There are seven types of tailored outfits that Sean Connery wears that encompass the majority of his James Bond’s tailored style in Anthony Sinclair’s ‘Conduit Cut’. Five of the following looks were introduced in the first Bond film, Dr. No, while the other two were introduced in Goldfinger.
001. Midnight Blue Shawl-Collar Dinner Suit
The midnight blue shawl-collar dinner suit in a mohair and wool cloth is a Connery-Bond staple, and since its appearance in James Bond’s introductory scene in Dr. No it forever defined Bond’s signature look. It has a modern look for the 1960s with an elegantly shaped narrow shawl collar in midnight blue silk satin that rolls down to a single-button fastening. It follows English tradition with jetted pockets on the jacket and forward-pleated trousers with the classic satin silk braid. In its first two appearances, the dinner jacket has double vents and is trimmed with sophisticated satin gauntlet cuffs to match the collar.
002. Ivory Peaked-Lapel Dinner Jacket
From its first appearance in the pre-title sequence in Goldfinger, the ivory peaked-lapel dinner jacket set the standard in James Bond’s warm-weather evening wear. While the shawl collar is the quintessential style for the ivory dinner jacket, James Bond’s examples are given an edgier look with peaked lapels. The red carnation in Goldfinger only memorialises this look even more. Bond pairs the ivory dinner jacket with either black or midnight blue evening trousers.
003. The Flannel Suit
Sean Connery wears more flannel suits than anything else, and his first suit in the series when he arrives in Jamaica in Dr. No is a dark grey flannel suit. While both Anthony Sinclair and James Bond are known for their lightweight suits, Connery wore many medium- to heavy-weight flannel suits alongside his lightweight suits. Most of them are in dark grey or navy in solid or with a chalk stripe, but there’s also one in black for mourning and one in dark brown houndstooth. He wears them in both heavier woollen and lighter worsted varieties.
004. The Glen Check Suit
Sean Connery wears five glen check suits, in either black and white or black and grey, in his Bond films. They feature in many different types of glen checks, from a traditional twill-weave Glen Urquhart check to a lightweight plain weave glen check to a subtle glen hopsack check, which Holland and Sherry—who still produce this check in three different weights—call a ‘Split Matt’. The glen check in any variety is sportier than a solid or stripe, but they are suitable for Bond’s business and daytime social calls outside of London. Connery’s glen checks never have an overcheck, which is commonly used to add a bit of colour to the check. The iconic example in Goldfinger is of the glen hopsack variety, and of the five it is the only one in a three-piece suit.
005. The Wool and Mohair Suit
Connery often wears suits in blends of combinations of wool and mohair in warmer climates as well as occasionally in London. They’re often in light grey semi-solid cloths that have a suitable look for warm weather, but Connery also wears them in navy and brown. Mohair suitings were trendy in the 1960s, and they have a subtle or no-so-subtle sheen, depending on the finishing. The sheen is not necessarily dependent on how much mohair is in the cloth. Mohair is a stiff fibre that makes for breathable as well as wrinkle-resistant cloths. It’s always a very dressy cloth that makes up into the smartest of suits, which is why it’s commonly used for dinner suits as well as regular lounge suits.
006. Navy Doeskin Blazer with Grey Flannel Trousers
The navy blazer with metal buttons is the most popular sports coat, and it is James Bond’s favourite. Sean Connery wears three blazers in his Bond films, each one styled with three open patch pockets and double vents. Connery’s blazers have gunmetal buttons in Dr. No and antique brass buttons in Thunderball and Diamonds Are Forever. He avoids the shiny brass buttons typical of blazers but always sticks with metal. While the navy blazer is the dressiest of sports coats due to it’s dark colour and lack of pattern, Connery’s Bond wears his blazers for more informal business as well as on his personal time.
He always pairs his blazers with dark grey flannel trousers, and the flannel trousers come from Connery’s dark grey flannel suits on the first two occasions. A man should own flannel trousers separate from a suit so the trousers do not wear out prematurely, leaving a man with an orphaned suit jacket.
007. Brown Tweed Hacking Jacket with Fawn Cavalry Twill Trousers
The brown barleycorn tweed hacking jacket is Connery’s go-to sports coat for the country. This is never worn for business, even though James Bond is always on the clock. The hacking jacket has a long single vent at the back and slanted ‘hacking’ pockets with a ticket pocket at the hips. Though the hacking jacket was originally designed for horseback riding, it is equally suitable for getting around by Aston Martin.
Bond wears his hacking jackets with heavy wool cavalry twill trousers in a fawn colour. The trousers have sporty frogmouth pockets, which, like the hacking jacket, were also designed with horseback riding in mind. He also wears these trousers with a black long-sleeve polo jumper, proving the versatility of tailored clothes.
The Rest of the Connery Bond Tailored Wardrobe
These seven looks cover Connery’s most significant recurring tailored styles. The grey herringbone topcoat, which Connery has in both From Russia with Love and Thunderball deserves an honourable mention, but it didn’t make the list because Connery only carries it in the first film. The black notched-lapel dinner suit also deserves a mention, but the flamboyant example in Diamonds Are Forever with fancy burgundy facings makes it an unusual item for Bond.
There are a few one-off suits, like the charcoal silk and dark grey sharkskin suits in From Russia with Love, the dark brown herringbone suit in Goldfinger, the grey herringbone suit in You Only Live Twice, the ecru linen and the grey tropical wool suits in Diamonds Are Forever and the two half-Norfolk tweed jackets in Diamonds Are Forever. The navy chesterfield coat in Dr. No is another one-off tailored item. There are also some tailored trousers that are worn in a casual setting, like the black flannel trousers in Goldfinger and the black lightweight wool trousers in Thunderball.
All of these are staples that everyone should have, really, but the world is never perfect…
The Mohair suit is a luxury not a necessity IMO, as is the Ivory Dinner Jacket. The rest I agree although there would be many substitutes for the Hacking Jacket.
A tropical wool suit like the grey suit in Diamonds Are Forever could easily fill the place of Connery’s mohair suits. Nobody needs an ivory dinner jacket!
Everybody needs some kind of dinner-capable suits, be it a midnight blue typical lounge suit, or a proper dinner suit. Insofar as mohair, easily replaceable with other easily accessible plain weave lightweight woolen. It’s all about practicality going along with formalities, and there is a common ground that both can reach without breaking backs or banks.
It absolutely is a luxury, but one I’m glad I purchased. I have a dark brown wool/mohair suit (I had the Bolivia QoS suit in mind) and now I’m looking at mohair suits of all different colours. It’s such a wonderful, crisp fabric. Where’s Rod the Mod when you need him? I need to tell him he was right all these years!
Haha – thanks! I can’t say I have many occasions to break out the mohair suits these days but they are among the favourites in my wardrobe!
I will, as ever, look forward to the equivalent article on Roger
Ma qualcuno conosce la sede dove lavorano i sarti per confezionare gli abiti di Bond. Sono abiti su misura con asole fatte a mano… un bel lavoro di precisione. Gli abiti nascono nella provincia di Pescara, in un bel paesino sulla collina.
What do clothes from Pescara have to do with Bond and English tailoring?