Like the divisive American president Donald Trump, Connery is descended from Gaelic speaking Scots, but that’s just about where the comparisons stop. Best friends with Michael Caine, the first Bond to appear on screen, and all with that seductive vocal burr, Connery certainly has the goods. Although his appearance as the world’s most famous spy made him a sartorial pin-up for many aspiring gentlemen, let’s also separate the man from Fleming’s creation and give Sean Connery the recognition he deserves as a style icon.
Despite our promise to separate the man from the magic, we cannot talk about the art of gentlemanly power dressing without visiting Sean Connery as the uber-spy himself. The way Connery was suited and booted as 007 made James Bond a smooth character in style as well as persona. Connery dressed for his build, making use of his height to rock the three-piece suit in Goldfinger. If you’re tall and slim, you can carry more volume with your suit, so add a waistcoat to your sartorial get up. Alternatively, if you’re less vertically blessed, keep it simple. If you play rugby at weekends don’t attempt to squeeze into the slim cut trousers of a chain smoking editor. If you stick with what suits you, whether that’s a slim or wider trouser leg, you’ll appear as effortlessly cool as the arch Bond himself.
Never scrimp on shoes
Even the most impressive gentleman is nothing without a good pair of shoes. What you wear on your feet is one of the first things people see, and will judge you for. Do not bother wearing a beautiful suit if the shoes are from a cheap high street sale. Take a leaf out of Connery’s book who sports quality leather foot fayre whether smart or casual in film and real life. If bespoke Savile Row goods are out of reach for now, there are many British brands that cater to the leather middle market without compromising on quality and look.
Take your facial hair seriously
You either ‘have it’ or you don’t, simple. As Connery has aged gracefully he has grown into his facial hair. As a younger man, he kept it clean. The acquisition of a beard, like a hairstyle or a suit, should have the appearance of constancy. If you’re sporting facial hair, make sure you have the thick fibres to support it. A beard should never be some half sprouting afterthought, but a permanent accessory in all its thick and lovingly-scented glory, so if you have one, take the time and effort to tend it well.
Your face is your canvas
Every respectable gentleman has a skincare routine. A sharp haircut and flattering suit are redundant if you’re grubby and un-groomed. You only have to look at Connery’s even complexion as Bond and even today to see how it all fits together. So gentlemen, don’t accept fate in the face of a shaving rash or a blemish, combine that shaving foam with a cleanse and a tone.
Stick with your hair style
No matter what your age, it is a fact universally acknowledged that those who stick with what suits them look better for it. Think Connery’s groomed short sides as Bond. Even in his dotage, Connery’s hair and more recent beard remain impeccably trimmed. So gentlemen, do not experiment with one of the first things people notice about you. If you look better with a traditional cut, for God’s sake stick to it. Not everyone suits the hairy mop look. With a flattering and long-term hairstyle, you’ll appear as the confident, self-assured and in control gentlemen that you are (deep down).