Crossplot: A Double-Breasted Pinstripe Suit from The Saint

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Crossplot-Navy-Pinstripe-Suit

Roger Moore’s 1969 film Crossplot is like a cross between an episode of The Saint and a James Bond film. Moore plays talent scout Gary Fenn, who is identical in appearance to The Saint character Simon Templar except he has a more fashionable haircut that’s combed forward with longer sideburns. The Cyril Castle suits—an iridescent blue and red dinner jacket, a navy pinstripe double-breasted suit and a charcoal multi-stripe suit—and shirts in the film were taken straight out of Moore’s wardrobe for the final season of The Saint, which had just ended production.

The same suit in the episode of The Saint "The Scales of Justice"
The same suit and shirt, but with a grey tie, in the episode of The Saint “The Scales of Justice”

The navy double-breasted pinstripe suit, which this article will focus on, first appeared in The Saint‘s sixth series episode “The Time to Die” and later in “The Scales of Justice”. The suit’s worsted wool cloth has very closely-spaced alternating white pinstripes and double track stripes on navy, which from a short distance mixes with and mutes the navy to give the suit a semi-solid charcoal blue effect rather than a classic navy pinstripe look. Suits with closely-spaced pinstripes were something Roger Moore wears throughout The Saint and later wears in Moonraker.

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The suit jacket is four-button double-breasted with two to button. It is similar to the classic six button double-breasted jacket but lacks the two vestigial buttons at the chest. Like Cyril Castle’s usual double-breasted suits, this one has a narrow wrap—or overlap—for a slimming effect on Moore. It is cut with natural shoulders and a full chest. It has narrow peaked lapels, which aren’t quite as narrow as the notched lapels Moore wears on his single-breasted suits in Crossplot and The Saint. The narrow peaked lapels are a little more flattering than his ultra-narrow notched lapels. The suit jacket is rakishly detailed with single-button gauntlet—or turnback—cuffs, slanted hip pockets with narrow flaps, and double vents. The suit trousers have a darted front, cross pockets and a tapered narrow leg, and they are worn with a black belt.

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Moore’s cream shirt is made by Bond-series shirtmaker Frank Foster in the same style as all of the shirts that Moore wears in the final series of The Saint. The shirt’s spread collar is larger in proportion to the tie and lapel width. Fashion typically dictates that shirt collar point length and tie and lapel width should match, but it’s usually more flattering to wear a collar that matches the face rather than the jacket’s lapels. The shirt has two-button cocktail cuffs, a plain front and a darted back. The shirt length is short compared to the traditional length of a tucked shirt, but in Frank Foster’s typical manner the shirt’s hem is only slightly curved and has vents on the side.

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The secretary ties Moore’s tie in a four-in-hand knot around her own neck, loosens it and then places it around Moore’s neck. It is solid light blue, and unstylishly Moore wears a matching light blue silk handkerchief in his breast pocket. But it is placed in the pocket in an unstudied two-point fold. It look as if he just stuffed it in his breast pocket and the two points formed naturally, but that is most likely not the case. Moore wears black socks, and his shoes are black slip-ons.

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Since we get to see Roger Moore dress into the suit, we get a look at parts of his outfit under the suit we don’t ordinarily get to see. Though we never get to see what James Bond wears under his trousers, Roger Moore’s underwear in Crossplot may give us a clue. When he changes his trousers we see his boxer shorts. They are light blue—perhaps purposely matching his tie—and probably a fine cotton poplin, which is one of the most comfortable types of woven cloths to wear as boxers.

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Unfortunately, the suit is ruined and shrunk in Crossplot when Moore is pushed off a boat into the water. Because of he is a gentleman, he leaves his suit, shirt and tie on when taking a shower to warm up when in the company of a lady.

For an additional James Bond connection, Bernard Lee, who plays M in the first 11 Bond films, appears in Crossplot.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I find it interesting that the narrow wrap makes some people think that there is a slimming effect to the suit. In my mind, it always make the person look *less* slim. I think that the effect is psychological as opposed to aesthetic – to me it seems like the wearer’s stomach is too big for a classic “wrap”, and this is why the wrap is narrower (the larger stomach pushes the suit halves further apart).

    Of course, opinions will vary.

  2. This is interesting. I saw Crossplot many years ago and all I can recall from it is the awful blue screen work and that it sounded more fun than it actually is. Do you think they used this older Saint suit knowing it was going to be ruined to save money?

    Ps Bernard Lee was in 11 Bond films, oil paintings in TWINE not included.

    • I think you’re right about their intention to save money by using clothes from The Saint, but it has nothing to do with this suit being ruined since all of the suits, shirts and probably ties were from The Saint. The only clothes that weren’t from The Saint were more like costume pieces. The suits from The Saint weren’t used very much in The Saint. He had ten suits, two blazers and two dinner jacket made for the sixth series, and each item was featured in only one or two episodes, maybe a few items made it to three episodes. The sixth series production was only 15 episodes, so they had a lot of hardly-used suits.

      Thanks for the correction.

  3. A double breasted with narrow lapels not work well,in my opinion.
    I hate broad lapels in 70s style,but a double breasted need a proportionate width in lapels (for me the ideal widht is like that on the Prince Charles’s double breasteds).
    Said this, Roger Moore seems very good in double breasted.
    I love much the British DB style; is more slender in comparison with many Italian specimens (Caraceni,for exemple) and have almost always a moderate overlapping that is flattering a lot.
    In general the British DB is more clean that his Italian counterpart,an effect that i try to replicate with my tailor.
    P.S.
    Despite the too much narrow lapels,the high gorge is excellent.
    Low gorge lapels is the kiss of death for a double breasted (and for a coat in general).

    • I agree with you that the slim lapels don’t look good on this jacket. Combined with the full chest, I think they make Moore look unnaturally wide chested.

  4. What sethblack points out mirrors my criticism of all Roger Moore’s suits from The Saint. Combined with the trim (yet not as slim as fashion could be back then and now) trousers, it makes him look a bit top heavy.

  5. Crossplot – no masterpiece but a lot of fun. It seemed more like an English riff on North By Northwest than a Bond film to me and the suit-in-the-shower scene was very similar to a sequence from another Cary Grant film – Charade. How strange that the US ad men in Mad Men, set just 3 or 4 years before Crossplot dress like bankers or detectives in comparison to groovy Gary Fenn. Getting underwear, tie and handkerchief to match – that’s attention to detail for you. Narrow lapels of any type are not ideal for a man of Moore’s build but the narrow wrap may be Castle’s attempt to keep some proportion, as well as a slimming technique. I think Foster did a fine job with the shirt. At the time it was made, he had to allow for the wide ties which were coming into style. Thankfully Moore didn’t wear this style of tie in Crossplot.

  6. Interesting that you say this hairstyle is more fashionable – his one from The Saint was far better. I wish they would have kept it for when he played James Bond.

    • By the time he was Bond, Moore’s hair had thinned a bit, which is partially why they changed his hairstyle in the 70s. But the pompadour had gone out of fashion until John Travolta brought it back in Saturday Night Fever. In the 80s Moore went back to the Saint pompadour style with the help of a partial hairpiece.

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