Professor Dent’s (Anthony Dawson) clothing has a few similarities to Bond’s, but overall he dresses in a far more ordinary fashion. Dent’s suit is a two and two check in black and white. The jacket is a button three with the lapels rolled to the middle button, and it is cut full with natural shoulders. The cuffs have two buttons, spaced apart. Dent’s narrow tie has wide red, olive and black stripes—in the opposite direction from most regimental stripes—and he ties it in a Windsor knot. He wears black shoes and a black belt with the suit.
Dent wears two different shirts with this suit. The first (above) is white with a button-down collar, placket and square-cut barrel cuffs. The second (top) is sky blue with a spread collar, placket and cocktail cuffs. Bond was not the only person in Dr. No to wear cocktail cuffs, but Dent’s are not the same. They both are rounded and have a wide spread, but Dent’s lay flat and have the buttons spaced further apart. Whilst Turnbull & Asser made Sean Connery’s shirts, Frank Foster made this shirt from Anthony Dawson.
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
Turnbull & Asser spread collar
The standard collar amongst the English shirtmakers is the spread collar, and it’s the collar Bond wears more often than not. If it’s wider than a point collar and narrower than a cutaway it’s safe to call it a spread collar. A moderate spread flatters almost everyone and is always a safe choice. They’re great with a suit and tie, with a dinner jacket and bow tie, or open, as long as the collar isn’t too wide.
Frank Foster moderate spread collar
Turnbull & Asser made a wider spread for Sean Connery, whilst Frank Foster typically made a rather moderate—but tall—spread for Roger Moore. Sulka made a smaller, moderate spread for Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye, and Turnbull & Asser made a similar spread for Tomorrow Never Dies. For The World Is Not Enough they made a wider spread, and Brioni continued with the wide spread for Die Another Day. Daniel Craig wore Brioni shirts with a more moderate spread in Casino Royale and a similar collar from Tom Ford in Quantum of Solace.
Apart from the obvious differences of length, height and spread width, there’s the matter of tie space. It’s the quarter-inch to half-inch—or more—space between the collar leaves where the collar meets at the neck. Bond’s spread collars almost all have tie space, with the exception of the Brioni spread collars and Roger Moore’s brown stripe, double-button-collar shirt in Live and Let Die. Even with a very wide spread, a little tie space will help the knot to stay in place. Without it the knot often slips down and reveals the collar band above it because the collar leaves will push down the knot. A collar band with tie space is usually angled so the band will not show above the knot. Tie space plays just as large a roll in how large a tie knot can be worn with a collar.
Brioni spread collar with no tie space
Darted Turnbull & Asser shirt in From Russia With Love
Darts on the back of a shirt are currently more popular than ever now that people like wearing their clothes tighter. When darts are used, two are typically placed at the back towards the sides. They start above the waist and may extend down to the bottom of the shirt or as far as needed. Most often shirts are shaped as much as possible with the side seams and back darts are used when needed. Traditionally darts are not used on men’s shirts, but can often be found in both the backs and fronts of women’s shirts. But it’s completely acceptable for men to have darts on the back of their shirt for a more shapely and less blousy look. Darts are rarely found on ready-to-wear shirts because the closer fit they provide is very specific to the person wearing the shirt. However, they can easily be added to the shirt if taking in the side seams is not enough.
Turnbull & Asser put darts on Sean Connery’s shirts because of his large drop rather than for a close fit. Without darts, a shirt on someone as athletic as Connery would be much too large around the waist. Connery’s shirt also shows that pleats and darts on the back can work well together.
Darted Frank Foster shirt in Octopussy
Frank Foster used darts for George Lazenby and Roger Moore’s shirts to achieve a closer fit. Foster fits his shirts much closer than most English shirtmakers, but the clean, streamlined look is perfect for James Bond. The back is shirred under the yoke for fullness across the shoulder blades, and the darts take in the fullness at the waist. Daniel Craig’s dress shirt in Casino Royale is darted, and his Tom Ford shirts in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall are also darted.
Darted Tom Ford shirt in Quantum of Solace
Roger Moore wearing a navy bengal stripe shirt with a white collar and cuffs in For Your Eyes Only.
In the United States, the contrasting white collar and cuffs style has been all but tarnished by the 1987 film Wall Street. But it’s a classic style that has been around a very long time. It goes back to the days when collars were stiff and detachable, and men would pair white collars with a body of any colour. Now the collars come soft and attached. Some retailers call a shirt with a white collar a “Winchester” shirt—presumably named after the city in England, not the rifle—but I have not found an historical use of this term and believe it’s just a modern marketing term.
Bond wears shirts with a white collar and cuffs in For Your Eyes Only and A View to a Kill, made by Frank Foster. Though the style is best worn with double cuffs, Bond wears his with button cuffs. Likewise, a spread collar is the best collar to be in white, though point collars can work well too. White collars and cuffs are most stylishly paired with a body that includes white. Bond’s shirts have white in the form of bengal stripes, though it’s also common to see a white collar on an end-on-end shirt. Collars and cuffs typically wear out before the body of a shirt wears out, and the collar and cuffs of almost any dressier shirt can be replaced with white since it’s typically impossible to find the original cloth for replacements. And even if the original cloth is obtainable it’s not going to match a shirt that has been washed many times. Checks don’t mate so well with white collars because of the difference in formality and purpose. White collars are a rather dressy style and are excellent for morning dress. For everyday wear they work best with a suit or a dressier blazer but are best avoided wearing with other sports coats and without a coat or tie. And because of their daywear tradition they are best worn during the day.
Roger Moore wearing a pink bengal stripe shirt with a white collar and cuffs in A View to a Kill.
Though Bond only wears shirts with a white collar and cuffs in two films, Roger Moore wears them in his personal life, as well as in some earlier films and television, like in Street People and The Persuaders. In The Man Who Haunted Himself he wears a plain white detachable collar with a white self-stripe shirt. Pierce Brosnan occasionally wears shirts with a white collar—but not white cuffs—in Remington Steele, mostly with suits but occasionally with blazers.
Pierce Brosnan wearing a blue (probably end-on-end) shirt with a pinned white collar in the 1982 episode of Remington Steele titled “You’re Steele the One for Me”.
Roger Moore’s Simon Templar is well-dressed to a funeral in the Series 6 episode of The Saint, “Legacy for the Saint.” To keep warm in the cemetery he wears a charcoal grey car coat. The coat’s length is a few inches above the knee but is still considerably longer than a suit jacket so it can be worn over it. A car coat is shorter than the typical overcoat to make it easier when entering and exiting a car. Topcoats are often shorter as well, but they are also lighter and Moore’s coat is not. We don’t see much of the coat in “Legacy for the Saint,” but it makes another brief appearance in “The Time to Die.” The coat is cut with natural shoulders, buttons three, and has 3 buttons on the cuffs and a single vent.
The Saint in a charcoal car coat
Under the coat Moore wears a three-piece suit made by Cyril Castle in charcoal with a very narrow-spaced light grey stripe. The suit coat has softly-padded shoulders, a draped chest and nipped waist typical of Castle’s tailoring, and like all of Moore’s single-breasted suits in The Saint this one buttons three. The suit coat is characteristic of the 1960′s Neo-Edwardian style, with narrow notched lapels, slanted flap pockets, double vents and single-button gauntlet cuffs. The length of the jacket is slightly shorter than the typical length, though not nearly as short as fashionable jackets today. The waistcoat buttons six with notch lapels and a straight bottom. And in his waistcoat pockets he wears a pocket watch with a fob chain. The trousers have a flat front with plain hems.
Moore’s ecru Frank Foster shirt has a spread collar, plain front and cocktail cuffs, and this is the first episode we see Moore wearing cocktail cuffs. The turnback of the cocktail cuffs in The Saint has a much wider spread compared to the cuffs he wears later in the Bond films. They have some similarities to the Turnbull & Asser cuffs Sean Connery wore, but these lay flatter, as Foster prefers.
Though Moore does not often wear black, the funeral setting of the episode makes this the time to include black into the outfit. Moore wears a narrow, black satin silk tie and a black silk pocket handkerchief folded with two points. A black suit for a funeral is not necessary, and for someone who isn’t an immediate family member of the deceased a black suit can come off as excessively somber. Templar wears the perfect amount of black for attending a friend’s wedding. And the shoes are black as well, of course.
Sean Connery wears a well-cut black, notch-lapel, button one dinner jacket in Never Say Never Again. For such a grand occasion peak lapels should be in order, but Bond isn’t usually one for being the most formally-dressed in the room. Nevertheless, he still is far better dressed than Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Largo dresses similar to the original, played by Adolfo Celi, in a white double-breasted dinner jacket, but wears a black shirt and has none of the elegance of the original villain’s clothing. Back to Connery’s clothing, the dinner jacket is tailored with natural shoulder and has jetted pockets, double vents and 3-button cuffs. The buttons are black horn. The dinner suit’s trousers have a flat front and a satin stripe down the side.
with the Turnbul & Asser shirt
Connery’s shirt has a spread collar, placket with onyx studs, and single-button cocktail cuffs that button down. The shirt is made by Turnbull & Asser, though he wears a Frank Foster shirt in at least one shot. The Frank Foster shirt can be identified by its narrower placket with stitching close together down the middle. Foster is the inventor of the button-down cocktail cuff that we see here, first worn by Roger Moore in an episode of The Saint. The bow tie is black satin in a classic thistle shape, and Connery wears no waist-covering. The shoes are black derbys that appear to be well-polished calf leather and not patent.
with the Frank Foster Shirt
George Lazenby is the only Bond to have the distinction of wearing a ruffled-front dress shirt. And he wears not one but two in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Roger Moore can be seen in a ruffled-front dress shirt in The Persuaders, and he wore one for some promo shots for Live and Let Die under a very nice double-breasted dinner suit, but Moore never actually wore one in a Bond film. Moore and Lazenby used the same shirtmaker, Frank Foster, and he made their ruffled-front shirts. The dress shirts both have a point collar, double cuffs and mother-of-pearl buttons down the front placket. The backs are darted and the shirts fit very close around the waist. Apart from his brown casual outfit, the ruffles are the only part of George Lazenby’s wardrobe that looks dated today.