Updated February 2nd, 2021 – 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 cotton, merino wool or cashmere
- Muted French navy/dark steel blue color
- Two patch pockets
- Brown leather buttons
If you’re interested in really digging into the style details, BAMF Style has an excellent article on McQueen’s complete look.
The shawl cardigan style isn’t that difficult to find (unless you want it in 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
The same model as our “Best Option” for the Quantum of Solace cardigan. But in blue. And that blue may be a little bit lighter than ideal (it’s always hard to tell with online product photos). But it gets the top spot because of the design details. It has the heavier rib knit, the patch pockets, and the contrasting knit pattern on the collar and down the placket. Plus, they’ve used a 100% organic cotton yarn. Which is great for those of us who prefer all natural fibers. And last but not least, it’s affordable! Simons has sizes small to XXL available on their website.
And now our obligatory 100% synthetic alternative from Amazon. Out of all the generic cardigans you can get from the online mega-retailer why this one? Mainly it’s the color. Most of the other cardigans use a darker navy yarn. But COOFANDY (all CAPS!) has gone with a brighter marine blue which comes closer to the one McQueen wore. Plenty of sizes available at the time of writing.
J.Crew 2-10’s Cotton Checker Stitch Cardigan in Navy: on sale for $89.99
A slightly off-beat choice. J.Crew has used a brighter shade of navy. So it’s a decent match for the King of Cool’s cardigan. But the knit pattern is what sets this one apart. It’s more of a basket stitch with some intricate detailing around the collar and cuffs. Made from 100% cotton, it’s available in sizes XS to XXL on Zappos (but not on the actual J.Crew website).
The Highland Store Shawl Neck Cardigan in Navy: £109.00/approximately $150.00
You want a thick. cozy cardigan? Well, here it is. This 100% wool, made in the UK alternative from the Highland Store is a straight up and down rib knit with patch pockets and genuine leather buttons. It also has elbow patches. If those are too “grandpa” for you, removing them should be an easy job. The slightly brighter shade of navy should also work well to capture that McQueen vibe. Sizes small to large are in stock.
Kent Wang Shawl Cardigan in Navy: $195.00
And speaking of cozy …. This heavy-weight beast is made in Canada from 100% wool and, like the Highland Store alternative above, is a basic, no nonsense ribbed knit. You may want to swap out the buttons. But Kent Wang has used genuine horn for theirs so I’d be tempted to keep them as is. They have sizes medium to XXL available on their website. But pay attention to the notes on sizing! Their sweaters are NOT vanity sized and fit closer to what you’d get from H&M, Zara or Massimo Dutti. Which means a Large is going to fit like a medium from most other U.S. brands.
The Investment Pieces
New & Lingwood Navy Lambswool Shawl Collar Cardigan: $405.00/£295.00
A classic design, made in Italy from 100% Lambswool in a great, brighter shade of blue. New & Lingwood have been in operation since 1865. And they specialize in putting a fun spin on heritage designs. This cardigan is a great example of their work. Once again, we’re getting a straight forward ribbed knit construction with genuine leather “football” buttons and the patch pockets. But “comfortable luxury with a slight twist” seems like exactly the kind of thing McQueen would have appreciated. Bombinate has sizes small to XXL in stock.
Share your favorite alternatives for the Steve McQueen blue shawl collar cardigan in the comments below! You can also visit our Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter account and Pinterest Boards for more Bond and McQueen style advice and inspiration! And don’t forget to check out our Amazon Page. That’s where we’ve organized the James Bond and Steve McQueen alternatives we’ve found the massive online retailer.