This is the latest instalment in our series highlighting my favourite new seasonal cloths - providing a heads-up to readers on those that will mostly only be around for six months.
It’s interesting to see how the ranges develop. While Caccioppoli is always great for those wool/silk/linen summer jacketings, and Zegna is the most urban - all dark reds and petrol blues - every season there are small changes, with Zegna looking rather more casual this Spring/Summer for example.
This time I’ve also dropped in a few of the new bunches from English mills that are doing something significantly different - in this case the Indigo bunch from Harrison’s and summer jacketings from Holland & Sherry.
Street Lino and TimeOff
A linen specialist, Solbiati isn’t that relevant for Autumn/Winter bunches but comes into its own in Spring/Summer.
It has probably the largest range of plain, lightweight linens out there. So if you like the 8/9oz Italian weight of linen rather than 11/12oz Irish ones (they wrinkle more, but also breathe more) then this is the bunch to go to.
I particularly like the grey tones - such as NS13022 and NS13023. It’s not easy to find a grey linen that works, but if you can then it’s a great substitute for grey flannel in the winter.
The TimeOff bunch from Solbati has their wool/silk/linen range for jacketings, which doesn’t have many subtle checks I’d recommend, but there are some nice plains such as NS12035 and NS12033 (250-260g).
Jackets and Trousers
Loro Piana (which of course owns Solbiati) had less this season that jumped out as interesting and fresh. They normally have something in an orange or lime-green that I’d probably never wear, but is done well enough to make me consider it.
However, looking at the new version of the Tasmanian bunch did remind me how good they are for lightweight summer suits. In the winter I’d want something heavier, but these 250g worsteds are lovely - not too fine, a nice balance of luxury and performance.
Navy and grey is easy - and there is every type in the bunch somewhere - but I personally always like the warmer, more casual colours, like the greige of N691072 or deep brown of N691081.
Piacenza now has better distribution in the UK, through Yorkshire Textiles, and I’d recommend looking at them for their camel hair.
There is a whole bunch of just camel hair, called Dunes, and while most of the weights are fairly light, the colours and patterns are more than you’ll find anywhere else. One of the subtler patterns is my favourite, 4/35.
Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna
As I mentioned at top, it’s interesting to see how the Zegna range is becoming a little more casual - most obvious in the way they style the cloths.
Zegna is one of the few mills that includes pictures of models wearing the cloth made up, which can be helpful, in subtle tonal fabrics in particular. In this season’s Anteprima book, there are a lot more polo shirts and knits going under, under those tailored jackets.
I’d pick out 61014 (230g wool/silk/linen) and the deep greens like 61063 (260g wool/linen).
Jackets, and Special Cotton and Irish Linen
Caccioppoli is normally my go-to for summer jacketings, and there are the expected variations on subtle-check-over-brown.
The biggest variation is often the texture with these staple cloths, and they do produce different looks. Compare 390103 (290g) and 390135 (250g), for example.
One is a much thicker, coarser yarn, which uses that robustness to have an open weave to let air through. The other uses a finer yarn that is lighter in weight and smoother, but not as breathable as a result.
In terms of looks, its similar to the difference between my Solito and Dalcuore jackets.
Caccioppoli also have a range of Irish linens which is unusual, particularly as they’re lighter in weight than most at 190g, yet still with the stiffness associated with Irish linen.
The Vintage range from Vitale Barberis Canonico was one I saw launch at Milano Unica in February (reported on here), and it’s now carried as a bunch by Drapers.
It is a distinctive collection, with a lot more creams rather than whites, and colours you rarely see in other collections such as a vibrant, grassy green.
If you’re after something different that isn’t too showy, it’s worth a look. I’d pick out 5220 or 5217 (both linen/silk/cotton, 280g).
Ariston is normally the crazy cousin among Italian mills, and this season is pretty typical. There’s camo, loud windowpanes, even jersey suggested for jogging trousers.
However, there are some nice pieces mixed in too, such as the natural-feeling cream/brown check P102-1, which is a 330g wool/cotton mix.
That has a small amount of polyamide in it, which I don’t mind if the designer feels it’s needed. But I’d steer clear of the ‘high twist’ linens that are 26% polyamide, even if it does have a lovely slubbiness too it like D074-03.
Lastly, highlighting some new bunches (but not strictly seasonal ones) from the English mills, Harrison’s Indigo bunch is worth a look.
Most of it isn’t actually indigo in colour - though there a few at the beginning. Rather, it’s the Harrison’s take on wool/silk/linen jacketings, which here means taking out the silk entirely and offering wool/linen. Apparently it was felt this was more English, without the slight sheen of silk.
Below is a nice green with a shade of indigo: 98217, 8oz, 80% wool and 20% linen.
Holland & Sherry
Oceania, and Blazer Stripes
The Holland & Sherry Oceania bunch isn’t new, but it’s a little more experimental than usual.
After the usual patterned jacketings (for which I normally prefer Caccioppoli) there are several cottons in unusual patterns, including the bold slubby stripe of 1619952 (10oz) - which almost has a Japanese feel - and the sugary pink/green/blue stripe of 1619960 (9oz).
The latter feels similar in inspiration to the rowing blazers bunch from H&S, which is certainly catching onto a fashion. The only one I’d wear from that would be a navy stripe like 1919008 (7½oz). Nice that it was my college colours too.
probably you didn’t noticed that the irish linen in the Caccioppoli range is sold at 75cm width not the usual 150cm, so it weights 380g
A lovely survey with the exception of the knock on Solbiati. Besides cotton and linen, they have a third element: soft jacketing, which you can find in their Graffiti collection. This is a fall-winter offering; there’s even a range of flannel. They also have a Winter Cottons book with twills and corduroy with colors and treatment you would not find elsewhere.
Thanks. I have looked at the jackets and flannels, just didn’t particularly like them – but the winter cottons is a good shout, I had forgotten those
Hmmm! Brown Glen Check seems to be a current trend!
……… er……………… nothing new this season from Scabal or Dormeuil ?
Normally these posts only include the Italian mills that make collections for a single season. Scabal and Dormeuil don’t do that really, like the English. It was an exception this year to include Harrison’s and Holland & Sherry because I happened to see some interesting things. In future we’ll try to expand it further
I am looking for a new summer suit for HK weather and am struggling between two options.
First is a silk blend fabric. It is Moonlight Shimmer from Holland and Sherry (240g 50%Silk 45% Wool and 5% cashmere). Second is HS Crispaire. As I am kind of skinny, I am looking for something that is stiffer and with a good drape.
Which one would you recommend? Cheers
Crispaire of those two. Probably better drape and longevity
I’m thinking of buying a summer suit and I’m torn between buying one of the peg at drakes or having one made at graham brown. Given that they are of a similar cost point, do you think Graham brown would be able to make a suit in a similar aesthetic to a drakes off the peg suit.
Hi Alex. No, not really. A Graham Browne would be smarter, sharper and more structured. It would have a different make and, probably most importantly, a different cut. I’d pick which style you prefer as the top priority, even if it’s then a shame you can’t have it made bespoke
Simon, what’s the best way to order these fabrics?
Through your tailor Michael – few have the ability to deal with customers directly, so the point is that these are highlights to look at when going through bunches at a tailor
If you have to pick a summer cloth, would you pick HS Crispaire or VBC revenge?
Probably Crispaire first
I forgot to put Perennial on the list. Out of perennial / revenge / crispaire, which one would you recommend for a summer suit?
Really like these cloth articles. Some of those you mentioned above get a lot of attention in the shop. I think a high-twist performance cloth run down would make a great feature. It used to be only a couple of mills (Minnis, Smith) had this offering. Now almost every one has some version. Could be cool to hear reader input too on feel / performance.
Nice point, thanks Joseph. Yes, we’ve been planning for a while like the linen one we did, but haven’t had time yet.
Is there any cotton/linen blend you would recommend, mainly for trousers? I would prefer a linen blend without wool or silk, mainly because it makes it slightly easier to maintain by doing things like spot cleaning when needed.
Hi Noel. With trousers I’d go with pure linen personally. The only reason I’d go for cotton/linen is for style, to have something more casual than pure linen.
Piece here on summer trousers might be useful
Many thanks for your reply. I agree regarding style. My question was a bit confusing, but I was wondering more about which merchants might have linen / cotton blends if I want to go for that sort of cloth.
Ah, I see. I don’t know any off the top of my head that do cotton/linen blends for tailoring I’m afraid. I’ll keep a lookout though, and I’m sure any readers that know will chip in too
Would you suggest light or dark brown button on a light grey suit?
It depends what you will wear the suit with, but probably dark brown – it will be more versatile.
Simon, what color buttons you would recommend for off jacket made of Caccioppoli 390135 cloth? Would you prefer The Lining Company Col.7 Fawn or Col. 9R Reddish Dk. Brown? Regards
Both would be nice – I think it’s really just a question of whether you want something smarter/subtler (9R) or something brighter/sportier (7)
I have been looking for a weighty (11/12oz+) wool and cotton blend with a nice twill that I can make into a casual(ish) Neapolitan DB – any suggestions?
When I think of cotton I normally think Caccioppoli but not sure if they do blends as well. I think adding a bit of wool to the mix gives the fabric a little more structure.
That sounds nice Stephen, but no I haven’t come across anything I’m afraid.
Sorry – do comment again here if you do.
I’ve been toying with commissioning a casual summer suit in grey. The Solbiati NS12033 is particularly attractive, but do you think the wool/silk/linen mix would not work for a suit, particularly for the suit trousers?
I’d avoid it for a suit, yes, unless you have lots of suits and it will only get light wear
I thinking about commissioning a jacket in the below cloth. I’d like to wear it with fresco type trousers. My concern is that the texture is very similar. What are your thoughts? Linen trousers would be an alternative but they won’t hold a crease as well as fresco.
I think that would work ok, as the colours would be different enough. Just have some pattern in the shirt maybe, to avoid it all being too plain
Something like a small square gingham shirt? I’m thinking of beige over grey fresco trousers. Thoughts?
That could be nice, yes. A blue stripe might be safest – beige could fade a little into the jacket colour. But hard to tell not in person.
Simon, would you use Solbiati NS13022 for linen safari jacket? Regards Henry
I like the colour, but I’d ideally want something heavier and with more stiffness – I’d be more likely to go for the Irish linens, eg carried by W Bill or Holland & Sherry
For a fresco suit to wear at the height of summer, would you fully line the jacket or partially line?
You don’t think the lack of lining will be a problem given the lightness of Fresco?
It will certainly have downsides. It will be slightly less robust and sometimes catch on other material. But if you want it for that kind of weather, I’d assume breathability was the bigger priority
Yes, breathability is the priority. My main concern is that I’ll lose some of the shape of the suit. Am I being overly concerned about this aspect?
Many thanks for the reply. Do you think suede or scotch grain double monks in a formal last could be worn with a fresco suit? Or are the materials too casual ?
It could be ok. Just as long as the shirt and tie, perhaps, aren’t too formal
Hi Simon, what do you think of Lanificio di Pray as a fabric mill?
Looking at getting a summer more casual looking suit (patch pocket, relatively unstructured) which can be split up into separates as well as wearing as a complete. i.e, a suit that is versatile enough to dress down
I guess my choices would be between high twist wool, linen, pure cotton suit and then there are some of the mixtures you have mentioned above. The mixtures (wool/silk) seem more “textured” and seem more versatile to dress down?
Would a relatively unstructured jacket and trousers work with some of these wool / linen or wool/ silk / linen mixes? What about the Harrisons Indigo range of mix wool summer cloth?
Can you forsee any issues with using the mixed wool
The first thing I would say is, avoid this as a project if it involves any compromises. So many people try to get that perfect versatile suit, and they can end up with something that doesn’t quite work as anything, or perhaps 1 thing out of 3.
Have a look at my piece here on casual suits. These work much better as a ‘three-way suit’ as I call it. Cords and cottons; linen if the jacket is unstructured. Most high-twists do not work as jackets, and the wool/silk/linens often make terrible trousers. I’d put the Harrison’s in the same bracket.
If you need a suit, buy a suit. If you want a jacket and trousers, get cloths that are better for each of those. And then buy the other one next year.
Hi Simon, may I ask your opinion on the Piacenza Dunes collection? I see you are recommending it for Summer even though it’s a little on the ‘heavy” side for summer at 300gms/10.5oz. Is that because baby camel hair has good air regulation already and would it fit hotter regions (25-30degrees celcius) like Asia? Also, how does it wear in terms of durability? Am thinking of using it for a versatile sports jacket
Yes it is a little heavy, and will wear a little warm too. Ok for England, probably not for most of Asia
I came across these two blue summer fabrics from Cerruti at my tailor. I got all the basic suits and am looking to expand into the “jacket trouser seperates”area. I am particularly interested in a mid blue jacket to pair with grey trouser (light mid and dark). What are your thoughts on this two choices respectively? The first one is a silk linen wool blend and the second one is wool linen blend.
It’s hard to tell without seeing them in person, but I might go for the first one based on its appearance of greater texture
Thank you for the response. I read this post again and discovered some amazing caccioppolinapoli cloth. As it is quite difficult to have a examine the fabrics myself, I would like to hear your suggestions. Out of these two, which one would you suggest?
If I had to, the 27. But they both look really strong in colour. I’d be careful and go for something less strong
Thank you that was very useful. I tried to look for alternatives. Can this navy glen check paired with various grey trousers for a jacket trouser look in a business casual environment? Also would you recommend a fabric like this?
Yes, that should be fine. It’s quite a strong colour but as long as everything else is fairly quiet, it should be fine
Hi Simon, this tan colour jacket H&S fabrics caught my eyes but it is 100% silk. How is this material compare to wool/silk/linen blend? How is it in terms of drape, crease resistance and longevity? Cheers.
To be honest it’s hard to know with silk – it can feel and look many different ways. I would steer clear of it unless you’ve seen it made up as a jacket.
The pattern is also strong, and a little difficult to envision in a full jacket.
Drakes has a pure silk jacket in its current spring collection. I tried it out in a store and it seemed very nice. Not your first summer jacket but maybe your 4th.
Reda has a linen-wool (57-43) blend in 260 g. Do you this would work in a neapolitan summer jacket? https://www.reda1865.com/row/structured-solid-jacket-and-blazer-jacket-linen-wool-super-110-039-s-brown-260g-126-7523
Yes, that could work nicely.
I recently liked the cotton twill by Holland and Sherry in beige, cream and taupe with a weight 420-480g (14-15oz) which are considered as Autumn/Winter fabrics. Do you think they would be serve well in warmer climates as well? As I prefer the heavier fabric as I also agree with your view that they can hold shape and drape better. I am considering for a pair of trousers. My second question is for light beige colour suit, I have seen a fabric by drapers in worsted wool (Batavia weave) for all seasons at 260grams. Would you say this would be a great option in holding shape and drape?
Whether that weight for trousers would work for you is really a question of what specific heat you’re in, and how you deal with weight in clothes like that. I’d find it fine here in the summer, but I know others wouldn’t.
On the suit, I think you’d find that a little light for autumn and winter, and not so good and holding shape
How would you pair the Harrisons Indigo fabric you listed? I’m really interested into :D.
I thought like mid grey Fresco Minnis -49
And surely cotton trousers, but which shade? Do you have a reference of a cream neutral one which works?
Yes, mid-grey would be a good option, and perhaps pale cottons – look in the Drapers bunch, Cotton & Cotton.
Bear in mind this was seasonal cloth last year though, so it might not still be available
Do you have any good green linen cloth recommend (for trouser), i prefer dark green, i found some light weight (8-9oz) from Ariston , but i cant find any heavier one (11oz).
i know wbill has one, but it is too pricey in Hong Kong, or do you think 8-9oz still okay for making a trouser?
It wouldn’t fall apart or anything, but I’d always prefer the heavier one. Even in Hong Kong.
I don’t know any that are nice and dark, no.
Thanks for the quick reply, so other than dark, lighter shade (compare to dark, but greener) also do good ? in terms of versatile
I can only found that type of colour in cotton
Personally, no, I’d only go for the darker and muted greens
I don’t know how much it costs, but Solbiati’s new Art du Lin bunch weighs 13oz (heavier even than W Bill), and it’s available at the Anthology in Hong Kong.
There are only twelve colors, and only one green: https://bit.ly/3gctRku
You can decide for yourself whether it’s dark enough for you, keeping in mind that a photograph is not always a fully accurate depiction of a cloth’s color.
That does look like a nice colour, though it isn’t as dark or strong a colour as the one I’m searching for.
Many thanks for the information, it is a very nice colour, i will take a look for it
Out of interest I have never come across any of the Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna bunches by any Saville Row tailors, is there any tailors you know that carry their bunches.
Yes, Zegna isn’t as popular as Loro Piana generally, and in my view with good reason – the Zegna ranges have never appealed to me as much.
I can’t think of one that does have them off the top of my head, but I’m sure some do.
I love these bunch reviews.
I don’t mean to be impertinent but can we hope for more reviews like this in the future.
I can then go and hopefully obtain some of these swatches and check them out!
I wasn’t planning on continuing with them, because they weren’t that popular. There’s also not that much that changes season to season, it’s barely enough to justify an article really, and mills are getting less and less creative. Presumably a lot of the materials you’d be looking for wouldn’t be one-off seasonal ones anyway?
I do understand. No worries.