turnbull asser ss20

Turnbull & Asser’s SS20 collection is an education in textiles

From linen to lyocell, the Jermyn Street shirtmaker has set new sartorial standards with the fabrics used to create its latest range

Never has a lesson in fashion looked so stylish. With its latest collection, famed Jermyn Street shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser has not only pushed its pins beyond simple button-downs, but it has also introduced a whole host of new textiles to its collection. From linen to lyocell, the SS20 range from the British brand is innovative, unexpected and thoroughly educational. After all, who knew you could weave a wearable material from bleached wood pulp? Not us.

But more on that later. For now, back to Turnbull & Asser’s latest releases. We shouldn’t be surprised that the shirtmaker has once again pushed the sartorial envelope — this is just the latest in a long line of creative designs and discoveries from the brand. For over 100 years, Turnbull & Asser has been telling stories through sundry fabrics and garments; from antique kimonos to ornate fringed shawls. And, while the new collection may not feature anything so alternative, there are still some treats to be had — and lessons to be learnt…

Did you know, silk is one of the world’s most versatile fabrics?

Silk, that smooth, oh-so sophisticated material produced by the cocoons of mulberry silk worms, is impressive stuff. It’s hypoallergenic, incredibly tough and has been used in the production of everything from pyjamas to parachutes, dinner jackets to medical supplies. Turnbull & Asser has cottoned (silked?) on to the material’s miraculous properties, and put it to good use in the new collection.

You’ll find many garments woven from silk in the shirtmaker’s range. From ties to boxer shorts, it’s a fabric that crops up across the board. But our favourite two applications have to be this neat copper tapestry jacquard floral gown and the navy and red medallion silk scarf. The former is the ideal way to keep up appearances behind closed doors, and the latter will dress up even the most casual of get-ups.

Did you know, wool has been used to create clothing for over 10,000 years?

And why not? As one of the fluffiest, fuzziest fabrics known to man, why wouldn’t we embrace wool with open arms? Turnbull & Asser certainly has. Over the years, the British brand has created socks, suits and scarves from the material — and it continues to experiment and innovate with wool to this day.

So, while the brand is still offering its signature socks — they really are some of the best socks you can buy — it’s also dabbled in new knitwear this season. The Merino wool crew neck Aran jumper is one of our particular favourites, with a cable-knit construction and lightly ribbed cuffs. Or, for a less obviously woollen piece for your wardrobe, why not check out the checked wool car coat, cut in English two-ply worsted wool, and designed in partnership with Somerset’s Fox Brothers & Co?

Did you know, linen gets softer the more it’s used?

If linen, another material that we’ve been using to craft clothes for centuries, gets softer and more comfortable the more we wear it, then why aren’t we making more of the fabric? Over at Turnbull & Asser, they’ve been laying linen down on the cutting tables, and using it to breathe new life into the brand’s oldest business; shirtmaking.

Of the results, our particular favourite has to the the weekend fit cream linen shirt with relaxed Derby collar, which — despite its casual name — is the perfect alternative for your workday button-down when the summer heat hits. Alternatively, if you’re lucky enough to escape the office come the warmer months, the brand also offers a navy and white stripe linen holiday fit shirt, stitched together with the perfect amount of retro charm.

Did you know, cashmere clothing keeps its shape for decades?

It’s true. If stored and treated with care and deference, cashmere will keep its shape for years. That means a lifetime of well-fitting, warming use from your luxurious woven clothing. And Turnbull & Asser knows a little something about luxury. Over on Jermyn Street, the British brand has dreamt up many uses for cashmere over the years; from socks and sweaters to the softest pyjamas you’ll ever slip on.

For the SS20 collection, the shirtmaker has expanded its horizons. And, while you’ll still be able to pick up one of the best jumpers on the market — look no further than the Spark coral crew neck cashmere jumper for that — you’ll also be able to find something a little different. This tobacco brown cashmere Barrington jacket is not only versatile in style and colour, but it’s also an investment. Thanks to cashmere, those shoulders will look sharp forever.

Did you know, cotton is an incredibly sustainable fibre?

Cotton may be common, but everyone’s favourite fibre is popular for a reason. Not only does the material have comfortable characteristics and credentials of absorbency, hardiness and versatility — it is also incredibly sustainable. That’s right, cotton is both biodegradable and renewable, making it an excellent choice for Turnbull & Asser’s vast shirting selection — not to mention a whole arsenal of accessories.

From the new collection, this tailored fit horizontal Barre stripe shirt has caught our eye — an all-around garment that would look as at home in the park this summer as it would walking into the boardroom tightly buttoned-up with a necktie. And, speaking of ties, Turnbull & Asser has also impressed us with this red diagonal stripe cotton and silk tie, blending two fabrics to show off another of cotton’s advantages; it’s a material that plays well with others.

Did you know, Turnbull & Asser also makes use of denim, seersucker and Lyocell?

Of course, if we tried to list every fabric and textile that Turnbull & Asser has experimented with or exercised its material mastery over, we’d be here all day. There are almost too many to count even in the SS20 collection. But we’d like to give some honourable mentions nonetheless.

Denim may not seem a natural fit for a Jermyn Street shirtmaker, but these indigo Japanese selvedge denim jeans are so neatly tailored that they’d fit anybody. Similarly, seersucker is notoriously tricky textile to get right — but look no further than Turnbull & Asser’s Bern jacket with patch pockets for a masterclass in pulling it off. And then there’s the fabrics we’ve never even heard of. Lyocell is a material made from bleached wood pulp — and the shirtmaker has somehow crafted it into something as stylish as this striped short sleeve shirt. Now that’s skill.

If you’re heading to Turnbull & Asser for your next new job interview shirt, look no further than our guide to what to wear…

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