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How to Wear Tweed

It’s time to forget everything you thought you knew about tweed. Reimagined for autumn/winter 2015, this heritage cloth – worn for centuries – now comes rendered in cuts and designs to reflect the modern woman’s lifestyle.

What is Tweed?

Tweed – emerged in 18th century Scotland out of a need for a material that would make hard-wearing, well-insulated tailoring and outerwear. Woven sturdily from coarse virgin wool in dusky, earthy colours, this original performance fabric provided farmers on the Outer Hebrides with a means of staving off damp, chilly conditions.

As fabrics go, tweed can take more rough and tumble than most – it’s twill construction was a  resistance to both wind and water – and was to the 18th century farmer a bit like what Lycra is to the modern-day cyclist.

Tweed comes in a vast number of varieties – including the renowned Harris and Donegal variations, both crafted in accordance with a strict set of conditions – each with its own subtle design features that mark it apart.

Then, there are patterns, four of which are worth your immediate attention. Firstly, there’s plain tweed, which is woven into a twill design ranging from a lightly mottled weave to distinct stripes, and is by most accounts the easiest to wear.

Secondly, herringbone tweed, which boasts a distinctive V-shaped pattern, is known for its rich visual texture and loved for its versatility.

And finally, at the more attention-grabbing end of the scale, houndstooth tweed and overcheck tweed offer more statement-making takes on this classic cloth.

Why Wear it Now?

Why? It’s simple. Tweed is every bit as hardy and practical (not to mention stylishly sophisticated) as it was all those years ago. A tweed jacket or skirt is timeless. They are great for making up a corporate wardrobe. A tweed pencil skirt is a great thing to have in your wardrobe – simply team it with a silk blouse and patent pumps. When styling a tweed jacket, team it with tailored trousers and ballet flats. The key with these timeless tweed pieces is to ensure that the garments are tailored and well fitted.

How to Wear Tweed

Mini

Tweed shorts and mini skirts are a youthful way to wear this fabric. Choose tailored garments that are loosely fitted. High waisted designs are also a good choice. Tweed shorts and skirts make great transitional pieces, and when it gets too cold for bare legs you can easily wear them with stockings or tights.

Cropped

The cropped tweed jacket was made famous by Chanel. It is an iconic piece that will add ladylike glamour to your wardrobe. The key tip for how to wear tweed in this manner is to make sure that the jacket is closely fitted. Team it with silk tank top and high waisted pencil skirt.

Caped

A tweed cape is a great alternative to the classic cropped jacket. The look is great for pulling off a vintage-inspired outfit. If you are wondering how to wear tweed this way, simply team a cape with a full skirt, patent loafers, and elbow length leather gloves.

Outwear

One of the simplest ways to incorporate the fabric into your sartorial arsenal – and one that’s guaranteed to see your personal style score soar – is to take tweed to your tailored outerwear. A black or grey herringbone tweed overcoat will make a statement while still working with most of your wardrobe.

Bags

Tweed bags are a chic take on the trend. A range of designer labels have tweed versions of their top selling bags. For a ladylike look, team a tweed bag with a silk or chiffon blouse and high waisted jeans.

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