Arrival in Rio in a Cream Suit

Moonraker Cream SuitIn Moonraker, Bond wears a cream suit appropriate for his arrival in sunny Rio de Janeiro. The composition of the cloth is a mystery to me, but I suspect it could be partially polyester. It’s one of the few suits that Roger Moore wears that isn’t made of a luxurious cloth. The suit is most likely made by Moore’s usual tailor at the time, Angelo Roma. The jacket is a button one with mother of pearl buttons. It is cut with padded straight shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a clean chest and a suppressed waist. There are long double vents, slanted pockets and three buttons on the cuffs—as opposed to four buttons on Moore’s other suits. The three buttons on the cuffs may have been done so there is an odd number of buttons on both the front and the cuffs. Likewise, the usual button two jackets that Angelo makes have an even four buttons on the cuffs. The suit trousers have a flat front and a wide leg with a slight flare.

Moonraker Cream SuitMoore wears a Frank Foster shirt in light brown, which appears to have a white hairline stripe, that complements Moore’s complexion very well. It has a long point collar, front placket and tab cuffs. This is the only time in the series that Moore wears a suit without a tie, but the casual nature of the suit allows for this. The is also the only time Moore wears a puffed pocket handkerchief, perhaps to make up for the absence of a tie. It’s the same colour as the shirt, and it looks to be the same exact cloth, so the one time Moore wears something in his breast pocket he does it poorly by wearing an exact match. The only time a pocket handkerchief should match anything exactly is if both the shirt and handkerchief are white. Moore’s shoes are dark brown horse bit slip-ons, probably from Ferragamo.

Moonraker Cream Suit

An supposed example of this suit was sold at Bonhams in Knightsbridge on 17 November 2005 for £9,600. The suit at auction was made by costumier Bermans and has two light brown buttons instead of one mother of pearl. It’s not the same suit with another button added, since the relationship to the waist button and pockets is different. But the Bermans suit at the auction is more or less a copy of Moore’s usual tailor at the time, Angelo Roma, with strong shoulders and roped sleeveheads with a close cut through the body.

Felix Leiter: Ivy League Style

Goldfinger Felix Leiter

The Americans’ traditional “Ivy League” style saw it’s peak in the 1950s and early 1960s and was popular amongst people from college students to older gentlemen to presidents. It’s only fitting that CIA agent Felix Leiter would dress this way. In Goldfinger, Cec Linder plays an older, less cool Leiter compared to Jack Lord’s Leiter, who is closer to an American Bond. Linder, who is actually Canadian, wears the classic American Brooks Brothers sack suit. This suit most resembles the Brooks Brothers model, though J. Press and Chipp are other makers who were famous for the sack suit. The most significant difference to the British lounge suit, and most suits sold anywhere today, is the lack of a front dart. That dart is the vertical seam down each side on the front that gives the waist shape in the front. Because of the lack of this seam the sack suit ends up fairly boxy, but a curved natural shoulder line humanises the suit’s boxy silhouette. The side darts and rear side seams still give the jacket a little shape, but that doesn’t translate to the front so much.

Goldfinger Felix LeiterFelix Leiter’s suit is light grey lightweight wool, either in sharkskin or in a very subtle Prince of Wales check with a subtle white windowpane The front of the jacket is a button 2 show 1—3 buttons total—since the lapel rolls to the middle button. The jacket has a single vent, flapped pockets and 2 buttons spaced apart on the sleeves. The trousers have a flat front and turn-ups, hemmed a bit short. Leiter wears a traditional American shirt, a light blue pinpoint oxford with a button-down collar and buttons cuffs. The American button-down collar has long points with the buttons placed higher than where the points would naturally lay so the collar rolls over. It’s a much more casual look than the English spread collar that meshes well with the more relaxed sack suit. The tie is the same that Connery wears later in the movie, a navy knitted tie. Leiter’s tie is lighter in colour and has a seam down the back that shows through on the front. Only a tiny bit of the shoes can be seen, but later in the film Leiter wears black oxfords. The shoes with this suit are probably the same style, but they may be burgundy instead. Linder also wears a cotton hat made of a blue and white seersucker. The hat has a short brim and two air vents on each side.

Goldfinger Felix Leiter

The colours Leiter wears may be the same as Bond’s, but the styles are an ocean apart.

The Infamous Terrycloth Playsuit

Goldfinger Playsuit

If a man wears something made of terrycloth it’s typically a robe. In honour of Sean Connery’s birthday, we’ll look at a more unusual piece of towel-wear, a light blue playsuit from Goldfinger. A playsuit is a jumpsuit with short legs, something typically worn by women. They’re actually quite popular in women’s fashions this summer, but they’re not made of terrycloth. Bond’s playsuit zips three-quarters up the chest and has a button and loop that can close the top, which can occasionally be found of camp collars like this playsuit has. It has a built-in belt around the waist with elastic around the back. There’s an open patch breast pocket and large patch pockets below the belt.

Goldfinger Playsuit

Underneath the playsuit Bond wears tight slate blue swimming trunks, detailed with lighter blue bands just below the top of the waist and just above the hem of each leg. His shoes are light blue canvas slip-ons.

Goldfinger Swimming Trunks

The Original Gun Barrel

Bob Simmons Gun Barrel front

Stuntman Bob Simmons was the first man to appear as Bond in the Bond films. Simmons appears in the famous gun barrel sequence opening in Dr. No, and the footage is reused in From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. Simmons appears through the gun barrel in black and white, but it’s not very easy to tell what he is wearing. The suit has a Savile Row silhouette with strong shoulders, a nipped waist and a flared skirt. It’s probably a button 3 jacket and there appears to be a single vent. The trousers have a narrow leg and are hemmed without a break.  The suit is dark, but not black, so it’s most likely charcoal or navy. Simmons wears a white pocket handkerchief and a darker than white shirt, which would most likely be light blue. Like Connery he wears a dark tie and black shoes. And most iconicity, he wears a trilby, which would continue in all gun barrel sequences through Diamonds Are Forever.

Bob Simmons Gun Barrel walking

Every other gun barrel sequence features an outfit from the film they were first used on. For Thunderball it’s the navy blazer and grey trousers. For On Her Majesty’s Secret Service it’s the navy herringbone suit. For Live and Let Die it’s the navy suit that’s barely seen under his chesterfield coat in New York. For The Spy Who Loved Me it’s the double-breasted dinner suit, and from then on Bond only does the gun barrel sequence in black tie. For The Living Daylights it’s the notch lapel dinner suit. For GoldenEye it’s the 3-piece dinner suit. And for Quantum of Solace Bond goes back to wearing a suit, but they also filmed one in his shawl-collar dinner suit.

Brown Linen

Connery Linen Shirt

In You Only Live Twice, Sean Connery wears an outfit of a linen sports shirt and linen trousers to be comfortable in Japan’s heat. His (darker) ecru shirt has a camp collar and a gently curved hem to be worn untucked. The front is plain with an open breast pocket, and the short sleeves have turned-up cuffs. There are 5 buttons down the front, and Connery leaves the top 2 buttons open. The shirt has a full cut for more comfort in Japan’s heat. Connery wears brown linen flat-front trousers with frogmouth pockets and brown leather sandals.

Connery Brown Linen

Compared to Q’s outfit of richer beige and tan tones, Connery wears greyer brown tones that better suit his cooler complexion. It doesn’t have to be Roger Moore in the 1970s for Bond to wear brown. In linen, especially, brown is a classic colour.

 

St James’s Street

Lock & Co Hatters

Around the corner from Pall Mall on St James’s Street in the London district of St James’s are two stores associated with the first Bond films. The first is Lock & Co. Hatters, where Sean Connery got his trilby in Dr. No. The closest hat they have to what Connery wore is the Sandown model, and no matter what colour it looks in the film they insist it was brown. The hat in the shop did not look to be the same brown as in Dr. No, but on-screen colours can be deceiving. Lock & Co. is known for it’s trilby hats, “coke” (bowler) hats and vintage, refurbished silk top hats, which are nobody is able to produce anymore. They also have a large selection of American-style fedoras and tweed hats and caps.

To find out more visit LockHatters.co.uk


John Lobb Ltd.

The other St James’s Street shop is John Lobb Ltd., a family-run bespoke shoemaker to royalty and is rumoured to have made Sean Connery’s shoes for the early Bond films. They do the work on the premises, and the shop is like a museum. Craftsmen work right in the front of the shop, using old-fashioned methods and working with vintage machines as well as their hands. They have separate people who each specialise in their own craft, whether it be last-making, lasting, stitching, dyeing, etc.

The wall to the right when you walk in is lined with countless unique examples of the shoes they produce, but they can make just about any style. Though most people would never consider spending so much money on bespoke shoes (their price is in line with the most expensive of bespoke suits), it’s a wonderful place to visit just to see one of the few makers left who do it the old way. John Lobb Ltd. is not to be confused with John Lobb Paris, which has been owned by Hermes since 1976.

You can see examples of John Lobb Ltd.’s work at JohnLobbLtd.co.uk

Douglas Hayward

Douglas Hayward Shop

Since 1968, Douglas Hayward has been at 95 Mount Street in Mayfair. The shop is at ground level and Hayward lived upstairs. Though Hayward himself passed away in 2008, cutters Ritchie Charlton and Campbell Carey continue the shop today. Though they originally came from Kilgour, they now cut their suits in Douglas Hayward’s style. Carey described the Hayward cut as “typically a West End London-looking jacket, a soft but natural-looking shoulder line, a square gorge—a signature look of Hayward.” The gorge is the seam where the collar meets the lapel, and Hayward’s jackets keep that line straight. Carey described the construction as “nothing too robust.” They use a softer canvas than Savile Row so the suit is less of a coat of armour. Hayward’s suits have more of a relaxed look overall.

The shop has its ready-to-wear clothes in front and the bespoke measuring and fitting is done in the back, pictured below. The shop has a modern feel but with many traditional touches. They also swapped Hayward’s upstairs flat for more basement workspace.

Douglas Hayward is most well known to James Bond fans as Roger Moore’s tailor in the 1980’s Bond films, and Moore is still a customer of the firm today. Though he doesn’t spend much time in England anymore, he stopped by Hayward around Christmas time to bespeak an overcoat. Moore’s measurements were written as 43 1/2″ chest, 36″ waist and 41 1/2″ seat. Those aren’t his measurements today, but likely his measurements during his Bond tenure. Michael Caine, one of Douglas Hayward’s most well-known customers as well as a close friend of the man, still comes in as well.

Roger Moore’s pattern for an overcoat. All patterns are kept folded up in envelopes.

Hayward has a ready-to-wear line that started two years ago featuring button 1, 2 and 3 jackets and blazers as well as double breasted models, all in classic Hayward style with a low button stance. The double-breasted suits have 4 buttons with 1 to button. The ready-to-wear shoulder has more structure than the bespoke suits and was described to me as “a cross between the Italian and Savile Row style.” They have Hayward’s classic “square gorge” and the front dart doesn’t continue through the body for an easy fit. Their line of shirts includes ones with cocktail cuffs, though their cocktail cuffs have sharp corners as opposed to the classic rounded corner. They have a good selection of classic ties, including grenadines.

A blazer from Hayward’s ready-to-wear collection

I was also told that Douglas Hayward was supposed to tailor suits for Sean Connery for the Bond films, but “they had a bit of a fallout.”

You can visit Hayward’s website at DouglasHayward.co.uk

Double-Breasted White Dinner Jacket

Roger Moore wears his first of three white dinner jackets in The Man with the Golden Gun. And this dinner jacket is very close to being white, though it’s still not quite there. And fitting for the Asian setting, this dinner jacket is made from a slubby but luxurious dupioni silk. The cut is Cyril Castle’s classic double-breasted 6 button with 2 to button and has a narrower wrap. The shoulders narrow and gently padded. The jacket has double vents and the pockets are slanted and jetted. The cuffs button 1 with a turnback detail and don’t have the link button feature that Roger Moore wears on his other suits in the film. The black trousers are flared with a darted front and a black satin stripe down each leg.

Instead of the usual white shirt, Moore wears a cream dress shirt by Frank Foster. It’s unclear whether he is wearing that colour shirt to make a fashion statement, or simply because it flatters his complexion better than a stark white. The voile shirt has a pleated front with standard mother of pearl buttons and 2-button cocktail cuffs. Moore wears a wide, black satin bow tie to match the wide lapels. Though the bow tie looks dated, wide lapels on a double-breasted jacket don’t so much since they are typically wider than single-breasted lapels anyway. Moore’s dress shoes are black patent slip-ons with a strap and clasp detail.