Bert Saxby’s Stylish Navy Pinstripe Suit in Diamonds Are Forever

Bert Saxby, played by Bruce Cabot, is a minor character in Diamonds Are Forever, but one with major presence and style. He’s one of Blofeld’s henchmen, and he manages the Whyte House hotel and casino in Las Vegas. As the manager of such a prestigious establishment, he needs to dress the part.

Saxby’s style has much in common with James Bond’s. He wears a navy pinstripe suit with a solid navy tie and a light blue shirt, something that Bond wears later in Diamonds Are Forever. While Saxby’s colour scheme is both Bondian and rather generic, many of the details of Saxby’s clothes also match Bond’s. However, his outfit also has a few important points that differentiate his style from Bond’s style.

While navy striped suits have been a staple of Bond’s wardrobe since the 1960s, Bond has usually prefers a well-defined stripe. English tradition is for stripes that can be seen, though not usually loud ‘gangster’-style stripes. Saxby’s suit follows the American tradition for subtle stripes, which only become apparent up close in the right lighting. It is difficult to determine what kind of stripe the suit has; it may be a very thin grey pinstripe, or it may be an even more subtle tonal pinstripe.

Saxby’s suit is single-breasted with two buttons. The suit takes stylistic cues from British suits, but it’s most likely an American suit due to the actor being American, the character being American and the locations being in America. The peaked lapels give the suit a slightly flashy Hollywood look, which is fitting for a Las Vegas hotel and casino manager. The two-button detail on the cuffs, with the buttons spaced apart, indicates that this is likely an authentic American suit, probably made in Los Angeles. The suits takes inspiration from Britain with details like slanted hip pockets, a ticket pocket and double vents, but those details were also popular in Hollywood-type suits in the 1960s and 1970s. Bond’s English suits in the film share these same details.

The suit has narrow peaked lapels, and the width suggests the suit is from the 1960s rather than a current suit for the date of the film’s release in 1971. Sean Connery’s suits in Diamonds Are Forever are trendier with wide lapels to give him a younger and more fashionable look, while Saxby’s narrow lapels are consistent with him being an older man who is meant to look a few years out of date. Realistically, most men would not have a wardrobe of brand new suits to keep up with the volatile fashion trends at this time. Wide lapels had just started to enter mainstream fashion in the early 1970s, and most men, let alone someone like Saxby, would not have been wearing the latest styles.

Peaked lapels separate Saxby’s suit from a suit that Bond would ordinarily wear. Peaked lapels on a single-breasted suit are a traditional style, but they look flashy. On Bond’s ivory dinner jacket at the Whyte House they’re a classic option, but they’re ordinarily too showy for Bond’s suits. Oddly enough, Bond wears a blue single-breasted suit with peaked lapels in a brief shot later in Diamonds Are Forever, but apart from two other occasions in the Craig era—one being a disguise—Bond usually does not wear single-breasted suits with peaked lapels.

The jacket has a yellow lining, a subtle nod to its time.

The suit’s trousers have a flat front with frogmouth pockets and medium-width tapered legs. The rise on the trousers looks too short and sits under his gut rather than over it, which is not particularly flattering. The trousers do not appear to be worn with a belt, but it may have belt loops as he wears his keys on a chain that looks like it may be attached to a belt loop.

Saxby’s shirt is light blue with a spread collar and single-button cuffs. The spread collar is similar to Bond’s, but it has shorter collar points. He wears a solid navy tie and makes it in a Windsor knot, just like Bond does in this film. His collar points, however, are too short and the size of the Windsor knot overwhelms the collar. The tie looks too short since it does not reach the waistband of the trousers, but if the trousers had a higher rise to the waist the tie would be at the perfect length.

Unlike Bond, Saxby wears a pocket square in Diamonds Are Forever. Pocket squares were not particularly fashionable at the time and portray Saxby as an old-fashioned and slightly flashy man, particular with a puffed red pocket square.

Saxby wears black shoes with his suit. The style cannot be properly determined from the film, but they may be loafers.

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