The tweed jacket is as close to British national dress that you can find. It arose to reflect the British countryside with its heathered hills, which are patched with gorse and stone. Tweed was originally used as the cloth of the working man due to its hard wearing properties. It was soon discovered by the British aristocracy and began to make its way up the social classes within the British Empire. Before long, estate owners commissioned their own special tweeds to be made up. These tweeds were then worn by everyone who lived and worked on the estate. When choosing the colours of their tweed, estate owners focused on their distinctiveness as well as the practically of the tweed pattern, as after all it had to provide camouflage whilst hunting.
Tweed was seen as the ideal sporting attire in the 19th century. The English gentry adopted it as an outdoor cloth to be worn on their country estates. The tweed jacket became an indispensable part of any aspiring gentleman’s wardrobe while they enjoyed sports such as shooting, hunting and fishing as tweed repels water and wind, as well as being hard wearing. The natural colours of the fabric allowed the gentlemen to blend into the countryside while out on their sporting pursuits. As well as for hunting, tweed was worn for almost sporting and adventure endeavour including golf, cycling, tennis and mountain climbing.
The tweed jacket has moved on from being solely worn by those in the country. It is now worn by males and females from all backgrounds and has seen a huge surge in popularity over recent years. A long line of subculture movements such as Sloane rangers and preppies, have enthusiastically adopted tweed as part of their wardrobe essentials. This has helped to keep the tradition of tweed alive, as well as injecting new life and energy into it.
A well-tailored tweed jacket evokes a refined flair for any man or women. It can be worn in so many different ways. A jacket can be paired with jeans and a shirt for an effortless look, or can be paired with a waistcoat and breeks for a full shooting look.