Striped Short-Sleeve Shirt in Thunderball

31

Thunderball-Striped-Shirt

One of Sean Connery’s best and most popular warm-weather casual outfits is the one he wears on his visit to Palmyra. The camp shirt is a butcher stripe in blue-grey on white. It has a camp collar, cuffed short sleeves, breast pocket, split yoke and side vents. The hem is slightly curved so the front is a little longer than the back. The shirt has a straight fit through the body, which still looks very good without showing off Connery’s V-shaped torso.

Thunderball-Striped-Shirt-2

The cream linen trousers have a flat front, narrow leg, vented hems and are worn with a dark brown belt. The hem is shorter than usual with no break, which in this case is so the trousers don’t rub against the foot. Bond’s footwear are brown leather sandals. Though not in brown, sandals were a favourite of the literary Bond. Along with most of the other casual outfits in Thunderball, this one holds up very well today.

31 COMMENTS

  1. At last, Matt, the one I’d been waiting for! Consumate, casual, elegance! Superlative on Connery but guys I think we can all get away with this in a warm climate and a bit of a tan. The shirt is simplicity in itself which is all that is required, although it could have been a little longer both in the body and sleeves. The trousers are far more dangerous. white is a difficult colour and you really need to be as slim as possible, especially in the seat. these trousers are also slim in the legs which will accentuate any defects. Sandals are fine with this outfit. As always, Connery hits 10/10 but I cannot resist duplicating the look.

  2. Excellent outfit. Never realized some of those stripes were grey. I would wear this anytime, but probably with brown penny loafers.

  3. This is a great warm weather look and perhaps, as you say, one of Connery’s best. The only fly in the ointment are the sandals (yes, I know they were a favorite, as you point out, of the literary Bond) but, in keeping with Connery’s overall style, the canvas espadrilles he wore elsewhere in this movie would have completed the outfit, for me anyway, in a much more appealing way.
    Like I said on foot of your last post on the previous “Thunderball” shirt ensemble it’s a great pity the producers overlooked this template when dressing Dalton for action in a very similar geographic and climatic setting.

  4. A great outfit in what is probably my favorite Bond film in terms of casual clothing. I agree with David that the sandals are the only weakness here, despite being in keeping with the literary character. As he notes, the canvas leisure shoes would have been a much better choice.

    To my eye, the cut of the pants is very similar to what Daniel Craig has been wearing in QoS and Skyfall, aside from the higher rise favored by Connery.

  5. I am going to mildly dissent from the consensus. I think this is just ok. Yes, a classic look, but it is probably my least favorite of the Thunderball casual clothing. I prefer this https://www.bondsuits.com/?p=116
    It looks a little washed out. Not crazy about the sandals either. And I would not want to see Connery try this just two years later in You Only Live Twice, and certainly not by 1971.

  6. As I said before, an all time favorite.
    I always have this outfit in mind when I wear an untucked short-sleeve shirt over cream trousers or chinos (although my own summer outfit is a royal blue plain linen with a straight hem and Italian style ‘car shoes’). It makes you the smartest guy on the Croisette or the Promenade des Anglais!
    And I must admit my personal taste for blue stripes on white, bengal, butcher (thanks for teaching that term) or any combination comes from that outfit.
    Sunny regards from France (the Sunspel Riviera polo shirt is ready for tomorrow with linen trousers and an Omega)

  7. I have mixed thoughts about this outfit…

    The blue stripes on the shirt was a very popular colour/pattern when I was in high school (’84? ’85?) and I strongly associate it with that time. Personally I don’t care for it, but that would likely be more to do with the type of guys who wore it at that time.

    I agree with Christian that the outfit is merely okay. I find the body of the shirt far too large – I don’t think that it need be extremely tapered but a bit would suit Connery’s build better. The trousers are great except that the hem is too short. I feel the opposite of what has been posted – the hem here could come down another inch, but the hem on Craig’s grey chinos on the beach in SF are perfect for the chukkas he wears with them (any longer and they would bunch up around his boots, especially as they are slim leg). I have no problems with the sandals with this outfit – I would never wear them myself but the outfit is casual enough that they suit it. Now, the sandals with the long sleeved shirt and wool pants in YOLT…(shudder)

    https://www.bondsuits.com/?p=113

  8. Not mad of the outfit even if Connery looks very well in it. The sandals killed the whole look, I think. The blue canvas slip-ons he wore earlier would have been much better. He should have worn them with every casual outfit, since it’s the Bahamas. And I much prefer the pink linen shirt he wore earlier to this one. It’s much more colored.
    I think Largo (who has got very nice and different outfits in the movie, he simply rivalizes with Connery sometimes) pulled of the “striped shirt look” better -the stripes were much wider I believe-, when he, uh, “corrects” a henchman… 🙂

    Matt, you said once in a comment that Connery wore about four casual shirts in Thunderball, and you mentionned a blue and white checked one. Do you recall when he wore it ?

  9. As with a few others that have commented, I fail to see the perfection in this outfit.

    Though it is a welcome change to see someone wearing an untucked shirt that has been tailored for such use – rather than some slob wearing a casual dress shirt with both tails hanging out to the crotch, as is common today – I do not understand the overwhelming ovations given here to the tapered leg trousers.

    Though they are not cut at the extreme edge of ’60s fashions, they still have enough of a peg-leg effect to make the wearer look as if his torso is too heavy for his legs to support. Connery’s untucked shirt offsets this look in the second screenshot, but it’s there.

    What is it with the tapered leg look that’s so utterly fantastic?

    Quite frankly, I don’t understand it. Jacket fit aside, Connery’s suit trousers in Diamonds Are Forever fell better without being garish to the trends of the 1970’s. Though I admit being partial to the look of said era, I see no reason why the hem of a pair of pants should be drastically smaller than the knee, whether the ’70s are a consideration or otherwise.

    Cases in point – I’m partial to a 18″ dia. knee and 20″ dia. hem on my dress trousers, with the front of the hem cut 1″ higher than the back to fit over the shoe properly. My casual, polyester Levis 517 trousers have a 16″ knee with an 18″ hem, and I’ve had the hem cut both level and angled (angled always sits better).

    Though the 18″/20″ combination is a distinctly 1970’s-era look (and the angled hem a trick of the same era), the wide leg of the 16″/18″ 517’s aren’t that obvious – and if cut at 16″/16″, they’d fall just as well without giving the 1970’s fashion police an excuse to yell “Carnaby Street.”

    What’s more, my 18″/20″ combination still PALES in comparison with the outrageous Angelo Roma trousers from TSWLM. The trousers in the Ride to Atlantis blazer entry are a perfect example, in addition to the light brown silk suit. For the latter, just look at the screenshot next to the Lotus – the knee is wide to begin with (which is more or less fine), but the hem has to be close to 4 inches larger in diameter, with a 2″ rise at the front to compensate. Now THAT is an example of 1970’s fashion – hell, they fall like women’s trousers.

    The Angelo trousers in Moonraker are almost as bad, though it looks as if the hem may have been reduced by an inch or so in diameter. The aggressive hem angle remains, however.

    In short, there is nothing wrong with MILDLY flared trousers – or, if anything, trousers that don’t suffocate the ankle. On a male of an average build, a knee with a bit of room and – if anything – a straight leg to the hem will be more flattering than the tapered look of the ’60s (not to mention that the tapered look and compensating high hem often look ridiculous when one sits down – not only does the high hem cover less of one’s sock, the tight knee forces the fabric to pull up the leg – thereby exposing more sock).

    Frankly, the only thing I see here of utter perfection is the ’65 Lincoln Continental.

    Just my 2 cents.

    -Kurt K.

    • Kurt, that’s an extremely technical analysis. Whether one likes the style or not is always somewhat objective but the tapered legs do look good on Connery because it accentuates his athleticism, from a visual point of view. On short, stubby legs the effect would be different. In my opinion, casual trousers with sandals look better if they are slightly shorter than normal and allow a bit of or around the ankles. Just my opinion.

    • Kurt,

      Thanks for the analysis, it’s refreshing to see someone else who likes the moderately flared trouser leg. You are right, it is a flattering look on most people – in my opinion, not only does it have the benefits that you mention, but by adding more “weight” to the lower legs it also makes the waist and hips look slimmer. This can help to accentuate the “v” shape of the torso and it also gives more visual balance to the overall figure. I’m kind of surprised that flared trousers for men haven’t made much of a comeback lately since women have been wearing them for several years now (I work at a public library, and I seem them a lot, both on women who are old enough to remember them from when they were kids as well as their daughters), not to mention designers like Tom Ford reviving Seventies fashions.

      • Where do you live? In the New York area women do not wear flared jeans anymore. They were popular from the late 90s to the middle of the last decade.

      • Matt:

        Women’s flared jeans are still very much in use in Miami (Florida) – and I’m not referring to the fashionistas of Miami Beach either. Average people (with or without clothing sense) actively wear the style for everyday use, mainly because the big box stores have them on the rack.

        As for men’s flared jeans/trousers, the only thing that still remains is the Levis 517, of which the polyesters were recently discontinued. The denim 517s are cut the same (high waisted, 18″/20″ at the knee and hem for a pair in 40/42), but – since nobody here in the States understands how to wear a pair of jeans properly – the flare leg is rarely obvious.

        -Kurt

      • Comsol,

        Being rather barrel chested myself, I’m partial to the look for the very reason you describe – it adds weight to the lower body.

        Mind you though, most women’s trousers (and jeans) made with a flared leg today are narrow at the knee to emphasize the wide leg. Some aren’t, but it isn’t the norm.

        That said, fashion-conscious men’s trousers of the era were cut similarly as I describe above – essentially the effect you’d get if you took a pair of flat-front 1960’s trousers with a tight knee and had enough material to open the hem out three or four inches.

        Luckily, we were spared that in the Moore era – frankly, I think Bond came through the ’70s with quite a bit of sartorial dignity intact.

        -Kurt

    • In the past decade, women have moved on to “skinny” jeans, “jeggings,” and now just often wear leggings instead of pants. The men’s trousers look has mirrored that, as seen in Skyfall. Those are more extreme than what Connery wore.

      • Skyfall is tame in comparison to the hipster trends that push the inner leg line out farther than seems physically possible.

        I used to think it was to facilitate riding fixed-gears; now, I’m not so sure it’s even that.

        -Kurt

  10. Matt,

    I see the jeggings and leggings a lot as well (especially on women who really shouldn’t be wearing them), but at least they have more alternatives than we do.

  11. I have to concur with Matt that Los Angeles and San Francisco fashions are similar to New York. I think the pants on this outfit are terrific, perfect for Connery and anyone well built enough to wear them.

  12. Dear Matt,
    Thanks for the interesting article.
    Connery’s outfit is definitely quite fine, but I think that Largo is no slouch either. The summer outfit he is wearing during the scene at the shark basin (white shirt, grey trousers) is also a subtle choice, matching quite well his complexion. Do you think it would be worth an article?

    -Andreas

  13. I’m not sure if you noticed that trouser hems are vented. It is visible in the shot where Bond is helping Domino out of the pool.

    • French TV is just broadcasting ‘Opération Tonnerre’ and I noticed that too and came back to the blog of course to check !

  14. The shirt is one of my favourites from the Connery era, and his casual clothing in “Thunderball” all round I think is superb, with this example in particular still looking sharp as a tack in 2016. I got a similar shirt from Hawes & Curtis (with the stripes more of a royal blue) earlier this year which I loved wearing when I was down on a friends boat!

  15. Having followed ALL of Connery’s outfits closely , l would say that the trousers are definitely made by Anthony Sinclair. With the exception of Diamonds are forever , all of Connery’s suit trousers have double forward pleats . He never deviates from that rule in the 1960s. That’s how l can guess that the grey flannel trousers worn with the blazers in Dr. No and Thunderball were part of a suit.
    But contrast , the casual trousers ( which weren’t made with a matching jacket ) always had the same features :
    Frog mouth pockets , darted front and Daks Tops. Examples include the Cavarly twill trousers worn with the Hacking Jacket in Gold Finger and Thunderball , and the wool trousers worn with the pink linen shirt in You only live twice. Since all those off trousers were Anthony Sinclair , l would say that this pair of trousers is , too.

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