Tweed is notoriously one of the most difficult materials to wear; it’s tough, rigid and hard to style pieces with. However, you may be looking at it the wrong way. It’s tough but it’s warm, it’s rigid but it’s hard-wearing and it’s hard to style, yet it can be so versatile if you know what to wear it with and how to wear it too.
This post will demonstrate our best styling tips for matching your tweed jacket with a waistcoat underneath. We’ll delve into the history of tweed and how it’s made, the features of the waistcoat, as well as those all-important ideas to have you wearing your tweed jacket and waistcoat look at its best on a range of occasions. We want you to be able to wear both items for a drink in your local pub, as well as dressing up for a family party, or even a wedding evening do!
Tweed has been seen on many catwalks during the autumn/winter 2018 season, which makes it the perfect look to rock this Christmas time! Keep reading as we guide you through how to style your very own tweed combo outfit.
What is tweed and how is it made?
Tweed is a robust, wool fabric and has traditionally been used by countryfolk for outdoor activities, such as shooting and hunting. Over time, it has evolved into new patterns like houndstooth and herringbone. Sherlock Holmes has been known to sport a tweed overcoat as well as several Doctor Who’s!
The material has had some sort of a resurgence in the fashion world, and now it is available in a range of items, colours and styles. Originally brought to the fashion forefront by Coco Chanel back in the 1920s, this style has definitely made a comeback in recent years and many retailers have made it into a wardrobe staple.
For men, the tweed jacket is royalty-approved, and has been worn by the upper classes for centuries. It’s had a fashion lift and is now used as a material in most autumn/winter lines. It comes back into fashion time and time again, so don’t be tempted to bin your tweed as it will no doubt be back on-trend the following year!
How to style a tweed jacket with a waistcoat
Now we’ve covered tweed, we need to look at what you’d wear underneath your jacket. By adding a waistcoat this instantly takes you from smart-casual look to much smarter attire. Here are our top styling tips for pairing your tweed jacket with a waistcoat:
- Casual: A tweed jacket will always make for a smart look, but it’s all about what you layer it up with. Our Derby Tweed jacket in Light Check (you can see the rest of the Derby Tweed Collection here). Paired with a Country Check shirt such as our Gransmoor Check, along with a Shooting sweater for extra warmth. Our Danby chunky sweater makes for the perfect casual working attire. To complete the look simply add a pair of Rupert jeans and Malton Boots (the best all-round boots!). If your day-to-day gets a little muddier then a pair of wellingtons will do just the trick. Wear this look for day-to-day work or walking around Christmas markets, and visiting friends and family over the festive period. During the summer, you can ditch the layers and make the most of wearing those Country Check Shirts.
- Smart casual: Using the same jacket combination, we can instantly smarten up this look by changing out the shoes. Step into a pair of brogues and taking off the shooting sweater, for an outfit perfect for a chilled night out, either at the pub or at a restaurant. You could always change the jacket to a blazer if you’re really want to pull out all the stops.
- Smart: For the ultimate smart outfit, you will need to switch the jacket out for a blazer. Our Tweed blazers come in an array of colours and styles. Pair it with a matching tweed waistcoat like our Hawthorn Satin Back Tweed Waistcoat in Fairfax Tweed. Along with a smart oxford cotton shirt. Chinos instantly smarted up an outfit paired with smart brogues, much like our Market Day Brogue Shoe in Tan. This type of dress is great for dressier events, such as weddings, parties, and fancy nights out. Alternatively, change a checked waistcoat for a plain one like our Moleskin Front waistcoat in Olive so the jacket becomes a focal point. Just make sure to match up your colours and pick out a colour in the check or tweed to highlight.
Features of a good waistcoat
Trying to find a waistcoat to match a tweed jacket is always a tough ask. It shouldn’t matter what material your waistcoat is made out of, the same features should still be there. Across the board, these features can be the focal point of your outfit or make your look more comfortable. Gareth Southgate, among many celebrities, have brought the waistcoat back in the limelight.
- Satin/cotton back: A satin-back waistcoat adds an instant dressed-up feel to an outfit. It means during the summer, a jacket may not be needed.
- Adjustable buckle: Traditionally, waistcoats should always be fitted but now they have become more of a fashion statement, the fit and cut is entirely up to you. Tighten the buckle for a sleeker, finished look, or loosen it for a more casual approach.
- Buttons on front: The buttons can be great for keeping your look streamline and pulled-together but ultimately, it is up to comfort as to how you button it up. Leave it open for a relaxed style, button it up halfway or all the way to the top for a professional look.
The idea is that neither tweed jackets nor waistcoats go out of style. We want you to be able to invest in good quality, single pieces that you can wear for the years to come. The items that you wear them with may go in and out of fashion, but the tweed jacket and waistcoat will always be there. By just purchasing a few additional items such as shoes and shirts, these items can be worn across a range of activities and at any time of the year. This winter is perfect for the two items together but ditch one during the summer to keep cool. Let us know if you have any other ideas and thoughts you might have with matching a tweed jacket and waistcoat.