Quite apart from the unique collar design, the denim chosen for this project is also rather special. Woven in one of Italy’s finest shirting mills in gloriously soft two-fold cotton and indigo dyed, it’s the perfect weight for denim shirting and washes-down beautifully – what is more, Drake’s have been using it for years and know exactly how to treat it for the best results. In fact, both the light and dark shirts you see before you are made-up in the same denim, the darker of which is completely raw and the lighter is gently bleached to achieve Drakes’ signature powder blue colour. The colours of both will gently soften over time (as the best denim does), but the raw indigo variant in particular is designed to wash-down dramatically, for a shirt that ages beautifully and that will eventually reach a similar shade to the powder blue.
And why choose denim for this particular project? Well, put simply, it is The Rake’s belief that the denim shirt is the single most versatile shirt available to the modern man – the denim shirt is the new white shirt. There is nothing more easy to wear, nor more easily dressed up or down in a modern context; it keeps a rakish three-piece suit grounded when paired with an earthy, textured tie (perhaps in shantung or grenadine) and accessories. At the other end of the spectrum, it sits beautifully under knitwear with dark jeans or chinos on the weekends and in between, it will compliment tailored separates cut in just about any cloth under the sun. Pair Drakes’ chosen denim with a strong cutaway collar, single cuffs and the house’s signature inverted military back-pleat and you have a garment which simply will not date, nor look out of place, no matter how you choose to wear it.
In these two shades of blue then, the Drake’s for The Rake Denim Shirts are the answer to a prayer, they are the ultimate go-anywhere do-anything shirts and every rakish man should consider adding a denim shirt like these to his wardrobe. If you haven’t already, we challenge you not to be impressed by their versatility and sophistication. What is more, it is a founding tenant of this magazine that there’s an undisputed beauty to how things of quality age, and these are garments that will take on their own unique personality as they are worn – they make for satisfying, sensible and yet rakish investments.