With the weather turning warmer and the skies becoming brighter, our wardrobe decisions are fueled by the need for removable layers and outfits that give us options in the changeable weather. At Colhay’s we have been releasing some new spring summer garments, one of them being the Cashmere Linen Ivy V Neck. Made from a cashmere linen blend, this sweater is perfect for spring walks in the countryside or along the beach, or as an easy go-to for throwing on when the evening turns cool in the summer.
The v neck sweater is a wardrobe staple and when the shape is designed right, can be flattering to the neckline, and a style that, according to our feedback, is popular among our customers too. However, we felt that although there are lots of v neck sweaters today, many are plain, with little character or interesting features. We love creating pieces inspired by a cultural reference from menswear of the past, and this one is no different.
We have always admired the overlapping v neck of the jumpers worn by Ivy League university students in the US back in the 1950s and 60s. With this in mind, we thought that a modern reimagining of this historical sweater would be something people would find interesting. Variations of this style could also be seen in mainstream men's fashion in the 50s, as shown below.
Vogue Knitting, Spring Summer 1955
The Colhay’s Reinvention
Our reimagining of this sweater sees a few changes to the original, but retains the iconic overlapping v neck. It was important to us that our version was far less stiff and formal, making it better suited to a modern man’s style and requirements. For this reason, we gave the sweater more room in the body than its inspiration had, ensuring a more relaxed fit and feel.
The original sweaters featured a tight, small and rigid v neck and would be worn over a shirt and tie - quite a formal look.
As mentioned, this overlapping v was kept, but we made it deeper to create a more contemporary, elegant and flattering look. An added bonus to the deeper neck is that it’s much more comfortable to wear too - something incredibly important to us here at Colhay’s.
Our version is knitted with an all-over rib-stitch structure, meaning that the fabric is more resilient, so that it bounces back after you’ve worn it and this helps it to keep its shape for longer. A second bonus of the rib-stitch is the long lines it creates which are flattering for the wearer.
The original raglan shoulder construction is a feature we chose to keep in - again, with comfort in mind. Raglan shoulders have been used in sportswear for decades as they allow for much more freedom of movement for the wearer and don’t feel restrictive, perfect for men with busy, modern lives. The raglan shoulder accommodates a wide range of shoulder widths too, meaning the sweater looks well-fitting on more body types. To keep the retro feel, the sweater also has a slightly longer ribbed hem and cuffs.
How to Wear
We’ve chosen two colourways for this sweater, a cream and a light grey. Both shades are on the paler side, in keeping with the fact they are intended to be worn during the warmer and brighter months. Both colours are elegant, sophisticated and, perhaps most importantly, easy to style with items you’re likely to have already.
Both colourways work well with a plain white Oxford shirt underneath. The cream, whilst being overall a paler colour, is a fairly dark shade and so works well as a contrasting piece with a white shirt. In the look below, we paired it with our own cashmere silk resort shirt in ivory. We finished the look with a light weight linen jacket in olive:
You could also wear over a plain white t-shirt for a more simple look that gives you the layers needed for transitional dressing. In terms of a trouser, the sweater is very versatile. Light wash denim complements both shades, as do cream shorts in the warmer months.
Why a Cashmere and Linen Blend?
Cashmere, often referred to as the king of fibres, is one of the softest fabrics you’ll find and is incredibly comfortable to wear. Supremely soft to the touch, it’s undoubtedly luxurious and very much sought after. That said, it’s not always well-suited to warmer weather wear and it’s for this reason, we have chosen to use a cashmere linen blend.
Linen, another natural fibre, is a famously popular fabric for summer wear. It’s light and breathable, the perfect combination for warm weather clothing. Linen’s downfall is that it can be stiff, scratchy and somewhat restrictive. By combining with cashmere, you bring together each fibre’s most desirable traits for the perfect spring or summer fabric.
We have chosen a blend of 70% cashmere with 30% linen, which results in a fantastically soft sweater that feels great against the skin but is also airy and light. As mentioned above, both elements are natural fibres and so help to regulate the body temperature through airflow. They are also moisture wicking and so will dry very fast when wet, helping to keep the body cool.
Made in Scotland
As with all of our products, this sweater is made in Scotland, the home of high quality knitwear. Our garments are knitted in Hawick, a small Scottish town which is renowned for its skilled knitters. The craft has been passed down through generations since the 18th century, meaning the knitters we have decades of experience. What’s more, they use techniques that are more intricate than those used to create mass produced items and result in better quality knitwear that fits you better and lasts longer.
Read more about our Cashmere Linen Ivy V Neck Sweater here.