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The Report: Summer Blues

COTTON YARN IS the perfect lightweight material for a casual but smart look. This summer, ditch the heavy denim jackets and throw on a lightweight indigo-dyed cotton one instead. Originally extracted from indigo and woad plants, indigo was known throughout the ancient world for its ability to colour fabrics a deep blue. In the dying process, cotton and linen threads are usually soaked and dried 15-20 times. (By comparison, silk threads must be died over 40 times.) Indigo is unique in its ability to impart surface colour while only partially penetrating fibers. When yarn dyed with indigo is untwisted, it can be seen that the inner layers remain uncoloured, giving it its characteristic look that becomes only better the more you wear it.            

Purveyors of fine men’s clothing, Oliver Spencer’s ‘Buffalo’ jacket is reminiscent of utilitarian workwear featuring front slash pockets, buttoned cuffs, adjustable waist tabs and a leather designer patch. The unlined jacket breathes easily making it an updated summer reinterpretation of the classic denim jacket.

A word on dressing for summer from Oliver Spencer...

What are some fabrics that are good for summer?

My favourites summer fabrics are cotton-linen mix garments and lightweight suede.                       

What are the properties of cotton and linen that make them so effective in the summer heat?                

Cotton is amazing as it keeps the appearance and structure of the garment even through age. With linen, it’s the perfect balance to keep you cool. Its stays away from your skin, allowing for better airflow over your body.

How can guys dress for warm weather and still look put-together?

A really nice shirt goes a long way. In the height of summer, I’d suggest wearing linen, which allows the body to breathe and keeps you cool. Linen trousers also look great paired with a white tee.                    

Describe the appeal of indigo-dyed garments.

The vibrancy of the colour, the soft finish and the versatility make it a fantastic alternative to navy and black. The indigo dye gives a deep, rich hue – and we enzyme wash it for an incredibly soft finish that enhances the complexity of the colour.                    

How do you care for indigo-dyed fabrics?                    

We love the way indigo develops and ages beautifully as you wash and wear it. One thing to be aware of is that a brand new indigo garment may ‘bleed’ a little blue dye onto lighter fabrics (or your skin). To guard against this, give it a wash or two. Hand-washing is best before you wear over any pale clothes.