Cold-Weather Fabrics

Often, the main flaw in any man’s clothing collection is a lack of pieces made from seasonally-appropriate fabrics – the type of items that will invigorate and lift your already substantial year-round wardrobe.

In spring/summer, lightweight, breathable materials like linen, madras and seersucker help you stay cool and avoid sweat. In autumn/winter, on the other hand, heavy duty, insulating materials will protect you from the cold while adding character and depth to your layering.

It’s these cold-weather fabrics we are set to explore in this next article series. Because if you start dressing seasonally, not only will you get more wear and longevity out of your staples (by giving them a much-needed break), you’ll also get the added excitement of breaking out old favourites as each new season approaches.

With that in mind, let’s start with every Englishman’s favourite autumn/winter fabric: tweed.

Tweed

A rough, unfinished woollen fabric coming in either plain or twill weave, tweed has been keeping people warm for over one hundred years. Traditionally used for upper class country clothing like shooting jackets, tweed became popular among the Edwardian middle classes who associated it with the leisurely pursuits of the elite.

It’s tough, durable and – due to the way that’s it’s weaved – can feature all kinds of colours or patterns, such as houndstooth, Prince of Wales or windowpane check.

Due to its resurgence within menswear over the past couple of years, you can now find a wide variety of pieces made from tweed at varying price points (check out Primark’s ridiculously affordable AW14 collaboration with Harris Tweed), whether it’s a herringbone flat cap or a pair of brown Donegal tweed suit trousers.

But if you’re going to buy just one thing in tweed this year, we would suggest investing in a grey three-piece suit, as it covers all bases. No matter which way you break it down or split the suit up, you’ve always got three excellent tweed pieces to work with.

Men's Tweed Three-Piece Suit Lookbook

crombie aw14burton aw12viyella aw13Ovadia & Sons aw13debenhams hammond & co aw14john lewis aw14
  • J. Crew Ludlow Suit Vest In English Donegal TweedJ. Crew Ludlow Suit Vest In English Donegal Tweed
  • J. Crew Ludlow Suit Jacket In English Donegal TweedJ. Crew Ludlow Suit Jacket In English Donegal Tweed
  • J. Crew Ludlow Suit Trousers In English Donegal TweedJ. Crew Ludlow Suit Trousers In English Donegal Tweed
  • Topman Navy Tweed Heritage JacketTopman Navy Tweed Heritage Jacket
  • Topman Navy Tweed Suit WaistcoatTopman Navy Tweed Suit Waistcoat
  • Topman Navy Tweed Suit TrousersTopman Navy Tweed Suit Trousers

However, if a tweed three-piece seems a bit too much for your lifestyle or budget, consider these individual alternatives:

1. The Tweed Blazer

Every guy should own a tweed blazer for the colder months. It will work effortlessly with everything that you already have in your wardrobe and can stand up to some serious wear and tear.

They look their best when paired with other rugged, durable materials like denim or corduroy, but can still complement a dressy pair of chinos or suit trousers, bringing a heritage touch to a contemporary look.

They also offer a great way of introducing subtle patterns into your outfits. I personally own a brown houndstooth check jacket from Reiss that I often combine with a rumpled Oxford cloth shirt in blue/pink and a pair of raw selvedge indigo/black jeans. I top it all off with a knitted silk tie and a classic pair of brown/black brogues:

  • Billy Reid Houndstooth-check Wool-blend BlazerBilly Reid Houndstooth-check Wool-blend Blazer
  • Reiss Ascot Button-down Oxford Shirt Sky BlueReiss Ascot Button-down Oxford Shirt Sky Blue
  • Lanvin Slim-fit Indigo Denim JeansLanvin Slim-fit Indigo Denim Jeans
  • Reiss Darcy Slim Silk Knitted Tie NavyReiss Darcy Slim Silk Knitted Tie Navy
  • Reiss Casino Stitch Detail Belt Dark BrownReiss Casino Stitch Detail Belt Dark Brown
  • He By Mango Leather Brogue BlucherHe By Mango Leather Brogue Blucher

You could always swap the jeans for a pair of navy chinos and the shirt for a grey chambray version, for a slightly more modern/urban take. However, try to avoid wearing it with just a t-shirt – it’s such a waste of a great tailored, structured piece of clothing.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Tweed Blazers Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

massimo dutti september 2013selected homme denim aw13de fursac aw12m&s aw13ted baker aw14penneys aw14hartford aw14scapa aw13brooklyn tailors 2014massimo dutti october 2013jaeger aw14asos christmas 2014simons aw14moss ss13
Key Pieces
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Harris TweedAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Harris Tweed
  • Topman Navy Tweed Heritage JacketTopman Navy Tweed Heritage Jacket
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In TweedAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Tweed
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In TweedAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Tweed
  • Allsaints Sano BlazerAllsaints Sano Blazer
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In TweedAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Tweed
  • Topman Peter Werth Elmore Four Button Tweed Blazer Topman Peter Werth Elmore Four Button Tweed Blazer
  • Uniqlo Men Tweed Slim Fit JacketUniqlo Men Tweed Slim Fit Jacket
  • Scotch & Soda woolen Tweed Blazer With Pop LiningScotch & Soda woolen Tweed Blazer With Pop Lining
  • Luxury Sartorial Online Only Pure New Wool Harris Tweed Check JacketLuxury Sartorial Online Only Pure New Wool Harris Tweed Check Jacket
  • Gap Wool Tweed BlazerGap Wool Tweed Blazer
  • Oliver Spencer Unstructured Wool-tweed BlazerOliver Spencer Unstructured Wool-tweed Blazer
2. Tweed Trousers

Tweed trousers are extremely versatile, and ridiculously comfortable too. I purchased a pair of grey herringbone trousers a few years ago, and they are just liking wear pyjamas (only warmer).

Again, you can pair them with other durable fabrics – think denim shirts/jackets, corduroy blazers and the like – but why not mix things up a little bit and introduce some luxury? Roll necks are always a great choice for winter and, so long as it fits you well and comes in a neutral or complementing colour, can really bring out the refined history that is woven into every fibre of tweed.

With a dressier pair of boots, this is a really simple look to pull off and can be worn just about anywhere on the weekend:

  • River Island Dark Mustard Roll Neck JumperRiver Island Dark Mustard Roll Neck Jumper
  • J. Crew Ludlow Suit Pant In English Donegal TweedJ. Crew Ludlow Suit Pant In English Donegal Tweed
  • Ps By Paul Smith Dove Formal BootsPs By Paul Smith Dove Formal Boots
Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Tweed Trousers Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

windsor aw14he by mango september 2012ami aw12zara edition aw13de fursac aw12debenhams hammond & co aw14david naman aw14
Key Pieces
  • Allsaints Sano TrouserAllsaints Sano Trouser
  • Asos Slim Smart Trousers In TweedAsos Slim Smart Trousers In Tweed
  • Asos Slim Fit Smart Trousers In TweedAsos Slim Fit Smart Trousers In Tweed
  • Ben Sherman British Tweed Camden Fit Suit TrouserBen Sherman British Tweed Camden Fit Suit Trouser
  • Billy Reid Slim-fit Wool And Cashmere-blend Tweed TrousersBilly Reid Slim-fit Wool And Cashmere-blend Tweed Trousers
  • Villain Grey Slim Tweed Trousers Villain Grey Slim Tweed Trousers
  • Public School Tweed Wool Trousers 210883Public School Tweed Wool Trousers 210883
  • Ben Sherman Tailoring Slim Fit British Tweed Suit Trousers BlueBen Sherman Tailoring Slim Fit British Tweed Suit Trousers Blue
  • Oliver Spencer Pleat-front Tweed Trousers 215363Oliver Spencer Pleat-front Tweed Trousers 215363
3. The Tweed Waistcoat

But, in our eyes, the most versatile tweed garment has to be the waistcoat – there really is nothing that it can’t be paired with.

Try to avoid going for a pattern or odd colour here, because more often than not it will be layered between other pieces; a bold motif or hue just adds another unnecessary layer of complication to your aesthetic.

Instead, opt for something in grey, navy or black and then wear the hell out of it! I like to wear mine as a contrasting piece within my winter suits, so a grey tweed waistcoat will be paired with a navy wool suit (and vice versa) to add depth to my formal outfits:

  • Reiss Lamb Stretch Button Down Shirt PinkReiss Lamb Stretch Button Down Shirt Pink
  • Asos Slim Fit Waistcoat In Harris TweedAsos Slim Fit Waistcoat In Harris Tweed
  • Reiss Youngs Two Piece Suit NavyReiss Youngs Two Piece Suit Navy

It also looks great teamed with a plaid shirt and jeans on the weekend or some olive chinos and a washed out, beat-up denim jacket for those long days spent outside watching the game:

  • He By Mango Ink Color Denim JacketHe By Mango Ink Color Denim Jacket
  • Asos Slim Fit Waistcoat In Harris TweedAsos Slim Fit Waistcoat In Harris Tweed
  • Nn.07 Marco Cotton-blend Twill ChinosNn.07 Marco Cotton-blend Twill Chinos
Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Tweed Waistcoat Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

primark aw14reiss aw12sisley aw13ted baker aw12m&s aw14debenhams hammond & co aw14hugo boss aw14burton aw13matalan aw14
Key Pieces
  • Asos Slim Fit Waistcoat In TweedAsos Slim Fit Waistcoat In Tweed
  • Asos Slim Fit Waistcoat In Harris TweedAsos Slim Fit Waistcoat In Harris Tweed
  • Asos Slim Fit Waistcoat In Harris Tweed FabricAsos Slim Fit Waistcoat In Harris Tweed Fabric
  • Moss Multi Check Yorkshire Tweed Slim Fit WaistcoatMoss Multi Check Yorkshire Tweed Slim Fit Waistcoat
  • Taupe Tweed Tailored WaistcoatTaupe Tweed Tailored Waistcoat
  • Topman Navy Tweed Suit WaistcoatTopman Navy Tweed Suit Waistcoat
  • Oliver Spencer Wool-tweed GiletOliver Spencer Wool-tweed Gilet
  • River Island Navy Holloway Road Back Print WaistcoatRiver Island Navy Holloway Road Back Print Waistcoat
  • Ted Baker Upway Wool WaistcoatTed Baker Upway Wool Waistcoat
Final Word

Developing a seasonal wardrobe is important. Not only does it ensure comfort, it subtly marks you out as a stylish male who cares about the finer details and understands the importance of dressing appropriately.

Tweed is one cold-weather fabric that every guy should have in their wardrobe. Oozing gentlemanly class, it will bring a touch of rugged country chic to any ensemble.

Of course, there are other pieces that come in tweed as well – be it accessories or overcoats – but these type of items often come down to personal preference and your individual approach to style. The three garments showcased above, however, will slot seamlessly into any modern wardrobe and can be worn with confidence by any gent.

But as always, we want to hear from you – how do you incorporate tweed into your outfits during winter? What other fabrics would you like to see covered in this series? Was there anything about tweed we missed?

Let us know in the comments section below…