owned in the past I’ve found myself preferring a Windsor knot as the four in hand knot looks awfully small and out of proportion.

    As PDGB states, it’s definitely a case by case approach. Many a time I’ve tied my tie, to then pick a different knot! Lessons learnt each time.

  5. I wear a half windsor primarily because it takes out some of the length. Most of my ties are too long if I tie a four in hand.

  6. With respect and while I can appreciate the validity of the alternative viewpoint’s expressed this is a matter, simply, of personal aesthetics and that, of course, is wholly subjective. All I can say from personal experience, is that I have rarely seen a dapper man (again a subjective attribution?) wearing a Windsor knot whilst a tie of good quality silk tied properly in a four in hand may well be asymmetrical but still very tidy and balanced. With excessively narrow or broad ties, which I also don’t care for, yes, a different type of knot may flatter depending on the tie’s proportions ( therefore, a compelling reason to wear a tie of a width which doesn’t stray too far from classic dimensions). Both Brosnan or Moore’s ties in their 007 movies rarely looked anything less than neat and to my eye at least, far more appealing than Connery’s Windsor’s as worn in “Dr No” or “Diamonds are Forever”.

  7. I have always thought the Marnie’s suits a bit boring, always paired with a white shirt and a black knitted tie. Only the last suit at the end, a brown herringbone, looked interesting. But perhaps Connery’s clothing style in the movie was (if we don’t look at the tie clip or the dinner suit (worn with a white business shirt if I remenber well…)) more Fleming-esque than his Bond films. For example, the black and white houndstooth check jacket, with dark pants, white shirt and black knitted tie, seems to be pure Fleming style (not my cup of tea, but that’s another matter).

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