Summer knitwear: not exactly two words you'd expect to see together, but if there's anything we've learnt about British summers, it's to always expect the unexpected. A single day can present a whole array of weather conditions – from scorching rays and blue skies to ominous clouds and bitter winds – so it always pays to be prepared with a solid rotation of lightweight jumpers, cardigans and knits on hand.

As well as being the perfect antidote for a slightly chilly summer evening, a lightweight knit serves as the ultimate layering tool all year round, promising real bang for your buck. Wear it underneath an overshirt or worker jacket in spring and autumn and throw on a heavier coat in the winter months.

When it comes time to filling your basket with summer knitwear, be sure to opt for fine fabrics over chunky ones. Cashmere and extrafine merino are both great options, thanks to their lightweight nature, breathability and moisture-wicking properties. Knitted organic cotton is also ideal, as is linen. While winter knitwear calls for pure wool, you can certainly get away with more lightweight blends of wool and cotton in the warmer months.

The best men's summer knitwear to buy in 2021

Hevo Yellow Racale Knitted Crew

This lemon yellow crew neck jumper from Italian outerwear label Hevó simply screams summer. Lovingly made in Italy from 100% virgin wool, it epitomises Hevó's commitment to high quality craftsmanship. Throw it on to bring a burst of colour to your ensemble.

Riley Studio Recycled Cashmere Polo Top

British brand Riley Studio is pioneering a new wave of sustainable fashion with its recycled cashmere knits, which offer all the luxury of cashmere without the environmental footprint. We're particular fans of this polo top, which embodies laidback elegance with its classic, button-free collar and relaxed silhouette.

ISTO. Cotton Sweater

Made from 100% organic cotton with a fine rib-knitted handle, this lightweight jumper from ISTO. is the ultimate year-round layering piece. Throw it on over a tee and team it with your favourite jeans and leather trainers for a low-key weekend look.

CLOSED Longsleeve Polo

Knitted from a luxurious combination of virgin wool and cotton, this super soft medium-weight polo sweater from CLOSED is exactly the type of garment you'll never want to take off. The pink stripes will inject your outfit with just the dose of playfulness it needs.

Luca Faloni Pure Cashmere Zip-Up

Knitted from 100% two-ply pure cashmere from the prestigious Cariaggi Fine Yarns Collection, this Luca Faloni zip-up sweater exudes luxury. Wear it open over an Oxford shirt and chinos for an easy yet sophisticated business casual look or take it down a notch with jeans and sneakers on the weekend. If you want something more relaxed, the brand also produces some fine cashmere hoodies.

Artknit Studios Merino Wool Polo

This sweater from Artknit Studios is guaranteed to become a fail-safe wardrobe staple that you'll reach for time and again. Crafted in a small artisan workshop in Puglia, Italy, it showcase's Artknit's meticulous attention to detail. The extrafine merino wool is insulating yet breathable, making it ideal for year-round wear.

SIRPLUS Grey Moss Stitch Jumper

You can never go wrong with a classic grey crewneck jumper, and this version from SIRPLUS is one of our all-time favourites. Made in the UK from super soft merino wool, it's as cosy as they come. Wear it with a pair of navy chinos and a button-up shirt for an easy smart-casual look.

ASKET Merino Sweater

Knitted from 100% traceable, extra-fine Australian Merino wool, this crewneck jumper from ASKET is breathable yet warm, the ultimate layering piece. Choose from a range of versatile hues, including Charcoal Melange, Burgundy and Dark Navy.

Complete your summer look with our pick of the best summer shoes for men.