Striped Ties

The Royal Navy Regimental Tie

The Royal Navy Regimental Tie

Roger Moore’s James Bond is the only one who wears striped ties. Until Moore became Bond, all of James Bond’s ties were solid. The only exception is the tie Bond wears as Sir Hilary Bray, but since it is Sir Hilary’s own tie and part of a disguise it don’t count. Bond’s own first non-solid tie of the series in Live and Let Die is quite appropriate since it’s a Royal Navy regimental stripe. Striped ties often come with an affiliation, and Q’s Brigade of Guards tie in From Russia With Love is another example of that. Regiments, colleges, universities, clubs and more have their own colours and stripe patterns, and only people who are affiliated with such ties should wear them. Regimental-striped ties are typically woven in a repp weave, and the stripes are woven, not printed.

Moore-Double-Breasted-Blazer-4In almost all British striped ties the stripes go up from the wearer’s right to left. The ascending stripes help draw the eye upward, and they harmonise with the left-over-right buttoning of men’s clothing. American striped ties take British patterns and change the direction, descending from the wearer’s right to left. When the stripe direction is changed the tie’s affiliation is lost and anyone can rightfully wear it.

Not all stripes have an affiliation. Moore’s brown-striped tie in The Spy Who Loved Me likely does not have an affiliation. The Italian striped ties in Moonraker, whilst following the American direction, are printed silk and have little in common with the regimental striped ties. Moore also wears striped ties in The Man with the Golden Gun (with his navy blazer, picture above) and in For Your Eyes Only (with his navy chalkstripe suit, pictured below). These ties may have an affiliation, but I am unaware of what they may be. If anyone knows what those ties represent, please comment below.

Moore-Navy-Chalkstripe-Suit

All Blue

FRWL-Navy-Suit

No, I’m not talking about the Miles Davis tune “All Blues.” Usually when Sean Connery wears a blue suit in the Bond films, everything else he wears is blue. Well, everything but the black shoes and white pocket handkerchief. The first time we see the monochrome blue outfit is in M’s office in From Russia With Love (above). He wears a solid navy suit with a matching solid navy tie and light blue shirt. A light blue shirt is very important since it provides contrast from all the dark blue in the suit and tie. Though both the suit and tie are navy, the tie is a little lighter than the suit. To some, this mismatch is not desirable, and it’s practically unavoidable when pairing two items that are very close in colour. Those people would say to avoid wearing things close in colour to avoid the mismatch. But it’s an integral part of the classic Bond look.

Dark-Blue-Suit-2

Once again in You Only Live Twice (above) we see the same all blue outfit. This time the suit and tie are reversed: the suit is light navy and the tie is dark navy tie. Do you think it’s better for the tie to be slightly lighter or slightly darker than the suit? Ideally, it’s best to get them as close as possible, in not only the value (lightness or darkness of a colour) but also the hue (gradation of colour). A warm blue tie will not go well with a cool blue suit, even if they are similar in value. Connery brings back the all-blue look in Diamonds Are Forever (below), this time with blue pinstripes added. This time is Connery’s closest suit and tie match, and the tie is only a little lighter. I also can’t leave out the navy grenadine ties that Connery wears with his navy blazers—to which he always gets a close match with the tie—but with grey trousers there’s no longer a monochrome look.

Navy-Blue-Pinstripe-SuitRoger Moore starts out as Bond in Live and Let Die (below) wearing a blue suit, blue overcoat, blue shirt and blue tie (below). But does this outfit qualify as monochrome? Even though the tie is primarily navy, the red stripes technically disqualify this outfit from the all blue category, but for the purposes of pairing a blue tie with a blue suit, it’s all blue. The tie is the darkest navy of the outfit, followed by the overcoat and then the suit. They are all very similar.

Navy-ChesterfieldWe don’t see Bond wearing a blue monochrome outfit again until Daniel Craig becomes Bond. I’m not going to count the navy linen suit and light blue shirt worn in the black and white pre-title sequence, since the scene is black and white, and a large brown belt breaks up the blue. But the first suit in Quantum of Solace (below) is very similar to Connery’s pinstripe suit in Diamonds Are Forever. The suit is navy with light blue stripes, the shirt is pale blue and the tie is a pattern of mid blue and black squares. The blue and black of the tie combine to make it look navy overall. The tie does not to completely disqualify the outfit from being all blue, but it doesn’t have the 100% monochrome look of Connery’s classic outfits either. The patterned tie is much easier to pair with the suit than a solid navy tie is.

Quantum-Pinstripe-Suit

The navy-on-navy look is something Bond has inspired many to copy, but it’s not easy to get right. And whether Bond gets it right or not is up to you. If you attempt this look, it helps to have multiple solid navy ties in your collection and good lighting to figure out which one works best with the outfit.

The San Monique Dressing Gown

San-Monique-Dressign-Gown

Most men don’t travel with dressing gowns and instead wear the ones provided by the hotels they stay at. More often than not, the dressing gowns Bond wears are not his own. Some are nicer than others, and the one Bond wears in his hotel suite in San Monique is one of the more luxurious ones. It’s a rather nice dressing gown for one provided by a hotel, and even better hotels typically only provide basic terrycloth robes since they can easily be washed in hot water with the towels. This is a traditional dressing gown with a shawl collar and belt, and it has a breast and two hip patch pockets. Bond turns back the cuffs, which have a short vent at the end. The dressing gown is made from a dark blue plush material with a simple light blue embroidered paisley design. The pattern looks dated now, but not terribly so. It’s a suitable dressing gown for a 1973 James Bond.

San-Monique-Dressign-Gown-2

Dr. Kananga: The Purple Suit

Kananga-Purple-Suit

The flashier a man dresses the less he should be trusted. Roger Moore’s James Bond may have been dandier than Sean Connery’s Bond, but Moore’s style is quite restrained in comparison to Live and Let Die villain Dr. Kananga. Kananga’s dress is varied—from tasteful to tawdry—but Kanaga and Bond appear to share one thing in common: the same tailor. Kanaga wears two double-breasted suits that look very much like Cyril Castle creations, one tan and a one purple. For this comparison, let’s look at the purple suit. The jacket has six buttons with two to button, and like Moore’s double-breasted jackets it has a narrow wrap (less overlap). The cut is the same, with a clean chest and softly-padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads. Kanaga’s jacket has the same slanted pockets, deep double vents and flared link cuffs—but with a more pronounced flare than Moore’s. The lapels are wider than Moore’s but are the same shape.

Kananga-Purple-Suit-2

The trousers are the same cut as Moore’s trousers, with a slightly flared leg. The cloth is a printed pattern in purple and grey (which tones down the purple), and since it’s printed it’s either polyester or silk. Considering Cyril Castle probably tailored the suit, silk is likely. The tie has a printed pattern of bronze diamonds on a dark purple ground, and the puffed pocket handkerchief matches the tie in colours but not pattern. Kananga wears a yellow shirt, the opposite in colour from the purple suit making it a natural choice. It has a long point collar and button cuffs. A few Bond villians, like Emilio Largo from Thunderball and Kamal Khan from Octopussy, have admirable wardrobes, but Kanaga does not. Though his suit is well-tailored, only a villain belongs in a purple suit.

The Beige Linen Suit

Beige-Linen-Suit

After Bond lands his hang glider, he reverses his navy leisure suit into an elegant beige linen suit. Does this count as one of the brown suits that people criticise Roger Moore for wearing? Beige suits, along with darker tan and lighter cream suits, are all classic warm-weather suits. Since it’s not the best colour for business in the city, linen is a great cloth for it because it takes the suit down a level in formality. And even though Bond wears a tie with this suit, it’s the type of suit that can look appropriate without one. The suit is cut by Cyril Castle in the same button-two style as the rest of the suits from Live and Let Die, with slanted pockets, flared link cuffs and double vents. The trousers have a darted front, button-tab side-adjusters and slightly flared legs. They have two rear pockets but no front pockets.

Beige-Linen-Suit-2

The lightweight brown and white butcher stripe shirt is something different for Moore. It’s one of the few shirts he wears in the Bond series that isn’t made by Frank Foster. It has a 2-button spread collar with no tie space, square 2-button cuffs, no back darts, and a front placket. The placket is stitched 1/4 inch from the edge, unlike Foster’s plackets that have the stitching close to the centre. The two-button collar suggests that this shirt is from an Italian maker, but the excellent fit means that the shirt is probably still bespoke. Bond wears a wide red-brown satin silk tie, tied in a large four-in-hand knot with a very large dimple. The black socks and shoes are out of place with the casual linen suit, but they are a carryover from the navy leisure suit worn earlier.

The two-button collar

The two-button collar

Hang Gliding in a Leisure Suit

Hang-Gliding-Navy-Leisure-Suit

Bond goes hang gliding in Live and Let Die wearing a navy leisure suit-like outfit. Though the brief scene is very dark—helping considerably to disguise the fashionable aspects of the suit—there are a few great stills of Roger Moore wearing the suit with a white shirt, Royal Navy regimental tie and black horse-bit slip-ons. The tailored jacket is structured with straight, narrow shoulders and a clean chest. It’s a button-four with a straight front, narrow lapels, a large collar, single-button cuffs and double vents. Though it has four patch pockets on the front with button-down flaps, the lack of shoulder straps—and technically a belt—it’s not a safari jacket by any means. Safari jackets also are not structured. Sadly, it fits into the leisure suit category more than any other. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a beautifully-cut suit, because it surely is. If it were unstructured it would be easier to pull off today.

The flat-front trousers have a slightly flared leg. Bond wears a brown and white butcher stripe shirt under the suit, and he wears a navy neckerchief to hide the light-coloured shirt in the dark night sky.

Hang-Gliding-Navy-Leisure-Suit-2

But the outfit isn’t what it seems to be. Upon landing, Bond reverses the jacket into a button-two beige linen suit jacket and breaks away the trousers to reveal matching beige suit trousers. The reversible jacket and break-away trousers are only worn for the one shot of him changing his clothes. It’s not possible to have a button-four jacket with a a straight front to reverse into button-two suit jacket with a rounded front. And wearing two pairs of trousers would look too bulky for filming. I’ll write more on the beige linen suit later.

Hang-Gliding-Navy-Leisure-Suit-Reverse

Moore’s Unused Dinner Jacket

Live-and-Let-Die-Dinner-Jacket

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.

The Black Polo Neck

Live-and-Let-Die-Polo-Neck

In Live and Let Die‘s climax, Roger Moore channels Steve McQueen in Bullitt with his black polo neck and shoulder holster. We typically don’t see Bond’s shoulder holster since it’s hidden under his suit, and when he’s not wearing a jacket he typically doesn’t wear a shoulder holster. But here it’s a larger holster than usual to hold a larger gun. The shirt and trousers are black, which isn’t the best type of camouflage for night in the jungle. The shirt is a lightweight cotton knit with a polo neck collar and long ribbed cuffs for greater ease in rolling up. The trousers are Moore’s typical flared trousers, and he wears them with a wide, textured black belt with a large brass buckle. The shoes are dark grey or black suede trainer-style shoes.

Live-and-Let-Die-Polo-Neck-2