Midnight Blue Dinner Suit in the Bahamas in Thunderball



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 image shows how blue Bond's dinner suit is in comparison to Vargas' black dinner suit.
This image shows how blue Bond’s dinner suit is in comparison to Vargas’ black dinner suit.

Bonhams in Knightsbridge had a dinner jacket up for auction on 6 March 2007 that they said is this dinner jacket, and it sold for £33,600. Allegedly this item is not authentic. 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. It has the same overall look as Connery’s dinner jacket, but there are a few differences.

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 be correct that their dinner jacket was black, and thus it may not be the dinner jacket in the actual dinner jacket from Thunderball. According to the auction 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.



  1. Timeless classic, just like Thunderball itself.

    Matt, can you recommend a place to buy cocktail cuff shirts in the U.S.?

  2. You can sometimes find them off the rack from Borrelli or Finamore Napoli. But you might be better off having them made for you. Read my entry on 2-button turnback cuffs to make sure you get proper cocktail cuffs. They need to gently roll back and have all corners rounded. The fold-back section should look like it's part of the cuff, not added on.

  3. Thunderball is the first film to mention Bond's tailor.
    The end credits says "Sean Connery's suits by Anthony Sinclair". Why didn't Sinclair make the dinner jacket?

  4. Did Sean Connery ever wear a peaked lapel dinner jacket? I don't think Roger Moore wore one other than on a white dinner jacket. And while we're talking about lapels, what type of lapel did George Lazenby wear on his dinner jacket? Could you please answer these questions? Excellent blog, I wish I had discovered it sooner.

  5. Sean Connery and Roger Moore both wore a number of peak lapel dinner jackets. Connery's white dinner jackets all had peak lapels. Moore wore five peak lapel dinner jackets in the series, though 4 of the five were double-breasted. Lazenby's dinner jacket had peak lapels.

  6. Matt,  absolutely love the work you’re doing.  Please keep it up!  Had a question about the dinner jacket in Thunderball and about midnight ones in general.  You state that it was a “…shawl-collar midnight blue dinner jacket in mohair with midnight satin silk trimmings and buttons.” You go on to mention that the jacket was altered including, “…the addition of black silk gauntlet cuffs.”  Why the addition of black cuffs when the rest of the jacket is midnight?  I’ve seen other examples of midnight dinner jackets that have black facings, but Why the inconsistency here?

    • The cuffs did not match the collar. It shouldn’t be like that, and my guess is that it was probably because it was needed quickly for use on another film and the next person to wear it had longer arms than Connery, hence the addition of oversized silk cuffs. Matching silk facings probably weren’t on hand.

  7. Many thanks for your response. On a separate but related note, I’ve seen numerous examples of midnight dinner jackets, but with black facings. The examples in almost all of your relevant posts have blue. I’m having a tux made soon and am thinking about having it done in midnight. Which makes more sense to you — blue or black facings — and why? Thanks!

    • Both are nice. Black facings make it more noticeable that your dinner jacket is blue, though I find that blue facings are more harmonious with the blue cloth. If you’re getting blue facings you’ll need to also have a bow-tie made from the same cloth as the facings. Save some for a cummerbund too if you’re getting a single-breasted dinner jacket and not going with a waistcoat (which would have the same facings on its lapels). You’re not going to find midnight bowties and cummerbunds.

      • They have become easier to find more recently. I have a ‘midnight blue’ bow tie from Turnbull & Asser, but it’s too light to pair well with my midnight blue facings. A black bow tie looks better with them.

  8. i actually think this dinner suit is a better piece than the Dr. No suit Bond was first introduced in… its a more fitted look on Connery.


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