Two Blue Shirts from Frank Foster in Honour of Roger Moore

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In honour of what would have been Roger Moore’s 91st birthday yesterday, I present two new Roger Moore-inspired bespoke shirts in blue from Frank Foster. Frank Foster made countless shirts for the James Bond film series, from the start of the series in Dr. No to Roger Moore’s final James Bond film A View to a Kill. Frank Foster are best be known in the Bond world for making shirts for Roger Moore, both for his Bond films and many other films and television series. They also made shirts for Sean Connery, George Lazenby and countless other men in the Bond films. My two latest acquisitions from them are modified replicas of two of Roger Moore’s James Bond shirts.

With only one plain blue shirt from Frank Foster in my previous orders, I found myself desiring more plain blue shirts. Plain blue may be an ordinary colour for a shirt, but it is one of the most versatile colours and it looks good on most people. In a luxurious material with the perfect collar and a fun cuff design, a shirt can subtly be very special. Subtly special is the idea behind most of the shirts James Bond wears.

Blue Cotton Poplin from Live and Let Die

One of the most essential James Bond shirts is light blue cotton poplin. Roger Moore’s first shirt as James Bond in his first Bond film Live and Let Die is light blue cotton poplin. He wears this shirt throughout his adventures in New York City under a navy suit and navy double-breasted chesterfield coat, and since I live in New York City it’s about time I made this part of my wardrobe.

Choosing the right material for this shirt proved to be most difficult. Frank Foster have a vast collection of light blue shirtings in countless hues, various weaves and different levels of fineness, so it took a lot of searching and a return visit to find this perfect colour. This soft blue is exactly the pale periwinkle colour I was looking for. This shirt is slightly darker than the colour that Moore’s Live and Let Die shirt appears to be, but it is difficult to know the exact shade of Moore’s blue shirt because light colours are easily blown out on camera.

The fabric is woven with a white warp and a blue weft. Compared to a piece-died fabric where everything is light blue, weaving white with blue creates a softer blue but also makes for a richer colour. Unlike a blue end-on-end, where the warp ends alternate with blue and white against a white weft to create a cross-hatch effect, this shirting looks evenly solid without magnification. This is a proper poplin; it is a plain weave with twice as many warp yarns than weft yarns, giving the cloth subtle crosswise ribs. It is a fine poplin with a soft hand and a fair amount of sheen, but it also has some body.

I asked Mary at Frank Foster to copy the unique fly front on Roger Moore’s shirts from Live and Let Die. The front has a folded placket with one line of stitching down the middle, giving the front a symmetrical appearance. Frank Foster’s typical fly front is stitched like an ordinary placket, with two lines of stitching framing the buttonholes. Without buttonholes down the placket, only one line of stitching is necessary to hold the placket in place. This kind of placket flares out more than an ordinarily stitched placket, so this style may not be to everyone’s tastes. But without buttons, this single line of stitching down the centre gives focus to the shirt without visible buttons anchoring the centre. I have only seen this type of placket done elsewhere on pleated dress shirts, where the placket matches the wide pleats.

The collar on this shirt is my usual, which is a classic unfused English spread collar that is a bit larger in scale than the average collar. It is touch wider than the collar that Frank Foster made for Roger Moore to wear in Live and Let Die but is otherwise very similar. It more closely resembles Roger Moore’s collar in his 1980s Bond films.

The cuffs on this shirt are two-button cocktail cuffs, but the design is the style that Roger Moore wears in The Man with the Golden Gun rather than Live and Let Die. This is the style that Frank Foster prefer to make today. Like the collar, the cuffs are unfused. The interfacing in the cuffs is lighter than in the collar but still has a lot of body.

The poplin shirt is paired with my blue sharkskin suit trousers from Mason & Sons.

Blue Cotton Voile from Moonraker

My second blue shirt is based on the shirt that Roger Moore wears in Moonraker with his navy blazer and cavalry twill trousers when he meets Drax at his California chateau. This shirt very similar to the shirt above, but it is made from cotton voile instead of poplin. Voile is similar to poplin in that it a fine cotton material woven in a plain weave, but because it is woven of high twist yarns it has a more open weave and is more breathable. This makes voile ideal for warm weather, and Roger Moore’s Bond usually—but not always—wears his voile shirt in warmer locales.

Voile is a semi-sheer fabric, which is due to its open weave. In blue, particularly in darker shades, it is less sheer than voile in white or cream.

The hue of this voile shirting is closer to a true blue than the pale periwinkle poplin above. Like the poplin, this shirting is woven with a white warp and a blue weft for a soft blue. The white yarns are more easily seen in the voile than in the poplin, but only from a very short distance.

This shirt is made with the same unfused spread collar as the shirt above rather than the much narrower collar with very long points that Roger Moore wears in Moonraker. I prefer my regular collar because it best balances my face.

The cuffs with a tab extension are the same that Roger Moore wears throughout The Spy Who Love Me and Moonraker. Frank Foster calls this the “Lapidus cuff“, after fashion designer Ted Lapidus who invented this cuff. Mary made this cuff differently than she made the Lapidus cuff from my first order. This time it is more like that design that Roger Moore wore, with a wider tab that is stitched from the edge at the same distance as the rest of the cuff. This cuff has a shorter tab than the the tabs on Moore’s cuffs. Since I am a smaller man than Sir Roger, I have smaller wrists and need shorter tabs on my cuffs.

The voile shirt is paired with taupe tropical wool trousers from Peter Elliot and a reversible dark brown calf and suede belt from Ferragamo, who provided many of Roger Moore’s shoes and belts for the Bond films.

Photos by Janna Levin

27 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Matt!

    I must say that I am not a fan of a fly-front for regular shirts – seems a bit gimmicky to me (a characteristic feature of many of Moore’s clothing items).

    But I really like the voile shirt. When you presented your black tie voile shirt to us, I asked you if you intended to order another (regular) voile shirt – you said no. What changed your mind?

    Has it a double front or are you wearing an undershirt on the photo?

    Best,
    Renard

    • I think a fly front is great for wearing a shirt without a tie. In Roger Moore’s case, he always wore the fly front shirts with a suit and tie (except for when he removes his tie during the boat chase), but I plan to wear this shirt with a blazer and no tie at times.

      The hot summer changed my mind with voile; I needed better shirts for the warmer half of the year. When I saw this fabric I couldn’t say no! It does not have a double front, and I am not wearing an undershirt. It looks more translucent in certain lighting.

      • ” It does not have a double front, and I am not wearing an undershirt. It looks more translucent in certain lighting.”

        So perhaps I was right about darker colours being less translucent than white. I am also planning to order a bespoke summer shirt but I am still not sure if it should be voile or batiste. I am leaning towards a royal or navy blue colour (like this one: https://bamfstyle.com/2018/05/25/fleming-cooper-navy-linen-shirt/ , but with long sleeves, of course). Perhaps batiste needs a double front (I shall see), voile seems not to.

        “When I saw this fabric I couldn’t say no!”

        I couldn’t have as well!

  2. I must say I love those Frank Foster shirts, it actually resembles the shirts Sir Roger Moore wore on the Bond films. Just out of curiosity Matt, but what pair of shoes did you pair with the light blue shirt in the second picture with taupe tropical wool trousers and dark brown belt? Did you also wear a jacket and tie?

    • I’m wearing brown loafers with the voile shirt. In this instance, I only put these clothes on to take photos, so I wasn’t wearing a jacket and tie. But I have blue blazers and tan linen jackets that I plan to pair this shirt with.

  3. I agree with Renard. The Voile looks, essentially, a perfect item for a summer’s day. The Poplin, um, not sure about that combination of front fly and cocktail cuffs. It might be good for non black tie semi formal event like a meal out with senior colleagues and clients.

      • ^^^^^^
        I don’t get why people ask why a suit or a shirt must have a purpose in a wardrobe.
        Does your t-shirt have a purpose in yours other than to be worn? So why pose the question of occasion? Of course, a dinner suit must be worn at a special occasion but come on.

      • I think that our clothes should serve a purpose in our wardrobe. There are some clothes that I like the looks of but do not fit my needs. I don’t think I will ever need an evening tailcoat.

    • The poplin shirt can be worn exactly the same way as a shirt with a regular button placket. With a tie, like Moore’s shirts you’ll never know that it has a fly front. Without a tie it looks a bit more fashion forward, but it does not need to be worn differently than a shirt with an ordinary front.

  4. “This time it is more like that design that Roger Moore wore, with a wider tab that is stitched from the edge at the same distance as the rest of the cuff.”

    I must say, I do prefer this version over the other. It looks more consistent.

  5. “A double breasted navy blazer would look great with these shirts. Like Roger Moore wore in Cofu. ”

    -A single-breasted as well. But if it has to double-breasted, I would not refer to Moore’s Corfu one because the fit is not the best. With regard to that, the TMWTGG blazer is much in better.

    • I agree with Renard about the fit of the Corfu blazer, but for some reason I find the Corfu scene especially delightful – the sea, the mediterranean light, the open necked shirt with the blazer, Carol Bouquet in traditional garb- that’s the kind of lovingly glamorous atmosphere recent Bond movies have been unable to replicate.

      • That kind of atmosphere needs the right kind of person and the recent Bond movies didn’t have that same collection of people,

  6. Just a note on tab cuff. Mannix and Johnny Carson both wore those cuffs. Do you know any other tailors who make this cuff. Thsnks

  7. Both shirts look great and I like the cocktail cuffs. I’m not quite sold on the Lapidus cuffs, but they’re interesting none the less.
    You were wise not to try and replicate the collars worn by Roger Moore, which I feel were too large even for him.
    Looking at the photos of Moore in the voile shirt, I notice that the blue looks quite sheer, with the material looking darker where it is double layered. It’s not a look I really like, but you appear to have avoided that with your choice of cloth.

    • Moore’s shirt is not double-layered. It’s his tanned chest that’s making the body of the shirt look darker. The placket is what it looks like when double-layered. My shirt may looks a bit more like Moore’s in certain lighting. Harsh studio lighting shows how sheer it is.

      • By double layered I meant the areas of the shirt where you see more than just a single layer of cloth, such as the cuffs, collar and darts. The colour always appears more saturated in these areas and I see it as a pitfall of lighter weight shirt material.

    • “You were wise not to try and replicate the collars worn by Roger Moore, which I feel were too large even for him.” In fact, Moore’s Bond shirt collars varied. In his first two Bond movies they were shorter than what was currently fashionable, in the following two they were about average and in the last 3 movies a touch longer, but still within classic bespoke shirt range.

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