Brushed Shetland

A garment that has stood the test of time and a style steeped in history. The Journal explores how and why. Words and images by Rubato.

Brushed Shetland in Gannets Head
"...echoes with slight disgust but also admiration and maybe a tinge of envy"
When F. Scott Fitzgerald put pen to paper describing the Ivy Club in his debut novel “This Side of Paradise” in 1920 he was straight to the point with his words, not shying away from letting his readers know that he found it "detached and breathlessly aristocratic". A manner of writing that would define the authors work for the rest of his life. The particular choice of words echoes with slight disgust but also admiration and maybe a tinge of envy. The Ivy Club is one of the oldest and most distinguished eating clubs. Elitism and exclusivity were most certainly on the mind of Arthur Hawley Scribner when he founded the club in 1879. However, what he could not have known is the worldwide impact the word Ivy would have not only on the campuses but all throughout the world over the next century and beyond.
Brushed Shetland in Harbour
Brushed Shetland in Breakwater
The Ivy League as we know it today was formed in 1954 (although the term was used much earlier) and the eight colleges included are still considered the epitome of higher education. However, another claim to fame has spread far and wide, one which is in the realm of fashion.

Ivy League style is based on hard wearing garments, chinos, button down shirts and heavy knits, worn to bits. It’s clean cut but not as formal as the Trad look favored by previous generations. One item that's become a staple and that signifies the style above all is the Brushed Shetland Sweater.
Brushed shetland in ocean
The story of the Shetland sweater is one that dates back centuries, with its roots entwined in the very fabric of Scottish life. The harsh climate of the northern isles necessitated the creation of a garment that could withstand the most brutal of winters, and the Shetland sweater emerged as the solution. Woven from the wool of Shetland sheep, known for their fine, soft fleece adapted to the harsh conditions, these sweaters offered a unique combination of warmth and comfort. What set them apart, however, was not just their practicality but the exquisite craftsmanship behind these sweaters.

The sweaters became more than just clothing; they became symbols of identity and tradition. Passed down through generations, they bore witness to the rugged beauty and endurance of well-made garments.
brushed shetland in gannets head
brushed shetland in oyster
"embodying the heritage and craftsmanship of a bygone era"
The enduring popularity of Shetland sweaters among style aficionados can be attributed to their authenticity. They are not merely fashionable garments but living artifacts, embodying the heritage and craftsmanship of a bygone era. In an age of fast fashion and disposable clothing, the Shetland sweater serves as a reminder of the value of slow, deliberate craftsmanship.