The Saint: A Glen Urquhart Check Suit

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The Saint’s first episode “The Talented Husband”, which premiered a day before Dr. No on Thursday the 4th of October 1962, briefly introduces Roger Moore’s incarnation of Simon Templar quite similarly-dressed to Bond in a black shawl-collar dinner jacket. However, the first lounge suit Moore wears in this episode is a Glen Urquhart check suit, most likely in grey and cream but possibly in brown and cream. It has a light-coloured overcheck that is probably light blue, which would go well with either a grey or a brown check. The first lounge suit of the series established the generally pared-down look for Roger Moore’s tailored wardrobe in the show’s first four black-and-white series. All of Moore’s suits for The Saint were made by Cyril Castle of Conduit Street in London. Moore later wears this Glen Urquhart check suit in the first series episodes “The Loaded Tourist”, “The Element of Doubt”, “The Man Who Was Lucky” and “The Charitable Countess”, and in second series episodes as well.

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The suit jacket is cut with natural shoulders, roped sleeve heads, a full-cut—but clean—chest and a suppressed waist. A low button stance makes Roger Moore’s chest look more masculine and imposing, and narrow lapels add to this effect. The lapels are roughly the same width as Sean Connery’s lapels in his mid-1960s Bond films, but these lapels are the widest of all the suits’ lapels in The Saint. Most of Moore’s other suits’ lapels are a bit narrower and less flattering to Moore’s build.

The jacket is detailed with straight, flapped hip pockets, a flapped ticket pocket and three buttons on the cuffs. This jacket has one major difference from all of Moore’s other suit jackets in the black-and-white episodes of The Saint; whilst most of them have a single vent, this suit jacket has roughly 8-inch double vents. The buttons match the overall colour of the suit—either light grey or light brown—but the buttonholes contrast in a much darker colour. The suit’s trousers have a darted front and frogmouth pockets. The legs are full-cut through the thigh and tapered neatly to much narrower plain hems.

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With this suit Moore wears what is most likely a pale blue shirt, which would match the suit’s blue overcheck. If the shirt isn’t blue it would have to be ecru. It has a spread collar and rounded double cuffs. His narrow, medium-dark satin tie—which I guess is red—is tied in a small, asymmetrical four-in-hand knot. His shoes are light brown slip-ons, which are an appropriate match for this sporty suit. Moore wears a straight-folded white linen handkerchief in his suit jacket’s breast pocket.

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This episode features the Bond girl actress Shirley Eaton, who, two years later, would go on to play her most famous role: the gold-painted Jill Masterson in Goldfinger. She gives a solid performance with Moore for a great start to the seven years of The Saint.

13 COMMENTS

  1. While it’s a lovely suit and I can appreciate its more classic proportions such as the lapels in relation to some of the later “Saint” suits, I do feel that these black and white posts will always be a little inconclusive in relation to of the colors which is an integral aspect of the posts. I wonder what other contributors’ takes are on this?

    In relation to this suit, I would lean strongly towards it being some variety of light brown as the shoes worn with it are brown and I can find no other example of Moore ever wearing brown shoes with a grey suit as either Templar or Bond. Therefore, I would also guess that the shirt is light blue rather than ecru and the tie some shade of blue as again, his red ties as both Templar and Bond were always worn with a ecru shirt and then not with a brown hued suit , more likely paired with grey. Of course, conjecture and you never know.

    Interesting that Moore never wore a glen plaid suit as Bond. It’s not as if there was no precedent from his time as Templar plus the two Bond’s that preceded him.

    • In the fifth series there is a black-and-cream hopsack suit with a double-breasted waistcoat that Moore usually wears with brown ankle boots, so it’s not impossible that Moore would wear a grey check suit with brown shoes. He wears this suit with darker shoes (probably black) in other episodes. Moore wears red ties with blue shirts as Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy.

    • Good points, Matt. Of course, you’re right about the Golden Gun and Octopussy ensembles. I couldn’t recall the shoes worn with the very interesting suit from the colour series which you mention although I do think that suit, on account of the waistcoat alone, would make for a very interesting post in the future. 😉

      • I was almost going to post about that suit instead of this one, but I haven’t written about nearly as much from the black-and-white episodes so I decided to write about this suit I always really liked. The earlier clothes have more in common with James Bond’s clothes, though they are less interesting.

  2. The colours would be nice but I don’t mind the fact that the suits are in black and white and a certain amount of speculation is involved.

    This strikes me as being one of the best suits that Moore wore as the Saint. Classic and unfussy this is the sort of suit that wouldn’t look out of place today or indeed probably any time from the mid-30s up to today.

  3. At least this suit had a little more of classic proportions.
    I guess that all those fine Cyril Castle bespoke suits with extreme narrow lapels were no more werables only few years after.
    What terrible waste!

  4. Castle clearly knew how to cut a good suit, but the suits he made for Roger haven’t aged as well as they otherwise would have due to his penchant for fashionable details. that said, I like the suits he made for LALD and TMWTGG much better than anything I have seen on this blog from the Saint. Indeed, this suit is probably my favorite of the ones Matt has covered.

  5. There are many things I admire about this fine Cyril Castle suit. But as they’ve been covered by others, I’ll just note that Templar looks like a prosperous but unremarkable commercial traveler – not unlike the style objective of a secret agent.
    Did Mr. Castle ever get name-checked in the dialogue, as Sulka was?

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