Welcome to our first look at my go to brands for affordable Bond inspired style! As you can probably imagine, I spend a LOT of time scrolling through online stores hunting for the best options I can find for specific pieces of Bond clothing. But after five years of doing this whole “affordable alternatives” thing, I’ve come to learn which retailers consistently deliver the looks I want with the quality I want at a price I can live with. And that’s what I’ll be discussing below.
Just a couple of quick notes …
First, the list below does not include any department stores. Plenty of the alternatives I share on Iconic Alternatives come from places like Nordstrom, Macy’s, House of Fraser and Amazon. But the alternative is almost always a 3rd party product and that particular retailer just happens to have the best price for it at that moment. So I don’t consider the retailer to be the “brand” in this context.
Second, none of the brands I’ve shared below have paid me anything to be part of this post. In fact, I haven’t even contacted any of them to let them know they’re included. The information here is all based on my personal experience with the brand and honest feedback from their customers.
And last, but certainly not least, I haven’t forgotten the incredible replica makers Royale Filmwear and Magnoli Clothiers. Both Daniel and Indy deserve a lot of praise for what they do. I haven’t included them below simply because their product offerings are so specialized. But when you want a piece to be as screen accurate as possible, both companies should be near the top of the list.
Alright, let’s get to the list!
Suits, Sport Coats and Dress Shirts
When it comes to shopping for suits and sports coats inspired by Bond’s style, I mainly look for three things. First, the jackets have to be at least half canvassed. I’d rather go with a decently constructed suit that comes close to the look I want than a suit that’s spot-on with a fused interlining. Second, more traditional styling. The fit and cut of Bond’s suits have changed dramatically over the years. But a suit with a two button jacket with medium width lapels and flat front or single pleat trousers with a slight taper is timeless. And third, the suit should come in a variety of sizes, cuts and fits. We’re not all shaped the same way. And most of us aren’t built like Bond. So I look for companies that offer their standard sizes in short, regular and long and in slim and regular fits to give options that will work for most body shapes.
Those guidelines normally eliminate suits from most fast fashion brands. They’ll usually be cheaply made, have a trendy style or a super skinny fit. Or all three. I also haven’t included any of the more popular online Made to Measure services below. Although brands like Indochino and Oliver Wicks can offer great bang for the buck, I’ve found that you really need to understand your measurements and how a suit fits if you’re going to use them effectively. However, if you feel you’re ready to go the MTM route it’s one of the best ways to get exactly the suit you want at a reasonable price.
If you’d like to learn more about the basics of suit construction and fit, this article from our Affordable Bond Wardrobe series goes into greater detail.
Mason & Sons
We can’t have a list of providers of “Bond inspired style” without including the amazing Mason & Sons. David and Elliot Mason have done something truly special with their company, focusing on rescuing and reviving some of the most famous names in 007’s sartorial history. This is where you’ll find suits and shirts in the styles of Anthony Sinclair and Mr. Fish, the famous tailors who dressed Connery’s Bond. Add to that a carefully curated selection of knitwear, footwear and accessories from brands such as John Smedley, Sanders & Sanders and Dents and you have the premier shopping destination if you’re a Bond fan. When I want an “alternative” that comes as close to the original as possible, Mason & Sons is where I look.
When I talk about what makes Mason & Sons so special this is what I’m talking about. Modeled on the iconic barleycorn tweed hacking jacket Bond wore in Goldfinger, Mason & Sons actually commissioned the production of the fabric from Abraham Moon to make the piece as accurate as possible. You have to love that commitment! Bond Suits has an in-depth review of the jacket if you’d like to learn more.
Of course when we’re talking about Bond’s classic suits, we have to feature his grey Prince of Wales one from Goldfinger. Originally tailored for Connery by Anthony Sinclair, Mason & Sons has recreated the suit with Italian four season Super 100’s worsted wool. And it retains almost all the style details of the film used suit, from the roped sleeve heads, slight drape in the chest and suppressed waist to the ticket pocket and side adjusters on the trousers.
But they have made some updates, for example going with plain front trousers rather than the forward double pleats we see in the movie. Mason & Sons offer the suit in sizes 36 to 46 (short, regular and long) in slim and classic fits. You can also utilize the Mason & Sons tailoring service if you’d like to make any changes to their stock model. I’d suggest reading these overviews from Bond Suits and BAMF Style to make sure you get the finer points correct.
Starting as a shirtmaker in 1986, Charles Tyrwhitt (named after the owner Nicholas Charles Tyrwhitt Wheeler) opened its first store on Jermyn Street in 1997 and has since grown its portfolio of products to include everything from suits to shoes to accessories. By consistently offering classic designs and solid quality at a reasonable price, they’ve managed to attract a loyal base of customers that appreciate both their selection and their commitment to customer service. When I’m searching for a Bond-inspired suit or classic piece of outerwear for an article, this is one of the first websites I visit. But I’ll also regularly check them out for knitwear, sportier coats and jackets and casual pieces. Truly a one-stop shop.
This suit is a great example of what Charles Tyrwhitt offers. Made from 100% Merino wool with a half canvas construction, the styling is conservative without being boring. It’s described as a slim fit, but the cut of the jacket still allows plenty of room to breath and the pants don’t look painted on. Overall, a great choice for a contemporary (but not trendy) warmer weather suit. For a classic navy suit, check out their Italian Luxury Twill Suit for $699, made with Reda fabric.
Charles Tyrwhitt Italian Wool Cashmere Overcoat in Navy: on sale for $299.00
Matt Spaiser of Bond Suits writes, “A navy overcoat may be the most versatile coat in a man’s wardrobe.” And who am I to argue with that assessment? 007 himself certainly agrees. He’s worn a navy overcoat in The Living Daylights, Goldeneye, Die Another Day, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, just to name a few films. You can also check out this old 4 Ways To Wear It article for some inspiration for different ways to style it. The links and products will be out of date, but I think the outfits still work.
All of this is a long way of saying that the Charles Tyrwhitt Navy Overcoat could easily become a favorite piece of outerwear in your closet. They’ve used a 90% wool, 10% cashmere blend fabric, a canvas chest piece construction and kept the styling classic with two flap pockets, a welted chest pocket and a three Corozo nut button front closure. And that sale price offers some excellent value for the money!
Spier & Mackay
For me, Spier & Mackay are all about selection. Whether I’m searching for a suit in Roger Moore inspired Air Force Blue or one of Craig’s pinstripes or glen checks, they always seem to have something that comes close. Started in 2010 as a MTM shirt maker, Spier & Mackay is a relative newcomer to the world of classic menswear. But in ten short years, it’s built a fan base that’s the envy of many other brands. And It did it the old fashioned way: offering a range of products that deliver great styling, quality materials and solid construction at a price most can afford. That philosophy has carried over into their latest collections of shoes, sweaters and casual trousers, making it a go-to for a variety of great Bond inspired alternatives.
Spier & Mackay Navy Hopsack Blazer: $398.00
Classic styling that will work for your Connery-Bond inspired fits. For their timeless hopsack blazer, Spier & Mackay has used a super 120’s wool from renowned Italian mill Guabello. The construction is half canvassed with a 1/4 Bemberg Cupro butterfly lining. So you’ll stay cool in the summer months. And it’s available in a variety of sizes in both Slim and Contemporary fits. It’s not the cheapest blazer out there. But if you’re looking for the one that will keep you looking good for years to come, it’ll do the trick.
Spier & Mackay Medium Blue Suit: on sale for $299.99
An example of what Spier & Mackay offers when it comes to alternatives for some Roger Moore Bond style. For this particular suit, they’ve used a Super 120’s Australian Merino wool from the Italian mill Drago. It’s a half canvassed construction with a full Bemberg Cupro lining and unpadded, spalla camicia style shoulders for a more relaxed, contemporary look. They’ve finished it with double vents and genuine bullhorn buttons. Sizes are running low on the slim fit, but there’s still a decent selection left in the contemporary fit in both regular and long.
Let’s be honest. With a few notable exceptions (Connery’s beach wear and Moore’s safari jacket), when we talk about Bond inspired casual style today, most of us are referring to the outfits worn by Craig’s Bond. Over four films, Craig and an amazingly talented group of costume designers have managed to move Bond beyond the tuxedos with which he was so long associated. Sure, Craig’s Bond still wore suits (and some very nice ones at that). But for many fans, it was his dressed down, off duty fits that really got us hooked.
But as I discuss in this article, Bond still pays attention to the details when selecting his casual clothing. His Harrington isn’t your typical Baracuta G9 clone. And he chooses swim trunks with side-tab adjusters rather than an elasticized waist. There are subtle touches of sophistication and luxury in the pieces that elevate them above what the masses are wearing. So when I’m looking for alternatives, it’s all about those kinds of details. I’m also a firm believer in investing more in the core staple pieces you’ll use again and again, but spending less on the more fashion forward designs or the ones you’re not sure will go with your personal style. So my “go to” brands are really dependent on the specific piece I’m searching for.
I visit the Aurélien website for one simple reason: they are one of the best at providing customers with elevated classic pieces without destroying their wallets. Their focus is relatively narrow but deep. They only make a few different styles of their polos, knitwear and footwear. But each one is available in a wide variety of colors. And their designs, high quality materials and Italian construction come close to matching that of many much more expensive luxury brands. When I’m searching for Bond’s staple wardrobe pieces and need an alternative that provides us with something extra special, I turn to Aurélien. I’ll have a review coming soon for one of their polos and a pair of their espadrilles. But I’d recommend visiting their website before that, even if it’s just to check out their range of awesome sweater colors!
Terry Towelling Polo Shirt in Light Blue: $90.00/£65.00
Sure, you could go with any old pale blue polo for your “Bond on a beach in Dr. No” look. Or you could really take it to the next level with a retro cool towelling polo! I now have two of these shirts and they are definitely summer favorites. The 80% cotton, 20% polyester fabric is soft and comfortable, but airy enough to keep you from overheating in the sun.
Then there’re the details: the unique placket design that folds open to create Revere style lapels, the mother of pearl buttons and the chest pocket (perfect for storing your sunglasses when you head indoors). The fit is also great, but it is a true slim fit. I’d recommend sizing up if you like your shirts a little roomier through the body. Sizes small to XXXL are available on their website.
Extrafine Merino Wool Polo in Black: $163.00/£117.00
Another great example of how Aurélien takes a staple piece and elevates it by paying attention to the details. The sweater is made in Italy using a superfine Australian Merino wool (each fiber in the yarn is only 19.5 microns in diameter) and finished with genuine mother of pearl buttons at the placket. They’ve also paid attention to the fit: trim through the body and sleeves so you won’t get any bagging around the waist or “batwings” under the arms. As I mentioned in our article on Essential Bond Sweaters, a black polo sweater is a key piece to completing a lot of Bond looks. So it’s worth investing in a good one.
If you’re a regular visitor to Iconic Alternatives, you’ve probably seen me suggest more than a few items from Mango. I rarely use them for alternatives for staple basic pieces like suits, dress shirts or shoes. Honestly, there are plenty of other brands out there that provide higher quality options for just a little more money for that type of clothing. But when I need an alternative for something … a little different … Mango always seems to have what I’m looking for.
Especially in the area of outerwear. For whatever reason, their jacket designs deliver the styles we need season after season. From a great option for Daniel Craig’s Belstaff K Racer to a nearly spot on version of Bond’s blue Matera jacket in No Time To Die, I’ve found it at Mango. And the prices have always been very affordable. Especially if it turns up on their Outlet website. I won’t pretend Mango is the highest quality clothing you can buy. But so far the pieces I have from them have held up pretty well after fairly regular use. When I want to experiment with a jacket or sweater style without spending a fortune, this is the place I go.
Lyocell Cotton Jacket in Navy: on sale for $69.99/£44.99
Roger Moore Live and Let Die navy leisure suit vibes with a modern twist. This is the kind of thing Mango does well. And the kind of thing it’s difficult to find anywhere else at a reasonable price. The material is also kind of interesting. They’ve gone with a 55% cotton. 45% tencel lyocell blend for the shell. Up close it has an almost denim-like twill that makes the jacket look like a more sophisticated, tailored trucker. Sizes medium to XXL are in stock. But (I always feel I need to add when sharing something from Mango) they tend to fit small. So check out the size chart and consider sizing up.
Here’s this season’s No Time To Die Matera Jacket alternative from Mango. There’s a couple of differences between this one and the killer version they released back in 2019. This time the fabric is a 65% lyocell, 26% linen, 9% cotton blend and the cut is a little longer with a half-back drawstring waist. So more of a short chore coat length rather than the cropped bomber style of the one from Connolly the Bond wears. But some some you may actually prefer to have it a little longer (forcing myself to not insert a “That’s what she said!” GIF here). The chest pocket and the no flap, button through patch pockets are also less than screen accurate. But it definitely does a great job of capturing that “Bond in Italy” vibe. Sizes small to XXL are available on their website.
I recently joked that Massimo Dutti is like “Brunello Cucinelli style on a Banana Republic budget”. But that’s actually pretty close to how I feel about the brand. When I need alternatives for Bond’s more sophisticated casual pieces, I head here. Their designs do a very good job of capturing that feel of relaxed Italian luxury at prices that won’t make most of us cringe. And, being the owner of more than a few pieces from Massimo Dutti myself, I feel comfortable saying that the quality of their materials and construction are above average at this price point. They also usually have a couple of good leather jackets each season that work for some Bond looks!
This polo is the perfect example of what I expect from Massimo Dutti. With its V-neck Johnny collar and knit hem, it totally nails the vibe of Bond’s Tom Ford Morocco polo from SPECTRE. And while it’s missing the intricate stitching of the original, the contrast between the ribbed knit collar and placket and the raised pique knit of the body adds some real visual interest while keeping the overall look clean. They have sizes small to XXL available on the website.
Over twenty-four movies (or twenty-five if you count what we know about No Time To Die) Bond has worn a lot of different shoes and boots. As fans of Bond’s style, we can choose from Connery’s slightly obscure dress boots, Moore’s loafers, Brosnan’s formal oxfords or Craig’s derbies. Then there’s the deck shoes, the sneakers, the espadrilles, the wing tip boots and even the Doc Martens we can add to the mix. Oh, and the suede chukkas. So. Many. Suede. Chukkas! A man could build a truly formidable collection of footwear based only on what we’ve seen Bond wear.
I usually don’t have much of a problem finding good alternatives for Bond’s more casual footwear. But good alternatives for his dress shoes and boots are more of a challenge. I’m mainly looking for two things: quality construction at a reasonable price and British-style design. It’s really that second one that frequently keeps me from suggesting options from most U.S. manufacturers. They just don’t have those sleeker lasts with the chiseled toe box we want. So I usually turn to British and European shoe makers for the best options.
I think of Herring Shoes as the Mason & Sons for shoes and boots. They carry a great variety of dress, country and casual footwear from traditional British makers (Church’s, Loake, Barker) and a selection from respected manufacturers from around the world (R.M. Williams, Allen Edmonds, Carlos Santos). However what really impresses me is their in-house collections, especially the Herring Classics range. Some of the pieces are made in England, while others are manufactured in Portugal. But almost all their designs have that quintessential British look we want in an alternative for iconic Bond footwear. And the quality and incredible customer service they offer for the price is very hard to beat!
Herring Canterbury Rubber Soled Chukka Boots in Brown Suede: £155.00/$179.00
In the dark brown suede it’s a great alternative for Bond’s Quantum of Solace Church’s Ryder IIIs (which Herring also carries). Go with the Ginger Suede option and you have a pretty good match for the Loake Trappers he wore in Casino Royale. And the best part is you could get both pairs from Herring’s in-house line and still save almost a hundred and fifty bucks compared to the price of just the Church’s. With it’s full leather lining and Blake stitched studded Dainite-like sole, it also offers a heck of a lot of value for the money. There’s plenty of sizes available on their website.
Herring Carroll Derby Shoes in Black Calf: £275.00/$317.00
A great example of how Herring can produce a high quality, “English” style dress shoe at very reasonable price. The Carroll is made in the Carlos Santos factory in Portugal to Herring’s specs. The full grain leather upper is attached to the leather sole with a Goodyear welt construction. And the Z160 last has the elegant lines and slightly chiseled toe box that Craig’s Bond seems to love. Herring currently has U.S. sizes 8.5 to 13 in stock.
I definitely don’t go to Meermin to find the cheapest alternatives for a Bond shoe or boot. Those I find on Zappos or 6pm. Instead I search through Meermin’s wide selection of footwear when I want those “special” alternatives. The ones with the unique design or that make us feel like we’re getting something a little extra when we invest our money. A lot more people know about Meermin today compared to when I first heard about them seven or so years ago. And, much like Spier & Mackay, I think that increased recognition is deserved based on the company’s track record for delivering solid value for the price. For example, many of their Chelsea boot models use a one-piece upper construction that’s very similar to that used by R.M. Williams. But Meermin’s version is about half the price. There are years of shoe making experience behind this family owned business and I think it’s great that they’ve managed to merge it with a modern business model that works for both the company and the customer.
For fans of Bond’s style in Goldfinger (yes, Connery wore Chelsea style boots; if you don’t believe me check out this article on Bond Suits). Believe it or not, a shorter dress boot in this style is pretty difficult to find these days. But Meermin has one and it’s actually very nice. They’ve used a vegetable tanned Boxcalf leather and a Goodyear welt construction to create a boot that’s both elegant and durable. And the shape is elongated with a subtle chisel toe to give it a sleek, formal look. This is a great example of why I like Meermin. While other brands might treat such an obscure design as “disposable fashion”, Meermin instead commits to it and builds the best possible version they can.
101514 Wing Tip in Dark Country Calf: $250.00
When it comes to alternatives for the wing tip brogue boots Bond wore in Skyfall, it’s hard to find a better match the 1015114 model. Meermin has gone with a full grain country calf leather uppers from the Du Puy tannery in France, fully lined them with calf leather and then attached all of that to the Dainite-like studded rubber soles with a proper Goodyear welt construction. Add in a steel shank, brass eyelets and vegetable tanned leather mid-soles and you have a boot that’ll meet the needs of almost any fan of affordable Bond style. Especially at that price.
And that wraps up our first look at my go to brands for affordable Bond inspired style. In the near future I’ll share some of my favorite providers of alternatives for Bond’s watches, ties, sunglasses and other accessories. But for now, I’d love to hear about your go to affordable Bond inspired style brands! So share away in the comments! And remember to visit our Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter account and Pinterest Boards for more James Bond style advice and inspiration.