George Lazenby’s Glen Plaid Suit as 007

George Lazenby as James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

George Lazenby as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

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George Lazenby as James Bond, British secret agent

Bern, Switzerland, Fall 1969

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Tailor: Dimi Major
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius

Background

Heading back into the office on a Monday, BAMF Style is also following James Bond into the office for the 00-7th of August… albeit another person’s office rather than his own.

Perhaps not living up to the “secret” part of his secret agent profession, James Bond works a mission objective into the end of a slow romantic drive with his girlfriend (and her father!), following a lead on the true identity and location of his enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Bond breaks into the office of the Gebrüder Gumbold law firm (Gebrüder Gumbold = “Gumbold Brothers” for all you non-German speakers), where he uses one of the film’s only gadgets, a practical if rather clunky and time-consuming safe cracker. The safe-cracking takes up the better part of Herr Gumbold’s lunch break, and 007 narrowly misses being caught on his way out with both the evidence he needs against Blofeld and a pictorial periodical that satisfies his personal rather than professional needs.

What’d He Wear?

While later incarnations of 007 would reestablish the character to suit their portrayal, George Lazenby was the first actor to replace Sean Connery in the official EON Productions franchise and the filmmakers faced an unprecedented decision: would it be more advisable to let Lazenby make the character his own (likely not, given the actor’s penchant for scraggly facial hair and hippie culture… as well as his dislike for the role itself) or reincarnate him in the image of Connery before him?

Lazenby had worn a Connery-style haircut and a Connery-commissioned suit by Anthony Sinclair to his audition for the role so the choice became clear to follow the latter decision. This stylish outfit of a glen check suit, light blue shirt, and navy tie recalls the suits worn by Sean Connery in his earliest Bond outings: Dr. No and From Russia With Love.

Lazenby isn't the only one channeling early Connery films here; the chauffeur behind him appears to have taken some style points from Doctor No.

Lazenby isn’t the only one channeling early Connery films here; the chauffeur behind him appears to have taken some style points from Doctor No.

Lazenby’s suiting is a variation of the classic black and white glen plaid with a blue overcheck that coordinates with his shirt and tie.

To read more about the exact check created by Lazenby’s tailor Dimi Major and to see a digital recreation of the suiting, check out Matt Spaiser’s comprehensive post at The Suits of James Bond.

The life of a secret agent involves plenty of looking over your shoulder. In this case, it gives us a better view of Bond's distinctive glen check suiting.

The life of a secret agent involves plenty of looking over your shoulder. In this case, it gives us a better view of Bond’s distinctive glen check suiting.

The single-breasted suit jacket has medium-width notch lapels, signifying the shift in fashion from the slim ’60s to the wider ’70s, that roll down to the top of the two-button front. The three buttons on each cuff match the dark gray horn buttons on the front.

Dimi Major tailored Lazenby’s suit with soft English shoulders, reflecting Connery’s Conduit Cut suits from Anthony Sinclair. The more fashion-forward Lazenby embraced elements of the “Peacock Revolution” even with a business suit like this, wearing a closer-fitting and shorter jacket with foot-long double vents that flare out like a trapezoid at the bottom. The flapped hip pockets are slanted with a smaller ticket pocket slanted high on the right side, above the top button line.

Though more closely fitted than Connery's suits, the flattering tailor avoids the excessive tightness of Daniel Craig's suits in Skyfall and Spectre, illustrating this as a suit where timelessness meets forward fashion that would also be on par with the current decade's trends.

Though more closely fitted than Connery’s suits, the flattering tailor avoids the excessive tightness of Daniel Craig’s suits in Skyfall and Spectre, illustrating this as a suit where timelessness meets forward fashion that would also be on par with the current decade’s trends.

The suit’s flat front trousers are likely fitted with darts, slightly slanted side pockets, and button-top side adjusters to match the rest of Lazenby’s trousers in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The fit is straight and narrow through the legs down to the short break plain-hemmed bottoms.

Like his predecessor Connery and eventual successor Roger Moore, Lazenby wore shirts made by Frank Foster including this sky blue cotton poplin shirt with a front placket and single-button rounded cuffs. The shirt’s point collar has considerable tie space to fit the half-Windsor knot of Lazenby’s slim navy wool knit tie.

Bond waits semi-patiently for his safecracking device to work.

Bond waits semi-patiently for his safecracking device to work.

Bond wears a pair of black leather dress shoes, likely slip-on loafers rather than the Connery-esque derby shoes that would be more appropriate with this outfit. His dress socks appear to be a dark shade of navy.

Bond eases his way past a bunch of office drones filing into the elevator for lunch.

Bond eases his way past a bunch of office drones filing into the elevator for lunch.

Bond keeps an eye on his progress by sliding off his trademark Rolex and placing it on the copy machine. Lazenby wears a stainless Rolex Submariner 5513 with a black aluminum bezel and black dial with no date window.

Sean Connery’s Rolex watches had always been worn on a leather band or nylon strap, making Lazenby the first to wear his Rolex Sub with a metal bracelet, in this case a matching stainless steel “Oyster” link bracelet. (Roger Moore’s ref. 5513 Rolex in Live and Let Die would also have an Oyster bracelet…in addition to an integral metal saw.)

A safecracker and a copy machine? You've outdone yourself this time, Q.

A safecracker and a copy machine? You’ve outdone yourself this time, Q.

As common with the Bond actors, George Lazenby wore his 007 suits off-screen. In her “Playboy Photo Album”, former Playboy bunny Diana Ann Turner (aka “Bunny Deana”) includes several photos of herself being crowned “Bunny of the Year” in 1969 by Lazenby. Though his longer hair and mustache date the photo to a few months after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service production wrapped, he is almost certainly wearing this same suit.

George Lazenby crowns Diana Turner as 1969's "Bunny of the Year". Congratulations, Diana.

George Lazenby crowns Diana Turner as 1969’s “Bunny of the Year”. Congratulations, Diana.

Lazenby’s real life crowning of 1969’s Bunny of the Year is only one of many of this suit’s connections to the Playboy universe… as you’ll read below.

How to Get the Look

Comparing the width of the pocket flaps and the slightly different direction of the check, it appears that two differing suits were used in the production: one for exteriors and another for the Pinewood Studio-filmed interiors.

Comparing the width of the pocket flaps and the slightly different direction of the check, it appears that two differing suits were used in the production: one for exteriors and another for the Pinewood Studios-filmed interiors.

George Lazenby’s 007 dresses fashionably but professionally in the spirit of his predecessor, wearing a glen check suit, sky blue shirt, and navy tie to the office.

  • Black-and-white glen plaid (with blue overcheck) tailored suit:
    • Single-breasted 2-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, slanted flapped hip pockets and slanted right-side ticket pocket, 3-button cuffs, and long flared double vents
    • Darted flat front trousers with button-tab side adjusters, slanted side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Sky blue cotton poplin dress shirt with point collar, front placket, and 1-button rounded cuffs
  • Navy blue wool knit tie
  • Black leather slip-on loafers
  • Dark navy socks
  • Rolex Submariner 5513 with stainless steel case, black bezel and dial, and stainless “Oyster” link bracelet

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie.

Has anyone watched Becoming Bond yet? I’ve heard it’s a fascinating exploration of George Lazenby’s life and the circumstances that led to his unique single-shot chance in the role of a lifetime.

The Quote

Just keep my martini cool.

Footnote

Perhaps foreshadowing his future role in crowning Bunny of the Year, Bond finds himself quite engrossed in an issue of Playboy magazine that Gumbold had hidden away in his office. Based on the cover, it has been identified as the February 1969 issue featuring centerfold Lorrie Menconi.

Just as they don't seduce female patients in clinics, respectable baronets from the College of Heralds do not read Playboy magazine, 007!

Just as they don’t seduce female patients in clinics, respectable baronets from the College of Heralds do not read Playboy magazine, 007!

Looking for your own piece of, erm… Bond memorabilia? eBay’s got you covered for affordable back issues here.

Bond gives audiences an R-rated glimpse at Lorrie as he heads for the elevator. Should you be so inclined, you can find the very centerfold that 007 was peeping here.

Bond gives audiences an R-rated glimpse at Lorrie as he heads for the elevator. Should you be so inclined, you can find the very centerfold that 007 was peeping here.

Whether coincidental or not, the appearance of Playboy in this particular film recalls the fact that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was the first of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels to be serialized in the magazine, appearing in the May 1963 issue.

5 comments

  1. ANDREY POZHITKOV

    the bezel is not “black ceramic bezel …” – they were aluminium 🙂 ceramic only came into style recently 🙂 great article as usual

    Like

  2. teeritz

    I was watching this film a few days ago. It was screening late on Sunday night. This suit was pretty sharp and Lazenby cuts a fine figure in it. A vastly underrated film in the series and GL is only now getting the respect he should have gotten all along. I too didn’t rate this film very highly when I was younger, whereas I now think it’s in the Top six or seven of the Bonds.
    One thing about his 5513. It had an aluminium (aluminum to y’all in the States) bezel (well, aluminium insert on a steel bezel ring, if you wanna get technical). I should know. I just paid a small fortune for a replacement bezel for my own 5513. Still smarting.
    And yep, I kind’a cringe every time I see Bond in this film walk out of Gumbold’s office with the torn-out Playboy centrefold in his hands. What’s he gonna do with it? And given his track record and prowess wid dah laydeez (say it like Barry White would), does he need a centrefold?

    Like

    • luckystrike721

      Thanks for the bezel correction, guys!

      Teeritz – I agree that OHMSS certainly earns a place among the top Bond films. I always wonder about how it may have fared if we had gotten to see Sean Connery in the role. Nothing against Mr. Lazenby, but…

      Like

      • Teeritz

        I read once that they were trying to lure Connery back for this film and that Bardot was approached for the role of Tracey. Now THAT would have been something. All due respect to Diana Rigg, she was great in the role, but I’ve always felt that Tracey should have had a European accent and looked a little more exotic, since this is the girl that Bond forsakes all others for. Even though he’s sleeping with all those women at Blofeld’s lair.

        Like

  3. Simon

    Great suit and George wore it well. Not so great was his acting.

    And, yes, “Becoming Bond” is worth watching. Amazing story of how he approached the audition.

    Like

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