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.
In 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.
Aris Kristatos, played by Julian Glover in For Your Eyes Only, keeps wearing a suede trench coat in warm grey. It’s a full-length coat that hits below the knee, but unlike most trench coats which have raglan sleeves, this has set-in sleeves. There are actually ten buttons like would be found on the standard trench coat, and the buttons are grey horn. The coat has the usual trench coat details like a self belt, shoulder straps and angled pockets with buttoned flaps. It has straps around the wrists that close with brass buckles instead of the typical leather. There are yokes across the upper back and upper chest for dryness during snowfall. Most trench coats instead have the yoke only in back and a storm flap in front. The most noticeable part of this coat is the black fur on the collar and the revers. And for warmth, the coat is lined in black fur.
Underneath the trench coat Kristatos wears an olive green double-breasted blazer. It has six white metal buttons with two to fasten. Under the blazer he wears a red cashmere polo neck jumper. The combination of the red jumper and the green blazer hints that Kirstatos is affiliated with the Soviets, something we don’t learn until later in the film. Green and red were often found together on Soviet military uniforms, just with the red limited to accents. We briefly see a little bit of his trousers, which appear to be light grey in a shade similar to the trench coat. Kristatos wears tan leather gloves, most likely lined with cashmere for warmth. Bond, Kristatos and Ferrara all politely remove their gloves to shake hands. Unless the weather is extremely frigid, gloves meant for warmth should be removed for a handshake.
In For Your Eyes Only, Bond wears two bathrobes aboard the research vessel Triana. After being painfully pulled through the water in his t-shirt and cotton trousers, Bond dons the most comfortable thing he can: a terrycloth bathrobe. Bond has worn terrycloth bathrobes starting in Dr. No, but they are likely never his own. This one his most likely found in a closet on the ship. The prussian blue terrycloth has a pile of very long, absorbent loops that dry him and keep him warm. It’s not luxurious but it serves its purpose. The robe has raglan sleeves and a shawl collar, and there are three stripes of the cloth missing the pile around the collar. Though we don’t see much of this bathrobe, it most certainly has a belt around the waist, and it probably has patch pockets under the belt.
The second robe is a more lavish white velour, the kind you might find in the closet at a luxury hotel. Velour is knitted and has a fine cut pile, which is very soft but not so absorbent. Some are lined in terrycloth to be a more absorbent bathrobe, but if not it’s great for lounging around. Like a more classic dressing gown it has a shawl collar, a belted waist, a patch breast pocket, two patch pockets below the belt and set-in sleeves with turnback cuffs. Like the blue bathrobe, this robe is most likely not Bond’s own and probably belonged to Sir Timothy Havelock, the owner of the Triana.
Roger Moore wears a warm outfit for climbing up to St. Cyril’s Monastery in For Your Eyes Only. He wear a brown hooded monk’s robe but removes it to reveal a dark blue quilted gilet. The gilet has a zip front and is between waist and hip length. There are navy suede patches on the front of each shoulder. The gilet has two rounded pockets in the middle of the chest that are accessed from either side of the zip, two lower patch pockets and game pouch at the bottom of the back. Barbour makes similar gilets, but this one could have come from any number of retailers.
Under the gilet, Moore wears a chunky wool jumper in a two-tone effect light and dark grey. It has a mock polo neck collar with a rather large opening, since it can be folded down far enough that a shirt collar can stick up over it. The jumper appears to be very warm, though chunky knits aren’t so popular today. The dark blue shirt underneath is looks like one of Frank Foster’s shirts. It has the same large spread collar that all of Roger Moore’s shirts in the 1980s have. The shirt’s colour is close to the gilet’s slightly darker blue.
The shirt and gilet aren’t so dark that they clash with the black corduroy trousers. The trousers have a straight leg and plain hems. The lace-up climbing shoes are medium blue with black soles.
Corduroys and climbing shoes
After a dive in For Your Eyes Only, Bond takes another unexpected dive in a dark blue, fitted, V-neck T-shirt and stone (light beige) cotton trousers. We had never before seen Bond in a T-shirt, but the reason why he’s wearing one here is because he was probably already wearing it under his yellow diving suit. The flat-front trousers have slanted side pockets and a button-through rear pocket on the right. The trousers have belt loops but no belt in them. Bond starts off the scene wearing blue espadrilles, but he’s barefoot after he is pulled into the water.
In For Your Eyes Only, M’s chief of staff Bill Tanner, played by James Villiers, dresses in a manner very suitable for a man in a high position. He wears classic double-breasted suits that are cut almost exactly the same as what you’d find from an English tailor today. His suit jackets have six buttons with two to button, and their lower placement is the only thing that separates them from what’s currently fashionable. The jackets have a classic Savile Row silhouette with a clean chest and a straight shoulder on the natural shoulder line. They have flapped pockets and double vents. For this article we’ll just look at the charcoal rope stripe suit.
The shirt Tanner wears with this suit is a fine grey and white stripe. Grey shirts aren’t nearly as popular as blue and white, or even cream, but they’re a classically-stylish option in lighter tints. It has a small spread collar and rounded button cuffs. Tanner adds colour to his outfit with the tie and pocket square. The tie is a regimental stripe in navy and alternating red and maroon. It’s very similar to the well-known Brigade of Guards tie, but the tie only has one shade of red. Can anyone identify this tie? He ties it in a four-in-hand knot, and he matches a navy silk pocket square to the navy in the tie.
Buttoned at the bottom, not the same as in the photo above
There’s a continuity error in the way Tanner buttons his suit jacket. In some shots he buttons the jacket the conventional way, with only the middle row fastened. In other shots he has only the bottom row fastened. Both are legitimate ways to fasten a double-breasted jacket, but the stiffer canvas on this jacket means the lapel doesn’t roll over the middle button so well when only the bottom is fastened. There are also a couple of fit problems with this outfit. The back of the coat doesn’t fit so well over the shoulder blades and the shirt sleeves are too short—but the jacket sleeves look fine. But overall it’s a very tasteful outfit and it commands the authority necessary for his position during M’s leave.
Fashion in the early 1980s rebelled against the excess of the 1970s style, and that excess would take only a few years to return to fashion. In the early 80s we see a number of well-dressed men in the Bond series, and Topol’s Columbo in For Your Eyes Only is one of them. The navy double-breasted blazer is made by tailor Robbie Stanford, who was two doors down from Anthony Sinclair at 27 Conduit St. The blazer has a typical English cut, with straight shoulders and roped sleeveheads. On the front there are four buttons with two to button, the traditional English arrangement minus the top two vestigial buttons. Those buttons are done away with here to make room for a patch breast pocket. The two hip pockets are also open patch pockets. The blazer has swelled edges, slightly narrow peak lapels, double vents and two-button cuffs. The buttons are brass with an anchor motif.
Columbo’s cream shirt is likely made by Frank Foster. It has a spread collar and square-cut, 2-button cuffs, and the buttons are a contrasting smoked mother of pearl. The cream gaberdine trousers have a flat front and frogmouth pockets. He wears the trousers with a white belt. Columbo’s outfit is great for warm weather, especially by the water—or on the water where Columbo wears his.
The blazer was sold at Christie’s in South Kensington on 12 December 2001 for £447.
Roger Moore wearing a navy bengal stripe shirt with a white collar and cuffs in For Your Eyes Only.
In the United States, the contrasting white collar and cuffs style has been all but tarnished by the 1987 film Wall Street. But it’s a classic style that has been around a very long time. It goes back to the days when collars were stiff and detachable, and men would pair white collars with a body of any colour. Now the collars come soft and attached. Some retailers call a shirt with a white collar a “Winchester” shirt—presumably named after the city in England, not the rifle—but I have not found an historical use of this term and believe it’s just a modern marketing term.
Bond wears shirts with a white collar and cuffs in For Your Eyes Only and A View to a Kill, made by Frank Foster. Though the style is best worn with double cuffs, Bond wears his with button cuffs. Likewise, a spread collar is the best collar to be in white, though point collars can work well too. White collars and cuffs are most stylishly paired with a body that includes white. Bond’s shirts have white in the form of bengal stripes, though it’s also common to see a white collar on an end-on-end shirt. Collars and cuffs typically wear out before the body of a shirt wears out, and the collar and cuffs of almost any dressier shirt can be replaced with white since it’s typically impossible to find the original cloth for replacements. And even if the original cloth is obtainable it’s not going to match a shirt that has been washed many times. Checks don’t mate so well with white collars because of the difference in formality and purpose. White collars are a rather dressy style and are excellent for morning dress. For everyday wear they work best with a suit or a dressier blazer but are best avoided wearing with other sports coats and without a coat or tie. And because of their daywear tradition they are best worn during the day.
Roger Moore wearing a pink bengal stripe shirt with a white collar and cuffs in A View to a Kill.
Though Bond only wears shirts with a white collar and cuffs in two films, Roger Moore wears them in his personal life, as well as in some earlier films and television, like in Street People and The Persuaders. In The Man Who Haunted Himself he wears a plain white detachable collar with a white self-stripe shirt. Pierce Brosnan occasionally wears shirts with a white collar—but not white cuffs—in Remington Steele, mostly with suits but occasionally with blazers.
Pierce Brosnan wearing a blue (probably end-on-end) shirt with a pinned white collar in the 1982 episode of Remington Steele titled “You’re Steele the One for Me”.