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.
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.
In Woman of Straw, Sean Connery wears a pair of light blue swimming shorts that are now well-known because of Designing 007 at the Barbican last year. The shorts were hardly seen in the film, but a picture of Connery wearing them surfaced and Sunspel recreated them for the Barbican show since they were mistakenly thought to have been worn in Thunderball. These shorts might have more in common with the From Russia With Love swimming trunks, which have a similar front pocket. They are arguably more elegant and more refined than any that Connery wore in the Bond films. The original shorts have a medium-low rise, an inseam of about 3 inches, an extended waistband closure, and a set-in pocket on the front right with a button-down flap. There is a small round cutout at the at the bottom of the side of each leg. The waist is fitted without a belt. On top Connery wears a light blue shirt with a spread collar and the cuffs rolled up. The bottom is cut with a vent at each side.
In between Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun, Roger Moore starred in a movie called Gold. It’s very similar to a few Bond films, like a cross between Goldfinger and A View to a Kill, and it’s directed by On Her Majesty’s Secret Service director Peter Hunt. Moore dresses in a variety of outfits, but one of the best is a light navy double-breasted suit. This versatile suit takes Moore from a daytime social event to a night out. It’s the perfect suit for when you’re invited to an event that specified “cocktail attire” as the dress code.
The suit jacket is similar to that on the double-breasted suits that Cyril Castle made for Moore’s first two Bond films. It has softly-padded shoulders, a swelled chest and a nipped waist. It has six buttons with two to button like the standard double-breasted jacket, and the peak lapels are fairly timeless in their width. It is detailed with slanted pockets, deep double vents and flared link cuffs. The trousers have a darted front with a slightly flared leg.
Moore dresses up the suit with a white shirt made by Frank Foster. It’s the same style as the Live and Let Die shirts, with a large spread collar, placket and the same type of 2-button cocktail cuffs. The tie is a large white neat pattern on a blue ground, tied with a four-in-hand knot. The shoes are black. Overall, the outfit is quite restrained for Moore’s tastes—especially compared to some of the other outfits in the film—and is something that would have been very appropriate for Bond in the 1970s.
The sexual emphasis of the Bond films was always placed more on the Bond girls than on Bond himself. That changed in Casino Royale when Daniel Craig was put into a pair of skimpy blue swimming trunks. Sean Connery’s Jantzen swimming trunks in Thunderball were definitely on the skimpy side, but that was typical for the 1960s. Most men in recent decades wear larger board shorts, but Daniel Craig’s swimming trunks fit tightly with a low rise and short inseam. They go to the extreme of men’s swimming trunks without being swim briefs. These swimming trunks are the “Grigioperla” model from La Perla. They are light blue in the front and navy in the back, have a navy stripe on each side, and have a navy waistband with a light blue drawstring.
In Thunderball, villain Emilio Largo played by Adolfo Celi wears a double-breasted navy blazer that has eight buttons with three to button. It’s a very rare style that recalls naval uniforms more than the standard double-breasted blazer does, and as a blazer it’s most famously associated with Prince Charles. Largo treats this blazer like a dressing gown and dons it without a shirt underneath when he gets out of the water after a dive. The only other things he wears with it are his black diving trousers and a burgundy silk day cravat. It’s not an ordinary way to wear a blazer, but aboard his own ship Largo can wear whatever he pleases. There is one scene, however, that shows him more dressed in his blazer, with a white button-cuff shirt and stone-coloured trousers, along with the day cravat.
The blazer is most likely English-tailored and has an appropriate structured, military cut with its padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads and clean chest. It has double vents, jetted hip pockets and three-button cuffs. The shanked buttons are made of polished brass, without any ornamentation.
Largo wearing the blazer with a shirt and trousers.
Some of us may be experiencing warm weather at this time of year. Whilst in Jamaica in Dr. No, James Bond sleeps in only white pyjama trousers. Like most, they have a full cut and drawstring waistband. They are most likely made of a fine Sea Island cotton, which is soft, lightweight and comfortable in the heat. The alternative would be silk, which wears warm and is best avoided on hot summer nights.
In Hong Kong in The Man with the Golden Gun, Bond wears a silk or silk-blend suit made by Cyril Castle. The cloth is semi-solid blue-grey and white with white stripes. Sometimes it looks light blue and sometimes it looks light grey, but in general it’s a cool grey. The suit is Cyril Castle’s standard button two style from that era, with slanted pockets, deep double vents and flared link-button cuffs. The chest is cut with a little drape, which is especially helpful here since silk doesn’t have much give. The lapels have swelled edges, making it a rather sporty suit. The trousers have a darted front, flared leg, and a coin pocket on the left front beneath the waistband.
The soft white shirt made by Frank Foster has a spread collar, front placket and 2-button cocktail cuffs. The matte navy tie has a rough texture that would suggest a linen and silk blend. The tie is knotted with a four-in-hand knot. Bond wears black Gucci slip-on shoes and a black belt with a rounded, center-post brass buckle, most likely from Gucci as well.
Roger Moore wore this suit a lot outside of The Man with the Golden Gun, like in this interview for The Spy Who Loved Me.
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.