Tweed jackets are ubiquitous with Britishness. Tweed conjures up images of writers, fireplaces, hunting, 18th Century Scotland, and Victorian Gentry.
This is not surprising as tweed originated from Scotland and was introduced to the British aristocracy in 1840. To date, many men and women wear tweed, including some of our favourite characters – from James Bond to Mr. Bean.
Tweed has undergone revolutionary changes, becoming lighter and available in brighter colours, and designers such as Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein are now using them in their designs.
How To Pick The Correct Tweed. With a variety of patterns and styles now available, finding the best tweed can be difficult. We suggest you consider the function to help you decide on the right fabric for the occasion.
For a formal look, you cannot go wrong with a tweed suit, with or without a waistcoat. It’s perfect for weddings, dining out, or a day at the races. Choose strong colours and pair with a plain white shirt and contrasting tie to give your look an edgy sophisticated charm.
Casual looks can be obtained with just the jacket. Pair it with good quality jeans and an open neck cotton shirt and you have a smart but casual look. A light grey, tan, or green tweed jacket will go with cream, blue, or pink shirts, while a dark brown option can be paired with stronger, darker colours. For a smarter vibe for the office, pair the jacket with dark chinos and a dress shirt and tie.
Opt for 100 percent wool during the winter months to keep you warm, and for a perfect match pair with wool jumpers and scarves. Combine with moleskin trousers and you’ve got the look of refined appeal.
High Street Brands That Carry A Good Tweed
What better way to buy authentic Scottish wear than from a Scottish representative? The Edinburgh Woollen Mill is famous for their quality textiles of cashmere, Merino wool, and fleece. They have tweed incorporated into everything, from ties to flasks to jackets and hats. This specialist operator provides tweed clothing and accessories for any occasion.
Providing good quality suits at reasonable prices, the founder and namesake of Burton revolutionised the suit industry with his insight, “Good clothes develop a man’s self-respect.” He also holds a knighthood and played a major role in creating the United Nations Association. By the time he died in 1952, Burton had the largest number of tailors in the world. Their suits come in a variety of fits: Big and Tall, Muscle Fit, Skinny Fit, Slim Fit, and Tailored Fit, so finding the perfect fit should be an easy endeavour.
Jennis and Warman holds the UK’s largest collection of tweed suits. Finding one to match your taste will not be difficult as they not only have off-the-rack choices but also a full bespoke service. With materials sourced from around the world, the variety and colours of their tweed suits have reinvented the classic British tweed.
Dating back to 1964, Gibson London is the first British menswear brand that combines the traditional Saville Row tailoring techniques with Carnaby Street flamboyance. They have a collection of tweed jackets for both formal and casual occasions.
Cordings remains resolutely British, using fabrics woven from British mills and having most of their collection made in Britain. They have been in the tweed business since the 1920s and are still the go-to place for ladies and gentlemen in the country. Their brand ambassadors include Eric Clapton, Graham Coxon, and Harry Meade.
What To Avoid With A Tweed Jacket. Avoid wearing patterns and colours that do not compliment the jacket. As tweed typically has an accent colour throughout the fabric, you should match tops or bottoms to this underlying colour for the best effect. Alternatively, you can never go wrong using neutral colours like cream.
Don’t try to be too informal with tweed by pairing it with ripped jeans or trainers. Tweed jackets are statement pieces, and therefore, need to be paired with other garments that do not compete for attention.
Make sure your tweed jacket fits you well. Nothing looks worse than a jacket that is too tight. Not only does it prohibit you from wearing layers underneath, but the pinching and wrinkling of fabric will portray a very poor silhouette. Similarly don’t opt for a jacket that is too large, as you don’t want to look like you’re wearing your dad’s jacket.
From royalty to common folk, tweed is considered acceptable for every occasion, from formal to casual. Spruce up or tone down the look with different combinations of smart or casual trousers and shirts already present in your wardrobe. It remains a versatile must-have that will stand the test of time.