Updated November 27th, 2016 – The Quantum of Solace black shawl collar cardigan that Bond wore during his visit to Mathis’s villa quickly became an iconic sweater. The QoS version was provided by Tom Ford, but Bond wore a similar cardigan in Casino Royale and Daniel Craig’s character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also sported one. You can find an updated version of the sweater, the Tom Ford Iconic Shawl-Collar Cardigan, at Neiman Marcus for $1590.00.
A simple black ribbed shawl collar cardigan at a decent price is actually getting hard to find. The ones below are not perfect, but they get close.
Features Wanted for the Quantum of Solace Black Shawl Collar Cardigan
- Shawl collar style
- Rib knit texture
- Black buttons
- Two front, patch-style pockets
Best Option for the Quantum of Solace Black Shawl Collar Cardigan
Claiborne Long-Sleeve Shawl Collar Cardigan in Black:
$60.00 on sale for $29.99
Well, look who’s back! After a long absence, this Claiborne option has returned. It has the ribbed texture, two pockets and 6-button placket we’re looking for, all for $60. Less if you wait for one of JCPenney’s regular discount codes or sales. The yarn is a cotton/poly blend and sizes medium to XL are available.
Do NOT believe the Amazon UK description. This thing is not 100% cotton or wool. It’s 100% acrylic, as is stated in the reviews and on the Ebay page for the same cardigan. Now that that’s clear …. Style-wise, this isn’t a bad option. Six buttons, pockets (although not exactly the pockets we’re looking for), horizontal rib knit on the back of the collar. It could definitely work for those of us on a very tight budget.
Urban Outfitters Shawl Collar Cardigan in Black: on sale for $39.99
Big thanks to Chad, who emailed this suggestion to us! Material is 100% cotton, and man, did they get close to the original in terms of styling. Right down to the horizontal rib-knit on the collar. Quick note on this one. Its design is a little more “street wear”, so it’s an over-sized cut. If you look at the product page, you’ll see the 6’2″ model wearing a medium. And it is hanging off him. Sizing down should definitely be considered. UO has sizes small to XL in stock. Update: So I got mine and, as expected, it’s pretty darn big for the size. I’m normally a size medium (depending on the brand) and I went with a small in this. And it’s still big. An extra small would have been almost perfect. Conclusions? Great option for you bigger guys (size large and up). For gents size small and down, it just ain’t gonna work.
New option from a company I’m unfamiliar with. Description says it’s 100% cotton. And if though it’s missing the rib knitting of the Tom Ford, the ribbing on the collar is going horizontally. One review says it fits small, so you may want to consider ordering one size up.
GAP Cardigan in Black: £49.99
Couldn’t find this one anywhere on the GAP U.S. website. But Zalando has sizes small to XXL on their site. In case you didn’t notice, this is in no way a ribbed knit. It’s 100% cotton and the knit is very tight. It’s also missing those pockets. However, what I do like are the two buttons close to the hem. Open the bottom one and you’ll still have a fairly snug fit. I honestly don’t know why more designers don’t do this ….
Like the GAP option above, this is non-ribbed knit alternative. Comes from Nordstrom’s 1901 house-brand, and could work for those of you wanting something less “chunky”. They have sizes small to XXL in stock.
Perry Ellis 5 Button Shawl Collar Cardigan: on sale for $69.99
I have no idea how I haven’t seen this one before. Looks like it’s a new item, but it’s already on sale? That additional 60% off the already discounted price brings this one down to $22. The knit is a 60% cotton/40% acrylic blend. It’s also missing the pockets and the more aggressive rib knit of the Tom Ford. But the styling works well as a clean, more sophisticated alternative. Perry Ellis has sizes small to XXL in stock. Update: I also ordered one of these in the last Perry Ellis sale. The material is very soft and in no way feels like a “cheap sweater”. There are some subtle flecks of dark grey in the yarn, but they’re only noticeable up close. As for fit? I went with a medium and it fits like a nicely tailored medium. So, even without the pockets and the more prominent rib-knit, I’m liking this one more than the Urban Outfitters one above. Grab it during one of Perry Ellis’s frequent 40% or 50% off sales, and you’ll have a solid alternative for around $30.
A made-in-Italy option, available from MenLook. They’ve used a 50% acrylic, 30% wool, 10% viscose and 10% alpaca blend yarn for this one. So I’m assuming the feel will be … interesting? It’s not a true rib-knit, but there’s still some texture there. Overall, a fairly good match, especially if you swap out the buttons.
Marc O’Polo Cardigan Black: £144.99/ €159.90
Do you live in the UK or one of the Northern European countries? Great! You’re all set! Live in the U.S.? Too bad. Because, sadly, one of the best alternatives on the market right now does NOT ship to the U.S. The cardigan is 100% cotton and is a true higher gauge rib knit with the front pockets. There is a tonal Marc O’Polo badge on the left shoulder. But nothing too obnoxious. Sizes extra-small to XXL are available on the UK Zalando site. Marc O’Polo’s own website has sizes small to XXL.
The Investment Piece
So apparently Cashmere Heartland also sells on Amazon under the name “Shephe”. If you’ve been thinking about this one and like the protection Amazon provides, here you go. But … they only have sizes large and XL available. Another option? Go to Cashmere Heartland’s website and order it there. They have all sizes in stock AND it’s priced at $365.00.
More alternatives will be added as I find them! If you’ve found an option you like, share it in the comments below! And remember to check out our Facebook page, Instagram account and Pinterest Boards for more James Bond style advice and inspiration!