Every Bond has made some fashion concessions to the times they lived in, and some have more than others. In this series of articles we’re going to take a look at each Bond, comparing the subtle nods to the times in his tailoring as well as the more obvious ones. But this assessment won’t be considering the classic elements that come in and out of fashion, like pleated versus flat front trousers. Casual clothes, which are far more influenced by the times, won’t be discussed here.
1. Narrow lapels: They were slightly on the narrow side in Dr. No, but starting in From Russia with Love the lapels became the narrow ones commonly associated with the 1960s. And with narrow lapels comes narrow pocket flaps. Menswear designer and writer Alan Flusser wrote, “The lapel of a well-styled suit should extend to just a fraction less than the halfway mark between the collar and shoulder line.” All other lapel widths are measured in comparison.
2. Tapered trouser legs: Anthony Sinclair tapered his trousers in a military fashion, though they were tapered quite dramatically. A full thigh (Connery had large thighs) tapers into narrow bottoms.
2-button suits had becomes something of a fashionable element in the 1960s in comparison to the more traditional 3-button suit, but 2-button suits had already been around for years so it’s difficult to count it as something of the times. By the late 1960s they had become the standard and have been in that position ever since, so it’s not something we think about being fashionable now. But it was still no fashion extreme since 1-button suits and 4-button suits were far trendier at different points in the decade.
The cut of the jacket takes elements from a number of English styles, with its full, draped chest, soft shoulders and suppressed waist. None of that can be attributed to any decade. As for other wardrobe elements, Connery popularized cocktail-cuff shirts. That style saw its greatest popularity in the 1960s though it was not something popular enough to become dated since. And since tie width goes along with lapel width, that will not be mentioned going forward.
1. Shorter jacket length: Lazenby’s suit jackets were slightly shorter than the standard English jacket, a trend that saw some popularity in the 1960s. But unlike the modern fashion, the jacket isn’t short enough to draw attention to its shorter length.
2. Narrow-leg trousers: Narrow-leg trousers were also popular in the 1960s, and, compared to Connery’s trouser leg, Lazenby’s trouser leg fit closer through the thigh. Still, others at the time were wearing even narrower trouser legs.
3. Additional flair: Some of Lazenby’s suits had steeply slanted hacking pockets, a part of the 1960s’ “Peacock Revolution” to which Lazenby’s deeper vents and more rounded quarters can also be attributed.
But for the most part, Lazenby wore classic, close-cut English suits with softer shoulders than the typical Savile Row suit has. His trousers had a lower rise than Connery’s but not at all low by today’s standards. His most dated piece are the two ruffled-front dress shirts.
1. Wide lapels: Connery’s lapels are now on the wide side, and thus his pocket flaps are wider too. The 1970’s doesn’t have monopoly on wide lapels; they were popular for a good portion of the 1930s as well.
Everything else is pretty much timeless. Trouser legs are still tapered, though not as much as before. Connery’s pleats from before are also gone, and flat-front trousers had become much more fashionable by the late 1960s. Both pleated and flat-front trousers are equally classic.
Sean Connery’s narrow lapels and George Lazenby’s closer cut have been very popular since the mid 2000s, though designers like Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren are trying to bring back a look similar to what Connery wore in Diamonds Are Forever: a classic cut width wider lapels. In the next article we’ll take a look at the increasingly wide lapels, as well as the return to classic style, in an assesement of Roger Moore’s fashion choices.