Let me see if I’ve got this straight. To go boating across frigid alpine lakes and investigate the remote and seemingly abandoned mountain chalet of his long time nemesis Mr. White, Bond wears a $5000 cashmere jacket and trousers from a London fashion house. But for a short walk through the cold from a heated plane to a luxury health clinic, he feels the need to dress like the ninja version of a Swiss mountain guide? What exactly was he expecting to happen when he met Madeleine?
We all know these questions are irrelevant. What matters is Daniel Craig’s Bond looked very cool during his visit to the Höffler Klinik.
The outfit consists of black Danner Mountain Light 2 Boots, dark grey wool socks, a pair of black, vintage-style, heavy wool Tom Ford ski trousers with pleats and stirrups, a teal N.Peal mock-neck cashmere sweater, black leather gloves from Agnelle, and some vintage Vuarnet mountaineering glasses. And, of course, the Tom Ford knit sleeve and quilted shell bomber jacket.
In this post we’ll be taking a closer look at the ROYALE Filmwear version of this now famous jacket.
The ROYALE Filmwear Solden Jacket Review
When it comes to screen accurate looks, ROYALE Filmwear has nailed it. In the film, the Tom Ford almost appeared to be shades of charcoal. In reality, the jacket had a deep navy blue nylon front combined with a dark grey knit. The colors of the ROYALE Filmwear version come incredibly close to that. The other little details we’d want from a replica are also present and accounted for. For example, the zippers are trimmed in the same black leather piping. And they’ve included that little “envelope” at the top of the pocket openings that house the zipper pulls when they’re closed. I’ll speak more about the fit of the jacket below.
So what’s different?
Daniel made the decision to base his design on the jacket used on-screen rather than the version available in stores. The most noticeable difference is the length of the pocket zippers, which extend across five baffles instead of four, as they did in the film. It’s little details like this that tell us that this is the creation of a true Bond fan.
Daniel has also taken a few other liberties to make (what I would call) improvements to the original. For example, he has added a lining to the front of the jacket. And a large inside pocket which is perfect for storing your phone or some snacks if you’re out on the slopes. He’s also gone with larger zipper pulls which make it easier to open and close the zippers when you’re wearing gloves.
One difference that does miss the mark is the style of the knit. The Tom Ford uses narrow ribbed material for the sleeves and back of the jacket. The ROYALE Filmwear version goes with a flat stitch fabric. Does this change or detract from the aesthetic appeal or functionality of the piece? Not at all. But those of you who are obsessive about screen accuracy will notice it. So it has to be mentioned.
Other than that, Daniel has done another incredible job of capturing the look and feel of the original. And most of the changes actually make the jacket better in my opinion.
The Material and Finishing
Let’s discuss the elephant in the room. The Tom Ford original used Merino wool for the knit parts of the jacket. ROYALE Filmwear uses a cotton/spandex blend. This is not a small difference and it will impact the practical performance of the jacket. Wool is naturally hydrophobic. Which means it will repeal water, including your perspiration. Cotton on the other hand is hydrophilic so it actually absorbs water.
Now, imagine yourself out on the ski hill. You’ve just finished a pretty aggressive run and worked up a bit of sweat. When you get to the bottom and start to cool off standing in line for the lift, a wool layer will have transported the moisture away from your skin so you stay warm and dry. But cotton will have absorbed the moisture you generated and trapped it, leaving you with a damp layer covering your torso. So you’re gonna feel chilly.
Long story short, the use of cotton in the ROYALE Filmwear jacket makes it more of a fashion piece rather than a true performance layer. Great for walking around town but, in my opinion, not the best choice for more active pursuits.
Let’s put the science aside. The fact is the quality of the Solden jackets’s material and construction keeps ROYALE Filmwear’s track record for delivering excellent garments at a great price very much alive. The knit fabric is tightly woven with not a snag to be seen. That spandex in the blend also gives it some stretch and should help stop the jacket from going baggy like a typical cotton sweater. The seam stitching on the knit components is all clean with neat edges and no loose yarns. The same is true of the stitching on the baffles: each line goes straight across the nylon front with no missed stitches. And the hefty and durable YKK zippers open and close smoothly.
Summary: Although the use of cotton does limit where and how the jacket can be used (at least for me), in terms of material and construction ROYALE Filmwear has once again delivered a beautifully crafted piece!
The Sizing and Fit
As always, the basics first: I’m 5’9″, 170 lbs, with a 39″ chest, 32″ waist, a 16″ collar, a 33″ sleeve length. For reference, I went with a size large in ROYALE’s Harrington (although I probably could’ve gotten away with a medium), a size medium in the ROYALE Shanghai Peacoat and a size medium in the ROYALE Haiti. And I’m very happy with all of them. I like my jackets to be fitted, but not skin tight.
For the Solden jacket, Daniel strongly recommended people size up. I took a look at the size chart on the ROYALE website and opted to go with a medium. And I’m happy with the fit. It’s snug! I mean, body hugging snug! But that’s the way Bond wore it in SPECTRE. That spandex in the fabric blend also gives the jacket a comfortable amount of stretch. So it certainly doesn’t feel restrictive or binding.
My advice when deciding on what size to order: first, study ROYALE Filmwear’s sizing chart. Then decide if you want that screen accurate, super-fitted look or would rather go for a more accommodating fit (which will still be trim). If you want SA, order your normal size. If you want a jacket that’s a little more forgiving, order a size up. Just remember that knits (especially cotton) have a tendency to relax and stretch out over time. What’s tight today will probably loosen up after a few months of regular wear.
The Solden jacket is another excellent addition to ROYALE Filmwear’s portfolio of replicas. It’s remarkably close to screen accurate in both details and fit. And the little extras that Daniel has added to the design actually make the jacket even more functional. The one improvement they could make, using a wool rib knit instead of cotton, would obviously drive the price up considerably. So I completely understand the decision-making behind that trade off. But maybe, just maybe, he would consider doing a more expensive, limited edition run of the Solden in Merino?
In the meantime, if you’re looking for the perfect jacket to complete your SPECTRE look, this is the one is the one to get. You’ll not only capture Bond’s style from the film. You’ll also be purchasing an extremely well made and versatile jacket that’s perfect for the cooler fall days and nights ahead.
Now we just need Daniel and ROYALE Filmwear to produce those crazy pants from that scene! Then we’d really be ready to go!
The latest version of the James Bond Solden Jacket is available for $239.00 on the ROYALE Filmwear website. At the time of this writing, sizes X-large and XXL were still in stock. For other alternatives, check out this post.
ROYALE Filmwear provided the author with one jacket at no cost for the purposes of this review.