The Saint: Charcoal Brown Double-Breasted Suit with an Ulster Collar

21

One year ago today, we lost one of the world’s most stylish men, Roger Moore. Moore showed us how to dress for over a decade, in both classic and fashionable clothes. The sixth and final series of The Saint featured some of Roger Moore’s most adventurous clothes. In a 1969 episode titled “Portrait of Brenda”, Roger Moore as Simon Templar wears one of his most unusual double-breasted suits, which also appeared in other sixth series episodes such as “The Time to Die” and “The Scales of Justice”. Moore’s usual tailor for The Saint, Cyril Castle of Conduit Street in Mayfair, made this suit with his usual flair. Castle tailored Moore through The Man with the Golden Gun.

This suit is made of a lightweight flannel, likely a worsted flannel, and its colour is an unusual one. It is a dark, muted cool brown that is close to being charcoal. A charcoal brown. The coolness makes it an appropriate brown for the city, unlike warm, rich country browns. There may be a hint of purple in the brown, but the subtlety of the purple is very elegant in this suit rather than in a bold purple suit. For someone like Simon Templar who dresses in a suit to fit in with 1960s British society rather than for a job, he can wear whatever type of suit he wants to. And he certainly takes pleasure in dressing in a suit.

The double-breasted suit jacket is a traditional button two, show three and features Castle’s signature narrow wrap, where the front of the jacket has less than the usual amount of overlap to create a more masculine silhouette. The straight lapels are moderately narrow and feature an Ulster collar, which is taken from the double-breasted Ulster-style overcoat. On an overcoat, the collar is designed to flip up and fasten around the neck, but on this suit it is merely decorative, making it more of a faux Ulster collar.

The collar follows the entire top edge of the lapel and comes to a downward point. It gives a sportier and less formal look to this double-breasted suit than the standard peaked lapels would. There are no buttonholes in the lapels. Sean Connery’s half-Norfolk jackets in Diamonds Are Forever have a similar faux Ulster collar.

The jacket is cut with very soft shoulders that have a slight extension, and the shoulders are punctuated with roped sleeve heads. The full-cut chest has a little bit of drape, and the waist is tightly nipped. This combination of large chest and small waist gives Moore a stronger look, while the soft shoulders ensure that this effect is not exaggerated and makes the suit look more relaxed.

The jacket is detailed like most of Moore’s other jackets from this era, with exaggerated 1960s styling. The hip pockets are slanted and have narrow flaps, and the breast pocket is a slim welt. The gauntlet (turnback) cuff fasten with a single button. There are two vents at the rear. The suit trousers have a darted front, cross pockets and a narrow tapered leg, and they are worn with a belt.

Notice Moore’s Bulova 23 Jewels Selfwinding gold-tone watch with a silver-tone dial on a nylon NATO strap

Under the suit, Moore wears a cream cotton poplin shirt from Frank Foster with a tall spread collar, two-button rounded cocktail cuffs and a plain front. His narrow tie is gold satin silk, tied in a four-in-hand knot. The small knot is tied firmly and sits at the top of the tall collar stand.

Moore’s shoes are chestnut brown slip-ons with elastic at the sides. In an outdoor establishing shot, Roger Moore is replaced by a body double who wears light brown shoes with this outfit.

Roger Moore’s chestnut brown slip-on shoes

Character actor Marne Maitland, who played Lazar in The Man with the Golden Gun, appeared in this episode as well as in a number of other episodes of The Saint.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Roger Moore had a physique which was suitable for the narrow overlapping double breasted structure to flatter. Having experimented with it recently, I propose that the width between the 2x horizontal waist buttons is about 4 inches wide, which can be estimated from comparing it to the 5″ spread shirt collar he wore with this jacket button style.

    I think it is the ratio of Roger Moore’s head size to his apparently wide shoulders and then full body length which creates a long and slim taper that works very well with the narrow overlap. Comparing it to others who have worn this same narrow overlap style, Roger Moore’s head does not seem comically and legs short large due to the effect. In classical double breasted cuts, the overlap is kept wide in order to visually widen the wearer’s shoulders and make the head seems smaller.

    For instance, comparing:

    http://www.bondsuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Roger-Moore-Saint-Cool-Brown-Suit-3.jpg

    and

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/52/db/a1/52dba1f39c75d08dd10787f88f42409f.jpg

    What do you think, Matt?

    • The problem in Daniel Craig’s example is that the suit is ready to wear and not tailored to fit him or flatter him. The narrow wrap has less effect than the narrow shoulders have.

      • Fair enough about the fit around Daniel Craig’s shoulders, Matt.

        Continuing the discussion if I may, if you compare the following two photos, do you notice how a wider wrap actually strengthens the V-taper, make the wearer’s torso proportions seem more masculine and take attention away from the legs in which Daniel Craig’s case almost makes his legs seem short? I can almost picture the Johnny Bravo silhouette – what do you think?

        https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b0/52/75/b05275c1061630c1ebfe96004a8dd607.jpg

        http://img.spokeo.com/public/900-600/daniel_craig_2007_02_26.jpg

        Having tried to fit my DB blazer with the narrow wrap with no careful torso adjustments made me realise how unique Roget Moore’s physique is.

      • It’s not a fair comparison, because the Duke of Windsor has a lower buttoning point, wider lapels and a lot of drape. All of those do more for his physique than the wrap does. Craig’s jacket could benefit from wider lapels and a shorter length. I find that the wider wrap widens the waist and shortens the torso. I will have to do a post comparing double-breasted wraps and fastenings.

  2. I really like the colour and cut of this suit, not sure I like the ulster collar so much, since it’s still paired with notch lapels on a double breasted suit. I think Tautz-style peak lapels would work better to make the suit more distinctive yet still maintain balance.

  3. I assume the lapels are a little wider than his other “Saint” suits, since it’s a double breasted, but those lapels look much better on Roger than the ultra-slim ones you’ve shown on some of his other suits from the same era. Those tend to make his body look inflated, his head look tiny, or both. This suit feels much more proportionate.

    • I agree. Fashion would swing a completely different direction ten years later, with Moore sporting some ridiculously wide notch lapels on a double breasted blazer.

      Oddly, in our case, it’s 2018 and we still haven’t completely gotten over narrow lapels from the previous decade…

  4. I can’t believe it has been a year already since Moore passed. Anyway, great article as usual Matt! This is a great outfit full of subtle flair.

  5. “The jacket is detailed like most of Moore’s other jackets from this era, with exaggerated 1960s styling”.

    What waste of good bespoke !!

    • I’m afraid to see your reaction to some of the stuff Michael Fish and Tommy Nutter were putting out! Moore’s clothing in The Saint and as James Bond is pretty sober compared to what was going on in The Peacock Revolution.

  6. Nice little post to Sir Roger, Matt and yes, it’s hard to credit that a full year has passed since he left us.

    Like yourself, I always found the colour of this suit a little difficult to pin down except to be certain that – on account of the accompaniments like shoes, tie etc. – it was somewhere in the brown family. I too always noticed this vaguely purple hint.

    Castle’s suits had flair and a touch of flamboyance. This was borne out for me when I noticed a tranche of his suits and sports coats from the 1970’s for sale a few months back on EBay. I bought only one – a dark brown basket weave wool and silk mix sports coat – because the fabric designs on the other pieces were, frankly, a little too flashy and “of their time”. This suit is certainly “of its time” too but in a good way. Only the interesting lapel really sets it apart. It was these interesting features (flapped breast pockets, lapelled waistcoats, double breasted waistcoats) and fabrics which appeared on the clothing in the colour “Saint” episodes which made them somewhat more of interest than the black and white episodes which preceded them. This, of course, continued through the “Persuaders” era and right in to Bond. Yet, Roger’s good taste made him (generally) steer clear of anything too flashy and over fashionable. Interesting too is that the final “Saint” series featured a better selection and rotation of suits than the first colour series with some only appearing in one or two episodes. The fact that the final series was truncated and ran to approximately half the episodes of the previous series has a lot to do with this.

    I really like the neat cut of Castle’s double breasted suits with their trim cut and narrow front wrap and this prompted me to have my tailor produce two of these along the style of Roger’s Bond period; one, a copy of the Golden Gun office suit and another cut exactly the same way in a dark brown striped vintage fabric from Dormeuil. Like this suit, it looks overall dark brown from a distance until the subtle details of the striping are seen. So many men’s suits nowadays lack any interest at all. Perhaps this explains why so many men hate wearing suits….

      • Thanks Jovan. I live in Dublin and he’s an old Dublin tailor. Not a “name” but accomplished and once I present an example of what I’m looking for in either physical or picture form, he’ll produce it. The two recent DB Castle style suits were produced from photos of the Golden Gun office suit from this blog and he’s replicated Hayward’s style from an example of the real thing.

    • Those sound like two fantastic suits, David! Indeed one probably would have to go bespoke nowadays in order to get suits with that kind of narrow wrap. As for the lack of interest and imagination in men’s suits today I think you are right, sadly. All the interesting details associated with wearing tailored clothing outside of the uniform work environment, such as ulter collars, gauntlet cuffs, action backs, flapped breast pockets etc. are sadly dying off. All that’s left are the black, skin-tight polyester suits that make the wearer screaming for his t-shirt and comfy sweatpants. There are many men who seem genuinely interested in clothing and yet its like nobody has realized the creative potential of wearing tailored clothing as more than, at best, “dressing up” and, at worst, as an uninspiring uniform..

      • Exactly. That’s the problem and I can’t, sadly, see any improvement. Decent tailoring hung on (just about) until about the turn of this century. Since then it seems to be downhill all the way!

  7. Can be interesting compare this suit with the more classic double breasted in “The Man with the golden gun”:

    https://s9.postimg.cc/qffvflqgf/Roger-_Moore-_DB.jpg

    Some thoughts:
    1-Roger Moore is fantastic in double brested; a cut that flatter he very well.
    2-The narrow overlapping of Cyril Castle,when is not exaggerated,create a clean and willowy silhouette very pleasent.
    3-For Sir Roger classic widht of lapels for Double breasted and single breasted are more elegants and proportionates that the skinny ultratrendy lapels of 60s.

  8. I you look this two suits with attention you see that are very similiar in cut and overlapping.
    The only difference are the shape and the widht of lapels.
    This change a lot
    But if you addedd at the brrown suit the classic DB lapels of “The Man with the golden gun” double breasted you have a very similiar suit
    Look:
    https://s31.postimg.cc/vpcbfvv1n/Roger-_Moore-_DB1.jpg

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