"One of the best expressions of summer jacketings is a decent wool-silk blend sports jacket."
With spring around the corner, and that’s us being optimistic about things, we’re just beginning to muse about our favourite seasonal-appropriate fabrics for the months ahead – think lighter weights, contemporary colours and patterns, and intriguing textures.
Comparable to a scoop each of lemon and chocolate gelati which we can acknowledge is greater than the sum of its parts, one of the best expressions of summer jacketings is a decent wool-silk blend sports jacket. Drawing on the outstanding benefits from each of the fabric’s natural components can result in a spectacular statement piece – a good addition to consider while building a sartorial wardrobe.
Wool is a frequently used fabric in made-to-measure tailored suiting and other high-quality items of clothing for several reasons – it’s breathable, exceptionally versatile, and when milled or woven by skilled craftsmen including Dugdale Brothers, results in an appealing finish.
Meanwhile, silk is another naturally-derived fabric, albeit from a very different source. The fibres created by silkworms are robust, smooth and luxuriously soft, but without the slipperiness of synthetics. Silk also has an attractive natural lustre and while good absorbency makes for a viable option to wear in warmer climates, its low conductivity also keeps warm air close to the skin in cooler temperatures.
But collectively woven is what we find most fascinating about fabrics in a wool-silk blend – opt for the more versatile browns and greens as a conservative option, or more sophisticated blues and patterns including a subtle herringbone or glen plaid for bolder alternatives. Essentially, these fabrics are visually attractive and almost the spring/summer equivalent of autumn/winter’s tweeds.
An advantage to using a combination of both fibres in various yarns and weave to produce such cloths brings together the best attributes of both to achieve certain desired outcomes – predominantly, durability, body and texture. The silk, for instance, lends lustre or sheen to an otherwise duller wool finish.
Perhaps not as obvious, another benefit of leaning towards a wool-silk blend fabric is its drape – a characteristic of paramount significance in the made-to-measure tailoring process of a jacket. Bestowed with the structural robustness of wool but the compliance and lightweight silk, the fabric can be finessed to meet certain individual’s needs.
As with any sports jacket, we recommend ideally dressing it up in the office with medium or charcoal grey trousers – either in solid colours or with subtle patterns – which best suit professional environments. On the weekends or a more casual occasion, dress the garment down with a pale blue shirt and cotton chino trousers, as pictured. Alternatively, replace the collared shirt with knitwear or tailored trousers with a pair of full, medium-rise denim jeans.
The wool-silk blend sports jacket can also be paired well with footwear including cordovan leather loafers or suede derbies and chukka boots. depending on the formality of the occasion. Ultimately, finish the ensemble with a quality cotton pocket square for a sense of understated elegance.