Sinclair fitting Connery with a midnight blue dinner suit for his upcoming role as 007 (1962)
In addition to the iconic midnight blue dinner suit, the budget for Sean Connery's wardrobe for the first James Bond film, Dr No (1962) allowed for three Anthony Sinclair bespoke lounge suits - a mid grey Glen Check, and two solid greys in flannel and mohair. These fabrics became firm favourites of Connery's Bond, and continued to appear in various guises throughout his tenure as 007.
Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi. 'From Russia With Love' (1963)
For the second movie, From Russia With Love (1963), another category of cloth was introduced - the Semi-Plain. This family of fabrics includes Sharkskin (shown above and below), Shadow-Stripe, Herringbone and Contrast weaves that are produced from two shades of yarn, appearing at first glance as a solid colour, but revealing their subtle designs on closer inspection.
Semi-Plains are understated, versatile fabrics that are easily coordinated with patterned shirts and accessories. Their two-tone construction brings the cloth to life with detailed surface interest and the effect of reflecting various colour shades through different planes of light.
Sean Connery filming the Fort Knox Vault scene. 'Goldfinger' (1964)
Connery continued with the semi-plain fabric theme in the famous fight-scene with Odd Job in Goldfinger (1964). Bond and his brown shadow-stripe suit were put through their paces as the sparks started to fly, proving the resilience of both the character and the cloth.
Semi-plain suits cope relatively well with the rough and tumble of daily activity. The various tones that run through the fabrics tend to disguise the creasing that could be more apparent on solid cloths of a similar weight and quality.
Sean Connery and Luciana Paluzzi. 'Thunderball' (1965)
It seems appropriate that the Bond film in which Connery is thrown to the sharks should feature one of our all time favourites - the Mid-Grey Sharkskin Suit. One of the interesting qualities of sharkskins, and other semi-plains, is that the blend of yarn colours can create a textured appearance, on a fabric that actually has a soft, smooth hand with elegant drape.
Sharkskin is the most popular request from Anthony Sinclair customers wishing to acquire a classic Bond suit. The mid-grey version (pictured above) was the the first style to be reintroduced following the relaunch of the brand in 2012, and it remains the company's best-seller.
Sean Connery. 'You Only Live Twice' (1967)
Herringbone is a classic pattern that is produced in a wide range of fabrics, from fine worsted suitings to country tweeds and heavy overcoatings. The design was used to produce one of only a small number of suits for the 1967 Bond movie, 'You Only Live Twice'.
The grey herringbone suit worn by Sean Connery is of particular importance to us, as it is the only remaining original lounge suit that we are aware of, and we were lucky enough to have it in our presence for a period of time when the Anthony Sinclair brand was relaunched in 2012. Our head cutter at the time reverse-engineered a pattern from the garment in order to produce authentic recreations of a number of Connery's Bond suits for an exhibition entitled, 'Designing 007', that was staged to celebrate 50 years of Bond style.
Sean Connery and Jill St John. 'Diamonds Are Forever' (1971)
Diamonds Are Forever was the last of Sean Connery's official appearances as 007, and a final semi-plain suit was briefly introduced towards the end of the film. It differs from those worn in the previous movies as it is a plain-weave fabric rather than a twill, with the two shades of yarn woven together to produce what is described as a Contrast cloth.
Plain weave fabrics have an open structure, allowing the cloth to breathe and feel cooler to wear than twills and other dense materials. Designed for the film as a lightweight summer suit to be worn aboard an ocean liner, the patch pockets lend an informal look to Anthony Sinclair's impeccable tailoring, as Sean Connery waves goodbye to the James Bond franchise.