Tweed is a perennial favourite for the British gentleman. Once seen as the reserve of the upper class country squire, it’s experiencing a resurgence in popularity amongst men of all kinds. Any man can carry off this most distinguished of fabrics for any occasion, be it a wedding, sporting event, car rally or just an hour or so in the pub for a drink.
We’ve found a stack of tips and hints to help you make tweed an essential part of your wardrobe, whatever the event you’re attending.
Going to a wedding? Tweed is fine choice, no matter what the theme of the nuptials are. Finding the right way to combine it with other wardrobe essentials is key.
Beth at FashionBeans says if you’re off to a bash in the country, tweed will impart a “heritage feel” to an outfit. A wedding in the rolling hills of the green and pleasant British countryside is often a more relaxed affair and will offer a chance to dispense with a formal suit.
Opting to men’s tweed blazer and pairing it plain tailored trousers will, according to Beth, “achieve the right balance between smart and casual and will provide warmth long after the late afternoon sun has gone down”. Earth-toned shades of the fabric in herringbone or check designs will work well.
If you’re feeling bolder, go for the full-on English country gent look with a brown tweed three piece suit with a white shirt and tie. Too much? Then ditch the waistcoat and step into some plain trousers. Or, find a middle ground by keeping the tweed trousers and choosing a waistcoat in a different fabric with a solid, complementary colour.
The Goodwood Revival
Heading to the Goodwood Revival? The annual vintage car festival is a place where you’ll need to be suitably smart, and tweed is the ideal choice for retro fashion inspiration. At the show’s official site they say that the best thing about wearing tweed to their event is that it doesn’t need to cost a fortune:
You can often find fabulous items in vintage shops, so while some Revival guests may have paid their tailor thousands of pounds for a fitted jacket, you might stumble on a perfect waistcoat for pocket change in your local second-hand outlet
David at GreyFox has sound sartorial advice for anyone thinking about attending the revival and says that whatever you choose to wear for this event, the tailoring of your tweed should be generous and comfortable:
The demob suit would be ideal, otherwise a tweed suit or jacket or blazer with a shirt, tie and cap or hat
David adds that when dressing up for this event, you’re aiming for the “the look of the British gentleman”, smart, genteel and well turned out. Just like the Grey Fox himself.
The Tweed Run
“The Tweed Run is not the typical day out on a bicycle”, writes Jack Thurston for Cycling UK. The annual race is a chance for 500 bicycle enthusiasts to converge at University College, London, dressed up in vintage tweed garb.
Thurston adds that dressing up for cycling is nothing new as the very first cycling clubs adopted military uniforms and peaked caps. “Tweed may not be everyone’s idea of normal clothing but it is a lot more ‘normal’ than lycra. It is a more rational dress” Jack comments.
If you’re thinking about taking part, you don’t have to go the whole hog and wear plus-fours, or even a full suit in the fabric. The injection of a little tweed can come from something as simple as a statement bow tie, flat cap or even a deerstalker hat.
Why do hunters and fishermen sport Tweed? For a start, the muted colours and denser fabrics mean you’ll stay warm and look the part during the colder months. And as lifestyle and countryside writer Fennel Hudson from Fennel’s Priory says: “Traditional country clothing is rustic and honest”.
Whilst social convention might mean some old fashioned styles of clothing aren’t always going be suitable in everyday work situations, he adds: “When out and about in the countryside there’s no reason why you can’t be flamboyant”. Tweed is a firm favourite of Fennel’s, especially when he’s on the riverbank.
He recommends a Norfolk jacket in Derby tweed or a standard-cut jacket in Harris tweed and says:
Derby tweed is the most durable but is on the heavy side; Harris tweed is lighter and more flexible, but is a looser weave and thus more prone to wear or pulls from brambles, hooks or barbed wire.
The Derby suits Hudson better for carp and barbel fishing, and the lightness of the Harris gives more flexibility of movement for fly fishing.
Gadding about Golfing
While golf’s days of plus-fours matched with an argyle jumper or jaunty shirt and tie are gone, there’s still room for a bit of style on the course, namely in the form of a dapper tweed flat cap.
According to Scottsdale Golf the flat cap has has been around ever since the 14th century and was worn by golfers from the earliest days of the sport. Nowadays, a cap like this helps the players shade their eyes from the sun while competing, but also looks good. Most golf caps are made from tweed, and are perfect to wear on or off the course, especially in cold weather.
Sam Parker at Esquire offers some great advice on styling such a cap, whether you’re going to wear it on the golf course or not:
Go for one that’s fairly plain rather than bright. Donegal tweed, salt and pepper tweed or a simple herringbone work well – because there’s not too much going on with the pattern, they go with a lot of outfits
Good to know you’ll be able to wear your flat cap away from the green as well!
Still stuck for inspiration on how to incorporate tweed into your wardrobe? Look no further than Surfer Dad, Andrew, who decided to take his tweed jacket and cap on a surfing adventure with him.
We’re surprised that he didn’t include a woollen tie in his board ensemble, but Andrew proves that there’s no barrier to where you can wear this classic cloth. Even if that jacket might have been a little heavy after its soaking!
You’ve seen our ideas for the best places to wear tweed, now it’s over to you – let us know your other ideas on Facebook . We always love hearing your tips.