The Safari Leisure Jacket

Leisure-Safari-Jacket

This outfit from The Man with the Golden Gun may be the one most to blame for Roger Moore’s undeserved reputation for always wearing a leisure suit as James Bond. This safari jacket, made of cream-coloured silk or a linen and silk blend, is really the only one that’s a 100 percent product of the 1970s. Unlike Moore’s traditional safari shirts, this one is a structured jacket. It has natural—but structured—shoulders, set-in sleeves and a tailored waist. It has most of the traditional details of a classic safari jacket: shoulder straps and four flapped patch pockets with inverted box pleats. The sleeves have buttoned straps around the cuffs as well as a vent. The front has a dart that extends to the bottom hem. The front of the jacket has four buttons, and Moore leaves the top button open. It has a long, single rear vent.

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What takes this jacket, more than any of Moore’s other safari jackets, into the 1970s are two things: the collar and the stitching. A safari jacket should have a shirt-type collar, but this jacket has a a long, dog-ear style, leisure-suit collar. The other really fashionable aspect of this jacket is the dark, contrast stitching that’s found all over the jacket. It’s on the collar, lapels, shoulder straps, cuff straps and pockets. And Moore wears the jacket with medium brown, slightly-flared-leg trousers, so it’s not a suit.

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The ecru shirt is the standard from Frank Foster, with a large spread collar, front placket and 2-button cocktail cuffs. The tie is solid dark brown. The slip-on shoes are dark brown or black with an apron front and a strap with a buckle at the side.

38 thoughts on “The Safari Leisure Jacket

  1. Quite ludicrous, in my opinion. Neither a suit, nor a uniform. The whole image smacks of phoney, very much in line with Moore’s portrayal of Bond.

    • There are plenty of options between a suit and a uniform – blazers, sportcoats, Norfolk jackets, and, yes, safari jackets.

  2. Cue the outrage/references to poor modern fashion/derogatory remarks about Daniel Craig.

    For what it’s worth, I actually don’t mind this look. I think it calls to mind Britain’s colonial history without looking phony, as you suggest. And it’s my favorite scene in the film.

  3. To tell the truth, I don’t find that look too bad, especially if one takes into consideration that it’s the 70s. It is no way as bad as the powder blue leisure suit from Live and let die, and Roger pulls it off quite nicely.

    • You’re right that it’s still a very nice jacket, and it’s very well cut, but as far as Moore’s safari jackets go this one is the least traditional.

      • Well put Matt. I think, it has been commented before, that a classic example for a safari jacket can be seen in Mogambo with Clark Gable. However, I must admit that I have always liked the safari jacket/shirt worn by Moore in the MWTGG, when he is in the car with JW. If properly fitted, such a shirt can still be worn today IMO.

      • You are right Matt, I too find the cut excellent. With notch lapels for improvement? Rog pulls it off with panache and I love the cocktail cuffs and ecru shirt. Moore’s undeserved reputation may also come from the fact that this outfit was on numerous publicity stills for the film.
        I was happy enough to find a nice safari jacket in a linen-cotton blend but won’t try to emulate that look in public !

  4. Guys, be honest, where would anyone ever go dressed like that? Nothing against a normal safari jacket on safari but would you walk around town in that sort of stylised jacket with a shirt and tie?!

    • Italy or Japan. In the industry we see all sorts of shit that makes you question the sanity of the designer, as well as the person wearing it. If it’s not the fabric/weave/material being ludicrous, it’s the fit, or the cut.

      This outfit is a product of the 1970′s. A nod to the classical era with an attempt on a modern twist. An attempt that failed. Ironically enough I bet had this been made in a medium Grey color, the fuss wouldn’t be half as bad. It’s amazing how color can directly skew perception.

    • I actually like this jacket; the ivory color flatters Moore’s tanned complexion, and the cut is very good. As to where one could wear it, I can see wearing it traveling to tropical locations (it has a lot of pockets), at a country club, or even in Southern Europe (minus the tie). It would stand out a bit, that’s true, but part of having style is having the courage of one’s (sartorial) opinions.

      • As do I. Albeit, I’d probably want it made in something tougher, like his worsted wool safari jackets. But I’d easily wear that with a shirt and tie as a warm-weather coat to guard against the rain.

  5. I’ve been waiting for this one, as – unlike the majority of the commentators here – it’s my favorite of any non-traditional jacket worn by Moore in the series.

    So what if it’s not a genuine blazer in the traditional sense? It fits Moore well, and it fits the more casual nature of Bond’s outing – damn the circumstances. After all, he does turn the situation (pun not intended) into a sadistically humorous, one-man safari with Lazar.

    Granted, the thick thread used for the swelled edges is a bit much, but it’s not enough to ruin it.

    It’s a fashionable, casual blazer designed with stylistic influences from a safari jacket, and the reverse peaked lapels of a leisure suit – while being neither.

    I’d like to see Craig try to pull off these scenes looking – to quote someone’s comment on this blog a while back – “as effortlessly cool” as Moore does here. Never. Moore and his leisure safari blazer thingamabob any day of the week.

    So it’s not Bond. Hardly any of TMWTGG is – might as well be an overblown episode of The Saint. It’s non-canon entertainment – and that’s what this jacket is.

    Yes, I’ve been trying to find a close copy of this thing for ages.

    -Kurt

    • Kurt,

      I couldn’t agree more – Craig could never have pulled this scene off. And yes, I, too, have been looking for a copy of this jacket.

      • I’m beginning to believe that this particular jacket may be a near one-off in its odd little class of its own.

        I can find endless, shirt-based leisure suits from the period, I can find safari shirts tailored as jackets, but I cannot find anything tailored as a suit which resembles this – short of 1970′s leather car coats.

        If I ever do find something like this, I highly suspect I’ll wind up finding a jacket with the right button front and lapels, but nothing else; requiring a donor with the same fabric to serve as a source for the pockets and shoulder straps (are the bare shoulder straps also referred to as “epaulettes,” or is said term reserved for straps with ornamentation?).

        -Kurt

        • Epaulettes are technically with ornamentation, which is why I don’t call them such. But referring to shoulder straps as epaulettes is a common practice.

  6. Kurt K. why not just take a few stills of the jacket or dvd of the movie to a good tailor and I’m sure he’d be able to knock up a good approximation of this jacket. I bought a similar looking jacket, tailored by British institution “Aquascutum” some time in the 1970′s, on ebay for about €50 a few years ago. Their clothing is excellent; very classic British with a fashionable twist (a little like Roger’s look here). As to where to wear such apparel; I wore mine in New Delhi with a cream shirt, bronze tie and dark brown trousers. Got no “funny” looks either. It suits anywhere warm and mid or far east, for sure, and in the setting here it’s perfect. I agree 100% with the comments about the British colonial past playing a part in this clothing. The same can be said for Moore’s other sports coat in this movie which he wears to Scaramanga’s island (even if I always found the look of the other one less setting appropriate). Safari influenced clothing featured heavily in both male and female wardrobes from the late 1960′s to the early 1980′s . Colonially influenced fashion and far smarter than modern throwaway “fashion”. My father had a cream coloured cardigan with four front patch pockets very similar to this jacket here. I like this sports coat, it’s faultlessly tailored and, as usual Roger wears it as Eric says above with “panache” (no other Bond had the panache Sir Roger had!). For what it’s worth (very little, I admit) I always had a slight preference for his safari sports coat (and accoutrements) from “The Spy who Loved Me”

    • David, you most certainly could wear this in New Delhi in the beautiful governmental area or the Leela Palace. You will look like a true British colonial and some Indians, not many, still love us for that period of history. But that’s it, in my opinion. You will get highly suspect looks anywhere else, certainly on the Riviera. The whole look is like a stylised fake uniform and that’s why I don’t like it. I would love to wear a naval Admiral’s uniform with the gold braid on the sleeves and the hat but I’m not a naval Admiral so I don’t do it.

      Matt, I am looking forward to the day when you organise a convention for us bloggers and I am intrigued to see how everyone will turn up dressed!

      • While most of us non-admirals would not wear a naval Admiral’s uniform with the gold braid on the sleeves and the hat , I suspect at least some of us would wear a 6-button-two navy blazer, which is of clear naval origin. Most men’s clothing is derived either from military uniforms or hunting clothes, so it’s really a matter of how far removed from our sartorial roots we want to be.

    • Not so easy to find a good tailor here in Miami (Florida), David. Hardly anything available locally (there are one or two, but are apparently “fashion” oriented; I get the notion that getting them to do what I want – not what they want – will be next to impossible), and the only Hong Kong fitter who makes the rounds around here works with a complete hack of a tailoring company.

      First (and last) jacket I had the latter bunch cut make came with 4″ too much on the waist and no flared skirt – and that’s after providing a number of my own sketches and double-checking the measurements with them.

      For better or worse, there is a local alteration shop that – fortunately – will listen to my requests, and was able to take a bit off the back and re-nip the waist.

      I’m sure the entire group would get a kick out of criticizing the jacket – it’s a dark blue tropical wool check with wide lapels, swelled edges, and four safari-influenced pockets. Essentially, a citified Norfolk jacket.

      -Kurt

  7. Worn by the world’s most famous clothes horse in 1974 this really isn’t a bad look at all – could I pull it off today? Probably not. Would I try? Probably not. But to me this is infinitely preferable to any nehru jacket (a style I just don’t think is flattering) or – as a comparison – the dreadful high street trend for ultra high 4 button suits with waist coats that only showed the tie know of a decade ago. Or the shrunken, Skyfall-style suits of the moment which simply do not fit properly. And just this week I saw that Angelo Galasso’s Billionaire Couture range (don’t judge me, it was in a magazine!) is offering a safari jacket that really isn’t unlike this at all… so you might not like it but it has endured more than we might think!

    Moore worse a very similarly cut jacket in – I think – black patterned silk in lots of promo shots of Live & Let Die – mostly taken at the Harlem locations. Although still rather loud it is probably a bit more mainstream than this one.

    • Actually I like this one a lot better than the one from the promo shots of LALD – the one from the promo shots really does look a bit like a leisure suit, while the one from TMWTGG is redolent of colonial and safari connotations.

  8. I just think that was fine for the 70′s…but like the ultra slim cut of today it isn’t classic and should be left where it died!

    • With exception that the slim cut has an inherent arrogance and crudity about the way it hangs on the body, and will look so in any era.

      On the other hand, this jacket – though definitely a statement of the 1970′s – as worn with tie and dress shirt, exudes a wearer who appreciates class and elegance, even when more casually attired. It may not be timeless in the concept that it doesn’t call to any particular era (yes, it calls to the ’70s, and does it), but at least the wearer will not look like a teenage hipster twit whilst attired in it.

      -Kurt

  9. Kurt K. I’ve never visited Miami but I would have envisaged it being something like you describe re: tailoring. The climate, partially, I suppose.

    The more I look at the detailing on this jacket the more I can appreciate this as being from a master tailor. It’s worth reiterating that sports coats similar to both this and Bond’s plaid sports coat from later in the movie were very fashionable in this period. A cursory look at TV programmes from this era such as; “Columbo”, “Hawaii Five O”, “The Streets of San Francisco”, “The Rockford Files” will all show that this type of semi-formal menswear was very much de rigeur. What sets Roger Moore’s apart from the majority of his contemporaries was the cut and style of his models, due to a vastly superior tailoring.

    Finally, re: the coat mentioned from Live and Let Die, I always thought that this was the jacket worn with a dark silk scarf and accompanying Montecristo (no less) while on a hang glider (moments like this are why Moore’s 007 was so damned fun and entertaining) which he then turned inside out to reveal the jacket of his beige suit in San Monique? That “outer” coat had definite safari features.

    • That this may have been fashionable at the time – possibly. But fashion has nothing to do with elegance, often the contrary. That Roger Moore always looked impeccable whatever he wore – undoubtedly. I think it looks phoney and over stylised but I am clearly in a minority. One final comment from Beau Brummell – “the best dressed man in a room is the one you notice last”.

  10. Well, I have to agree with Steve and some others on the jacket. I think Roger (who I have defended) looks terribly out of place and affected. He isn’t on a safari – he is in probably hot weather in Macau (though really a soundstage at Pinewood). The jacket is very much of the 1970s, without much to offer. That is avoids the worst excesses of the era is a defense often not accepted when Dalton or Craig is the topic. Roger would have been better in a normal suit, or some casual clothing.

    • Roger always looked at least a little “affected” – that was part of his charm, along with the endless adjusting of the tie. As far as looking “out of place” – well, it was supposed to be hot in Macau, and his jacket is more casual than a suit. BTW, when will we have a post on the sky blue suit from the scenes at the Peninsula Hotel?

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