Darts on the front of Roger Moore’s Cyril Castle trousers in The Man with the Golden Gun, in-line with the crease. Click the image for a closer look.
The one style of trousers that people never talk about is the darted front. We always hear about pleats versus no pleats, but darts are left out. A dart is essentially a pleat that is sewn shut, but it’s not very noticeable. All trousers have darts in the rear, one or two on each side over the pocket—or over where the pocket would be if there is none. For medium to high rise trousers, a dart in the front is better than a plain front so the trousers can better curve over the hips. Only high-end ready-to-wear brands and bespoke tailors seem to appreciate the effectiveness of darts in the front of trousers
Darts on the front side of Daniel Craig’s Brioni trousers in Casino Royale. Click the image for a closer look.
Trouser darts in front are not as deep as trouser pleats are, and there is only one on each side instead of two. Though darts don’t provide extra cloth for the trousers to expand when sitting like pleats do, they help curve the trousers over the hips. They also can help the problem of side pockets that flare out on flat front trousers. Some tailors place the dart where the main pleat would be on pleated trousers, and some place it less noticeably off to the side. I cannot say in which place the dart is more effective. Can you still call trousers with a dart in front “flat front”? Maybe. With a dart the front is no longer flat, it is curved.
Darts on the front side of Pierce Brosnan’s trousers in Die Another Day. Click the image for a closer look.
I have most certainly labelled some darted trousers as flat front because it’s difficult to see darts on screen. Now that I have the series on Blu-ray, I can better see those kinds of details. but not in every example. I am updating the articles that I can with the correct details. All of Roger Moore’s Cyril Castle—the tailor who made Roger Moore’s suits in Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun—trousers have darts, which are in-line with the trouser crease. Castle gives Moore’s trousers very long front darts, which most likely help the fit at the expense of a clean look. Pierce Brosnan’s and Daniel Craig’s Brioni trousers that don’t have pleats have darts, and Brioni places them closer to the side pocket. Anthony Sinclair made his darts the same way for Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever.
Darts on the front side of Sean Connery’s Anthony Sinclair trousers in Diamonds Are Forever. The darts are easier seen when wet. Click the image for a closer look.
Roger Moore wears a smart casual outfit of a tweed jacket with a polo neck jumper in a fifth series episode of The Saint titled “The Death Game”. The jacket is made in a grey tweed with a small check and is in a button-three cut with a little drape and natural shoulders. It has the trendy 1960s details of narrow lapels, short double vents and single-button cuffs. The open patch pockets allow this jacket to be worn more casually.
The polo neck jumper is made in beige cashmere. The trousers are light grey wool, most likely in a cavalry twill weave. They have a narrow, tapered leg with plain bottoms. The hem is short with no break because of the narrow leg, and to compensate for the short length Moore wears black, short elastic-sided boots. Though black boots go well with grey trousers, brown would be better suited for the country setting and casual nature of the outfit.
In celebrating Roger Moore’s 86th birthday, let’s look at an outfit that fit Roger Moore’s flamboyant tastes during the 1970s. In comparison to his James Bond and SImon Templar of The Saint, Roger Moore’s character Harold Pelham, in The Man Who Haunted Himself, dresses more conservatively and more old-fashionedly. Pelham sees a psychiatrist and as Pelham is leaving the psychiatrist comments on the traditional City clothing he wears:
Psychiatrist: I don’t like the look of all that.
Pelham: Of all what?
Psychiatrist: Your clothes. The bowler hat and umbrella. Your tie and starched collar. These things symbolise all that we want to get rid of. Be yourself, Mr. Pelham. Don’t be a slave to convention.
In the following scene, Roger Moore dons an outfit far flashier than what Bond or Templar would ever wear, but it probably suits Moore’s own tastes at the time and is along the lines of much of what Moore would wear in his next role: Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders.
The double-breasted suit, made by Cyril Castle, is olive with white pinstripes. The jacket is the double-breasted equivalent of the single-button jacket. There are only two buttons, with one to button, and the row is placed at the waist. Minimalism in this case is flasher than the typical six-button double-breasted jacket. The jacket has double vents, slanted pockets and an open-vent sleeve sans buttons—like Patrick MacNee wore here and here in The Avengers. The jacket is constructed with a clean chest and gentle shoulder padding. The trousers have a straight leg.
The pink shirt from Frank Foster has a spread collar and 2-button cocktail cuffs, with both buttons fastened on the left and only the first button fastened on the right. A pink shirt is a natural pairing with an olive suit, since red and green are complementary colours. The tie is a fancy print of white, green and pink, which picks up the colours of the suit and shirt. It is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Pelham wears brown shoes, which are out of the norm for City business but go well with this suit. The outfit may be flashy, but it’s well-coordinated, well-proportioned, well-tailored and well-suited to the story.
The flashier a man dresses the less he should be trusted. Roger Moore’s James Bond may have been dandier than Sean Connery’s Bond, but Moore’s style is quite restrained in comparison to Live and Let Die villain Dr. Kananga. Kananga’s dress is varied—from tasteful to tawdry—but Kanaga and Bond appear to share one thing in common: the same tailor. Kanaga wears two double-breasted suits that look very much like Cyril Castle creations, one tan and a one purple. For this comparison, let’s look at the purple suit. The jacket has six buttons with two to button, and like Moore’s double-breasted jackets it has a narrow wrap (less overlap). The cut is the same, with a clean chest and softly-padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads. Kanaga’s jacket has the same slanted pockets, deep double vents and flared link cuffs—but with a more pronounced flare than Moore’s. The lapels are wider than Moore’s but are the same shape.
The trousers are the same cut as Moore’s trousers, with a slightly flared leg. The cloth is a printed pattern in purple and grey (which tones down the purple), and since it’s printed it’s either polyester or silk. Considering Cyril Castle probably tailored the suit, silk is likely. The tie has a printed pattern of bronze diamonds on a dark purple ground, and the puffed pocket handkerchief matches the tie in colours but not pattern. Kananga wears a yellow shirt, the opposite in colour from the purple suit making it a natural choice. It has a long point collar and button cuffs. A few Bond villians, like Emilio Largo from Thunderball and Kamal Khan from Octopussy, have admirable wardrobes, but Kanaga does not. Though his suit is well-tailored, only a villain belongs in a purple suit.
After Bond lands his hang glider, he reverses his navy leisure suit into an elegant beige linen suit. Does this count as one of the brown suits that people criticise Roger Moore for wearing? Beige suits, along with darker tan and lighter cream suits, are all classic warm-weather suits. Since it’s not the best colour for business in the city, linen is a great cloth for it because it takes the suit down a level in formality. And even though Bond wears a tie with this suit, it’s the type of suit that can look appropriate without one. The suit is cut by Cyril Castle in the same button-two style as the rest of the suits from Live and Let Die, with slanted pockets, flared link cuffs and double vents. The trousers have a darted front, button-tab side-adjusters and slightly flared legs. They have two rear pockets but no front pockets.
The lightweight brown and white butcher stripe shirt is something different for Moore. It’s one of the few shirts he wears in the Bond series that isn’t made by Frank Foster. It has a 2-button spread collar with no tie space, square 2-button cuffs, no back darts, and a front placket. The placket is stitched 1/4 inch from the edge, unlike Foster’s plackets that have the stitching close to the centre. The two-button collar suggests that this shirt is from an Italian maker, but the excellent fit means that the shirt is probably still bespoke. Bond wears a wide red-brown satin silk tie, tied in a large four-in-hand knot with a very large dimple. The black socks and shoes are out of place with the casual linen suit, but they are a carryover from the navy leisure suit worn earlier.
The two-button collar
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.
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.
There’s currently a mohair Cyril Castle suit on eBay made in April 1974, only a month after the suits from The Man With the Golden Gun were tailored. This suit is roughly in the same style as the suits from that film, and the auction’s photos show many parts of the suit close-up. The size listed is 40R with a 34-inch waist, but since it measures 22 ½ inches from armpit to armpit it’s more like a 42R or 43R with an athletic drop. The mohair cloth is a basket weave of tan and white, making it an ideal warm-weather suit.
The jacket is cut exactly the same as Moore’s are from the era, except this jacket is a button one. It’s a bit more rakish, but the button one style looks perfect on Castle’s silhouette. It’s easy to see on this jacket that Castle extends the front dart down to the bottom, whilst there’s a dart under the arm instead of the typical side body. Anthony Sinclair and Dimi Major cut their suits the same way. We get a great look at Castle’s shoulder, with a little structure and gentle roping at the sleevehead. It’s a look that flatters just about everyone.
One of the most fascinating things about Castle’s suits from this era are the flared link-button cuffs. As you can see, there’s only a buttonhole on the outer edge of the sleeve. On the other side, a button is stitched to both the inside and outside. The inside button is sewn with a longer thread shank to give it some ease.
The back has the same deep vents that Moore’s suits do, and the vents are angled outward to better follow the form of the rear and ensure they stay closed.
The trousers have a slight flair, roughly the same as what Moore wore.
Darted trousers typically have the dart close to the pocket, though Castle places the dart so it flows into the crease. The dart helps the trousers to better conform to the body whilst adding comfort.
The back of the trousers shows a unique placement of the rear darts. The dart is off to the side and curved, rather than the usual place of in the centre of the pocket. It also goes through the pocket instead of ending at it.
Thanks to David Marlborough for making me aware of this suit on eBay.