Country Meets City Style
Here at FashionBeans we always keep an eye out for looks that are both practical and stylish. This is why we were excited to see the pieces British heritage brand Gieves & Hawkes showcased at London Collections: MEN, which perfectly mixed the idea of country and city dressing together.
Inspired by the company’s archive, which spans back 300 years, Gieves & Hawkes’ Creative Director Jason Basmajian focused both on a love of heritage design and quality craftsmanship in the impressive AW14 collection. And, to support the traditional Savile Row label reaching new global heights, Basmajian has turned his attention to making country clothing feel city-appropriate – his (and our) favourite look being a Donegal tweed suit worn with a cashmere tie.
With this in mind, we highlight the benefits of bringing a country spin to your city wardrobe, as well as ways to nail the look yourself…
The Look: City Slicker Meets Country Gent
When asked about the Gieves & Hawkes collection at LC:M, Basmajian explained how he loves the “country colour palette worn in the city”, as to him it’s “quite urban”. He went on to say that this aesthetic also helps guys who enjoy tailoring appear sophisticated without coming across pompous.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen the contrasting combination of city slicker and country gent come together in fashion. Heritage style in general has stamped its mark on menswear in recent years, leading to professionals up and down the country trading their signature monochrome suits for tweed and autumnal hues.
There’s something about the warmth, texture and earthiness of country style that is so often missing amidst the steely grey and blue hues of tailoring in the city. This is why we would encourage every man to incorporate a touch of the country aesthetic to their weekday work wardrobe, not just reserving it for weekend breaks from their nine-to-five.
The Inspiration: Gieves & Hawkes AW14
When it comes to pulling off country-inspired tailoring, a blazer is the perfect piece to start with.
Keep the fit slim and the cut sharp to maintain the sartorial sophistication most workplaces require, but reach for a jacket crafted from wool mix tweed to channel a country feel.
This slim-fit blazer from ASOS manages to balance the two contrasting vibes together with its tweed texture yet traditional grey hue. Layer it with a cable knit jumper in a country-inspired hue and a contrasting contemporary shirt for that city slicker finishing touch:
Blazers are great for testing the waters of this heritage-inspired look, but if you want to take it a step further, invest in a stylish suit.
The brown checks of this dapper three-piece from Topman epitomise country chic, while its well-cut design maintains a sense of sophistication that is suitable for the boardroom. The blazer’s heritage fit will also suit those with a broader upper body, as the jacket naturally has more room across the chest.
This traditional country gent-inspired suit is given a further modern-day update via its trousers, which come in a skinny fit and help cut a contemporary silhouette. A crisp white shirt and tan brogues will finish this ensemble off perfectly:
- Reiss Star Slim Fit Cotton Shirt White
- Topman Premium Brown Checked Tweed Three Piece Suit
- Reiss Gillespie Classic Brogues Tan
- Topman Harris Tweed Brown Blazer
- Farah Vintage Blazer In Tweed – Exclusive
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Flannel
- He By Mango Unstructured Herringbone Wool-blend Blazer
- Ted Baker Mupperz Wool Blazer Brown
- Topman Khaki Tweed Blazer
- Topman Harris Tweed Khaki Blazer
- Billy Reid Wesley Slim-fit Cotton And Cashmere-blend Corduroy Suit Jacket
- J.crew Slim-fit Harris Tweed Blazer
- River Island Green Check Wool-blend Slim Suit Jacket
- Topman Brown Tweed Herringbone Suit
- Topman Camel Plain Skinny Tweed Suit
When it comes to outerwear, the ideal compromise of farmer and formal is a sharply-cut quilted jacket. British brand Lavenham is the go-to for this, being “proud to boast its heritage of equestrian and country lifestyle”. Lavenham gives traditional English designs a contemporary update, making its outerwear the obvious choice for our country-meets-city look.
A classic diamond design jacket like this one in blue is perfect for pulling over a more dressed-down outfit for work. Crafted in a slightly looser fit to enable winter layering, the heritage-inspired piece will help you combat the cold during your morning commute.
For a more casual take at the weekend, layer over a neutral gingham shirt and team with tapered chinos and brogue boots:
- Asos Smart Shirt In Long Sleeve With Large Gingham Check
- Denham Mens
- Topman Grey Vintage Slim Wool Chinos
- Bellfield Leather Wedge Brogue Boots
- Williams & Brown Quilted Jacket
- John Lewis Classic Quilted Jacket
- Alfred Dunhill Lance Quilted Lightweight Jacket
- Brixtol Waxed Jacket With Cord Collar
- Vintage Renewal Waxed Jacket In Brown
- Barbour Bedale Jacket In Smart Cotton
- He By Mango Trimmed Cotton-blend Field Jacket
- He By Mango Premium Trim Field Jacket
- A.p.c. Cotton-twill Field Jacket With Detachable Lining
We all know that a true country gent will invest in a durable pair of Wellington boots to combat his rural environment. This is fine for walks in the country and Glastonbury festival, but we city dwellers won’t find much use for a pair when we’re darting from meeting to meeting.
Instead, we highly recommend investing in a tan/brown pair of brogues to bring an earthy touch to your office attire. Durable and resilient yet elegant and stylish, brogues are ideal for finishing off any sharp sartorial look.
Choice of colour is everything – stay away from black and opt for earthy tones of tan or brown. Those wanting something more individual should consider an oxblood pair, which are just as versatile as brown yet will bring a contemporary twist to any outfit, formal or casual.
This tan leather wing tip pair by Grenson exudes effortless English style and can be teamed with any of your razor-sharp suits for a professional look that is also suitable for an evening out.
Enhance the country theme with a houndstooth bow tie and pared-back shirt combination:
- Topman Monochrome Houndstooth Bow Tie
- Reiss Lennox Modern Suit With Notch Lapel Dark Navy
- Grenson Dylan Leather Wingtip Brogues
- Grenson Fred Textured-leather Brogue Boots
- Barker Butcher Brogue Boots
- Grenson Sharp Brogue Boots
- Reiss Rossmore Hand Finished Brogues Brown
- Grenson Leather Grain Longwing Brogues In Burgundy
- He By Mango Brogueing Leather Blucher
- River Island Brown Cleated Sole Brogues
- Base London Brocket Brogue Boots
- Ps By Paul Smith Knight Brogues
At the heart of everything we cover here at FashionBeans is a desire for style that mixes fashion and function together perfectly. When Gieves & Hawkes’ Creative Director decided to take a retrospective look back over the heritage brand’s 300-year history, we’re glad that he focused on the aspects of the label that make British style so superior and unique.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a busy city man who hardly has enough time to check his inbox, let alone take a minute to escape to the country and appreciate nature. You can show your appreciation for the warmer and heartier elements of life by simply swapping your steely greys and high shine cotton for natural browns and textured wool.
Just don’t try this style concept the other way around – we’re not sure how appropriate tasselled loafers would be for wading through the muddy marshes of Wiltshire.