Bond’s Covert Black Polo and Pants in Goldfinger
Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent and super spy
Geneva, Switzerland, Fall 1964
Release Date: September 18, 1964
Director: Guy Hamilton
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell
James Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
Auric Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!
For this 00-7th of October installment, BAMF Style is looking at the classic scene from the most iconic of Bond flicks, Goldfinger.
After successfully trailing the sinister Auric Goldfinger to his metallurgy plant in Geneva, James Bond chooses the dark of night to cover his covert investigations of the plant. He discovers Goldfinger’s gold smuggling enterprise and overhears his conversation with a Red Chinese agent about the mysterious “Operation Grand Slam”.
When he tries to leave, Bond finds Tilly Masterson – a woman he’d encountered earlier in the day – aiming a rifle at the plant. The two tussle and trip an alarm that sends Oddjob and Goldfinger’s legions of Asian henchmen after the duo. Bond attempts to spirit them away in his DB5, but an unfortunate roadblock and the sharp edge of Oddjob’s bowler hat bring an end to both the getaway plan and Tilly’s life.
Goldfinger greets the waking Bond when the latter is strapped to a cutting table. Goldfinger smugly assures Bond that his attempts were in vain as an industrial laser slowly moves to cut Bond in two, starting with his most utilized organ. In desperation, Bond reveals his knowledge of Operation Grand Slam, and Goldfinger shrewdly decides that the spy is worth more to him alive… for the time being. Bond next wakes up on Goldfinger’s private plane, headed for Fort Knox. He’s stunned by the first image he sees, a lovely and buxom pilot who is quick to introduce herself to the disoriented agent:
Pussy: My name is Pussy Galore.
Bond: I must be dreaming.
What’d He Wear?
Bond establishes his preference in Goldfinger for wearing all black on convert night missions, following next in Thunderball with a black polo and again during Roger Moore’s first outing in Live and Let Die when he sports a black turtleneck and trousers. However, black isn’t the best choice for nighttime secrecy as it tends to stand out among non-black surroundings like a dark blue sky, green foliage, or gray buildings.
For sneaking around Goldfinger’s plant, Bond wears an all black outfit consisting of a shirt, sweater, trousers, shoes, and socks. The contrast between his shirt and sweater isn’t obvious at first since both are the same black knit texture.
Bond’s shirt is a black knit polo with three buttons and a large, soft collar. Though we don’t see for sure, it’s likely a short-sleeve polo shirt to keep him cool under the sweater and prevent bunching at the wrists.
The sweater is a v-neck jumper that looks like a very comfortable lightweight wool like merino. The long sleeves have elasticized cuffs that fall somewhat short on Connery’s wrists, giving more credence to the theory that the polo is short-sleeved since it would otherwise create an unsightly collision at the wrist.
The black merino wool v-neck sweater would make a return appearance in Skyfall when Daniel Craig wears one with his peacoat, white shirt, and black tie. That particular jumper – the John Smedley “Bobby” – was constructed from extra-fine 30-gauge merino wool from New Zealand. You can still pick one up for $230 from Mr Porter.
Bond wears a pair of black wool flat front trousers with his usual “Daks top” 3-button side adjusters on each side of the waist. They have a straight cut and plain-hemmed bottoms.
Interestingly, Bond wears the same black calf plain-toe loafers that he wore with his white dinner jacket in the film’s opening sequence, truly showing the versatility of the shoe. They have black elastic side gussets but are shorter than the typical side-gusseted Chelsea boot.
The soles of Bond’s low boots are smooth, hard tan leather with “HANDCRAFTED” printed under the arch. They have been customized to slip open the heel that stores Bond’s Q-issued GPS tracker.
We get a good look at Bond’s socks when he is tied to Goldfinger’s laser-cutting table. They are naturally also black, as this would be a poor outfit to inject colored socks. Based on the texture and the ribbing, they may also be merino wool. Merino wool socks offer a more luxurious – but also sweatier – alternative to the usual cotton socks.
Naturally, Bond also sports his stainless Rolex Submariner 6538 on his left wrist. This is the same watch he wears throughout Goldfinger with its black dial and undersized striped RAF strap.
He doesn’t appear to have his watch after being captured by Goldfinger; perhaps Goldfinger knows what sort of watches they give out in Q Branch.
Bond’s nighttime ensemble in Goldfinger is also featured in a post on Matt Spaiser’s blog, The Suits of James Bond.
What to Imbibe
A martini. Shaken, not stirred.
Bond isn’t dressed for the occasion, but this sequence is when he first orders his iconic cocktail of choice*. Goldfinger’s stewardess, who is a bit too chipper to be a working for a terrorist, eagerly serves him one made with Martini & Rossi Extra Dry vermouth, garnished with a thin twist of lemon.
* Bond did indeed drink “shaken, not stirred” martinis in Dr. No, but this is the first time we actually hear 007 himself utter the words.
Although Goldfinger is often considered to be the quintessential James Bond movie, it interestingly reduces the role of his iconic Walther PPK sidearm to a brief appearance in the pre-credits sequence. After that, he is only armed with Walther P38 pistols – one of his own and one taken from a careless guard in Kentucky.
The Walther P38 was first designed for the rapidly advancing German military in 1938 – hence its nomenclature. It was intended to replace the recognizable but costly Luger pistol, and the first production models rolled out of the Walther factory in Zella-Mehlis by the middle of 1940. Like its legendary predecessor, the P38 was loaded with a single-stack box magazine containing eight rounds of 9×19 mm Parabellum ammunition. However, the Luger’s distinctive toggle-lock action was abandoned in favor of a more conventional locked-breech short-recoil system. As the Walther factory was destroyed during the war and Germany was banned from producing weapons for more than a decade following, production on the familiar P38 was halted until 1957. Wartime P38 pistols were rounded up and resold once the imprinted swastikas were removed. The new generation of Walther P38s were christened the “Pistole P1” and manufactured through the year 2000 while serving as the standard sidearm for German military and police forces. Interestingly, Germany’s last death penalty in 1981 was conducted with a silenced Walther P38.
Though not seen in the finished film, publicity material for Goldfinger showed a drawer under the seat in Bond’s new DB5 that carried a Walther P38. It is presumably from this concealed drawer that Bond produced his P38 used during the gunfight outside Goldfinger’s factory.
How to Get the Look
Bond’s totally black outfit may not be the most tactically sound outfit for sneaking around at night, but his ensemble is certainly more fashionable – albeit less practical – than the military-inspired fatigues that later 007 actors like Pierce Brosnan would wear in similar situations.
- Black knit short-sleeve polo shirt with 3-button collar
- Black merino wool v-neck long-sleeve sweater
- Black wool flat front trousers with 3-button “Daks top” side adjusters and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black leather plain-toe side-gusset loafers
- Black ribbed merino wool socks
- Rolex Submariner 6538 wristwatch with stainless case and black dial on an undersized black/olive/red-striped RAF strap
Iconic Alternatives offers plenty of guidance to find affordable elements of Bond’s wardrobe, including black long-sleeve polo shirts like this one.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
I think you made your point. Thank you for the demonstration.
Goldfinger gets the upper hand though, replying with “Choose your next witticism carefully Mr. Bond, it may be your last.”
Tim Siedell tweeted a brilliant interpretation of the most iconic quote from this scene a few years ago.
Cool as usual. Thank you! 😉
Great article! Any info on the backpack?