The Saint: The Light Brown Three-Piece Suit

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Saint-Light-Brown-Suit

One of Simon Templar’s favourite suits to wear when travelling to climates warmer than Great Britain’s is a light brown worsted three-piece suit. Roger Moore wears this suit tailored by Cyril Castle in many episodes of The Saint‘s fifth series, including the final episode of that series featured here titled “The Gadic Collection” when Templar travels to Istanbul. The suit jacket resembles others that Moore wears in this season of The Saint. The jacket is a button three, and the lapels roll gently at the top button. The jacket is cut with natural shoulders and a draped chest, which gives the suit a more relaxed look for the warmer climate. The flapped hip pockets are slanted, and the breast pocket has a flap to give this suit a sportier look, whilst narrow lapels and narrow pocket flaps reflect the contemporary 1960s trends. The jacket has turnback “gauntlet” cuffs with a large single button, and there are double vents at the rear.

Saint-Light-Brown-Suit-2Under the jacket Moore wears a button six waistcoat, and he fastens all six buttons. Unlike most other waistcoats in The Saint, which have a straight bottom, this waistcoat has the traditional pointed bottom. The waistcoat also has notched lapels and four welt pockets. The back of the is in a medium brown lining and has a waist-adjusting strap. Though three-piece suits are often associated with increased formality, a waistcoat is just as appropriate with a dark city worsted as it is with a sportier suit like this lightweight brown suit.

Saint-Light-Brown-Suit-3The suit’s trousers have a darted front, cross pockets, belt loops and two rear pockets. At different points in the episode the belt loops can be seen used with a brown belt and unused. Ideally the trousers worn with a three-piece suit would be without belt loops and supported by side adjusters or braces. The belt creates an unsightly bulge under the waistcoat. The leg is tapered with a plain hem. Moore wears his usual cream shirt with this suit, and the shirt has a spread collar, double cuffs and a plain front. The shirt is possibly from Sulka, who Templar mentions in an earlier episode of The Saint, or Washington Tremlett, whose shop was next-door to Cyril Castle’s. Moore’s long relationship with Frank Foster most likely didn’t start until the following series of The Saint.

Saint-Light-Brown-Suit-4Moore wears two ties with the suit. The first tie is olive green satin silk, which is the tie that Moore typically wears with this suit. After Templar discards his olive tie he dons a solid brick red repp tie. Both ties are tied in a small four-in-hand knot with a dimple. Moore’s tan socks and brown short boots follow the outfit’s earth-toned colour scheme. The boots are like shorter chelsea boots with elastic gussets on the sides.

The cream shirt, olive tie and light brown suit flatter Roger Moore’s warm spring complexion better than the common cool, dark city colours do. People often criticise Moore for wearing brown suits in his 1970s Bond films because those people associate brown suits with fashion trends from that decade, and brown suits were indeed popular at that time. But Moore didn’t wear them just because they were fashionable in the 1970s, and he didn’t only wear brown suits in the 1970s. Per this article, he wore brown suits in the 1960s, and he wore them in the 1980s too. Roger Moore wore brown suits because they looked good on him.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Good Springtime choice, Matt. This is very light brown, almost bordering on beige/tan. Even though I’m not ordinarily a fan of suits from the brown family in 3 piece I can appreciate your rationale, Matt and the features do indeed make it sportier in nature. Moore certainly wore this suit on a large number of occasions when abroad or rather when the back lot of Elstree was dressed with the accoutrements which indicated some foreign locale!

    Excellently made point in your conclusion regarding Moore’s fondness for suits for brown hue irrespective of decade. (It’s the same with the safari outfits which, likewise, spanned 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.) In the final “Saint” series, for example, he wore another 2 piece suit with the flapped breast pocket we see here (I like this touch a lot and, as we’ve seen he carried it on from Castle to his Angelo Roma tailored suits as late as 1979) in a shade of mid brown (from recollection) and another double breasted suit in shade of brown (which you’re probably batter able to determine) with a very unusual lapel shape.

    Highly interesting is the exact replica of this suit which was produced in a shade of light blue – a colour we only saw enter main stream men’s fashions during the 1970’s – which was also worn on considerably less occasions for “foreign” travel during this and the final “Saint” season (e.g. episode titled “Queen’s Ransom”). I can imagine this suit attracting negative comment on this forum if you ever did decide to post about it in the future (but, one thing I know about this fine blog is that you never can tell!).

    One final question; regarding the red tie, I always took this to be a shade of dark red/maroon/burgundy and likewise the tie worn for the “office scenes” in “Octopussy” whereas you refer to both as “brick red”. But wouldn’t this shade indicate some brownish cast in the red which I cannot see? I don’t know. I ask it out of genuine curiousity.

    • I probably would never post about the light blue suit. There are too many other interesting clothes from The Saint to write about than to write about something identical in everything but colour to this suit.

      Brick red is a slightly dark and dull shade of red.

  2. Matt, you’ve remarked several times about Roger Moore’s apt choice of colors to complement his complexion. What colors should the other Bond actors wear to achieve the same harmonious effect? (Apologies if you’ve already addressed the question!)

  3. I’ve always thought that these Roger Moore/Saint suits were sublime and am pleased that you have featured another example Matt. I have two suits in this style, one an original made in 1967 in a more formal (stripy) material that belonged to a relative who was always known as being very “stylish”… and a replica made in 2000 but with the page-boy-straight cut waistcoat and no flap on the breast pocket. As you know this type of kit will always be noticed and remarked upon, but I just shrug it off..my style “just happens” you know!! I’m just working my way through a box-set of “Honey West” that John Ericson, just great!! regards geo.

  4. Like this a lot. Takes us back to when a traveling Brit of Templar’s class had high standards of dress and deportment. The belt-bulge is a surprise, though. Perhaps the suit was originally made up as a 2-pce and the waistcoat was a later addition? Certain folk say that Ronald Reagan’s brown suits won him the White House in 1980…

      • Thanks, Matt. So strange that none of the later SAINT series, TV pilots and film came close to the charm and fun of the ’60’s series, made on an el-cheapo budget.

      • One could argue that The Saint was at its best with George Sanders in the 30s and 40s and every subsequent incarnation has been slightly but increasingly less successful.

        Does anyone know what has happened with the latest attempt to bring back The Saint? I understand there was a TV film/pilot made last year with Roger Moore and Ian Ogilvy making cameo appearances.

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