Tweed is just like denim – it is one of the fabrics that everyone knows and heard of, and have a somewhat general idea – that it is a slightly old-fashioned sense of style, much loved by the professionals and the conservative politicians.
And to know tweed as only the above-mentioned usages – it will be to malign the tweed. Truth be told, tweed is one of the noblest and impressive cloths in menswear, not because of its menswear, but because of the way, how it carries color and texture, that very few fabrics can, yet never quite managing to reach the level of tweed. It’s no wonder that the recent menswear brands have never thought of tweed as being fusty or even just another fuddy-duddy fabric off the road.
Based on one’s taste – consider weaving it in either striking, or sober colors, and add to add minimal stuffing, you won’t be able to recognize tweed.
But first of all, what is tweed?
Might as well as considered to be an original workwear fabric, tweed is a highly functional one at that – ask anyone who has worn it, and they will tell you just how warm it is, but also water and wind-resistant.
Originated in 18th century Scotland, tweed is said to be the misreading of the word ‘tweel’ – where this dense woolen fabric was woven at home to provide sturdy protection for those who worked the land, and it is only later that wealthy landowners took to wearing it, appreciating its utility.
So, how can you wear tweed in the 21st century?
How about a laid-back style?
Well, before that, you should know that the flexible and much softer tweed was introduced in 1847 and still the go-to tweed that is used today, and which means that the cloth can be worked into all manner of styles. That means it can also make do as bulletproof tailoring plus it can make a statement for looser fitting styles that require a degree of style – such as chore jacket or say, a bomber jacket.
Team it with a pair of jeans, tweed can offer protection from the elements – or you can even consider pairing up a set of tweed trousers in place of jeans – it will lend a creative edge to a dressed-down look.
Not having the presence of stiffness that is associated with, say, a city pin-stripe, tweed can be inherently casual, and a really knock-about fabric.
Opting to go the smart and casual way
Worn with flannels and brogues or loafers, tweed in the form of a two-buttoned tailed jacket was already a smart and casual choice – pockets stuffed with one ‘s daily necessities, and with the collar turned against the wind, a tweed jacket had an air of academia around it.
These days, tweed jackets are worn with chinos – they look more contemporary, and if they are in the right colors such as blues and browns, it will be a winner.
Going the tailored way
Just like denim, a tweed suit or a jacket will last you a lifetime, but it is also a kind of fabric that is similar to corduroy in many respects – wear it properly, and it will make you look smart while also relaxed at the same time, and know this that this is partly down to image, tactility, density, and sheen of the cloth.
You can also consider pairing your tweed suit with knitwear, rather than the shirt and tie look, but yes, do avoid the checked shirts and plaid ties, or else, you will look like a boring librarian.
Now that you have got an idea of how to look your best in tweed, so, then, where would you get the best tweed that there is?
William Grenfell is a name that is not known to many, but in 1922, he has given his name to be used in a Burnley-based company making a dense and hardy cotton gabardine ideal for country pursuits.
Today, the company, now known as Grenfell is still using its original fabric – and their overcoats tend to come in tweeds, with their textural styles in both houndstooth and micro-check, but also its smoother touch ‘keeper’s’ tweed.
Known for their features of being super-soft and lightweight, the brand ‘Drakes’ features a three-button tweed, known as ‘Games’ and while this blazer may not cater to the outdoorsy world its name alludes to, but it is soft-shouldered and unlined.
Established as tie-maker in 1977 by Michael Drake, the brand ‘Drakes’ has always been about bringing a relaxed, slightly bohemian air to classic menswear – and their range consists of scarves, shawls, and handkerchiefs, that have further expanded to soft shirting, knitwear and Italian-made tailored pieces.
Known for menswear classics, ‘Margaret Howell’ is a brand that is well known for their lightly-lined tweed jackets that comes in shades such as charcoal, dark navy or black and which employs a specially-woven featherweight weave.
Founded by Jeremy Hackett in 1983, the brand ‘Hackett’ began by dealing in vintage British suiting – and the pieces that have survived till now are the pieces made of – you guessed it – tweed.
Always keen to play up its British roots, the brand came to be known as a surefire supporter of the fabric and began offering a variety of blazers in it every autumn/winter season, as well as waistcoats, caps and – more unusually – tweed-fronted zipped sweaters.
Better known for its covert cloth, the brand ‘Cordings’ is pretty much famous for their famed covert coat, and ever since its inception since 1839, they have included various colors to their range such as browns and tans, and even a riding coat cut in its jackets; and even now, the brand makes capes and shooting breeks – baggy trousers that are fastened with straps just below the knee.
So, you see, there are many ways of how can you pair a tweed suit or even a jacket – all you need to know the colors that suit you best, plus the one that best flatters your figure, and you are well – on your way to rock the world.
And of course, we did list you some of the best tweed brands that you can splurge on, right? So, what are you waiting for?