George Lazenby as James Bond, British secret agent
London, September 1969
Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Tailor: Dimi Major
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius
George Lazenby celebrated his 78th birthday two days ago, so BAMF Style is featuring his arguably most famous role of James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service for the 00-7th of his birth month of September.
For those interested in astrology, the first two actors to play James Bond in the official EON Productions franchise – Sean Connery (born August 25, 1930) and George Lazenby (born September 5, 1939) – are both Virgos… as is four-time Bond director Guy Hamilton (born September 16, 1922).
What’d He Wear?
George Lazenby’s James Bond appropriately wears the most staid of his tailored suits for a day at the office, though this navy blue herringbone wool suit could hardly be called boring. In fact, Lazenby himself appeared to make much use of this suit in real life, having worn it when he was officially announced as the next James Bond in an October 1968 press conference and even after he had put the role well behind him.
As the filmmakers were wary to establish Lazenby as anything but a “new” Bond in Sean Connery’s image, he wears a suiting not new to the series; Connery had previously worn a navy herringbone suit for the iconic scene in Goldfinger where 007 receives his Aston Martin DB5 from Q.
I believe Lazenby’s navy herringbone three-piece suit, tailored for him by Dimi Major, makes its first appearance during the opening gunbarrel shot of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but he most prominently wears it during his first visit to M’s office that finds him resigning in a spiteful huff… until Miss Moneypenny wisely intervenes.
The single-breasted jacket has moderately wide notch lapels that roll to the top of a three-button front that compliments Lazenby’s lean 6’2″ stature. Full through the chest and suppressed at the waist, the soft shoulders are lightly padded and the long double vents rise approximately 12″ high, a harbinger of the approaching excessive lengths and widths that would define the coming decade’s style. The jacket has a welted breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, and three buttons on each cuff.
The matching vest (waistcoat) has a standard single-breasted, six-button front with the lowest button left open over the notched bottom. The vest has four welted pockets and a navy satin-finished back. As the waistcoat was tailored to fit Lazenby, there is no adjustable back strap.
Bond removes his jacket when he gets back to his office, revealing an black leather shoulder holster that suspends his trademark Walther PPK under his left armpit for a smooth right-handed draw. The all-black shoulder rig is a more lethal-looking departure from the beige leather and blue-strapped holster of the Connery era.
Departing from Sean Connery’s template to reflect fashions of the late ’60s, George Lazenby wears non-pleated suit trousers with darts as a first for the Bond series, setting a flat-fronted example that would last through Roger Moore’s tenure until Timothy Dalton took over the role in the more pleat-happy 1980s.
While the flat front and plain-hemmed bottoms may be more unique to Lazenby than Connery, Lazenby’s Bond continues to wear narrow trousers fitted with the “Daks top” button-tab side adjusters rather than belt loops or suspenders. They have slightly slanted “quarter top” pockets on the sides and two jetted pockets on the back.
Frank Foster made shirts for Connery, Moore, and Lazenby to wear as Bond and this white poplin dress shirt for the latter has a front placket, single-button rounded cuffs, and a point collar. In Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion, Alan Flusser suggests that men with longer faces avoid point collars, but the wider allotment for tie space on Lazenby’s shirt balances out a collar that might be otherwise less flattering.
Lazenby wears a dark navy silk knit tie, reminiscent of the usual “thin black knitted silk tie” of Ian Fleming’s original novels though its half-Windsor knot would hardly meet with Fleming’s approval.
As Lazenby had already considered Bond a relic by the time he had assumed the role, it makes sense that we never see him wearing the rather old-fashioned trilby that gets its signature toss onto Moneypenny’s hat rack (other than in the gunbarrel and opening scene, of course.) The hat appears to be black felt with a short brim and wide grosgrain ribbon.
Hardly glimpsed on screen, behind-the-scenes photos seem to reveal Lazenby wearing black cap-toe derby shoes similar to those he wore during the 1968 presser with a pair of dark ribbed socks.
By On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the Rolex Submariner had been well-established as James Bond’s preferred watch. However, Lazenby again wades into new territory by wearing his ref. 5513 Rolex on a stainless steel “Oyster” link bracelet rather than the NATO straps or leather bands of Connery’s tenure.
Like the glen plaid suit and the navy chalkstripe flannel suit, there is photographic evidence that Lazenby kept this suit and wore it well after the production despite his well-publicized opinions about Bond’s “outdated” image.
Lazenby being Lazenby, one of those instances of him wearing this suit in real life was naturally for a reception at the Playboy Club.
To read more about this suit and its use in the film, check out Matt Spaiser’s The Suits of James Bond.
How to Get the Look
George Lazenby’s 007 meant several “firsts” for James Bond’s lounge suits – three-button jackets, flat-fronted trousers, button-cuffed shirts – incorporating all of these details into the conservative yet stylish three-piece suit he wears for a day in the office.
- Navy blue herringbone wool tailored suit:
- Single-breasted 3-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and long double vents
- Single-breasted 6-button vest with four welted pockets and notched bottom
- Darted flat front trousers with button-tab “Daks top” side adjusters, slanted side pockets, jetted back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- White cotton poplin dress shirt with point collar, front placket, and 1-button rounded cuffs
- Navy blue wool knit tie
- Black leather derby shoes
- Dark navy ribbed socks
- Rolex Submariner 5513 with stainless steel case, black dial and aluminum bezel, and stainless “Oyster” link bracelet
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.
Moneypenny, what would I do without you?