None of Roger Moore’s infamous safari suits are identical. The safari suit in Octopussy is one of the most classic, being in tan, and it doesn’t have the flared 1970′s trousers to date it. It’s now 1983, and Moore has continued to wear safari suits. And why not? It’s a classic piece of English clothing, and most appropriate for the safari that Bond finds himself being hunted in. Frank Foster said he made the shirt-jacket, and he said it’s made of worsted wool. High twist wool in a plain weave is very comfortable in warm weather, and that’s what this cloth appears to be. The lack of wrinkles in this safari suit also shows that it’s made of wool and not pure cotton or linen. Though cotton or linen would be more comfortable, wool is very durable and looks great on screen. Plus, the tan colour is great camouflage against the Monsoon Palace’s stone.
The shirt-jacket is tailored like a shirt, as a safari jacket should be. But the cut is more complex than a typical shirt. It has two front panels, two back panels and a western yoke across the shoulders with a point in the middle. The front panels have darts under the arms that extend forward to the middle of the hip pockets, and the side seams are pushed back and have deep vents. There are four buttons down the front, on a wide placket. The collar is a formal-shirt-type point collar, but larger and without a button. The front has four patch pockets with box pleats and pointed button-flaps. The sleeves end in shirt-style cuffs, fastening with a single button. Completing the safari shirt look are the essential shoulder straps. The trousers have a flat front and straight legs. Here in light brown are Moore’s usual—but inappropriate—slip-on shoes.
A close-up of the open-weave cloth and Seiko G757 digital watch
In The Man with the Golden Gun, Roger Moore wears a more adventurous wardrobe than he did in Live and Let Die. For one of the furthest suits from what Sean Connery had established as the classic Bond look, Moore wears a dark olive, double-breasted suit cut by Cyril Castle. The suit has very closely-spaced lighter pinstripes with wider-spaced red chalkstripes. The jacket has six buttons on the front with two to button, double vents, slightly slanted pockets with flaps, and flared link-button cuffs. The trousers have a darted front and flared leg.
The shirt is a white and gold bengal stripe in a twill weave, made by Frank Foster. The shirt has a spread collar, placket front and and two-button cocktail cuffs. The tie is light olive shantung silk, tied in a four-in-hand knot. Even though the outfit is in all earth tones, Moore wears black shoes. But because this suit is worn after dark, black shoes are appropriate, and they don’t clash when not in daylight.
Bond’s Rolex Submariner with a close-up of the striped suit and shirt cloths
As part of Live and Let Die promotions, Roger Moore’s photo was taken as Bond in a dinner jacket, yet this outfit didn’t make it to the film. Not wearing a dinner jacket in Live and Let Die was one of the many ways used to distinguish Moore from his predecessors. Cyril Castle made this black dinner jacket in the same six-button double-breasted with two to button style as the double-breasted suit Moore wears at the end of the film. It has softly-padded shoulders, slanted pockets with fancy braided jetting, satin silk peak lapels, and satin silk-covered buttons. The dinner jacket also has Cyril Castle’s flared, link-button cuffs, which are seen on all of the suits in Live and Let Die.
The shirt repeats George Lazenby’s now very dated style with a ruffled front. The lack of such flamboyant clothing that made it into Live and Let Die is more in character for Bond. The shirt is likely made by Turnbull & Asser, in a way to tie Moore’s clothing in with Bond’s already established shirtmaker. It has a spread collar, and its double cuffs have the buttonholes very close to the fold—something which Turnbull & Asser is known for. Moore wears a wide black bow tie and a white handkerchief puffed in his breast pocket.
Turnbull & Asser spread collar
The standard collar amongst the English shirtmakers is the spread collar, and it’s the collar Bond wears more often than not. If it’s wider than a point collar and narrower than a cutaway it’s safe to call it a spread collar. A moderate spread flatters almost everyone and is always a safe choice. They’re great with a suit and tie, with a dinner jacket and bow tie, or open, as long as the collar isn’t too wide.
Frank Foster moderate spread collar
Turnbull & Asser made a wider spread for Sean Connery, whilst Frank Foster typically made a rather moderate—but tall—spread for Roger Moore. Sulka made a smaller, moderate spread for Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye, and Turnbull & Asser made a similar spread for Tomorrow Never Dies. For The World Is Not Enough they made a wider spread, and Brioni continued with the wide spread for Die Another Day. Daniel Craig wore Brioni shirts with a more moderate spread in Casino Royale and a similar collar from Tom Ford in Quantum of Solace.
Apart from the obvious differences of length, height and spread width, there’s the matter of tie space. It’s the quarter-inch to half-inch—or more—space between the collar leaves where the collar meets at the neck. Bond’s spread collars almost all have tie space, with the exception of the Brioni spread collars and Roger Moore’s brown stripe, double-button-collar shirt in Live and Let Die. Even with a very wide spread, a little tie space will help the knot to stay in place. Without it the knot often slips down and reveals the collar band above it because the collar leaves will push down the knot. A collar band with tie space is usually angled so the band will not show above the knot. Tie space plays just as large a roll in how large a tie knot can be worn with a collar.
Brioni spread collar with no tie space
Also known as white tie, full evening dress is now worn primarily at state dinners, very fancy balls and a select few other occasions. For many occasions where it was once worn, black tie has now replaced it. Though James Bond never wears full evening dress, Roger Moore wears it in the 1962 episode of The Saint titled “The Charitable Countess.” The focus of full evening dress is the evening tailcoat. Bond has in fact worn a different type of tailcoat: a morning coat. Like the morning coat, the evening tailcoat has a waist seam and tails in the back. The evening tailcoat is either black or midnight blue, with black satin silk peaked lapels. Moore’s tailcoat, made by Cyril Castle, is cut with natural shoulders and roped sleeveheads, just as Moore’s lounge coats are. The front is double-breasted with three buttons down each side, but the front panels do not meet or fasten. Though not all tailcoats have breast pockets, Moore’s evening tailcoat has a welt breast pocket, adorned with a white linen handkerchief. There are four buttons on each sleeve, and all of the buttons on the tailcoat are in covered satin silk.
The trousers have a long rise, double forward pleats and a silk braid down the side of each leg. Because the trousers sit so high it’s necessary that they are held up with braces. Though we don’t see Moore with the tailcoat off, he is most likely wearing braces. The single-breasted waistcoat is made of white cotton marcella. It is low cut with three mother of pearl buttons and square-cut lapels, and it is most likely backless. The shirt’s front has a stiff marcella bib to match the waistcoat. The front of the shirt closes with two mother of pearl studs. The shirt has a stiff, detachable wing collar and single link cuffs (stiff, single-layer cuffs to wear with cuff links). The bow tie is also white cotton marcella to match the shirt and waistcoat. Moore wears the most traditional accessories with his evening wear: a black plush silk top hat and white kidskin gloves. However, he goes a step too far and carries a walking stick.
This is a perfect example of full dress. The only mistake is that in some scenes Moore is wearing the bow tie behind the collar points. The bow tie should always be in front of the collar points. More recently Roger Moore wears full evening dress in the 2011 television feature A Princess for Christmas, but it’s a most atrocious example of the style in every manner. It looks rather like a rental and fits very poorly. Full dress is very difficult to fit well when not bespoke, especially since the waistline of the tailcoat, the bottom of the waistcoat and the waist of the trousers all need to fit perfectly. The tailcoat’s waistline should mirror the waistline of the person wearing the tailcoat, though it can be adjusted to make one look taller or shorter. The waistcoat needs to be shorter so it does not show below the jacket’s waistline. And the trousers need to sit extra high on the waist so they are completely covered by the waistcoat. Cyril Castle fits all three parts perfectly for Moore.
See Black Tie Guide for more on full evening dress.
Sean Connery has both buttons on his dark grey suit fastened in Dr. No.
Sean Connery’s tailoring in his Bond films is often admired for its clean, simple lines and limited colour scheme. But wearing suits didn’t come naturally to Connery, and on three occasions he makes the mistake of buttoning the bottom button on his suit jackets. The first is in Dr. No, when wearing tailored clothing was still very new to him, and presumably director Terence Young did not catch the brief mistake. The second is when Bond enters his hotel room in Istanbul and suddenly his bottom button is fastened, even though it was when he entered the lift. The third time came in Diamonds Are Forever. On neither of Connery’s suit jackets should the bottom button ever be fastened.
Connery fastens the bottom button on his linen suit in Diamonds Are Forever.
It’s typically advised that only the top button on a button two jacket should be fastened. This is because the front is cut away below the top button and the lower button doesn’t meet up with the buttonhole. Thus, fastening the lower button causes the jacket to pull across the hips. It restricts movement and makes it difficult to sit. Also, it shortens the perceived leg length, rather than extending the leg to the waist. But some button two jackets are designed to have both buttons fastened.
On a paddock-cut button two jacket, both buttons are meant to fasten. The button stance is raised, usually placing the two buttons equidistant above and below the waist. Placing both buttons higher means that the bottom button can be fastened without restricting movement. The front on a paddock cut is only cutaway below the bottom button. President John F. Kennedy, British politician Anthony Eden and the Duke of Windsor are known for wearing this cut. In his later years, the Duke of Windsor only fastened the bottom button on his paddock-cut jackets for a longer lapel line. Roger Moore wears a couple paddock-cut suits with button-three jackets in The Persuaders, which adds a third button at the top.
Cyril Castle made Roger Moore’s paddock-cut suit in The Persuaders. It has a slanted, flapped breast pocket and flared link-button cuffs
In Dressing the Man, Alan Flusser defines drape as:
The manner in which a garment hangs from the shoulder or waist. For example, the English drape (or English lounge) is an intended style feature of men’s jackets or outercoats pioneered in the early 1920s by the Prince of Wales’s maverick tailor Frederick Scholte, inspired by the guards coat; it is characterized by fullness across the chest and over the shoulder blades to form flat vertical wrinkles for form, comfort, and the impression of muscularity. The draped silhouette dominated men’s tailored fashions throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
The classic drape cut has large, padded shoulders and a nipped waist, to emphasise and build upon a man’s V-shaped torso. Sean Connery’s Anthony Sinclair suit jackets were cut with a mild amount of drape, though his jackets do not have the built-up shoulders of the classic drape suit. Though Cyril Castle made some of Roger Moore’s suits in The Saint with a draped chest, the drape was mostly absent from his Bond suits. The extra chest fullness practically serves Bond, by not only offering extra ease in movement but also better concealing his PPK. Even though the chest is larger than usual, it doesn’t mean the suit is a size larger. Very few tailors still do a drape cut, and even Anderson & Sheppard who was once known for their drape now mostly cuts a trim, clean chest. Drape has a markedly old-fashioned look that isn’t in line with today’s trim fashions. Still, English tailors use drape in the most basic definition of the term: they allow the cloth to hang from—but also conform to—the body rather than cling to it.
A drape cut in The Saint
The Spy Who Loved Me has Bond wearing the most naval clothing of any film in the series. Not only does Bond wear a dress uniform and greatcoat, he also wears battle dress, a style that dates to World War II. The dark navy serge jacket is waist-length and buttons three down the front with notch lapels. The bottom of the jacket has an extended tab for a tighter fit at the waist. There is a patch breast pocket with button flap and box pleat on each side of the chest. The cuffs close around the wrist with one button. The jacket has epaulettes that mark the rank of commander. The buttons are shanked brass.
Underneath the jacket Bond wears a light navy polo neck shirt. The trousers match the jacket and have a long rise, darted front and straight leg. They are worn with a belt, which is hidden under the jacket. The shoes are black polished leather derbies.
A few examples of the pieces in this outfit sold across a few auctions at Bonham’s in Knightsbridge. The jacket sold for £9,600 on 16 November 2005 and another for £11,760 on 6 March 2007. A false front for the jacket to wear under a wetsuit was sold for £720 on 16 June 2009 after failing to sell at three previous auctions. A pair of trousers was sold for £384 on 16 June 2009. All of these pieces are made by Bermans & Nathans.