Another Fine Mesh by Sunspel

It Ain't Half Hot, Mum

It ain't half hot, mum. At least it was. Here in the UK we had to cope with an almost unprecedented run of three days with temperatures hovering around 30 ºC.  Not being used to the heat and light, everybody went completely mad — so much red skin.

It was time to bring out the cellular cotton. Sunspel produces a fine range of cellular cotton underwear for the summer months. Q14, to give the fabric its technical name, was developed by Sunspel in the 1930s, and is produced on the sort of lace-making machines that made Nottingham famous.

Some time back, Sunspel brought out some white polo shirts in their cellular cotton. My pig senses were throbbing. I guessed that they would appeal to devotees, but wouldn't be around for ever. I scooped up several in case my senses were proved right. I'm glad that I did, because I think these polo shirts are now off the menu. The fabric provided much needed aeration during the hot spell. Funnelling in any amount of breeze, I was as cool as the cucumber floating in the necessarily generous helpings of Hendricks gin.

The polo shirt has a classic, unadorned look. I particularly like the collars and sleeves. The sleeves go almost to the elbow, which makes it sit better under a jacket without getting hunched up at the top.

Being flat and quite large, the collar sits well under a sea island cotton cardigan.

Please allow me to point out that the photos at the top and below aren't stock images. Mrs T took them. I don't know how she got the shadow effect, but you can really see the open knit of the Q14. Well done Mrs T.

Something Similar from the 1950s

We now move forward a couple of decades to the 1950s when Sunspel first released its Cellulock fabric. Cellulock combines cellular aeration and interlock jersey in its knit. It looks similar, but not quite the same, to the knitted Q75 cotton mesh fabric used on their famous Riviera polo shirts (as favoured by James Bond).

Cellulock is not quite as open as the Q14 — and you might prefer it that way — but it's still an excellent choice for keeping cool in the heat.

Here's a buttonless polo shirt in Cellulock. They also have one in navy.

If you like it, you might want to snap one up for your summer hols pronto. It could be a case of when it's gone, it's gone.

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