Budget Buys for Summer 2020

Whether locked down at home or safely enjoying a warm getaway, I hope this summer has been safe and stylish for BAMF Style readers!

Although this summer has been markedly different from years past, I still found myself relying on the familiar comforts of retail therapy, specifically building my unnecessarily vast wardrobe of short-sleeve printed shirts and discovering the wares of great warm-weather outfitters like Aloha FunWear, Busbee McQuade, Dandy Del Mar, and Scott Fraser Collection.

I’m always on the lookout for budget-friendly alternatives to favorite items I’ve spotted in movies and TV, and this was a particularly fruitful year for finding three fine alternatives to shirts I’d long wanted from the tropical worlds of James Bond and Thomas Magnum. While I’ve already explored two of these looks in depth on BAMF Style, I wanted to break from my usual format on what I believe to be my 1,000th post to express my excitement for these finds.

I had plenty of fun putting together this brief guide to share some of this season’s finds that I’ve been picking up, comparing budget versions against some of the higher investment pieces and—for the sake of transparency—being sure to mention whether or not I personally owned the shirts in question.

Please feel free to add your own observations or summer favorites in the comments!

All prices, ratings, and availability as of July 10, 2020.


To kick things off, I also wanted to add a brief playlist I curated of some of my favorite instrumental tracks for a long, lazy summer day into night, beginning with Link Wray’s surf-infused interpretation of Liszt’s famous “Liebesträume No. 3.”


Bond’s Striped Camp Shirt in Thunderball

One of the most popular pieces of James Bond’s casual wear, this blue-and-white striped short-sleeved camp shirt from Thunderball continues to attract attention 55 years after Sean Connery first wore it with cream linen slacks and sandals at Largo’s Bahamian estate. Orlebar Brown wisely included it in the third release of their 007 Heritage Collection this year, though I found a surprising alternative for a portion of the price from Abercrombie & Fitch.

James Bond (Sean Connery) wore this striped summer shirt with camp collar for a warm afternoon of shotguns and rum at the estate of villain Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) in Thunderball (1965).

James Bond (Sean Connery) wore this striped summer shirt with camp collar for a warm afternoon of shotguns and rum at the estate of villain Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) in Thunderball (1965).

The Budget Buy:

The Short-Sleeve Camp Collar Button-Up Shirt in "Navy Blue Stripe" from Abercrombie & Fitch

The Short-Sleeve Camp Collar Button-Up Shirt in “Navy Blue Stripe” from Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch
Short-Sleeve Camp Collar Button-Up Shirt

Price: $27.50

Color: Navy Blue Stripe

Material: 100% viscose

Average customer rating: 3.5/5 stars (2 reviews)

Do I own it? Yes

While viscose is hardly an ideal substitute for a cool-wearing cotton/linen blend, the soft, lightweight fabric is still comfortable with a pattern and style that echoes Connery’s screen-worn shirt and for less than 10% the price of the Orlebar Brown reproduction.

Admittedly, my initial connotation with A&F date from my high school and college years, when I associated it with over-sexualized advertising and occupying a pungent corner in the local mall, but the brand appears to have reinvented itself with more practical clothing at accessible prices. I re-discovered the brand during the first few weeks under quarantine and have come to rely on its sweater-knit pocket tees as a comfortable staple when working from home and blogging into the night.

The Investment:

The Thunderball Stripe Shirt in Riviera/White from Orlebar Brown

The Thunderball Stripe Shirt in Riviera/White from Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown
Thunderball Stripe Shirt

Price: $295

Color: Riviera/White

Material: 100% woven cotton/linen blend

Average Customer Rating: 5/5 stars (2 reviews)

Do I own it? No

The price tag is the only major factor that has kept this screen-accurate replica from my closet, beautifully detailed with OB’s “Capri collar” as well as a blue all-over butcher stripe and breast pocket to mimic 007 himself.

You can read more about the original look in my BAMF Style post.


Bond’s “Enjoying Death” Shirt in Skyfall

Daniel Craig’s 007 may be the most dressed-down iteration of the character yet, balancing his suits from Brioni (in Casino Royale) and Tom Ford (in everything else) with practical and contemporary casual-wear rooted in classic staples that will hopefully be less susceptible to aging than casual-wear often can be. After he was presumed killed on assignment at the beginning of Skyfall, Bond is shown to be “enjoying death” in exile on a remote Greek island, sporting a uniquely printed Zara Youth shirt with his Levi’s Vintage Clothing leather jacket and Topman trousers.

Clad in Zara shirt, James Bond (Daniel Craig) eyes a scorpion as he owns up to a bar challenge to down a dram of Macallan and capture the deadly arachnid in the glass before it can bite him in Skyfall (2012).

Clad in Zara shirt, James Bond (Daniel Craig) eyes a scorpion as he owns up to a bar challenge to down a dram of Macallan and capture the deadly arachnid in the glass before it can bite him in Skyfall (2012).

The Budget Buy:

Standard-Fit Long-Sleeve Linen and Cotton Blend Shirt in "blue floral" from Amazon house brand Goodthreads

Standard-Fit Long-Sleeve Linen and Cotton Blend Shirt in “blue floral” from Amazon house brand Goodthreads

Amazon
Goodthreads Men’s Standard-Fit Long-Sleeve Linen and Cotton Blend Shirt

Price: $20.04

Color: Blue Floral

Material: 55% linen, 45% cotton

Average customer rating: 4.2/5 (222 reviews)

Do I own it? Yes

While not screen-accurate in its print (nor was it intended to be), this affordable and comfortable shirt from that most omnipresent of online retailers evokes the look and style of Craig’s cynical, grizzled 007.

The Investment:

The "Enjoying Death" shirt from ROYALE Filmwear

The “Enjoying Death” shirt from ROYALE Filmwear

ROYALE Filmwear
SKYFALL Enjoying Death Shirt

Price: $89

Color: Light Blue

Material: 100% cotton

Do I own it? No

The ROYALE Filmwear experts diligently replicated Craig’s screen-worn shirt, from the intricate repeating navy floral pattern to the fit and the pocket flaps. If Skyfall convinced you that Bond’s shirt is what you need in your wardrobe, this meticulous tribute would be the best place to turn.

You can read more about the original look in my BAMF Style post.


The Magnum, P.I. “Jungle Bird” Shirt

Arguably the most iconic and recognizable of Tom Selleck’s tropical shirts on the original run of Magnum, P.I., the red “jungle bird” aloha shirt made by Paradise Found remains in production more than 40 years after the series pilot was filmed and even Selleck’s “successor” Jay Hernandez has been spotted wearing it on the recent CBS reboot.

Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) wears his red "jungle bird" Paradise Found aloha shirt one of many times on Magnum, P.I., seen here in the episode "Missing in Action" (Episode 1.09).

Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) wears his red “jungle bird” Paradise Found aloha shirt one of many times on Magnum, P.I., seen here in the episode “Missing in Action” (Episode 1.09).

The Budget Buy:

"Island Paradise" relaxed fit camp shirt from Old Navy

“Island Paradise” relaxed fit camp shirt from Old Navy

Old Navy
Relaxed-Fit Printed Short-Sleeve Camp Shirt

Price: $26

Color: “Island Paradise”

Material: 100% rayon

Average customer rating: 4.7/5 stars (74 reviews)

Do I own it? No

It may lack the avifauna that give the original “jungle bird” shirt its particular joie de vivre, but this Old Navy printed shirt strikes me as a fine starting place for aspiring aloha-wearers inspired by Magnum but looking to see what works for them with the help of a familiar, inexpensive, and reliable brand… or it could just nicely pad the closets of a seasoned aloha-wearer.

The Alternate Budget Buy:

Parrots Hawaiian Shirt from Pacific Legend

Parrots Hawaiian Shirt from Pacific Legend

Pacific Legend
Parrots Hawaiian Shirt

Price: $26.87 to $39.95

Color: Red

Material: 100% cotton

Average customer rating: 4.4/5 stars (516 reviews)

Do I own it? No

While I don’t have firsthand experience with this shirt or company, it seems to have strong reviews as an authentic, Hawaiian-made alternative to the “jungle bird” shirt on Magnum, P.I. If it weren’t for how affordable the genuine Paradise Found shirt was, I would likely seek out this alternative for myself.

The Investment:

The original "jungle bird" aloha shirt by Paradise Found, available from AlohaFunwear

The original “jungle bird” aloha shirt by Paradise Found, available from AlohaFunwear

AlohaFunwear
Paradise Found Original Magnum PI Hawaiian Shirt

Price: $64

Color: Red “Jungle Bird”

Material: 100% rayon

Average customer rating: 5/5 stars (51 reviews)

Do I own it? Yes

This is The One! Made in Hawaii, this shirt from Paradise Found continues the pattern that was popularized when their shirts were first worn by Tom Selleck in the ’80s, detailed with matching pocket and real wood buttons. As a proud owner of this shirt, I can attest to its comfort, its beautifully vivid and eye-catching print, and the fact that you don’t need Selleck’s signature facial hair or Ferrari to feel great wearing it.

Plus, the Aloha Funwear crew is fantastic and takes pride both in their authentic products and their warm, attentive customer service… and they offer matching face masks made from the same red “jungle bird” rayon!

While I haven’t covered the red “jungle bird” shirt yet, you can read more about Selleck’s first aloha shirt on Magnum, P.I. in this BAMF Style post.


Bond’s Off-White Terry Cloth Shirt

In addition to his Conduit Cut suits, grenadine ties, and cocktail cuff shirts, Sean Connery established terry cloth as one of 007’s preferred fabrics for summertime leisure garb, first with his blue playsuit in Goldfinger (1964) and again when briefly sporting a beige mottled toweling camp shirt in the pre-credits sequence of Diamonds Are Forever (1971). The shirt had been recreated by Orlebar Brown during last year’s release of its 007 Heritage Collection, though it appears that this particular piece has completely sold out and been discontinued. Not to worry, fans of luxury and leisure, as we appear to be in the midst of a terry cloth revival…

Sean Connery sports a '70s-styled terry shirt in the Diamonds Are Forever (1971) prologue.

Sean Connery sports a ’70s-styled terry shirt in the Diamonds Are Forever (1971) prologue.

The New Find:

The Tropez Terry Cloth Shirt from Dandy Del Mar

The Tropez Terry Cloth Shirt from Dandy Del Mar

Dandy Del Mar
The Tropez Terry Cloth Shirt

Price: $109

Color: Ivory

Material: 80% cotton/20% polyester terry cloth

Average customer rating: 5/5 stars (5 reviews)

Do I own it? Yes

One of my favorite discoveries of the year was Dandy Del Mar, the California-based outfitter celebrating a return to the glory days of leisure through its vintage-inspired resortwear, consisting of terry cloth shirts, shorts, and robes, classic and comfortable swim trunks, and huaraches.

The brand’s creative, resplendent with cocktails, Cadillacs, beaches, and beautiful women drew me in to its world of leisure, and I was honored to be gifted this very shirt which has quickly become one of my poolside favorites.

While I haven’t covered Connery’s shirt from Diamonds Are Forever yet, you can read more about Dandy Del Mar in this BAMF Style post.

Though different from the usual BAMF Style format, I want to reinforce that this is a completely organic post, not sponsored or promoted by any of the brands mentioned. However, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com, and I may receive commissions for certain purchases made through Amazon links.

9 comments

    • luckystrike721

      Sorry if that was a tease! I came across that shirt while I was looking for cheese snacks of all things, but Amazon must have known I’d been on the hunt for a Skyfall-esque shirt for a while. For the price, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how comfortable it is for a warm summer day/night… plus it looks like the price has gone down a full 50 cents since I first wrote about this!

      I’ll keep my eye out for budget alternatives to the Skyfall leather jacket, though I still haven’t found any I can recommend in good faith! (My own “alternative” is probably about 35 years old, picked up by my grandfather sometime in the ’80s with the nicely worn patina to show for it.)

      Like

  1. Jay Small

    I have purchased the A&F striped shirt. I have no idea why, but I’ve been obsessed this summer with getting a salmon, camp-collar shirt like Connery’s from Thunderball. The blue-and-white striped shirt is the closest replacement I’ve seen.

    Like

  2. Gary Kuhlmann

    Excellent post! On your recs, I ordered the Goodthreads and A&F shirts. The Goodthreads arrived today and it is a happy facsimile. Fit and style is great. Many thanks.

    Like

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