We’re heading full speed into autumn so I’m back this week with another sweater alternative—this time it’s the iconic Tom Ford shawl-collar cardigan from Quantum of Solace. I think it’s safe to say this is one of the film’s most popular looks. It’s definitely one of my favorites because it’s one of the first times we see Craig’s Bond in an outfit that is both casual and sophisticated.
The sweater, like most of Craig’s wardrobe in the film, was made by Tom Ford. It’s a black ribbed sweater with a shawl collar, two patch pockets, and five leather buttons. Craig wears the cuffs turned back, but I don’t know if that’s his own style choice or how the sweater was designed.
Personally, I love a good shawl-collar cardigan—I have several and I’m always happy to add more to my wardrobe. I prefer a shawl collar to a regular collar because the shawl helps define the neckline and shape the collar. And it drives me absolutely crazy when the collar starts to stretch or ruffle throughout the day. You never have to worry about that with a shawl collar. I also enjoy the added comfort of the knitted shawl behind my neck.
Shawl-collar cardigans are easy enough to find every winter but finding a good alternative for the Tom Ford cardigan from Quantum of Solace is surprisingly difficult. We’re now 12 years removed from the movie and, while shawl-collar cardigans remain just as if not more popular, the black shawl cardigan is hard to come by—instead, it’s a lot of navy, cream, and grey. I’m pleased I was able to find four budget-friendly alternatives that fit the bill, all for less than $100.
This option from Amazon isn’t exactly ribbed, but the knit is big enough to give the sweater a nice texture. This 100% cotton sweater features a shawl collar, welt pockets, five buttons, and ribbed cuffs—the cuffs might be long enough that you can turn them back if you want to, but it’s hard to know for sure from the product photos. It doesn’t check all the boxes but it’s a pretty good option if you want a sharp-looking cardigan that’s “close enough.”
From just looking at it, this sweater looks like a pretty good match although it has four buttons instead of five and welt pockets instead of patch pockets. Still, it has a lot going for it. I particularly like the clearly defined shawl which gives the collar a very structured look. That said, this particular sweater comes with some caveats. First, it’s 100% polyester—that’s not uncommon in budget sweaters but it can bother some people. The main thing you want to be careful about is the sizing. H2H is a Korean brand, which usually means the sizing is most likely going to run small. If you go for this sweater, make sure you check their size chart and your measurements so you get the right size.
This sweater is very similar to the Goodthreads option above, minus the welt pockets. The cardigan is 100% cotton with five buttons, a ribbed shawl collar and ribbed cuffs and hem. It looks like there is a slight ribbed look to the rest of the sweater but it’s hard to tell for sure from the product photos. If I were choosing between this sweater and the Goodthreads sweater, I’d probably pick the Goodthreads one just because it has pockets, but I feel like they’re both solid options.
Of the alternatives on this list, this sweater from the Gap is the closes match to the Tom Ford sweater. It’s 100% cotton with a shawl collar, but it’s the only option that has both patch pockets and a ribbed knit throughout. It has six buttons instead of five, but that’s pretty minor. If you’re looking to get as close to the Quantum of Solace Tom Ford cardigan as possible, you can’t do much better than this sweater.
I hope this list of budget-friendly alternatives has been helpful. Like I said before, this isn’t an easy piece to find so I’ll keep updating this list if more options become available. As always, let me know what you think about my picks in the comments below or over on Instagram (@bondonabudget). Happy shopping!