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Old school Italian clothing brand launches old school range; hardly seems any different. Which is a good thing.

Back when lurid logo-infested polyester cycling kit was all the rage, De Marchi  clothing stood out as being very well made but looking a little plain. They've stuck to their guns and now the Italian company seems ahead of the game.

It does mean that De Marchi is something of an insider's secret but the brand has been around since 1946 when Emilio De Marchi founded his company Maglifico Sportivo De Marchi fashioning made-to-measure wool shorts for the likes of racing legends Gino Bartali and Louison Bobet.

The De Marchi range is roughly divided in three. What might be called the top-end Contour garments are still relatively understated by the standards of most cycling kit but overtly 'racing' orientated with lean, performance fit, the most technical fabrics and very clever shorts inserts. And, of course, the highest prices very much up there with another clothing brand whose name we won't mention here but has 5 letters, beginning in 'A' and ending in 'S'.

Then, the Pure Classic items are very pared-down in style as the name suggests and a smidge more casual. In some cases made from modern technical synthetics but with the welcome addition of garments in Merino wool blend. Particularly catching our eye are the Pure Classic Merino wool and synthetic blend jerseys for £89.99 featuring three traditional buttons fastening the back pockets.

Finally, getting us really excited is the Vintage part of the range. Merino wool jerseys (£114.99) in black or white as well as national teams for Italy, France, Belgium and Ireland. Lovely. Want.

Two other notable Vintage items; a black Merino wool Directeur Sportif (DS) Pullover for £149.99 and Giro gloves (£24.99) in water-resistant, soft leather and made, like all these items, in Italy.

De Marchi has a new UK distributor in Edinburgh outfit 2pure who have already embarked on improving the availability around bike shops. Sounds good to us.