The Saint: Pleated Back Sports Coat

In the 5th series of The Saint, Roger Moore wears a unique sports coat with a pleated back, tailored by Cyril Castle. This outfit in particular is seen in the episode “The Convenient Monster.” The fabric is a grey and cream tweed herringbone. The button three sports coat has natural shoulders and a crooked cut, which puts more fabric to the front of the coat in front of the neck point showing less shirt and raising the collar. Though Moore usually wears button-three suit jackets and sports coats in The Saint, the buttons on this jacket are spaced farther apart than on most of Moore’s jackets. Moore buttons the top two buttons, which serves to keep him warm outdoors in cool, damp Scotland. Ordinarily, Moore only buttons the middle button on his button-three jackets. A heavy tweed jacket is always best with a button three or button four front that buttons to the top because they were originally designed to be worn outdoors in cool, damp weather or indoors in old, drafty homes.

Notice the pleats above and below the belt

The back of the sports coat has a belt and two pleats above and below the waist on each side, with no vents. The jacket is detailed with swelled edges, single-button cuffs and four flapped pockets. The two hip pockets are slanted down and the two breast pockets are slanted up. The flaps are narrow to match the narrow lapels. The double, flapped breast pockets and belted and pleated back place this coat in the sporting tradition, though the lack of a vent means this coat is not meant for riding.

Tan Cavalry Twill

Moore’s trousers are tan cavalry twill, which is a heavy fabric characterized by double twill wales. The ecru shirt has a spread collar and double cuffs. Moore wears an olive satin tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot. Moore wears black socks and black slip-on shoes with elastic gussets, though black is at odds with the rest of the outfit where earth tones dominate. But black shoes are neutral and can be worn with anything, despite them not being the most stylish option. More rugged shoes would also be more appropriate with this outdoor county outfit.

Royal Navy Greatcoat

In The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond wears a naval greatcoat over his naval uniform. The full-length greatcoat has a double-breasted front that buttons to the top with twelve shanked metal buttons, and Bond leaves the top buttons open. Shoulder straps hold Bond’s Commander rank insignia. The deep navy coat is most likely made of wool melton. It’s a heavy coat that keeps out the wind on the seas and keeps warm everywhere. Bond also wears a Royal Navy peaked cap with a white cover, a back band and a black peak with a row of oak leaves.

The naval uniform Bond wears underneath can be seen here.

Alpine Skiing

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service puts Bond on skis for the first time. George Lazenby was not allowed to be on skis for insurance reasons, and all the skiing was done by Luki Leitner or stunt double Vic Armstrong. This film also started the series’ relationship with skiier Willy Bogner and his line of clothing. Bond wears a sporty, tight-fitting blue ski suit with a white knit shirt with a short polo neck collar underneath. The ski jacket is mid-hip-length with a short stand-up collar and a zip front. The zip fastener has the famous Bogner “B” logo. The trousers are tight-fitting for wind-resistance. With the ski suit Bond wears black gloves, black ski boots and a navy blue knit hat. According to the book The Making of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Charles Helfenstein, Director Peter Hunt chose the blue ski suit because it was the same colour as the blue screen, and this would prevent the production from taking shortcuts by filming in the studio if problems arose. However, George Lazenby’s close-ups were most likely shot in the studio, perhaps using a different method.

The Naked Face

In 1984, Roger Moore starred in a film called The Naked Face, boasting a supporting cast of great actors such as Rod Steiger, Elliott Gould, Art Carney and David Hedison. Moore plays a psychiatrist named Dr. Judd Stevens, and he was dressed to look the part. The most obvious item that sets Dr. Stevens stevens apart from Bond is his glasses, though the jumper under the sports coat look is different too.

This entry will focus on the first sports coat Moore wears in the film, a light blue and beige barleycorn tweed two-button model. It’s probably not tailored by Moore’s tailor Douglas Hayward, but it still fits very well. The button stance isn’t as low as Hayward’s and the shoulders have a little padding, whilst Hayward’s have none. The shoulders are narrow and the overall cut is clean. It has flapped pockets, 4-button cuffs, light brown leather elbow patches and light brown horn buttons. The only concession to 80’s fashion is the vent-less rear, which is out of place on a sports coat.

Moore’s jumper and shirt draw colours from the sports coat. The light blue jumper has a v-neck collar and long sleeves. The ecru shirt is made by Moore’s usual shirtmaker, Frank Foster. It has a button-down collar and rounded 1-button cuffs that Moore was often wearing at the time. It has Foster’s placket front with his unique narrow stitching down the centre. As opposed to his usual flat front trousers, Moore wears dark grey trousers with forward pleats and plain bottoms. His socks are light grey and his shoes are brown slip-ons.

A Charcoal Flannel Suit Again in A View to a Kill

The charcoal flannel suit has made many appearances throughout the Bond series, sometimes as a two-piece suit and other times with a waistcoat, as Roger Moore wears his in A View to a Kill. This suit is made by Douglas Hayward with natural shoulders, a low button three front and a single vent in the rear. The single vent is an unusually sporty choice for a suit that Bond wears to the office, since his city suits since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service have all had the standard English double vents. The coat has flapped pockets and three-button cuffs. The waistcoat has six buttons and the trousers have a flat front, straight leg and plain bottoms. This suit is made of woolen flannel, whilst Moore’s flannel suits are more often worsted flannel. Woolen flannel is made of carded yarns and is typically heavier and warmer that worsted flannel. The weave is visible in worsted flannel but not in woolen flannel. Woolen flannel is the fuzziest of cloths, and it doesn’t have a very crisp look. The trousers don’t hold as sharp a crease, and they don’t hold the crease as long. In a three-piece suit, woolen flannel is especially warm, which can be necessary for cold days in London.

A View to a Kill Charcoal Flannel Suit

Bond’s shirt has a bengal stripe pattern in pink and white, with a contrasting white spread collar and contrasting white cuffs. The contrast collar was a symbol of power in the 1980s, though its origins are in the detachable collars and cuffs that are now relegated to daytime formal wear. The repp tie is bright scarlet, a colour that complements Roger Moore’s warm spring complexion very well. Bond’s shoes are Moore’s usual black slip-ons. Though he doesn’t wear it, Bond places a light brown trilby on the hat rack when he enters the office.

Green Uniform on the Other Side

In the beginning of Octopussy, Bond turns inside-out his brown tweed jacket to reveal an olive green army uniform underneath, and he sticks on a mustache to masquerade as Colonel Luis Toro. The coat is no longer a 3-button sports coat with a cutaway front but a 4-button coat with a closed front and a shirt collar and shirt cuffs. There are four patch pockets with button-down flaps; the top two pockets have box pleats and the bottom two have bellows. Shoulder straps hold rank stars, a belt tightens the waist and the back has a single vent. The buttons are black horn.

Bond’s belted, flat-front uniform trousers with plain bottoms match the suit. His beige shirt made by Frank Foster mirrors the jacket with shoulder straps and box-pleated patch pockets with angled bottom corners and button-down flaps. The collar is a moderate spread and the cuffs have a single button. The shirt has no placket, and the buttons are brown. Bond ties the black repp tie in a four-in-hand knot. On his head Bond wears a stiff olive cap with a gold laurel decoration across the peak, and on his feet he wears dark brown boots with zip sides.

The Frank Foster shirt was auctioned at Prop Store on 16 October 2014 for £1,100.

 

Brown Tweed on One Side

Octopussy opens with Bond in a brown tweed 3-button sports coat tailored by Douglas Hayward with natural shoulders and a low button stance. It has slanted pockets with a ticket pocket and double vents in the back. We are lead to believe this coat is reversible, and when Bond removes the coat and turns it inside out we see the green army fabric and patch pockets on the other side.

Underneath the jacket Bond wears a yellow poloneck, or a dickey, if you will, which is easily removable. It’s not a full jumper and only fills the jacket opening. Bond’s trousers are olive green twill, matching the reverse side of his coat, with a plain front and plain hems. He wears the trousers with a dark brown belt that has a brass buckle and matches his dark brown boots. Bond’s flat cap is brown tweed matching the sports coat, but it’s also reversible to match the uniform. Later in week I will write more about the military uniform that Bond hides underneath the sports coat.

The reverse side is shown, though the shape isn’t consistent with the uniform seen when Moore puts it on.

Sir James Bond: Edwardian Tweed

The 1967 Casino Royale spoof features many James Bonds, though the original Bond (know knighted) is played by David Niven. Niven wears a sports suit tailored by Benson, Perry & Whitley, of 9 Cork Street, London, who was also Ian Fleming’s tailor. The overall style has an Edwardian button four front, which came back into high fashion for a time during the 1960s. Some people in the fashion industry, such as Hardy Amies, thought the old style came back to stay, and in turn would inspire a button five suit to become popular. But suits ultimately went in the opposite direction, with the button two model prevailing. For a time in the 1960s button one suits were also popular, as evidenced by other spies such as John Steed and Maxwell Smart (who also wore button four suits).

David Niven’s suit is made from an olive and brown Glen Urquhart check tweed with a red overcheck and trimmed with light brown leather elbow patches and shoulder patches for shooting. Apart from the button four front (of which Niven buttons the top 3), this suit also has the Edwardian touch of gauntlet (turnback) cuffs, which fasten with 2 buttons. Other details include beige horn buttons and hacking pockets with a ticket pocket. What brings the suit coat out of the Edwardian era into the 1960s is the fashionably shorter length.

Under the suit Niven wears a cream shirt with double cuffs and a colourful silk neckerchief. Niven’s braces are white with a bird print and have white braided ends. Removing his braces causes his trousers to drop, revealing his white boxer shorts. Outside the suit he wears a navy cape with a green collar and a forest green alpine hat with a rope band and feather.

The coat from this suit, though without the shoulder patches, was sold at Bonhams on 6 March 2007 for £240.