Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent
Macau, Spring 1974
Film: The Man with the Golden Gun
Release Date: December 20, 1974
Director: Guy Hamilton
Tailor: Cyril Castle
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell
Following the release of Orlebar Brown’s 007-inspired collection earlier this year, the company’s take on Roger Moore’s green safari jacket from The Man with the Golden Gun renewed my interest in the actor’s sophomore adventure as James Bond which also happened to be the first 007 movie I had ever seen.
After Bond retrieves a gold bullet during his rendezvous with Saida the belly dancer, Q identifies the soft 23-karat gold dum-dum bullet plopped from Saida’s navel as a product of Portuguese gunmaker Lazar (Marne Maitland), currently living in Macau.
“An unexpected honor, Mr. Bond,” Lazar greets him. “Your reputation precedes you.” Well… so much for that whole “secret agent” thing.
What’d He Wear?
On the 00-7th of August, we explore the summer-appropriate sport jacket and tie that Roger Moore’s James Bond wore for his visit to Lazar in Macau, an outfit that has been previously analyzed in brilliant detail by The Suits of James Bond.
The Man with the Golden Gun is the first of two consecutive Bond movies where Moore’s 007 sports a safari-style jacket over a shirt and tie, though he always appropriately wears these garments in warm settings. This particular jacket is well-suited for Macau’s humid subtropical climate while his tan safari-inspired sports coat in The Spy Who Loved Me befits that scene’s Egyptian setting.
While undoubtedly consistent with the much-maligned safari-inspired men’s fashions of the 1970s, Moore’s cream lightweight silk jacket in Macau suggests a military bearing with its structured cut and style elements that it shares with some countries’ service uniform tunics. It’s a unique garment specific to its era, though Iconic Alternatives has done excellent work researching and exploring modern alternatives in this comprehensive article about Moore’s safari style.
Bond’s cream-colored jacket has lapels with an extended collar that droops down into where the notches would be, creating the effect of a narrow slit between the collar and the lower halves of the lapels. There are four mixed tan sew-through buttons down the front, and Moore fastens the bottom three while leaving the top button undone similar to the practice employed by RAF officers and others.
There are four inverted box-pleat pockets—a sporty detail common to 1970s safari wear—that all close through a single button on a pointed flap, with the two smaller pockets over the chest mirroring the two large pockets on the hips. The shoulders are appointed with military-like epaulettes (shoulder straps) that were also a common feature of safari shirts and jackets during the ’70s. The sleeves are finished with pointed straps that fasten to a single button on each cuff. All of the buttonholes are reinforced with a dark brown thread that echoes the broken contrast stitching along the jacket’s edges, including the lapels, pockets, cuff tabs, and epaulettes.
Made by Roger Moore’s usual shirtmaker, Frank Foster, Bond’s light cream poplin shirt nicely coordinates with the cream silk of his jacket while providing a softer contrast than a stark white shirt. The shirt has a spread collar, front placket, and the distinctive two-button “cocktail cuff” that continued the tradition of the character’s signature shirt style that began with Sean Connery’s first outing in Dr. No (1962).
Moore complements the light earthy tones of the outfit’s color palette with a dark brown silk tie, knotted in a large four-in-hand that fills the tie space of his shirt’s spread collar.
Bond’s brown silk flat front trousers are likely worn with a belt, consistent with Bond’s other trousers in The Man with the Golden Gun, though his waistband remains covered by the squared corners of the buttoned sport jacket throughout the scene. The only retail details of the trousers apparent on screen and in the promotional images are the plain-hemmed bottoms with their then-fashionable slight flare and a full break that drapes over his footwear.
The footwear in question is a pair of dark brown leather apron-toe Salvatore Ferragamo loafers with a strap across the vamp decorated with a small squared gold buckle on the outside of each shoe. Moore wears these slip-on shoes with dark socks, possibly dark brown or black, though the former would be more thematically appropriate.
The Man with the Golden Gun was Roger Moore’s swan song for Cyril Castle-tailored clothing and the Rolex Submariner dive watch that had been Bond’s signature timepiece since it appeared affixed to Sean Connery’s left wrist via leather strap in Dr. No. It would be the last time any James Bond actor would wear a Rolex until another Submariner appeared on Timothy Dalton’s wrist in Licence to Kill (1989).
Roger Moore’s Submariner, ref. 5513, has a black rotating bezel and black dial and is worn on a stainless Oyster-style link bracelet. Unlike the Sub with its rotating buzz saw in Live and Let Die, this Rolex has no discernible gadgets or abilities aside from telling accurate time.
Roger Moore’s safari-influenced clothing may not have many fans in the universe of James Bond sartorial enthusiasts, but I always appreciated this creative approach to a sport jacket and tie for warm weather. When shopping at a Nautica outlet three years ago, I came across a beige lightweight cotton twill jacket that, while missing a few of the exact details of Moore’s garment such as the epaulettes, second chest pocket, and button-tab cuffs, allowed me to effectively channel this unique look.
Constructed from a lightly napped twill 97% cotton, 3% spandex cloth in a color that Nautica describes as “sandcove”, this Nautica “Utility Blazer” is more of an unstructured sports coat with slim notch lapels and only one breast pocket as opposed to the two on Moore’s garment. Furthermore, the sleeves are finished with two non-functioning buttons to match the three nut buttons down the front. Like the Moore jacket, it has two large inverted box-pleated pockets on the hips that each close with a single-buttoning flap. All in all, it is a very comfortable and distinctive layer to dress up a shirt and tie on a hot summer day.
To the right, please find this blogger humbly offering a photo of my own attempt at channeling Sir Roger, albeit with more of a budget than 007 ever had, with the sandcove cotton Nautica sport jacket over a cream Geoffrey Beene shirt, brown viscose-and-silk Michael Kors tie, brown twill flat front Lee trousers, and alligator tassel loafers by Florsheim. The Rolex Sub “tribute” watch is a stainless steel Invicta diver with black bezel and dial, though the sun’s glare through the window in this particular photo reflects a not-unwelcome brown in the watch’s dial.
(The outfit looked much better at the start of the workday, but it wasn’t until after 5 and a full day at the office that the opportunity arrived for this blogger’s patient girlfriend to snap the photo you see to your right.)
Here you will find only craftsmanship and quality. Mass production—your Walther PPK, for instance—l leave to others.
Lazar alludes to James Bond’s signature PPK (again suggesting that 007 should really brush up on the “secret” part of being a secret agent), but the firearm that Bond uses to greatest effect during the scene is the customized bolt-action rifle that Lazar had built for a three-fingered hitman.
“A custom-built model for a client who recently lost two fingers,” Lazar proudly declares, further explaining that the trigger is housed in the butt, which has been balanced for the pressure of three fingers rather than Bond’s full complement. Thus, when five-fingered Jimmy Bond takes a shot with the rifle, the bullet hits the target an inch too low.
Interestingly, the concept of a trigger-less rifle did not originate with the Bond series. In the early 20th century, Winchester Repeating Arms modified its own Winchester Model 1902 for a unique .22-caliber youth rifle that replaced the traditional trigger with a thumb-activated sear behind the bolt. The purpose of this simplified system was to remove the amount of disruptions before firing the weapon’s single shot.
You can learn more about this distinctive Winchester “Thumb Trigger Rifle” in this comprehensive video from Forgotten Weapons. One of the approximately 76,000 produced between 1904 and 1923 was auctioned by Rock Island Auction Company in the spring of 2015.
How to Get the Look
Roger Moore’s dressed-up approach to ’70s safari fashions may not have passed the test of time as well as some of his other tailored attire, but this lightweight cream silk jacket is contextually appropriate for his mission to Macau while also reflecting a military pedigree apropos of Commander Bond’s service.
- Cream lightweight silk single-breasted safari-inspired sport jacket with “dog-ear” lapels, epaulettes, four-button front, four inverted box-pleat patch pockets, single-button tab cuffs, and long single vent
- Light cream cotton poplin shirt with large spread collar, front placket, and 2-button turnback “cocktail” cuffs
- Dark brown silk tie
- Brown silk flat front trousers with slightly flared plain-hemmed bottoms
- Brown Italian leather Salvatore Ferragamo strap loafers with gold side-bit detail
- Dark brown dress socks
- Rolex Submariner 5513 stainless dive watch with black rotating bezel, black dial, and stainless Oyster-style link bracelet
Iconic Alternatives has done some marvelous research into finding modern equivalents to Roger Moore’s safari-influenced clothing as James Bond with a few options for this classic off-white jacket. Check it out!
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
I’m now aiming precisely at your groin… so speak or forever hold your piece.