For his trip to the Bahamas in Thunderball, James Bond brings a shawl-collar midnight blue dinner suit in a shiny wool and mohair blend with midnight blue satin-silk-trimmed lapels and covered buttons. The dinner jacket has a single-button front, straight jetted pockets, four-button cuffs and no vents in the back, so it’s a traditional dinner jacket all the way. The jacket is constructed with soft shoulders, roped sleeve heads, a moderately full chest and a gently suppressed waist. The high-rise trousers have double forward pleats, “Daks tops” button-tab side adjusters and a midnight blue satin stripe down the outseam of each leg.
Now why didn’t Bond wear an ivory dinner jacket here, a perfect garment for the Bahamas? That was saved for Emilio Largo, to make him stand out as the villain.
Bond wears a white-on-white striped dress shirt from Turnbull & Asser with a spread collar, two-button cocktail cuffs and a placket with mother of pearl buttons. The shirt is the most basic style of dress shirt, with only a fancier fabric separating it from an ordinary shirt. The slim, batwing bow tie is made in black satin silk, so there is a slight mismatch with the jacket’s trimmings.
This dinner jacket may have been sold at Bonhams in Knightsbridge on 6 March 2007 for £33,600. Though Bonhams claims that they sold the Thunderball dinner jacket, it may not actually have been the same one. Their piece was not made by Connery’s usual tailor, Anthony Sinclair, but by famous costumer M. Berman, who made many clothes for other actors in the Bond series. This suit is cut a little trimmer than Sinclair’s suits, but it still has the same overall look.
According to the listing, the jacket has a burgundy satin lining, and the jacket was altered for use in later productions. One of the alterations included the addition of black silk gauntlet cuffs like Connery wears on his dinner jackets in Dr. No and From Russia With Love. Bonhams call the suit black in their description, but midnight blue is meant to look black under artificial lighting. The uninformed cannot tell them apart. On the other hand, the dinner jacket at Bonhams could actually be black and not be the dinner jacket in the actual dinner jacket from Thunderball.