Like denim, tweed is a type of materials that everybody is aware of, and everybody has some thought about – sometimes, within the latter’s case, that it’s a barely old school alternative, beloved of professorial sorts, of would-be nation squires and Conservative politicians.
However that’s to malign what is without doubt one of the most noble – and spectacular – cloths in menswear, not only for its stunning utility, however the way in which it carries color and texture. Small surprise menswear design of more moderen many years has by no means fairly considered it as being as fusty or fuddy-duddy as the person on the road might need.
Weave it in additional putting, or extra sober, colors – relying in your style – and tailor it with minimal stuffing, and tweed is something however stuffy. Moderately, it’s a really 21st century fabric – useful, distinctive, and extra versatile than it at first appears.
And with menswear’s fondness for conventional workwear proper now, this hardy materials is getting being rediscovered not in taking pictures jackets or nation apparel however work jackets, overalls and gilets.
What Is Tweed?
For all of its aristocratic associations, tweed would possibly properly be thought-about an unique workwear material, and a extremely useful one at that. Anybody who has ever worn tweed is aware of how heat it’s; but it surely’s additionally wind- and waterproof.
That’s simply as properly: tweed originated in 18th century Scotland – ‘tweed’ is alleged to come back from a mis-reading of ‘tweel’ in 1826, Scottish for ‘twill’ – the place this dense woollen fabric was woven at residence by the peasantry to offer sturdy safety for many who labored the land.
Drakes x Aime Leon Dore
Solely later did those that really owned the land, and their likewise rich holiday-makers and property patrons from down south, take to sporting it, appreciating tweed as a lot for its melange of heather and gorse nation shades as its utility.
However even these colors had a operate: it’s mentioned that one Lord Elcho, founding father of the London Scottish Regiment, was impressed by tweed to create a fabric for his troopers to put on, one which changed the usual, massively conspicuous blood pink uniform. The concept of camouflage was born.
Though tweed has come to be inextricably linked with the nation set – all that huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ – by the 20th century tweed was being worn for all the things from bicycling to golf to climbing Mount Everest, all whereas being embraced by Savile Row for weekend put on alongside the way in which.
How To Put on Tweed As we speak
The softer, extra versatile Harris tweed – launched in 1847 and nonetheless the go-to tweed immediately – means the fabric could be labored into all method of types, not simply bulletproof tailoring. It’s why it may be used, for instance, for looser becoming types that require a level of give – whether or not that be a bomber jacket or a chore jacket.
Teamed with a pair of denims, a tweed jacket provides safety from the weather – however with a extra traditional fashion in contrast with say, a jacket in nylon or polyester mix – in addition to larger textural curiosity. Or alternatively, attempt a pair of tweed trousers rather than denims – it’s an sudden transfer that lends a inventive edge to dressed down appears to be like.
Both manner, “tweed is an inherently casual, really knock-about fabric – it doesn’t have the stiffness associated with, say, a city pin-stripe,” says Man Hills, founding father of Dashing Tweeds, a fabric weaver targeted on giving a extra vibrant and up to date spin to tweeds. “It looks right with all the usual more casual details, the likes of patch pockets.”
The 2-button tailor-made tweed jacket was the definitive smart-casual alternative lengthy earlier than the time period ‘smart-casual’ was coined: worn with flannels and brogues or loafers, the jacket had an air of academia about it, with pockets full of one’s each day requirements, collar turned in opposition to the wind. Assume George Orwell, Woody Allen, Dr. Who, even Soiled Harry.
Nowadays unstructured tweed jackets and coats – worn maybe with chinos – look extra up to date, extra comfy. Don’t stand on ceremony in tweed: like a pair of denims, a tweed jacket is a type of clothes that appears higher the older and extra battered it’s.
“Tweed can always work in a more contemporary especially if it’s in the right colours – blues, brown herringbones, lilac shades of heather – and the jacket is constructed in a softer, way,” explains Marie Wiley, co-founder of British workwear specialists Outdated City Clothes.
A tweed go well with might properly final you a lifetime – and it’ll definitely pose a problem to anybody additionally having fun with that central heating. However tweed can be a type of cloths – akin to corduroy in some respects – that manages to look good when correctly tailor-made, but in addition relaxed on the similar time. That is partly right down to picture, partly right down to the tactility, density and sheen of the cloths.
However play down the tweed go well with’s in-built traditionalism by sporting it with knitwear – a charcoal roll-neck, for instance – moderately than shirt and tie. Should you’re choosing the latter, keep away from tattersall checked shirts and plaid ties, to keep away from trying too gamekeeper-ish. Or, for that matter, poacher-ish.
Once more, a softer tweed – Harris or comparable – and a extra unconstructed type will allow you to keep away from trying too interval costume, although that works for Professor Indiana Jones and his three-piece in Raiders of the Misplaced Ark.
5 Of The Greatest Manufacturers For Tweed
The arctic explorer and missionary William Grenfell is probably not identified to many, however in 1922 he gave his title to a Burnley-based firm making a dense and hardy cotton gabardine splendid for nation pursuits.
Nonetheless a specialist in outerwear immediately and nonetheless utilizing its unique material, its critical overcoats have a tendency to come back in tweeds, each textural types in houndstooth and micro-check, but in addition its smoother contact ‘keeper’s’ tweed.
Delicate shouldered and unlined, Drake’s three-button tweed ‘Games’ blazer might not cater to the outdoorsy world its title alludes to, but it surely comes super-soft and light-weight.
However then the philosophy behind Drake’s has at all times been about bringing a relaxed, barely bohemian air to traditional menswear – established as tie-maker in 1977 by Michael Drake, its vary of scarves, shawls and handkerchiefs would increase to embody delicate shirting, knitwear and, sure, Italian-made tailor-made items too.
British designer Margaret Howell has, over her virtually 50 yr profession, taken menswear classics and given them an overhaul in softness, and that’s each bit the case for her lightly-lined tweed jackets.
Whereas there are extra nation cloths – a Glen test Harris tweed, for instance – you’re extra prone to discover tweed in additional city shades of charcoal, darkish navy or black and using a specially-woven featherweight weave.
Jeremy Hackett co-founded the eponymous model in 1983 initially by dealing in classic British suiting – and the items that tended to have survived greatest through the years had been, he famous, product of tweed.
The corporate – at all times eager to play up its British roots – turned a surefire supporter of the material, providing a wide range of blazers in it each autumn/winter season, in addition to waistcoats, caps and – extra unusually – tweed-fronted zipped sweaters.
It’s in all probability higher identified for its covert fabric – used for its famed covert coat. And its fashion, since 1839, is certainly extra nation than city – count on loads of browns and tans, and a driving coat minimize in its jackets. The corporate even nonetheless makes capes and taking pictures breeks – saggy trousers mounted with straps slightly below the knee.
That is the place Henry Stanley – as in Stanley and Livingstone – shopped. However then it’s additionally the place a Firley tweed jacket caught the attention of the person who would come to be Cording’s co-owner and part-time design director. And that man was Eric Clapton. Critically.