The Beige Linen Suit in Live and Let Die

23

Beige-Linen-Suit

After Bond lands his hang glider, he reverses his navy leisure suit into an elegant beige linen-blend suit. Does this count as one of the brown suits that people criticise Roger Moore for wearing? Beige suits, along with darker tan and lighter cream suits, are all classic warm-weather suits. Since it’s not the best colour for business in the city, linen is a great cloth for it because it takes the suit down a level in formality. And even though Bond wears a tie with this suit, it’s the type of suit that can look appropriate without one.

The suit is cut by Cyril Castle in the same button-two style as the rest of the suits from Live and Let Die, with slanted pockets, flared link cuffs and double vents. The trousers have a darted front, button-tab side-adjusters and slightly flared legs. They have two rear pockets and large coin pockets on both sides of the trousers accessed from just below the waistband but no side pockets.

Beige-Linen-Suit-2

The lightweight cotton voile brown and white butcher stripe shirt is something different for Moore. It’s most likely one of the few shirts he wears in the Bond series that isn’t made by Frank Foster. It has a two-button spread collar with no tie space, square two-button cuffs, no back darts, and a front placket. The placket is stitched 1/4 inch from the edge, unlike Foster’s plackets that have the stitching close to the centre. The two-button collar suggests that this shirt is from an Italian maker, but the excellent fit means that the shirt is probably still bespoke or altered ready-to-wear. In high-twist cotton voile, this shirt is airy and breathable for the hot weather in San Monique, or rather in Jamaica where these scenes were films.

Bond wears a wide red-brown satin silk tie, tied in a large four-in-hand knot with a very large dimple. The black socks and tassel slip-on shoes are out of place with the casual linen suit, but they are a carry-over from the navy leisure suit worn earlier.

The two-button collar
The two-button collar

23 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Matt,

    In my French edition of Roger Moore’s Bond on Bond, there is a press outtake with Moore having his hair cut from Brett Sinclair-length to Commander Bond’s standards. He wears a very similar shirt (shorter collar, Bengal stripe, two-button collar, single cuffs). Could it be one of Moore’s personal shirts in the scene?
    IMHO the collar size and cuffs do not suit the Cyril Castle suit that well though the colour is nice.

    Regards from France

  2. So, all of your posts on Roger Moore’s Bond suits come to a close, somewhat appropriately, with his first movie and the one which featured in your opening Moore post.

    I find the shirt fine but it is a little bizarre as Foster was Moore’s regular shirt maker and he produced the remaining shirts in the movie (bar the unseen dress shirt worn with the unused dinner suit). I mean, it’s not as if Foster wouldn’t have a similar brown stripe material to fit in with the requirements. The collar with the two buttons is an Italian feature, as you say, and we notice this again on the black silk shirt in The Spy Who Loved Me.

    As for the shoes, I hadn’t ever noticed the colour faux pas. A very dark brown would have been a better choice since it’s closeness to black wouldn’t have been apparent in the preceding scenes with the navy suit and would have matched better with this one. But then as I say, I never noticed the mistake…

    Finally, Matt, given the complete absence of any creasing in this suit, do you think it possibly may have been linen mixed with some other breathable, lightweight material such as tropical wool?

      • David, perhaps you were only talking about the suit coat, but Matt’s second screenshot shows some creases at the emplacement of the trousers’ darts. I guess flat front and darted trousers often have more crease there than pleated ones.

      • I was wrong in stating that this was the last of Moore’s Bond suits for coverage on the blog; there is still the double breasted dinner suit from “Moonraker” to be featured. I’m pretty sure that’s the last Moore/Bond suit though.

  3. I was watching Live and let die today and it suddenly hit me that Dr. Kananga’s two double breasted suits (the beige and the brown patterned) really looks like they where made by Castle as well. The link cuffs are the same as well as the smaller overlap of the buttoning (my english is not so good, but do you know what I mean?) than on most double-breasted jackets. I’d really like you to cover some of Kananga’s suits, he really is one of the best dressed villains of the Moore-era (with Kamahl Kahn and Max Zorin).

    • I second this request Matt, although I’m sure you plan on covering many of Bond’s various nemeses in due time.

      By my count, you must be running rather thin on Bond’s suits at this point!

  4. Nice suit. I will let my well-known complaints about the appropriateness for the settings pass. Not a fan of the brown tie on brown striped suit on brown suit. It works well enough, but some variation would be more pleasing to my eye. Not a fan of the tie either. I do like the shirt.

  5. The colours blend well together, although there was no need for such a presence of brown, in my opinion. The suit is very well cut. I just don’t like the shirt : the collar, even if it’s a button-two, seems not long enough for the tie knot, and the cuffs seem rather small for the link-button cuffs of the jacket. Foster’s turnback cuffs would have been more appropriate. I am not mad of the brown butcher stripe either ; an ecru or light blue shirt could have been very nice.
    By looking at Moore’s trousers, I am beginning to realize that what I dislike in them is not the flared leg alone, but the -often wide-flared leg combined with a “trousers’ thigh” -sorry, it’s obviously not the right term !- that is very close to the body -see the second picture. It creates an X like on a jacket with a lot of waist suppression, which I don’t find particulary masculine or attractive. Makes me think of some women’s jeans in the 70s.

  6. Matt, I know that Moore’s pant’s here have side adjusters, but is it ever appropriate to wear trousers with belt loops but without a belt or a waste coat? It seems sloppy to me, but I know people that are doing it. Would it make a difference if the trousers had a high rise?

    • Trousers with belt loops should be worn with a belt, unless you are wearing braces. If you are wearing braces you should keep your jacket on and never expose the belt loops.

  7. Hi Matt, A couple of unrelated questions, more general really.
    Does anyone know if it’s possible to have flat front trousers give pleats if say, you were to have the waistband taken in? I’m guessing it’d be a fiddly job for a tailor/stitching/adjustment person to perform.
    Also many of my suits are RTW and even though the there are sold as classic cut/fit there is still a gap between top botton of the jacket and the waistband. Is there a way around this? Maybe buy a longer jacket and have it adjusted accordingly?
    Apologies for such an enquiries but thought “who better to ask?” though I’m guessing most chaps on this furom buy bespoke/MTM.
    Cheers
    Ryan

    • I don’t know if adding pleats is possible. If you’re taking in the trousers that much you’ll need to re-cut them anyway. It’s the same amount of labour as making bespoke trousers, and you would need to take them to a tailor capable of making trousers.

      Most suits sold in the past 10 years, no matter how classic they say they are, have too high a button stance and too low a trouser rise. The sleek, unbroken look you see here is the opposite of current fashions. It could be possible to get a longer length and shorten it so things will be in better proportion. That’s not the easiest task to do well. I find that many long-length suits today measure the same length as a regular from 10 years ago.

      • Thanks Matt, I imagined there’d be considerable labour to the trousers.
        I put the correct jacket length as to fully cover the backside. In otherwords the line where the buttocks and back of thigh meet. Any shorter is unacceptable. Am I correct here? Plus the longer jackets of the 80s and 90s? could you define “longer Jackets” please?

      • Fully agree and nothing you can do about it until fashion changes or you go fully bespoke.

      • Matt, I know it’s quite out of place here too, but I wonder if you could help me ? Do you think a good tailor/adjustment person could transform a jacket with double vents into an unvented one, without the repair being noticeable ?
        Thanks in advance !

  8. Out of curiosity ; If you had to guess ; who do you think made the shirt ? I doubt it’s Turnbull & Asser since they do not make shirts with two button collars.

    • My guess is that it is Italian-made, maybe an altered ready-to-wear shirt. Turnbull & Asser makes two-button collars bespoke. I know someone who had his shirts made by them with two-button collars.

  9. Matt , l was watching Live and Let Die today. I noticed that this suit doesn’t wrinkle at all , the way a pure linen suit would wrikle. I do believe it is a blend of some sort
    Also , l don’t think that these suit trousers have the coin pockets. They definitely have the two rear pockets , but there appears to be no coin pockets below the waist band

    • The suit rumples a bit, but it is most likely a blend of linen and something else. These trousers do indeed have the coin pockets below the waistband. Look a bit harder.

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