Oatmeal and Espresso: Styling Beige and Brown

We’re delighted to introduce two beautiful new colours to our 2-ply 100% cashmere made in Scotland crew neck range this season. The first is a light, creamy oatmeal, and the second, a very dark, espresso brown.

The way we have arrived at these two colours, was no accident.

Oatmeal cashmere wool

We have had the oatmeal colour for some time, but only in superfine lambswool. After how popular this colour proved, and after having discovered how versatile the colour is for ourselves, we decided to also have this crafted in our beloved Todd & Duncan cashmere.

The genesis of this oatmeal colour is that we started off by considering a huge variety of shades of oatmeal in the beginning – some darker, some lighter, all with slightly different hues – grey hues, pink hues, yellowish hues – some were warmer, some were darker – the list goes on. Finding the perfect oatmeal colour, that would give us the most chance of maximising wear, was no easy feat. In the end, we narrowed down to this particular oatmeal colour amongst many, after sampling and testing over the course of a few months, until we arrived at what we felt was the best oatmeal colour that we can possibly have. The oatmeal colour is light, cold, and has more of a cream hue rather than the yellowish hue sometimes found in oatmeal yarns which are a little too anachronistic for our liking.

The great thing about this lighter shade of oatmeal is that it makes it easy to wear with "low contrast" and "high contrast" outfits alike. 

A “low contrast” outfit is where you are wearing colours that are similar to the oatmeal, such as white, very light browns etc., as can be seen here:

Oatmeal crew neck, with lighter white pleated trousers and light brown check sport coat
Oatmeal crew neck, with lighter white pleated trousers and light brown check sport coat.

Another "low contrast" outfit here:

Oatmeal crew neck, with light olive trousers and light brown/beige bandana.

Oatmeal crew neck, with light olive trousers and light brown/beige bandana.

But equally, it also makes for a great companion to darker colours such as your favourite navy sport coat, brown leather jackets, or dark denim etc. This is possible because the oatmeal colour is cold and is closer to white – which makes it a more natural companion to dark colours. Think your classic white shirt and navy suit combination - the white shirt works with everything, and the philosophy with the light oatmeal sweater is similar here. If we were to go with a slightly darker oatmeal than this, with that yellowish hue, it wouldn't look as natural paired with colours like navy and dark denim. Here are some examples of how the oatmeal works well in “high-contrast” outfits – i.e. where you are wearing clothes that starkly contrast the oatmeal colour. The oatmeal acts almost like a white shirt substitute: 

Oatmeal crew, with dark navy double breasted blazer and our cashmere scarf in dark brown. The oatmeal works here because it has a cold hue and is close to white, so it acts as a substitution to a white shirt.

Another few examples below illustrating how the oatmeal colour works with darker colours because it is a substitute for white.

With our oatmeal mock neck: 

Oatmeal mock neck, with dark olive cashmere shirt cardigan and navy double-breasted blazer.

Left: oatmeal mock neck, denim shirt, distressed brown leather jacket, charcoal trousers
Right: oatmeal mock neck, with chambray shirt underneath, and a pair of dark, raw indigo denim 

With our oatmeal cashmere polo shirt, another new style this season:

Oatmeal cashmere polo shirt, with dark raw indigo denim, dark brown corduroy sport coat and our cognac cashmere scarf.

If the oatmeal was darker, warmer, with a yellowish hue, that wouldn't sit as well with the brown leather or brown corduroy jacket, or other colder dark colours like the navy on the denim and blazer above.

So, what's the story with the very dark brown cashmere crew neck?

We struggled to find a brown on the market that was very dark – the colour of freshly brewed espresso, bordering black. We wanted to pursue this very dark brown because we felt that the sport coats and outerwear in a man’s wardrobe tend to range from a light to medium brown, often in subtle checks, but rarely in a very dark brown. So to help achieve a tonal outfit, we decided we wanted to introduce a very dark brown sweater to provide some contrast against these other more common outerwear brown colours. The result was first, the development of a superfine lambswool mock neck last season in dark brown, which worked incredibly well with brown outerwear, as in this example:

Dark brown mock neck, with medium brown check sport coat and medium wash jeans. 

Following its success, we decided to also add this dark brown to our crew neck range, but in our luxuriously soft, yet robust Todd & Duncan 2-ply cashmere.

As you can see, the concept is similar – it is perfect for styling with browns in a different shade:

Dark brown cashmere crew neck, with light brown houndstooth double breasted sport coat and white jeans.

Our 2-ply made in Scotland cashmere crew necks are a tried and tested staple – versatile, and easy to wear, it has a certain “crunch” to it on first touch, a characteristic that is typical of Scottish cashmere, but this is a good sign that you have a piece of high quality cashmere in your hands. The cashmere will soften naturally over time after several wears and hand washing, getting better and better over time - just how cashmere of old used to be, and is meant to be.