October 2022 is not only the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film series, it is also the 60th anniversary of Roger Moore’s television series The Saint. The Saint’s first episode, ‘The Talented Husband’, premiered on Thursday the 4th of October 1962, only one day before Dr. No‘s premiere. Just like Sean Connery’s James Bond, Roger Moore’s incarnation of Simon Templar is introduced wearing a dinner suit.
It’s no coincidence that both Connery’s James Bond and Moore’s Simon Templar were both introduced in dinner suits. The intention was likely for these men to be seen as sophisticated and worldly straight from the beginning. The dinner jacket portrays that better than any other garment, particularly in 1962. A lounge suit or blazer was would have been too ordinary, while full evening dress would have been too out of touch or old fashioned, though Moore would wear full evening dress later in The Saint‘s first series. Black tie was the symbol of the elegant man in 1962, and it still is 60 years later.
Moore’s wardrobe in ‘The Talented Husband’ shares a few other similarities with Connery’s in Dr. No. Both men wear glen check suits and brass-buttoned blue blazers, basic staples of the elegant British man’s wardrobe in the 1960s. The styles of both actors’ clothes are contemporary takes on the classic Savile Row look, and both of their tailors were located in streets just off of Savile Row. Connery’s tailor Anthony Sinclair was in Conduit Street while Moore’s tailor Cyril Castle was in Sackville Street. Castle would later move to Conduit Street across from Sinclair.
In ‘The Talented Husband’, Roger Moore only wears his dinner suit in the short opening scene. He briefly wears the same outfit in The Saint‘s second episode ‘The Latin Touch’, but the dinner suit does not reappear until the second series in episodes such as ‘The Bunco Artists’, ‘The Noble Sportsman’, ‘The Lawless Ladies’ and ‘The Good Medicine’. Moore wouldn’t again wear a dinner suit in The Saint until ‘The Better Mousetrap’ in Series 5, when he premieres a new three-piece dinner suit. The ivory dinner jacket was more of a signature look for Moore throughout most of The Saint than the black or midnight blue dinner suit was, and it’s a signature look he would later continue in his Bond films.
The basics of Roger Moore’s outfit in The Saint are not so different from Sean Connery’s in Dr. No. They both wear a shawl-collar dinner suit with a white pleated-front shirt and a slim bow tie, following tradition with nods to the fashions of the time. Moore’s look is more ordinary than Connery’s was, and the dinner suit is not as refined in either the style or the fit. It is likely in ordinary black instead of midnight blue, and it lacks gauntlet cuffs. But Moore’s clothes still have the hallmarks of classic English style.
Moore’s tailor at the time was Cyril Castle, but this dinner suit looks like it is either from a different tailor or a ready-to-wear suit. The budget for Series 1 may not have allowed for a bespoke dinner suit in addition to a blazer and a few suits. The ivory dinner jacket that Moore wears in the first series is also unlikely to be from Castle Castle, but it was replaced with Cyril Castle dinner jackets for the third series and again for the fifth series. Based on the fit of this black dinner suit, it does not look to have been made for Moore. The collar doesn’t fit Moore all that well on his right side, and it’s an issue that is visible in multiple episodes. The fit of this dinner jacket does not have the finesse of Moore’s glen check suit from the first episode.
The dinner jacket is full cut with soft, extended shoulders, natural sleeve heads and a very low button stance. The cut looks reminiscent of the 1950s silhouettes that were on their way out of fashion at this time. The jacket has the traditional details: one button on the front, four buttons on the cuffs, a medium-width satin shawl collar, jetted hip pockets and no vent at the rear. The trousers are difficult to see, but the legs have a full, tapered cut. They may even have a pleated front, which Moore rarely wears. They are trimmed with a black satin braid down the outseams.
Only the jacket’s shawl collar is trimmed in silk satin. The buttons are shiny domed black plastic with four holes and no rim. They do not have a rim. It is possible that the buttons could be ordinary rimmed buttons but sewn on backwards to look more like classic covered buttons, but domed plastic buttons were not uncommon at the time this dinner suit was made.
Moore’s dress shirt has a short spread collar, double cuffs and a pleated front with white buttons. The front pleats are about 1/2 inch wide, and the front placket is stitched about the same distance from the edge to mirror the pleats. While this kind of placket is a signature of Roger Moore’s later shirtmaker Frank Foster, Foster told me he did not start making shirts for Roger Moore until 1968, which would have been for The Saint‘s sixth and final series. Other English shirtmakers have done the same kind of placket for their pleated-front dress shirts for purposes of balance.
The bow tie has a narrow batwing shape with straight sides, which was typical for the era. He wears a black cummerbund around his waist, a tradition James Bond flouted throughout the 1960s.
In some episodes, Moore wears a white pocket square with the corners sticking out. In the episode ‘The Good Medicine’, Moore wears three-eyelet plain-toe derby shoes in black calf. The budget did not likely have room for special shoes for black tie.