Sean Connery’s wardrobe in the first 007 movie, Dr No, defined James Bond’s style, and is as relevant today as it was 56 years ago.
The man responsible for creating the look was the film’s director, Terence Young, who was tasked with polishing the Scottish actor’s rough-diamond edges to prepare him for the lead role. The film, which premiered at the London Pavilion in October 1962, was produced on a low budget and expenditure on the star’s wardrobe was limited.
To complete Connery’s transformation, Young took him to his personal tailor, Anthony Sinclair, who created a small collection of clothes that could take a gentleman anywhere.
Bond’s original capsule wardrobe comprised three Sinclair ‘Conduit Cut’ suits (named after the tailor’s location on Conduit Street), together with a serge blazer and flannels, a selection of ‘Cocktail Cuff’ shirts and a small number of essential accessories. However, it was the midnight blue shawl-collar evening suit by Anthony Sinclair, worn by Connery in the opening scene, that became the blueprint for Bond’s timeless, classic look. Sinclair’s masterpiece looks bold and impenetrable, yet relaxed and comfortable – very much like the character who is wearing it. The suit is matched with a pearl-buttoned, soft-pleated dinner shirt, diamond-tip bow tie, engine-turned gold cufflinks and a neatly folded, white, linen pocket square. The look is detailed but simple, confident without being brash, considered rather than contrived – the sartorial epitome of effortless elegance.
In the following scene, Bond rushes to the airport for his flight to Jamaica wearing a charcoal flannel suit with a sky blue cocktail-cuff shirt and navy grenadine tie. Every gentleman should have such a suit in his wardrobe and it’s a joy to wear. Despite the tropical heat and the flannel’s soft warmth, Bond manages to remain looking cool. For his first meeting in Jamaica, Bond changes into a lighter-weight suit. It is tailored from a mid-grey Glen Urquhart (or Prince of Wales) check cloth. The four-season fabric is cleverly, and economically, coordinated with the same blue shirt, tie and pocket square that had been worn with the flannel suit.
To complete the set of 007 suits for all seasons, the third Sinclair two-piece is cut in a mid-grey lightweight wool/mohair blended cloth.
Mohair fabrics are generally more crease resistant than their equivalent weights in pure wool, making them popular for delivering sharp-looking dinner suits and summer tailoring. Finally, for more relaxed encounters, another of the secret agent’s sartorial staples is revealed… his blazer. Other than the midnight-blue dinner suit, this example of bespoke finery is probably the most memorable article of clothing from the original 007 film. Made from dark navy serge, with patch pockets and swelled edges, the gun-metal buttons are the final flourish. There are only two on the cuff, a small reminder – having created such a comprehensive wardrobe from a small number of pieces – that less is more.
ANTHONY SINCLAIR 34 MONTAGU SQUARE, LONDON W1H 2LJ +44 (0)20 7437 7007