Updated April 24th, 2019: Still a warm weather favorite among Bond fans 13 years after it’s introduction. The original navy Casino Royale Sunspel Riviera Polo is still available from the company for £79.00/ $135.00 before shipping, duties and taxes. Tom Ford made the polo used in Quantum of Solace, inspired by the Sunspel version. So I feel that if you get this one, you’re good for looks from both films.
Update: Matches Fashion currently has the Sunspel Riviera Polo in the piqué cotton available for £70.00/$90.00 right now. All sizes look to be in stock.
So what’s so hard about finding a navy polo? It’s in the details:
Features wanted Casino Royale Sunspel Riviera Polo
- Cotton mesh fabric
- Self facing fabric collar (not rib knit; the collar material looks the same as the rest of the shirt)
- No ribbing on sleeves
- Chest pocket (we may need to sacrifice this for a couple of options)
- 2 button placket with dark blue buttons
- No logos
With regards to price, I’m going to try and keep things under $70. Since the original Riviera is going for $90 at Matches, it doesn’t make much sense to go much higher than that for an alternative.
Best Option for theCasino Royale Sunspel Riviera Polo:
J.Crew Essential Pocket Polo Shirt in Navy: $29.50 (but a sale will come along)
Not exactly the fabric we want, but still 100% cotton. And you get a three button placket instead of the two on the Riviera. But the white buttons should be cheap and easy to swap out and the rest of the details come really close. Hard to beat for under $30 (the price will probably drop with one of their nearly constant sales). J.Crew has sizes XS to XXXL in stock.
If you can live with the thicker, more washed out fabric, the Seacroft Polo isn’t a bad choice. Especially if you’re saving your funds for some summer travel. Coming to you from House of Fraser, where they have sizes medium to XL available.
It’s missing the chest pocket. But the slimmer fit, shorter cut and 95% cotton/5% elastane fabric maybe give it a more modern feel, if that’s what you’re looking for. It also has 4.6/5 stars. So it seems like customers are pretty happy with it. Sizes XS to Large are in stock. Just remember this is a slim fit from H&M we’re talking about.
At $30.00, Spier & MacKay’s shirt collar polos are a pretty good deal. And feedback on the men’s style forums about their polos has been overwhelming positive. It’s missing the chest pocket. But there are plenty of other nice details: the fabric is combed, ring spun extra-long staple cotton and the buttons are genuine river shell. You can read my review of the polo in this post. Summary? Great for the price, but you may need to trim a couple of loose threads. All sizes are currently available on their website.
TOG 24 Buxton Dri Release Wool Polo Shirt in Navy: on sale for $30.00/£20.00
A pretty solid match in terms of styling. Now, what about the fabric? Despite the prominence of “Wool” in the product name, they’ve actually used an 85% polyester/10% wool/ 5% Spandex blend. So not exactly all natural. But it could still be a good choice for those who tend to perspire and want something that wicks moisture. Sizes Large to XXXL are in stock at House of Fraser.
Again, missing the chest pocket. But otherwise this is a solid, 100% cotton option in a very dark navy. The fit is definitely on the slim side and the length is cut shorter. Should look pretty good untucked.
Ken Wang Polo in Navy: $65.00
Even though it doesn’t have the chest pocket, I still have to give a shout out to the Ken Wang Polo for $65.00. Simply because it gets so much love on the men’s style forums for its fit and cutaway collar design.
Mack Weldon Vesper Polo: $68.00
Is this offering from Mack Weldon the perfect alternative? Many seem to think so, if the press is to be believed. Am I still hesitant about including it on this list? Yep, and it really has nothing to do with the actual shirt. If you’re interested in knowing my reasons, you can read this post on AJB007. If you couldn’t care less about my ethical quandary, then buy it and be happy.
The “WTF! Are you kidding?” Option
Sure it’s almost a dead-on match for the Sunspel. But $248? Really?