Despite the abundance of new fabrics in the market, there are some fabrics we return to over and over again. Come winter, and you may see yourself reaching for your trusty tweeds. If you don’t already own a tweed jacket or two, this would be an ideal time to consider buying one. But, if you’re unsure as to why you need one, this article is for you!
What is tweed?
You may be forgiven for thinking that tweed is a pattern. It’s actually a fabric – a rough, closely woven woolen fabric with a soft open and flexible texture. Tweed fabrics are usually composed of a plain weave or some variation of the twill weave. But long before the weaving stage, the wool used for tweeds have to go through a rigorous process of drying, heating, straightening and spilling. This makes it extremely durable, warm, light-weight and moisture-resistant, making it ideal for the outdoors.
Another distinctive features of the tweed fabric is the appearance, especially the colors(usually chosen to blend in with the scenery). The colored yarns are created by blending multiple colors or shades of dyed fibres. Sometimes, multiple colored yarns are twisted together to create more depth.
The tweed origin story
You just can’t talk about tweed without taking a closer look at its historical roots. Long associated with Scottish nobility, British aristocracy and landed gentry, tweed is decidedly posh despite its rugged appearance and humble roots (since it was first worn by the peasantry).
Thanks to its fabric composition and earthy color schemes, tweeds were ideal for pursuits like riding, shooting, and hunting game. It provided excellent insulation along with camouflage, making them the first performance fabrics. Since it was worn by the rich, it had a trickle-down effect and pieces like tweed jackets, hats and vests became popular among the masses. Even today, tweeds conjure images of old estates and country living, and designer collaborations have only added to its appeal over the decades.
How to style tweeds for different occasions
Despite the hunting and outdoorsy connotations carried by tweed, it is a versatile fabric that can just as easily be worn to work. But this has a lot to do with the tweed patterns and colors you choose. You can find tweeds in solid shades or houndstooth, herringbone, windowpane and Glen checks, etc.
Wear tweeds while traveling
Thanks to its sturdy nature, light and water-proof nature, tweeds are ideal for the outdoors, especially during transitional weather. Therefore get a tweed blazer in grey, brown or olive. Wear it over denim or melange shirts. Add a gilet or sweater vest for added insulation. For bottoms, you can wear anything from denims to corduroys to chinos. Just keep the fabric weights in mind since a heavy tweed jacket would call for an equally heavy trouser fabric. Complete the look with knitted stoles and leather boots.
Wear tweeds to work
A tweed suit jacket can add some texture and depth to your work wardrobe. Some work environments, like those related to academia, are more open to tweed jackets than others. Relaxed work environments and start-up communities too will find the tweed fabric appealing for its utility and style. If you’re going to introduce it to your corporate wear though, stick to solid brown or olive tones, or Glen checks. Use a tweed waistcoat to break up the formality of a grey or navy suit. Similarly, use tweed blazers in place of your knit blazers on Friday. A tweed overcoat though would be a practical thing to own and will complement most of your suits. Complete the look with brown or burgundy leather boots or monk straps.
Wear tweeds casually
Thanks to their rugged nature, tweeds can be worked into your casual wardrobe. You can go for a herringbone pattern or even a boisterous houndstooth with an over check. Just ensure you match the tones with other separates. To play down the seriousness of the tweed, add floral shirts and denims. To play up the country estate owner vibe, add turtlenecks. Complete the look with brown leather boots or monk straps.
We hope this has put you in good stead to buy your first tweed jacket or add to your existing collection. We can’t stress the importance of getting a tailored tweed jacket, especially if it’s patterned since checks or herringbones matching on the side seams show the quality of craftsmanship. We suggest you get a made to measure tweed jacket. Start with a utilitarian travel jacket and build from there!
Do you have any style queries? If so, do drop in a question in the comment section and we’ll answer it.
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