Roger Moore is well known for his casual safari clothing. I’ll never understand why some people insist on comparing these clothes to leisure suits when they are rooted in traditional safari clothes. Moore’s sage green cotton safari camp shirt in The Man with the Golden Gun is appropriate for the hot weather in Thailand. It has a four-button front with a camp collar, a belted back and long side vents. It has traditional safari jacket features such as epaulette straps and box-pleat patch pockets with flaps. The buttons are pearlescent green. Moore wears the sleeves rolled up to just below the elbow. This piece was made by Hong Kong tailor Jimmy Chen, per an auction listing at Prop Store.
The beige trousers have a flat front with a slightly flared leg. The material may be tropical wool, linen, silk, or some combination of the three. Bond’s ribbed socks match the trousers. His shoes are brown low-vamp, tassel slip-ons.
The safari shirt was auctioned at Prop Store on 16 October 2014 for £4,750.
Chantilly in northern France isn’t the most appropriate place for an ivory dinner jacket, even in summertime. The untraditional setting is accompanied by two untraditional elements of James Bond’s ivory dinner jacket, made by Douglas Hayward. The most noticeable of these elements is the notch lapels, as opposed to the more traditional shawl collar or peak lapels on a dinner jacket. The lapels here differ in shape from Douglas Hayward’s signature notch lapels, which are cut straight across the top. The lapels have a concave curves along the top and a steeper gorge. The other untraditional part of this dinner jacket is beige horn buttons, as opposed to ordinary mother of pearl buttons or cloth-covered buttons. But since this dinner jacket is made of linen, the horn buttons and notch lapels make it possibly for this dinner jacket to double as a sports coat. Otherwise, this is primarily an ivory dinner jacket, with its button one front and jetted pockets. It also has four-button cuffs—as opposed to the usual three buttons that Douglas Hayward uses—and double vents. The shoulders are soft on the natural shoulder line and have roped sleeveheads. The cut is slightly draped with a nipped waist. The extra drape on this jacket that usually isn’t present on Hayward jackets is probably because linen doesn’t have as much give as wool has and thus needs extra room for movement.
The Douglas Hayward straight-leg trousers are black with a satin stripe down each leg, and the black bow tie is in matching satin silk. Bond’s white dress shirt made by Frank Foster has a spread collar, double cuffs, a pleated front and mother of pearl buttons. Bond also briefly wears a pair of round translucent brown tortoise shell sunglasses with a keyhole, which have the ability to see through tinted glass). Does anyone know the origin of these sunglasses?
Though Bond is undercover as James St. John Smythe, this is certainly an outfit equally as appropriate for the Bond character.
From time to time I’ll be writing about the clothing worn by James Bond villains. Their clothing always says a lot about their character and always contrasts Bond’s clothing. Here we look at Red Grant’s (Robert Shaw) suit in his final scenes in From Russia With Love. Whilst Bond wears a modern lightweight, button two suit, Grant wears a traditional, heavier button three suit. The cloth is a heavy wool in grey and brown stripes with white pinstripes and a brown windowpane pattern.
Other details on the suit jacket include flapped pockets, 1-button cuffs and a single vent. The trousers are the same style as Bond’s, with double forward pleats and turn-ups. The cream shirt has a moderate spread collar, English-style placket and double cuffs. Grant’s cufflinks are square with a silver case and a purple stone center. His tie is solid black, knotted in a four-in-hand knot, and he wears a folded white pocket square just like Bond wears. He wears black socks and black plain-toe shoes with elastic side gussets, which is like a shoe-height chelsea boot. The shoes are actually very similar to what Bond wears in Goldfinger.
Grant’s side-gusseted slip-ons next to Bond’s three-eyelet derbies
Grant also wears a dark grey C-crown fedora, taken from Captain Nash after he kills him. Bond later takes the hat for himself after he kills Grant.
“James Bond glanced over his shoulder at them and then got down off his stool and took off his raincoat and hat and put them on top of his case and climbed back.” (Chapter 10)
“He wore a soft-looking white silk shirt with a thin black knitted tie that hung down loosely without a pin, and his single-breasted suit was made of some dark blue lightweight material that may have been alpaca.” (Chapter 10)
The Spy Who Loved Me is not written from Bond’s perspective, nor is Bond the main character in the novel. Here Fleming suggests that Bond may have worn a suit made of alpaca fibres, a material not commonly used for suits. Most often alpaca fibres are made into sweaters. Whilst it isn’t used much for suiting, alpaca makes up well in a sports coat.
Floral patterns typically aren’t Bond’s style, but this light blue on blue floral “Hawaiian” shirt in linen seems appropriate in Cuba. The shirt has half sleeves and is cut with a straight hem and side vents. It has a camp collar, French front, rear side pleats and a rounded breast pocket. Bond leaves the top four buttons of his shirt open to expose his white vest underneath.
Bond wears navy linen trousers and brown suede chukka boots with leather soles. The sunglasses are Persol PE2672-S in a tortoise plastic frame with dark brown crystal lenses, made especially for Die Another Day.
Black moccasins in Moonraker
Throughout the 1970s, Roger Moore often wore horsebit moccasins. The style was first created by Gucci in the 1960s and reached its highest popularity in the 1980s. Moore’s examples are most likely from Gucci. Whilst he did wear shoes by Ferragamo, it is unknown if any of his bit moccasins came from there. But by the 1980s Moore had given up horsebits for more conservative slip-ons. Moore wears his horsebit moccasins in black, dark brown, tan and tobacco suede with his suits and sports coats. His shoes have leather soles and a very tall heel.
Tobacco suede moccasins in The Spy Who Loved Me
Ian Fleming’s Bond was known for wearing slip-ons with just about anything, and that aspect carried over to Roger Moore’s Bond. However, Fleming and his James Bond character would likely dismiss the shiny horsebit as too flashy and vulgar if they ever saw such a shoe.
Tan moccasins in The Spy Who Loved Me
Mohair tonic makes an excellent suit for the warm weather of Bolivia (actually Panama) because of the cool-wearing properties of mohair. The fabric is a pinpoint weave—a term usually used for shirts—which is a 2×1 basket weave, in light brown and dark brown that results in a subtle nailhead pattern.
This Tom Ford suit has a button three jacket with the lapels rolled down to the middle button. It has a clean chest with a suppressed waist and pagoda shoulders with roped sleeveheads. The jacket is detailed with double vents, five buttons on the cuff—worn with the last button open—and flapped pockets with a ticket pocket. The flat front trousers have a straight, but narrow, cut and turn-ups. Instead of belt loops the trousers have slide-buckle side-adjusters.
James Bond’s shirt and tie are also made by Tom Ford. The shirt is white poplin with a spread collar and double cuffs. It is fitted through the body with two darts at the back. The tie is made up of small squares in dark brown and tan, and it is tied in a Windsor knot. Bond’s shoes are black punched-cap-toe oxfords, the Philip model from Church’s. Though brown shoes usually match better with brown suits, black suits work here due to the dark and muted tone of this brown.
Cotton is not used much in tailored clothing because it is not a very strong fibre compared to wool, linen or silk. And because it isn’t going to last as long, cotton is typically not worth the tailor’s effort and expense of making a structured suit or sports coat from it. Nevertheless, a cotton jacket is what Roger Moore wears here and it keeps him cool in Cairo.
The jacket is a structured sports coat, likely made by Angelo Roma, tailored with a canvassed front, padded straight shoulders and roped sleeveheads. The wide lapels are cut with a slight fishmouth notch. The coat has swelled edges all over to reinforce the garment. Shoulder epaulette straps bring this into safari jacket territory, though it’s more of a sports coat with safari jacket features, like a belted back with a deep single vent, belted sleeves, and patch hip pockets with flaps. The set-in breast pocket also has a flap. The brown buttons are not horn, but probably made from the Tagua nut which comes from the seed of a tropical palm and is similar to ivory. It’s a commonly used material for buttons and goes especially well with the safari jacket look.
The stone-coloured trousers have a flat front, flared leg, lapped side seams and no belt. Bond’s blue chambray cotton shirt made by Frank Foster has a long point collar and tab cuffs. The tie has stripes in the American right-shoulder-to-left-hip direction in light blue, dark blue, white and red. It is tied with a double-four-in-hand knot, recognizable by it’s long shape. Bond’ socks are beige. The shoes are tobacco suede horse-bit moccasins with a tall heel, probably made by Gucci. Read more about the horse-bit moccasins here.
James Sherwood’s book Bespoke: The Men’s Style of Savile Row attributes this suit to Douglas Hayward, who made Roger Moore’s suits for his three Bond films in the 1980s. Hayward, however, was not known for making such structured shoulders nor such flashy details. Sherwood even writes, “Doug would have been appalled if the suit got more attention than the man wearing it.” It’s hardly likely that Hayward made this outfit.