Roger Moore, the Fashionable Bond, Has Passed Away at 89

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Roger Moore The Spy Who Loved Me

Sadly, this day has come. Roger Moore is the first of the actors to portray James Bond in the EON film series to have passed away. Moore played James Bond in a record seven films, including Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill, from 1973 to 1985. Moore also has the distinction of being the oldest James Bond at 57 in his last film.

Roger Moore will always be remembered for being the most fashion-forward Bond, whether you like his style or not. He brought he own sense of fashion to James Bond, which was toned down compared to the free reign he was given to design his wardrobe in The Persuaders!, a television series he starred in alongside Tony Curtis immediately before he was cast as James Bond. Moore was more comfortable in tailored clothing than any other Bond actor ever was, and he brought in his personal tailors Cyril Castle, Angelo Roma and Douglas Hayward to make his clothes for the James Bond films. Moore also used his shirtmaker, the legendary Frank Foster, for all of his Bond films, though Foster already had a history as a costumier for the Bond films.

Live-and-Let-Die-Navy-Chesterfield

People remember the dated styles that Moore wore in his 70s Bond films, such as the wide lapels on his suit jackets, the flared trousers, the plethora of brown clothes and, of course, the safari suits. No matter how much people hate these aspects of Moore’s wardrobe, he looked fantastic in almost everything he wore. Moore had a boxy chest that was better flattered by wide lapels than narrow lapels, which gave his torso a boxy look. The gently flared trousers balanced his boxy upper body. The many shades of brown he wore perfectly suited his warm complexion and golden brown hair. The safari jackets were usually appropriate in the jungles he wore them in. He wouldn’t dare wear brown suits or safari suits in London!

Moonraker-Safari-Suit

It’s a shame that people focus on the dated items that Roger Moore wore rather than the classic. His double-breasted chesterfield coat in Live and Let Die is perhaps the most beautiful outer coat James Bond ever wore, and it still looks great today. The suits and sports coats that Douglas Hayward made for Moore to wear in his three Bond films in the 1980s still hold up well apart from an excessively low button stance. Moore’s ivory linen dinner jacket in Octopussy is perhaps Bond’s best example of warm-weather black tie in the entire series.

Roger Moore in a bespoke Douglas Hayward dinner jacket in Octopussy

Roger Moore’s style has had a large influence on the way I dress. I’ve taken to his tall shirt collars, which are perfect for my long neck. I’ve had my shirts made with a number of the cuff styles he wears throughout the series, such as the cocktail cuff, the button-down cocktail cuff, the “lapidus” tab cuff and the large single-button cuff with an extra-large button. I’ve also had the cuff of some of my jackets finished with the link-button style featured on Moore’s Cyril Castle jackets in his first two Bond films. I look to Moore’s varied palate when wondering what colour trousers I should pair with my navy blazers. I’ve also used Moore’s beautiful outfits in his other films, The Saint and The Persuaders! for inspiration. Some of Moore’s 1970s styles may be difficult to copy, but many of his timeless 1980s outfits can still be easily emulated.

Though he rarely tops the most-popular-Bond polls, and he never tops the best-dressed Bond polls, he’s undoubtedly one of the most likeable Bonds on and off the screen. Roger Moore has always shown an incredible amount of appreciation for being able to play Bond and to his fans, and he will be missed.

Marine Blue Suit

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38 COMMENTS

  1. A very nice tribute, Matt.
    Thanks to you, I have learned to enjoy Roger Moore’s wardrobe and style better and better over the years.

  2. A sad and unfortunate announcement it is. RIP Sir Roger Moore.

    And thank you Matt, for sharing the wonderful details of his Bond’s and other role’s clothing and style.

    He surely will be missed by all James Bond fans.

  3. RIP, Sir Roger. Live and Let Die is one of my favorites in the series, and A View to a Kill always brings a smile to my face, despite its out-there plot, even by Moore Bond standards.

  4. A well-written eulogy Matt. Thank you for detailing Sir Roger’s wardrobe over the years.

    For me, Sir Roger was always my favorite Bond, with For Your Eyes Only my personal favorite of the films, and The Spy Who Loved Me is perhaps the best film of its kind of the 1970’s. Both contain more than enough evidence that Sir Roger’s dramatic acting abilities were always underrated while his easy charm and perfect comic timing, so lacking in so many actors, is often overlooked if not dismissed (call it, “the Cary Grant Problem”). Moonraker and Octopussy (despite their weaknesses) are endlessly repeatable in large part because Sir Roger is so enjoyable in the role. As you said Matt – “one of the most likable Bonds”

    Sir Roger always presented grace, winning self-depracation, and charm. He will be missed. RIP.

    • I was remiss for not mentioning Sir Roger’s work with UNICEF. For that, he came closer to living up to his title “The Saint” than anything else, at least in his public life and career. A well-earned knighthood, far surpassing the confines of his acting-stardom.

  5. Sir Roger Moore doesn’t get enough credit on and off screen. True, he’s said things I disagree with (such as Bond should be “English-English”) but he had an appreciation for clothing no other Bond actor has had, not to mention appreciation for the role he took over from Connery. And it’s hard to deny how much he loved the fans. We are lesser without his wit and candor.

  6. Growing in the 70’s Roger was my Bond and inevitably his style is what I adopted. I always admired Roger and his blue blazers. How has Roger influnenced your style?

  7. Well said, he was one of the last of his kind and a true gentleman. Sorry I never had the chance to meet him. I knew this day would come sooner rather than later but that doesn’t make it any easier! Tonight I’ll be watching his films and tomorrow I’ll wear a blue blazer in his honour!

  8. I used to watch Moore’s Bond movies with my daughter when she was little. It was like going on vacation together with an old friend – a tad predictable maybe, but always fun. And she grew up to love blue blazers!

  9. I think Moore just had the bad luck to play Bond in the 1970s — not as bad luck as Dalton in the 1980s, though. Even by Connery’s last film (before the ill-advised return) you could see the writing on the wall for the coming decade. You don’t read many people praising the outfits of DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER.

    And, as you note, Matt, Moore wore some fantastic suits during his run.

    Plus that Chesterfield in LIVE AND LET DIE! That coat just keeps looking better and better.

    RIP, Sir. Roger

  10. I hate the 70s style in patterns ,lapels ,ties,shoes,shirts and hairs…but the first two movies of Sir Rogers as Bond “Live and let die” and above hall “The man with the golden gun” had wonderful suits,very classic and elegants.
    I like the Cyril Castle cut of 70s,and i agree that Roger Moore seemed better in wide lapels (the very thin lapels of Castle’s suit of 60s were horribles on he).
    My favourite Bond suit of the Roger Moore era is the gray double breasted chalk stripe from “The man with the golden gun”…i’m not a fan of Angelo; agree that Douglas Hayward was better.
    For me the big defect of Moore was that he was too much follower of fashion trends;but was also the only Bond that had a genuine love for suits and menswear.
    Sean Connery dressed as Bond for the role ,Roger Moore dressed Bond as Roger Moore.

  11. Remarkably sad news. Moore was one of my favourites, and I’ve always enjoyed how easy it is to watch his relatively light hearted movies. And I’m with you, Matt, on the tall collars. If I hadn’t noticed them on him goodness knows how many of my current shirts would have me looking like a giraffe.

    Easily the most likeable Bond, on and especially off screen.

  12. A great tribute Matt. Roger was an icon, a great movie star, a modest and very charming man. Bond kept moving and getting stronger during his tenure. His films are also a snapshot of the era’s they were filmed in. RIP Rog.

  13. No wonder New York was so overcast today.

    Sir Roger taught me so much in his dress. Along with the other Bond actors, he was part of my inspiration to become a tailor.

    His spirit will live on

  14. I’m grateful he brought to Bond a fashion-conscious (and yes, I’ll admit, at times fashion-forward) approach, which while trendy had admittedly shown its age. Personally, I prefer his looks in The Saint, which again reflects more the time that show was around, rather than an enduring and consistent style. Either way, RIP Sir Roger.

  15. Like others has stated, this was a very nice tribute to Sir Roger. He was a big inspiration in so many ways and I have never heard anyone who knew him describe him in anything but the kindest of words. The word gentleman gets thrown around a lot but Moore genuinely embodied the it’s true meaning in his compassionate and humble ways while he also embraced life with great humor and passion. An example to us all. In terms of style and clothing he has been, and will continue to be, one of my personal biggest sources of inspiration and in many ways it is thanks to Matt and The suits of James Bond that we have gotten a chance to appreciate in great detail just HOW interesting and creative his sence of style was.

    RIP Sir Roger.

  16. Roger was perfect for the role during the years he played Bond.

    Some of the outfits and plots may look a little dated looking back, but at the time nobody questioned Roger’s performance or how the films were written – Bond was always considered a top quality piece of movie entertainment.

  17. Very sad to here of Sir Roger’s passing, but what a life he enjoyed!

    As for Sir Roger’s legacy as a style icon, this blog has caused a great many of us — myself included — to look beyond the obvious when it comes to Moore’s Bond clothing and appreciate it for its quality, cut, and flair (pun intended). I think you deserve legitimate credit for that. So, thank you.

  18. He ordered bespoke suits until the last.
    Recently a bespoke DB blazer from Anthony Sinclair/Mason & Sons.

  19. Mr.spaiser you have stated before that sir roger was your favorite bond. I’m going to ask a question that may be outside the scope of the this blog but since we are on the topic of the style of sir roger here it goes. According to some websites sir roger was a fan of jicky by the house of Guerlain. Through my research jicky is a womans scent. Any thoughts on this?

  20. I’m coming quite late to this post and I really can’t add a lot to the myriad of what has been said but firstly, thanks to you Matt, for giving Moore’s impeccable style the exposure it deserves by trying to Foster an appreciation of it. Now though, it’s more about Roger Moore the man and I would echo completely Hagensen’s summing up of his genuine status as a real gentleman. I couldn’t put it better. Roger Moore was the first Bond I ever saw as an impressionable 11 year old and boy did Moore make an impression. His clothing and demeanour became the template for how I would aspire to present myself to the world. While I like to think I have been reasonably successful in achieving the sartorial side of this, I can still only aspire to his self effacing, deprecation and modest manner. Unlike other actors, Roger genuinely understood that it was the public who had granted him the status of tv and then movie icon and he never forgot this, stopping to chat or sign autographs for the public with his effortlessly suave and likeable style. I never met him though I did come close last year. But, that’s fate and I wouldn’t question it too much. I would loved to have sat with him for half hour with a glass of something sparking but that’s life. I’ll certainly keep my end up and continue to emulate his style in terms of my wardrobe for as long as I remain in the waiting room of life. I hope the queue isn’t too short. But whenever it comes to my turn I’ll have that glass of bubbly with Sir Rog on the other side. RIP.

  21. A very sad day indeed. He was a real gentleman and he worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others.

  22. I had my cream shirt with cocktail cuffs, Navy blazer and striped tie when the notification came…in the morning, I had been thinking “try the ‘vendetta for the Saint look”. So sad… horsebit loafers, Safari jackets, cream shirts are part of my wardrobe thanks to him. Actually the desire to wear suits comes from seeing Simon Templar on TV with my grandfather as a kid 30 years ago…

  23. When I heard the news I dressed myself in my safari suit with my properly bespoke wide (5.5 inch) navy tie. And then I chugged some Jack Daniel’s straight from the bottle, just as Mr Moore would have.

  24. This was a very tasteful tribute, thank you.

    Have you considered doing any posts on suits worn by Adam West? (aside from the batsuit, of course). West was a contemporary of Moore who has also recently passed. He was considered for the role of Bond, and I’m sure he has worn suits and black tie in his Batman episodes.

    • Adam West dressed very well as Bruce Wayne. I haven’t considered writing about his clothes much because I’m not all that familiar with them.

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