Navy in New York

Bond’s navy double-breasted chesterfield coat with a velvet collar in Live and Let Die is a favourite of many. The classic piece was covered in the blog Clothes on Film, so I will just direct you to the article there to read about it.

Lets take a look at the rest of Bond’s outfit beyond the chesterfield. The suit coat wasn’t seen in the movie, except the double vents can be seen when Roger Moore is swinging around on the fire escape in the Harlem alley. However, this suit was seen in many promotional photos as well as in the gunbarrel opening. The suit is cut the same as the tropical grey suit except that the navy suit has straight pockets, not slanted. The shirt is pale blue with a moderate spread collar and cocktail cuffs.

Roger Moore distances himself from the previous two Bonds by wearing a striped tie, a navy ground with red and white stripes. This tie is in fact a Royal Navy regimental tie, appropriately worn here by a naval commander. The stripes go up from right to left (from the wearer’s point of view). This is the traditional British direction for tie stripes. This direction harmonises well with the left-over-right buttoning of a man’s suit. Also, since the breast pocket is on the upper left (and ticket pockets are placed on the lower right) the British stripe direction follows that. I also believe that this direction subtly helps draw attention up toward the wearer’s face, since most people read from left to right. The majority of James Bond’s striped ties throughout the series follow the traditional British direction.

Along with the Chesterfield, Bond wore black leather gloves to keep warm. And the black gloves match his black tassel slip-ons. Roger Moore is a tall man at 6’1″, though he wore shoes with noticeably tall heels.

10 thoughts on “Navy in New York

  1. Haha! Ok, you win! 150 articles later and I'm going to have to make an amendment.

    Still sure that trilby in Doctor No is green.

    Merry Christmas, Matt.

  2. Sorry for having to correct you Chris, but I just couldn't post a link to your article without having to point that out. But you did such a good job writing about the chesterfield that if I wrote something it would only be copying you. Happy Christmas to you too!

  3. This is my most favourite James Bond suit! I can remember it as a child and thinking 'when I grow up I want that!'. Sean was the best but Rodger was the best dressed!!

  4. A Chesterfield coat is dark (either plain or in a herringbone weave/pattern), has a velvet collar and is fitted through the waist. They typically have flapped pockets. A single-breasted Chesterfield has a fly front. The Chesterfield is a formal type of overcoat, which is a more general category.

  5. A little late with a comment, I know, but I was suprised to see you refer to this as a Chesterfield coat. I would have thought this was a type of Paletot or unbelted Guards Coat.

    Are there any significant differences that mean that the terminology Chesterfield is more accurate or is it that these terms are sufficiently loose that a coat might be properly called both?

    • The original paletot has semi-body coat construction (like a frock coat in back). This could qualify as a more modern paletot. If it doesn’t have a belt it’s not a guards coat. This is a Chesterfield—albeit a short one—because it is cut like a lounge coat and has a velvet collar.

    • Thank you. A far clearer explanation of the differences than I have ever seen elsewhere.

  6. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the most elegant and majestic of all Bond’s overcoats in all the movies. Coupled with the suit and the Royal Navy tie, the perfect sartorial introduction to Moore’s Bond.

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