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.
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!
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’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.