Yes, you heard us correctly. Summer knitwear may feel like an oxymoron, but in truth it’s becoming one of the items we reach for more than anything else in the warmer months. The modern man’s wardrobe becomes more charismatic and comfortable with a few carefully selected summer knits at his disposal. We caught up with style advisor Can to find out why. As he joined, already dressed in a light gray crew neck, we knew we had asked the right guy.
“I’m obsessed with them, as you can see. Summer knitwear is becoming a big part of my wardrobe because it’s so practical. I can dress them down, dress them up. I enjoy the variation from a button-up shirt. There are so many colors too. I’m not scared of color, it allows me to reflect my persona. That’s the amazing thing about our wide color range”.
The ideal blend
For warmer days, airflow is paramount. There is one quality in our arsenal that can take on this job with no fuss. It has been a bit of a journey to find a summer blend worthy of introducing to you all. First, in deciding the ideal yarns to mix to keep you comfortable in temperatures above 30°C (86°F) and then sourcing high-quality versions of them both. We landed on this beautiful mix of 85% cotton with 15% cashmere by one of Europe’s finest yarn spinners. Located in Brescia province of Northern Italy, they are responsible for everything from the sourcing and dying to the spinning.
“I love that it keeps me cool. It’s warm here today and actually that’s the perfect temperature. It’s very lightweight with amazing insulation properties. You know, warm or cool, it keeps the body temperature beautifully stable.”
Both these fibers are known for their breathability, but each have their own distinct benefits. The lion’s share of this blend is high-quality cotton, spun and dyed in Franciacorta, Italy. A completely natural and fluffy fiber from the cotton plant, it brings breathability with lightness to your knitwear you may not have felt before if you’ve kept to strictly woolen knits before. If the cotton is there to keep your garment light, the cashmere is there to provide the luxury. Alone, cotton in a knit can feel almost too crisp and a little stiff or inelastic. The 15% of cashmere contributes more soft silkiness on the skin and a natural rebound that will help your knitwear keep its shape.
The cashmere we use is an ultra-fine wool from the under fleece of goats found in particular areas of Inner Mongolia. As an animal fiber, it has the same benefits it provides the goats themselves – an uncanny ability to regular airflow and body heat in all temperatures, as well as inherent antibacterial properties that mean you don’t need to ‘wash’ the fiber like others.
“If you run hot, this will keep you nice and cool. But being a single guy, I like the easy maintenance too. The cashmere means it doesn’t need so much. If I do, I can take care of this at home, a light hand-wash cycle and air dry.”
Together they form an elegant blend with a matte appearance. At 15 needles per inch, it is very fine and amongst our lightest knits, wearable from early spring through the end of autumn. For high summer we recommend crafting in single yarn for the lightest possible look.
Five must-haves for summer
Of course, not any knit will do. The style must feel quintessentially “summer” too. We rounded up some of the knits we’ll be wearing this summer.
1. The t-shirt knit
This knit could easily become your most-worn wardrobe basic. A more sartorial take on the classic, our t-shirt knit features a relaxed fit and crew-style neckline. We also decided to forgo any elastic in hems and the sleeve cuffs to keep that casual straight fit. Craft it in white or any classic color to elevate your weekend ensembles or tone down your more tailored looks.
“This is the ultimate piece for summer. Especially for a guy who’s in love with the sports jacket, like I am. You can wear it underneath any jacket, and it feels just as relaxed and cool as a regular t-shirt but still dressier, a little more sophisticated. I love it with my suit and sneakers too.”
2. The pastel polo
You may have already seen this knit on our new collaborator, actor Nasrdin Dchar. We love that it combines a classic with a summer irreverence. Crafted with shorter sleeves and buttons on the collar, it has that old-school essentialism, while the color adds a lightness that feels very modern. Our favorite part? The sheer variety of ways you can style it.
“With a polo in a pastel color you are opening yourself. This color especially is extremely versatile too. You don’t have to get up early to figure out what goes with what. You can wear it with earth tone pants, denim, a chino. I’m not much of a golfer but I can see it on a golf course, or at work. It could be a beautiful travel piece too, because it can be worn in the warm day without a jacket or at night with a blazer or sports coat to a nice restaurant.”
3. The St Tropez cardigan
With a classic v-neck and button closure, the long-sleeve cardigan is the epitome of understated sophistication. Our model is a sleeker version of a more preppy, almost collegiate silhouette. Worn unbuttoned and open, it exudes the kind of low-key luxury you can wear from the office to the French Riviera. We chose a light neutral hue that will work for any setting.
“I love open cardigans like this, especially in the summertime. I usually toss them over my shoulder in case I get exposed to a breezy summer night. It’s also nice as a layer piece. When you’re sitting in the office all day and want to leave your jacket behind your chair, you can keep this on.”
4. The summer business layer
If you want all the flair of a waistcoat, but none of the extra fabric – the sleeveless cardigan is an excellent choice. When you’re at work and temperatures are on the warmer side, a cotton-cashmere vest will help you add a layer of distinction to your look without overheating you. We recommend going for traditional office hues like whites, blues, and grays.
“This button up vest can play a cool role for people who prefer that classical, almost vintage style, I see it a lot right now. It is so nice as an accent piece under a blazer or even a tweed kind of suit. Especially with a very classic glen check, pleated pants, and a pair of Derby shoes.”
5. Pop color zip knit
Our most modern cardigan format, on account of both the sleek metal zip closure and the bright, contemporary color. Designed with a full-length zip and long sleeves, this knit is our pick for a bit of extra coverage on a relaxed day in windy weather. The best part is you can take it on and off as the weather changes and you won’t mess up your hair.
“I have a few of these cardigans with the full zipper and higher collar too. I love them with my denim and cool sneakers. I treat it almost like a jacket, but more unstructured, more light, comfortable. I also like that they have a life beyond summer too because it’s so much thinner, you can layer them so easily. I end up wearing it under my suits and jackets too.”
If you’re feeling inspired but want to tweak a thing or two, no problem. All these cotton-cashmere knits are available in 25 colors with your choice of design. Want to learn more about how our knitwear is made? Check out our article explaining the careful process behind our Italian-made knitwear.
Browse the inspiration in the private store or book an appointment to start creating your warm-weather knits.