In the latest episode of From Tailors With Love Matt Spaiser from The Suits of James Bond and I talk about the Dark Grey Flannel Suit that James Bond wears in Jamaica in Dr. NO.
In the novel Dr. No Bond arrives in Jamaica in a tropical worsted wool suit. That would have been a lighter more breathable option to what Connery wears as Bond in the celluloid version.
Breaking down the dark grey flannel suit
Matt Spaiser (MS) helps to break down the suit and what it tells us about James Bond.
MS – He’s wearing a dark grey flannel suit and a trilby. He’s not dressed very well for Jamaica, but thats how he would dress in London on a day to day basis. Because he is wearing quite a warm suit he does look like he’s getting a bit sweaty in it.
It’s a really nice thing he’s wearing this in Jamaica because we don’t get to see how he dresses in London regularly. We see him in black tie, [but] when he arrives in Jamaica we get to see the average Bond outfit. […] Its a big moment for defining the character.
Felix Leighter wears a 3-button jacket, is that a more dated look?
MS -Yeah in the 60s the 3-button was still the main style in the UK. […] It was more prevalent in America than Britain in the 60s.
How can you detect when its flannel suit?
MS – It’s a carded wool […] the fibres are very fuzzy on it, the same kind of wool that is on a tweed. But it’s flannel – it’s finished differently. It has a weave but you can’t see it because it has a nap. It doesn’t breathe well, it traps the air – its a very warm suit. Perfect for London in the winter. Flannel doesn’t shine like a worsted does.
About that windsor knot
Bond also wears a grenadine tie, tied in a windsor knot. A knot that Fleming infamously hated marking it as a sign of vanity in a mans character. On the knot Matt remarks:
MS: That knot was meant to mimic the knot the Duke of Windsor wore. A lot of people didn’t like the Duke of Windsor. Fleming didn’t like him much. It gives a more perfect look than that 4-in-hand knot. I believe the windsor was Connery’s favourite knot to use. […] that was the knot he was taught to use as a lad. Thats a knot that Connery nearly always wears when he’s not James Bond and sometimes when he is James Bond.
Listen to the podcast
What to wear in Jamaica?
Fleming bought remnants of cloth from a shop called Antonio’s in Falmouth. When I visited Goldeneye I took a lot of sea-island cotton garments. Some linen camp collar shirts. You can find some recommended pieces and learn how to dress like Bond in my James Bond Summer wardrobe article.
You can also learn more about the dark grey flannel suit in an article on Matt’s site here.