The Persuaders: A Sporty Striped Suit

21

Persuaders-Cream-Stripe-Suit

Though Roger Moore wears the flashiest clothes of his career playing Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders, the suits are also amongst the best-tailored and best proportioned of any of Moore’s suits. Cyril Castle, who made Moore’s suits for The Saint and for his first two Bond films, made the suits for The Persuaders. Castle experimented with fashion trends more than most Mayfair tailors did, but at the time The Persuaders was made in 1971 the narrow styles of the 60s were out and the wide styles of the 1970s hadn’t fully taken hold yet. The suits in The Persuaders instead get their flashiness from unconventional colours and patterns along with the occasional odd detail. Roger Moore himself is responsible for all the flashiness, and he is credited with designing Lord Sinclair’s clothes.

Persuaders-Cream-Stripe-Suit-3

The episode of The Persuaders titled  “Nuisance Value” features a very unique striped double-breasted suit, and the cloth is what makes it most remarkable. It has a cream base with thick light brown stripes, and medium grey pinstripes are closely spaced in-between the light brown stripes. The medium grey pinstripes also border each light brown stripe. Though striped suits are ordinarily thought of as business suits, this isn’t a typical pinstripe, rope stripe or chalk stripe suit. These stripes unquestionably have a sportier look, and such a sporty suit is appropriate for the Lord Brett Sinclair character who wears suits for fun.

Persuaders-Cream-Stripe-Suit-2

The suit jacket is cut in Cyril Castle’s usual double-breasted style. It has six buttons with two to button, and the jacket is cut with an extemely narrow wrap (the overlap in front). The narrow wrap makes the buttons very close together horizontally compared to their farther vertical distance to give the jacket more vertical lines and help slim the slightly heavyish Moore. The jacket has softly-padded shoulders, roped sleeve heads, a lot of fullness in the chest and a nipped waist. The peaked lapels are made in the Tautz style, in which the top edge of the lapel points horizontally rather than angles up. The lapels are on the wider side of classic width, and, as usual for Castle, there’s only a buttonhole in the left lapel. Double-breasted jackets traditionally have a buttonhole in each lapel since both sides of the jacket fasten. Like on the jackets that Moore wears in his first two Bond films, this suit jacket has flared link-button cuffs, slanted pockets and deep double vents. The buttons are smoked dark grey mother of pearl, which add some additional flash to the suit. The suit trousers have a dart on each side of the front, and an offset jetted frogmouth pocket cuts through the dart. The trousers legs are tapered to the knee and straight from the knee down. Moore wears the trousers with a belt.

Persuaders-Cream-Stripe-Suit-4

Under the suit Moore wears a peach-coloured shirt from Frank Foster. It has a spread collar, placket and button-down cocktail cuffs that fasten around the wrist with a single button. Peach isn’t a traditional colour for formal shirts, but it’s similar to the classic ecru only a little darker and with a hint of pink. The champagne-coloured tie is a couple shades darker than the shirt, and it pulls out the light brown stripes in the suit. It is tied in a four-in-hand knot. When Moore opens his jacket we can see that the tie is too short and wider than the lapels, but since most of the tie is obscured inside the jacket—and the jacket should always be kept fastened—neither of the tie’s problems actually matter.

Persuaders-Boots

Moore’s zip boots are even more fashionable than the colour of his shirt or the pattern of his suit. The boots’ light brown colour fits the Spanish setting and complements the warm colours in the rest of the outfit. The height of the boots is difficult to describe, since they are taller than ankle boots but shorter than mid-calf. They have a square toe and leather soles. Like most of Moore’s shoes, these zip boots are likely Italian-made. Zip boots are ordinarily too casual to wear with a suit, but the sporty nature of this suit makes zip boots almost appropriate.

Persuaders-Grey-Stripe-Suit

This cream, brown and grey-striped suit could easily be confused for another very similar suit that Moore wears in The Persuaders. In the same episode Moore wears another suit that is in the same pattern, but it has a light grey base with thick dark grey stripes instead of a cream base with light brown stripes. Like the cream-based suit, the grey-based suit also has medium grey pinstripes. Both suits have the same cut and same details, except the grey suit has a larger wrap than the cream suit has. Moore wears the all-grey suit with an open-collar black shirt, and a black silk day cravat is tied inside the collar but hangs outside the shirt. He also wears black slip-on shoes, which echo the black shirt and go well with the greys in the suit.

21 COMMENTS

  1. The wide lapels and the angling of the top buttons of the double breasted jacket could make it be any recent Tom Ford blazer.

    Apart from the flared link-cuffs that is, but it looks great nonetheless. I might go for a flared linked-cuff soon enough.

  2. Mixed thoughts on this suit:
    The cut is excellent,lapels are not too much wide for a double breasted (and for 70s standards),and this style is very much better on Moore than the exaggerated slean style of “the Saint” years.
    But colors and accessories are too much showy; Hell,we are nearly on the pimp side!
    But i have a question:
    Despite the close overlapping of the suit,the coat show not more shirt and tie then a DB coat with classic overlapping and buttons stance.
    A narrow wrap with buttons very close,should not open more the coat on shirt and tie?
    The reason is that the lapels are cut straight without belly?

  3. I think he looks great and very “continental” apart from the excruciating boots which he is wearing. Definitely not 007 but very much Lord Brett or an Italian lothario.

  4. Well done, Matt. You’re right. I had always taken the cream based suit and the grey based one to be the same but now that you show the two together, particularly with the vastly differing color shirt shades, it’s clear that these are completely different suits.

    I often wondered what style suits would Moore have worn had he taken over as Bond one picture earlier, with “Diamonds are Forever”, filmed at the same time as this episode, in Spring 1971. Obviously his wardrobe would have differed somewhat from Connery and would have featured pieces tailored by Castle similar to what we saw subsequently in “Live and Let Die” and “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Would this outfit be inappropriate for Bond? Yes, a little. Would the suit alone be inappropriate? Not at all. We saw a silk double breasted suit in Moore’s debut movie followed by light grey and olive striped versions, plus a DB blazer and dinner jacket, in “Golden Gun”. This suit with small changes such as brown loafers instead of ankle boots and slightly toned down shirt shade, say regular ecru, would be fine for Bond or at least for Moore’s Bond. In any event, he wore brown zip boots in both “For Your Eyes Only” and “Octopussy” and, arguably, the beige dobby pattern shirt from “Live and Let Die” and the brown striped shirt worn on the train in “The Spy Who Loved Me” are as adventurous sartorially as this peach one is.

  5. I think that Moore is a dandy, and not ony onscreen but perhaps in real life too. Thus he wears these clothes pretty well and looks natural and cool in it.
    The color palette of the whole outfit is far from classic but it suits his hair and complexion very well, and the suit is well-tailored.
    I just would have preferred other shoes though…

    Anyway he certainly has more style than his friend in the light blue perfecto…

    • What’s more, Brett Sinclair, the character Moore plays in the Persuaders, is a playboy. The suit not only complements Moore’s complexion and build, but is also consistent with Sinclair’s persona.

      That said, playing Sinclair hardly stretched Moore’s modest acting talent.

  6. Le Chiffre, to be honest, I would never have viewed Moore as “a dandy”. To clarify, I don’t believe that you are using the term pejoratively but somehow the description seems excessive. Moore simply wore expensive and perfectly tailored clothing and, for me I hasten to add, he has an innate taste in these matters. Brosnan has this too but he always appeared a little more self conscious in these matters, or at least, conscious that he was particularly well turned out. Moore, on the other hand, never seemed so conscious of the clothes he was wearing or appeared overly fussy in his dress. Dapper yes but for man whose natural wardrobe (at least in public) in the last decades seems to be, perennially, a navy blazer and grey slacks this is dapper, old world and redolent of conservative, “old money” but scarcely dandyish. I know you’re referring to his earlier wardrobe but I feel a dandy would remain so into his old age. Patrick McNee as John Steed, for example, was a dandy and was definitely conscious of his tailoring.

    • Brett Sinclair is certainly a dandy, and I’d say Moore is one too since he designed Brett’s clothes. Or rather, in the late 60s and early 70s he went through a dandy phase, which was cut short by James Bond. As Templar or Bond he certainly wasn’t a dandy.

    • The original dandies in the late 18th century proritised skillful tailoring with quality fabrics to create a more masculine and sober appearance, which was in reaction to upper class fops who were wearing garish, poorly made clothing with large amounts of ornamentation.

      Bearing that in mind, I don’t think it’s unfair to call Moore a dandy at all.

    • David,
      good point about the use of the term dandy, I understand your criticism. It’s a word that everybody uses now to qualify too many things, without knowing its origin and what the dandy of the 18th century was all about. Being French myself, I have no excuse of falling into the trap of facility.
      So let me replace the term of dandy by, as you described Brosnan yourself as a matter of fact, too self-conscious (too clothes-conscious I might say), too fussy in his dress, sometimes looking more than a mannequin than an English spy. I am still talking about Moore’s Bond here, of course.
      As somebody once wrote, be elegant, for a man, consists in having choosing his outfit meticulosly, having put together the parts of his outfit slowly and precisely, and then, once you are finally dressed, having forgotten all about it.
      Well, it is the blame I put on Moore’s Bond (especially for the first movies ; when he changed of tailor in the 1980s it changed a lot), to me he seemed not to have forgotten it !

      Funny that it’s what you don’t like in Brosnan’s Bond, since I myself think he doesn’t look self-conscious at all and looked always natural and simple while often standing a bit out in his Bond movies as the best-dressed (and, as Moore, the most expensively dressed) man in the room.

      That said, I grant you the fact that Moore was certainly a dapper fellow in his way of dressing.

      • Le Chiffre, Good points and well put. Just one quibble; I didn’t dislike Brosnan at all as Bond. In fact, I thought he was ideal casting and would have preferred had he remained in the role a couple more times. His movies were very poor though.

  7. Interesting that you refer to RM as ‘slightly heavyish’. I once worked with a lady who dated him in the early 70s and told me that he generally wore a corset.

    • This sounds a little “fishy”, not to say “catty”. if I’m not mistaken, in the early 70’s Sir Roger was still married to Luisa Moore, and I doubt he would have been dating around. Furthermore, in one of the early episodes of The Persuaders, he and Tony Curtis are seen water skiing, and neither one looked in need of a corset. Hmmmm…

  8. Matt, I enjoy your off-piste posts about Remington Steele, the Persuaders etc. Have you considered analyzing the clothes worn by Daniel Craig in Our Friends in the North? The nine-episode BBC drama ran in 1996 and helped establish Craig as a star. What might make the series especially interesting from a sartorial point of view is that each episode takes place in a different year, starting in 1964 and ending in 1995. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115305/

  9. Moore seemed to be a bit barrel chested, “heavyish” feels overly descriptive. He’s certainly an inch shorter and a touch stockier than the young Connery, Dalton and Brosnan. The interesting thing for me is actually how his dress plays with his hair, which with the serendipity of being the Seventies Bond started close-cropped, but by Golden Gun had grown feathered and long. Here on Persuader, I think it’s the haircut that dates him more than the suit.

    Anyway, it’s fair to say that his fuller chest and bronzish skintones allow him to get away with suits that the darker, less sunkissed Bonds could never pull off. It doesn’t hurt that he has that perpetual twinkle in his eye, either.

  10. I actually like the dress boots. I would wear those as I am more partial to using brown leather over black. What detracts from this outfit for me is the enormous tie. I know it was the early 1970s and wide ties were the trend, but it just seems to put things out of scale, even upon a slightly stocky figure like with Mr. Moore. I could perhaps see the width justifiable if it was one of those painted silk art deco-type ties from the 1940s and 1950s, and I know those were still available at that time, though I am not sure Moore would have approved of the flamboyance.

    I love the suit though. The width of the lapels is perfect on him and I agree the cream-grey tones work as with a lot of his clothes from that era.

    I noticed while watching Live and Let Die the other day that Moore smokes a cigar during the hang-glider scene too. Did he really have an affinity for cigars or was it for show?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.