Frank Foster: Measuring and Fitting


During my stay in London I went to see Frank Foster—who has made shirts for Roger Moore and George Lazenby in addition to countless other stars—to order shirts and interview him. The interview will be coming later in multiple parts but for now I will discuss the experience of bespeaking shirts from Frank Foster.

Just a selection of the many cloths lying around the shop

Foster’s shop is a working shop in a basement at 40 Pall Mall; it doesn’t provide the luxury experience of a Jermyn Street street or Savile Row shop, but it doesn’t need to. There is a minimum of six shirts for the first order and each shirt costs £135, no matter the cloth. The minimum of six shirts is because of the extra effort involved with creating the pattern, but once the pattern is created future shirts can be ordered with ease.

A vintage buttonhole machine

The first thing I did was pick out cloths, for which Foster’s wife Mary, who does much of the sewing, helped me. They have countless rolls of cloth spanning a hundred years lying all around the shop. I attempted to convey the colours and types of cloth I wanted and Mary found for me the closest that they had. I also asked her to find me cloths she though would flatter my complexion, and Foster helped me with that as well. It’s good to have an idea of what you want before going in but also to be open to discovering a beautiful cloth you never thought existed. Mary clips off a piece of the cloth I choose to review later, and Foster tapes down the chosen clippings to a book for reference. The cloths I chose ended up being a cream poplin, an ivory royal oxford, a blue zendaline (which Mary called the “Rolls-Royce” of shirtings and said Roger Moore had often worn similar cloths), a white-on-white stripe and a blue and white hairline stipe.

Mary’s sewing machine

After Foster tapes the cloth into his book he takes note of the style of each shirt. I’m having all long-sleeve shirts made in the traditional English style with no pocket and a placket on the front. Foster asked if I had a particular collar style in mind or if I wanted him to come up with something that would best suit my face and neck, and I chose the latter. I had on a standard Turnbull & Asser shirt and he told me something lower and slightly wider spread in comparison would suit me best. He’s a true artist and sketches everything to show me. For the cuffs I chose a variety of styles that only Frank Foster can do: three shirts with 2-button cocktail cuffs, two shirts with 1-button button-down cocktail cuffs and one shirt with a tab cuff.

Frank Foster measuring me for a shirt

I went in the Tuesday I arrived in London to be measured and by Friday they were able to have a fitting ready. Very few shirt makers still do a fitting, but it significantly helps in getting a better fit. The fitting shirt is made of one of the cloths I chose, but it has no buttons or buttonholes, no collar and only one cuff. Foster pinned the shirt to perfect his measurements of my body. I’ll be receiving one shirt first and if all is well they will make the remaining five.

Frank Foster fitting the blue and white hairline stripe shirt


  1. Foster is reasonable enough considering, as you say, that he’ll produce shirts in a variety of materials for the same, flat price. I’ve ordered a few more shirts since my batch last year and one is a brown colour in cotton mixed with cashmere. Same price. He’ll offer silk too for that price, but it’s better worn casually and the colours didn’t match what I wanted.
    Nice man. Shame the producers of the Barbican exhibition missed out on an integral figure in Bond’s sartorial heritage

  2. Quite jealous Matt! His shop is definitely going to be a place I visit the next time I’m in London.

    Any interesting stories about his numerous illustrious clientele?

  3. Very interesting post. It makes me very glad that such an icon is still going strong!

    A short question Matt: Which Bond movies did Foster produced shirts for?

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Have you read Sir Roger Moore’s new book Bond on Bond?

    In it he says his personal shirts are from Eton Shirts and bespoke by Frank Foster… but that his 007 shirts were more often than not by Washington Tremlett with the odd Turnbull & Asser.

    Well thanks for that curve ball, Sir Roger and your ghost writer!

    I remain confident Frank Foster made Moore’s Bond shirts, the late Doug Hayward specifically told me Foster’s wide, long collars complimented his jacket cut on the Bond suits.

    I had a quick look at Washington Tremlett, seems they were in Conduit Street but no longer exist.

    Moore also says that Angelo was already his tailor in Rome and that when he first became a tax exile he based himself in Italy and so nominated Angelo, who he could drive to Rome to see for fittings.

    He also confirms that shoes and belts and leggage were Feragamo (though obviously there were exceptions).

    • I haven’t received the book yet, but that’s very interesting. Foster told me he worked on all of Moore’s Bond films. Turnbull & Asser told me that made some shirts for Moore in Live and Let Die, and Foster said he made some as well (the boat chase shirt at least). It’s very easy to tell a Frank Foster shirt from a Turnbull & Asser. Foster’s shirts have that uniquely stitched placket that can be seen in every one of Moore’s Bond films. If Washington Tremlett stitched the placket the same way that would complicate things, making it impossible to be able to tell.

  5. Hello Matt,

    Are you wearing blue braces in the shot where Frank is measuring you? It looks like you are but they don’t appear to button onto your trousers. If they’re not braces what are they?



  6. Is Frank still in business?
    I live in Sweden and I’m planning a trip to London this spring to (among other things) find a good shirt maker.

    • These patch pockets you speak of , can they be added to the fly front shirts too ? I ask this , because l know a few shirt makers who are very stubborn and will NOT add pockets to dress shirts , let alone fly front shirts

    • By dress shirt, I take it you mean a formal shirt to wear with a suit and tie? I don’t know if Foster would add a pocket to a formal shirt. He is somewhat stubborn with what he will do, and I don’t think it’s likely Foster would put a pocket on a formal shirt. Certainly not on a dress shirt (to wear with black tie). If it’s made from a casual shirting, he might be willing to put a pocket on it. A pocket on a shirt with a fly front doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, personally.

  7. By the way ; Does Mr. Foster’s shirts have removable collar stays ? Or are the collar stays stitched into the seams of the shirts ?

    • He certainly can. I’ve seen a really nice covered placket that he’s done for a reader here. He made many one-button rounded cuffs for Roger Moore, so he should be able to still make those.

  8. I don’t know about casual or formal , Matt. But what l have in mind is a light blue long sleeve linen shirt with one button rounded cuffs , a fly front and a mitred breast pocket. Basically a copy of Roger Moore’s blue long sleeve shirt ( with the breast pocket ) in ” For your eyes only ” BUT with a fly front. I’m not gonna wear it with black tie , but simply with black dress trousers and a belt.

    • Foster would probably be okay with a pocket on a linen shirt, but I’m not sure how he’d feel about a fly front on linen. I’ve never seen a casual shirt of his with a fly placket, only formal and dress shirts.

  9. Does Mr. Foster make Silk dress shirts , Matt ? They are very difficult to find.
    Also could you recommend me some shirtmakers who make Silk dress shirts with French Cuffs ?

  10. Dear Matt,

    Forgive my curiosity, but your suit trousers in your photo look amazing !
    Looks like typical Connery-style trousers. Did you have them made bespoke, or custom made ? Or are they vintage ? I have never seen such kind of trousers available in ready-to-wear, and I like this style a lot. They are double forward pleats, aren’t they ?
    I thought Ralph Lauren Purple Label made similar trousers, but not with these kind of side tabs. Thank you in advance.

      • Hey Matt , The Polo Ralph Lauren Trousers really are interesting. Are they flannel ? Also are they part of a suit or did it come as a separate ? Did you have the brace buttons sewn in by a tailor , or did your trousers come with them ? I had a few vintage Ralph Lauren Trousers with Daks Tops , but they never came with the brace buttons .

  11. After Reading about Frank Foster Shirts here for quite some time , l finally ordered them a month or so , back on a tour to London. I was looking for 50 % silk and 50 % cotton blend shirtings. The shop had 4 available silk-cotton shirtings , all Bengal stripes : A Royal Blue / white , a Sky Blue / White , A pink / White and a Lilac / White . I ordered those four , but l was told that l had to order two more for my first fitting. So l ordered two pure silk solids : A cream and a Light blue.
    All had Semi Spread collars , Double cuffs , gaunlet buttons and a left side Breast Pocket. I was initially doubtful that they would add breast pockets , but Sam Frank Foster was considerate enough to accommodate me.
    My silk cotton blend shirts each cost 200 pounds . The pure silk shirts cost 300 pounds.
    They are some of the finest dress shirts l have EVER seen. Almost as good as my Turnbull and Asser Shirts ( But then again , maybe l am biased towards Turnbull and Asser , since l had my first Bespoke shirts in England made from there when l was only 18 and have been a customer for 6 years ) .
    Anyway , Matt l have a question. Can a Bengal Stripe Shirt pair well with a cream linen suit ? Court is currently closed and l have taken to wearing a cream linen suit in the summer ( without a tie ) . Which of these 4 shirts would go well with a cream linen suit : a royal blue / white , a sky blue / white , a pink / white or a Lilac / white ? I have never actually worn a striped shirt with a suit before.

    • Congratulations on your Frank Foster purchase! All of those striped shirts will pair beautifully with a cream linen suit. I saw those bengal stripe shirtings when I was there last, and they are beautiful.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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