The History Of The Tweed Suit

The tweed suit can appear to be old-fashioned thanks to its rich history and use in the media. However, with the right outfit choices and a contemporary edge, it can still be a great fashion statement for the 21st century.

The Origins And History Of The Tweed Suit

Although we think of this as an English suit, the name tweed comes from the Tweed river in Scotland. It was here that weavers first created this warm woollen material to help locals working on the land through the winter. Many producers worked with herringbone, check, and houndstooth patterns to add create visual interest. It was a popular choice for gamekeepers and landowners but later became more commercial.

The most famous of the types of tween is Harris tweed, which is still made by hand for a soft and durable material. There are many more varients across Scottish and England regions, such as Lewis and Yorkshire. Another popular version is Irish Donegal tweed which is dyed with local botanicals for rich colors.

How To Wear A Tweed Suit

The way you choose to wear a tweed suit will depend on your age, social circle, and goals. Old-fashioned heavy suits have their place in winter but you can go for a lighter approach with just the jacket in the summer. Either way, you want to pair this with a complimentary dress shirt and tie. Pale blue goes nicely with traditional warm brown colours. You will also want a pair of classic brown leather shoes to tie it all together.

The Rise Of The Tweed Suit In Popular Culture

This isn’t the sort of material that you would expect to make waves in the fashion world. But, it all depends on the material and collection. There is always a market for authentic Harris tweed, but modern adaptations that play with the houndstooth pattern can add a contemporary feel.

Of course, the popularity of tweed away from the English countryside has a lot to do with its use in cinema. If a movie called for a sophisticated gentleman in a period drama, or an old English professor, they were sure to be in tweed. This alternative take on the charming leading man meant many wanted to emulate the look. Away from Gosford Park and Brideshead Revisted there is the cooler image of Indiana Jones. The anomaly in all this is the bumbling Mr Bean, who we can’t picture wearing anything else.

The Use Of Tweed Suits To Portray An Image

There is still a stereotype to the Tweed suit, even if Mr Bean managed to subvert it. There is that association between this smarter woollen material and the well-educated. We associate with professors, often with leather elbow patches to enhance the look. The style has also shifted from the men taking care of the countryside to the ones owning it.

So, the choice to wear a tweed suit, or simply a tweed jacket could help accentuate ideas of intellect and wealth when meeting new business associates or mingling at parties. The way you use the tweed and accessorize will deterine whether you appear to be holding on to the traditions of ancestors or blazing a new path of your own.

Tweed Isn’t Just For Landowners And Professors Anymore

The stereotypical image of tweed will never go away because it adds to its charm. But, as long as people keep making tweed the old fashioned way, designers will turn it in stylish suits with mass appeal.