Updated February 15th, 2018: Steve McQueen’s influence on Daniel Craig’s Bond style has been discussed repeatedly. As evidence, we can compare 007’s look when he visits Mathis in Quantum of Solace and pictures of McQueen from William Claxton’s book Steve McQueen: Photographs. From the sweater style to the pale beige pants to the suede chukkas, the inspiration for Bond’s look is pretty obvious. So it’s time to go back to the source and explore affordable alternatives for the Steve McQueen blue shawl collar cardigan.
Features Wanted for the Steve McQueen Blue Shawl Collar Cardigan
- Rib-knit merino wool or cotton
- Muted French navy/dark steel blue color
- Two patch pockets
- Brown leather buttons
The shawl cardigan style isn’t that difficult to find (unless you want black). And if the buttons on the alternative aren’t a match, it’s pretty easy to swap them out (you could try these or these). The real challenge here is finding a good color match. Which is why we won’t be including the multitude of pure navy options that are currently out there.
Best Option for the Steve McQueen Blue Shawl Collar Cardigan
VB Shawl Collar Cardigan in Dark Blue: $37.90 to $38.90/£25.90 to £32.90
If you’ve been following this site for a while, you may remember this cardigan in black being a long time “Best Option” for the QoS Tom Ford. The Dark Blue version is also a solid affordable alternative for the McQueen cardigan and sizes small to XXL are available. The fabric is a 40% cotton/40% viscose/20% polyamide blend.
Jack and Jones Vintage Jjvorson Shawl Cardigan in Blue: £45.00 to £49.95
A well priced, well executed option from Jack & Jones. They’ve used a 100% cotton yarn, with a bit of marling to keep it interesting. And the color looks to be a good match as well. Amazon UK has sizes small to XL available.
Michael Kors Cotton-Blend Knit Cardigan in Midnight: on sale for $89.10
If you’re looking for something with a bit more visual interest. They’ve gone with a slightly lighter shade of navy for the collar and trim on this option. But the other style details look pretty close. The yarn is a 60% cotton/40% Coolmax polyester. Sizes XS to XXL are available, but they’ve run out of mediums.
The King of Cool Shawl Neck Cardigan in Blue: on sale for £74.99
When you have a company called “The King of Cool” devoted to delivering McQueen-accurate clothing, you kinda have to take a look at a company called The King of Cool. Read the story behind this piece on their site to see just how much research went into designing it. The yarn is a 50% wool/50% acrylic blend. Sadly, it looks like this model is being discontinued (hence the sale). They’re down to sizes small and XL now.
I’m really digging this option from Polo. The yarn is 81% cotton, 19% linen blend. The cut is a little slimmer and the buttons are genuine horn. Now, if you’re a size small or XL, you’re in luck. Matches Fashion has those two sizes in stock for £145.00 (the link in the header goes there). If you’re any other size, then the price jumps to £175/$225 on the Ralph Lauren website.
You get cold easily? Then this is the one for you. Aside from having nearly spot-on styling, this bad boy is made with over two pounds of 5 ply pure Merino wool. And it already has the leather buttons. Sure, the color may be a little bright. But the chances of you catching a chill when wearing this thing are between slim and nil. Sizes medium to XL are available on the Hillflint site.
The Investment Piece
Well, it does have “McQueen” in the name. So I kinda had to include it, didn’t I? BERK makes the cardigan in Scotland from hand combed cashmere, wrapped into 4-ply yarn. And it has all the style details you could want.