The Navy Blouson in Octopussy

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Navy-Blouson

My 400th post features yet another one the many blousons that Roger Moore wore in his 1980’s James Bond films. The navy zip-front blouson in Octopussy has a shirt-type collar and shirt-type button cuffs. The front has a welt pocket on each side of the chest and patch pockets below with buttoned flaps. The back of the jacket is made with a yoke and two pieces, which gather at the waistband at the bottom. It looks like there are two extra pieces to the back on either side of the centre, but those are probably pleats that have been sewn shut down the back from the yoke to the waistband.

The flat front navy trousers have on-seam side pockets and at least one welt pocket on the back, on the right. Though both the blouson and trousers are navy, they don’t perfectly match. The trousers are most likely cotton drill, but the blouson could also be the same.

Navy-Blouson-2

The lightweight white shirt is made by Frank Foster in the same style as the formal shirts in the film, and it has a spread collar, button cuffs and a front placket. Moore wears his usual black slip-on shoes, which are a very odd choice for the assault on Kamal Khan’s palace. The stuntman wears lace-up shoes, which Moore should have been wearing too.

The combination of white shirt and navy trousers is a classic combination that James Bond wears for casual use in Ian Fleming’s novels:

“He dried himself and dressed in a white shirt and dark blue slacks. He hoped that she would be dressed as simply and he was pleased when, without knocking, she appeared in the doorway wearing a blue linen shirt which had faded to the colour of her eyes and a dark red skirt in pleated cotton.” (Casino Royale, Chapter 24)

Navy-Blouson-3

14 COMMENTS

  1. Indeed, congratulations Matt.
    Just one thing though. You say “Moore wears his usual black slip-on shoes, which are a very odd choice for the assault on Kamal Khan’s palace. The stuntman wears lace-up shoes, which Moore should have been wearing too.” Not to mention clinging to the underside of a plane! However, I’m not sure I get the logic here; as both are a version of a dress shoe, surely, provided they fit correctly it would make very little difference? How can laces or the absence of same effect the appropriateness of his footwear to the occasion in question? To the best of my knowledge Moore hardly ever wore laced up shoes post the black and white “Saint” episodes and never as 007. It was just a personal style choice.

    • For all of that running around, not to mention the wind outside an airplane, slip-on shoes have a higher chance of coming off, whilst lace-up shoes are guaranteed to stay on. Dress shoes really aren’t the best choice for this scene, lace-up or slip-on. A leather boot with commando soles would be more practical, and not un-stylish either.

      • I think a moccasin may suffice as well, assuming the fit was tight. Look at traditional chinese kung fu and ballet shoes, in theory a slip on can work. But mostly I’d like to see him in a boot of some sort, as it is appropriate for the scenario.

  2. Roger looks great in the blue and the trousers work well enough. I don’ t like the shirt, which is almost as bad a choice as the shoes. Really, I understand that Octopussy is a fantasy (or a mix of fantasy and Bondian “realism”), but a better choice of shirt and shoes along the lines Matt suggests above going to assault Kamel Khan’s palace would be welcome. Or an all-black as seen in Thunderball, the Spy Who Loved Me, and The Living Daylights would be welcome, and also better than Pierce’s ridiculous looking on him combat gear. To me, the shoes and shirt is where Roger’s choices show his generation and age.

    Of course, the Octopussy circus girls’ outfits are perfect for the assault 🙂

    • Agreed, Christian. I’ve always enjoyed Octopussy, but Roger definitely appears more like a haggard old man than a suave English spy in the images above. In addition to the improvements that you suggest, I think a shorter haircut might have also helped.

    • Completely agree, Christian. I don’t like the outfit because it mix elements of casualwear worn with a shirt and a pair of shoes that Moore would usually wore with a suit, or at least a sport jacket. And leather or suede boots would be much more appropriate.
      I guess Moore just dressed the way he liked for the scene -especially the shoes, knowing that he wouldn’t do any stunts after all, so let’s take advantage of that !

  3. Gentlemen, I really have to respectfully say that I find most of the objections to aspects of this outfit a little funny and I have to come back to what I always say and what I always admired about Moore’s Bond; it was ludicrous escapist entertainment. I mean, Matt, the sheer human impossibility of clinging successfully to the outside of a plane doing a 360 degree turnabout makes observations about footwear and shirt choices somewhat redundant! Overall, a dark trousers and casual jacket like this is not anything outstanding (although the quality of Moore’s Bond’s blouson’s is vastly superior to this https://www.bondsuits.com/?p=103) and the lightweight shirt is surely fine for the climate and setting. Would it improve the outfit if the shirt was also navy or very dark blue? I don’t know.
    And Christian, at least the “Octopussy” outfit’s colors gel together correctly. The so-called “all black” from “The Living Daylights” was a navy and black mix!

    • I think the shirt is fine. It’s comparable to the white shirt Daniel Craig wears with the cardigan in Quantum of Solace, and nobody complained about that shirt except for the double cuffs. But whether or not the slip-on shoes are practical, I think they’re a little too dressy for this outfit.

    • About the shirt, there was an outfit, including a shirt, Moore wore in another movie that would match the situation perfectly, IMHO :

      https://www.bondsuits.com/?p=2780

      The French blue shirt would look better here too, it doesn’t “clash” contrary to white. I mean clashing as a formal shirt color, of course. Nothing wrong and no clash when wearing a navy suit and a white shirt.
      Good point David again about being realistic – this is a Moore Bond movie, and after all Moore doesn’t do any stunts so why bother ?-, but I still think the shoes are the biggest problem of this outfit. The white shirt isn’t as disturbing to be honest.

  4. Le Chiffre, re: the shoes thing, I can only say that he wore this same style of shoe as a wardrobe staple, whatever the occasion, and this included pairing them with the various casual blouson jackets from FYEO to AVTAK also so it wouldn’t be likely that they’d vary his look just for this particular context. I don’t suppose they thought a great deal of attention would be paid to this, to be honest.
    I agree that the “Sea Wolves” outfit would have worked well in the context but I don’t personally find aspects of this outfit jarring and I don’t know what shoes he wore with the other one either.

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