How Sean Connery, an Unlikely Option to Play Bond, Specified 007’s Design

It is no little paradox that the long lasting, renowned design of James Bond, the yardstick versus which all Bonds are compared, need to initially have actually been personified by Sean Connery. The rough-hewn star, one-time milkman, and bodybuilder from Edinburgh had actually not been the manufacturers’ very first option for Bond. That was scheduled for Roger Moore. However Moore was consolidated an agreement recording The Saint for TELEVISION and currently a star. If not rather the facility male that Ian Fleming described for Bond– personal schooled, upper crust stock– in his tight books, Moore was suave, well-groomed and a minimum of sounded the part. In contrast, Connery was a little bit of rough.

So, the director of the very first Fleming book to strike the screen, Terence Young, gone about– Pygmalion like– to polish Connery up, and knock off the rough edges. In 1996, I co-wrote a book on the design of James Bond, entitled Dressed to Kill, that tracked the sartorial advancement and effect of 007’s style. Ian Fleming composed reasonably little about Bond’s design, sketching in just the briefest of descriptions while dedicating pages to the overblown attire of Bond’s enemies. A little goes a long method. Terence Young took Connery to Anthony Sinclair, a tailor on London’s Avenue Street at the northern end of Savile Row. Sinclair was Young’s tailor. He focused on what he called the “Avenue Cut,” a fitted hourglass shape to the coat that matched fit, military males. It was intentionally at chances with the blocky style matches used by a lot of boys at the dawn of the swinging sixties. Cutting like that stuck out as somewhat behind the times however reassuringly costly.

1964  actor sean connery poses as james bond next to his aston martin db5 in a scene from the united artists film goldfinger in 1964 photo by donaldson collectionmichael ochs archivesgetty images

Sean Connery on the set of Goldfinger in 1964.

Donaldson Collection

Next Young took him to Turnbull and Asser, his shirtmaker on Jermyn Street a number of blocks away south of Piccadilly. There, Connery was fitted with the exact same pale blue cotton poplin t-shirts and knitted navy silk ties that Young used day in day out himself. It was Young who provided Bond his reversed “mixed drink” cuffs, a sartorial information that at the time specified a guy as both well-to-do yet rather rakish.

DRESSED TO KILL: James Bond – The Suited Hero (French Edition)


Bond’s design was exceptionally exact, the extra however costly, handcrafted closet of a military male, not overtly stylish however not fuddy-duddy, either. It fulfilled and went beyond accepted requirements of gown while staying intentionally unsensational. Style in all its preening frivolity was constantly scheduled for Bond’s vain, egotistical banes like Goldfinger, Blofeld, or Largo. As a dish for stress-free design, Connery’s Bond specified and still specifies the clean-cut suitable of a closet that goes beyond style and ends up being everlasting.

If Bond was the facility male in the area, the unique and tropical places around the world were the background for him to get a bit more speculative with his off-duty closet. It didn’t constantly work. That stated, Connery fares much better than all prospering Bonds as his closet for the beach is still as extra and restrained as his working day clothing. Later on Bonds fall victim to the gravitational pull of style and pay the cost. Roger Moore experiences this and unjustly, I believe. It’s not his fault he got the gig in the hedonistic 1970s. However almost the only thing Connery’s Bond gets incorrect remains in Goldfinger, where he appears in Miami in a sky-blue terry-cloth onesie. In some way, he gets away with it.

sean connery

Sean Connery in the notorious onesie with Shirley Eaton and Ian Fleming.

Getty Images

In the end it was a mixed drink: Connery’s suave design with his own rough edges poking through that provided Bond his bite. It resonated with the socially and geographically broadening world of the 1960s; Connery was a leader of an entire generation of working-class British stars made great– like Michael Caine and Terence Stamp– who personified a rougher and racier sexuality on screen. In clothes terms, Connery’s Bond provided all boy a quickly referenced visual encyclopedia of how to dress well without ever exaggerating it.

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