The Light Grey Tropical Suit in Live and Let Die

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Live-and-Let-Die-Grey-Suit-2

Roger Moore was introduced as James Bond in Live and Let Die in 1973, a time when Bond’s clothing somewhat reflected the fashions of the period. The 1970s fashion influence can be seen in the slightly wider lapels, ties and pocket flaps, tall collars, deep vents, and flared trousers. Whilst Bond’s clothing in Live and Let Die (as well as in The Man With the Golden Gun made a year and a half later) takes cues from 1970s fashion trends, it’s quite tame compared to the villains’ wardrobes.

Live-and-Let-Die-Grey-Suit

James Bond briefly wears a light grey tropical wool suit on his arrival in San Monique. Tropical wool is lightweight and woven in a plain weave, and it helps keep Bond looking cool and presentable in the tropical location. The suit’s grey is made up of yarns in different shades of grey to give it a textural interest and prevent it from looking flat. This cloth recalls the light grey suits that Sean Connery wore as Bond in tropical locations, helping to connect the look of the new Bond with the old.

The suit is tailored by Roger Moore’s long-time tailor Cyril Castle, who like Sean Connery’s tailor Anthony Sinclair also operated on Conduit Street in Mayfair. Castle made Roger Moore’s suits for his television series The Saint and The Persuaders, as well as for other movies in the 1960s and 1970s.

Live-and-Let-Die-Grey-Suit-3

Prior to the Bond films Roger Moore typically wore his single-breasted suit jackets with a button-three front, but as Bond he follows Connery’s Bond tradition with a button-two jacket. Like Connery’s suit jackets, Moore’s jackets have a somewhat low button stance, though the wider lapels on Moore’s jackets help balance the low stance. The jacket is cut with soft shoulders and has a cleaner chest than Sean Connery’s suits. The jacket is detailed with grey plastic buttons, slanted flap pockets. The jacket’s only exaggerated detail is its deep side vents, which appear to be over 12 inches long.

The most unique part of the jacket is the sleeve cuff (pictured below). It flares out and fastens with one link-style button. The end of the cuff is similar to a linked shirt cuff where the ends kiss rather than overlap like on a barrel cuff. There is a button seen on either side of the cuff, and it looks like cuff links. The sleeves’ flare harmonises nicely with the slight flare of the trouser legs.

Live-and-Let-Die-Grey-Suit-Link-Cuff

The trousers have a darted front with three-button ‘DAKS-tops’ side adjusters, two rear pockets, cash pockets—like large coin pockets—on both sides of the trousers accessed from just below the waistband. There are no side pockets. The trouser legs are boot-cut with a slight flare.

The shirt is cream with a semi-spread collar, a hidden-button fly placket with one stitching line down the centre and two-button cocktail cuffs, made by Frank Foster. The tie is plain burgundy silk satin, tied in a four-in-hand knot with a dimple. While Sean Connery always wore navy or black ties with his light grey suits, the burgundy tie helps distinguish Moore as the new Bond. The lower-contrast combination of this outfit as a result is also more flattering to Moore’s softer complexion.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry to hog your comments, I am just glad to be able to talk about this subject with other interested people. You have a lot of knowledge in this area! Are you going to move onto Roger Moore's safari suits? The bell-bottomed dinner suits? The powder blue ensemble he wore in Live and Let Die? Sean Connery's hideous dark blue blue short sleeved shirt and matching trousers Thunderball? Just kidding

    There are some outfits that I'd love for you to discuss though:

    Sean Connery's oddly (metal) buttoned blue gingham shirt in From Russia With Love;

    his dinner suit in Goldfinger;

    The mid-grey rollneck in You Only Live Twice, which inspired me to seek out an almost identical mid-grey Sunspel one.

  2. I hope you didnt forget about Lazenby's white/cream coloured suit, or his peak lapel dinner jacket with ruffled shirt, both firsts for Bond at that point.

  3. I never even noticed those link-cuffs before. Very interesting to see on a suit sleeve.

    This blog is turning into a great resource; keep it going.

  4. Matt, I'm really enjoying your work — thanks so much. A question about turnback cuffs with "Frank Foster" button(s). Are there buttons on both the outside AND inside of the cuff? It's very difficult to tell, but I thought I saw an inside button in a scene in NSNA. — Mike

  5. Anon 2, the cuff has the same concept as a button-down collar. The cuff is fastened around the wrist with 1 button and the 2 turnback points (actually rounded) are fastened to the cuff each with a button. Like a button-down collar the cuff will roll back. I'll eventually write an entry about the cuffs, but after I start to run out of clothes from the James Bond series.

  6. Could cufflinks be worn with this link button cuff? I was thinking that the cufflinks on the shirt wouldn’t fit.

  7. Sorry, so late coming to this, Matt, and I’m not trying to be pedantic, but there are quite noticeable variations in your descriptions of Moore’s red ties.

    I really think that this particular one is more of a burgundy shade than a “plain red”, or at the very least a very deep, dark red. The same goes for the almost identically coloured tie worn with the marine blue suit from TMWTGG, which you describe as “deep red”, so definitely closer to the actual colour, but that too seems very close to burgundy from what I can see. On the other hand, the one worn with the grey double breasted suit in TMWTGG you also describe as simply “red” but it’s a completely different shade to this tie here, more of a deep red. The only tie I could say was just plain red was the one he wore in the office in AVTAK.

    Perhaps a closer look on Blu Ray might settle it?

  8. This shirt has the same covered front placket ( It’s seen in a photo on an old magazine which I have) which Foster made for the ecru, dobby pattern shirt later in the movie. I would expect all the shirts which he made for this movie had the covered placket whereas from the next movie onwards it was the traditional button placket.

  9. A beautiful color scheme with the warm colors of the shirt and tie being balanced by the cold grey.
    Matt, I guess the cloth is probably a pick-and-pick ?

  10. Thanks Matt. Yes it doesn’t have a noticeable sheen like say, the dark red tie worn with the blue suit in TMWTGG

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