Whether it’s a few pints at the local with friends or a family meal at a gastro pub, the pub is usually a casual affair. However, you don’t always have to dress down to visit the pub. You could try a more smart-casual approach and still look dressed up whilst leaving your most formalwear at home!
Women often get away with a dressier look for the pub, but men can look equally as suave for a few drinks! Think your typical country look but with smarter shoes! Any outfit can be dressed up with a pair of leather brogues and a sharp blazer jacket.
When it comes to our country ladies, you can make most of your wardrobe into an evening outfit. A skirt, skinny jeans and dresses can be dressed up or down with a change of accessories, jacket, or shoes. A simple jeans and a T-shirt look is perfect for running errands with a waterproof jacket and canvas trainers but switch those for a tweed blazer and a pair of leather Chelsea boots and you have a sleek but casual evening look.
We’ve broken our post down into men’s and women’s selections so you can jump ahead to the relevant section. We’re going to choose our favourite transitional pieces that can take you from day to night with just a few simple styling tips.
The pub can be a tricky affair for women: do you dress down and casually, or do you dress up a little but not in complete formal wear? It is probably best to check what the occasion is first. If it’s a sit-down meal for a family birthday, add some heels and dressy accessories to a more casual outfit. If it is a trip for a few drinks with friends to catch up, maybe casual is best. You could always check with the other guests to see what they’re wearing! Our selection of key pieces may be some you already own. You know we are fans of creating a smaller, capsule wardrobe to see you through many different occasions. Mixing and matching new pieces with those you already have is a great way to change up your look without buying an entirely new outfit.
Tweed blazer – If your pub visit is for a dressier event, a tweed blazer is the perfect jacket for it. Even over jeans and a polo shirt, a tweed blazer instantly makes any outfit look smarter. Keep your outfit in a similar colour to the threads in the tweed to neaten the overall look. We love matching up our top with the threads for a more put-together outfit.
Wax jacket – A more casual jacket but altogether still smart is a wax jacket. Get yourself a wax jacket in a classic colour, such as brown, black, or navy, and not only will it see you through various seasons, it will last you for years. Wax jackets never go out of style so as long as you look after yours and clean it regularly, it will keep you warm for years to come.
Quilted gilet – If you prefer a sleeveless style of jacket, a quilted gilet is your perfect option. There’s something so cosy about wearing a thick knitted jumper and a gilet on top, ideal for trips to the pub. Again, choosing one in a classic colour will give you more outfit options and a belted style will give you a feminine, womanly shape by cinching in your waist. You can always remove it when it’s time for that Sunday roast!
Checked shirt – It wouldn’t be a countryside gathering without a checked shirt or two in sight! We love how versatile they are; from gingham checks to tweed-inspired checks, there really is something for everyone. Go crazy for colour or stick to a simple, white-based shirt with an additional colour check. You will be surprised by how many of your bottom half-pieces can go with a checked shirt so it’s rare that there’s a clash (unless you’re wearing a checked skirt!).
Patterned blouse – If you’re not in the mood for checks, why not try a patterned, floaty blouse instead? Our beautiful country-themed styles are the perfect piece for eating out so you can eat as much as you want! Rydale animal print isn’t as gaudy as leopard print, but we’ve taken our cues from the animals in the country: horses, rabbits, dogs. Our prints are smaller too, so they look much chicer than most animal prints.
Equestrian polo shirt – For casual pub visits, an equestrian polo shirt is a great option. Our styles are full of vibrant shades matched together, with a colour combination for every lady out there. They are the perfect piece for those ‘I have no idea what to wear’ days as they go with just about anything. We’re a big fan of pairing them with skinny jeans and Chelsea boots ourselves but that’s just one of many ideas.
Striped T-shirt – A classic Breton, striped T-shirt will be in fashion no matter what season it is. There’s just something dressy about stripes so they add a touch of Parisian chic to any outfit. Again, they’ll be one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe so if you haven’t said hello to stripes yet, what are you waiting for?
Cable knit jumper – With the cooler weather on the horizon, a cosy jumper is perfect for this transitional autumn into the winter period. A cable knit jumper is a popular choice here at Ryedale as they keep you warm when it’s cold but aren’t too thick that you overheat. This is a great way to introduce colour into an outfit too whilst keeping your bottom half darker to enhance the look.
Tweed skirt – Any reputable country lady must have a tweed skirt in her closet. Whilst it might not be the most worn item in there, it is the perfect bottom half option for those smart-casual occasions, such as family meals out to the pub. Darker shades are better here and you can always brighten up the look with a colourful top or even tights!
Skinny jeans – Another staple for all ladies are skinny jeans, no matter what age or size you are. They are the most flattering fit of denim and instantly give you that streamlined look. As with most bottom half items, dark washes are always better, with black or indigo being our shades of choice for denim. Skinny jeans will go with any piece for your top half so you don’t even need to think about it matching or not!
Chelsea boots – Boots will forever be a staple with our indifferent UK weather, but you don’t always have to choose your thicker winter boots. Chelsea boots are a great style option for when the weather isn’t great but it’s not snowy enough to need a thicker tread. Choose a pair in tan, brown or black and they will go with so many outfits. We love to wear ours with jodhpurs or skinny jeans tucked into them.
Loafers – For those occasions when it’s not raining, loafers are an alternative for country ladies. You don’t have to suffer the discomfort of high heels when you’re only going to the pub, but a leather or patent pair of loafers are a flat, dressy option. Here, you can go classic or you can show off your personality with a bright colour or funky pattern. Just remember to keep the rest of your outfit toned down so your loafers don’t have to compete for attention!
Country gentlemen, you have an easier job than the ladies do. Whilst you could just throw on any old thing for a pub visit, we pride ourselves in being a helping hand so you can always look your best. You can still look cool and casual but still put some effort in with just a few simple touches. Think about adding a smart jacket to a casual outfit or switching up your shoes before heading out.
At Rydale, you know we’re all about making the most of your existing wardrobe but adding in a couple of new pieces every so often to take your closet to the next level. We imagine you already own most of these items, being a country gentleman and all, but you might not know how to wear them or pair them with other pieces. Fear not, keep reading for our top-notch style advice!
Tweed blazer – The ultimate piece to take you from casual to dressy is a tweed blazer. There’s not an outfit this item can’t smarten up, apart from a tracksuit or gym wear! You could make the look traditional with a three-piece suit, a checked shirt, and smart shoes but that could be too formal for a night at the pub. Try a new, updated version for more casual occasions: you can still keep the smart shirt but why not change the smart trousers for straight leg jeans?
Waistcoat – If you’d prefer not to wear a jacket inside, a waistcoat is a cool option for the stylish man. You could keep the suit trousers for formal events or go for jeans or chinos; waistcoats are more versatile than you might think! Waistcoats always come back around in the fashion world so never be tempted to think it’s gone out of style either.
Wax or quilted jacket – If you prefer a jacket that’s less formal and more everyday wearable, a wax or quilted jacket could be your new favourite item. Whilst they are considered to be casual, that doesn’t mean they can’t be smart casual instead. If you add the jacket to a smart outfit, such as a checked shirt, chinos and smart shoes, it gives off such a polished vibe.
Fleece gilet – For especially cold days, a fleece jacket or gilet will definitely keep you incredibly warm! It is the ultimate comfort item that still looks smart for a night at the pub. A darker hue is always your best option, such as brown, navy or grey, and it will go with the majority of your existing wardrobe. If you’d rather, add a splash of colour with a deep berry or pale blue shade over a neutral-coloured shirt.
Checked shirt – You can’t be a respectable country gentleman and not own a checked shirt or several! It will be known as the most versatile item in your wardrobe if you don’t have one already. If you wear your shirts frequently, think about getting yourself an array of colour choices, from neutral tones to pastels to brights. When it comes to a night at the pub, it really is anything goes! Pick out your very favourite shirt and pair it with straight leg jeans or chinos for the ideal smart-casual outfit.
Polo shirt – If you prefer the more casual approach, a polo shirt could be the right fit for you. You might prefer a block-coloured style or an equestrian style polo shirt but both are the perfect starting point for a casual outfit that doesn’t look too casual. Wearing a tracksuit to the pub is not the right look so a polo shirt and jeans is just enough casual to get away with. Show off some personality with a bright shade or go traditional with a neutral colour.
Classic crew neck T-shirt – A classic crew neck T-shirt is an item that will never go out of style that can be dressed up or down as much as you want to. Add a blazer and smart shoes for a smarter outfit, add a wax jacket and canvas trainers for a casual look. Cotton T-shirts should be a staple in any man’s wardrobe, usually in several different colours. A black, white and grey version should already be in your collection but then you can introduce some colour in there too. Shades of blue, red and green suit so many skin tones so find the hues that work best for you!
Chinos – Suit trousers are just not fit for a visit to the pub so chinos are the perfect alternative. They are one of the easiest items to dress up or down with just a change of top or shoes. A classic beige pair of slacks will get you through all seasons but try a khaki or deep brown pair for the colder months. Any colour will look stylish with a pair of brogues and a checked shirt or for a more casual look, a polo shirt and canvas trainers will look a treat.
Straight-leg jeans – No reputable country gentleman is without a pair of straight leg jeans in his wardrobe. They never go out of style and are one of the easiest items to style. Classic denim colours, such as indigo and black, go with every colour under the sun! Go casual with a block-coloured, crew neck T-shirt and sneakers or dress them up a little for the pub with a smart shirt, tweed blazer and leather brogues.
Leather or suede boots – Country folk know that a pair of boots is a must during all seasons. Both suede and leather versions will always look stylish but for the countryside, leather can be much easier to clean regularly! Whether you go for a Chelsea boot style or a knee-high work boot, a simpler style looks better on a night out. Classic Chelsea boots in tan, brown and black should be your go-to option for a night at the pub. Not only do they look stylish, but they also keep your feet warm too - bonus!
Brogues – A statement yet classic pair of leather brogues are the perfect pair of shoes to take an outfit from casual to smart instantly. Again, shoes are best when in classic shades. Brogues always look sleek in tan, brown and black but we recommend leaving the black pair for the office. Tan and brown shades give a more authentic country look and look much better with jeans and chinos than black does.
Face mask – It wouldn’t be 2020 without a mention of face masks. Instead of a disposable version, why not treat yourself to a countrified version that you can reuse time and time again? Our masks come in so many different colours and patterns that you might be spoilt for choice!
Leather belt – A traditional leather belt will last you for ages so is always a great investment piece. Whilst its main importance is holding up your trousers, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a stylish piece and a leather belt will always fit that description.
Dressing for a night in the pub is the ultimate mix of comfort and style. By picking those key country pieces, you won’t look out of place at all. Like we always say, you will probably own many of these items already but it’s all about putting your own twist on any outfit. Maybe you have a signature colour you’d like to highlight or a favourite pair of shoes that you’re always showing off. Whatever it is, wear it with country pride and you’ll be the best-dressed gentleman or lady in the pub!