The Offence: A Navy Suit Like Bond

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The Offence is the first film Sean Connery made when he exited the James Bond role after Diamonds Are Forever. The film was made in 1972 and is directed by Sideney Lumet. Connery plays Dectective-Sergeant Johnson, a police officer who is distressed by and haunted by the violent crimes he has investigated over his career. In a scene where Johnson is interrogated by the detective superintendent, played by Trevor Howard, he wears a navy mini-herringbone-weave suit. Connery was dressed by costume designer Vangie Harrison, who is better known for her work on Get Carter, which was made a year earlier. In his navy suit, Sean Connery is dressed very much like both Michael Caine is in Get Carter as well as the literary James Bond is.

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The suit jacket has three buttons with the lapel rolling over the top button. It has natural shoulders with roped sleeve heads, and it is cut with a full chest and a nipped waist. The pockets are flapped, and there are four buttons on the cuffs and a single vent. The suit trousers have tapered legs, but the front is not seen. This is not a suit characteristic of the early 1970s like what Sean Connery wears in Diamonds Are Forever. The jacket’s notched lapels and pocket flaps are balanced widths, the jacket’s vent is not too deep and the trousers have classic tapered legs. Apart from having a third button on the front, this suit resembles Sean Connery’s Anthony Sinclair suits that he wears in all of his James Bond films. This film was made in London, so Sinclair still would have been convenient. Even if it’s not from Sinclair, the suit is much nicer than a suit one would expect a police detective to wear. It fits very well, with the only problem being that the sleeves are just a little too long.

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With the navy suit, Connery wears a white shirt with a point collar—which he unbuttons during the heat of the interrogation—and double cuffs. Since the character isn’t supposed to be a style-conscious man, he wears his double cuffs improperly. He fastens them in a barrel fashion with a button or a cufflink that looks like a button. Cufflinks wouldn’t fit the character. His black textured silk tie is tied in a Windsor knot. Wearing a white shirt and black tie—which somewhat resembles a knitted tie—with a navy suit follows the style of the literary James Bond. If it wasn’t for the tie’s Windsor knot, this might be the closest Sean Connery has ever dressed to the literary Bond. Even his shoes are black slip-ons.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Moustache are to differentiate from Bond image.
    The suit is nice (Sinclair can be the tailor,anyway is a “Conduit cut”).
    Ties is not too much large for 1972…but the Windsor knot is terrible!

  2. Another great, informative post. Remarkably good, “timeless” suit for 1972. Much better than Diamonds’ and slightly better than Live and Let Die. It is always nice to see what else the actors wore in different roles.

    I recall seeing this movie and thinking it was pretty good and that Connery was quite good, but I don’t remember any details now.

    As for the literary Bond reference, I, as a fan of the literary Bond, I agree that this is really close. As is the Q Branch Suit from Goldinger https://www.bondsuits.com/the-blue-herringbone-suit/ (Did we ever figure out if it was Herringbone or something else?)

    • The Q-Branch suit is heavier than what Fleming’s Bond wore, and the tie is navy. After seeing a swatch of herringbone flannel, that’s the closest I can guess for that suit.

  3. Connery looks very well-dressed here in a timeless style. What’s interesting to me about this post is this is probably close to how he would have appeared as Bond if McClory had been able to make his film Warhead in the mid-70’s as originally intended.

  4. I like the suit, but it’s too bad the film isn’t more interesting.

    Never more obvious than here that he was previously using a hairpiece as Bond. Just one year after DAF, quite a lot of receding and thinning in front.

  5. Is there any possibility Doug Hayward made the suit for Connery Matt? I have read that he made some suits for Connery through the years. But I can’t find out if there were fro films or just for his own private wardrobe.

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