The Saint: A Blue Tweed Jacket

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Saint-Blue-Tweed-Jacket-3

For the first color series production of The Saint, Roger Moore takes full advantage of the color and wears a steel blue tweed sports coat made by his usual tailor Cyril Castle. Moore first wears this jacket in the fifth series episode “The Man Who Liked Lions” and later during the fifth series in “The Persistent Patriots” and “The Fast Women”. He wears it in two sixth series episodes, “The Fiction Makers” and “The House on Dragon’s Rock” that were actually part of the fifth series production. It is worn the most in “The House on Dragon’s Rock”, and the outfit Moore wears with it is what is featured in this article. The episode first aired on 24 November 1968.

Moore’s tweed is woven in a twill weave with a blue ground and has white flecks. It looks similar to a donegal tweed, but donegal is woven in a plain weave rather than a twill. Blue tweeds are somewhat unorthodox, being a country cloth in a city colour. Tweeds are traditionally in earthy colours—the brown and green families—or in neutral greys. Because a blue tweed jacket is an anomaly, a blue tweed jacket must be worn carefully. In the country, it should be avoided in autumn when browns completely dominate nature. In the country in winter it can fit in with the snow so long as the blue is muted. In spring, however, any blue can look good anywhere. Though tweeds aren’t traditionally worn in the city, a blue tweed jacket is a solid choice for casual wear amongst the concrete and steel.

Saint-Blue-Tweed-Jacket-2

This jacket is Moore’s only jacket with two buttons in the entire run of The Saint, apart from an unfortunate ivory dinner jacket with two buttons that he wears in the early episodes of the series. Compared to his typical button three jackets from The Saint, this button two jacket makes Moore look less top-heavy and more balanced. The jacket is cut with a swelled chest and a closely nipped waist for an athletic look. The shoulders are lightly padded with roped sleeve heads, but the shoulders look more built-up than they are due to the heavy tweed. The jacket is detailed with double vents, single-button gauntlet (turnback) cuffs and straight flap pockets with a ticket pocket. The jacket has swelled edges on the lapels, the collar, the front edge, the pocket welt and flaps and the gauntlet cuffs. The jacket’s buttons are black horn, though brown horn would have been a more fitting choice due to the rustic look and warm tones Moore wears with the jacket.

Saint-Blue-Tweed-Jacket-Gauntlet-Cuff
A close look at both sides of the jacket’s gauntlet cuffs—or turn back cuffs—from “The House on Dragon’s Rock”. The gauntlet cuff is a separate piece attached to the cuff.

In “The House on Dragon’s Rock”, Moore wears this jacket with medium grey flannel trousers that have a darted front, frogmouth pockets and straight legs. In some other episodes he wears tan twill trousers with this jacket, and almost any neutral trousers can pair well with a steel blue jacket. All shades of grey can work, from a light ash to a deep charcoal. Though black trousers won’t clash with this jacket, they will make the blue pop in a bold way, whilst charcoal trousers will give a similar look that is softer and more elegant. Anything in the brown family can work, from a light beige to a dark chocolate. Though cream and white trousers wouldn’t necessarily go with a cool-weather tweed jacket, they would be perfect with a steel blue linen or silk jacket in warm weather. Olive trousers, though often considered neutral, don’t work so well with a blue jacket. As triadic colours, blue and olive compete with each other when there are large amounts of both colours.

Saint-Blue-Tweed-Jacket

Moore’s ecru shirt has a moderate spread collar, plain front and double cuffs. The narrow tie has wide brick red and grey stripes separated by narrow black stripes in the classic British direction, and it is tied in a four-in-hand knot. Moore’s shoes are dark brown short chelsea boots.

43 COMMENTS

  1. Moore truly should have worn more two-button jackets, as this truly was the best choice for his physique in the 60’s. I must admit I love this jacket and it’s colour and apart from the narrow lapels I would defenitely wear this myself! It’s a great casual sports coat for the city.

    • I couldn’t agree more – I love this look. Jackets like that are very hard to find unless one goes bespoke.

    • There are some nice pieces appaering on ebay now and again. That’s where I get my suits/jackets nowadays due to the current fashion.

    • Sure, why not? 3 buttons is most traditional. 4 is old-fashioned and should be limited to certain types of jackets. 2 is more modern but perfectly acceptable. 1 is even more modern, but I think it’s still acceptable.

  2. It seems to be worn in the Persuaders when Brett Sinclair is in disguise as an actor who wants to be hired as a lookalike of Lord Sinclair. It is then used to characterize an actor wearing old and outdated clothes…

  3. I wonder why Castle mostly used a 3-button front on Moore, since the 2- button seemed obviously to be the best cut for Moore. Nice sport coat, and nice 60s tie.
    It’s certainly an outfit he could have worn as Bond, perhaps with some trousers just a bit darker.

  4. One of Moore’s best sports jacket and a good example of taking a tweed jacket and making it a little more interesting with a great colour like steel blue. I have a similar coloured jacket and I find it very versatile. I think striped ties should come back to the Bond series but in traditional stripes like the regimental tie Moore wore in LALD. Daniel Craig often wears striped repo ties to photo calls and premieres, so he must personally have no problem with them.

  5. “It’s terrible to think that clothes could be outdated in 5 years”.

    This is one of the things that dislike more in Roger Moore’s wardrobe: he is too much fashionable (or fashion victim); what a waste of good bespoke!
    Another thing of Moore that i not like is that for to be up- to-date he dress in a way that is not good on him:
    In 60s the three buttons with skinny lapels were atrocious on his large breast.

  6. I can only agree with the general, positive consensus about this outfit. The jacket was one of the best from the entire “Saint” series for Moore in terms of both cut and colour. Couldn’t be better. It’s a real shame that it was so underused; appearing in few episodes and then for a, comparatively short period of time. For what it’s worth, the tan trousers which he wore with it in only 1 episode were even nicer than the grey. Gave the outfit a richer looking appearance. The tie seems as it may have been a carry over from the black and white series as I seem to recall similar looking tie patterns. I agree with Ryan that the bias against striped ties nowadays is somewhat inexplicable and makes for a very bland wardrobe.

    I agree that the other 3 button suits and jackets which castle tailored for him as Templar generally suited him less (This sports coat, for example, does him no favours in terms of cut – https://www.bondsuits.com/the-saint-pleated-back-sports-coat/) however some pieces such as the mid grey 2 piece suit with 3 buttons, slanted pockets and a low button stance which appeared in many episodes of the first colour season, were cut in a way which was very flattering.

    Castle produced all his Bond clothing with a 2 button jacket because 3 buttons had gone out of fashion by 1972 and this produced a result more favourable to Moore.

    I agree that this jacket, with just a slightly wider lapel would be as classic as could be and that, yes, it is a shame that 5 years can make some clothing pieces seem outdated and passé however, this does give me some slight hope for the situation with men’s tailoring (if it still exists in any meaningful form) in 5 years from now!

  7. It’s indeed a nice looking jacket. Unfortunately it’s a tad too long. Look at the pic when Templar stands with his arms hanging straight down his sides. Too long.

    • That is indeed the classic length; it’s interesting how the eye becomes accustomed to the modern horrors seen in GQ, Esquire, etc.

    • It’s perhaps long by today’s (or even the ’60s) fashion standards, but bespoke tailors cut to the most flattering length on their customers regardless of decade. They take into account body proportions (longer or shorter than usual torso, leg length, height, etc.). This is the case even on Moore’s ’70s clothing. The lapel widths may vary, but the overall silhouette remains in good taste for decades.

    • No, it’s a one or two centimeters too long. If Templar would clench his fist it would be more noticeable. IMHO the jacket should not stretch below the base of the thumb or thereabouts. Or it should divide the body in half. Maybe it does, hard to tell by the pictures provided.

      Sorry boys, I don’t mean to boast but I know my way around classic fashion as good as anyone, so this is not “sad”. I se the jacket as more of an hommage to the longer jackets of the 1940s and early 50s. Not wrong by any means, but anyway.

      • As you say, the jacket should divide the body in half. You should know that the arms are not an accurate indicator of that. It’s very difficult to assess the length of a jacket from a photo due to perspective and lens distortion. You cannot tell if a jacket is only one or two centimeters too long from what you see here. Also, there is about a 3 to 4 cm range of classic jacket lengths on a taller person of Moore’s height. When a jacket is too short or too long beyond that range (like Daniel Craig’s suit jackets in Skyfall and Pierce Brosnan’s suit jackets in GoldenEye, respectively), then you can fairly judge a jacket as too short or too long. Moore’s jacket is only too long for your tastes. Tailoring is far from a mathematical science, and there are different, equally valid, schools of how long a jacket should be.

    • In the picture the jacket reaches to the second thumb knuckle, which is about as good of an approximate estimate of proper jacket length as one can get (I emphasize “approximate” because some people may have unusually long or short arms).

    • Despite being 6’1 I have a long torso and shorter legs for my height (to the point I wear a 31″ inseam!) so a slightly shorter jacket actually works best on me. But I do mean /slightly/ shorter than classic, not Thom Browne length.

  8. Good article Matt. I had the choice to get a similar coloured blue donegal or a grey version from Epaulet a few years ago. I went for the grey but occasionally have a twinge of regret that I didn’t go for the blue. At the time I had several blue jackets and thought the grey would be more versatile. Anyway I agree this was a great item and although I myself wear only three button jackets, when I see older episodes of The Saint, that style with extra skinny lapels does seem less flattering on Moore’s broad chest as Carmello says above.
    Incidentally, I’m assuming you have the boxed sets but do you know if The Saint is being shown on TV these days? I recorded a few episodes from the first series that were shown at stupid o’clock on the MeTV channel a few months ago but they don’t seem to have continued for very long.

    • Try Bookster. They have a tweed cloth called “ocean blue” which is similar to the cloth Templar’s jacket is made of.

  9. Then Moore’s arms must indeed be very short. He is a tall man, and tall men generally don’t have a problem with shorter legs, but I find it more soothing to the eye if a tailor don’t compromise a person’s overall figure by downplaying the length of the legs by cutting the jacket longer than it needs to be.

    The range of classic jackets, the 3/4 centimeters you are referring to, seems like a fair deal. But who will be the judge of when a jacket is within that range or “out of range”? You?

    As you very well know, the clenched fist is indeed a good indicator of the classic jacket length since a person’s arm length very often is related to the length of the body. For example, if my jackets were longer than that they would cover half my thighs. But, again, Roger Moore may be an exception.

    Personally I use another rule of thumb: My jackets should end one or two centimeters below the end of the “fly seam” on the front of my trousers. Since I never let my trousers slip, this is very reliable.

    I still find the jacket a tad too long. But it is within your range, sure.

    • If I’m going to judge a jacket as too long or too short, it’s going to be more than 2 cm too long or too short. From the pictures you see you cannot fairly judge if a jacket is too long by such a minuscule amount. When going by the hand method, Moore’s jacket is exactly at the length it is supposed to be. So even when comparing the jacket too Moore’s arms, the jacket is not too long. You haven’t complained about any of Moore’s other jackets here, which are almost all the same length as this jacket. Do you believe Moore always wears a jacket that is too long?

  10. To be honest, I haven’t paid Roger Moore’s jackets very much attention, though I am an avid reader of your weblog and very much in favour of the most of your stances on the cut of jackets and trousers.

    I have found, however, that certain readers and commentators here are so biased towards the “anti-Skyfall short jacket as a fashion statement that doesn’t look good or age well” position that they fail to see that a shorter jacket is not necessarily a short jacket but a classic length one.

    Actually, if I allow myself to be a little post modernistic (so to speak), I wonder if there is a “classic” or “correct” length at all. Tailoring is in essence about making people loook their best in a certain garment. If this means cutting a jacket just over the buttocks, so be it.

    I still wonder about that range, by the way. Where did you pick that up or is it a thing of your own creation?

    • The range is an approximation I came up with based on the longer jackets English equestrian tailors prefer compared to the shorter jackets Neapolitan tailors prefer. I try to look at clothes from different perspectives and don’t believe there is any one correct length, which is why I believe there is an acceptable range. Your preference is on the shorter end of that range, whilst Moore’s jacket is at the other end of it. But I will insist that a jacket needs to cover the buttocks. Neapolitan jackets are not so short as to reveal the buttocks, but they are markedly shorter than what some English tailors do. I don’t think one’s buttocks showing is a good look, unless someone is so short or ill-proportioned that it’s absolutely necessary. I think that a jacket ending above the buttocks ordinarily places the bottom of the jacket at an awkward place, and when a jacket covers the buttocks it gives a natural place for the bottom of the jacket in relation to the shape of the body.

    • I agree with Matt 100%. A jacket may be a little longer and still look OK on a tall man, but it should never leave the buttocks uncovered, even on a short man.

  11. Thanks for your prompt answer. I, however, hope that you (and Dan) don’t mean that the jacket should cover the buttocks totally. I am 5’9″, and quite short-legged (31″ inseam), but not alarmingly so. With that small amount of leg showing I would resemble à Bassett hound.

    • I am the same height as you are and have the same inseam length. I find the perfect jacket length to be 30.5″ from the bottom of the collar to the hem, which just covers my buttocks, though it’s just slightly longer than half the height of my body. 30″ to 31″ is the ideal range for me, whereas a taller person could acceptably wear a wider range of jacket lengths. Moore’s jackets extend a little below his buttocks, but he has very long legs compared to his torso.

    • Funny, it seems the three of us has got the same height and inseam! I agree with Matt, a 30.5 jacket indeed both looks and actally FEELS best for me, though I do have a couple that are about an inch shorter (wich still is within the classic range). I also find that a well-cut and proportionate jacket of the right lenght works better at making me look taller than a shorter jacket would. The same is true for Daniel Craig, just compare the suits in his earlier two Bond films to the suits in his latter ones.

  12. So, Bassett hounds you are! 🙂

    I have a jacket which is 31″, a blue Bladen in cotton/linen. Never use it. Have to take it to the tailors one of these days. But there you go, it all comes down to personal taste. I prefer a slightly shorter jacket since I don’t want to risk shortening my legs even more. Short men like us have to use quite a few tricks to make our bodies look more proportional. Since I live in Sweden nowadays this is even more evident: They are (if I remember correctly) the second tallest nation in the world. Imagine the standard I have to live up to…

    I use:
    • Slightly shorter jackets
    • Shorter trousers
    • Trousers with a high waist (hovering on the top of or over my hip bones)
    • No turn-ups on trousers
    • Mostly two button jackets (though being an old mod, it’s been hard leaving the three buttoned standard behind)

  13. What a wonderful picture!
    Is John Steed in mid-late 70s.
    Narrow lapels and tapered trousers : None concession to the fashion of the day (McNee said that he claims this style to the production of “The new Avengers”; no huge lapels,no flared trousers).
    This is the STYLE.
    Have a personal taste beyond the fashion.

    http://www.voxsartoria.com/image/142759467013

  14. Yes. McNee looks as he always did; impeccable! This shows, as you say, that a person with real aesthetics keeps it classic regardless of fashion and, in fact, doesn’t care about “fashion” at least to the extreme. This is to be admired!

  15. “A close look at both sides of the jacket’s gauntlet cuffs—or turn back cuffs—from “The House on Dragon’s Rock”. The gauntlet cuff is a separate piece attached to the cuff.”

    -That’s interesting – can you see from the pictures how it is done? Is it attached to the cuff from inside (with buttons)?

  16. I see – so it is not detachable. I don’t know if such a thing exists, but if yes, I would consider it quite a practical arrangement: It could create the illusion of having two separate dinner jackets, and it would be easier to combine different kinds of shirt cuff with it (French cuffs with the gauntlet cuff on it, cocktail cuffs without it).

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