This cotton sweatshirt is a basic with a difference. The navy around the collar breaks up the area around the neck and the yellow is a modern touch to the ribbing around the waist and wrists.
The question of which brand of knitwear The Queen wears has now been answered with John Smedley having been granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen.
Since 1784 John Smedley has produced fine knitwear in Great Britain and for several years HM The Queen and other members of the Royal Family have been purchasing directly from the brand, having also visited their landmark factory at Lea Mills in Matlock, Derbyshire on multiple occasions since 1935.
"John Smedley has a proud history of manufacturing the finest Merino wool and Sea Island cotton garments in Great Britain", comments Managing Director, Ian Maclean. "It's fantastic to have such a public acknowledgement of the excellence of our garments."
The Royal Warrant of Appointment specifically mentions that the company has been 'appointed into the place and quality of Manufacturer of Fine Knitwear', an affirmation of John Smedley's reputation for skilled garment construction.
Still actively run by the founding family, the brand today employs nearly 400 people over 3 factory locations, with a stand-alone store on London's Brook Street, Mayfair.
TheChicGeeks says "This is great news for John Smedley and really should help with exports. John Smedley do really make the best fine knitwear and The Royal Warrant holds a lot of kudos in countries such as America, Japan and China. Whatever gets them buying more British made product is a good thing and puts John Smedley in a great position for another 229 years!"
Above - The new Nightingale branding for John Smedley.
Young British designer James Long has teamed up with Topman to produce an exclusive knitwear collection. A knitwear specialist, this seven piece collection uses techniques and premium materials found in his runway collections. The six crews and one cardigan is made in Britain using British yarns. The collection consists of mashed-up arans, multi colour tartans, double ribbed crew necks and over sized polka dots, with selected pieces entwined with Lurex for a shiny effect.
"This range was inspired by my favourite sweater wearing musical icons such as the members of The Sex Pistols, The Bay City Rollers and of course Bobby Gillespie and Keith Richards" says James.
£100 for a crew and £120 for the cardigan
Full collection of images below
Perfectly timed seasonally and also in fashion terms, thick, chunky knitwear is the thing to be buying right now - Click here - Wool Week is the annual highlight for The Campaign for Wool.
Launched in 2010, to educate consumers about the benefits of wool and promote wool products to a national audience, The Campaign for Wool is a global community of sheep farmers, retailers, designers, manufacturers and consumers united by patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
Retailers such as Topman are promoting their Made in England suiting made from British wool and Marks & Spencer has a selection of jumpers made from wool from the Yorkshire Pennines and made in Leicester. Get involved!
Roll-necks are the fashion base layer for this season. Seen on the catwalks of Lanvin, Balenciaga and Prada, the roll-neck is an easy, covers everything knit that puts all the focus on the face. Prada layered hers up with shirts and waistcoats, Lanvin went a little more traditional with an overcoat and gold chain. It can look a little bit wide-boy, Sweeney-esque but that's the point, it's something slightly different until we get used to it. Buy now!
Left - Lanvin - AW 2012
Below - John Smedley - Richards in Midnight - £125
Duchamp - Roll-Neck Jumper - £130
Balenciaga - Wool and Silk-Blend Rollneck Sweater - £375
Left - Prada - AW 2012
Uniqlo - Extra Fine Merino Turtle Neck Sweater - £19.90
It wasn't until the appointment of designer Alistair Carr as Creative Director at Pringle of Scotland that they had somebody to truly make something interesting and desirable with their knitwear expertise. When you're paying a premium, it's not simply enough to be made from the finest materials or in Scotland, it needs that something extra to make it a 'piece'.
This Fisherman's Rib Sweater from the current collection ticks all those boxes. It's a contemporary take on a classic; it has the right weight and chunkiness while still oozing quality. It has a simplicity and a confidence which a good designer injects into a design.
Unfortunately, Alistair has left Pringle of Scotland to take on a new role at Alexander McQueen's McQ label, so get these pieces while you can.
Left - Pringle of Scotland - Fisherman's Rib Sweater - £395
Scottish knitwear specialists Johnstons of Elgin have launched a Vicuna scarf. So what's so special about this scarf? Vicuna is the finest and softest wool in existence, boasting a natural rich tobacco shade. A relative of the Llama, the Vicuna’s fibres are about half the thickness of the finest wools. Johnstons of Elgin was the company that first introduced Vicuna into Europe, exhibiting at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, where the company was awarded a medal for its superb Vicuna shawls.
In recent years, Johnstons held back from Vicuna manufacturing and sales due to concerns over the sustainability of the resource. Now the Vicuna population has recovered to about 350,000. Johnstons of Elgin supports conservation programmes to ensure the continued prosperity of the herds. The Vicuna is found only in one small area on the high borders of Chile and Peru. Because Vicunas produce only small amounts of the extremely fine wool, the animal can only be shorn every three years and has to be caught from the wild.
TheChicGeek says "This is the best money can buy and at £325 it may sound a lot for a scarf but if it had Louis Vuitton or Hermés on the label you'd easily be looking at double the price."
Johnstons of Elgin - Vicuna Scarf - £325
Dress down continues, but don't fear, you can still dress up by adding a dash of something different with your knitwear.
Paul Smith has this great brightly bobbled sweater, perfect for under something tailored and Marc Jacobs has put spangly lurex into the mix in this otherwise understated piece of knitwear.
Paul Smith - Fluro Bobble-Knit Jumper - £265
Marc by Marc Jacobs - Blue Merino Lurex Oleg Sweater - £220