As tonight is New Year’s Eve I thought it would be appropriate to look at another dinner suit. In The Spy Who Loved Me it was a midnight blue six button with two to close and has peaked lapel and no vents. This is the most traditional and timeless version of the double-breasted jacket, though some may prefer four buttons with one to close on a dinner jacket. The midnight blue cloth has a slight sheen, likely indicating a mohair and wool blend. A mohair and wool blend wears cooler than pure wool does, which helps in the Egyptian desert. James Bond’s dinner jacket was probably made in midnight blue because it looks better in daylight than black (which usually looks slightly green) and is more flattering to Roger Moore’s warm, low-contrast spring complexion than black is in daylight.
Angelo Roma tailored this suit in the classic Roman Style, inspired by British military and equestrian tailoring. In both the Roman and English military tradition, the dinner jacket has straight shoulders with roped sleeve heads, a clean chest and a suppressed waist. Though the dinner jacket’s wide peaked lapels are a result of 1977 fashion, wide peaked lapels on a double-breasted jacket have a more classic look than wide notched lapels on a single-breasted jacket. Bond’s dinner jacket also has straight jetted pockets and three-button cuffs. Angelo Roma was founded by former Brioni Couture manager Angelo Vitucci. Read more about Angelo Vitucci in articles in The Sydney Morning Herald and the Panama City News-Herald.
The flat front trousers do not have side pockets, but they do have a rear pocket on the right (maybe on the left too, it’s hard to tell) and flared legs with plain hems. The trousers have a long rise and sit at the waist. A nice thing about the double-breasted dinner jacket compared to the single-breasted dinner jacket is that, because it stays buttoned, no additional waist covering is needed. The lapels, buttons, trouser stripe and waistband are trimmed in black satin silk, which has a slight contrast in the daylight. The wide bow tie is also black satin silk.
The white dress shirt made by Frank Foster has a plain front with his signature placket with two lines of stitching close together down the middle, a large point collar and fancy buttons. The sheer and airy fabric is likely cotton voile or zendaline, with only a single layer in front. Voile shirts are often doubled in front because they are so sheer. The lack of a bib makes this shirt more more bearable in the heat of the desert.
At first glance the buttons looks like studs, but they are not studs since there are matching buttons on the tab cuffs, which wouldn’t take cuff links anyway. The tab cuff is an interesting cuff, which is like a barrel cuff with an extend tab that fastens. The buttons are dark, shiny, and sewn with white thread, and they are likely smoke/black mother of pearl. The fancy buttons are more appropriate than studs since this shirt is not a traditional black tie dress shirt. The faux-stud look is appropriate for a faux dress shirt. Roger Moore wears this cuff throughout most of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.
With the suit, Moore wears black patent leather, squared apron-toe slip-on shoes from Ferragamo with a wide strap across the vamp and small brass buckle or side-bit detail at the side of the strap.
Despite the oversized collar, wide lapels, and slightly flared trousers, this is a classic dinner suit. Editor of The Spy Who Loved Me (and director of later Bond films) John Glen auctioned this dinner suit at Christie’s in South Kensington on 14 February 2001. According to the listing, Roger Moore gave this to Glen during the filming of Moonraker two years later. This suit was made by Angelo, Roma. The image in the listing shows that the top two buttons are missing, but the rest of the suit looks identical to the one worn in the movie. The auction lists the suit as black, though it looks like midnight blue in the film’s well-lit scenes. The untrained eye in poor lighting has a very difficult time differentiating midnight blue from black, which is the point of midnight blue. The auction listing could be incorrect, or it could be the wrong dinner suit.