On our very own British soil, we have an extensive history based around classic, rural pieces; an aesthetic that has always remained strong and relevant. Ditch the graphic tees, the leather and the puffa jacket and join in the Great British style revival this autumn/winter.
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?
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 après-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.
Colour shouldn’t be avoided, much to the contrary. Bright reds, blues and greens possess much regality if you invest in cashmere or quality woollen pieces, and I believe a good jumper is for life (providing you don’t use the boil wash setting by accident – take note).
When investing in high quality knitwear, make sure you also consider texture. Cable, waffle and flecked knits have a rural appeal and will instantly add character to any look you choose to integrate them into.
- Allsaints Spire Funnel Neck Jumper
- Ami Ribbed Merino Wool-blend Sweater
- Ymc Fenland Roll Neck Knit Sweater
- Allsaints Border Crew Jumper
- River Island Cable Jumper
- Reiss Burner Printed Colour Jumper Green
- Vintage Renewal Shetland Crew Neck Sweater
- Topman Oat 100% Wool Crew Neck Jumper
- Topman Toffee Shawl Collar Cardigan
- J Lindeberg Cardigan Handknitted Lambswool
- Plectrum By Ben Sherman Meoo113 Forest Cardigan
- Lyle And Scott Vintage Cardigan With Shawl Neck
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. With this in mind, plenty of high street retailers offer more affordable versions. You will definitely be missing out on the prestige of owning such a brand, but your budget will always dictate your personal style choices.
Don’t forget to trawl eBay and other auctioning websites – a friend of mine found an authentic 1980s Barbour for an enviable £40. Vintage is always a winner in the heritage stakes.
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. Experimenting with multiple fabrics can often add a certain edge to your look, so embrace herringbone and plaid with open arms. Velvet collars and button detailing can propel your outfit into the style stratosphere, so keep an eye out for brass detailing and anything that wouldn’t look out of place on the local lord of the manor.
- Farah Vintage Raleigh Navy Waxed Jacket
- Barbour Olive Lobster Clip Hurst Jacket
- Tweed Detail Wax Hooded Jacket
- Private White V.c. Waxed-cotton Field Jacket
- Barbour Ashridge Vintage Waxed Jacket
- Allsaints Garbar Jacket
- Barbour Chelsea Sports Quilt
- Minimum Quilted Jacket
- Reiss Angel Quilted Jacket Navy
- Barbour By To Ki To Brown Tweed Quilt Sporting Jacket
- Burton Montague Burton Khaki Slim Fit Heritage Blazer
- Anerkjendt Carlo Castlerock Tweed Jacket
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. If your outfit is too busy you’ll just look ridiculous.
Corduroy trousers are not only on trend, but now come in a huge range of colours and a slimmer, more contemporary fit. Alex Woodhall has already shown you how to wear cords successfully this season, so just bear in mind the width of your wale (opt for a high count pinwale if you want to keep the look clean and modern) 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.
- Selected Cord Trousers
- Hartford Straight-leg Corduroy Trousers
- Knowledge Cotton Apparel Forest Green Tapered Leg 8 Wale Cords
- Reiss Brightling Cord Trousers Burnt Amber
- Farah Vintage Albany Tobacco Cords
- Petrol Slim Cord Trouser
- Reiss Pistole Wool Flannel Trousers Grey
- Shore Leave Grey Nepped Wool Trousers
- Apc Pantalon Chic Anglais Marron Chine Trousers
- Red Tweed Crew Socks
- J.crew Cotton-blend Argyle Socks
- Burlington Edinburgh Argyle Socks
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 but feel free to go for whatever colour you see fit; 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.
A final tip would be to polish regularly and accurately; many of my fellow writers here at FashionBeans stress the importance of proper care for our footwear. There’s no excuse for mud-caked brogues unless you’re homeless.
- Trickers Woodstock Derby Shoes
- Grenson Archie Brown Brogues
- H By Hudson Tan Washed Leather Gould Shoes
- Topman Benjamin Brogues
- Trickers Burgundy Commando Brogue Bourton Shoes
- H By Hudson Crawford Suede Brogue Shoes
- Grenson Sharp Brogue Boots
- Swear Tan Leather Logan Brogue Boots
- H By Hudson Bloomfield Black Boots
- Selected Homme Mars British Millerain Hiking Boots
- Diemme Mens Firenze Ontario Work Boot
- Fracap Brown Texture Leather Commando Hiking Boots
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.