Q’s Bush Shirt and Bermuda Shorts

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Q, on the left, in a bush shirt and bermuda shorts.

When Q visits Japan in You Only Live Twice, he wears the classic British military warm-weather outfit of a bush shirt tucked into Bermuda shorts. Q’s military-issued, khaki cotton bush shirt has a two-piece point collar, front placket, shoulder straps and two breast pockets, each with a box pleat and button flap. The shirt’s buttons are light brown horn. Q wears the collar button and first two buttons open. He also wears the shirt’s long sleeves rolled up above the elbow.

Q-Bush-Outfit-2Q’s linen bermuda shorts are british tan—darker than the khaki shirt—and have single forward pleats and slanted side pockets. The shorts’ waistband is wide and has an extended button closure and slide-buckle side tabs. In the rear, there are two darts on either side in the rear and no pockets. The hem is knee-length, though more traditionally for Bermuda shorts it’s an inch or two above the knee. Though Bermuda shorts can be tailor-made, Q’s certainly are not. They are too large in the seat and bunch up, and the legs are a little baggier than they should be. Bermuda shorts are cut like dress trousers, and in Bermuda they are treated as such when made of dressy materials. With this outfit, Q wears the requisite light brown suede, 2-eyelet, crepe-soled desert boots with tan over-the-calf socks.

Q-AssistantsQ’s two assistants who set up Little Nellie wear similar clothes to Q’s clothes, all surely provided by the military. They both wear bush shirts; one wears a khaki shirt with the sleeves rolled up and the other wears a british tan shirt with the sleeves down and cuffs buttoned. His shirt’s cuffs are rounded with a single button. Both assistants wear khaki cotton Bermuda shorts, light brown desert boots and long light brown socks, all in the same style as what Q wears.

The Saint: A Classic Safari Jacket

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Roger Moore wore safari jackets before James Bond and before the late 1960s when Yves Saint Laurent and Ted Lapidus made it a fashion item. In the 1965 episode of The Saint titled “The Sign of the Claw”, Moore wears a mostly traditional British safari jacket, which is probably in the classic khaki. The episode takes place in the Malayan jungle, where the tropical climate and British colonial history makes the safari jacket an entirely appropriate piece of clothing.

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Moore wears a leather utility belt over the safari jacket’s belt.

The safari jacket has four buttons down the front plus a button at the collar. The shirt-style, two-piece point collar is stitched close to the edge. The front of the jacket has four button-down-flapped patch pockets. The upper two pockets each have a box pleat in the middle, and the lower two pockets each have bellows for extra usability. Though the jacket is slightly shaped with a dart on either side in the front, a belt made of the same cloth as the jacket cinches the waist. The belt has a shiny metal two-prong buckle. The jacket’s long sleeves have square-cornered button cuffs. The back has a long, deep inverted box pleat from the bottom of the yoke to the belt, and a long single vent from the belt to the hem. Of course, the jacket wouldn’t be a proper safari jacket without the obligatory shoulder straps.

Saint-Safari-Jacket-BackThough this safari jacket closely follows the traditional model, it breaks from tradition in one area. Instead of begin made from military cotton drill, this jacket is likely made from a linen and silk blend. It looks softer and lighter than cotton drill, it has a few slubs and it shows some wrinkles. Though the cloth may not be typical for a safari jacket, the jacket is still more classic compared to the slightly more modern safari clothes that Roger Moore wears in The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker and Octopussy.

The trousers possibly match the jacket, but since this episode is black and white, the match is difficult to make out. Under the jacket’s collar, Moore wears a silk day cravat, which is probably cream. It is not a practical item, but Moore plays a gentleman who almost always keeps his neck covered. Moore’s shoes are taupe suede 2-eyelet desert boots. At one point in the episode, Moore wears a dark leather utility belt over the jacket’s belt.

For some James Bond-related trivia, this episode features Burt Kwouk, who was in Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.

The Safari Leisure Jacket

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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.

The Sea Wolves: Safari Jacket

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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

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.

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The Tan Safari Suit

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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.

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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

A close-up of the open-weave cloth and Seiko G757 digital watch

Safari Suit in the Iguazu

If there is one place appropriate to wear safari clothing it has to be the jungle. In Moonraker, Bond wears a beige cotton drill safari suit that’s quite traditional, at least above the knee. The safari shirt/jacket has a 5-button front, including the collar button, and Bond buttons the bottom three. It has four patch pockets with flaps and box pleats, deep side vents, 1-button cuffs and shoulder straps. A fitted cut is the biggest difference this safari jacket has from the traditional safari jacket, which has a straight cut and a belt instead. This safari jacket shows little of the 1970’s trends.

The matching trousers are full-cut with a slightly flared leg, the only concession in this outfit to the 1970s. They are worn with a tan, brown and white striped web belt with a D-ring buckle. The only thing really inappropriate with this outfit are the beige slip-on shoes. Waxed leather boots probably would have been a better choice.

The Safari Shirt-Jacket

Roger Moore is well known for his casual safari clothing. I’ll never understand why some people insist on comparing these clothes to leisure suits when they are rooted in traditional safari clothes. They are also quite appropriate for the hot weather in Thailand. The sage green linen (or linen and cotton blend) safari shirt-jacket is a cross between a shirt and a jacket. It is constructed like a shirt without a lining or interfacings, but it is worn out like a jacket and has many features are more often found on jackets than shirts. It has a 4-button front with a camp collar, a belted back and long side vents. It has traditional safari jacket features such as epaulette straps and box-pleat patch pockets with flaps. The buttons are mother of pearl. Moore wears the sleeves rolled up to just below the elbow. This piece was made by Moore’s shirtmaker, Frank Foster.

The beige trousers have a flat front with a flared leg. The material may be tropical wool, linen, silk, or some combination of the three. Bond’s ribbed socks match the trousers. His shoes are brown low-vamp, tassel slip-ons.

Tan Cotton Sports Coat


Cotton isn’t used much in tailored clothing because it’s not a very strong fibre compared to wool, linen or silk. Because it isn’t going to last as long, it’s typically not worth the tailor’s effort and expense of making into a structured suit or sports coat. Nevertheless, that’s what Roger Moore wears here and it keeps him cool in Cairo. It’s a structured sports coat made with a canvassed front, shoulder padding, and sleevehead wadding. The coat has swelled edges all over to reinforce the garment. Shoulder epaulette straps bring this into safari jacket territory, though it’s more of a sports coat with safari jacket features, like a belted back with a deep single vent, belted sleeves, and patch hip pockets with flaps. The set-in breast pocket also has a flap. The brown buttons are not horn, but probably made from the Tagua nut which comes from the seed of a tropical palm and is similar to ivory. It’s a commonly used material for buttons and goes especially well with the safari jacket look.


The stone-coloured trousers have a flat front, flared leg and no belt. Bond’s blue chambray cotton shirt has a long point collar and tab cuffs. The tie has stripes in the American right-shoulder-to-left-hip direction in light blue, dark blue, white and red. It is tied with a double-four-in-hand knot, recognizable by it’s long shape. Bond’ socks are beige. The shoes are light brown suede horse-bit moccasins with a tall heel, probably made by Gucci. Look here for more on that shoe style next week.