SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

Updated May 10th, 2019  – While many of us may not be sure about choosing suede for the heat of Morocco, I think we can all admit: Bond looks pretty damn cool (see what I did there? I made a funny!) in his SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson. 007 wears the jacket with the Brunello Cucinelli chinos and belt, the J.Crew Kenton suede boots, and both the Tom Ford polo and the Orlebar Brown linen shirt. For details on the original, check out this article from James Bond Lifestyle. Not much more I can add. The jacket can be purchased directly from Matchless for €1399.00 (about $1575.00)

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson   affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

 

Sadly, I don’t have $1500.00 to spend on a suede jacket. And unless you want to go with faux-suede, microsuede, or some other pleather jacket, options under $400.00 are thin on the ground. I’ve listed a few (and will keep adding others as they show up), but I’ve also detailed another option that may work for some. Scroll down towards to the end of this post to check that out.

 

Features Wanted for the SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson 
  • Beige suede
  • 2 way exposed front zipper
  • Slash front pockets
  • Mao style collar
  • No knitting/ribbing on the cuffs or hem
  • Clean overall design

 

Best Option for the SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson 
Brooks Brothers Suede Bomber Jacket in Khaki: $598.00/ £635.00

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

Way to go, BB! Seriously, that’s about as close as we’re going to get to the Matchless in an off-the-rack jacket. The color is a nice match, there’s no sign of ribbed knit anywhere near the cuffs or hem, and it has the exposed front zipper and slash side pockets. It even has the single line of stitching running across at mid-body! A quick trip to the tailor to remove that throat latch and your good to go. Is it cheap? No. Is it nearly one thousand dollars cheaper than the Matchless? Yes. Hey, sometimes we have to ask, “affordable compared to what?” Brooks Brothers has sizes small to XXL in stock.

 

Under $300
RSH Leathercraft James Bond Spectre Bouson: $159.95

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

Apparently RSH Leathercraft is one of those companies that only sells on Amazon and Ebay. And I normally avoid those like the plague. But this one caught my attention for a few reasons. First, they use photos of their own jacket on the product page, instead of just posting a pic of the actual Matchless. Second, it seems like they nailed a lot of the details, including the unique seam on the sleeves. Third, they offer an “easy return backed by a money back guarantee”. Which is nice. And fourth, some of their other jackets have real customer reviews in the 4 to 5 star range. So these guys may just be worth a shot. The jacket is made from lambskin suede and they have sizes xs to XXXL available.

 

William Strouch Beige Suede Jacket: $259.00

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

Can’t say I know anything about William Strouch. But their suede bomber keeps things simple. And we like that. The color is a little light for true screen accuracy. There’s also the zipped side pockets and cuffs. So it’s more of a classic cafe racer style than a perfect match for the SPECTRE jacket. Currently on Amazon U.S. they only have sizes small to large. Those of you in the UK can check out the William Strouch website, where they have the same jacket for £229.00.

 

Selected Homme Suede Jacket in Beige Cornstock: £220.00

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

It has a few more style details than we’d like. Yeah, I’m also looking at the chest pocket and throat latch. But the overall vibe of the jacket feels right. And Selected did go with 100% goat suede and a shorter, trimmer cut. So you’ll get a similar drape to the Matchless. And (this can’t be stressed enough) you’ll spend approximately £1200 less for it. Selected has sizes small to XL in stock on their UK website. Sadly, it doesn’t look like this one is available in the U.S.A.

 

Replicas: 

Lots of manufacturers to choose from. Magnoli Clothiers is a respected source, and they’ve just released their made-to-measure Morocco Suede Jacket option for $695.00. Expensive? Yes. But still about half the price of the original. And it’s about as screen accurate as you’re going to get.

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

 

Wested Leather have also released their “Morocco Jacket“, priced at £185.00/$244.24.  This one is off-the-rack in standard suit jacket sizing. 

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

You can also read about AJB007 member Vesper007‘s experience buying a replica from another manufacturer on this thread. As always, proceed with caution when choosing your manufacturer.

 

The Experiment

So, you want Bond’s Morocco look, but you don’t want to spend $200 plus? I tried a little experiment to create a budget alternative and was pretty pleased with the results.

Step 1: I bought a used Banana Republic suede jacket on Ebay for about $45.00 including shipping:

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

Step 2: I took my jacket to my tailor to modify the collar and sleeves. I brought pictures of the Matchless jacket and the measurements I thought would work best (basically 2.25″ at the back of the collar and 2″ at the ends).

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

Step 3: For about $40.00 and a 1 week wait, alterations were completed and I picked up my jacket.

 

Results:

Not an exact match, and definitely not the Matchless quality or fit, but for under $90.00 all in, I’m satisfied.

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson  affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson  affordable alternative SPECTRE Matchless Craig Blouson

Lessons learned:
  • I bought a used jacket from a known, but unlikely to be copied, brand. Lots of fakes out there, as most of you already know. But you could have any of the alternatives with the Harrington collar altered the same way.
  • The more “vintage” jackets definitely have a larger, boxier cut. So think about sizing down for a fitted look. And I definitely recommend you ask the seller for the exact measurements instead of going by the sizing. I went with a medium in the Banana Republic, but I probably could have gotten away with a small.
  • Focus on the jacket details. I waited until I found one that had design details similar to the Matchless (plain front, minimal stitching, no buttons at the cuff). That way you keep the modifications needed to a minimum.
  • Altering the collar is a pretty simple job; I used a tailor, but I’m sure a shoe repair service or cobbler could also do the work if you give them the details.

 

Feel free to share any alternatives you find in the comments! And as always, if you want some more info on Bond style and sales and deals we find around the net, you can find us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

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