Following the whims and trends of the fashion world can be a thankless and frankly, costly task. Trends come and go before you can say “It’s so hot right now.” Linen, seersucker and madras may be right on trend for spring and summer but have no place in your autumn/winter wardrobe — unless you’re lucky enough to live in the tropics. As the leaves start to turn, the days get shorter and the weather grows colder it’s time to break out your heavy duty fabrics. And that means one thing — it’s time to whack out the tweeds. Oozing with quintessential British charm and a dash of rugged chic, tweed is the season’s must-have. In this article with help from Anthony Horner from Empire Outlet, we’ll break down everything you need to know about this season’s ultimate fabric.
Why We All Need Some Tweed
Tweed first hit the world of fashion in the 18th century in the islands of the Scottish Outer Hebrides, a region known for its brutally cold winters and damp, hostile climate. Designed to stand up to the cold — while also being flexible and comfortable to wear all day long — the coarse-cloth woven wool was denser and heavier than other fabrics, making it perfect for rainy autumnal days and long winter nights. Since then, tweed has become the go-to fabric for the British elite, academics — and thanks to a certain Mr. David Gandy — the fashion-forward modern gent. Universally loved for its heritage cool and tough, durable practicality, it’s no surprise that tweed has remained a failsafe fabric for the colder seasons. Today, tweed is no longer reserved for grouse shoots at the country escape — you can wear it practically anywhere, anytime and we’ll show you how.
How to Wear Tweed This Season
No man’s wardrobe is complete without a tweed three-piece suit — it’s an absolute essential. The simple combination of a jacket, waistcoat and trousers has been a staple of men’s formal wear since its invention in the 19th century and continues to be the epitome of style, class and formality. Perfect for the office and casual weekend vibes alike, a tweed three-piece is always a sharp choice. When choosing a suit there’s only one thing to remember — the right fit makes or breaks it. Tweed is a hardy fabric that can do wonders for your silhouette. The only downside, if you get the wrong size you can end up looking more dusty professor than stylish gent. Follow the usual rules — sleeves should end at the wrist, the shoulders should fit snug to your frame, and trousers shouldn’t be taut but should fit comfortably on your hips without the need of a belt. To make sure you get the perfect fit, go tailored. Although ready-to-wear may seem like the practical choice, they rarely fit well. Today, there are hundreds of affordable online tailors that deliver exquisitely handmade made-to-measure suits for a fraction of the price. Best of all, your investment in a tailor-made three-piece tweed suit is an investment that keeps giving year after year. Wear it together for a sharp alternative to your standard suit or mix and match for a more casual vibe.
Add a Touch of Class: The Tweed Jacket
A tweed jacket is one of those rare magical pieces that’s capable of transforming your look in one fail swoop — taking you from average Joe to sartorially suave in seconds. There is no easier way to incorporate tweed into your autumn/winter look than with the tweed jacket. For an added bonus, it’s a great way to get some visual interest into your look. Herringbone, houndstooth and check are all distinctive patterns that elevate your styling. Pair with dark denim and an Oxford shirt for a rough country, off-duty look. Or for an urban trendy vibe, pair with jeans or navy chinos and a chambray shirt.
Step Right: Tweed Trousers
Tweed trousers are an excellent alternative to jeans or chinos. Incredibly versatile and super comfy, you really can’t go wrong with a pair of tweed trousers. There’s no limit to the combinations you can make. For a fun take on the standard office look, pair dark tweed trousers with a chambray shirt or roll neck sweater for a match made in sartorial heaven.
Button Up: Tweed Waistcoat
Thanks to English football team manager and sideline sartorial sensation, Gareth Southgate, waistcoats are well and truly back in fashion and we couldn’t be happier. Did you know that waistcoats were originally designed to be the male version of the corset? Back then, waistcoats were all about cinching in the waist and emphasising the physique. Waistcoats today may be less restrictive but they have the same awesome effect — slimming your build and elongating your frame. What more could you ask for from an item of clothing? Add a tweed waistcoat to a plaid shirt and dark jeans or some heavy chinos for a cool weekend look. Just remember, a waistcoat is all about elegance and simplicity — leave out the pins and pocket watches, however fancy — these extra flourishes will only complicate this streamlined look. Also, stick to simple colours — grey, green and navy are all good choices.
Tweed Flat Cap or Newsboy Cap
What do Winston Churchill, Sherlock Holmes, and Davy Crockett have in common? We’ll give you a clue — homburg, deerstalker and coonskin cap. They’re all men known for their headwear. More than just a fashion statement, hats are a great way to add some character, personality and a dash of playfulness to your look. Tweed hats are increasingly popular thanks to shows like Peaky Blinders that made the flat cap and newsboy cap have a bit of a fashion moment. Whatever you’re wearing, chuck on a classic light brown flat cap and go from bland to emulating Guy Ritchie-cool in one fell swoop.