Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Country Gentleman's Attire....


There is no doubt that manners maketh a gentleman, but good tailoring plays its part too. As an aside this week, I thought I would look the traditional English gentleman's country clothing.

The traditional tweed and down to earth clothing of an English Gentleman was designed not to be fashionable (although it did undergo something of a revival when the previous Mrs Guy Ritchie dragged it out of the paddock and into the dizzy circles of haute couture (where, I might add, it seems to have stayed).

Less actually is more, for a gentleman tries never to make the egregious mistake of drawing attention to himself by any means other than his elegant reserved style. Just as a good guest never hogs the conversation, so a gentleman never steals the show. This does not, however, mean than one must be dull...

Tweed is the staple of the country wardrobe. It is a rough, coarse, unfinished woollen cloth. It is patterned by twisting together differently coloured woolen strands into a two- or three-ply yarn. Tweeds are desirable for informal outerwear, being moisture-resistant and durable (protecting one adequately from the bramble if one falls off one's horse, or goes rummaging through the hedgerows during a day of coarsing or shooting).

Of fame is the Harris tweed, a luxury cloth handwoven by the islanders on the Isles of Harris, Lewis, Uist and Barra in the outer Hebrides of Scotland. It is hand-spun and dyed with local natural dyes made of lichens. It is considered by many to be the epitome of cloth for tweed suits.

Apart from the tweed jacket (these days with or without the matching trousers), the flat cap is another essential:

Tweed is undergoing somewhat of a fashion revival. I don't know whether it is because preppy is back (did it ever go away?), or whether it is because it is sensible, durable, and versatile. Bicycles seem to be coming back too...


Country tweeds are for one purpose: they are for the country. The maxim "brown in town should never be seen" is something one ought to stick to, no matter who one might be...


... It saves one from becoming a caricature.


One needs a shirt to go under one's jacket, preferably of a Tattersall cheque, in a lighter colour, and also a waistcoat (pronounced Weskit)...




Ties should be subtle, in natural shades...

If one feels the need to wear anything other than a tweed, old school or regimental tie, then do choose one with an appropriate flavour...




Last, but by no means least, man's best friend (how many cliches can one use in a sentence?)...


Hounds complete the look, although they are not accessories, they are part of the family. Just a few tips: Hounds, like their masters, should be on their best form at all times. Hounds are hounds, and never dogs; and they give tongue, but never bark.


They have been a part of every country household throughout the ages....





4 comments:

  1. LOVED THE POST!IM CRAZY FOR SIGHTHOUNDS AND I OWN TWO ENGLISH WHIPPETS,PLUS I HAVE OWNED THE GREYHOUND AND THE ITATLIAN GREYHOUND ASLO,THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL DOGS LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!

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  2. What a wonderful post! Someday, I would love to share a guest article on a similar topic with your readers. :-)


    Shannon

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  3. What a lovely post. I just stumbled on your blog, very nice. I really like the tweed suits, the Bookster is gorgeous. Drop by my blog, you might enjoy.

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  4. I love your blog. I found it quite by accident, but I will return to it now that I know it exists. English country fashion is simply marvelous.

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