Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Look: British Heritage

British Heritage: The Key Elements

The English hunter is not only a slayer of wildlife, but a style icon that has seen much resurgence in recent years. Heritage hunt wear is an excellent choice for the autumn/winter months as it is built to be weatherproof and durable.Nothing quite says ‘English classic’ than a waxed jacket and woollen trousers, right?

1.Layering & Fabrics

First, the basics. Layering is key here. Mix plain, woollen jumpers with contrasting shirts and t-shirts for a seasonally appropriate look. Whilst apr├Ęs-ski patterns are certainly a key trend this season, British classics are our inspiration here, and anything semi-Scandinavian will only detract and confuse an otherwise strong look.The key brands to look out for are the likes of Pringle, Lyle & Scott and Ted Baker, so take plenty of inspiration from our homegrown fashion heroes.

In terms of fabric choice, stick to materials traditionally associated with the countryside such as tweed, corduroy and wool – luckily for us, all three are trending this AW12.

2.The Jacket

Barbour is the first and most obvious brand; countryside apparel that has become something of a firm fashion fixture. No longer the sole reserve of fox-killing toffs, Barbour is considered an excellent style choice for any contemporary gent. Waxed numbers in navy and dark green are more than relevant, as are cheaper quilted jackets, which can be worn as an under or outer layer, dependent on thickness.

Try to stick to the more classic heritage options; black belted jackets are a nice update of the more traditional formula, but they lack a certain heritage appeal. However, with premium brands like Barbour, comes a notable price tag. 
Tweed blazers have become an alternative outerwear option, due to their inherent warmth, and can be dressed up or down as appropriate to your style/the occasion.

3.The Trousers

Believe it or not, straight-leg denim jeans integrate perfectly with this look. Whilst not an obvious sartorial decision, they can dress down any outfit – and every gent should have a half decent pair in their existing wardrobe.
Woollen trousers in grey and slate are the most heritage-friendly pieces, but try to avoid patterning if your tweed jacket already incorporates one.

Corduroy trousers are not only on trend, but now come in a huge range of colours and a slimmer, more contemporary fit. I have already shown you how to wear cords successfully this season, so just bear in mind the width of your wall and what items you are going to be pairing them with. Go bold if your top half is restrained, and anchor with classic navy or brown cords if you have opted for a statement jacket.

Feel free to roll up hems once or twice for a clean, neat finish – the secret to a fantastic British outfit is a crisp silhouette. It also allows for a flash of sock colour, the height of British eccentricity, and everyone can earn a few extra style points from this little trick.

4.The Shoes

Vans and Converse just won’t cut the mustard I’m afraid. All I can advise here is to invest, invest, invest; good shoes need to be high quality, to ensure a stylish finish and an element of hard wearing. Many a good outfit has been ruined by an ill-informed footwear choice and I wouldn’t want any of you to fall victim to this also.

Brogues, Oxford and Derby shoes are all incredibly relevant, and for those looking to bring a touch of the country to town, why not invest in a pair of brogue or hiking/walking boots? Both of these options are smart enough to be dressed up or down, and will bring a contemporary spin to the traditional ‘hunter’ aesthetic.

Personally, I think brown leather is best; the bolder amongst our kind may opt for country inspired colours such as burgundy, camel or olive, whereas two-tone brogues available from the likes of ASOS and Urban Outfitters provide an interesting twist on the classic model.


So guys, that’s a brief rundown of the joys and benefits of British heritage wear – and why looking like you’ve come straight from the farm is a desirable look this season.Despite the polished appearance of this particular style, there’s nothing prissy or feminine about heritage hunt wear;these blokes have shotguns, after all.

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