Woman of Straw: The Charcoal Flannel Suit and Navy Overcoat

26

Woman-of-Straw-Grey-Flannel-Suit

It’s time again to look at one of Sean Connery’s Goldfinger suits in its original setting in Woman of Straw. Both Woman of Straw and Goldfinger end with Sean Connery in the same charcoal grey woollen flannel, three-piece suit. This slightly rustic suit does just as well in Woman of Straw‘s country setting as it does in Goldfinger‘s dressier setting of Bond on his way to meet the president. It is Connery’s usual Anthony Sinclair suit. The button two jacket has natural shoulders with roped sleeve heads, a full chest and a nipped waist. It has four buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and no vent. The waistcoat has six buttons with five to button, though Connery fastens the bottom button. Because the bottom button is not meant to close, the bottom of the waistcoat bunches up rather unattractively. The trousers have double forward pleats and button side adjusters.

Woman-of-Straw-Grey-Flannel-Suit-2

The shirt and tie in Woman of Straw differ slightly from what Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger. The elegant white shirt has a self-stripe pattern, which is either created by a mini-herringbone weave or a fancy white-on-white weave. Due to the country context the mini-herringbone is more likely since it’s not as formal as a white-on-white stripe. The shirt has a spread collar, front placket and double cuffs with rounded corners. The black satin tie is a little formal for a woollen flannel suit, but at the same time it creates a pleasant contrast with the texture of the flannel suit. It is tied in a small four-in-hand knot. Like he does in Goldfinger, Connery wears a white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket in Woman of Straw, but here it’s folded in a single point instead of in a TV fold. His shoes are black.

Woman-of-Straw-Navy-Overcoat

Sean Connery wears two stylish double-breasted overcoats in Woman of Straw that didn’t make it into Goldfinger. Over this charcoal flannel suit he wears a very dark navy double-breasted, knee-length overcoat. It has six buttons with three to button, narrow notched lapels and slanted hip pockets. The overcoat is cut with natural shoulders, has set-in sleeves and is slightly shaped through the body. There’s no name for this style of overcoat, but nevertheless it is a very elegant coat. With the overcoat Connery has a dark hat with a white lining, but it’s difficult to what type of hat it is or what colour it is. A trilby would be most likely considering the relative informality of the coat and flannel suit, and it could be the same brown trilby that Connery wears in Goldfinger or one similar to it.

Woman-of-Straw-Grey-Flannel-Suit-3

26 COMMENTS

  1. What’s the rule on notch lapels on a double-breasted overcoat? Is the pairing any less inappropriate than if this were a suit jacket?

    • It’s more appropriate on an overcoat because the overcoat is a more practical garment than a suit. The modern double-breasted Ulster has notched lapels that can close at the top, however they need to be much wider than these lapels to function that way.

  2. I watch the movie after seeing a recent post and the clothing in the film is excellent. I like the Glenn plaid gray suit that was so prevalent and also the navy worn on the boat. They fit Connery well and are also timeless pieces that are still fashionable today

  3. Welcome back to the ’60’s Matt with your excellent musings on the splendid Woman of Straw suits: I’ve always had a soft spot for this film, Sir Sean as a bad boy is very believable!! Two more of my favorites are James Garner & Rod Taylor who were always very well turned out in their Hollywood phase, these guys must have had the same tailor!
    Re: all you Cary Grant fans out there, I don’t think he could sucessfully play Bond: most of his films very entertaining, but just a variation on the stylish “Cary Grant” character, maybe Dr.No!!!
    To “Hal” I realise my favorite spy films are 50+ years old, but “Notorious” is a lot older than that so I stand by my term vintage!!
    That’s all for now Matt…suprise me!!

  4. I not have understand a thing:
    These suits shared between “The Woman of straw” and “Goldfinger” were from private wardrobe of Sean Connery?
    Were suits that Connery ordered privately at Sinclair for himself and used in private life and in movies both?
    In past,especially in Italy,actors for modern parts dressed with their real suits: for exemple the suits of Marcello Mastroianni in “La Dolce Vita” were the real suits of Mastroianni in his real life (he was a great dresser) ,not costumes,
    Same for Fred Astaire,Gary Cooper and many others stars of the golden age of Hollywood.
    This is the same also for Sean Connery (at least in 1964)?

    • I doubt these were Connery’s personal suits. Most likely someone thought it would be a good idea to save money and use many of the same suits for these two films made back-to-back. It explains why James Bond is wearing country suits in the office, since they were made first for Woman of Straw. Anthony Sinclair also probably wouldn’t have been able to make twice as many suits for a unique wardrobe in each film in such a short amount of time.

      • I kind of hope it was Connery somehow getting one over on Broccoli/Saltzman for not paying him. Like getting them to pay Sinclair for “new” suits that he’d already made for another movie. Unfortunately, it was probably the other way around.

  5. Apparently, Connery kept several of the suits from the Bond films for his personal use. I agree that the Glen plaid suit in this film is a beauty.

    • Sinclair made personal suits for Connery as well. When Connery added the waistcoat to same Glen check suit in Goldfinger, it became the most popular suit in the whole Bond series.

    • I think the Glen Check suit for meeting Goldfinger at Kentucky was planned to be worn with the waistcoat all along. It also serves as a counterpart to what Goldfinger was wearing during the scene, which was an olive coloured button 2 jacket with soft natural shoulders and natural rounded sleeveheads (seems like woolen flannel to me) with light brown [seems to me like flannel] trousers and golden yellow tattersall waistcoat with lapels. (Matt, will you be covering that?)

      I read that (for example http://www.moviemistakes.com/film551/trivia) the Kentucky scene was actually filmed in England during Spring so the weather must have been quite cool, so the three piece suits worn by both characters would not have been out of place, given the temperature.

      At the same time, it also seems somewhat of a style reverse of what Bond and Goldfinger were wearing outside of the golf club following Bond winning the golf game. In the scene where Bond was wearing his tweed hacking jacket with cavalry twill trousers and Goldfinger was wearing his shawl collared tweed check suit – http://www.bondsuits.com/goldfingers-shawl-collar-suit/

    • Sean Connery originally wore the glen check suit in Woman of Straw without a waistcoat. For Goldfinger, the waistcoat may have always been intended, but it wasn’t the way Connery originally wore the suit.

    • Yes. It is amazingly done in how Connery wore the Glen Check suit as a 2 piece in Woman of Straw in both Anthony Richmond’s first scene entrance at the Richmond country side mansion and also when he went to London to get [Ms. Marcello] back. It shows the versatility of the suit (in the cloth and pattern, and the styling with flap pockets and ticket pocket) as a 2 piece in Woman of Straw or 3 piece in Goldfinger where it can fit in the country and town (London in Woman of Straw).

  6. I too thought that Connery was a very convincing villain. It’s surprising that he didn’t do that type of role more often, although I suppose that would usually mean not being a film’s biggest star.

    • I guess, but some actors have made quite the career for themselves playing mostly villains or at least morally-ambiguous characters. Alan Rickman and Sean Bean are good examples.

  7. According to Connery’s interview in Playboy in 1965, “I think I’ve got seven or eight suits now; I took them all from the films–plus a couple I bought awhile ago in a moment of weakness”. Wonder if he kept the Goldfinger three piece suit!!!

  8. Are we sure that Woman of Straw was filmed before Goldfinger? It was my understanding from Steven Jay Rubin’s The James Bond Films that Connery arrived on the set of Goldfinger directly from filming Marnie and found workign with Hamilton a breeze compared to Hitchcock. And Wikipedia has Marnie scheduled to start filming on November 25, 1963, but delayed due to the Kennedy Assassination. Wikipedia lists Goldfinger as filming between January and July 1964, with principal photography from roughly March 1st to July 11th. I can’t find anything to indicate when Woman of Straw was filmed, but it would make more sense based on the timeline that Goldfinger was filmed first, bought the suits which its large budget could afford, that were then reused for Woman of Straw.

    • Woman of Straw was released in the UK in April 1964, so it was before Goldfinger even finished filming. Also on IMDB it says this:

      The white tuxedo Sean Connery wears in this film is the same one he would later wear in the pre-title sequence of Goldfinger (1964). The jacket even had the initials “AR” sewn on the inside, which stand for his character’s name Anthony Richmond.

      • Interesting. So then it’s filming predates Marnie? Connery looks very similar here to his appearance in Marnie, so it wouldn’t surprise me that the films were back to back. But thanks for the clarification.

  9. I dont think it would have been a bad idea to see Connery wear more three piece suits as Bond, the Goldfinger suit and the one from the opening scene in Thunderball come to mind, they did suit his build but he pulled them off very well.

    • David,

      Thanks for that interesting read. It does seem that it could be a very good movie. I am not familiar with the source material but am quite interested now.
      The article mentioned that Connery was slated for the main character. Are they referring to Joseph Bailey or Gavin Brand?

      • Pleasure. It certainly seems as if it would have been a better movie than Hitchcock’s previous efforts. From the Wikipedia article on the topic it seems it was the Brand character.

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