Air Force Blue Blazer for Summer in “Vendetta for the Saint”

18

Vendetta-for-the-Saint-Blazer

Blazers do not always need to be navy. Other shades of medium to dark blue can work just as well in summertime for a blazer, such as Air Force blue. Air Force blue is a medium form of azure—a colour halfway between blue and cyan—and can be described as a warm blue-grey. Air Force blue became known as such when uniforms of surplus material in this colour were issued to the Royal Air Force. True Air Force blue is a medium shade, but shades of warm blue-grey that are a little darker than medium are still given the moniker. For people with a light, warm complexion like Roger Moore, Air Force blue is especially flattering. For people with a cooler complexion like Sean Connery, a cooler blue-grey will be more flattering for a similar effect to Air Force Blue.

Vendetta-for-the-Saint-Blazer-1

In a two-part 1969 episode of The Saint titled “Vendetta for the Saint”, which was also released as a feature film with the same title, Roger Moore wears an Air Force blue blazer from his tailor Cyril Castle made of a cool-wearing open-weave worsted wool when in Naples and Palermo in Italy. The episode was filmed partially on location, but with nearby Malta standing in for Italy. These sunny mediterranean locales are the perfect places to wear an Air Force blue blazer. Moore’s blazer is technically slightly darker than Air Force blue, but it is still close enough that it deserves the name. “Vendetta for the Saint” features Bond-film actors George Pastell and Steven Berkoff.

Roger Moore’s blue blazer in “Vendetta for the Saint” has three buttons on the front, a single button on the cuff, gauntlet (turnback) cuffs, slanted pockets with narrow flaps and double vents. The buttons are shanked and crested silver-toned metal. The blazer is cut with wide soft shoulders, roped sleeve heads, a draped chest and a suppressed waist. A low button stance, along with the drape, provides Roger Moore with a more masculine physique. The combination of soft shoulders, drape and a low button stance also gives this blazer the relaxed look that it needs for southern Italy. The blazer’s drape and wide shoulders when combined with narrow lapels give Moore a strong, imposing chest, but this look lacks a certain elegance.

Vendetta-for-the-Saint-Blazer-4

Moore wears two different pairs of trousers with this blazer: one pair in charcoal worsted and another pair in medium grey worsted. The charcoal trousers are darker than the blazer whilst the medium grey trousers are slightly lighter, and both trousers provide adequate contrast. Both pairs of trosuers have front darts, frogmouth pockets in front, two button-through pockets in the rear and tapered legs with plain hems. The trousers have belt loops, usually filled with a black leather belt. Many trousers colours would look great with this blazer, such as light grey, fawn, tan, khaki and cream.

There are continuity errors with the trousers. Moore wears the medium grey trousers on location when entering and exiting a bank, but the interior scene is filmed at Elstree Studios in England, and Moore wears charcoal trousers in that scene. Additionally, in some shots the belt is absent from the medium grey trousers.

Vendetta-for-the-Saint-Blazer-2

The cream shirt that Moore wears in “Vendetta for the Saint” is unique amongst the shirts that Moore wears in The Saint. His typical shirt in The Saint’s sixth series production (of which this episode is a part) has a tall classic spread collar, a plain front and two-button cocktail cuffs. Frank Foster made those shirts and he made the shirt in “Vendetta for the Saint” too. This shirt again has a tall collar, but it’s a wider cutaway collar with considerable tie space instead that makes the collar band visible beside the tie knot. It’s a shame Moore doesn’t often wear these wider collars because they balance his angular jaw. This shirt has a raised unfused placket with stitching about 3/8” from the edge. The cuffs are the first appearance of Foster’s single-button-fastening button-down cocktail cuffs, which Moore would wear a few years later throughout The Persuaders and Sean Connery would wear over a decade later in Never Say Never Again. “Vendetta for the Saint” is the only appearance of button-down cocktail cuffs in The Saint. The back of the shirt has small shoulder pleats and darts at the waist.

Vendetta-for-the-Saint-Cocktail-Cuffs
Notice the button-down cocktail cuffs

Moore wears two similar narrow ties with this jacket, which both have wide light blue and navy stripes separated by narrow stripes. The narrow stripes are gold on the first tie and burgundy on the second tie. These ties both have square ends rather than the typical triangular ends, which was a fashion trend of the 1960s. Only a knitted tie traditionally takes a square end. The narrow ties knot with a small four-in-hand knot. Moore’s shoes are black calf slip-ons with a high vamp, low sides and black rubber soles. Brown shoes with the medium grey trousers would have been a better choice considering the location and casual nature of the outfit. Black shoes, on the other hand, are always a better match with charcoal trousers.

For the second half of the episode, Moore exchanges his blazer for a navy Harrington jacket (see below). He wears the Harrington jacket with the same charcoal trousers, burgundy-striped tie, shirt and shoes that he wears with the blazer.

Vendetta-for-the-Saint-Harrington
A Harrington jacket in Vendetta for the Saint

18 COMMENTS

  1. What colour is Moore’s shirts, his usual cream/ecru ? Excellent post, the colour is very fashionable today and the look would work with that colour jacket and grey/charcoal trousers. Timeless.

  2. It’s interesting Cyril Castle cut the blazer with wider shoulders. Most of his jackets had narrow shoulders generally. It’s also interesting that Castle was making his jackets with a draped chest in 1969. Anthony Sinclair had started cutting Connery’s jackets with a cleaner chest by 1967 when he did You Only Live Twice.

    • Moore is a big man, but the suits and jackets he wore in The Saint made him look gigantic. When I first saw LALD as a kid I realized he was built like the rest of us mortals.

      • He probably was a bit smaller in Live and Let Die, after he lost a considerable amount of weight from The Persuaders, when he was at his heaviest pre-Bond.

  3. I have a jacket just a shade lighter of this collor. I have some dificulties in matching collors with it. I have an of White linen trousers, and the jacket is poplin. If i wanted to use both togheter, what color of shirt should i use?

  4. I don’t know about this blazer. I mean, YES, the masterful tailoring by Cyril Castle is evident and I do like the style, colour and fabric of the piece but still, it just looks to me that this particular cut (of this and many other jackets from The Saint) seem to very obviously work against Moore’s body type. I dont know, its hard to pinpoint what it is that seems off. I thought it may have been the 3 button style making him look more boxy, especially after you covered that absolutely stunning blue sports coat from The Saint a while back and it was the best jacket I have seen on him pre-The Persuaders (and it was a 2 button wich he didn’t wear much at the time) but then again he wears 3 buttons in Bond and The Persuaders too and never looks this boxy. The tailoring by Castle in the later years and the tailoring by Angelo Roma just seems to me to enhance Moore’s build a lot better. Mabey this here is the closest Moore came to let the fit of his clothes be
    dictated by current fashion, while still not allowing the clothes to be ill-fitting. I’d say the same thing about Brosnan in the 90’s – very 90’s fit but at least the fit wasn’t totally compromised (Like with Dalton in LTK and Craig in the latest two films).

  5. Roger Moore is described in many film books as being well built and athletic. He always had a good build when he was younger. Sure with age he started to get a bit thick around the middle, but Connery in my opinion let himself go more.

    • There is no question as to who of the two looked younger and fitter by the time they hit their forties – consider that Moore was 5 years older in LALD than Connery was in DAF.

  6. This may be a little off-topic, but I have often pointed out that criticism of moore’s tailoring (or of his acting, for that matter) has political overtones: too pleased with himself, too unconflicted, too old-school, etc. Now this article in the King & Allen blog proves my point without the shadow of a doubt: http://kingandallen.co.uk/nigel-farage-double-breasted-suit/

    Note, in particular, the following quote from the article: “Thankfully, Nigel Farage’s version of double-breasted is so far removed from the modern, elegant suits that our customers order so as not to be a real threat. He is Alan Partridge. He is Roger Moore. He is mother-in-law jokes. He is a naff throwback to late 1970s Britain – the diametric opposite to the modern, intelligent gentleman reading this article.” ’nuff said!

  7. This type of comment is precisely the type of thing I’ve read, on so many occasions, down the years, so much so that it’s that it’s become a kind of lazy cliché.

    What’s unfortunate in all this is that this menswear outfit are painting themselves (even though they won’t see this) in a poor light. First of all Farage is pictured wearing a double breasted blazer as opposed to the suit they are criticizing. Then, the winner of their competition with his suit, sleeves too long and with the unfortunate modern penchant for excess facial hair another fashion which, when it passes, is going to look tacky and tasteless. Yet, the purveyors of these suits paint themselves as modern (fair enough) and tasteful (sorry, no). Roger’s double breasted suits whether tailored by Castle or Hayward showed a flair for tailoring that this outfit couldn’t come withing sniffing distance of. Ok, their suits aren’t actually bad but they’re pedestrian. Not fit to wipe the floor of the original Doug Hayward’s premises with!

    With Moore’s there’s instantly this association with the 1970’s, despite his Bond’s continuing until half way through the following decade and his Saint-hood all through the preceding one. Its’ the other cliché 1970’s = bad, tastless, “naff”, all in all not to be recommended. 2010’s = hip, tasteful, modern. Well, me, I’d take the relatively carefree years I grew up in over this horrible angst ridden, PC driven modern era any time.

    However, despite this mocking attitude in certain quarters it’s absolutely true that Roger Moore is held in high affection by a great deal of the British people. They may say that Connery was the original and best but they do appreciate Roger Moore. And why? Well, I’m sure a myriad of reasons but for many I’ll bet it’s his grace, good humour, tradition, manners and sheer warm likeability which make him what the British so often refer to as (another cliché) “a national treasure”.

    The people in King and Allen would do well to read about Roger Moore on Matt’s blog. They might learn something.

    • Well said David! It’s encouraging to realize that I am not the only person with warm memories of the 70’s.

  8. As always, a spirited defense of Roger’s style, Dan and David, and I couldn’t agree with you Moore (sorry, couldn’t resist). I suppose that bearded wonder in the ugly double-breasted suits is modelling modern and “edgy” men’s fashions. If so, it only highlights the timeless, classic nature of so much of Roger Moore’s wardrobe.

  9. Roger Moore also wore a beige coloured Harrington jacket numerous times in series 6, he wore it with various cotton turtlenecks. That would make a good post Matt.

  10. A late addition to this discussion: I believe that Vendetta for the Saint was filmed during 1967, but added to the 1968/9 run of episodes. A few online sources mention the 1967 date, and Roger Moore’s appearance and tailoring would bear this out. Moore lost quite a bit of weight in the break between seasons 5 and 6, and his hairline rose slightly as the first evidence of the slight thinning of his hair. In this story he is still quite bulky.

    As noted in other Bondsuits entries, Moore also took the opportunity to update his wardrobe, and I would argue that the blazer he sports in Vendetta is far closer to his general season 5 wardrobe than the Cyril Castle double breasted suits he often wore in season 6.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.