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How to Wear a Tweed Jacket

by Jamie Wilson
How to Wear a Tweed Jacket

Traditional, classic and more easily styled than you’d think. We show you some of the best ways to wear a tweed jacket to suit every occasion. 

Tweed has got a bit of a name for itself as an old-fashioned material. It’s easy to think of its main fans as rich landowners, strutting around their country estate with their hunting rifle, and although this might be true in some areas, tweed is a lot more versatile than that. There’s no rule that says you have to own a country estate to wear a tweed jacket, and likewise there’s no reason to go for the traditional green check design.

Tweed comes in a range of different patterns and finishes, with locally made tweed tending to weave in colours from the surrounding countryside, and commercially made tweed coming in traditional twill, herringbone or plain weave structure. This means you can pick up a classic tweed jacket in a more modern black or grey finish, with minimal patterning, or choose a more conventional like a Herringbone tweed blazer.

How to Wear a Tweed Jacket

Men’s Tweed Blazer

Tweed jackets are said to have originated from the Scottish Outer Hebrides – although different areas all around the UK have argued they were the first to create the famous woven jacket. Whatever place first put their weave to good use though knew a lot about the inconvenience of bad weather, and created a material that was hard wearing, warm and flexible. A person could trek through a marshy bog in the rain and still be relatively dry and warm, and back in the day that was really the best anyone could ask for.

Nowadays it’s easy to stay clear of marshes, and umbrellas help with any rain issues, so we can focus on our tweed jacket’s appearance as well as its durability. There used to be fairly set styles of tweed jackets, but now there’s a whole range to choose from, and you can gain all the benefits of his classic weave while customising its look to suit you best.

A men’s tweed jacket, or judging from the classic shape, a tweed blazer, isn’t as restrictive as you might think, and one blazer can be worked into a number of different looks, from everyday smart casual outfits to more formal pieces.

How a Blazer Should Fit

Before you grab yourself a blazer, or even go anywhere the tweed section, you’ve got to know exactly how a blazer should fit. There’s nothing quite like an ill-fitting blazer or suit jacket to spoil a perfectly good outfit. These tips are simple, but they can make a big difference on how your blazer looks on.

  • The seam that connects the jacket torso to the sleeve should run across the top of your shoulder.
  • The jacket sleeve should fall at your wrist bone.
  • Your jacket torso should be tight enough that you have a clean, defined waist, but not be so tight that the material bunches up to create an X shape.
  • Your blazer should ideally fall just below the bottom of your belt. Any shorter and you won’t get the streamline look, and any longer and you’ll lose the shape of the suit.

Grey Tweed Blazer

If you’re new to tweed, and you don’t want to go for anything that’s too strong or stand out, you might want to start with a clean, versatile colour with a minimal pattern. They’re various shades of grey, but a light tone is an easy colour to incorporate into more casual looks, so if you’re looking for something that you can blend into a variety of styles, then it’s a good choice. Because the colour goes with so much, you can match a grey blazer with less conventional pieces, creating a bigger mix of smart casual looks than you might have thought.

How to Wear a Tweed Jacket
@Subhan Saad via pexels

An easy spring or autumn look that’s breathable, neat and good for cool days, layer a light blue shirt under your grey tweed blazer, finishing off with some navy jeans, and balancing out the colour scheme with some brown boots. The blue shirt is similar enough in tone to the grey, which helps create a clean, light finish, with the brown boots grounding the outfit in a darker colour, and keeping it from looking too overly saturated.

So jeans can easily be paired with a grey tweed blazer, but however great smart casual looks are, a blazer’s not worth much unless you can smarten it up. Luckily that’s easy to do as well, and, as long as your blazer fits you properly, it doesn’t take a lot of effort. You can go for a range of colour combinations, but if you’re working with a light grey blazer, your outfit will look a lot more put together if you use the same tones.

Get yourself a good dress shirt in a light blue or white, or even pink if you’re feeling colourful, and match it with some cream chinos. If you want to accessorise, try adding a pocket square or lapel pin for an elegant finish, or keep things simple with a pair of classic wayfarer sunglasses. Shoes depend on the season, but a dark or light brown would be a fail-safe option, and anything neat and clean, from loafers to brogues would work well.

Brown Tweed Blazer

Brown is one of the more traditional colours for tweed jackets and blazers, and gives a more muted, subtle finish to an outfit. You can match it with both light and dark tone clothing to change up the look and vibe of a piece, making it a versatile item to have in your wardrobe.

If you want a sleeker blazer that can easily be incorporated into different looks, regardless of pattern or material, go for one with a small print so that it doesn’t detract or clash with the rest of your outfit.An everyday smart casual look, that doesn’t take a lot of work to put together, is to take a patterned or plain navy shirt and match it with some slim fit black jeans, then throw your trusty brown tweed jacket over the top.

You’re left with a neat, yet relaxed base that you can accessorise or leave as it is, and with the dark tones working well together, you can easily change up the pieces while keeping the colours the same. For example, swapping the navy shirt for a navy T-shirt can give the outfit a more casual twist, and swapping the black jeans for black chinos will add a more formal vibe to the look.

Even if you add in some pattern and lighter tones, you can still achieve a smart look. It all depends on how you style it. A Herringbone tweed blazer in a wide print weave gives off a striking, yet sleek finish, and enables you to really draw attention to a simple outfit, while still looking elegant and refined.

For a formal look, a shirt is really the only acceptable piece to pair with your blazer, and you can go for a dark toned one for a classic, autumnal look, or add some brightness to the outfit with a blue or white shirt.

To keep the outfit balanced, and not create too much of a difference between the top and bottom half, keep your chinos on the dark side, opting for either a dark brown for a more streamlined look, or black for a subtle contrast. Finish off with some dark brown lace up brogues or boots, and you’ve got yourself an outfit that’s elegant, yet different from standard formal wear.

Tan Tweed Blazer

How to Wear a Tweed Jacket
@Mikhail Nilov via pexels

If you like the warm, autumnal tone of brown, but you’d prefer something lighter, a tan tweed blazer has the best of both worlds and, as an added bonus, isn’t the typical tweed colour, so adds a unique element to your outfit. Because of its light tone, you can easily go for a less formal, smart casual outfit, especially if you choose a busier, patterned design.

Pair your tan tweed blazer with the fail-safe shirt and jeans combination, but to keep things more interesting you can play around with colour, accessories and prints. Swap out the standard white shirt for a pink or blue one, throw on some statement sunglasses, or choose a wide print blazer over a plain one. Little things can make a big difference to how your overall outfit looks.

One easy way to create a formal look with your tan blazer is to keep the colour scheme exactly the same as your casual wear, but swap the pieces for more tailored ones. Your dark tone jeans get replaced with chinos, your oxford shirt is replaced with a dress shirt, and any accessories that are too casual can be swapped out for more elegant ones like pocket squares or just simple ties.

This does mean the contrast between the top and bottom half of your outfit will be fairly strong, so if you’re not a fan of the look, you can opt for some lighter chinos in something like a cream or beige. Because the jacket itself is enough of a statement piece, especially if you’re opting for a noticeable print, you don’t have to go too overboard with the accessories, and something like a plain tie or pocket square can be enough to add a hint of sophistication to your outfit.

Green Tweed Blazer

Another classic colour for the tweed blazer, and probably the most recognisable shade, a green tweed blazer is for the true fans of the look, and those who want a subtle splash of colour in their outfit. Most green tweed jackets have a tint of brown in them, giving them a warm finish, and giving them a versatile edge. With an ability to complement both light and dark tone clothing, a green tweed blazer is one of those pieces that’s great for giving a boost to a simple outfit.

You can achieve a smart casual look, that’s light, comfortable and warm enough for spring and autumn weather, simply by pairing your green tweed blazer with a light blue pair of jeans and a light tone jumper. The muted blazer helps to tone down the brightness of the jeans, while not creating too much of a contrast between the two.

How to Wear a Tweed Jacket
@PNW Production via pexels

Darker jeans will also work with the blazer though, with the overall outfit just looking more streamlined and less vibrant. Finish off with some shoes in something like cream or beige to help ground the outfit, and give it a light look.

Of course you can go for a formal look with a green blazer as well, and one way to create a more streamlined, clean look is to match the blazer with more classic, versatile colours like black and white. Black trousers will help pick up the darker tone of the blazer and give the outfit a neater, more streamlined look. A white shirt is a classic formal addition and ensures that your outfit isn’t oversaturated with colour. If this all sounds a bit dull, even with the green tweed, you can always choose a

A white shirt is a classic formal addition and ensures that your outfit isn’t oversaturated with colour. If this all sounds a bit dull, even with the green tweed, you can always choose a tweed blazer with elbow patches to add some extra interest to the look. Elbow patches have been part of tweed history for a while now and have gone from being a practical add-on for worn down jackets, to a classic style addition.

If you like the idea of elbow patches, make sure you choose a colour that’s going to work with the green. Black and brown will both match well, but anything too vibrant will clash with the green and take away any sleekness you’ve achieved in your outfit. 

Your Quick Guide on How to Wear a Tweed Jacket

  • If you want some subtly with your tweed, opt for a grey tweed blazer, with the cool tone matching well with light colours, and keeping the overall look clean and versatile.
  • Brown tweed is a classic colour for tweed jackets, and its warm tone is perfect for pairing with a range of colours, allowing you to mix and match styles with ease.
  • If you like the warmth of the brown blazer, but want something lighter, go for a tan tweed blazer instead, with the versatile piece able to bring some brightness to a simple outfit.
  • Green tweed is a classic colour for tweed and works well with both light and dark toned outfits.

On That Note

Tweed jackets aren’t for everyone, but they’ve come a long way since their rustic beginnings, taking on modern influences and coming in subtle as well as bolder designs. You can choose from a range of colours, prints and shapes, and go for simple, clean textured materials, or wide print blazers with the trademark elbow patches. Any tweed jacket can be incorporated into both formal and smart casual looks, yet their textured look always helps to give your outfit a unique twist that helps it stand out from the crowd.

Feature image from Pexels

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