The Notched Lapel Dinner Jacket in Goldfinger



The notched lapel dinner jacket gets a lot of hate from clothing aficionados, however Bond has worn a notched lapel dinner jacket on a number of occasions. In all, Bond has worn seven dinner jackets with notched lapels. People who argue against notched lapels on a dinner jacket say that they are not formal enough for a dinner jacket or they make a dinner suit look too much like a business suit. Notched lapels are easier to make in mass production since they use the same pattern as a regular suit. Peaked lapels are the most formal style of lapels on a dinner jacket and come from the evening tailcoat. A bit lower in formality is the shawl collar, originating from the smoking jacket. The notched lapel is even lower in formality, and since people mostly wear dinner jackets in formal settings the notched lapel is out of place.


James Bond is first seen wearing a midnight blue notched lapel dinner jacket in Goldfinger when he is having dinner with M and Colonel Smithers. The notched lapels are more appropriate here than they usually would be because it’s a private dinner. Such an occasion is one of the better uses for a notched-lapel dinner jacket. Notched lapel dinner jackets are best for people in the service industry, where the dinner jacket is a formality, but it isn’t meant to be a special garment. Bond’s company is better dressed in shawl collar dinner jackets.

Not much of Bond’s dinner jacket can be seen, but since it is single-breasted it can safely be assumed that it has a one-button front. The cuffs have four satin-covered buttons. Nothing below the waist can be seen.

Notice the mitred double cuffs

The shirt and tie are the same as worn with the white dinner jacket at the beginning of the film. Frank Foster made it in a fancy white-on-white satin stripe with a pleated front, mother-of-pearl buttons down the placket and mitred double cuffs. The bow tie is black satin, and it is not a perfect match with the silk on the lapels. And for the last time until GoldenEye 31 years later, Bond wears a pocket handkerchief with his dinner suit. Here it is a folded white linen square.


  1. Was this the only dinner jacket in Goldfinger? By the way, I have no problem with notched lapels on dinner jackets as long as they don't look like Timothy Dalton's in Licence to Kill.

  2. Bond’s cuffs look terrible in this scene, it seems somebody has just forgotten to iron them… Anyway, it isn’t as bad as in Tomorrow never dies, where Brosnan has his French cuffs undone for a second… Has anybody notice it ?

    • You may be seeing the self-stripe fabric and confusing those for wrinkles. However, high quality dress shirts (especially back in the ’60s and earlier) also have sewn interlinings in their double cuffs. This makes them easier to clean and produces a softer look. They will naturally look just a bit more rumpled.

  3. “Notched lapel dinner jackets are best for people in the service industry, where the dinner jacket is a formality, but it isn’t meant to be a special garment.” –Ouch. The most brutal comment about a style choice in the history of the website.

    • How so? As someone in the service industry, this is very accurate. Behind the scenes of a luxurious banquet are staff wearing sweaty, letter-sized notch lapel dinner jackets on dry cleaner hangers. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a peaked lapel during work.


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