Summer feels like it’s just around the corner, with the weather turning warmer and the nights getting lighter it’s time to step into our summer wardrobe. This spring and summer season we have a great variety of tops, t-shirts, polos you name it we’ve got it! From easy wearing cotton stretch and mercerised t-shirts to our more luxury linen & silk mix polos, we have a great range of tops to suit any occasion.
This season we have seen a few key colours that stand out across our brand mix which we will share with you. There are four key colours that are making their way through against the classic navy, white, grey and blues. The first one is a Bluette which you can see on three options in the Canali collection for spring summer 22. They are the Canali Mercerised T-shirt, Canali Mercerised Short Sleeve Zip Polo & the button version of this polo. The tone is a mix of electric blue mixed with a Mediterranean blue, perfect for a summer holiday or weekend break in a warm destination.
The second key colour we see more of now is Olive Green, we have been slowly introducing this colour to our collections over the past few years but this season we have seen its popularity increase not only amongst our brands but elsewhere in men’s fashion. Canali touches again on this lovely tone with a variation of their mercerised t-shirt and mercerised zip polo. You will see some other brands touching on the olive green colour also, Brioni have a super soft cotton t-shirt and Zattura have a slight darker variation of green for their mercerised t-shirt. One of the best things about buying into this colour is that it can be worn all year round from summer to winter.
The third colour which is selling well this season is Taupe, this a new colour which we are introducing and so far the reaction has been great. You’ll see quite a few options of taupe which is a neutral earthy tone and again can be worn all year round. Corneliani has a nice capsule of taupe amongst their collection this season with their Honeycomb Stitch Knitted Polo, the Mercerised Short Sleeve Button Polo and a cotton stretch Signature T-shirt which are all in a mix of shades of taupe. Zattura offers a couple of stretch hoodies, bombers, shorts, and tracksuit options in a lighter taupe colour which are more for the summer seasons.
The fourth colour which is exclusive to Herno this season is the mushroom grey as we have named it. This again is from the family of earthy neutral tones but leans to a more conservative grey shade. Herno has two options in this colourway; the Jersey Button Polo which is very light and designed to keep you cool in warmer weather and the Superfine Cotton Stretch T-shirt which is designed for mobility and has elastane in the fabric. This colour is one we believe we will see more of as the seasons roll on and is a nice steppingstone from the classic menswear colours.
When choosing what to wear in the summer or going away on holiday it’s important for all men to avoid two things; 1) Sweat patches and 2) Feeling uncomfortable with the fabric choice. There are a few ways we can try to avoid these two dreaded things and one of the easiest wins is by selecting an appropriate lightweight summer fabric that’s going to keep you cool and feel soft on your skin in the warmer climates. We always suggest fine cotton, silks, soft treated linen and a mix of cotton and elastane. Only go for a wool option if it’s virgin wool and has been specially made for the summer weather.
Some great summer tops are the Corneliani Silk & Linen Contrast Collar Polo, the Canali Garment Dyed Silk Check Polo which comes in Olive and blue with a zip / button variation. The Zattura Silk collection which has some 100% silk t-shirts, button / zip polos available in midnight, royal and mid blue. The Herno t-shirt collection is one of the best we’ve seen, and they have a lovely range including the Herno Superfine Cotton Stretch Pocket T-shirt in white & navy.
One brand we can’t forget about when it comes to summer tops is John Smedley, the iconic British brand has been making clothiers for hundreds of years and they have perfected the summer knitted polo. The most iconic summer short sleeve polo is the Adrian, made with sea island cotton so it feels soft on the skin and keeps you cool in the warmer weather. We have gone classic this season with options available in Navy, Charcoal and Silver.
Finally, to finish off we’ve seen a real trend towards layering garments, not only in the winter but in the summer (weather permitting!). A great look is the relaxed overshirt layered on a plain t-shirt (usually white) or even a polo. So, if you do decide to try some layering options you need both layers to be lightweight and summer fabrics, most of the brands we stock are Italian, and they have heat ingrained in their DNA. When they present their modern capsules they factor in these trends with their designs, two great options of overshirts are the Corneliani Button Overshirt in an almost Petrol Navy tone and the Z Zegna Overshirt in Beige. The Corneliani piece is made with a blend of cotton and polyamide so it’s extremely thin and perfect for layering in the summer. The Z Zegna overshirt is made with linen & lyocell so it’s not as light as the other but it’s breathable due to the strong linen percentage in the fabric.
Keep warm in Autumn with the latest knitwear
The cold weather is coming around and what better way to get ready for the festive time of the year than with a quality piece of knitwear. From merino wools to soft cotton and cashmeres to silks, we’ve got you covered this autumn & winter with a great range of knitwear to suit any taste. Starting with everyday knitwear to some real luxurious pieces for special occasions.
We will start with the most iconic British knitwear brand around John Smedley, they have been making knitwear since 1784 and have two Royal Warrant of Appointments. The second of these which came in 2021 after one of the toughest years for John Smedley and the rest of the world. With such accolades it leaves no question to thought that their knitwear is some of the best worldwide. At Union 22 we strive to bring the best to our customers and working with John Smedley is a continued pleasure.
Some of the classic pieces from John Smedley for the winter are the Belper, the Cotswold and the Lundy. The Belper is a classic fitting long sleeve button polo made from 30 gauge extra fine merino wool and finished with a sport collar. It truly is a staple piece perfected over time from a company with over 230 years of manufacturing experience. The Cotswold is the brother to the Belper which is made from 30 gauge extra fine merino wool. The fit is what is known as an Easy fit, this is a looser fit than the classic john Smedley fit, and we recommend some customers to go down a size if choosing an easy fit.
The benefit of an easy fit is for bigger customers the knitwear sits much more comfortably and doesn’t hug the body. The Lundy is a classic crew neck design made from 30 gauge extra fine merino wool, perfect worn by itself or worn over a shirt for smart casual outfit.
It comes with no surprise that the creators of James Bond are a big fan of John Smedley as they have been worn on screen by every single 007 agent, from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig. If you’re looking for classic fitting British knitwear then our go to is always John Smedley. Built to last these are pieces you can wear every day and with the right care can last for a very long time.
If you prefer knitwear with a more European feel then we’ve got some great collections to show you. Some of our favourite Italian brands make luxurious winter polos with cable knit textured finishes, herringbone designs, zip closures and much more. Corneliani & Canali have their roots firmly in knitwear and this shines when they present their autumn winter collections.
This season some of the best-selling pieces from Corneliani are the Long Sleeve Cable Knit Quarter Zip Polo, the Wool & Cashmere Heavy Cable Knit, the Cotton, Cashmere & Silk Zip Polo and the Quarter Zip Herringbone Finish Polo which is available in three colours. These knits are made from a mix of carefully selected virgin wool, super soft silk, and cashmere.
Canali have two signature knitwear pieces this season which are the Garment Dyed Wool & Silk Polo’s, available in a buttoned finished (bluette) and with a zip finish (green). The garment dyed process gives the look of a more vintage finish by the process of dying the fabric once the pieces has been cut and sewn rather than by the roll of fabric.
For those special occasions look no further than the exclusive Brioni knitwear collection, made with some of the finest fabrics worldwide. The Ultra Soft Long Sleeve Zip Polo has been made in a lovely bluette colour, with a clean minimal design and finished with a signature ‘Brioni’ embroidery on the bottom left of the polo.
When it comes to picking your knitwear, it is important to know the gauge that has been used in making the piece, the rule is the higher the gauge the finer the knit. Most of the John Smedley collection are 30 gauge knits such as the Belper, Lundy, and the Adrian. There are some which are slightly thicker at a 24 gauge such as the Tapton. The likes of the Wool & Cashmere Heavy Cable Knit from Corneliani is an ever lower gauge so it has a nice winter thickness for when the temperature drops.
We’ve added our Knit Care 101 to this blog to give you some advice on how to wear, wash and care for your knitwear this autumn.
Knit Care 101
When it comes to knitwear all it takes is a few simple mistakes to ruin that favourite or sweater that you love so much. We've put together a short guide to help you or your partner so that you don't make the common mistakes that damage your knitwear. When you take care of your knits, they can last a lifetime and it all starts from a good base knowledge of how to wash, dry and protect them.
So let's get started and straight into our top tips, some of these are pretty obvious but we have all shrunk a jumper or two in our time and hopefully these will re-jog the memory for our more experienced readers and help out some of our first time washers.
- Try using hair conditioner on machine wool knitwear to keep fabric soft & luxurious
- Always dry flat on a dry towel to keep the shape
- Wash knitwear with knitwear, never mix with denim or cottons
- Don't wash wool often, wool contains lanolin oils in its fibres making it naturally antimicrobial.
*Tip: Wear a slim fitting under t-shirt underneath to get more use before washing.
- Wool doesn't shrink in the washing process, when wool rubs together the fibres lock closely tother turning the wool into felt
The autumn is finally here, we can feel the colder weather creeping up on us as the nights start to get longer. Personally, the autumn time is one of my favourite times of the year, don’t get me wrong I love the summer sun and heat but there’s something special about this time of year. It’s the time we see the leaves change from velvet green to dusty orange brown and it’s the time of year when we start to layer up with our men’s knitwear and men’s outerwear.
Stay protected from the Autumn weather with outerwear
The climate is changing, we can no longer deny it, because of that change we see strange weather patterns with irregular heat waves and sporadic storms. But we can rest assured as we head towards winter, we can expect two things: rain and cold weather. It’s important to stay protected against these elements and one of the most important items of clothing for any man during this time is a quality, well-made coat. There are a few important elements one must consider when buying a winter coat / jacket, and they are: water resistance, breathability and functionality.
Before we go into these, the purpose of why you are buying the coat is also very important. For example, if you want to buy an everyday coat or jacket then you need a durable, well-wearing coat that’s heavily water resistant (ideally waterproof) and breathable. But if you are looking to buy that special piece of outerwear that you will save for the memorable occasions, then you would look more to the finer finishes and luxury fabrics that feel extra special when you wear them.
Probable one of the most important factors when buying a winter coat is the water resistance, it’s important to choose a coat that has sufficient water resistance as we’ve all experienced a time in our lives when we have been soaked through in cold weather. Herno have been making coats & jackets for over 70 years since the end of World War II. In that time, they have developed their signature ‘Sartorial Engineering’ mantra which they develop into all their garments. The Laminar range is their answer to rainwear, made with GoreTex fabrics these are mostly waterproof or extremely water resistant. The key piece this season is the ‘Herno Laminar GoreTex 2 Layer Parka With Detachable Hood’ which comes in black.
Another brand which has perfected this is Nobis, they have used a Sympatex® membrane that allows their coats to be waterproof to 10,000 mm and windproof. The Yatesy is their classic parka which is just about as technical as it comes when it comes to materials and construction, they also make models called Oliver and Wayland that are reversible (2 in 1) coats with one side made with a Sympatex® membrane and the other a quilted nylon finish (for drier weather).
Now it’s all well and good having a coat that keeps you dry but you don’t want a coat that overheats easily. A coat must keep you warm but regulate your temperature so that you don’t overheat, that’s why having a coat that is breathable is very important as it stops over heating from occurring. This seems straight forward but is often a hard balance and only the best manufactures and brands have mastered this fine art, one of them being Mackage. Mackage is a Canadian brand that is relatively new in the outerwear game compared to some of the others but has absolutely blasted onto the scene with some great pieces such as the Edward Parka, Dixon Bomber and many more styles.
The Edward parka which is available with fur (Edward-X) and without fur (Edward-NFR), is one of those coats you put on and you never want to take it off. Minimalist and clean in design this coat has a removable hood and chest piece which allows you to dress the coat sportier with the hood and more smarter without. The 800+ traceable duck down and 2-layer fabric with membrane allows this piece to keep you warm way into minus degrees and keep you cool on an autumn / winter evening.
As we mentioned previously it’s important to know what kind of coat you want to buy and why, if you’re looking for more rain protection then Herno’s Laminar range and Nobis are great options. If it’s a more rounded coat that you can dress smarter then Mackage has some lovely styles. Then if you want the most luxurious fabrics and craftsmanship then look no further than MooRER.
MooRER is a 100% made in Italy brand founded in 2006 by Mr. Moreno Faccincani in Veneto. This brand is like the Rolls Royce of the outerwear game in our opinion. Usually, priced higher than your average piece of luxury outerwear these coats are made from some of the softest and most luxurious fabrics around. It isn’t an everyday coat brand as the finer fabrics means that you need to take a bit more care with them but the attention to detail and craftsmanship is undeniable as soon as you touch and open any one of their pieces. Some of the key pieces this season are the BRETT-SH, ALBERT-SHK and CASCIANO-FUR-SH.
At Union 22 we love everything Italian, from the food, the cars, the wine and more importantly the clothes. With its roots deep set in manufacturing, Italy has been the mecca of menswear since the 1950’s with the iconic ‘Made in Italy’ seal of excellence now known all over the globe.
It all started with Brioni who put on the first menswear collection on a catwalk in the early 1950’s and since then it has been a snowball effect which transformed the world of tailoring and gives us the biggest houses of fashion we know today.
How to dress like an Italian
The Italians know a thing or two about how to dress, they revolutionised the tailoring world with deconstructed suits, clean cut sartorial designs and completely handmade suits. This heritage of high-end suit making that we have come to know doesn’t resonate as strong anymore, but the Italian style has never been as strong.
When putting an outfit together to dress like an Italian, the first important thing to consider is the fit. The Italians have made slimmer fitting clothes the norm rather than a trend, whether that be tailored pair of jeans or pants paired with a crisp slim fitting white shirt. There’s no better feeling than putting an outfit on that makes you feel like it’s made exactly to your size.
The made to measure suit is something the Italians have perfected, a higher drop in a suit (shoulder to waist ration) means a more fitted silhouette. We see this now in the ready to wear collections from shirts, polo’s, t-shirts to jeans and knitwear. Slimmer fits also give the feeling of a more tailored piece and looks a lot more aesthetically pleasing.
Start with an Italian shirt
The absolute must have for any man in their wardrobe is several (ideally) or at the bare minimum one go-to white shirt. There are so many different types of shirts from cut away collar shirts to buttoned down collar shirts, concealed buttons to dress shirts but in our experience the must have shirt is a white slim fit semi-spread collar shirt.
Brands such as Corneliani, Canali, Brioni and Zegna all have perfected and modernised the white shirt. The new development of stretch fabrics made with a combination of cotton and elastane means you can rest assured that even if the fit is slim, you will still have mobility, movement and comfort in the shirt without any nasty splits or surprises.
Pair with tailored Italian jeans
One of the easiest smart casual outfits to put together is the jean and shirt combo, a crisp white shirt matches perfectly with blue denim shades. The great thing about matching jeans and shirts together is that they can be worn to work and paired with a blazer for a smart casual look, or the combination can also be worn for an evening out with friends or a partner.
We take pride is selecting the best brands for our customers and when it comes to jeans it’s no different. The brands that are most notably known are Jacob Cohen and Tramarossa, each are arguably the best specialists in men’s jeans. Both brands have a variety of fits and Tramarossa has the following: the Leonardo (slim) fit and the Michelangelo (regular) fit. Jacob Cohen has the low rise (Nick) and the mid-rise (Bard) with slim fit and comfort (regular) fit styles.
Some of the best picks from these brands are the 24.7 Super-stretch slim fit collection from Tramarossa and the dual stretch range from Jacob Cohen. The added stretch fabric in these ranges makes them extremely comfortable and has helped push the slim fit trend even more forward as a result.
Finish your look with Italian shoes
One of the most important parts to any outfit is footwear. You will spend most of your life on your feet so it’s important to look after them and get quality, comfortable shoes. TOD’s is one of the biggest names in the footwear industry and holds its origins back to the 1920’s. Formally establishing in 1983 it has been a powerhouse brand that has set the bar for quality and design.
From the classic formal shoes and the legendary Gommino, to the new No_Code sneaker range which have been created by Korean designer Yong Bae Seok, TOD’s are masters of design. The new No_Code range is a contemporary sneaker which has been created to match the modern life of the man on the go, combining city and work life with the daily challenges we face. A pair of TOD’s No_Code sneakers matched with slim jeans and a shirt or polo is an easy to wear look that’s smart and comfortable.
Another Italian powerhouse that is Ermenegildo Zegna, also has its rich heritage in shoes and their range of footwear is of equal measure. The triple stitch couture range by Ermenegildo Zegna is luxury at its finest with clean cut design, robust construction and a style that goes with many outfits. A pair of the triple stitch sneakers combined with a white shirt and slim jeans is a great ‘city life’ Italian look.
Last few words…
Finally, to conclude dressing like an Italian has to be timeless, there’s a reason why Italian garments last the ages, and it isn’t just all about the quality of the clothes, it’s the design of them. Each season the likes of Corneliani, Brioni, Canali and Ermenegildo Zegna will produce collections with many pieces that can be worn time and time again. Their designs are timeless and don’t go out of style after a season or two like many others.
We always tend to buy clean cut garments made from soft fabrics with modern designs based on classic looks. A prime example of this is the Corneliani Textured Polo which comes in a button version and a zip version. The fit is slim, the fabric is soft and the textured finish changes ever so slightly season to season, but the style is timeless and this is one of our core products that we buy season on season.
Proud to welcome our new product to store curtesy of Green Factory; beautifully hand made terrariums cleverly bringing the outdoors inside our homes.
As we come to the end of our 5th week in lockdown, many of us are starting to feel slightly demotivated, bored or simply fed up. With no certainty when light at the end of the tunnel will come we are providing some inspiration for things you can set your mind to over the next couple of weeks and prevent you going stir-crazy!
The Union Edit brings you three ways to style our Classic white T’s as inspired by its iconic movie moments.
It is no secret that, of course, the classic white t-shirt, which we know, love and wear more regularly than any other, has become a staple item within every man's wardrobe. From James Dean, revolutionising the style of generations to come in Rebel Without a Cause, to Brad Pitt in the 90s film fight club.
Its simple elegance and luxury smooth material over skin make it adaptable for any situation as seen on Kurt Kobain in his day to day jaunts to Kit Harrington on the Red Carpet. Whether it is lounging around the house or going on a night out with friends, it is simply impossible to complete any wardrobe without one!
A little bit of History
Changing its purpose throughout time, the white t-shirt has adapted to the decades. From its early days worn exclusively as underwear later made famous by the war heroes of the day, to being a style icon in the 60s, carrying its title all the way through to the symbolic 90s!
Its notorious place in our wardrobe was kickstarted in the post-war 1950s when the iconic white garment was worn by none other than Marlon Brando in a Streetcar named Desire. Rumour has it that tight fitted white t-shirts were not available to buy (hard to believe when compared to the retail market today) and so, the wardrobe department would have to wash Brando’s tee several times and stitch it back up to achieve this statement look.
From there, the white T went on to have many memorable on-screen moments, and by 1980 the stylish white t-shirt was just another garment worn by everyone, remaining a fashion staple nonetheless. From bad boy Danny Zuko teaching us the power of a white T and leather Jacket to the iconic Miami Vice's, Don Johnson championing the relaxed and casual look of a plain white T and summery blazer.
Our Perfect White T
Today, there is hardly an occasion that the perfectly refined white T-Shirt can’t be seen at. The issue is not finding the occasion but rather finding the right White T, one just as essential in our wardrobes as a necessary, high-quality pair of jeans. Framed on quality and longevity, our plain white T's provide breathable comfort and the essential feel of luxury over your skin, from 100% organic cotton to bamboo viscose, Ermenegildo Zegna, The Product and Corneliani provides that sort after comfort fit.
The Corneliani White T
If you can pull off a white t-shirt in the classic style of James Dean and Marlon Brando then you can pull it off in any style. Why not try the simple look of a well fitted Corneliani t-shirt effortlessly paired with the new season Jacob Cohen Jean with white Badge. Made without compromise to quality or style, nothing is more timeless than this classic crew neck and its subtle logo detailing on the sleeve. Made with 7% elastin it will ensure the sleek fit of Brando.
The Zegna White T
Championing against throwaway fashion, Zegna continues to deliver top quality luxury fashion. Made with none other than premium super soft organic cotton, their t-shirt is set to last a lifetime. For the opposite side of the style spectrum, to a casual meets tailored sartorial elegance, go for this lighter, well-put-together look. Pair your Zegna T with these Corneliani tailored joggers and blazer and instead of a typical smart shoe, try the Santoni leather trainer. You could also switch your footwear options around and opt for a minimalist trainer to achieve a contemporary feel. Easy to wear and to transition from the day to Friday night drinks, this is an effortless look.
The Product White T
The Product provides the ultimate comfort, made using 70% bamboo Viscose combined with organic cotton. This luxuriously soft fabric is naturally hypoallergenic, meaning it is moisture- absorbent, quick-drying and won't irritate the skin. It is, therefore, the perfect choice if you're looking for super soft silk-like material. Utterly timeless, and easy to layer without looking out of place, the crew neck will always look great with under jacket hoodie or even shirt. For the upcoming SS20 season, were recommending pairing our classic white Product top with a simple hoody (The Product) and statement trainer from TOD'S.