Tweed has come full circle in the fashion spotlight and knowing how to wear it properly is important. We’ll give you a breakdown of all things tweed so that you never get lost in the trend.
Tweed – Men’s Fashion
When you think of tweed you probably think of an old fashioned, conservative guy who’s probably headed to the countryside for a bit of shooting and R&R. However, tweed is actually one of the smartest and coolest ways to stay warm without bulking up in layers of clothing so it is both practical and stylish.
So, what is Tweed? This rough, woollen fabric has a flexible texture and is a true icon of the traditional and British country clothing. Its material is water-resistant and hard-wearing, making it ideal for the countryside and activities such as shooting and hunting. Here’s our complete guide on how to buying and wear it with confidence.
Men’s Tweed Fashion Now
Although tweed is deeply rooted in the British English heritage, today, like most things, it has been re-imagined, restructured and re-introduced for the fashion involved man.
We are now seeing a plethora of products made from it, mainly trousers and jackets featuring new cuts, and designs re-positioning tweed from a mainly conventional and traditional piece of clothing to an item with limitless possibilities. Most notably its the tweed slacks that combine the comfort and loose form of trousers with the warmth and en-durability of tweed material.
That means staying comfy, cosy and utterly stylish in any type of damp, and chilly situation the London weather puts us through. But tweed slacks is only one part of the newly revolutionised equation. Think new patchwork, zipper additions, new patterns and designs on jackets, blazers, bomber jackets and shorts. Just thank Tinie Tempah for taking it to the mainstream.
How to Wear Tweed
So, if you’re sold on purchasing your first tweed item and you want to wear it confidently, you should start with the jacket. Men’s tweed jackets are probably your best bet to stay warm and amp up your look without trying too hard- just make sure you deploy the trend correctly.
Tap into your English heritage with a brown jacket and matching waistcoat. Although this look may feel a bit dated it’s up to your surrounding items to make it look fresh and modern. Go for a pair of quality denim jeans or slim fit chinos in black, khaki or brown. Finish the look off with desert boots or loafers.
Check tweed can make more of a distinct statement with a classic aesthetic, heritage vibes and off-duty feel. Pair it with your tailored suit trousers and crisp white shirt for a formal affair or tone it down with a pair of well-fitted jeans and a sweater. Avoid pairing this jacket with a checked or patterned shirt as it would make the outfit loud and mismatched. Try to avoid uber casual details such as overly distressed jeans.
Grey tweed is probably the most formal of the three choices, but also the easiest to be mistaken for an item from your grandparent’s wardrobe. So you definitely want to give this jacket a more youthful edge. Team it with your favourite pair of jeans, as it will look great with some hard wearing material. Go for a white of a light blue shirt and finish the look with brogues, or chukka boots. Things to avoid with this look are corduroy pants, trainers and accessories such as men necklaces, and bracelets. A quality silver watch is your best companion.
Men’s Tweed Blazer
So if you want to go for a very casual look, don your tweed jacket over a classic white tee and pair it with jeans. If you want something that’s a bit more seasonal you can opt for a chunky wool jumper over a plain white shirt. Always make sure that only one or the other (jacket or jumper) is patterned, if you wear a patterned jumper with a patterned tweed blazer there’ll look like there’s a lot going on and you don’t want to over power the style. So, keep it simple and go for pieces and colours that compliment each other well.
How to Wear Men’s Tweed Trousers
Now to the trickier part: the trousers. These are some of the most fashionable items of the moment, but they can be hard to style. Here is a breakdown guide so you never get it wrong.
1. Tweed Trousers are Team Players – These trousers are team players and work best when they are matched with their buddy tweed suit blazer. So if you want to channel your head-to-toe tweed look, opting for a pair of tweed trousers and matching blazer is the best way to go. This look is quite formal so you may want to pair it with a crisp shirt.
2. Going Urban – Another great way to fit your trousers into your wardrobe is by infusing your look with casual and urban details. That can include a beautifully constructed black, or dark brown leather jacket over a monochrome shirt and finish the look with a pair of chukka boots.
3. Mixing it Up – While mixing tweed styles is not a great idea, there’s room for experimenting with shirts. Go for a checked shirt paired with your tweed suit and trousers.
4. Wear Grey – Although tweed comes in a few shades, sticking to a multi-purpose grey is your best bet as it’s demure and easy to incorporate into your wardrobe.
Men’s Tweed Pants
Tweed Slacks struck a chord with the normcore trend, firstly because they tap into the vintage culture obsession and secondly because they present a relatively flashy item, such as tweed pants in an understated, anti-style type of way.
How to Wear Tweed Trouser And Tweed Dress Pants
If you want to go for a pair of tweed slacks colour is key. Opt for a muted, multi-functional grey, or an off-black shade that you can easily creep into your wardrobe. Urban and normcore by definition, tweed slacks will look great with a white, black or grey T-shirt, a monochrome hoodie and a quality black leather jacket.
When opting for tweed dress pants it’s always advisable to visit the classics. Don’t go cheap when it comes to tweed. Tweed is all about British Heritage after all, and you should look for quality woven material, with inconspicuous stitching, beautifully muted colours and a fabric that will hang in your closet for a long time.
How to Wear a Tweed Suit
Harris Tweed Suit
Head to Harris Tweed for great raw materials produced in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the birthplace of the tweed. The wool used to make Harris Tweed is taken from flocks that reside in Scotland so you know you’ll get a great quality of material and finished product. The wool is then processed and warped in the island mills where it’s washed and dyed in a variety of tweed appropriate colours. There, the coloured wools are blended together and it’s this process that determines the unique finished product.
After the spun yarn is warped the product is delivered to the homes of weavers in the Outer Hebrides who actually hand weave the fabric on a treadle loom. The finishing process includes washing and removing impurities. The final product then gets it’s “seal of approval”, or in other words the Harris Tweed stamp. You can choose from a wide variety of tweed products available in Herringbone and plain weaves in a traditional heavy weight of 470-500gsm.
Donegal Tweed Suit
If you’re wondering about the Donegal tweed, it was named after and manufactured in County Donegal in Ireland, and not in Scotland as its tweed buddies hail from. Actually, Donegal has been producing tweed for centuries. Colm Sweeney from the Ardara Heritage Centre in Ireland claims that ” When you buy a yard of Donegal tweed, it’s not just a yard, it’s a lot of Irish history you’re buying.”
That should come as no surprise because in Donegal hand-weaving is a skill passed down for generations. Weavers used to hand pick plants such as blackberries, fuschia and gorse in order to provide colour dyes for the tweed. Towards the end of the 18th century is when the tweed industry really took off as the Royal Linen Manufacturer of Ulster distributed around six thousand machines (wheels for spinning wool).
When we talk about the Donegal it usually means plain-weave cloth with different colours of wrap and pieces of yarn in a vast array of colours that are woven in irregular patterns. This is what makes them unique and one of a kind but also quite tricky to match especially if you don a pair or trousers the suit will never be exactly matching. If you want to sport a Donegal tweed jacket we suggest you team it with a pair of well-fitted suit trousers (not tweed), a monochrome shirt (preferably white, or you could opt for a pale blue) and a pair of leather shoes (brogues, or desert boots).
Tweed Style Accessories
1. Ties – A great way to bring your tweed outfit together especially if you go for tweed pants and a contrast material for the blazer, add some detail with a beautifully constructed tie. Make sure you go for monochrome and if your shirt is checked ensure that one of the colours of the pattern on your shirt matches your tie.
2. Caps – Probably one of the most popular accessories is the tweed cap or most commonly known as the flat cap. The hat has many references that range from hunters, British countryside royalty and even the Peaky Blinders bunch.
How to Wear a Tweed Flat Cap
Flat caps, newsboy caps or indeed any other caps come down to personal style and preference. You can don a flat cap with your head-to-toe hunting gear, matching trousers and suit but it can also look great on a more casual occasion.
Sport your favourite jeans or trousers with a crisp white shirt, a black leather jacket and finish the look off with a flat cap in dark hues. When choosing styles go for a traditional, timeless look and team it with Wellington boots for a weekend in the country. Opt for warm wool in the winter and trade it in for a cotton made cap during the summer season.
Alternatively you can go for bold and pair a herringbone cap with a check shirt, slim fit jeans, and chukka boots. When you decide on the style you want, make sure you try the cap on and check the length of the lapel. Go for a longer lapel if you have a round face shape and a shorter one if your face shape is more of an oblong.
The History of Tweed
Its original name was tweel, because the material was woven in a twilled manner instead of a plain technique. According to the story, the name tweed resulted by accident. It was a local merchant that misread tweel and advertised the material as Tweed.
The jacket was originally made for the upper-class shooting pursuits and was especially popular in the Edwardian era. Hunters, cyclists, golfers and motorists soon joined in as the fabric was extremely durable and practical. Even today you may find cyclists donning a tweed jacket, especially with the rise of the hipster subculture and the vintage resurgence.
Guide to Wearing Tweed
- There are loads of different ways to wear tweed, just a blazer, trouser, hat, tie or if you’re feeling smart you could easily don an entire suit, waistcoat included.
- Wearing grey tweed is super easy, so if you’re ever in doubt, look for a grey tweed blazer or slacks to smarten up your look.
- Accessories will be your best friend if you aren’t confident enough to rock the head to toe tweed. A flat cap is the best and most modern day option as it can be worn with a lot of styles.
- A tweed blazer doesn’t have to be preppy, try wearing it as part of a smart casual outfit by mixing it with jeans. However it’s always advised to go for smart shoes and not trainers.
On That Note
Tweed is your best bet into incorporating a bit of British heritage style and comfort into your everyday attire. Unless you’re really a part of a hunting or shooting association, we suggest sporting two tweed items maximum at a time. Go for a pair of trousers and matching suit, or matching your pants with a flat cap or tie for the ultimate style.
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