The Safari Shirt-Jacket

Roger Moore is well known for his casual safari clothing. I’ll never understand why some people insist on comparing these clothes to leisure suits when they are rooted in traditional safari clothes. They are also quite appropriate for the hot weather in Thailand. The sage green linen and cotton blend safari shirt-jacket is a cross between a shirt and a jacket. It is constructed like a shirt without a lining or interfacings, but it is worn out like a jacket and has many features are more often found on jackets than shirts. It has a 4-button front with a camp collar, a belted back and long side vents. It has traditional safari jacket features such as epaulette straps and box-pleat patch pockets with flaps. The buttons are mother of pearl. Moore wears the sleeves rolled up to just below the elbow. This piece was made by Hong Kong tailor Jimmy Chen.

The beige trousers have a flat front with a flared leg. The material may be tropical wool, linen, silk, or some combination of the three. Bond’s ribbed socks match the trousers. His shoes are brown low-vamp, tassel slip-ons.

The safari shirt was auctioned at Prop Store on 16 October 2014 for £4,750.

White Dinner Jacket in the Country

Chantilly in northern France isn’t the most appropriate place for a white dinner jacket, even in summertime. But even more untraditional is a black tie event taking place in the afternoon (well, it’s supposed to be the evening). These circumstances somewhat justify two untraditional elements of Bond’s dinner jacket. The most noticeable is the notch lapels, as opposed to the more traditional shawl collar or peak lapels on a dinner jacket. The other untraditional part of this dinner jacket is beige horn buttons, as opposed to mother of pearl buttons or fabric-covered buttons. But since this dinner jacket is made of linen, the horn buttons and notch lapels make it possibly for this dinner jacket to double as a sports coat. Otherwise, this is still a white dinner jacket, with its button one front and jetted pockets. It also has 4-button cuffs and double vents. The shoulders are soft on the natural shoulder line and have roped sleeveheads. The cut is slightly draped with a nipped waist.

The straight-leg trousers are black with a satin stripe down each leg, and the black bow tie is in matching satin silk. Bond’s white dress shirt has a spread collar, double cuffs, a pleated front and mother of pearl buttons. Bond also briefly wears a pair of sunglasses (with the ability to see through tinted glass). Does anyone know the origin of these sunglasses.

Red Grant

From time to time I’ll be writing about the clothing worn by Bond villains. Their clothing always says a lot about their character and always contrasts Bond’s clothing. Here we look at Red Grant’s (Robert Shaw) suit in his final scenes in From Russia With Love. Whilst Bond wears a modern lightweight, 2-button suit, Grant wears a traditional heavier 3-button suit. The fabric is a heavy wool in grey and brown stripes with white pinstripes and a brown windowpane pattern.

Other details on the suit jacket include flapped pockets, 1-button cuffs and a single vent. The trousers are the same style as Bond’s, with double forward pleats and turn-ups. The cream shirt has a moderate spread collar and double cuffs. Grant’s cufflinks are square with a silver case and a purple stone center. His tie is solid black, knotted in a four-in-hand knot, and he wears a folded white pocket square just like Bond. He wears black socks and black plain-toe shoes with elastic side gussets.  The shoes are actually very similar to what Bond wore in Goldfinger.

Grant’s side-gusseted slip-ons next to Bond’s 2-eyelet derbies
(image lightened to show detail).

Grant also wears a dark grey C-crown fedora, taken from Captain Nash after he kills him. Bond later takes the hat for himself after he kills Grant.

Ian Fleming: The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)

“James Bond glanced over his shoulder at them and then got down off his stool and took off his raincoat and hat and put them on top of his case and climbed back.” (Chapter 10)

“He wore a soft-looking white silk shirt with a thin black knitted tie that hung down loosely without a pin, and his single-breasted suit was made of some dark blue lightweight material that may have been alpaca.” (Chapter 10)

The Spy Who Loved Me is not written from Bond’s perspective, nor is Bond the main character in the novel. Here Fleming suggests that Bond may have worn a suit made of alpaca fibres, a material not commonly used for suits. Most often alpaca fibres are made into sweaters. Whilst it isn’t used much for suiting, alpaca makes up well in a sports coat.

A Floral Shirt for Cuba

Floral patterns typically aren’t Bond’s style, but this light blue on blue floral shirt in linen seems appropriate in Cuba. The shirt has half sleeves and is cut with a straight hem and side vents. It has a camp collar, French front, rear side pleats and a rounded breast pocket. Bond leaves the top four buttons of his shirt open to expose his white vest underneath.

Bond wears navy linen trousers and brown suede chukka boots with leather soles. The sunglasses are Persol PE2672-S in a tortoise plastic frame with dark brown crystal lenses, made especially for Die Another Day.

Horsebit Moccasins

Black moccasins in Moonraker

Throughout the 1970s, Roger Moore often wore horsebit moccasins. The style was first created by Gucci in the 1960s and reached its highest popularity in the 1980s. Moore’s examples are most likely from Gucci. Whilst he did wear shoes by Ferragamo, it is unknown if any of his bit moccasins came from there. But by the 1980s Moore had given up horsebits for more conservative slip-ons. Moore wears his horsebit moccasins in black, dark brown, light brown and tobacco suede with his suits and sports coats. His shoes have leather soles and a taller heel.

Tobacco suede moccasins in The Spy Who Loved Me
Fleming’s Bond was known for wearing slip-ons with just about anything, and that aspect carried over to Moore’s Bond. However, Fleming and his James Bond character would likely dismiss the shiny horsebit as too flashy and vulgar if they ever saw such a shoe.
Light brown moccasins in The Spy Who Loved Me

Brown Suit in Bolivia

Mohair tonic makes an excellent suit for the warm weather of Bolivia (actually Panama) because of the cool-wearing properties of mohair. The fabric is a pinpoint weave (a term usually used for shirts), which is a 2×1 basket weave, in light brown and dark brown for a subtle nailhead pattern.

This Tom Ford suit has a 3-button front with the lapels rolled down to the middle button. It has a clean chest with a suppressed waist, and straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads. There are double vents, 5-button cuffs and flapped pockets with a ticket pocket. The flat front trousers have a straight, but narrow, cut and turn-ups. Instead of belt loops the trousers have buckle side adjusters.

James Bond’s shirt and tie are also made by Tom Ford. The shirt is white poplin with a spread collar and double cuffs. It is fitted through the body with two darts at the back. The tie is made up of small squares in dark brown and tan. Bond’s shoes are black punched-cap-toe oxfords, the Philip model from Church’s.

Tan Cotton Sports Coat

Cotton isn’t used much in tailored clothing because it’s not a very strong fibre compared to wool, linen or silk. Because it isn’t going to last as long, it’s typically not worth the tailor’s effort and expense of making into a structured suit or sports coat. Nevertheless, that’s what Roger Moore wears here and it keeps him cool in Cairo. It’s a structured sports coat made with a canvassed front, shoulder padding, and sleevehead wadding. The coat has swelled edges all over to reinforce the garment. Shoulder epaulette straps bring this into safari jacket territory, though it’s more of a sports coat with safari jacket features, like a belted back with a deep single vent, belted sleeves, and patch hip pockets with flaps. The set-in breast pocket also has a flap. The brown buttons are not horn, but probably made from the Tagua nut which comes from the seed of a tropical palm and is similar to ivory. It’s a commonly used material for buttons and goes especially well with the safari jacket look.

The stone-coloured trousers have a flat front, flared leg and no belt. Bond’s blue chambray cotton shirt has a long point collar and tab cuffs. The tie has stripes in the American right-shoulder-to-left-hip direction in light blue, dark blue, white and red. It is tied with a double-four-in-hand knot, recognizable by it’s long shape. Bond’ socks are beige. The shoes are light brown suede horse-bit moccasins with a tall heel, probably made by Gucci. Look here for more on that shoe style next week.