Updated April 24th , 2019 – You got to hand it to Tom Ford. He took what are basically the features of a men’s big and tall polyester golf shirt and made them cool. Of course, having Bond strolling around in your shirt with his Cucinelli chinos and J.Crew Kenton boots doesn’t hurt either.
Not many affordable polo shirts out there with both features: it’s either the johnny collar OR the banded bottom, and almost nothing in that brighter navy blue and shinier fabric. There’s a fair few that are close on sites like https://outletshirts.com/polo-shirts, but a few brands have decided to copy the general trend since SPECTRE‘s release. So, if we’re willing to make a few sacrifices, we have more alternatives than before.
Best Option for the Tom Ford Banded Hem Johnny Collar Polo Update:
Hello Magnoli Clothiers! The maker of fine replicas has just launched the SPECTRE Polo Shirt, retailing for a very reasonable $50.00/£34.98. Many of us knew this one was on the way and so far the fans seem happy (lots of 5 out of 5 stars reviews). So it’s probably the one to get for the closest screen accurate look possible. Just make sure to check the sizing chart on the site!
Best Option for the Tom Ford Banded Hem Johnny Collar Polo
Burton Menswear Navy Open Collar Knitted Polo Shirt: on sale for £20.00/$26.00
Call me crazy, but I think this one really captures the vibe of the Tom Ford. The color comes close to the IRL polo. And (extra lapels aside) the collar should work well for those of us that aren’t quite comfortable with the deep dive V-neck of the original. Burton has sizes small to XL in stock.
If you’re cool going with a darker blue than the Tom Ford polo, this will do the trick. It’s from the M&S Autograph line, and the slim fit combined with the more conservative V-neck collar and banded hem should give us the right look. The fabric is a 55% silk/45% cotton blend (that sounds nice) and sizes XS to XXL are in stock on the UK site. Sadly, only sizes XS and small are left for the U.S.
No banded hem. But it is a slightly lighter navy that comes closer to the Tom Ford polo. The fabric is 100% cotton and has an interesting (but not obnoxious) bubble texture that adds some visual interest. Bellfield has sizes small to XL available.
Again, we’re getting the Johnny Collar but missing the banded hem. The fabric is an airy 55% linen/45% cotton blend. And sizes XS to Large are currently in stock. Plus it’s GAP. So you know this is going on sale sooner rather than later.
Lands’ End Supima Banded Bottom Polo Shirt Brilliant Blue or Navy: $44.95 (but often on sale)
If you have to have the banded waist and can give up the johnny collar, you can try the Lands’ End Men’s Supima Banded Bottom Polo Shirt, priced at $44.95 depending on the color. With this one, I might actually be tempted to go with the Brilliant Blue color.
Charles Tyrwhitt Mid Blue Merino Wool Polo Collar Sweater: on sale for £29.95/$49.00
If it wasn’t for those buttons, I would’ve been really tempted to make this a Best Option. Not only is the color great, but so is the fabric. Little known fact about Merino wool: in lighter weights it’s actually awesome in warmer weather. It wicks, doesn’t absorb moisture or odor and doesn’t wrinkle nearly as much as cotton. Seriously, if you can live with the less-than-screen-accurate placket, give this one a look. Tyrwhitt has sizes XS to XXL available.
Not sure how I missed this one. So a big thanks to AJB007 forum member Superintendent for catching it! The Massimo Dutti’s option for the Tom Ford SPECTRE Polo has the button-less johnny collar and banded hem we want. Obviously that navy is a darker than the original. But the 73% cotton/27% linen blend fabric looks nice. I’ll try and get a better look at this one in-store. In the meantime, sizes small to XL are available on the website.
Mango Textured Knit Cotton Polo in Indigo Blue: $49.99/£35.99 (coming soon in the U.S.)
Not sure when this one is landing in the U.S. of A. But I think it could be a winner. Even with the buttons. The fabric (60% cotton/40% polymide) has a near perfect color and a cool, slubby texture. Plus the fit, as you can see, has the trim look we want. Mango has sizes Small to XXL in stock. If you’re looking for a similar style for a little less cash, check out Mango’s Cotton Linen Knit Polo in Navy ($39.99/£29.99) or Knit Cotton Polo Shirt in Navy ($39.99/£29.99).
The investment pieces
Of course Sunspel is a Bond-approved brand. So there’s that to consider.
And if you want a really expensive alternative for the Tom Ford polo, AJB007 forum member HalfMonk HalfHitman shared this new one from Bond-brand Orlebar Brown. It’s made in Italy from a 50% silk/50% cotton blend. So “luxurious” might be an appropriate description.
I will keep updating this post as more options appear. Comments are open, so share your best options below. We also regularly post alternatives, deals around the net, and assorted fun stiff and general silliness on our Facebook page, Instagram account and Pinterest boards; come check us out!
The featured image used comes from James Bond Lifestyle.