The classic knitwear we all know and love. The Quantum of Solace black shawl collar cardigan that James Bond wore with his sand colored Levi’s STA-Prest jeans and Church’s Ryder III suede chukkas during his visit to Mathis’s villa became a “must have” from the first moment it appeared onscreen. Clearly inspired by Steve McQueen’s style, the fact that many guys still want one fourteen years after the film’s premiere is clear evidence of the cardigan’s timeless appeal.
Bond’s Quantum of Solace cardigan came from designer Tom Ford. And, unlike so many options out there, it wasn’t some super chunky piece of knitwear. The lighter, single layer collar lay flat around the neck while the longer cuffs could be doubled back and still look relatively streamlined. Add in the subtle variations in the knit pattern around the lapels and shoulders and you have a cardigan that delivers both sophistication and warmth.
Features Wanted for the James Bond Shawl Collar Cardigan
- Shawl collar style cardigan
- Rib knit texture through body
- Black leather buttons
- Two front, patch-style pockets
Although we’re focusing on Bond’s Quantum of Solace knitwear for this post, we do have to note that Craig’s 007 first wore a black shawl collar cardigan in Casino Royale. That cardigan was a little less refined than the Tom Ford version, with a smoother rib knit throughout, a thicker collar and horn buttons. You can read more about the complete look in this post on Bond Suits.
While many of the options we share below can work as alternatives for both the Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale cardigans, if you find yourself preferring the style of the latter, the Amazon Goodthreads Lambswool Shawl Collar Cardigan in black ( to $44.90
On to our alternatives!
An investment to be sure. But boy, does Daniel Love’s ROYALE Filmwear do a top notch job of reproducing our favorite Bond pieces! So if you want a high quality piece of knitwear with near perfect screen accuracy, then the price will be worth it. Daniel currently has sizes small and large to XXL available on his website for the 2022 version of this 100% Merino wool beauty. If you need a medium I’d strongly suggest joining his mailing list to get an update on when the next production run will be happening.
Best Option for the James Bond Shawl Collar Cardigan
Our “Best Option” once again. Coming to us from the venerable Canadian retailer, it uses a 100% organic cotton yarn and includes contrasting knit around the collar and placket to give it some visual interest. And the price is right in the middle of the pack. You’ll need to replace the buttons for a screen accurate look, but that’s true of almost all the options out there. Pick up some like these ones and it should be an easy fix. While cotton won’t be as warm as wool, I’d still be happy to wear this for a boat ride on a cool early fall evening. Simons is down to sizes small to large on their website. But don’t worry: we have plenty of other great options for you larger gentlemen below!
Basic and affordable. As we’d expect from Amazon’s in-house “Essentials” line. Of course we’re not going to get the unique variations in the knit pattern. And you’ll need to change the buttons for the screen-accurate look. But it does have the thicker ribbed knit and patch pockets we want. The yarn is a (ready for this?) 56% cotton, 23% polyester, 18% acrylic and 3% Spandex blend. And it also comes in an Ivory, just in case you want to go for that Daniel Craig casual look. If you keep your expectations in check, this could be a solid option.
If you’re looking for an “easy to care for” alternative, this is it. COOFANDY (that name!) has gone with a 100% synthetic yarn. Which should keep things relatively low maintenance. However, they do recommend giving this a wash before you wear it. Why, you ask? Because (according to the reviews) if you don’t, it’ll shed fibers like crazy the first time you wear it. Not good when it’s being layered over a crisp white shirt! The other thing to note is the sizing. Unexpectedly (for me at least), it’s almost oversized. So there’s plenty of recommendations to order a size down from your normal size. Now, having focused on the weird/negative, I will say that it’s sitting with 4.4 out of 5 stars after more than 700 reviews. So it’s obviously making more than a few folks happy!
Yep, yet another alternative from Amazon. This time we’re getting a 50% polyester, 20% Merino wool, 15% acrylic and 15% nylon blend yarn. Other than that, the design details are pretty similar to the other options above. Amazon has plenty of sizes in stock, and the cardigan is certainly well rated, with 4.7 stars out of 5 after 770 reviews.
Banana Republic SUPIMA Cotton Shawl Collar Cardigan in Black: on sale for $69.97
A great suggestion from our AJB007 friend armenianmovieman. And it’s a solid “alternative with a twist” for Bond’s Quantum of Solace cardigan. We get the ribbed knitting (made from 100% Supima cotton) and the patch hip pockets. But the heavier collar and addition of the chest pocket, while not screen accurate, are nice touches in my opinion and don’t ruin the simple sophistication of the style. I’ve tried this one on in-store and the fit is trim but true to size. It’s also a pretty darn substantial knit and a heck of a good deal at that sale price. Banana Republic’s down to sizes medium, large and XL on their website.
Bond may have chosen a more elegant version of the shawl cardigan. But some of us just want a hefty piece of knitwear that’ll keep us cozy on a cold and rainy day. If that’s your priority, you definitely need to check out Buck Mason’s Herdsman Cardigan. Made from 95% Merino wool and 5% cashmere blend yarn, if features a heavier rib knit, genuine horn buttons and a thick double layer collar that sits high around your neck. It’s a great example of “rugged luxury” that will fit into almost any guy’s wardrobe. Sizes XS to XL are available on their website.
It has the look we want … with a couple of twists. First, it’s missing the patch pockets (this one uses side entry ones). But more importantly is the texture. Rodd & Gunn have used a waffle knit through the body rather than the heavier ribbed knit of the original. This gives the cardigan a slightly smoother look while adding some visual interest. And knowing the quality the brand usually delivers, the 100% Merino wool yarn should be plenty soft and warm. Nordstrom has sizes small to XXL in stock.
The Investment Pieces
Speaking of chunky knitwear, this option from the venerable menswear retailer in Buffalo is an absolute beast. O’Connell’s makes their cardigans in Scotland from a thick 8-ply lambswool yarn that gives the piece plenty of weight and thickness. It won’t have the trimmer fit or the elegant styling of Bond’s Quantum of Solace cardigan. But if you’re looking to stay extra warm this winter, it’s an awesome choice.
Most fans of Bond style probably know Drake’s as the suppliers of the No Time To Die moc-toe chukka boots from the Matera scenes. But the company has been producing some outstanding (and expensive) knitwear for a while now. Their shawl collar cardigans in particular have been a favorite among menswear aficionados. Made in Scotland from a soft 100% lambswool yarn, it’s thick, heavy and pretty much guaranteed to keep you toasty when the temperature really starts to drop. Sadly, their down to size medium on their website.
I’ll keep looking for alternatives for the Quantum of Solace black shawl collar cardigan and add them as find them. In the meantime, if you have an alternative for the Quantum of Solace black shawl collar cardigan, tell us about in the comments. You can also visit our Facebook page, Instagram account and Pinterest Boards for more Bond and McQueen style advice and inspiration.