Fields of dreams

TWEEDY: Get back to na­ture with coun­try looks based on tra­di­tional fab­rics and tai­lor­ing. Stephanie Smith checks out rus­tic so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Fashion -

HETHER or not you are the huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ type, you have to ad­mit that the clothes in­spired by coun­try pur­suits are rather fine and dandy.

Prac­ti­cal, too, which is hardly sur­pris­ing, con­sid­er­ing that they were de­signed for com­fort, ease of move­ment and to work well with the el­e­ments, hold­ing off the wind and rain, bring­ing warmth when needed, but also al­low­ing the skin, and the fab­rics them­selves, to breathe. The raw ma­te­ri­als are nat­u­ral. Tweed, for ex­am­ple, is wo­ven from pure wool, dyed the earthy colours of the land­scape. It orig­i­nated in Scot­land in the 18th-cen­tury, when weavers cre­ated a denser and heav­ier cloth by de­vel­op­ing the “twill”, the di­ag­o­nal lines run­ning through the fab­ric.

In­tro­duced to the Bri­tish aris­toc­racy in the 1840s by Lady Dun­more, and used to make gar­ments for hunt­ing, shoot­ing and fish­ing, it is the ba­sis of the coun­try look that we know well and that some still wear, quite se­ri­ously, to­day.

Now tweed, like tar­tan, can come in lighter weights and a va­ri­ety of fab­rics, and is still a ma­jor in­flu­ence on fash­ion trends, hav­ing been re­vived and re­vamped in re­cent decades by the likes of Vivienne Westwood and John Gal­liano.

It is worth con­sid­er­ing that, un­less you are on the set of Downton Abbey, the allover coun­try tweed look, com­plete with plus-fours and knee-high woolly socks, as some­times seen sported by chaps (and chapesses) in North York­shire coun­try pubs (and even in Har­ro­gate town cen­tre) does at­tract glances, and not all of an

Rid­ing-style jack­ets

and jodh­purs are an­other com­bi­na­tion seen around town.

ad­mir­ing na­ture. Both men and women can go for a more con­tem­po­rary look, es­pe­cially when in town, by mix­ing key tweed pieces in with denim and chi­nos. Look out for fine-knit cash­mere jumpers and both padded and faux fur gilets, but keep cuts clean, ur­ban and con­tem­po­rary.

Rid­ing-style jack­ets and jodh­purs are an­other com­bi­na­tion in­creas­ingly seen around town, and with­out a horse in sight. Again, try break­ing up the look with tu­nics and knitwear and look out for ur­ban style tai­lored out­er­wear with fun­nel necks and parka hoods. Look out too for tweed and pure wool coats in both earthy and bright shades, in styles rang­ing from neat, slim­line and fit­ted to ones with full skirts and belts, as th­ese won’t date, will go with ev­ery­thing and will al­ways look fab­u­lous.

As long as you don’t overdo it, and you keep a sense of pro­por­tion, there are no real rules for the coun­try look. Clas­sic, prac­ti­cal, hard-wear­ing and good-look­ing, this is the per­fect and orig­i­nal all-sea­son look. So tally-ho and go for it.

Twit­ter: @york­shire­fashQ

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