The Sea Wolves, starring Gregory Peck, Roger Moore and David Niven, takes place in India during World War II and features a wealth of both military khaki drill uniforms and civilian safari shirts, jackets and suits. Though Roger Moore had already been well-known for his safari suits by the time this film was released in 1980, here his safari clothes are in a much older and traditional context. Of the safari clothing in the film, the suit featured in this article is a beige cotton drill shirt-jacket with matching trousers. The shirt-jacket has a shirt collar and 2-button shirt-style cuffs. It has four buttons down the front below the collar, two flapped patch pockets on the hips, and shoulder straps. The back is very interesting, with a half belted waist, an inverted box pleat down the middle from the yoke to the waist, and a single vent below the waist. The matching trousers have a flat front rather than the pleats that would have been more common in the early 1940s.
Back of the safari jackets: Roger Moore, left; Gregory Peck, right
Moore’s sky blue shirt has a spread collar, plain front, single-button barrel cuffs, an open chest pocket and shoulder straps. Moore wear a light brown leather belt and beige suede shoes with this outfit. It is unknown if Frank Foster made the safari clothes for this film like he did for some of the Bond films. But not only was Roger Moore a customer of his, so was Gregory Peck. Peck’s clothing in The Sea Wolves is actually a bit more elegant than Moore’s is in this film, with buttoned-up safari shirts, pleated trousers and more. But Moore’s look is more modern and casual, and in the right setting it could still look relevant today.
One of Sean Connery’s best and most popular warm-weather casual outfits is the one he wears on his visit to Palmyra. The camp shirt is a butcher stripe in blue-grey on white. It has a camp collar, cuffed short sleeves, breast pocket, split yoke and side vents. The hem is slightly curved so the front is a little longer than the back. The shirt has a straight fit through the body, which still looks very good without showing off Connery’s V-shaped torso.
The cream linen trousers have a flat front, narrow leg and plain hems. The hem is shorter than usual with no break, which in this case is so the trousers don’t rub against the foot. Bond’s footwear is brown leather sandals. Though not in brown, sandals were a favourite of the literary Bond. Along with most of the other casual outfits in Thunderball, this one holds up very well today.
After James Bond’s supposed death at the beginning of Skyfall, he retires on the beach wearing clothing of quality far below his usual high standards. Thanks to the collectors at ajb007, we know the sources for all the items in this outfit. The light blue-grey shirt with a small blue and dark grey floral pattern is from Zara. It has a small point collar, front placket, single-button mitred cuffs, and patch pockets with buttoned flaps and inverted box pleats. The shirt is darted in the back for a close fit. The brown suede desert boots are also from Zara.
The trousers are light grey chinos from Topman with a tight fit. They have a low rise and a too-short hem. The leather jacket is the “Menlo” from Levi’s Vintage Clothing. It’s a 1930′s style jacket with a zip front, turn-down collar and slanted pockets. The cuffs adjust with a tab and button. The back is very interesting, with action shoulder pleats, smaller pleats another couple inches further in, and a belt that adjusts with D-rings on either side. The stubble along with the distressed jacket and poor quality shirt and trousers all contribute to Bond’s very uncharacteristic—but appropriate—dishevelled look in these scenes.
Though I don’t know if it was a trend in 1965, Bond wears a matching sports shirt and trouser set in Thunderball. And it’s in a vivid royal blue. Out of Sean Connery’s casual Bahamas outfits in Thunderball, this one dates the worst. It looks like a well-fitting set of pyjamas, but Connery pulls it off. The shirt has a camp collar, four buttons down the front, and a straight hem. The hem of the short sleeves is turned up and sewn all the way around. The back of the shirt has shoulder pleats, which are pressed all the way down the shirt. There are two lower patch pockets on the front. If the shirt is of the quality we have come to expect from Bond, the white buttons are likely mother of pearl.
Though we see little of the trousers, they have a tapered leg and are pressed with a crease. Bond wears black slip-on shoes—probably the same shoes we see later when Bond puts his foot in the basin—and no socks. Goldfinger and Thunderball are the only times that Bond wears a straw hat. This pork pie hat is natural straw with a blue and white checked cotton ribbon. The hat has a telescopic crown with no pinch, and a short brim that’s turned up in back. A short brim is unusual for a straw hat since it provides little shade from the sun, but it’s part of the more typical pork pie style. To make up for the short brim, Bond wears the Wayferer-style sunglasses that we see more of later in the film.
None of Roger Moore’s infamous safari suits are identical. The safari suit in Octopussy is one of the most classic, being in tan, and it doesn’t have the flared 1970′s trousers to date it. It’s now 1983, and Moore has continued to wear safari suits. And why not? It’s a classic piece of English clothing, and most appropriate for the safari that Bond finds himself being hunted in. Frank Foster said he made the shirt-jacket, and he said it’s made of worsted wool. High twist wool in a plain weave is very comfortable in warm weather, and that’s what this cloth appears to be. The lack of wrinkles in this safari suit also shows that it’s made of wool and not pure cotton or linen. Though cotton or linen would be more comfortable, wool is very durable and looks great on screen. Plus, the tan colour is great camouflage against the Monsoon Palace’s stone.
The shirt-jacket is tailored like a shirt, as a safari jacket should be. But the cut is more complex than a typical shirt. It has two front panels, two back panels and a western yoke across the shoulders with a point in the middle. The front panels have darts under the arms that extend forward to the middle of the hip pockets, and the side seams are pushed back and have deep vents. There are four buttons down the front, on a wide placket. The collar is a formal-shirt-type point collar, but larger and without a button. The front has four patch pockets with box pleats and pointed button-flaps. The sleeves end in shirt-style cuffs, fastening with a single button. Completing the safari shirt look are the essential shoulder straps. The trousers have a flat front and straight legs. Here in light brown are Moore’s usual—but inappropriate—slip-on shoes.
A close-up of the open-weave cloth and Seiko G757 digital watch
Brown suede chukka boots in Quantum of Solace
Bond has worn chukka boots in the last four films, from Die Another Day to Skyfall. The classic chukka boot is made in brown suede, and from English makers today they are most often found with Dainite® rubber studded soles. The standard chukka is a two-eyelet design, but they can just as often be found with three eyelets. Bond usually wears them in brown suede, and in Casino Royale and Skyfall he wears chukkas in calf as well. For the most part, Bond’s chukkas have Dainite® studded rubber soles, except the boots in Die Another Day have either soles of leather or a combination of leather and something else. Chukkas are casual boots, and Bond mostly wears them casually. Roger Moore wore them more formally with his country jackets in The Saint. Daniel Craig went even further with them in Skyfall, wearing them with his grey pick-and-pick suit. But balmoral boots, oxford boots or chelsea boots—like Sean Connery wore in Thunderball—are a better match for the formality of a suit.
Desert boots in Skyfall
In Skyfall, Daniel Craig also wore a variation on the chukka: the desert boot. The desert boot is a chukka—typically suede—with a crepe sole. As the name suggest, they are great to wear in sand. The ankle height prevents sand from getting inside the shoe whilst the crepe soles are very comfortable for walking on sand. Daniel Craig wears his on the beach, but he makes sure they stay dry. On the city pavement crepe soles absorb the dirt off the street and wear out quickly. Craig’s desert boots are light brown suede.
In Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery briefly wears a mid-grey merino wool V-neck jumper over a polo shirt. The polo is a yellow and light blue horizontal stripe, with a ribbed light blue collar. Connery wears it with two buttons open and the collar outside the jumper’s. We don’t see the trousers worn with this outfit, but the khaki jeans he wears in the following scene may have also been worn here. The summer colours on the polo are fitting for the Mediterranean, though not as Bond-like as the blue polo in the original film, Thunderball. When on a boat, dressing in layers is always helpful since the jumper can be removed if the weather gets too warm.
In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig wears a Sunspel “Riviera” polo shirt. The fitted navy polo is made from knitted cotton mesh and has a self collar, two-button placket and a breast pocket. This is the first time Bond wears a polo shirt since Thunderball, and it’s a welcome return. Craig wears the polo with khaki, jean-style, five-pocket trousers with a wide, straight leg. The cloth is most likely cotton, in a weave that’s a cross between bedford cord and a basketweave, and they are worn with a dark brown belt. The shoes are tobacco suede chukka boots.