Clothing from the countryside is practically a British institution. This fashion style is reflective of the natural colours of the English countryside. It is, perhaps, one of the most subtly elegant and effortlessly sophisticated looks that any gentleman can pull off. The country style conjures up images of sprawling estates or maybe a cozy house befitting a rural life, crisp air, and Britain’s natural pastime, walking.
Over time, however, men’s country wear has been worn to smart-casual affairs. That indicates that the wearer appreciates both utility and style and is a firm believer in blending the elegance of the city with the raw beauty of nature.
The best news is pulling off this kind of style requires a few essentials, which we’ll discuss in a bit. But first, here is a brief background on it.
The country-style clothing had its roots in the 19th century when the landed gentry started wearing waxed jackets and tweed coats to protect themselves from the cold, humid conditions of the British countryside while they hunted. Of course, as is custom for the nobility, these outfits still needed a sense of formality and elegance for the high society functions that followed suit.
Although it started in the landed gentry, it was the Victorian royal family, particularly Prince Albert, who brought the style to the mainstream. He made the employees of Balmoral estate wear Tweed-centric uniforms not only for protection but also to instill in them a sense of pride for working in a royal estate. Over time, and with the newfound wealth England found herself with by the early 20th century, the country-style clothing became a fashion statement not only for the landed gentry but also for the newly-minted wealthy members of society.
In the 21st century, this style has evolved from a particular style choice into Britain’s national dress, moving its image away from stiff-upper-lip high society to an outfit that even modest middle-class members can pull off.
Country wear essentials rely on three specific pieces of an outfit: the headwear, footwear, and jacket or coat. Of course, tweed is the most acceptable material, and having one or all of your essential pieces made from it goes a long way to pulling off the country look.
Country Style Headwear
There are three traditional country wear headpieces that a person can use: flat caps, deerstalkers, and the Trilby hat. Which hat to wear depends on the weather conditions. Flat caps are usually made of tweed, which makes it better for moist and wet conditions, while the Irish walking hat and the Trilby are made from canvas and felt respectively, which make them perfect for sunnier climates.
Country Style Footwear
There are two traditional country style footwear: brogues and Wellington boots. Again, this part of the clothing is dependent on weather conditions and activity, with the brogues more suited for light walks and strolls, while the Wellington boots are for more rugged treks in muddy forests.
Country Jackets and Coats
Most country wear jackets and coats are either waxed or quilted, but whatever you choose, it should come in neutral, earth tones like olive green and tan, the traditional colors of British country style. Sleeveless jackets called Gilets have also found popularity in modern country style.
With these ideas in mind, you can plan out your outfit that will suit your surroundings. You can pull off the country style of clothing that has been well-known for years.