Suitings for the Setting

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There are two ways to choose the colour suits we wear. One way is to wear what best flatters our complexion. The other way is to dress according to our surroundings, which considers the physical location, its climate and the season. This is the most traditional way men pick the colours they wear, particularly their suits. Just as there are four general types of complexions, the same four types each correspond to a location and a season.

Winter and the City

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Suits for the city reflect the cold-looking grey stone and metal and the blue asphalt of the city, hence grey and blue are the suit colours worn there. Because it is where business is conducted, the city is a formal place, and blue and grey suits may have become the most formal colours for suits due to their association with the city. And since the city is a formal place, the blues and greys of the city are dark, serious shades like navy and charcoal. City greys can be in lighter shades than city blues since medium grey retains an austere look whilst medium blue looks more festive. Black is traditionally reserved for more formal clothes than lounge suits, and because of this it will not be discussed along with blue and grey suits. City suits are typically in smooth, dressy cloths such as serge, herringbone and plain-weave worsteds as well as in woolen and worsted flannels. For more luxurious city suits, mohair, cashmere and silk may be blended in with the wool. City suitings are, for the most part, the only suitings that appropriate with pinstripes and chalk stripes.

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These dark, cool colours of city suits belong to the winter season, which feels as dark and cold as the stone and metal of the city. The colours of the city fit in well anywhere that is dark and cold. These colours can be worn quite appropriately outside of the city in the winter, and grey tweed is an example of this for winter in the country.

Timothy Dalton wears a navy suit with grey chalk stripes in The Living Daylights

Timothy Dalton wears a navy suit with grey chalk stripes in The Living Daylights

Dark, cool city colours best flatter people with a “winter” complexion, which is a cool complexion with a high contrast between the skin tone and hair. James Bond classically has this sort of complexion, and it is exemplified by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. Bond usually wears classic city suits when at the office and around London. Sean Connery’s navy worsted suit in From Russia with Love, George Lazenby’s navy herringbone suit and flannel chalkstripe suit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Roger Moore’s charcoal rope stripe worsted suit in Octopussy and Daniel Craig’s grey herringbone track stripe worsted, silk and mohair suit in Spectre are all solid examples of suits to wear in the city.

Autumn and the Country

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The colours of country suits are earth tones from nature, and the trees tell us what colours to wear when surrounded by nature. Tree trunks are brown, and brown is at the core of country suits. We generally think of leaves as green, hence another country colour. In autumn, leaves turn red, orange and gold, and these in turn are also country colours. The most traditional country suits are in shades of brown, olive and rust, which reflect the colours of the country but aren’t as bold as the colours of autumnal foliage. Country suits have more texture than city suits to reflect the textures found in nature, and they also need to be in harder wearing cloths to withstand country pursuits such as riding and shooting. Because the British countryside is a cool place, country suits are traditionally heavier suits. Often they are made in hearty tweed, cavalry twill, covert twill and whipcord wools. Cotton corduroy in a great choice for more casual suits in the country.

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Though autumn is a cool season, autumn and country colours are warm and best flatter people with a warm complexion, particularly one with a high contrast. Auric Goldfinger has the classic complexion that looks best in country colours.

Moonraker Donegal Tweed

George Lazenby’s brown tic-pattern tweed suit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Roger Moore’s brown donegal tweed suit in Moonraker are classic country suits. Pierce Brosnan exchanges browns for something cooler and wears a charcoal windowpane tweed suit in the Scottish countryside in The World Is Not Enough. Charcoal is more flattering to his cool skin tone than earth tones are, and because it is wintertime, Brosnan’s wintry charcoal is appropriate in a country tweed. James Bond wears very few country suits throughout the series, partly because the classic Bond’s cool complexion doesn’t look good in country colours and partly because heavy country suits tend to look old-fashioned.

Summer and the Tropics and Desert

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Though the tropics are wet whilst the desert is dry, both are hot places where light-coloured suits are worn so they reflect the heat of the sun rather than absorb it. The suits worn in the tropics and desert are in light, neutral colours such as light grey, tan, beige and cream. Lighter muted blues such as air force blue are also excellent in the tropics, though they may look too colourful in the desert.

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Suits for the tropics and desert foremost need to breathe. Warm-weather wool should be high-twist in an open plain weave, such as tropical wool or, ideally, fresco. Twills should generally be avoided, though gabardine has the right look in the tropics for those who can bear the heat. Mohair and linen are the fibres that are best-known for their cool-wearing properties. The former is perfect for dressier suits whilst the latter is better for the most informal of suits because it wrinkles the moment it is donned. Cotton poplin is also popular for warm-weather suits, but its only advantage is that it is inexpensive. Though it feels light, it doesn’t breathe as well as open-weave wool, mohair or linen, and at the end of the day it only looks marginally less wrinkled than linen looks. It also wears out more quickly than other warm-weather suitings and isn’t worth being made as a bespoke suit.

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The colours of summer suits best flatter someone with a light, low-contrast and muted complexion. Grey is best for people with a cool complexion like Sean Connery, whilst tan, beige and cream are best for people with a warm complexion like Roger Moore. Sean Connery wears a light semi-solid grey mohair suit in the tropical Bahamas in Thunderball, and he wears a light grey tropical wool suit in the Las Vegas desert in Diamonds Are Forever. Also in Diamonds Are Forever, Connery wears a classic summer cream linen suit in Las Vegas. Roger Moore continues with a light grey tropical wool suit in Live and Let Die when visiting the tropical island of San Monique, but he switches to a more flattering (colour-wise) cream polyester suit in Moonraker that looks appropriate in sunny Rio de Janeiro but surely must wear warm. Pierce Brosnan darkens Bond’s tropical suit with tan linen suits in GoldenEye and Die Another Day. Daniel Craig brings back the light grey suit in linen in Casino Royale when arriving in the Bahamas.

Spring and the Mediterranean

A View to a Kill Tan Suit

The Mediterranean is a colourful region with beautiful weather, and the suits to wear in the Mediterranean and regions with a moderate mediterranean climate reflect this. Blue suits in medium shades like marine blue and air force blue recall the sea and the sky. Brown, tan and cream suits recall the sand of the Mediterranean beaches. These warm colours fit the sunny yet moderate weather of the region.

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The rich, warm and bright colours of mediterranean suits follow the essence of spring and best flatter people with a low-contrast warm complexion. For those with cooler complexions, medium grey—particularly in checks—fits in with the moderate weather. Mediterranean and spring suits are typically in medium weight worsteds, from lighter serge to gabardine to fresco. Cloths with a sheen, such a mohair and silk, are also excellent for mediterranean areas since they take full advantage of the sunny weather.

Fine Glen Check Suit

Sean Connery wore many medium-grey-toned glen checks throughout his Bond films, including two in the mediterranean Istanbul in From Russia with Love. He also wears a grey pick-and-pick suit in Istanbul in From Russia with Love, which Daniel Craig wears in a lighter tone when Bond returns to Istanbul in Skyfall. Roger Moore wears classic warm-toned mediterranean suits, not only because he spends a lot of time in the Mediterranean in his Bond films but also because these mediterranean colours best flatter his warm complexion. His suits include a marine blue mohair suit in Beirut in The Man with the Golden Gun, a light brown dupioni silk suit in Sardinia in The Spy Who Loved Me, a grey dupioni silk suit in Venice in Moonraker and a light brown gabardine suit in Corfu in For Your Eyes Only. In A View to a Kill, Moore wears a tan gabardine suit in San Francisco, where there is a mediterranean climate. In Spectre, Daniel Craig wears a medium blue Prince of Wales suit in Spectre in Mexico City that reflects the region’s moderate weather.

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These are all only guidelines as to the best cloths to wear in different locations during the different seasons. All four of the categories presented have some overlap with every other category. The best-dressed man looks both in to himself and out at his surroundings when choosing his clothes. The ideal colours for us to wear need to be a compromise between what flatters our own complexions whilst fitting out with our surroundings. For example, someone with a light complexion should avoid the dark colours that dominate the city suits in favour of medium shades of blue and grey. Someone with a cool complexion should wear greys instead of tans in mediterranean regions and mute the browns of the country with taupe and grey.

Since dark city colours are the most formal, they can be made up in non-city suiting for formal occasions in other types of locations and climates. Daniel Craig’s dark and breathable midnight blue mohair tonic suit in Quantum of Solace is an example of this. Country colours can be made up into more formal city worsteds for suburban business. An example of this is the dark brown mohair suit that Sean Connery wears to the office in London in Thunderball. Because it is brown, this suit should have ideally been worn further from Whitehall. But this particular brown is very dark and mixed with black for a serious look that doesn’t stand out amongst the standard navy and charcoal. This would be a flattering choice in the city for someone with a warm complexion who doesn’t look good in the usual city colours. There are many ways to bend the guidelines presented here, and with a bit of thought one can always be well-dressed to suit both his surroundings and himself.

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The Persuaders: A High-Buttoning Green Suit

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For his character Lord Brett Sinclair to wear in The Persuaders, Roger Moore designed some very unique and innovative pieces of tailoring that went beyond the fashion of the day. One of these pieces is a high-buttoning green suit tailored by Cyril Castle with an equestrian and military heritage, featured only in the 1971 episode “Take Seven”. Rather than try to be creative with an unflattering fit or awkward proportions, like most fashion designers have done over the past half century, this suit is creative through its unconventional colour, historical cut and unusual details. Though these elements altogether make this suit look like a piece of costume, it’s a fascinating study in creative tailoring.

The unusual colour of this suit can be described as rifle green, which comes from the uniform of rifle regiments. Rifle green is a statelier and richer colour than a lighter and warmer army green, but still it has a long military heritage. The suit’s medium-heavy cloth is woven in a herringbone weave and has wide but subtle rust-coloured stripes. Though Moore wears this suit in the heart of London, being green automatically labels this a country suit. At least Moore visits Hyde Park wearing this suit, where it harmoniously blends with the greenery. Anywhere, rifle green has the benefit of being one of the most flattering colours to Moore’s warm spring complexion.

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This suit is hanging onto the “New Edwardian” from the 1960s and has taken nothing from the trends that had emerged by the start of the 1970s. Rather than take on the flamboyance of the 1970s, this suit has a flamboyance all of its own. The lapels are a balanced width and wider than lapels on a 1960s suit would have been. Though it’s inspirations are clear, this suit is ultimately too peculiar to look dated to any time. The suit jacket takes its high buttoning from the Edwardian era, when lounge coats usually had three or four buttons down the front in a higher stance than in more modern times. This button three suit jacket places the bottom button just below the natural waist, and the foreparts are cut away below that button. Because the foreparts are only cutaway below the high bottom button, and because the bottom button is up near the waist, all three buttons can be fastened. One a typical button three jacket, the middle button is near the waist and the bottom button is on a cutaway portion of the jacket so it not designed to fasten. Fastening the bottom button on an ordinary button three jacket (or button two jacket, for that matter) pulls the jacket out of shape and restricts the legs. The cut of this jacket has much in common with the button two “paddock” style jackets that the Duke of Windsor was known for wearing, where either both buttons or only the bottom button would be fastened.

Moore’s suit jacket is almost like a short version of the high-buttoning Edwardian morning coat—a garment that was originally designed for riding a horse—and the cutaway in the front of this jacket would spread apart nicely on horseback. If the colour of this suit didn’t already place it in the country, the equestrian cut would. The structure follows the traditional British equestrian and military cut. The jacket has straight shoulders, a clean and full chest for a strong polished-marble look, a nipped waist and a flared skirt. This cut has a sporty look, but the structure gives it a rather formal and martial look too.

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This jacket also has many sporty and equestrian details, such as swelled edges, steeply slanted hacking pockets and a flapped breast pocket, which is slanted down towards the side of the jacket instead of up towards the shoulder. The jacket’s most important equestrian detail is the long single vent, which balances the cutaway in front. This is Moore’s second jacket in The Persuaders, and in any of his appearances, with the flared link-button cuffs he would go on to wear on his jackets throughout his first two James Bond films. This detail was supposedly his idea that he pitched to tailor Cyril Castle. The jacket’s buttons are smoke mother of pearl, which give a more urbane look to this country suit. The excellent fit gives credence to this unusual suit, though the sleeves are noticeably an inch too short.

The suit trousers, cut by Cyril Castle’s and Anthony Sinclair’s apprentice Richard W. Paine, have jetted cross pocket on the front, and a dart centred on either side of the front cuts through each front pocket. The trousers have narrow straight legs, an elegant look from later 1960s fashion.

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This suit’s fancy details and unusual equestrian cut are reminiscent of and in the spirit of suits that Patrick Macnee’s character John Steed in The Avengers wore. Some of his high-buttoning Pierre Cardin suits in the first colour series were very similar in style, and a navy high button two suit made by Hammond & Boyle from the same series came close as well. It’s certainly not the kind of suit James Bond would wear, and it’s not the kind of suit the the average man could wear either. The suit’s jacket would work as a fancy riding jacket, but few people need that. It’s too structured and buttoned-up to work as a casual piece today, but even in navy it would also be too unusual to work as a dressy suit, neither for business nor for social use. Though few people would have use for anything like this suit, there’s much to be learned from and admired about this distinctive piece.

With this suit, Moore wears a pale yellow shirt made by Frank Foster that has a spread collar and button-down cocktail cuffs that fasten with a single button. The jacket’s too-short sleeves show off the shirt’s special cuffs. The tie has wide dark blue and dark green stripes and is tied in a four-in-hand knot. This is the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps regimental tie, and the tie signifies that former army officer Lord Brett Sinclair was a part of this regiment. Moore’s shoes are black calf monk shoes with a square apron toe. He wears black socks to match his shoes.

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In later episodes of The Persuaders “The Old, the New & the Deadly” and “Read & Destroy”, Roger Moore wears an almost identical suit in a much lighter and more olive shade of green.

OK Connery: Neil Connery in Black Tie

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In 1967, Sean Connery’s younger brother Neil Connery starred in an Italian spy film called OK Connery, which is also known as Operation Kid Brother and Operation Double 007, amongst other titles. Neil Connery plays Dr. Neil Connery, who is the brother of a well-known British secret agent. The film features a number of actors who had appeared in the James Bond films, such as Daniela Bianchi (Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love), Adolfo Celi (Emilio Largo in Thunderball), Anthony Dawson (Professor Dent in Dr. No), Bernard Lee (M) and Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny). Neil Connery, who is dressed in lab coats, Scottish highland dress and dungarees in this film, also wears suits and sports coats with two buttons like his brother wears, but in shades of brown instead of greys and blues. Neil Connery’s most Bond-like outfit is his black dinner suit.

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Since OK Connery is an Italian production, Connery’s suits were most likely made by an Italian tailor. The single-button dinner jacket is cut with lightly padded straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a clean chest and a suppressed waist. The jacket has the traditional details of jetted pockets and no rear vent. The dinner jacket’s only concession to 1960s fashion is the narrow width of the silk-faced shawl collar. Unfortunately, the collar stands away from the neck in some shots, but that may be the fault of the way Connery donned the jacket rather than a problem with the fit. The too-long sleeves, however, are a problem with the fit. The trousers have medium-width tapered legs and likely have pleats.

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Connery’s white dress shirt has a short spread collar, double cuffs and a front bib with large pleats that fastens with shimmering mother-of-pearl studs. His narrow batwing bow tie is in black silk with crosswise ribs. Connery appears to be following his older brother’s style and foregoes a waist covering. Though his outfit is not perfect, he convincingly looks the part of James Bond’s younger brother.

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Marnie: Sean Connery’s Taupe Herringbone Suit

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For Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 film Marnie, costume designer James Linn came up with varied wardrobe or suits and sports coats for Sean Connery to wear. For a large portion of the film, Connery wears a taupe suit quite unlike anything he wears as James Bond. Though Connery wears a few brown suits as James Bond, Bond’s are all in dark shades of brown. This suit is in a medium shade of taupe, which is a grey-brown. The name for the colour comes from the French taupe, a noun for the mole animal. A mole is dark grey-brown, and the colour is named after it.

Connery’s taupe suit is a heavy worsted wool woven in a herringbone weave with a white pinstripe bordering each repeat of the herringbone. This suit is what might be called a “town and country” suit, being neither completely a town suit nor a country suit. It is made in a worsted cloth, which is typically worn in town, and it has the details of a town suit, such as a vent-less rear and straight pockets. But taupe’s marginally warm tone brings it into the country. Since taupe is between grey and brown, it makes the transition nicely. Formality-wise, a taupe suit also fits between grey and brown.

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Taupe can be considered a neutral colour, but it has a slight warmth that is most flattering on people with a warm complexion. Sean Connery has a cool complexion and looks better in cooler greys than he does in a warmer taupe. However, Connery looks much better in taupe than he does in warmer and richer country browns. Taupe’s warmth reflects the country’s surroundings but is neutral enough to still look good on someone with a cool complexion. It is therefore an excellent compromise in the country for someone with a cool complexion. Likewise, it can also be a good compromise in the city for someone with a warm complexion because it is neutral enough to fit in amongst the greys of the city.

This suit is made in the same style as all of Connery’s other suits in Marnie, and the cuts of both the jacket and the trousers suggests an English tailor. The jacket is cut with a full chest and a gently suppressed waist. The shoulders are on the natural shoulder line with more padding than his suits in the Bond films have, and the shoulders have roped sleeveheads. The jacket buttons three with the lapels gently rolled over the top button, and it is detailed with flap pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent. Connery briefly rides a horse in this suit, and the lack of vent does not make the task impossible. A vent, however, would likely have made Connery more comfortable on the horse.

Connery is bent forward, causing rumples at the waist

Connery is bent forward, causing rumples at the waist

The suit’s trousers have double forward pleats, a tapered leg with turn-ups, an extended waistband closure and button side tabs to adjust the waist. Instead of the tabs extending forward as they ordinarily do (like on Connery’s Bond suit trousers), these tabs extend rearward.

The cream shirt has a spread collar, front placket and single-button rounded barrel cuffs. The shirts resemble Frank Foster’s shirts, with a familiar collar shape and a placket stitched close to the center. Connery’s narrow tie is solid dark brown in a shiny satin weave, and it is tied in a windsor knot. The tie is held to his placket with a tie bar at the height of the jacket’s top button so it is just barely seen when the jacket is closed at the middle button. Connery’s shoes are medium brown derbys with an elongated and slightly squared toe. The shoes likely have double leather soles for extra durability in the country.

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James Bond and the Gauntlet (Turnback) Cuff

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Gauntlet Cuffs on Sean Connery’s dinner jacket in Dr. No

Before we are introduced to James Bond’s face in Dr. No, we first see his dinner jacket’s satin silk gauntlet cuffs. The gauntlet cuff, also known as a turnback cuff, is a turned back cuff at the end of the sleeve that extends approximately to the first button. It’s a subtle Edwardian detail that saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. The cuff is mostly decorative, but it can add unique character to one’s dinner jacket, suit jacket, odd jacket or overcoat.

There’s almost no restriction on what type of jacket or coat can have a gauntlet cuff. Some say it’s a sporty detail and should only be worn on sports coats and sporty suits. These people may prefer them on heavier cloths like tweeds and flannels because a heavier cloth gives the cuff more relief from the sleeve. Others only favour them on dinner jackets because the dinner jacket descended from the cuff-adorned smoking jacket or they may think the gauntlet cuff is too flashy to be on anything else. A gauntlet cuff can be appropriate on almost any jacket or coat, whether it’s light or heavy, whether it’s formal or informal, or whether it’s single-breasted or double-breasted. Tailcoats and frock coats historically have taken gauntlet cuffs, but the cuffs on those were made in a different style from the cuffs that Bond wears.

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Gauntlet Cuffs on Daniel Craig’s’s dinner jacket in Quantum of Solace

James Bond creator Ian Fleming was a fan of gauntlet cuffs and often wore them on his jackets, from double-breasted suit jackets to country tweed jackets. He dressed a number of his characters in his James Bond stories in suit jackets with gauntlet cuffs, including Sir Hugo Drax in Moonraker, Wing Commander Rattray in “From a View to a Kill” and Dr. Fanshawe in “The Property of a Lady”, for whose dress he describes as “neo-Edwardian fashion”. Fleming uses the terms “turnback cuffs”, “turned-back cuffs” and “turned-up cuffs”, respectively.  Fleming also specified “two new suits with cuffs” for James Bond to wear disguised as Sir Hillary Bray in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Cuffs in this case still likely mean gauntlet cuffs, since a British person would probably not refer to trouser turn-ups as “cuffs” like an American would. Fleming never specified gauntlet cuffs on Bond’s own clothes, and the literary Bond would probably not have worn gauntlet cuffs considering the minimalist tendencies Fleming gave him.

In the films, James Bond has mostly worn gauntlet cuffs on his dinner jackets. Sean Connery’s midnight blue Anthony Sinclair dinner jacket in Dr. No and his similar dinner jacket in From Russia with Love have midnight blue satin silk gauntlet cuffs with four buttons. Roger Moore wears an off-white silk dinner jacket made by Cyril Castle with single-button self gauntlet cuffs in The Man with the Golden Gun. Daniel Craig brought back the gauntlet cuff on his Tom Ford midnight blue dinner jacket in Quantum of Solace, and this time the cuffs are are half gauntlet cuffs (more on this below) in black satin silk with five buttons. Though this dinner jacket was an homage to the original Dr. No dinner jacket, Tom Ford is a fan of gauntlet cuffs and has them on many of the dinner jackets in his line. Bond’s only piece with gauntlet cuffs that isn’t a dinner jacket is the Roger Moore’s double-breasted chesterfield in Live and Let Die, also made by Cyril Castle. The cuffs on the chesterfield fasten with one button. David Niven wears gauntlet cuffs as Sir James Bond in the 1967 Casino Royale film, for which his clothes were made by Ian Fleming’s tailor Benson, Perry & Whitley.

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Gauntlet Cuffs on Roger Moore’s dinner jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun

Cyril Castle made many jackets for Roger Moore with gauntlet cuffs before he was Bond, as Castle was Moore’s tailor for The Saint and The Persuaders television series. Most of Moore’s suit jackets and sports coats in the colour series of The Saint have gauntlet cuffs with a single button whilst the dinner jackets usually have gauntlet cuffs with three buttons. In The Persuaders, Roger Moore wears a striped double-breasted blazer with single-button gauntlet cuffs.

There are a number of different styles of gauntlet cuffs, including some that the buttons go through. Gauntlet cuffs are typically a separate piece laid on to the end of an ordinary sleeve, which is obvious in the case of silk cuffs on a dinner jacket. When in the same cloth as the rest of the jacket, they are still typically made from a separate piece and not just folded back. It’s not impossible to have a cuff that is folded back, but if there’s a pattern it will not match. There are other types of cuffs on a jacket or coat, but James Bond only wears the kind that are laid on separately. Gauntlet cuffs work best on narrow sleeves, whereas on wide sleeves they may look or feel too heavy.

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Gauntlet Cuffs on Roger Moore’s double-breasted chesterfield coat in Live and Let Die

All of Bond’s gauntlet cuffs have an elegant curved shape—they all curve out of the way of the first cuff button—but there are slight differences in the way the cuffs are styled. Connery’s cuffs starts at the corners of the cuff’s opening and look the most integrated with the sleeve of all of Bond’s cuff designs. Moore’s cuffs start in from the corner to line up with the center of the button, so the corner of the sleeve opening can be tucked under the opposite end of the gauntlet cuff (Moore leaves the corner of the sleeve untucked). These cuffs, however, look less integrated with the sleeve than Connery’s do. Craig’s cuffs are only half gauntlet cuffs, in which the cuffs wrap around only the outside of the arm. They end at and are sewn into the seam at the front of the arm. The inside of the arm isn’t seen much, but this kind of cuff seems like a shortcut when compared to a full gauntlet cuff.

Comparing the cuffs: Anthony Sinclair, left; Cyril Castle, middle; Tom Ford, right

Comparing the cuffs: Anthony Sinclair, left; Cyril Castle, middle; Tom Ford, right

Though gauntlet cuffs are mostly decorative, they have one practical purpose: they protect the end of the sleeve. When worn out, the gauntlet cuff can be removed to reveal an unworn sleeve edge under the cuff. When made in contrasting silk on a dinner jacket, the cuff can be replaced. Half gauntlet cuffs, however, do not protect the full edge of the sleeve and are even more decorative than the full gauntlet cuff. All this said, the protective advantage to gauntlet cuffs is only beneficial on overcoats. The ends of the sleeves on dinner jackets, suit jackets and sports coats should not wear out because one’s shirt sleeves should be a little longer than one’s jacket sleeves to protect the jacket sleeves.

The Saint: A Blue Tweed Jacket

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For the first color series production of The Saint, Roger Moore takes full advantage of the color and wears a steel blue tweed sports coat made by his usual tailor Cyril Castle. Moore first wears this jacket in the fifth series episode “The Man Who Liked Lions” and later during the fifth series in “The Persistent Patriots” and “The Fast Women”. He wears it in two sixth series episodes, “The Fiction Makers” and “The House on Dragon’s Rock” that were actually part of the fifth series production. It is worn the most in “The House on Dragon’s Rock”, and the outfit Moore wears with it is what is featured in this article. The episode first aired on 24 November 1968.

Moore’s tweed is woven in a twill weave with a blue ground and has white flecks. It looks similar to a donegal tweed, but donegal is woven in a plain weave rather than a twill. Blue tweeds are somewhat unorthodox, being a country cloth in a city colour. Tweeds are traditionally in earthy colours—the brown and green families—or in neutral greys. Because a blue tweed jacket is an anomaly, a blue tweed jacket must be worn carefully. In the country, it should be avoided in autumn when browns completely dominate nature. In the country in winter it can fit in with the snow so long as the blue is muted. In spring, however, any blue can look good anywhere. Though tweeds aren’t traditionally worn in the city, a blue tweed jacket is a solid choice for casual wear amongst the concrete and steel.

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This jacket is Moore’s only jacket with two buttons in the entire run of The Saint, apart from an unfortunate ivory dinner jacket with two buttons that he wears in the early episodes of the series. Compared to his typical button three jackets from The Saint, this button two jacket makes Moore look less top-heavy and more balanced. The jacket is cut with a swelled chest and a closely nipped waist for an athletic look. The shoulders are lightly padded with roped sleeveheads, but the shoulders look more built-up than they are due to the heavy tweed. The jacket is detailed with double vents, single-button gauntlet (turnback) cuffs and straight flap pockets with a ticket pocket. The jacket has swelled edges on the lapels, the collar, the front edge, the pocket welt and flaps and the gauntlet cuffs. The jacket’s buttons are black horn, though brown horn would have been a more fitting choice due to the rustic look and warm tones Moore wears with the jacket.

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A close look at both sides of the jacket’s gauntlet cuffs—or turn back cuffs—from “The House on Dragon’s Rock”. The gauntlet cuff is a separate piece attached to the cuff.

In “The House on Dragon’s Rock”, Moore wears this jacket with medium grey flannel trousers that have a darted front, frogmouth pockets and straight legs. In some other episodes he wears tan twill trousers with this jacket, and almost any neutral trousers can pair well with a steel blue jacket. All shades of grey can work, from a light ash to a deep charcoal. Though black trousers won’t clash with this jacket, they will make the blue pop in a bold way, whilst charcoal trousers will give a similar look that is softer and more elegant. Anything in the brown family can work, from a light beige to a dark chocolate. Though cream and white trousers wouldn’t necessarily go with a cool-weather tweed jacket, they would be perfect with a steel blue linen or silk jacket in warm weather. Olive trousers, though often considered neutral, don’t work so well with a blue jacket. As triadic colours, blue and olive compete with each other when there are large amounts of both colours.

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Moore’s ecru shirt has a moderate spread collar, plain front and double cuffs. The narrow tie has wide brick red and grey stripes separated by narrow black stripes in the classic British direction, and it is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Moore’s shoes are dark brown short chelsea boots.

Jim Fanning: Navy Worsted Flannel Suit and Bow Tie

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Douglas Wilmer, who played Jim Fanning in Octopussy, died Thursday at the age of 96. Wilmer was best known for playing Sherlock Holmes in the 1965 television series, but he made a lasting impression to James Bond fans in his brief role alongside Roger Moore in Octopussy. Wilmer also appeared with Roger Moore in an episode of The Saint titled “The Rough Diamonds” and filmed a scene for—but was cut from—Sean Connery’s film Woman of Straw.

Wilmer’s character Fanning in Octopussy is an art expert employed by MI6 who is excited about the auction he attends with Bond, but he’s quickly frustrated by Bond’s antics. His old-fashioned and relaxed outfit is stylish and detail-focused, and it perfectly suits the character.

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Fanning’s light navy lightweight worsted flannel suit is made in a soft drape cut that suggests an Anderson & Shepard inspiration. It’s certainly a bespoke suit, and it’s likely Douglas Wilmer’s own suit from his personal tailor. It’s unlikely the film would budget for a bespoke suit for such a minor character. The suit has a worn-in look, which would be appropriate for an older gentleman who has likely had this suit for two decades.

This suit jacket’s drape cut is characterized by soft and slightly extended shoulders with light wadding and by a full chest with vertical folds at the side. The waist is suppressed, but how much so cannot be determined from an unbuttoned jacket. The jacket’s soft construction allows the narrow fishmouth lapels to roll gently over the top of the jacket’s three buttons, but the actual lapels start at the top button. The fishmouth shape of the lapels suggests that this jacket is likely not from Anderson & Sheppard, despite the rest of it resembling their style. Still, Anderson & Sheppard could be a possibility. The jacket is detailed with straight flap pockets and two buttons spaced apart on the cuffs, and there is no vent in the rear.

The details of the suit trousers cannot be seen clearly, but the trousers likely have double forward pleats and are worn with braces. They have a medium-long rise to the waist.

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Fanning’s light grey and white narrow-striped shirt follows the traditional English design. Whilst solid grey shirts can look very dull and bland, the fine stripes on this shirt give it a livelier appearance. The collar is a wide spread with a little tie space and stitched a 1/4-inch from the edge. The front has a narrow placket identical to Turnbull & Asser’s and is stitched 3/8-inch from the edge. The cuffs are double cuffs.

The bow tie is navy with a woven pattern of large tics, each made up of a green tic, a yellow tic and a red tic. Unlike James Bond’s perfectly tied black bow ties, Fanning’s bow tie is left askew. The back and front don’t perfectly line up, giving the bow tie some character. He accessorises his suit with a white linen handkerchief stuffed into his breast pocket with the corners sticking up. Reading glasses hang from Fanning’s neck on a thin red lanyard whilst a magnifying glass hangs from a thicker black lanyard.

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M: The Blue Chalk Stripe Suit in Spectre

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Timothy Everest tailored a slightly more modern wardrobe for Ralph Fiennes to wear as M in Spectre than he did for him in Skyfall. The most modern of these suits is the only single-breasted suit fully seen in the film: a two-piece navy worsted flannel with an electric blue chalk stripe. Since a blue chalk stripe doesn’t have as much contrast with navy as a white stripe would, the “electric” description is a little lost. Fiennes wears a similar three-piece suit in Skyfall, Sean Connery wears a navy suit with a blue chalk stripe in Diamonds Are Forever and Daniel Craig wears a navy suit with a blue stripe in Quantum of Solace.

M’s suit jacket is a button two and has a classic English cut with straight shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a full chest, nipped waist and medium-width lapels. The jacket is detailed with slanted pockets, a ticket pocket, double vents and four buttons on the cuffs. The edges are finished with subtle pick stitching, and the buttons are dark horn with a four-hole domed centre.

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The suit trousers have a plain front, slanted side pockets and medium-width tapered legs with turn-ups. The waistband has a three-inch square tab extension with a hidden clasp closure and slide-buckle side adjusters. The rear has two tabs for the braces to attach to, which raises the back of the braces like a fishtail back would to make the braces more comfortable. M reveals the black leather tabs of his braces when he pushes the jacket open by placing his hands in his pockets. Opening the jacket also reveals the trousers’ traditional rise to the waist.

Spectre has proven to be the James Bond film of short trousers. Bond’s suit trousers are noticeably short, and so are M’s. M’s trousers just barely touch his shoes, though there is a slight break in front. The trousers overall are not hanging cleanly, and this is likely a result of the braces not sitting properly over Fiennes’ shoulders or wearing the trousers higher than they were meant to be. If a gentleman is going to wear his trousers too short, the trousers should at least have a narrow leg like Bond’s trousers have. M’s trousers don’t have wide legs by any means, but they are wide enough to flap around when too short. Braces typically ensure that the trousers always hang from the proper height, but when the braces aren’t adjusted properly we might see this.

With this suit, M wears a sky blue shirt with a spread collar, plain front and double-cuffs. The tie is a subdued neat pattern of navy squares on navy. Each square has a small white dot in its centre. His shoes are black cap-toe oxfords, the standard shoe for a city suit.

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M’s outfit is traditional but is neither old fashioned nor outdated. Foregoing the braces and cutting the suit just slightly closer to the body would make it completely appropriate for Bond to wear. M’s suit is still quite traditional compared to the trendier looks Timothy Everest often tailors. It’s rather a shame M keeps the jacket open the entire scene, so we are deprived of seeing the beauty of the bespoke cut in all its glory.