I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the tactical outfit may be the look from No Time To Die. It’s been a fan favorite ever since that first poster was released, no doubt because Daniel Craig looks like a complete badass wearing it but I also think some of the appeal is that the look is so accessible. The outfit is comprised of N.Peal’s 007 Ribbed Army Sweater and 007 Combat trousers paired with special 007 Edition Danner Tanicus boots.
Honestly, I can’t decide how I feel about the sweater. On one hand, it’s beautifully designed —I love the ribbing and the patches, and the deep navy color—and I’m sure its quality is first-rate. On the other hand, I’m concerned this is one of those pieces that is going to be so connected with Bond (especially after the movie comes out) that you won’t be able to wear it without it looking like some kind of cosplay.
Even with my misgivings, I really want this sweater. Or something like it.
N.Peal designed the sweater (and trousers) in collaboration with No Time To Die’s costume designer, Suttirat Anne Larlarb—no wonder it looks exactly like the kind of functional commando sweater James Bond would wear. The sweater is made from a 90-10 blend of superfine Merino wool and cashmere, which gives it the durability of wool without the scratchiness. It has a ribbed texture, canvas patches on the shoulders, elbows, and cuffs, and a wide neck with drawstring.
If the original is a little outside your price point, I’ve compiled a list of budget-friendly alternatives that fit the bill. Most of them are commando-style sweaters but I’ve also included a couple that aren’t in case you want a similar look without the military-inspired design.
Frankly, this is my least favorite alternative on this list. The sweater doesn’t look like it has much shape and the patches just look a little weird to me. It also looks like the sweater might run long in the torso to get the sleeves the right length, but it’s hard to tell for certain just from the photos. Still, if you’re looking for an inexpensive, “good enough” budget-friendly alternative, this might be the right choice for you.
Of all the alternatives on this list, I think the shape, look and color of this sweater are the closest match to the N.Peal sweater (based on the product photos, at least). The color on the Rothco sweater looks really close and it looks like the patches are canvas or another matte material—again though, this is based on what I can tell from the product photo. Unfortunately, the product description doesn’t provide a lot of information. I noticed a lot of reviews complaining about these particular sweaters being too long, even with the sleeves rolled back at the cuff. Keep that in mind if you decided to buy it.
This seems like the most functional of the alternatives on my list. It’s made from a heavy wool material with poly/cotton patches. Because it’s 100% wool, expect it to be very scratchy (the perfect excuse to wear your long-sleeved henley under it). According to the product information, TW Kempton has a long history of manufacturing sweaters that meet British army specifications, so you can expect this sweater to be hard wearing. That said, it might not be the most stylish option on the list. And like the Rothco sweater, a number of reviewers complained about the length as well as some issues with the hem.
L.L.Bean is well known for making high-quality clothing for the great outdoors. Their take on the commando sweater is made from 100% 21 oz. merino lambswool and the patches are 100% cotton. The sweater is “slightly fitted”, which means it’s relaxed through the chest and arms but with a slightly slimmer waist. The navy color looks a bit lighter than the N.Peal sweater in the product photo, but it looks darker in the catalogue photo, so it’s hard to know exactly how it’ll look in person. A couple of reviewers complained about the sleeves being too long, but that seems less common than the two military sweaters on this list.
I first learned about this sweater from this post on Iconic Alternatives. It’s a great replica of the N.Peal sweater. It has all the design elements – the boat neck, the drawstring, the ribbed knit, the shoulder and elbow patches, even the cuff on the sleeve – but made with less expensive materials. Instead of a wool/cashmere blend, it’s made from a wool/polyester blend.
I bought this sweater for my Halloween costume because I wanted something I could muck about in without worrying about ruining a $465 sweater. My initial reaction was very positive. I’m definitely impressed by the sweater’s design – my only complaint is that the drawstrings are about twice as thick and twice as long as the drawstrings on the N.Peal sweater. The sweater also seems to be good quality – it’s definitely a heavy-duty sweater that could hold up to less-than-careful use. I’ve only worn it once so far but overall impressions are very positive. Stay tuned for a full review of this What Price Glory sweater – but for right now I’m comfortable recommending this alternative. Just make sure to check the sizing information. The size chart they provide is accurate, so it’s the best way to make sure you’ll get the size and fit you want.
UPDATE: I’ve heard from a couple of readers who purchased this sweater and are very happy with it. According to them, the sweater is made from a cotton knit instead of wool, so it’s not as heavy as some of the other sweaters on this list. The only real complaint I’ve heard is that shipping takes 3-4 weeks, so prepare for that. The Leather City has also updated their listing with real product photos, so you can see the sweater’s details and design elements. The design is mostly right, although I think the neck isn’t quite the same dimensions as the neck on the N.Peal sweater. Even with that minor complaint, this seems like a respectable replica. And because you can look at real product photos now, I’m removing my “Buyer Beware” designation.
Thanks to @marcusdingman over on Instagram for sending this to me. This is the first time I’ve ever recommended avoiding an alternative, but there are a lot of questionable things about this product. This option from The Leather City is a straight-up replica – the product photos are stolen straight from N.Peal’s website (as noted in the caption above) and they talk about Daniel Craig and James Bond in the product description. That makes it hard to know exactly what you’re buying with this (you should never buy a product that doesn’t have a real product photo). Obviously, they’re claiming that this sweater looks exactly like the original, but with a generic product description and no real customer reviews, there’s no way to know what you’re in for. If you don’t mind spending almost $100 for a mystery item, knock yourself out. Without real product photos and information, this sweater is a huge risk. Buyer beware.
This sweater is basically the same as the Goodthreads Military Sweater above without the patches. It’s 100% cotton instead of wool (part of the reason it’s cheaper than the other options on this list) so it won’t be as warm as some of the commando sweaters, but it’ll give you the great texture of a ribbed sweater without the military look.
I really like this sweater from Charles Tyrwhitt. It has the same great ribbing texture as the commando sweater but without any of the military embellishments – no patches, no drawstring. If you want to avoid even the slightest chance of looking like you’re wearing cosplay, this is the sweater for you. It’s made from 100% Woolmark-certified Merino wool, so it’ll be more breathable and comfortable than acrylic sweaters and warmer than cotton. At $179 it’s the most expensive sweater on the list, but Charles Tyrwhitt’s reputation for quality-made clothing guarantees it’ll be worth the investment.
I hope you can find something you like on this list if you’re looking to get your own version of Bond’s NTTD commando look. As always, let me know what you think of these alternatives in the comments below or over on Instagram (@bondonabudget).