The Psychologist’s Houndstooth Check Suit

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Dr. Hall, the psychologist in Skyfall played by Nicholas Woodeson, is one of the best-dressed men in the film. Woodson wears glasses and facial hair as Dr. Hall to give him a more psychologist-like look, and in turn his bald head, facial hair and thick, arched eyebrows make him resemble an older Sean Connery. That may or may not have been intentional.

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Dr. Hall’s three-piece suit is a black and white houndstooth check in a lightweight flannel wool. It’s a country pattern in city colours, making it appropriate for Dr. Hall’s more relaxed profession but not out of place in London. The literary Bond chose to wear his black and white houndstooth suit—most likely a two-piece—in the country, where it is equally appropriate.

The button two suit jacket has wide and straight shoulders, slightly narrow notched lapels, straight flapped pockets, double vents and four buttons on the cuffs. The waistcoat has either five or six buttons. The trousers have a trim leg, but they are hardly seen. The suit’s buttons and buttonholes are both black.

The poplin shirt is white with a blue and black grid check, which slightly clashes with the suit’s check because of a similar scale. The shirt’s texture is much smoother than the suit’s texture, and the pattern is far less intense than the suit’s pattern, so the shirt still works with the suit. The shirt has a moderate spread collar, single button cuffs and a front placket. Dr. Hall’s navy tie has white and purple polka dots, and he ties it in a four-in-hand knot.

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The Avengers: Grey Suit with a Velvet Collar

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We lost another great actor from the James Bond series on Thursday, Patrick Macnee. Macnee played Sir Godfrey Tibbett in A View to a Kill, but he’s most well known for playing the secret agent John Steed in The Avengers. In the sixth series, Macnee’s wardrobe was updated with new suits in the style of his fourth series signature velvet-collar suits. In these new suits, designed by himself, a long single vent replaced the double vents and slanted or straight flap pockets replaced the slanted jetted pockets. Some of the new suits have breast pockets. In memory of Patrick Macnee let’s look at one of his grey three-piece suits from The Avengers‘ sixth series.

This mid-grey flannel three-piece suit made by Bailey and Weatherill of Regent Street first features in the second episode of the sixth series, “Game”. “Game” is the show’s first episode after Diana Rigg’s departure and the second episode with Linda Thorson, and it features new opening titles with Macnee wearing this same grey suit. The suit jacket has a traditional English equestrian cut, with strong straight shoulders, a clean chest, a closely fitted waist and a very flared skirt.

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The suit jacket continues in the same style as the previous velvet-collar suit jackets with a single button on the front, a single button on each cuff and a dark taupe velvet collar. The skirt has a long single vent, which adds to the equestrian look of the suit. The jacket has no breast pocket and slanted hip pockets with flaps. The earlier suits in this style didn’t have flaps on the hip pockets. The pocket flaps make this jacket look bottom heavy due to the lack of a breast pocket.

The six-button waistcoat has a straight bottom and two welt pockets. The trousers have tapered legs, a flat front and likely slanted side pockets. The suit’s buttons are grey plastic.

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With this suit in “Game”, Steed wears an ecru shirt with a spread collar, which looks better with Steed’s round face than the wider cutaway collars that he previously wore looked. The shirt has rounded two-button cuffs, and Steed only buttons the second button. The tie is woven with magenta in one direction and sky blue in another direction like a Solaro cloth, making parts of the tie look sky blue in parts and magenta in other parts, depending on the angle you look at it. The tie is tied in a windsor knot. We don’t see the shoes, but they are likely the grey-green short chelsea boots that he wears with this suit in other episodes.

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In the sixth series opening titles

In the opening titles, Steed wears periwinkle shirt with a spread collar and button cuffs. His tie is a printed pattern in pink, orange and white, and he ties it in a windsor knot. The tie is  pinned about an inch below the knot with a deep red polished stone tie pin. He also adds a red carnation in his lapel.

WIth the suit, Steed wears his trademark bowler hat and carries an umbrella. This bowler is in grey with a grey ribbon to match the suit. The umbrella has a grey canopy, also to match suit, and a light whangee curved handle.

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1980s White Swimming Trunks

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In Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery shows off a better body than he had when he had left the James Bond series in Diamonds Are Forever. For his final scene as James Bond, Connery wears a pair of white swimming trunks. They have red stripes down the sides that curve into the hem and form a vent. Between the red and white sections is a thin line of black piping. The swimming trunks sit about three inches below the waist and have a short inseam of approximately 3 inches.

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These swimming trunks have a similar fit to what Sean Connery wears 18 years earlier in Thunderball, but the style has been updated. They are a little looser around the hips, and the material looks lighter. These swimming trunks resemble the athletic shorts that were popular in the 1980s. Instead of a belt, these trunks have an elasticised waist and maybe a drawstring.

In trying to find out who sold these swimming trunks, I’ve discovered that many brands at the time made very similar trunks. Some of these brands include Balboa, Jantzen (who made Sean Connery’s swimming trunks in Thunderball), Islander, Laguna and Styled in California. Most of these brands make their trunks with a flapped patch pocket on the right side, with Jantzen being the exception. Since these swimming trunks do not have a side pocket, Jantzen possibly the maker of these trunks. That would be a welcome throwback to Thunderball, the film that Never Say Never Again remade.

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James Bond’s Coat Closet

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Only in Dr. No and Live and Let Die so far do we get to see where James Bond lives, but in Live and Let Die we also get a glimpse inside his coat closet. We can see five coats in his closet. From left to right there is a shepherd’s check coat, a light grey suede trench coat, a navy double-breasted chesterfield with a velvet collar that Bond wears to New York in the following scene, a beige cotton trench coat and a charcoal or dark brown coat. Bond enters his coat closet wearing a yellow dressing gown made by Washington Tremlett.

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Only a sliver of the sleeve of the checked coat is seen. It is a black and grey shepherd’s check tweed, which might have some other colours subtly woven in. The coat likely has raglan sleeves. Bond would possibly wear such a coat over his tweeds in winter.

The second coat is a grey suede trench coat, likely single-breasted. It has set-in sleeves (differentiating it from the raglan-sleeved balmacaan), a large, pointy collar, thick belt loops and dark brown buttons. Though Roger Moore doesn’t wear any trench coats in his Bond films, he wears them in many television shows and films including The Saint, The Persuaders, That Lucky Touch, The Wild Geese and The Muppet Show. In the 1987 James Bond retrospective Happy Anniversary 007, Moore wears both a traditional tan gabardine trench coat and a light brown corduroy trench coat.

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The fourth coat is another trench coat, but this one is a more classic double-breasted cotton gabardine trench coat. Traditionally they come in a darker tan colour, and this one is a lighter beige. It has an eight-button double-breasted front and set-in sleeves but lacks the shoulder straps of the classic trench coat. The belt is not visible, but it doesn’t mean there is no belt. It is similar to the more traditional trench coat that Bond carries into the office in For Your Eyes Only. Neither of the trench coats in Bond’s closet are traditional versions of the trench coat and take cues from the fashions of the day.

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The last coat in the closet is hardly seen, and the closet is so dark in the corner that it is difficult to tell what style it is and whether it is black, charcoal or dark brown.

Besides the clothes in the closet, the hangers are also important to note. Bond’s hangers are somewhat thick and slightly contoured to give proper support to the jacket’s shoulders. The more the hangers resembles human shoulders the better support they provide. Structured overcoats and top coats—as well as suits—need the support of hangers that resemble human shoulders to maintain their shape. Thin, straight hangers are fine for unstructured garments like trench coats, but can cause dimples and collapsed shoulders on structured coats.

Breaking Down a Douglas Hayward Suit

Douglas-Hayward-Suit-Jacket-FrontDavid Marlborough, a reader of The Suits of James Bond, kindly photographed his navy worsted flannel Douglas Hayward suit to be featured here. Douglas Hayward cut Roger Moore’s suits for his three James Bond films in the 1980s (For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill), and David’s suit from 2 November 1981 is very similar to what Roger Moore wears in those films. These photos give us a closer look at the details of the suits Roger Moore wears. David’s suit is a medium weight worsted flannel two-piece suit, which would make this suit most similar to the mid-grey lightweight flannel suit that Moore wears at the Minister of Defence’s office in For Your Eyes Only. Though the suit fits David very well, Hayward did not cut it for him.

The suit jacket has a very soft construction for an English jacket. The jacket’s shoulders are soft with only a very thin layer of wadding, and the front has a soft canvas. It’s the opposite of the typical stiff military or equestrian cut that tailors in Savile Row on the other side of Mayfair make. It has a similarly trim cut, but it does away with the stiffness and has a gentler silhouette. The jacket has a clean cut through the chest and is closely, but gently, shaped at the waist.

Douglas-Hayward-Suit-Jacket-ShouldersHayward not only removed the stiffness and stuffiness from English tailoring, but also from the atmosphere of his tailor’s shop. James Sherwood’s book Bespoke: The Men’s Style of Savile Row has a quote from Douglas Hayward about his shop: “No stags’ heads coming through the walls and no pictures of the Queen Mum. It’s relaxed and nice and easy.”

A 1967 quote from The Telegraph that Sherwood also included in his book states, “He [Hayward] was calling them [his customers] by their Christian names when they were still calling him Mr Hayward.”

Though the jacket’s soft shoulders differentiate it from the typical English silhouette, it still has English flair due to the roped sleeveheads and a flared skirt. The skirt flare is emphasised in the rear by double vents that are angled outwards. Flared double vents make the waist appear smaller by drawing the lines of the jacket inward at the waist, but they also provide additional overlap at the bottom of the vents to keep them from gaping.

Douglas-Hayward-Suit-Jacket-RearHayward also differentiated his suit jackets from other Mayfair tailors’ jackets by cutting a lower button stance. The lower button stance makes the chest look stronger without cutting a fuller chest, but it also gives the suit a more relaxed look that reflected both the soft shoulders as well as Hayward’s personality. The top of the two buttons on the front is only about an inch and a half above the top of the hip pockets, whilst on most suit jackets the bottom button (on button two or button three jackets) is either in line with the top of the hip pockets or not any lower than bottom of the pocket flaps.

Like all of the suit jackets Hayward made for Roger Moore in For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy, David’s jacket is detailed with the same flared double vents, three buttons on the cuffs and straight hip pockets with flaps. The buttons are black horn with a large lip and a recessed dome for the button’s four holes. The collar, lapels and pocket flaps have very subtle pick stitching. The breast pocket welt is cut on the bias—the twill wales are straight up-and-down—and the welt curves up slightly towards the sleeve.

Douglas-Hayward-Suit-LabelDavid’s suit jacket differs from Moore’s usual Hayward jackets in two areas: the shoulders and the gorge. David’s shoulders—though constructed the same as Moore’s—are narrower in width, and thus the sleeves sit higher on David’s shoulders. The suit’s original owner may have had narrower shoulders than David has.

Also on David’s suit jacket, the gorge, the seam where the collar is stitched to the lapels, is not straight as it is on most Moore’s jackets in For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy. However, the lapels are actually very similar to the lapels on Moore’s ivory dinner jacket and tan suit in A View to a Kill. Like on these two jackets, the gorge on David’s jacket has a steeper angle, a gently curve and a lower notch.

Douglas-Hayward-Suit-TrousersThe suit trousers are mostly similar to what Roger Moore wears in For Your Eyes Only, as seen on the mid-grey flannel suit. The trousers have a straight leg and front frogmouth pockets. The frogmouth pocket design on David’s suit trousers, however, is a little different from Moore’s. David’s frogmouth pockets angle down at a shallow angle whilst Moore’s pockets have a slightly steeper angle. The front of Moore’ pockets also start closer to the waistband. Moore’s trousers appear that they may have a dart that continues down from the front edge of the frogmouth pockets, which is not present on David’s trousers. The top of the pocket is hand stitched.

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The biggest difference between these trousers and Moore’s is that these trousers have side adjusters instead of belt loops. The “DAKS top” style side adjusters have a pointed tab with two buttons on each side.

The back of the trousers have two button-through, single-jetted pockets. There are two darts on either side of the back, with the inner dart ending at the top of the pocket and the outer dart ending a quarter inch below the pocket. The buttons on the trousers are grey plastic rather than the black horn found on the jacket.

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Scaramanga’s Light Blue Shirt and Trousers

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The brilliant actor Christopher Lee died Sunday at the age of 93. He will always be remembered to James Bond fans for playing the villain Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun. Apart from Roger Moore’s stylish Cyril Castle suits and Frank Foster shirts, Christopher Lee is the best reason to watch The Man with the Golden Gun. His performance alone made the assassin Scaramanga one of the most memorable Bond villains. For the final duel on Scaramanga’s Island, Lee wears a light blue tropical outfit that takes from both tradition and fashion. Though he looks very much a product of the 1970s dressed head-to-feet in light blue, the colour perfectly suits the tropical marine climate of Scaramanga’s Island.

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Scaramanga’s pale blue lightweight cotton poplin shirt has a unique and practical design. It’s inspired by the bush shirt, but in pale blue it has a looks more tropical than it looks safari. The shirt was made by Thai tailor Harry, on location where The Man with the Golden Gun was partially made. The short-sleeve shirt is mid-hip-length and has many jacket-like details, though it’s not designed to be worn as a jacket. The shape is more jacket-like than shirt-like, as it’s tapered at the waist and flared at the hips. Scaramanga wears this casual shirt untucked, and like a proper untucked shirt it has a straight hem. The collar is a tall and long two-piece point collar.

There are five buttons down the shirt’s plain front, The front of the shirt has three patch pockets—one on the left side of the chest and two at the hips. The pockets are rounded at the bottom corners, have a box pleat in the middle and have pointed, buttoned-down flaps. The top pocket has a separate pen pocket accessed from above the flap, which Scaramanga uses for a gold pen that makes up part of his golden gun. He wears the bottom left pocket flap tucked in to the pocket. The back of the shirt has a one-piece yoke, a sewn-on half belt, an inverted box pleat between the yoke and belt, and a centre vent below the belt. The shirt also has pointed shoulder straps.

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Multiple shirts were made for these scenes, but there are a few differences between them. The shirt Scaramanga wears when walking with Bond to the door of his dwelling has shirring at the yoke and belt, whilst the other shirts have flat seams on the back. Some of the shirts have clear plastic buttons whilst a shirt that Scaramanga wears when first seen in the funhouse has off-white plastic buttons. Both sets of buttons are around 24 linge, which is the button size typically found on suit jacket sleeves. This shirt also does not have a hole in the top of the breast pocket for a pen (which at this point in the film had been made into the golden gun).

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The version of the shirt with off-white buttons rather than clear

This shirt has similarities to casual shirts Bond creator Ian Fleming—who was also Christopher Lee’s cousin—would wear in Jamaica. Fleming has been photographed wearing similar white and navy shirts, but Fleming’s shirts had full belts rather than a half belt in back, and they did not have shoulder straps. The shoulder straps on Lee’s shirt are clearly inspired by the safari jacket’s popularity at the time.

Scaramanga’s trousers are sky blue and slightly darker than the pale blue shirt. The trousers are made of a heavier cotton—most likely in a twill weave—than the shirt since trousers need to be sturdier than shirts do. The trousers have a flat front and flared legs, with a more pronounced flare than James Bond’s Cyril Castle trousers have. Though the shirt and trousers don’t contrast much in colour, the contrast in weight and texture help.

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The shoes are white horsebit slip-ons with a black sole and heel. Like James Bond’s horsebit slip-ons in The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga’s are also likely from Gucci, but they contrast Bond’s black and brown shoes. Gucci was prominently featured in this film; Bond wears Gucci shoes and belts, and his suitcase is from Gucci. Goodnight’s handbag is also from Gucci.

One example of Scaramanga’s shirt—the one with off-white buttons—was auctioned at Prop Store on 16 October 2014 for £5,000.

Bill Tanner: Double-Breasted Charcoal Flannel Suit

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Though Bernard Lee’s M generally wasn’t a fan of double-breasted suits—but he wears one in Dr. No—his chief of staff Bill Tanner prefers them. James Villiers plays Tanner in For Your Eyes Only to take M’s place for the one film whilst M is on leave, as a result of Bernard Lee’s death. Tanner wears two double-breasted suits of the same style in For Your Eyes Only: a charcoal rope stripe suit, which was already covered here two years ago, and a charcoal flannel suit. The charcoal flannel suit and the rest of the outfit have a very conservative approach. The suit is most likely made by an English tailor.

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The jacket has six buttons with two to button, but Tanner fastens only the bottom button in the manner attributed to Prince George, Duke of Kent. The middle row of buttons is made to fasten as well as the bottom row that Tanner fastens. Though the button stance is slightly lower than what is common today for English tailors, it’s only about an inch lower. A higher button stance, however, is better if the wearer chooses to only fasten the bottom button. The jacket has a classic British military cut with straight, padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads, similar to what Dege & Skinner or Gieves & Hawkes make. The jacket has a clean chest made fuller by leaving the middle row of buttons open, a gently shaped waist and a flared skirt. It is detailed with flapped pockets, deep double vents and three buttons on the cuffs. Neither lapel has a buttonhole.

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Tanner wears two different shirts and ties with this suit. The first shirt is medium blue end-on-end with white stitching to bring out the white in the shirt’s weave. The shirt has a spread collar, placket and double cuffs with the link holes placed close to the fold. The collar, cuffs and placket are stitched 1/4 inch from the edge. Tanner wears a solid navy tie without a discernible weave, tied in a four-in-hand knot. The colours of this outfit recall a common combination that Sean Connery’s James Bond often wears with his charcoal flannel suits. Tanner also wears a navy and white striped silk pocket square with a thick navy border, which is stuffed casually, but elegantly, into his suit jacket’s breast pocket. The navy in the pocket square picks up the navy in the tie whilst the white stripes bring out the white in the end-on-end shirt.

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The second outfit is not as nice as the first. The shirt is a complicated shadow stripe pattern of grey and maybe other colours on a cream background. The shirt’s warm tone does not flatter Tanner’s winter complexion. It has a moderate spread collar and sleeves too short to be seen. The tie is solid burgundy, likely repp, and tied in a four-in-hand knot. He does not wear a pocket square with this outfit.

Street People: A Familiar Tan Cotton Suit

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Sean Connery’s suits in Goldfinger aren’t the only clothes to have been worn by a James Bond actor in a previous non-Bond film. In Connery’s case, many of his clothes in Goldfinger were originally made for Woman of Straw. During Roger Moore’s longest break between Bond films, he made an Italian film called Street People in 1976. Though Street People was released half a year before filming in Egypt began for The Spy Who Loved Me, a certain cotton suit jacket from Roger Moore’s Street People wardrobe was reused. That cotton jacket is the tan jacket with safari details that Moore wears in the Cairo and Giza scenes in The Spy Who Loved Me.

In Street People, the cotton jacket was part of a tan suit with matching trousers, possibly made by Angelo Roma, Moore’s tailor at the time. In most cases, suit jackets don’t work well without the matching trousers, but the casual cotton material as well as the sporty safari details make this jacket work well on its own. It may even work better with the stoned-coloured trousers that Moore wears it with in The Spy Who Loved Me. In Street People, the details on the jacket are brought to attention more by the wearing trousers that don’t distract from the jacket (not that the trousers in The Spy Who Loved Me are distracting).

The suit gets soaked.

The suit gets soaked.

Tan is one of the best colours for a cotton suit since it looks great for warmer weather and fits the suit’s casual material. Tan also looks great with Roger Moore’s warm tan complexion and golden brown hair.

The structured suit jacket could have been made by Angelo Roma since the silhouette is similar to the other suit jackets that Roger Moore wears in both The Spy Who Loved Me and in Street People. It has a clean, trim cut with straight shoulders, roped sleeveheads and a suppressed waist. If the wide lapels don’t make the jacket look dated, the safari-esque details do. It has shoulder straps, a belted back with a deep single vent, belted sleeves, patch hip pockets with flaps and a set-in breast pocket with a flap. The jacket has swelled edges all over to reinforce the garment.

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Differing from Roger Moore’s typical suit jackets at the time, the lapels have a slight fishmouth shape and the front quarters are cut closed with the bottom corners only a little rounded. The closed, straight quarters give this jacket a more military look that goes with the safari details. The jacket’s brown buttons are probably made from the Tagua nut which comes from the seed of a tropical palm and is similar to ivory. These buttons are also known as corozo and are commonly used by Italian makers for suit buttons since they can be dyed in colours to match the suit. In brown they go especially well with the safari jacket look.

The suit trousers are similar to the Angelo Roma suit trousers that Roger Moore wears in The Spy Who Loved Me. They have a flat front, no belt loops and wide, flared legs. They differ from Moore’s trousers in his Bond films by having turn-ups. The turn-ups are approximately two inches, but they don’t look so tall because the bottoms of the trouser legs are so wide. Ordinary 1 1/2 inch turn ups would look very short on such a wide hem. Despite the suit being one of the most fashion-forward items Roger Moore has ever worn, it is well tailored and creatively tailored.

Notice the turn-ups on the trousers

Notice the turn-ups on the trousers

Moore wears this suit either with a open-neck cobalt blue shirt or a dark brown polo neck jumper. The cobalt blue shirt has a long point collar, a front placket and cocktail cuffs with a rounded and contoured shape. The shirt is made by Frank Foster. The contoured shape of the cuffs is different from the straighter cocktail cuff design that Foster made for The Man with the Golden Gun and Moonraker before and after this film, respectively, but Foster used to experiment more with cocktail cuff shapes. The collar and collar band shapes on this shirt are very similar to the collars Foster made for The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, but this collar is a little shorter. The shirt’s buttons are shiny medium blue and possibly made of shell. Moore wears the collar button as well as the first three buttons below the collar open. The buttons are spaced a little closer together and higher than on an ordinary shirt, but it’s still a lot of buttons to have open and looks a bit sleazy.

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The dark brown ribbed polo neck jumper must be lightweight to be comfortable in the seemingly warm weather in this film. However, even a lightweight jumper looks too heavy to wear with a light cotton suit.

With the suit, Moore wears dark brown socks, except for one shot where light brown socks are visible. His shoes are chestnut brown square-toe slip-ons. Briefly he wears a pair of large plastic oval sunglasses.

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