Roger Moore had a uniform, and it wasn’t the safari suit! It wasn’t the dinner jacket or the trench coat either, though he loved those too. The blue blazer was Roger Moore’s true uniform, and he wore it in many forms more than anything else, both on and off the screen. Throughout his long life, he frequently reached for a blazer for almost any occasion that didn’t necessitate black tie. Moore routinely demonstrated how versatile the metal-buttoned blue blazer is, and he wore it for countless roles, television appearances and public events.
Elegant, versatile, traditional and dressy-but-fun all describe the navy blazer, and all of these traits of the blazer are why it perfectly suited Roger Moore. Moore was always perfectly dressed wherever he wore it, not only because of the blazer’s versatility but because it was the garment that best suited his personality.
David Mason, who had the honour of tailoring Roger Moore’s last blazer, reminded me of the impact Moore’s clothes still have on the world today:
It was particularly pleasing to see Roger featured in GQ‘s 2015 list of Best Dressed Men – not many octogenarians receive such an accolade… particularly when they have previously been the subject of ridicule for their sense of style. The safari jackets and flared trousers of the 1970s have received much derision, but they were right for the time. It is amusing to see the current popularity of short, belted coats with patch pockets and flaps (now referred to as field-coats), and when the fashion for trousers with wide bottoms returns (which it will at some point in the future) Roger Moore will be celebrated as the style icon that he has always been.
Moore would not have been featured in GQ‘s list of 2015’s (and other years’) best-dressed men if it weren’t for how well he wore his blazers. Model Lara Stone said to GQ about this choice, “Sir Roger Moore is the sexiest octogenarian in the world. Those blazers, those slacks, that twinkle.” Here is a tribute to Moore’s life through just some of his iconic blue blazers:
The Saint: Button Three Blazer
It all started with the first episode of The Saint, “The Talented Husband”, in 1962. Cyril Castle made for Moore a few almost identical navy blazers over the course of the the four black-and-white series of The Saint, which Moore wore more than anything else in those episodes. He particularly favoured these in the British countryside and abroad.
These blazers had very narrow 1960s lapels and three buttons, of which Moore only fastened the middle. Castle cut these blazers with soft shoulders and a strong, swelled chest to give Moore a powerful yet relaxed look. It had straight flapped pockets with a ticket pocket and a single vent at the rear. He typically paired his blazers with mid grey flannel trousers, a pale blue shirt and a striped tie.
The Saint: Air Force Blue Blazer
For a special two-part episode of The Saint filmed in Malta titled “Vendetta for the Saint”, Moore wore a blazer in air force blue made by Cyril Castle. This unusual colour for a blazer wouldn’t be such a good choice for cool and cloudy Britain, but this lighter and warmer blue is perfect for both the sunny Mediterranean as well as for Moore’s warm complexion. It is tailored with soft shoulders, a full chest and a suppressed waist and is detailed with silver crested buttons, double vents, hacking pockets and turned-back gauntlet cuffs. He wears it well with both mid grey and charcoal trousers, a cream shirt with button-down cocktail cuffs made by Frank Foster and a striped tie.
The Saint: Striped Double-Breasted Blazer
Moore’s first double-breasted blazer, which he wears in the final series of The Saint, is an unusual cloth of navy with alternating narrow and wide fancy stripes in grey and/or muted red. It’s difficult to make out the true colours of the stripes, but the stripes are not the kind that would be found on a business suit, and that is why they are effective on this blazer. Moore wouldn’t dare wear a pinstriped of chalk striped jacket as a blazer!
This blazer by Cyril Castle features his signature double-breasted cut with a narrow wrap (overlap), which lends Moore a slim yet athletic shape. It has soft shoulders, a full chest and a suppressed waist with double vents, hacking pockets, and gauntlet cuffs. Pictured here in the final 1969 episode of The Saint titled “The World Beater”, Moore wears it with grey flannel trousers, his typical cream cocktail cuff shirt of the time made by Frank Foster and a silver satin tie. In another episode he wears it with an unusual roll-neck shirt that has double cuffs.
The Persuaders: Double-Breasted Cardigan Blazer
Roger Moore had the pleasure of designing his own wardrobe for his early 1970s television series The Persuades. For this series he opted for a non-traditional striped double-breasted blazer in colours other than blue. So it hardly counts as a blue blazer, though it does have metal buttons. But he also wore a navy blue blazer in the series in the form of a double-breasted knitted cardigan blazer. This is a casual variant of the blazer that has seen occasional popularity in Italy. It allows Moore to dress down while still wearing his signature look. He often wore it with a Frank Foster button-down-cocktail-cuff shirt and tie like he would any other blazer, but it also paired naturally with a roll-neck for more casual use.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Double-Breasted Naval Blazer
Moore’s first blue blazer as Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun and Cyril Castle’s last blazer for Moore is inspired by James Bond’s naval history and is cut like a naval reefer jacket in a button three, show three (6×3) model with shanked silver buttons. If a blazer didn’t already make someone look like he belongs at sea, this one does. It has hacking pockets, deep double vents and unique flared link cuffs.
Moore first wears this blazer with grey trousers, a blue striped Frank Foster shirt with cocktail cuffs and a light blue tie, but he later switches those items out for cream trousers, a cream shirt and a striped tie for the ultimate naval look.
The Spy Who Loved Me: Button Two Blazer in the Mediterranean
Moore’s blazers were brought thoroughly into the 1970s by Angelo Roma with wide lapels, padded but narrow shoulders and a leaner cut through the chest. This dark navy hopsack blazer from The Spy Who Loved Me has a modern variation on the classic shanked metal buttons; sew-through silver-toned metal buttons update the blazer without dishonouring the tradition of metal buttons. Moore wears the blazer with off-white trousers for the ultimate maritime look when at sea. He wears a blue striped shirt with “Lapidus” tab cuffs from Frank Foster and blue shantung sill tie with it. In Moonraker he wears a similar blazer on two occasions with striped ties and beige and tan trousers.
Moonraker: Double-Breasted Skydiving Blazer
The double-breasted blazer returns at the start on Moonraker, again from Angelo Roma. This one has sew-through, brass buttons in a classic button two, show three style with unconventional, fashion-forward notched lapels (instead of the traditional peaked for a double-breasted jacket) that are wide enough to keep him soaring through the air while skydiving! This blazer is detailed with double vents and flapped patch pockets on the hips. Moore dresses it down with mid grey flannel trousers and a cream rollneck.
The Cannonball Run: A Parody of Roger Moore
For the 1981 film The Cannonball Run, Roger Moore plays a man who thinks he is Roger Moore, so he needs to dress exactly how we’d expect Roger Moore to dress. That of course means there is a navy blazer involved. This brass-buttoned blazer has an English-inspired cut—straight shoulders with roped sleeve heads, a nipped waist and a flared skirt—with classic American details—patch pockets and a single vent. We don’t know who made it, but with an open-neck blue shirt and beige trousers, Seymour Goldfarb, Jr knows how to dress just like Roger Moore.
For Your Eyes Only: Double-Breasted Blazer in Corfu
With the more traditional fashions of the early 1980s came a new classic double-breasted blazer for Moore. Douglas Hayward was now Moore’s tailor and made James Bond this button two, show three navy blazer with brass buttons to wear for a fun and romantic afternoon in Corfu. The cut is softer than what Moore’s Italian blazers featured and is more relaxed for a more mature Moore. It has soft shoulders and a very low button stance and may have been better if the bottom row of buttons were omitted. It is classically detailed with double vents and straight flapped pockets. Moore wears it with stone-coloured gabardine trousers and an open-neck blue shirt from Frank Foster for a sporty Mediterranean look.
A View to a Kill: Blazer with a Day Cravat
Douglas Hayward made Roger Moore a classic button two single-breasted blazer with shanked brass buttons to wear in his final Bond film, A View to a Kill, but it’s in a lighter and more teal shade of navy. Though the colour is slightly different from the classic dark navy, it’s just as versatile. The blazer has soft shoulders, a gently fitted cut through the body, straight flapped pockets and double vents. Moore would continue to wear this blazers and many others like it in his personal life after this film. Here he wears the blazer with an uncharacteristic white shirt from Frank Foster, a day cravat and beige wool gabardine trousers.
A Blazer for Talk Shows
For most of Moore’s appearances over the 20 years following his Bond career, he wore button two single-breasted blazers, similar to what he wears in A View to a Kill. Most, if not all, of these blazers were made by Douglas Hayward in a similar cut and style to the blazer in A View to a Kill. Some blazers had single vents and some had double vents. The buttons on most of them were gilt metal, except for on one blazer that he wore for a 1994 appearance on Des O’Connor Tonight. This blazer is graced with white mother-of-pearl buttons, which are perfect for a summer blazer. He wears the blazer here with dark grey trousers, a pink shirt and a mauve striped tie.
Return to the Double-Breasted Blazer
Roger Moore wore a new blazer when he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007. This is the first of four or five double-breasted blazers that Moore would wear in the last decade of his life. Moore was still a patron of Hayward until 2012, and though he took delivery of this blazer before Doug Hayward passed in 2008, Hayward himself would not have cut this blazer. The blazer has straight shoulders, a higher button stance and a low placement for the hip pockets, so it doesn’t even resemble Hayward’s house style and may not be from them. Straight, padded shoulders are more flattering for Moore now as they balance his more filled-out figure, but the whole blazer looked a bit too stiff for Moore’s personality. For this special occasion pictured here, Moore wears the blazer with grey flannel trousers, a white shirt and a navy and yellow striped tie.
Anthony Sinclair Double-Breasted Blazer
David Mason of Anthony Sinclair at Mason & Sons had the honour of being the last man to tailor Roger Moore. Mason told me about the experience of dressing Sir Roger:
It is difficult to express what an honour it was to follow in the footsteps of such legends as Cyril Castle and Doug Hayward to dress Sir Roger, or for the sadness that is felt for the loss of such a wonderful man.
We began to make his clothes soon after the relaunch of Anthony Sinclair in 2012. In addition to the suits that we tailored, his favourite outfit was the trademark navy blazer and grey flannels. His blazers were cut with ease for comfort (and to accommodate his barn-door shoulders) but the double-breasted style and brass buttons created an appearance of formality. It was a look that could (and did) take him anywhere.
Moore’s final double-breasted blazer was cut more traditionally than the one mentioned just above, with a lower button stance, lower gorge and slightly softer shoulders that gave the blazer a more natural and relaxed look that perfectly balanced his body and better suited his personality.
Pictured here from Moore’s appearance on Ireland’s The Late Late Show in October 2016, he wears it with grey flannel trousers from Anthony Sinclair, a light grey striped shirt from Eton with white collar and cuffs, a scarlet tie and navy canvas shoes that stylishly help him walk better at the age of 89. Even at the end of his very long life, Moore kept the standards of how he dressed at the highest level.