on June 1, 2012 - 9:49pm
Growing up, my grandmother was my own personal stylist. According to gran any sort of tweedy ensemble − no matter how posh in the countryside − was simply not acceptable walking the streets of London on a weekend afternoon.
Traditionally in the days of shooting parties and fox hunts tweed and country style was considered for the elite − uniforms of country pursuits that signified a posh elegance and notification of class.
But then these elites started to trickle into the city. Too busy to change from hedgerow to Saville Row and a metamorphosis was created. The “Sloan Rangers” arrived − think the heyday of Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson.
What happened next? A lot of these Rover driving rangers didn’t want to hunt around in vintage shops to replace their beloved tweedy jacket. Neither could they be bothered to go to the nearest country shop for the coveted Barbour. The word got out to savvy designers everywhere. Burberry, quintessentially cool brand known for the trench started to design using more tweeds and checks. Ralph Lauren the beloved of every Hamptons preppy, went all out and brought us country beach chic full stop.
There is new inspiration on the catwalks but has tweed ever been away or has it just worked its charming self back into acceptance? Have we just become less judgmental and more tolerant of fab plaid and the Prince of Wales cheeky check?
Designers have come around with creations to remind us that urban edge meets country cool − a quality and eccentric look that defines British style. They say necessity is the mother of invention. Some of the world’s best designers, the availability of top quality wool and the all pervasive stiff upper lip approach to practicality has led to a sophisticated blend of a unique country style and sensibility that is synonymous with British fashion.
But remember to go for chic country casual. Leave the farmers’ wellies at home − wearing your favourite hunting coat complete with shooting cartridges in the poachers pocket and a deer stocker cap is not a good look for anyone.
Instead combine a tweed skirt with a pair of great leather boots with a heel or flip it around and wear some dressy wellies − Aigle makes some really nice ones in navy blue. Add a plain wool skirt and a sophisticated navy blazer with an on-trend ruffled blouse for a classic Kate Middleton equestrian feel. The key to this style is mixing textures to create a look that says cool casual chic.
Fine tweeds and a good quality cut will look classy on anyone, even if you have never stepped foot in the country. Tweeds add easy elegance with a touch of British eccentricity. Who can pass that up?
~Kate de Lacy @fashionedgy
Kate de Lacy is a writer currently residing in Bath, London. She has many passions and wears many fashionable hats including those of fashion blogger, journalist, illustrator, art historian and traveler. Kate is currently looking for an opportunity to move to the United States.
Image Source: Kate de Lacy, All Illustrations are copyright and sole property of Kate de Lacy and may not be used without her permission.