For details on the original, check out this video from The Bond Experience and this article from James Bond Lifestyle. Not much more I can add. The Matchless Craig Blouson can be purchased directly from Matchless for $1390.00, or through their authorized dealers.
Sadly, I don’t have $1390.00 and unless you want to go with faux-suede, microsuede, or some other pleather jacket, options under $400.00 are thin on the ground. I’ve listed a few (and will keep adding others as they show up), but I’ve also detailed another option that may work for some; scroll down to check that out.
- Beige suede
- 2 way exposed front zipper
- Slash front pockets
- Mao style collar
- No knitting/ribbing on the cuffs or hem
- Clean overall design
This alternative Zara Suede Jacket is also on sale for $149.99.
Leather Right has a Suede Biker Jacket for $330.00. Again, more detailing than the Matchless, but still a clean look.
The Dream Big or Go Home alternative: AJB007 user armenianmovieman called attention to the Theory Arvid L Amorim Suede Jacket sold at Saks 5th Avenue for $995.00. Not exactly budget, but at least it is more likely to go on sale at some point. Only size small left now.
Replicas: Lots of manufacturers to choose from. Magnoli Clothiers is a respected source, while AJB007 user Vesper007 details his experience buying a replica on this thread. As always, proceed with caution.
Shirt Style or Point Collar Jacket Options: Nope, the collar isn’t a match. More about that further down this post.
ASOS has the Suede Harrington in tan for $172.00.
The Topman Roadtrip for $300.00 is also a good alternative if you can get past the chest pocket. Update: AJB007 member James Brosnan purchased this jacket and is having some modifications done to make the collar more like the Matchless (see below). You can read about his project starting on page 5 of this thread on the AJB007 forums.
Why should we look at suede jackets with shirt style or point collars? I tried a little experiment and was pretty pleased with the results.
Step 1: I bought a used Banana Republic suede jacket on Ebay for about $45.00 including shipping:
Step 2: I took my jacket to my tailor to modify the collar and sleeves. I brought pictures of the Matchless jacket and the measurements I thought would work best (basically 2.25″ at the back of the collar and 2″ at the ends).
Step 3: For about $40.00 and a 1 week wait, alterations were completed and I picked up my jacket.
Results: Not an exact match, and definitely not the Matchless quality or fit, but for under $90.00 all in, I’m satisfied. Shown with the Perry Ellis Rib Open Collar Knit Polo.
- I went with a used jacket from a known, but unlikely to be copied, brand. Lots of fakes out there, as most of you already know. But you could have a new ASOS or Topman altered the same way.
- The more “vintage” jackets definitely have a larger, boxier cut, so think about sizing down for a fitted look. And I definitely recommend you ask the seller for the exact measurements instead of going by the sizing. I went with a medium in the Banana Republic, but I probably could have gotten away with a small.
- Focus on the jacket details. I waited until I found one that had design details similar to the Matchless (plain front, minimal stitching, closed cuff with no buttons). That way you keep the modifications needed to a minimum.
- Altering the collar is a pretty simple job; I used a tailor, but I’m sure a shoe repair service or cobbler could also do the work if you give them the details.
Here are some jackets currently on Ebay and Etsy that could be contenders:
Banana Republic size medium, $149.95
Banana Republic size large, $59.99 or best offer
Wilson Leather size large, $64.99
Wilsons Leather M. Julian size large, $25.00; also already has a Mao style collar.
Scully size small, $24.50
Nautica size 46, $69.95
Timberland size medium, $72.00