As style icons go, James Bond continues to reign supreme. Let he who has never wondered how to dress like Bond cast the first stone; wishing to emulate Bond’s sense of style is a gentlemanly rite of passage. Every gentleman has, at some point, gazed at Sean Connery’s penchant for terry towelling, Roger Moore’s safari aesthetic, Pierce Brosnan’s multi-blue hued wardrobe or Daniel Craig’s ability to bring the house down in any given pair of swim shorts, and thought: how can I pull this off? If you try to tell us you haven’t, we’ll know you’re lying.
Aiming to dress like Bond is a noble goal; the man is a style icon for a reason, after all. But we grant you, it’s no mean feat — so you’ll be pleased to hear that this summer, you’ll be a step closer to your 007-oriented style goal, thanks to British brand Sunspel.
The Riviera Polo Shirt is, quite simply, the summer shirt. The polo shirt was originally brought to us by tennis icon René Lacoste — and polo players later cottoned on. Today, a polo shirt is just the thing for a summer spent by the beach, the pool or, frankly, anywhere — they’re lightweight, breathable and effortlessly stylish whilst remaining suitably casual for a relaxed summer aesthetic.
Sunspel knows all of this, and more — and they’re offering not only a collection of Riviera Polo Shirts, but Riviera Polo Shirts with a James Bond connection. If you’re counting down the days to that long-awaited release of No Time To Die (and you’re in good company if you are, we can assure you), Sunspel’s collection will make that wait infinitely more bearable: because it gives you the opportunity to dress like Bond himself.
Allow us to jog your memory on the Sunspel-Bond connection. Simply put, Sunspel are no strangers to the 007 world. They were responsible for Bond’s Riviera Polo Shirts in Casino Royale; in fact, we’ve got them to thank for helping to showcase Craig’s Bond interpretation as a somewhat more relatable character than his predecessors. The costume designer tasked with this character shift was the Oscar winning Linda Hemming; and she went to Sunspel.
“There have been so many characters in film and theatre that I have dressed in Sunspel vests, t-shirts and underwear, because they are classic, timeless and beautifully made,” Hemming has said. “This time, dressing Daniel Craig as the [then] new James Bond, I thought it would be the perfect collaboration of quality and Britishness to ask Sunspel to create all his t-shirts, polo shirts and underwear: which they duly did, excellently.”
We could fondly reminisce on those early Casino Royale days for hours; but down to Riviera Polo Shirt business. In other words, on with the here and now; and in the here and now, you can look to Sunspel’s Riviera Polo Shirts for all your Bond summer style needs.
Perhaps the most famous Sunspel item ever to be worn by Craig is the navy Riviera Polo Shirt. Crafted from Q75 — a blissfully lightweight, warp-knit cotton first invented by Sunspel owner Peter Hill in the 1950s, specifically for the blazingly hot sun of the French Riviera — it was tailored specifically for Craig.
How was it tailored, you ask? Well, the arms were shortened slightly, and it was tweaked in order to allow for freedom of movement in those infamous action scenes. The result? A quintessentially British, sophisticatedly stylish polo shirt that has become synonymous with the casual, contemporary Bond we know today; and that offers a Bond-themed look that’s actually achievable.
If you share our fond feelings towards achievable style, then we suggest purchasing a navy Riviera Polo Shirt just as soon as you can — you’ll want to snap yours up before No Time To Die finally — finally — hits our screens, and Bond fervour reaches fever pitch. If you’re looking for a bigger splash of colour, why not opt for a dusky green, or a dark coral? Regardless, the Riviera Polo Shirt is guaranteed to be a look of the summer — and one with 007 credentials, to boot.
Navy Riviera Polo Shirt
Dusky Green Riviera Polo Shirt
Dark Coral Riviera Polo Shirt
When it comes to pairing options, we’d favour either the navy linen drawstring shorts (assuming you’re looking for a more relaxed aesthetic this summer), or the slim fit chino in light stone, for those who are looking to put the ‘smart’ into ‘smart casual’. Or, if you’re looking to prioritise sustainability (a noble goal, indeed), why not opt for the Upcycled Marine Plastic Drawstring Swim Short, crafted from up cycled marine plastic made from waste plastic recovered from our oceans (and clad in a delightfully seasonal marine blue hue)? The world’s your oyster: an oyster with 007 credentials and a Riviera aesthetic.
Navy Linen Drawstring Shorts
Light Stone Slim Fit Chino
Marine Plastic Drawstring Swim Shorts
Let it never be said again that the James Bond look is too aspirational, or impossible for anyone without 007 credentials to get right: because Sunspel are making the impossible possible this year. Whether you opt for the iconic navy shirt or an alternative seasonal hued offering (though there’s certainly no need to limit yourself to one; if there was ever a summer to loosen those purse strings, this would be it) your summer Riviera aesthetic will be indistinguishable from that of Bond himself. And who can say fairer than that?
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