Roger Moore’s Powder Blue Three-Piece Suit in The Saint

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‘The Queen’s Ransom’ is the first colour episode of The Saint that aired, and it takes advantage of colour by putting Roger Moore in suit in an unusual colour: light blue. The year was 1966 and Carnaby Street was introducing new kinds of colour and flare to menswear. Moore never went full peacock, but he and his tailor Cyril Castle always took a cue from fashion.

Outside of striped seersucker and pincord suits, light blue isn’t a particularly traditional colour for suits. While it certainly wasn’t a new colour for suits in the late 1960s, it started to become trendier at this time. By the 1970s it was a popular choice for grooms thanks to its joyful and peaceful look. Because it’s a pastel colour, powder blue is best worn in spring and summer and in warm places. In practice it wears similarly to other light colours like light grey and tan, but unlike those colours it’s not a neutral so it makes more of a statement regardless of fashion.

James Bond occasionally dabbled with the light blue suit, first when buying a wedding ring in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and later when arriving in Hong Kong in The Man with the Golden Gun, though the second suit is more of a cool grey with only a subtle hint of blue. On both occasions the suits are worn in warm locales.

Roger Moore’s suit in ‘The Queen’s Ransom’—which he later wears again in ‘The Persistent Patriots’ and ‘The Double Take’—is a muted shade of light blue, though because of the film it’s difficult to tell how strong the blue truly is. The suit is likely in wool gabardine due to its smooth and flat look, which balances sportiness and smartness. It’s dressy enough as a three-piece suit for a groom and sporty enough in a two-piece suit without a tie for a resort. In ‘The Queen’s Ransom’, Moore wears this suit when travelling from the south of France to Zurich and back to France as a fashion statement more than anything else.

This suit, made by Cyril Castle, is identically cut and detailed to his fawn gabardine suit that saw far more use in The Saint, including in the final scene of this episode. The fawn suit does not stand out nearly as much, but it’s also a warm-weather suit that is best worn outside of Britain. While the fawn suit is not a serious suit either, the light blue suit has a more ‘fun’ look because of the colour.

The jacket has three buttons, and the narrow lapels have an elegant roll through the top button, but with the top button remaining visible. The jacket is cut with wide, soft shoulders and a draped chest to give the suit a more relaxed look but the waist is tightly suppressed to dramatically contrast with the large chest. The flapped hip pockets are slanted, and the breast pocket has a flap to lean this suit in a sportier direction, whilst narrow lapels and narrow pocket flaps reflect the contemporary 1960s trends. The jacket has turned-back gauntlet cuffs with a large single button, and there are double vents at the rear.

The suit has a waistcoat with six buttons, and Moore fastens all six buttons. Unlike most other waistcoats in The Saint, which have a straight bottom, this waistcoat has the traditional pointed bottom, and it should have been worn with the bottom button open. The waistcoat also has notched lapels and four welt pockets. The back of the waistcoat is in a medium grey lining and has a waist-adjusting strap.

The suit’s trousers have a darts and cross pockets at the front and two button-through pockets at the rear. The leg is narrow with a plain hem. The trousers have belt loops but Moore is not wearing a belt so the waistcoat can sit smoothly against the trousers.

Moore wears his usual ecru shirt with this suit, and the shirt has a semi-spread collar and double cuffs with large round gold cufflinks. The shirt is possibly from Sulka, who Simon Templar mentions in an earlier episode of The Saint, or Washington Tremlett, whose shop was next-door to Cyril Castle’s and was mentioned in Moore’s book Bond on Bond. Though the cream shirt looks good with Moore’s warm complexion and is fine with this suit, a white shirt would be a better match for the light blue suit. Light blue suits are not nearly as versatile as light blue shirts, and most traditional light-coloured shirts either clash with or compete with a light blue suit. A striped shirt, such as in navy and white, would be a good pairing as well.

Any ties that pair well with a light blue shirt tend to go well with a light blue suit. The burgundy silk satin tie, as Moore wears in ‘The Queen’s Ransom’, is a perfect choice. It’s tied in a four-in-hand knot.

Moore keeps his shoes in the cool-toned family with black shoes, most likely in elastic slip-ons. The black socks look jarring against the powder blue suit, but matching light blue socks are not easy to come by.

Moore wears a pocket watch with this suit, with the gold watch chain and fob passing through the waistcoat’s fourth buttonhole from the top. However, Moore commits a faux pas by also wearing a wristwatch. He checks his wristwatch throughout the episode but does not look at the pocket watch. He may be wearing the watch chain merely as decoration, but a watch chain worn on a waistcoat should always include a pocket watch.

The Saint frequently features actors from the James Bond films, and ‘The Queen’s Ransom’ features From Russia with Love actor George Pastell.

18 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t like this at all, sorry Roger!

    The skinny 60s lapels with the broad shoulders just looks misproportioned to me. Powder blue is also not something I can get behind. Oh well, can’t always win

  2. Interesting. I think the suit worked better in fawn, but I’m really curious about light blue suits. They’ve grown on me a bit and I think maybe I’d like to get one to wear in the spring or summer months, but there are just so many other colours I’d purchase first. I’d have to have Sir Roger’s seemingly endless resources for outfits to seriously consider it, it’s just too much of an investment that could go to more versatile options.

  3. An unreserved yes to light blue suits! My dad had an Armani “power suit” in the 80s that was also light blue and I always liked it. I agree with Nils, however, about the lapels and shoulders looking mismatched. These kinds of minimal 60s suits tend to look best with very narrow shoulders IMHO.

  4. I am also not a fan of the proportions of the jacket. It looks too boxy to me, although that may simply be a case of the fashion of the time (mid sixties?) I think a suit with that number of dandy touches, such as the flap pocket, the gauntlet cuffs etc, should really have more flow. I once owned a beautiful powder blue suit from Hackett. Sadly I spilt a double espresso on it and it was never the same again!

    • The jacket looks quite the opposite of boxy to me. I find the cut extremely dramatic, with a full-cut, draped chest and a tightly nipped waist. It’s the extremely narrow lapels that downplay the drama of the cut because there’s nothing to break it up. To me the cut has more of a 1930s look than any 1960s fashions, and it’s more of a trademark of Cyril Castle’s style than anything of the era, but the narrow lapels and narrow trousers were part of the era. I think that the cut is improved with wider lapels, as seen in The Persuaders!: https://www.bondsuits.com/the-persuaders-a-more-conservative-charcoal-three-piece-suit/

  5. I have a suit which is somewhere between powder blue and light grey:

    https://rodsmodblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/rods-togs-the-thick-as-thieves-suit/

    Even in the pictures I took (notoriously unreliable iPhone camera!) some look blue and some grey. I really like this suit, both the cut and the colour, and it’s demure enough for me to wear for business. I think it’s similar to the colour of Roger’s suit in this post, not as flamboyant as George’s sky blue one from OHMSS.

    As an avowed admirer of Mod style I lean towards slim but not too skinny lapels for myself. As I mentioned on another thread recently, despite my own preferences, after having seen some early episodes of The Saint I have to concur with the consensus here that Rog would benefit from more proportioned width there. It’s too bad that within a few short years he was heading off too far in the opposite direction!

    • TaT makes some nice suits for the price. The only downsides, as I recall, are that 1. they don’t make any feminine cut suits (something I’m sadly getting used to… it’s so much easier for men to get quality clothing) 2. they are somewhat limited in what they will make as it pretty much falls within Jason Chu’s personal taste 3. they won’t fit bigger men very well. I remember when Jason first started the business and a bigger guy on Style Forum ordered from them. He was warned it may not turn out right. Well, it was a disaster to put it mildly.

    • Yeah I’ve had a couple of suits and a couple of jackets made by TAT and have absolutely no complaints. I met Jason once and his customer service is top drawer. I think your comments are accurate and in accordance with my own view – he states clearly on the website that theirs is a.niche style which is close to my own so it works for me but I can see it’s clearly not for everyone. My last commission I had him do a CMT jacket for me which came out perfectly.

  6. About 20 years ago I had both blue (a shade darker than this one) and beige linen suits which I bought from Aquascutum. The blue one always looked more dramatic, for want of a better word and certainly got noticed more. Both worked very well as summer suits though.

    I don’t like very slim lapels (or ties) and this why Rogers Saint era tailoring, though there is a huge amount to admire in Castle’s cut and fabrics and details ( I do like the flapped breast pockets and Roger obviously did because they appeared as late as The Spy Who Loved Me on that safari sports coat) interests me much less than his Bond and Persuaders wardrobes. I found it interesting that this suit got very little screen time in comparison to its fawn counterpart which was somewhat overused. But they did that with certain suits (there was a nice dark olive 2 piece suit (also with the flapped breast pocket) which appeared only in two early colour episodes (The House on Dragons Rock and The Russian Prisoner) and never again. Odd.

    In the final Saint series I seem to recall a blue 2 piece suit, a shade darker than this, which featured in the episodes The Ex-King of Diamonds and The Portrait of Brenda.

  7. A colour like this will only shine if it’s tailored to the stricter parameters of a classic silhouette and a perfect fit (which I’d argue should be a generous one), lest the whole ensemble look tacky . . .

  8. I would’ve worn medium blue socks (like French or Royal blue) with tan shoes. Light blue dress socks are very hard to come by. If fact, I don’t know of any sock brands that currently offer light blue dress socks.

    But then again, I’m not a fan of light blue suits and they look bad on black haired people, where the darker the skin, the worse they look. French or Royal blue is good for cotton twill, linen and seersucker suits and navy for other suits. Grey is the best suit color as grey suits looks good in every shade on everybody.

    Brown suits are tricky as beige (light brown) suits look bad on fair and pasty skinned people. Brown (dark brown) suits look bad on black skinned people, and tan (medium brown) suits look bad on brown and olive skinned people.

  9. I have owned a 3-piece single breast 2 button in a very similar colour with an extremely subtle white check through it for around 4 years, the trousers are classic cut flat front.
    I have found that in hot West Australia it is an incredibly versatile set, daytime without vest and a tight white T and loafers to the same resort at dinner with the vest a heavy black shirt and shoes to make it much more formal in the evening.
    With or without vest and tie, white shirt for the races or a wedding during the day.
    Mine is fitted tight to the waist and around the arms and shoulders, I do lift weights and am 6.2 but it flows and mixes and matches so well I can’t recommend a purchase of one these enough if you want some versatility in a hot clime.

  10. Roger was pure class. I grew up a huge fan of The Saint and wanted to be Simon Templar. One day I would actually own his white Volvo 1800s (not the same car obviously). When I hear comments about Roger not being a good Bond, etc. I think folks didn’t watch The Saint. Like Bond, Simon was a stylish dresser, lover of fine things. He was always gentlemanly and immaculately dressed, and traveling London, the UK and beyond. Like Pierce and Sean, Roger could wear clothes. He looks terrific in the shots you posted. I recommend seeking out the series on Amazon/Britbox and seeing for yourself.

  11. I agree, the cut of the jacket looks very dramatic and reminiscent of the 1930s, but do you think it looks a little top heavy when paired with the narrow leg trousers?

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