The Wild Geese: Tan Leather Bomber Jacket

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To celebrate Roger Moore’s 88th birthday today, we look at his classic 1978 action film The Wild Geese. The Wild Geese stars Moore alongside Richard Burton and Richard Harris in a film about mercenaries in Africa. In two scenes in The Wild Geese, Moore wears a tan leather bomber jacket along with some of his classic wardrobe items.

The bomber blouson-style jacket is in a flattering dark shade of tan known as Windsor tan. The jacket buttons up the front with seven gilt buttons, and there are two additional buttons on the collar that button backwards from the revers of the left side onto the right side of the collar. The leather jacket is constructed with a yoke in front, raglan sleeves and only two pieces in back. The inside of the collar, the cuffs and the hem are made of mottled beige ribbed knit wool that’s a close match to the jumpers he wears under the jacket. Slash pockets on either side at the waist have tabs that fasten with gilt buttons.

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Under the bomber jacket, Moore first wears a v-neck jumper and a sky blue shirt. The jumper is beige with a hint of olive and most likely made of cashmere. The shirt is made by Frank Foster with the same long point collar that he made for Roger Moore to wear in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. The shirt has a front placket stitched close to the centre. The shirt also has button cuffs, but since the jumper’s cuffs are mostly covering the shirt’s cuffs we can’t tell if they are the Lapidus-style tab cuffs that Moore was wearing as Bond at the time. It’s unfortunate that Moore leaves the first two buttons open on his shirt, since the purpose of such a low V-neck opening on the jumper should not be to show off his chest and necklace. The low V-neck is better suited to a buttoned shirt collar with a tie. But alas, this was the fashion of the 1970s.

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In the following scene, Moore replaces his V-neck jumper and blue shirt for a tight-fitting, beige cashmere polo neck jumper. With both outfits, Moore wears tan trousers with a flat front and flared legs. Because the trousers have a sharp crease down each leg, they are likely wool gabardine. But judging by the creasing around the crotch, the trousers are probably lighter weight than one would typically wear with a heavy bomber jacket. Moore wears tan socks and light brown slip-on shoes with the first outfit, and he probably wears the same with the second outfit.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. “The Wild Geese” can probably be classified as one of Moore’s “better” non-Bond movies from the time when his movie career as at its peak. Entertaining and good ensemble cast with a surprisingly poignant ending. The scenes at the party introducing Moore’s character show that, despite what his detractors say, he can do tough if he’s pushed to. (I liked the trench coat, flat cap and dark polo neck outfit from these scenes too!)

    As for this, well it’s ok. Another item of clothing he liked and kept after filming as I recall seeing stills from the filming of “Moonraker” with him wearing this jacket over the all black outfit in that movie.

    The clothing combination worn with it is fine except that a blue shirt worn with any shade of green is considered a less than ideal combination. A cream shirt would’ve been a better choice. I think all his shirts at that time had the tab/lapidus cuff so I’d bet this does too. Don’t know why but I much prefer the V neck with this lower cut far more than the current trend for higher cut V’s. This was the norm with that style sweater until relatively recently.

    The polo neck is also fine but a little more contrast between trouser and sweater would again have been ideal.

  2. Matt, perhaps you’d like to write an entry about the Madame Tussauds Bond figures recently unveiled. Obviously Craig is wearing the QoS dinner suit, but how accurate are the others?

    • It looks like now they’ve got Craig in the Skyfall dinner suit. I believe these will be travelling to New York, so I’ll wait to write about them until I can see them.

    • Whoops, serves me right for saying obviously. I must have been confused as their Craig figure used to wear the QoS one before this exhibit.

  3. A cigar, a strong spirit taken neat and a pistol close to hand – maybe Shawn Flynn isn’t too unlike Bond. Used to see a v.similar jacket here in Australia in the ’70’s. The ones I remember didn’t have the wool trim and often were in a lighter shade we called butterscotch. Usually seen on men who worked in aviation. Would a “dress for comfort” chap like Shawn bother with a bespoke shirt? I think he might. In Africa he sports the badge of The Irish Guards on his beret and ex-Guards officers live up to high standards. A darn good flick.

  4. Richard Burton:

    “There’s a clause in my contract that says my liver has to be buried separately and with honours”

  5. Richard Burton’s navy suit is most likely tailored by Doug Hayward. Burton was a well known customer of Haywards. The suit looks like his work. What do you think Matt ?. If it is a Hayward, maybe a future post ?

  6. Be interesting to know who cut it for Burton. He wears it tie less there, which is now a popular if not correct look. Amazing that Burton is only a few years older than Roger Moore. His heavy drinking had aged him terribly at that point. Any other Wild Geese post in the near future Matt ?

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