The Persuaders: The Tweed Norfolk Suit

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In the 1971 episode of The Persuaders titled “A Home of One’s Own”, Roger Moore wears an old-fashioned Norfolk suit. The brown herringbone tweed sporting suit is made up of a Norfolk jacket and matching tweed trousers. The tweed in a light brown and dark brown herringbone is a classic cloth for the country, whilst also flattering Moore’s warm complexion. Though elements of the Norfolk jacket were popular in 1970s fashion, Moore’s is a very traditional model apart from the late 1960’s trouser cut. For background on the Norfolk jacket, I refer to some of the best menswear writers:

Alan Flusser writes in Dressing the Man that the Norfolk jacket is “considered the first sport jacket.”

Riccardo Villarosa and Giuliano Angeli describe the Norfolk jacket in The Elegant Man as “one of the first garments created especially for sporting activities”. They write about the origins of the jackets name: “It appears as if its name derives from the fact that it was cut for some of the guests at the Duke of Nofolk’s hunting party”.

Bernhard Roetzel writes about the Norfolk jacket in Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion: “It was especially made for shooting, and was therefore a real ‘designer jacket’ in the sense of being designed for a particular purpose, according to the principle that ‘form follows function'”.

Roger Moore’s character Lord Brett Sinclair appropriately wears his norfolk suit in the English country, and it is practical at keeping him warm. However, he does not wear the Norfolk jacket for it’s intended hunting purposes.

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Cyril Castle made Roger Moore’s Norfolk suit jacket in the same cut as the other suits in The Persuaders, with straight shoulders on the natural shoulder line, roped sleeveheads and full, but clean chest. This jacket follows the traditional button four front of the Norfolk jacket, as opposed to the standard three buttons on a regular tweed jacket, and all four buttons are meant to fasten. Though Norfolk jackets most often have a straight front, it’s an acceptable variation for the quarters to the slightly cutaway and curved like on Moore’s jacket. Moore usually has all the buttons fastened on his Norfolk jacket, but sometimes the top or the bottom button is left open in a continuity error. Whilst traditionally the Norfolk jacket has a deep single vent to the belt, Moore’s has deep double vents. It is detailed with swelled edges and two buttons on the cuffs, and the jacket’s buttons are made of dark brown horn.

Though bellows pockets are the most traditional style of hip pocket on a Norfolk jacket, Moore’s jacket has the less sporting but equally casual style of flapped, rounded patch pockets. Compared to standard patch pockets, these have a little extra fullness sewn into bottom of the pocket to make it more useful if Moore wanted to use them.

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The Norfolk jacket ultimately has two defining features: the belt and the sewn-down braces. The belt buttons through the jacket’s middle button and secures to the right of it with another button. Traditionally the belt is removable, but on Moore’s jacket the belt is sewn down to the back and sides. The braces-like straps are attached from the top of the front hip pockets, up over the shoulder and down to the belt at the waist in the rear. According to Villarosa and Angeli in The Elegant Man, the stitched braces are “designed to support the weight of cartridges in the pockets”. Since the braces go over the chest, the Norfolk jacket does not take a breast pocket.

The suit trousers with the Norfolk jacket match the style of the other trousers in The Persuaders and are made by Cyril Castle’s trouser maker at the time, Richard Paine. They have a dart on each side of the front, and an offset jetted frogmouth pocket cuts through the dart. The trousers legs are tapered to the knee and straight from the knee down in the style popular in the late 1960s. Fashions had already moved to wider and flared legs by the time of this show.

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With the Norfolk suit, Moore wears a beige poplin shirt made by Frank Foster with a spread collar, a front placket and button-down one-button cocktail cuffs. He first wears the collar open with a yellow, gold and brown floral silk day cravat, which keeps the outfit looking casual whilst guarding his neck from the cold. Later in the afternoon for drinks and cards at a local Inn where he is staying, Moore switches the day cravat for a buttoned collar with a gold tie that has a faint self-stripe pattern. He ties it in a four-in-hand knot. His shoes are brown side-zip boots with a square toe.

Moore also wears this Norfolk suit in the episodes “Greensleeves” and “The Time and the Place”.

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Equestrian Pursuits: A Houndstooth Tweed Jacket

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Bond’s second hacking jacket of the series is a bit more bold than the first one, but it’s just as traditional. Goldfinger features Bond’s first hacking jacket, a subtle barleycorn tweed. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service features Bond’s second hacking jacket, a bolder houndstooth tweed. But it’s a rather simple check, in black, brown and cream with a red overcheck. The jacket is made by Dimi Major, with lightly padded shoulders, a swelled chest, a nipped waist and a flared skirt. It’s a button three with one button on the cuffs and the hacking jacket features of slanted pockets and a deep single vent. Slanted pockets are easier to access on horseback whilst the deep vent helps the jacket to split in back over the horse.

Click the image for a close-up of the weave.

Click the image for a close-up of the weave.

Bond almost never fastens the top button on his button three jackets. On most of Bond’s button three jackets the lapels gently roll at the top button. Here, Lazenby interrupts the roll by fastening the top button. Dimi Major cuts his button three jackets to look great either with both to the top and middle buttons closed or just the middle button closed. Unlike ordinary sports coats, riding jackets are longer and have three buttons placed higher on the chest, with all three meant to fasten. Lazenby’s hacking jacket is cut like a typical sports coat, meaning the bottom button isn’t meant to fasten. Closing the top button puts this jacket more in the spirit of riding jackets. But fastening the top button is also necessary to hold in the day cravat.

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The beige shirt has a stock collar, which extends around to close at the left side of the neck instead of the front. It looks unbroken across the front and is meant to be worn with a stock tie or a day cravat, of which Bond wears the latter. Bond’s cravat is also beige and is worn with a pin. The beige jodhpurs—likely made of cavalry twill wool due to its elastic properties—are worn with a belt and fit into Bond’s tall, black riding boots. Since I’m not involved in the equestrian world, I cannot judge the appropriateness of the outfit. The only part of this outfit that may be worn outside of equestrian activity is the hacking jacket, and the rest of the outfit should be limited to equestrian pursuits.

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In A View to a Kill, Roger Moore wears another equestrian outfit, but with a conventional shirt and knitted tie.

The Quilted Gilet

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Roger Moore wears a warm outfit for climbing up to St. Cyril’s Monastery in For Your Eyes Only. He wear a brown hooded monk’s robe but removes it to reveal a dark blue quilted gilet. The gilet has a zip front and is between waist and hip length. There are navy suede patches on the front of each shoulder. The gilet has two rounded pockets in the middle of the chest that are accessed from either side of the zip, two lower patch pockets and game pouch at the bottom of the back. Barbour makes similar gilets, but this one could have come from any number of retailers.

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Under the gilet, Moore wears a chunky wool jumper in a two-tone effect light and dark grey. It has a mock polo neck collar with a rather large opening, since it can be folded down far enough that a shirt collar can stick up over it. The jumper appears to be very warm, though chunky knits aren’t so popular today. The dark blue shirt underneath is made by Frank Foster and has the same large spread collar that all of Roger Moore’s shirts in the 1980s have. The shirt’s colour is close to but slightly light than gilet’s blue. It has 2-button mitred cuffs and a mitred open breast pocket.

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The shirt and gilet are light and bright enough that they don’t clash with the black corduroy trousers. The trousers have a straight leg and plain hems. The lace-up climbing shoes are medium blue with black soles.

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Corduroys and climbing shoes

The Frank Foster shirt was auctioned at Prop Store on 16 October 2014 for £800.

The Barbour Sports Jacket

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Skyfall‘s costume designer Jany Temime introduced a British icon to the Bond series: the Barbour jacket. Barbour is famous for its waxed cotton jackets, which are both waterproof and stylish. Bernhard Roetzel praises the Barbour in his book Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion:

This jacket protects you from bad weather, but it also protects you from the risk of being improperly dressed. And it’s true: if you are not sure what to put on you can always fall back on the Barbour – as long as it’s not too warm, that is.

And Roetzel means that literally, even going as far to say it is better to wear a Barbour and a sweater than a poorly-fitting dinner suit. Perhaps costume designers in the past may have thought the Barbour is too recognisable or too snobbish for Bond, but it’s an appropriate jacket for Bond to wear in a casual country setting.

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Bond’s Barbour jacket in Skyfall is a limited edition by To Ki To, designed by Tokihito Yoshida, in olive waxed cotton, cut similarly to a lounge coat. It has three large buttons on the front, with the top button placed further apart. Further up the lapels there is a tab and smaller button (which has been removed), but the tab is held back with a button under the lapel. If the tab were extended, the button that Bond uses to hold it back would be used to secure a throat latch to the chest. The throat latch would also attach to buttons on either side of the collar, which have also been removed. There is also another small button that closes the top of the lapels. The shoulders have patches of a different, greener material. The front of the jacket has two flapped bellows pockets on the hips, with the bellows made from the same material as the shoulder patches. There is also a flapped, inset breast pocket, and the back of the jacket has vertical zip pockets on the sides of the skirt.  The jacket comes with a hood, but since the hood is not worn the zip and buttons that the hood attaches to has been removed. The sleeve openings are finished with a stripe of brown leather binding. A lot has been removed from the original jacket to streamline it to just Bond’s needs.

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Underneath the Barbour Bond wears a cashmere round neck jumper by N.Peal in “Blue Wave,” with a brown scarf tucked in to the jumper. And under the jumper Bond wears an off-white, long-sleeve henley shirt. His trousers are dark brown cords—the Conduane Iggy Jeans from All Saints. The wing-tip boots are the Crockett & Jones Islay model in Dark Brown Scotch Grain with Dainite rubber soles.

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Barbour, N.Peal and Crockett & Jones are all taking advantage of the Bond connection to advertise their products. For the rest of the items, I thank the collectors at ajb007 for their research. More images will come following the Blu-ray release.

Goldfinger’s Shawl-Collar Suit

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As we all know, Auric Goldfinger loves gold and he loves to wear it. He wears gold cufflinks, a gold watch and a gold ring. Gold clothing would be a bit garish, so he chooses a mostly brown and yellow wardrobe. And it’s a wardrobe that flatters his autumn complexion. Gert Frobe’s peachy skin and red-blonde hair is best flattered by muted, but rich, warm colours that are perfect for the current autumn season out in the country. Goldfinger’s checked suit that he wears in England and Switzerland is the perfect example. The tweed cloth has a golden brown ground with a grid of black and green, intersected by a red overcheck.

Goldfinger's Suit

The suit jacket is a button one with a shawl collar, a 1960’s fashion that didn’t quite catch on. The shawl collar comes from Goldfinger’s love for smoking jackets and denotes a bespoke pedigree. The jacket has jetted pockets, three buttons on the cuffs and no vent. The jacket has softly padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads and a draped chest, which gives the illusion of a waist. The cut with its properly placed button stance is a very flattering look for Goldfinger. We can’t see much of the trousers so we can’t tell if there are pleats, but they have a full cut, have plain bottoms, sit above the waist and are most likely supported by braces. That’s the only way trousers will stay up on a corpulent figure and the most flattering look on his body.

Bond and Goldfinger

Bond and Goldfinger both are wearing brown, but notice how Goldfinger’s rich brown clothing flatters his warm complexion whilst Connery’s muted brown clothing flatters his cool complexion.

Goldfinger wears a pale yellow shirt with a short, rounded point collar and double cuffs. His narrow tie is brown satin silk. He wears black derby shoes or boots. The hat is a medium brown trilby, with a very narrow brim and tapered crown, and it appears to be suede.

Goldfinger's Suit

Woman of Straw: The Hacking Jacket

In 1964, Sean Connery starred in a crime thriller called Woman of Straw, and it features many of the same clothes that Connery wears a few months later in Goldfinger, including suits and dinner jackets most likely made by Anthony Sinclair. The classic brown barleycorn hacking jacket that we see in Goldfinger and Thunderball also appears in this film. It could possibly be a different piece altogether, but the resemblance is striking. It would seem odd that the Bond films would use leftovers from another film, though it may have been planned this way. The clothes in this film didn’t see nearly as much wear as they did in Goldfinger, and the production could save money and time by using perfectly good suits already made.

Connery wears both the hacking jacket as well as the tan cavalry twill trousers with frogmouth pockets that are later seen in Goldfinger and Thunderball, but what he wears them with is different. The shirt is the same style as the shirt in Goldfinger, with a spread collar and double cuffs, but in sky blue instead of ecru. Connery wears a solid brown tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot, and he wears the same waistcoat seen in Goldfinger under the houndstooth suit from M’s office. The beige wool waistcoat has a 6-button front, and Connery closes all the buttons. The bottom button isn’t supposed to be buttoned on this waistcoat and it causes the bottom to bunch up and pull.

Later I will be writing about other clothes from Woman of Straw, whether seen in Goldfinger or just exclusive to this film.

The Saint: Pleated Back Sports Coat

In the 5th series of The Saint, Roger Moore wears a unique sports coat with a pleated back, tailored by Cyril Castle. This outfit in particular is seen in the episode “The Convenient Monster.” The fabric is a grey and cream tweed herringbone. The button three sports coat has natural shoulders and a crooked cut, which puts more fabric to the front of the coat in front of the neck point showing less shirt and raising the collar. Though Moore usually wears button-three suit jackets and sports coats in The Saint, the buttons on this jacket are spaced farther apart than on most of Moore’s jackets. Moore buttons the top two buttons, which serves to keep him warm outdoors in cool, damp Scotland. Ordinarily, Moore only buttons the middle button on his button-three jackets. A heavy tweed jacket is always best with a button three or button four front that buttons to the top because they were originally designed to be worn outdoors in cool, damp weather or indoors in old, drafty homes.

Notice the pleats above and below the belt

The back of the sports coat has a belt and two pleats above and below the waist on each side, with no vents. The jacket is detailed with swelled edges, single-button cuffs and four flapped pockets. The two hip pockets are slanted down and the two breast pockets are slanted up. The flaps are narrow to match the narrow lapels. The double, flapped breast pockets and belted and pleated back place this coat in the sporting tradition, though the lack of a vent means this coat is not meant for riding.

Tan Cavalry Twill

Moore’s trousers are tan cavalry twill, which is a heavy fabric characterized by double twill wales. The ecru shirt has a spread collar and double cuffs. Moore wears an olive satin tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot. Moore wears black socks and black slip-on shoes with elastic gussets, though black is at odds with the rest of the outfit where earth tones dominate. But black shoes are neutral and can be worn with anything, despite them not being the most stylish option. More rugged shoes would also be more appropriate with this outdoor county outfit.

Brown Tweed on One Side

Octopussy opens with Bond in a brown tweed 3-button sports coat tailored by Douglas Hayward with natural shoulders and a low button stance. It has slanted pockets with a ticket pocket and double vents in the back. We are lead to believe this coat is reversible, and when Bond removes the coat and turns it inside out we see the green army fabric and patch pockets on the other side.

Underneath the jacket Bond wears a yellow poloneck, or a dickey, if you will, which is easily removable. It’s not a full jumper and only fills the jacket opening. Bond’s trousers are olive green twill, matching the reverse side of his coat, with a plain front and plain hems. He wears the trousers with a dark brown belt that has a brass buckle and matches his dark brown boots. Bond’s flat cap is brown tweed matching the sports coat, but it’s also reversible to match the uniform. Later in week I will write more about the military uniform that Bond hides underneath the sports coat.

The reverse side is shown, though the shape isn’t consistent with the uniform seen when Moore puts it on.