The Sexy Lapel Roll of the Conduit Cut


Lapel roll is not just for jackets with three buttons. We’re familiar with the ‘three-roll-two’ jacket style, as seen on Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace, Spectre and No Time to Die, where the lapels of the jacket roll over the top button and down to the middle button. This three-roll-two can have varying degrees of roll, from a lapel that folds at the middle button and over the top button to a gradual, pronounced roll where the lapel rolls through the top button.

The lapel roll is clear on this suit in From Russia with Love

The degree of roll is determined by both the cut and the inner canvas. Pressing can help add roll to a jacket, but the roll ultimately needs to be supported by the jacket’s cut and structure. Without canvas in the lapels it’s not possible to have much of a roll.

A rolled lapel is not exclusive to the three-roll-two style. If you like the rolled look of a three-roll-two but aren’t as fond on a buttonhole in the middle of your lapels, you can still have the same kind of lapel roll on a jacket with one or two buttons. There’s no rule that says a gently rolled lapel can only be on a button-three jacket.

Sean Connery’s midnight blue dinner suit in Dr. No has a pronounced roll that contributes to the unique shape of this bellied shawl collar.

Many English bespoke tailors make their lapels with roll on button-one and button-two jackets. All of Bond’s English tailors make the lapels on all their jackets with some roll, but a gradual, pronounced lapel roll is a hallmark Anthony Sinclair’s Conduit Cut for Sean Connery.

Even the very narrow lapels in Thunderball gently roll into the top button, though such narrow lapels don’t have the room for as much roll as wider lapels

Some of the clean lines that define Connery’s button-one and button-two jackets would have been disturbed if there were a buttonhole through the lapel, but the unbroken roll of the lapel adds considerably to the Conduit Cut’s identity.

Rolled lapels give an especially elegant look to Sean Connery’s suits. That doesn’t mean that flatter lapels are bad, but rolled lapels are something that is more exclusive to high-end suits. A prominent roll something you’ll only find on the best bespoke suits or the most exclusive ready-to-wear suit brands like Tom Ford. The pronounced roll of Connery’s lapels helps bring attention to the chest. This is not to say that Connery’s chest isn’t large enough on its own, but that the rolled lapel adds depth to the chest. And by flaring out just above the waist, these lapels emphasise a small waist and make any waist look smaller, which is something the average man can benefit from.

The lapel roll is still present but less pronounced in Diamonds Are Forever, though this may have something to do with Sean Connery’s weight gain after the fitting.

A rolled lapel also streamlines the shape of the jacket’s front edges by creating a smooth continuous line from the top of the lapels to the bottom of the round at the lower quarters. The roll prevents the lapels from looking like they’re stuck on to the front of the jacket and integrates them with the shape of the jacket, visually lengthening the jacket. It’s curves like this that add a sexiness to Sean Connery’s suits.

The lapels on my modern Anthony Sinclair dinner suit have the same elegant roll that Connery’s lapels have, and the effect is even more striking in person. Nothing else I have compares to it. Photo by Janna Levin Spaiser

For all these reasons, rolled lapels demonstrate the art form that tailoring can be. Though such a lapel roll was by no means exclusive to Anthony Sinclair, his jackets demonstrate how well the roll can be done, without a buttonhole in the middle of the roll to distract from the pure shape.


  1. It is a Two button or a One button suit. Button two means two buttons can be buttoned. For example a double breasted jacket could be a 6 button, button two.
    Button two does Not mean a two button suit.

    • The Savile Row way of describing a jacket with two buttons on the front is ‘button-two’. How many buttons you fasten is irrelevant, just as with a button-two, show-three double-breasted jacket (as you describe) would conventionally be worn with only one outer button fastened (unless you’re Prince Charles). They also call the ‘three-roll-two’ a ‘button-two, show-one’, even though only one button is fastened.

  2. Hey I was just wondering have you ever been to the james bond museum in Nybro? There is tons of great stuff there like original cars original outfits from the bond movies and other really interesting stuff.

  3. If I had to choose a lapel roll between From Russia with Love and Thunderball, I would choose the former. Given it is a beautiful, subtle, subdued plaid is the icing on the cake.

  4. If a suit is fully canvassed and has suffered from a bad drycleaning/ironing that has caused the lapels to become flat and loose their roll, can some good ironing make the roll « come back » again ?

  5. I just got the devastating news of Connery’s passing. I feel so sad…
    The best tribute I can pay would be to wear a Dr No cuffs shirt on Monday
    to go back to my office…
    He was a great man and a very skilful actor

  6. I love the roll on the suits in Goldfinger, its a sharp crease at the shoulder and just perfectly transitions to a roll at the waist button


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