Sean Connery’s Bond is well known for his trilby. It has been said that the original hats came from James Lock & Co. Hatters on St. James Street in London, but the style can still easily be found from most English hatters. The trilby is a felt hat with a narrow brim. The brim is usually only about two inches wide—or slightly narrower—and sharply turned up at the sides and back. The brim is finished with a raw edge. The crown is short with a centre dent at the top and a pinch at the front. The grosgrain band at the base of the crown is narrow (roughly a half-inch wide) and matches the colour of the hat.
The trilby in Dr. No looks either dark grey, muted dark brown or dark grey-green, depending on the shot. The hat was confirmed by EON Productions archivist Meg Simmonds to be a shade of green. Any of those colours pairs nicely with a grey suit, and all are classic trilby colours. The hat is currently only sold in brown in the ‘Sandown’ racing model, and according to Lock it was previously sold in grey that can sometimes have a hint of green. With such a muted colour and variable film colouring, the true colour of the hat may never be known. The grosgrain ribbon at the base of the crown is in a slightly lighter tint than the felt.
In From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball he can be seen with another dark brown trilby, but Lock can only confirm they provided the hat for Dr. No. The closest hat to what they sell now is the Sandown model, though the Sandown’s brown looks much lighter and warmer than Connery’s hat in Dr. No, though it is similar to the colour of the hat in the next three films. Connery can last be seen carrying a trilby in You Only Live Twice. George Lazenby wears black and navy blue trilbies in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but his navy hat has a wider grosgrain ribbon. Connery wore his with either suits or blazers whilst Lazenby also wore his with a dinner suit and his wedding attire. Roger Moore brought back the trilby in the 1980s though he never actually wore one, only throwing his on the rack when entering the office.
Do you know who made the sunglasses he wears in From Russia With Love? They look like old model Wayfarers. There's also a quick shot of Lazenby taking off some glasses while driving in the pre-title sequence…any idea about those?
The OHMSS glasses were Nighthawk Driving Glasses, with the amber tint.
You can find many articles on AJB007.co.uk in the memorabilia and collecting forums.
Also, on my site I have posted photos of the glasses with the atlas, on the seat of the DBS.
I'm no sunglasses expert, but they do look similar to Wayfarers.
Didn't Fleming's Bond despise hats? Besides the Windsor knot, that was the only other major departure from literary Bond's style. Most businessmen were still wearing hats in the early '60s however, so I'm not surprised they wanted to make him a bit more "accessible" in that way.
No, he (the literary Bond) despised other men drivers who drove incompetently, usually accompanied by the wearing of a hat placed squarely (i.e., not rakishly tipped) on the center of their (pin)head.
"Most businessmen were still wearing hats in the early 6os", says Jovan. They may have been in the USA, but certainly not in the UK.
Anonymous is mistaken in the claim that hats were not being worn in the the UK of the 1960s, as anyone who was around at the time can confirm.
The convention that soft hats (felt or straw – trilbies or panamas) should not be worn in town (London) until after Goodwood (which marked the traditional end of the London Season) was no longer being strictly observed, but the wearing of hats generally has continued, even if the numbers doing so has dwindled. It is true to say that the bowler had become unfashionable, but it could still be seen occasionally as business dress as late as the 1970s, as was the short morning coat, known in the USA as the Stroller.
Increasing car ownership reduced the need and desire for hats of all kinds, and they have long since been regarded no longer ‘essential’ items. Growing informality in dress during the past five decades has allowed the flat cap, and, in turn, the baseball cap to become the hat of choice, but felt trilby-style hats are worn widely.
Hat wearing in The City is no longer common, but in sporting circles – horse-racing, shooting and the like – appropriate headgear is still the norm at all social levels. A hat-wearing Bond in the early films accurately reflects the era’s fashion and style.
I was around at the time, and I did NOT say (above) that hats were not being worn in the UK of the 1960s. I was simply contradicting Jovan’s claim that “most businessmen were wearing hats in the early 60s” and stand by that assertion. Hats had started to decline in the UK from the mid 1930s on: I cannot remember my businessman father (died 1962) ever wearing one, though he might have done as a young man.
“The wearing of hats generally” had ceased by the mid60s, though it is true that a few continued to wear them (in addition to the younger men who have started to wear them) to this day. The “increasing car ownership” which reduced the need and desire for hats was evident from the mid1950s.
This particular brim style (see photo at top) is quite distinctive, with the brim turning up rather sharply on the sides, and I’m seeing it a lot this summer in “stingy brimmed” as well as 2″ brimmed Trilbys, both in shops and on heads. I hope brimmed hats in general are making a come-back!
Bond wearing the trilby in Dr No could have been a ‘plot device’. When he walks thru’ the airport he holds the hat to the side of his face when the photographer tries to take his photo.
That may be part of it, and Bob Simmons may be wearing the trilby in the gunbarrel to better disguise him. But nevertheless the trilby became an iconic piece of Bond’s wardrobe and was used in the next five Bond films without serving as a plot device.
I was wearing trilby hats in the late sixties although I was probably far to young to suit them,I wore them again in the eighties & I’m still wearing them.The hat worn by Sean Connery in Dr No is still available from Lock & Co & I would love to have it but how do I justify spending well over £200 for a hat to my wife?
Lock unfortunately does not offer the hat in the same colour as Connery’s. It’s only sold in a much warmer brown now, which is the most traditional colour for this hat to wear to the races.
I certainly have no insight into the wearing of hats in the early ’60s in London or the UK in general; but I can confirm that hats in the Washington, DC area, and I believe America itself coughed once and died once John Kennedy was elected president. He openly disdained hats and wearing one certified you as an old fogey. My father had a large wardrobe of Knox and other high-quality hats in the ‘fifties- no man was considered well-dressed without one- but I never saw one after 1960. Believe me, he was no fan of Jack Kennedy politically; but a shift in style had been made by him as regards hats. It was a generational, “looking young” sort of thing. Even though my Dad was a big fan of Mr. Sinatra, who wore hats well past their period of fashionability, his hats all were gotten rid of. In fact, Frank only wore them so he didn’t need to wear his hairpiece.
My mates and I were actually surprised to see Sean Connery walk out in the gunbarrel sequence in Diamonds Are Forever wearing a hat; they hadn’t been seen in America for a decade. But it is noteworthy that they were worn only in the opening, not during the film; and the folks at EON have proven themselves very reluctant to change anything.
I am interested in the straw trilby that Sean Connery wore in two of his films. You did not mention that in this article.
Connery never wore a straw trilby, which is one reason it’s not mentioned here. Lock & Co. offer a straw hat similar to the Goldfinger hat: https://www.lockhatters.com/collections/men-panamas-boaters-straw-hats/products/palm-springs-panama-hat
I often wear a Trilby with and old Barbour oilskin in the cold season. I may be wrong but I find they somehow brings a little edge to both items with out looking theatrica.