Tweed suits, coats and jackets for men and women have never fallen from grace and that is because they are functional and stylish, timeless and classic.
This historic wool fabric never dates or goes out of fashion and has remained in constant use within the country sports set for generations. It just reinvents itself in the popular designs of the day.
Tweed is hard wearing, practical, warm and breathable, it also looks good enough to team up with casual clothes for a day in the city, so it is multi-functional as well.
What is it About Tweed?
Tweed clothing has been universally popular amongst the shooting and hunting fraternity for decades.
This is a woollen fabric that can be finished with a rougher texture or alternatively, a closer weave which feels smoother to the touch. There are endless permutations of shades and colour to create a look or make a statement and, mix and match with other garments. As a fabric, this textile has the enduring qualities of toughness, resistance to tearing, warmth and protection from the elements, both wind and rain. Its classic appearance finds favour with everyone meaning it is a popular item for town wear too.
Country garments vary depending on their purpose so range from the squarer, more bulky look of a man’s tweed coat designed to house spares and cartridges when shooting, to the fitted, tailored look of a lady’s hacking jacket which teams perfectly with a pair of jeans for the smart casual look in the city.
Occasions to Wear Tweed Clothing
Tradition is all in the hunting field so tweed jackets, sometimes referred to as ‘rat catchers’, are always worn by everyone during autumn hunting prior to the opening meet.
After the opening meet which is usually sometime in early November, only children will wear tweed, adults changing into solid coloured jackets. Most women’s and men’s riding jackets are quite fitted. Those hunt supporters following on foot may opt for a looser, non-riding tweed coat which is a fuller and longer jacket, designed to keep out the elements during extended periods of standing around watching the action.
Depending on the type of competition and the level, tweed jackets can be an appropriate choice of wear for both men and women. A classic fabric and cut is appropriate for traditional events whereas other occasions demand a jacket in a more vibrant fabric and design.
On an average country shoot day whether for clays or the real deal, you will not see anything but a sea of tweed coats and suits. Why? Because they are comfortable, endlessly warm but breathable, tear resistant, loose fitting for ease of movement and filled with handy pockets to carry everything you can think of and a few extras you haven’t.
A Day at the Races
We are talking point to point and winter jump racing, not Ladies Day at Ascot. In those cold winter months, you will be glad of the warmth and protection from the elements that a classic tweed coat can offer, without any concession to style either.
Mix and Match in Town
Tweed jackets and coats are smart enough to team up with stylish items for a day in town. These wool jackets look fabulously smart with jeans and loafers and can be dressed up with a contrasting scarf. For men, jackets can smarten a plain pair of trousers and look stylish with either a tie or a polo shirt that is open-necked.
Tweed has a cachet about it that is timeless. It makes a statement of classic quality that no other fabric can quite match. This material has an image and reputation that many top fashion houses seek to copy because of what it represents...a way of life. Tweed encapsulates quality and tradition and classic elegance. As a natural fabric, it ticks all the green credential boxes for sustainability and it is one of the easiest materials to wear. Immortalised in a fragrance of the same name and now a metropolitan cycle ride in the heart of London called ‘the Tweed Run’ which celebrates and displays every type of garment imaginable, a wardrobe is just not complete without at least one item of tweed clothing. Hard wearing and long lasting, a tweed jacket or coat is something that will remain in your collection for years to come.