Though Sean Connery had a limited—but more-than-adequate—wardrobe in Dr. No due to budget restrictions, he was provided with an excessive number of bespoke-tailored clothes for the second Bond film, From Russia with Love. This included seven suits, so he could wear a fresh suit every day of his mission, and a Chesterfield coat that he doesn’t even wear in the film.
James Bond arrives in Istanbul wearing a charcoal grey silk suit. An airport porter walks beside him carrying his large suitcase and has Bond’s Chesterfield coat draped over his arm, and he brings both to Bond’s taxi. When Bond arrives at his hotel, he’s now carrying the overcoat over his arm. Once he’s in his initial hotel room he throws it on the bed on top of his attache case, and he uses the case to shove it aside so he can open the case. When Bond meets Kerim that day, one of Bey’s sons carries the coat to Bey’s office and gently places it down, taking much more care with it than Bond did.
The coat later resurfaces when Bond carries it over his left arm into the Soviet consulate. This time Bond is wearing a dark grey sharkskin suit. When Bond checks the time on his Rolex Submariner, the coat’s purpose in the film is revealed. As he lifts the coat to reveal his watch underneath, we also see that the coat is hiding a gas mask. Today, there would likely be a team of security officers checking everything carried into the consulate, but the Soviets’ lax security allowed Bond to sneak a gas mask into the building and avoid suspicion.
Bond may not wear this coat in the film because the weather was never cold enough for Bond to need it. Its only purpose was to conceal a gas mask. As soon as Kerim Bey sets off the explosion at the consulate, Bond throws away the coat in the lobby and dons the gas mask to continue on his mission unencumbered by a heavy coat.
The coat was tailored by Sean Connery’s regular Bond-series tailor Anthony Sinclair. A ready-to-wear coat could have saved the production money and not appeared any different on screen, but this coat was tailored with the intention of Connery being able to wear it. Mason & Sons posted a photo of Sean Connery being fitted for this coat by Anthony Sinclair in a blog about Chesterfield coats.
The style of this coat is in the Chesterfield family, even though it’s not a quintessential Chesterfield with a velvet collar. What defines it as a Chesterfield is the fly front and length at least to the knee. Thought it lacks the typical velvet collar, it does not need a velvet collar to be defined as a Chesterfield.
The coat’s narrow peaked lapels coordinate with the narrow lapels on the suit and also slightly dress up the coat compared to one with notched lapels. There are a welt breast pocket and straight, flapped set-in hip pockets. This pocket style is the only style that is traditionally formal enough for the coat’s peaked lapels and fly front. The back has a single vent.
The coat’s cloth is a black and white herringbone heavy wool melton. Chesterfield coats are most traditionally made in very formal fabrics such as solid or herringbone melton in navy, charcoal grey and black, because the style of the coat is a very formal one that is most appropriately worn with suits or black tie. But there’s no limit to the colours and patterns that a Chesterfield can be made of.
This coat’s combination of black and white herringbone makes it appear to be a lighter shade of grey and thus is less formal than the average dark Chesterfield. The peaked lapels do not make this coat more formal because the coat is an overall light colour with high contrast in the pattern. It’s an appropriate coat to wear in the daytime with suits and blazers, but it may still be too formal to wear with more informal sports coats.
Behind the scenes, Sean Connery also wears a dark-coloured flat cap with this overcoat. The cap was likely Sean Connery’s own to keep him warm between takes since he was personally a fan of flat caps. The cap does not suit Bond’s more dressed-up tastes, and if Bond wore a hat with this coat it would have been the dark brown—or possible dark green—trilby he wears elsewhere in the first half of the film.