Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Tweed, Style, and Elegance

(Avec moi, le deluge. Watch those eves when the thaw begins…)

It is entirely appropriate to refer to a gentleman as well-dressed, or even stylish, when he is in tweed and/or plaid. Especially if it is between Friday and Monday and he is in the country. But would you call the man dressed in a tweed sportcoat (you will never see a tweed suit these days in America) elegant?

Elegance implies to me at least a kind of sophistication, refinement and “sleekness” that is seen as suspect among the horsey set.

(Roughly five and a half minutes into “The Philadelphia Story”)

Consider Brummel, whose dress was essentially a blazer, khakis (albeit exquisitely cut fawn trousers and blue coat) and freshly laundered linen.

(The Beau by Robert Dighton, 1805)

He was rarely seen in anything else if we are to believe the accounts.

Or Cary Grant, who, by the end of his movie career, had honed his appearance to a fine edge wearing nothing more than a dark or light grey suit, white shirt, blue-grey tie and highly polished black shoes.

When he was to appear less sophisticated, as in “Bringing Up Baby”, Cary Grant was put into… tweed.

Of course, his natural grace, athleticism, comedic timing and innate elegance shone through the wardrobe.

What do you think? Can tweed be elegant? Must it rely on an exacting cut, a shaped silhouette, silken accessories and an understated pattern?

The same suit in the “Raver Lumatwill Tweed”. (Both suits by Dashing Tweeds.)

Dashing, perhaps. Elegant? I’m not so sure. And that’s why we’re here.

9 thoughts on “Tweed, Style, and Elegance

  1. I love tweed as it invokes college memories of “mon major professeur” in the classroom – smelling of pipe tobacco and a fireplace, wearing either a cardigan or tweed jacket, no matter if moth eaten. And as you stated, it “Must ..rely on an exacting cut, a shaped silhouette, …and an understated pattern”. My favorite long coat is a richly textured wool tweed in browns, greys, creams and blues. Goes with everything, and always elicits envious comments.

  2. The elegance of tweed is dependant upon the accessories, as well as the intent. Dashing Tweeds has no intention of being elegant.

  3. The red plaid (tartan?) jacket is terrific–will raise everyone’s spirits upon seeing you in it. Who can’t be happy wearing tartan? Mixing up some milk punch (Garden & Gun) on Christmas morn to sip while opening Santa’s gifts!

  4. Dashing Tweed is rather over the top; your tartan looks just fine. Yes, tweeds can be worn in the city; I do it myself quite often, including a Donegal tweed suit.

  5. Some tweeds are elegant, others are not. A Chanel tweed suit with gilt buttons is very elegant, but only for day. A man’s horseblanket tweed jacket is very charming and stylish, but it isn’t elegant…not at all appropriate for a fine restaurant, or theatre performance, or cocktail party. Generally, the plainer the tweed, and the darker it is, the more elegant and versatile it is. I often wear a simple, navy tweed jacket with grey flannels. It looks great for day, but is dark and subdued enough to be acceptable at dressier evening functions. In days of old, tweed was strictly for sportswear and day. In the strictest sense, that is still correct, if you look at the wardrobe, and what is worn for specific functions, of someone like Prince Charles.
    Square with Flair

  6. The first shot of our elegantologist (wearing his festive red hoseblanket tweed jacket) was taken mere moments after being pelted by a roof top avalanche. That’s not dandfuff on his lapel. And the snow drift atop his champagne flute is quite genuine.

    And I ask … Who has the best hair in Virginia?

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