Take a hike! We present two new items that draw on a golden age of rugged, vibrant outdoor clothing.
Alongside our classic shirts, ties and tailoring, our Spring / Summer 2019 season has seen a greater emphasis on the kinds of casual, sporty clothes that today are as much a staple of men’s wardrobes as the white shirt or the navy suit. Last week we looked at our new rugby shirts, designed in Somerset, and made in Japan. This time around we’re looking at two new additions to our repertoire: the Hiking Jersey, and the Hiking Shirt.
As their names suggest, these pieces are redolent of the outdoors, drawing inspiration from the kind of rugged, brightly-coloured activewear that belongs to an earlier era (in the case of the Hiking Shirt, the design is a refined update on a much-loved – and much-worn – item that has been hanging in Michael Hill’s wardrobe for more than a decade).
The Hiking Shirt resembles a classic long-sleeved polo shirt but is set apart by its details and construction. Knitted in Japan on a special ‘hanging’ knitting machine (as with our rugby shirts), the shirt is made from an unusual short-pile semi-loopback terry cloth, which has a pleasingly tactile feel. Details such as the shirt’s simple shape and contrasting inside placket nod to a certain robust sensibility, while the neat collar and single-button cuffs ground it in a more refined tradition, allowing it to be worn with tailoring, as well as with jeans, chinos, or shorts.
The Hiking Jersey, meanwhile, is modelled on a classic climbing base layer. Like its aforementioned cousin, it is knitted in Japan on specialised knitting machines that date back more than a century, and which produce a level of quality that is simply unattainable from modern machines. It has a mock neck, and rather than the usual twin side seams, a single seam running the length of the back.
“It’s not something you’d necessarily expect from Drake’s, but it seems to find its way so easily into our wardrobes” Michael Hill explains. “A lot of the guys on the Drake’s team wear them underneath button-downs or our twin-pocket work shirts, and it’s a fantastic look: classic but playful, and with a touch of sportiness. If you opt for the brighter mustard or red, it also allows you to work in a pop of colour that might otherwise have been lacking. Sometimes I even wear one jogging in the mornings, it’s terrifically versatile.”
So whether you feel like hiking through a glacial valley, or simply schlepping to the nearest pub, this pair of casually stylish garments will see you right.