A Quantum of Dollars
By David Zaritsky
Dear Mr. Ford,
Enclosed please find the routing number to my checking account to which every two weeks my paycheck will be deposited for your withdrawal for the next three years. In addition I have enclosed the deed to my home and shortly there will be a delivery of my car on a large car carrier as the title has been signed over to you. I hope the sum of all this is enough for the lovely tie your company designed for Quantum of Solace.
The much poorer David Zaritsky
The above is a slight exaggeration. Only slight. When I began writing the “On a Budget” articles for those wanting to dress like Bond the world was a very different place…a much fatter place. Back then those on a budget or those that were budget minded appreciated the articles and the places to find alternative brands to capture the same look. NOW with the financial environment we live in these articles seem to resonate even louder, acting as a resource for those that are experiencing the recession we are living in BUT who have not lost their desire to dress well. Before we dive into the discussion I do want to let everyone know that I am a HUGE fan of the brands that Bond wears in Quantum of Solace. I own the Ryder 3 boots, the Staprest jeans, the 7 of Mankind Jeans, the Tom Ford sunglasses and clothes, the black Y-3 jacket, and others so I am the first to tell you there is nothing like the original makers and brands to deliver what you see on screen. Those brands have worked hard to develop their look and feel and I support them both philosophically and financially. That being said I am also keenly aware that not all of us are built financially equal yet we are built the same when it comes to the penchant for capturing the look of QoS- thus this article is for you. The article will be divided by outfit and described how the viewer sees it on screen, but in no particular order.
If only you and I could be like Bond and walk into an opera dressing room and pilfer a tux JUST in the right size for us. But alas, we are not Bond. I do implore each of you to visit www.uniformalwearhouse.com. Not only can the everyman walk away with the perfect fitting tuxedo, not only can you choose the correct style shirt and bow tie but you will do it all by spending between $59.00 and $150.00. I was telling a work colleague about this site and explained to him that no discerning gentleman should rent a tux when this site exists. After all, do you know what people DO in rented tuxes? You don’t want to know. The site also carries shoes but to truly acquire the TOSCA scene look of Bond and mimic the Churchs he wears I would go no further than www.target.com and look at the Mens Merona Teddy-Cap Toe Dress Shoes for $26.99.
In Haiti Bond wears the Levis Staprest crème colored jeans which have been discontinued and fetch a mint on the open market. He also wears a Tom Ford navy polo that IF it were available would cost $495.00. After his ‘altercation’ with Slate he finds himself in the possession of a Y-3 black jacket that is rarer than hen’s teeth and goes for hundreds of dollars when you can find one. Finally, he wears those amazing Ryder 3 chukka boots from Churchs, retail price of $500. So all in your entire Haitian Bond outfit will cost you roughly $1500.00 IF you could find all the pieces. OR….
You could first buy a Sunspel navy polo instead of the Tom Ford one. What’s that you say? Sunspel? Hey, aren’t those the blokes that made the shirt for Casino Royale? Why yes they are, and a better representation of what you see in QoS you will not find. The shirt is comfortable, breathes well and at $95 is an investment in what will be one of your favorite Bond pieces. Not to mention it carries the Casino Royale crest of approval! If however $95 is still too steep you could always purchase a great navy polo at http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10038531 which is (wait for it) only $3. For crème or white jeans you could visit www.levis.com and look under their 501 Original Jeans-Global Blues in the color white. The blue jean that started it all. Their button-fly 501® Original Jean is still straight through the seat, thigh and leg, just like the Staprest. The tilted waistband pitches toward the front just like it as well and it’s only $59. There are a multiple of places to buy the black jacket Bond wears while on the motorcycle but I found some of the best ones at Banana Republic and Gap for about $50. Still breaks the bank? I have personally seen the George – Men’s Metro Zip jacket at www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10136078 and it fits the bill nicely, even being a slim fit type jacket. Finally, you will need the suede chukka boots and these can be obtained for ¼ the cost of the Churchs at http://theshopforshoes.com/shop/Classic_Boots.html. Make sure you look at the John White – Westbury chukkas as they have received HIGH reviews for those that have purchased them. For under $125 you will have a great replica of the Ryder 3s and these boots are even welted like the Churchs with amazingly high standards.
When Bond has no one to trust he heads to Italy to implore his friend Mathis to join him on his mission. As he drinks cheap white wine Bond relaxes in a Tom Ford cardigan costing $1300, Tom Ford shirt costing $750, Levis Beige Staprest jeans, and those wonderful Ryder 3 boots for a total of $2600.00. DON’T spill any wine on your outfit, Bond! Since we have already discussed the boot alternatives we will continue to work our way up with the pants. The Levis eco Vintage Straight 539 Pants in beige are a terrific version of the ones seen in the movie and they retail for $39.00. JCrew has a wonderful slim fit white dress shirt that mimics the feel of sea island cotton but a white shirt like Bond wears under his cardigan can really be found anywhere. You do want to pay special attention to one that is not broadcloth but rather light and airy. Finally, the black shawl cardigan can be had at Zara stores now. Simply replace the buttons that this sweater has with leather cross-hatch ones and viola, instant accuracy. I also hear that www.marksandspencer.com has a very good alternative called The Autograph. This cardigan is a chunky mid-weight one as opposed to the Zara one that is light weight.
Perla de las Dunas:
Because a pair of 7 of mankind jeans will set you back $175.00 and we know what the TF Polo and Church’s Chukkas will cost you, but MOSTLY because you can’t buy the dark blue jacket Tom Ford made for the movie we bring you some other choices. We have already discussed the chukkas and the blue polo but let’s discuss the jeans. The 501s in Tidal blue are not only a great alternative to the other higher end jeans, but are flattering and comfortable as hell. I own a pair and I can tell you first hand they are among my favorite jeans. They can be found in Kohls or at the following web site for Macys:
http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=321212&CategoryID=16513&LinkType=EverGreen. As Tom Ford made the blue jacket especially for the film (even though he offers a brown or black one in his store for $2500.00) you will be hard pressed to find one that’s dead on. That being said www.warriorclothing.com offers an excellent deal on a navy blue Harrington jacket cut to the same vintage patterns of the 60s and 70s versions. It is a plain cotton jacket in Navy with an eye-catching red tartan lining and famed for the unique features on it. It has all the details you need on a Harrington- the button collar, flap style pockets and even the wavy shoulder seam. This jacket on their web site is only $35.00 and definitely plays the part. it can be purchased at: http://warriorclothing.com/uk/shop//product_info.php?cPath=74&products_id=548&osCsid=92bdb989bd9593eef05737f1b00af75c
The observant among us will notice that I haven’t mentioned anything about sunglasses alternatives. I truly believe this is one area you shouldn’t scrimp and quite frankly the Tom Ford official ones are a good deal and they look great on. Bad lenses are a recipe for bad eyesight. Now, if you already have bad eyesight www.target.com carries a pair of men’s sunglasses that looks the part except it has a little extra ridge material around the nose. But trust me, if you are going to invest in any Bond piece from this movie the sunglasses and the Churchs Chukka boots are sure things.
Well, now that the wife has locked me out of my finances and has forced me to write a rescinded letter to Mr. Ford, I too will be dipping back into the world of Budget Bond. The next article will focus on the suits, ties, shirts, and accessories we see Bond wear in Quantum of Solace. Till then, watch those sheckles and keep watching those bargain bins…