Roger Moore wears his first of three off-white dinner jackets in The Man with the Golden Gun. This dinner jacket is very close to being white, though it’s still not quite there. And fitting for the Asian setting, this dinner jacket is made from a slubby but luxurious dupioni silk. The cut is Cyril Castle’s classic double-breasted six button with two to button and has a narrower wrap. The shoulders narrow and gently padded. The jacket has double vents and the pockets are slanted and jetted. The cuffs button one with a turnback detail and don’t have the link button feature that Roger Moore wears on his other suits in the film. The black trousers are flared with a darted front and a black satin stripe down each leg.
Instead of the usual white shirt, Moore wears a cream dress shirt by Frank Foster. It’s unclear whether he is wearing that colour shirt to make a fashion statement, or simply because it flatters his complexion better than a stark white. The voile shirt has a pleated front with standard mother of pearl buttons and two-button cocktail cuffs. Moore wears a wide, black satin bow tie to match the wide lapels. Though the bow tie looks dated, wide lapels on a double-breasted jacket don’t so much since they are typically wider than single-breasted lapels anyway. Moore’s dress shoes are black patent slip-ons with a strap and clasp detail.
Last year we looked at the elephant grey silk suit Bond wears in Moonraker. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond wears an identical suit from Angelo, Roma in light brown dupioni silk that wonderfully complements Moore’s warm complexion as well as the mediterranean surroundings. The lapels are wide and the trouser legs are flared, but the fit is superb. The suit coat has a clean cut with straight, structured shoulders, roped sleeveheads, a 2-button front, swelled edges, patch hip pockets and deep double vents. The flat front trousers have no side pockets and no visible method of tightening the waist. The trousers are fitted through the hips and thighs until the legs start to flare out a few inches above the knee.
Bond wears two shirts with this suit. The first is a fancy striped pattern in ecru and brown. The second shirt is solid ecru. Both shirts are made by Frank Foster with a deep point collar, tab cuffs and Foster’s unique placket front. Bond’s tie has wide stripes in cream, light brown and dark brown, and it’s tied in a four-in-hand knot. The shoes are light brown horse-bit slip-ons. Light brown socks extend the line of the leg into the shoes.
When Bond arrives in Venice in Moonraker he wears an dupioni silk suit in elephant grey. Dupioni silk is both shiny and slubby, and it’s a great fabric for spring. The suit is cut with a two-button front, wide lapels, straight and narrow shoulders and roped sleeveheads, clean chest, and a nipped waist. The suit coat has deep double vents, flapped pockets and 4-button cuffs. The trousers have a flat front and a wide, flared leg, and they are worn with a belt. If you can get past the wide lapels and flared legs, you’ll see that the suit has an excellent fit.
Bond’s shirt is a light ecru with a large point collar and tab cuffs. The tie is printed pattern of white and dark red ovals on a dark navy ground. Bond’s socks are light grey to match the suit and his shoes are black Italian horse bit slip-ons.
Five examples of this suit were made for the movie. In the scene where the gondola rises out of the water, the first four takes resulted in the craft tipping over and Roger Moore falling into the water, ruining each suit. Whilst the fifth take was a success, it’s a shame about the first four suits.
At the end of Live and Let Die, James Bond wears a double-breasted suit by Mayfair tailor Cyril Castle made in dark grey dupioni silk. This is Bond’s first double-breasted suit of the series. In previous films Bond wears a double-breasted navy blazer and a naval commander’s uniform, but not a normal double-breasted suit. The double-breasted suit fits Bond’s character since he is a naval commander, though he may wish to distance himself from his military position when not in uniform. James Bond previously wears a dark grey dupioni silk suit in From Russia With Love. Dupioni silk is characterised by its irregular slubs and slight shimmer, and whilst it resists wrinkles it also takes a crease very well. It’s downside is that it wears warm, even in lighter weights.
This suit coat has the traditional six-button front, which has two to close and one to show. Cyril Castle cut his double-breasted jackets with less wrap (overlap) than most tailors do, and Roger Moore wears similar double-breasted suits made by Castle in The Saint and The Persuaders. The lapel width of a double-breasted jacket varied less with the fashion trends than the single-breasted jacket did, resulting in a less dated look. Traditional double-breasted lapels are wider than single-breasted lapels, so they fit the 1970s fashions well. Roger Moore’s clothing looks far more elegant than the more noticeably outdated clothes worn by David Hedison’s Felix Leiter.
The jacket’s cuffs have the same flared link-button style that the other suits in the film have. The jacket has deep double vents in the rear. The pockets are slanted with flaps, and there is a buttonhole in the left lapel only—many double breasted suits have buttonholes in both lapels. The suit trousers have a darted front with three-button side adjusters and slightly flared trouser legs.
Bond’s cream shirt made by Frank Foster has a moderate spread collar, two-button cocktail cuffs and a fly front with a placket stitched close to the centre that covers the buttons. The tie has a grey ground with some sort of large red motif, which can best be described by the pictures. Bond’s shoes are black.
Notice the fly placket without visible buttons.
For this entry we will discuss the cut of Sean Connery’s suit jacket. Many call this the “Conduit Cut”, after tailor Anthony Sinclair’s premises on Conduit Street in London. Cyril Castle, Roger Moore’s tailor in the 1960s and 70s, was also on Conduit Street, and I don’t think it would be fair to not equally consider his contribution to the “Conduit Cut”. Sinclair’s and Castle’s jacket cuts were very similar, though while Sinclair was cutting 2-button suits for Connery, Castle was making 3-button suits for Moore to wear on The Saint.
Let’s get back on track and take a look at Sean Connery’s suit jacket. The example pictured is a button two, single vent jacket from a suit made of charcoal grey dupioni silk, worn in From Russia With Love. All of Sean Connery’s suit jackets have a 2-button front, and the button stance is lower than what is popular right now in 2010. The low button stance emphasizes his waist and the “V” shape of his torso. The waist is nipped in to give the jacket shape although I wouldn’t call his suits slim, just merely fitted. The chest is cut full with a bit of drape, and the shoulders are natural but look large due to Connery strong and masculine physique. There is a subtle roping at the sleevehead. The gorge (where the lapel and collar meet) is at a standard height, not too high as is typical today. Though the narrow lapels and pocket flaps date this suit to the 1960s, the cut of the suit overall is timeless.
The cut of the jacket isn’t as slim as those most people associate with the 1960s. The 2-button front was known to be popular in the 1960s in America, but in England the 3-button suit was still the norm. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the 2-button suit was fully accepted in more conservative circles there. Tomorrow we will take a closer look at the trousers that accompany these jackets.