The Jackal's Aleks Cvetkovic extols the many virtues of a lightweight knit for the warmer weather.
Getting knitwear right during the warmer months is no easy thing. After all, woollen jumpers are not something traditionally associated with balmy weather. Nevertheless, lightweight knits have an indispensable place in a summer wardrobe and contrary to popular belief can help to keep you cool when the mercury rises.
This season, Drake’s has introduced some chic crewnecks in 30 gauge merino, woven in Scotland, that are the perfect composition for warm weather. A 30 gauge knit is silky to the touch and fine enough to allow air to circulate through its fibres, yet still makes for a substantial piece of clothing. In classic navy, silvery grey, and an earthy shade of mink, there’s a colour in the range to suit everyone. These jumpers also feel great next to the skin; a crewneck worn as a long-sleeved tee beneath an over-shirt (or even the Valstar for Drake’s A1 bomber) is a great contemporary look for smart-casual days or easy weekends about town.
Alongside these sits a brand new selection of fine merino sleeveless cardigans, which for the first time give you the option to wear a signature Drake’s design well into summer. Best suited to layering beneath a sports coat, they’re available in a versatile range of colours from forest green, navy and neutral, to a range of greys. Try the navy cardi with a striped button-down, silk printed tie and checked sports coat – the Drake's cream and navy linen glencheck jacket works beautifully. The green option suits a sky blue shirt and dark chinos, and the neutral version sits nicely under a brown linen jacket or even one of this season’s luxurious washed-cashmere or seersucker navy blazers.
As well as its practical side, wearing knitwear is also a lovely way to inject some texture into a summer look, when fabrics tend to become lighter or smoother. To fill this niche, Drake’s has introduced three birdseye knit jumpers, woven in the traditional fashion on the Aran islands, off Ireland’s east coast. The blended yarn helps to keep them light and the birdseye weave regulates the flow of air through the jumper’s fibres, in much the same way as the lightweight merino knits.
The navy option is a sensible investment piece, but you might also experiment with the mottled navy and grey equivalent, which feels that little bit more preppy. It looks a treat with an oxford button-down - try the forest green Bengal stripe for a fresh look. Throw in a pair of fresco trousers and a navy or chocolate brown tussah tie to dress it up. There’s also a gorgeous olive option that pairs easily with this season’s selection of linen button-down shirts and the house’s updated No.3 jeans (which are back in stock – don’t hang about if you missed the first run).
Of course, the lovely thing about summer knits is that they’re seldom an obvious choice. Jumpers and cardigans tend to be thrown-off in favour of breezier options come May or June, but knitwear designed for the warmer months gives plenty of options for dressing up or down as the mood takes you. A lightweight knit is a simple luxury, and these Drake's designs are so comfortable that you’ll seldom know you’ve got one on.