An Ode to Tweed


Julie Christie sporting tweed in 1973's "Don't Look Now"

Julie Christie sporting tweed in 1973’s “Don’t Look Now”

It’s March and it’s cold, and maybe you’re getting tired of your winter wardrobe. I know I am. I’ve have been scouting about for something new and interesting to add to the mix when I caught an eyeful of Julie Christie in the 70’s film “Don’t Look Now.” If you love Venice and/or suspense films, I recommend it.

On the style front, the movie’s notable because Julie Christie wears tweed throughout the movie, and looks fabulous doing so, fresh and elegant, even though she’s kind of tormented due to various plot machinations.

That said, if you are thinking of adding some new notes to your cold weather wardrobe, here are some tips on how to successfully select and wear tweed:

-Tweed, distinguished and distinct. Since tweed hasn’t been on any fad or trend radar recently, you’ll strike a singular note sporting it. Technically, tweed is a textured fabric that comes in the plain variety, weaved or patterned.

Whatever type of tweed you select, remember that it’s such an uber-classic and traditional fabric that you can effectively use it to sober up what you feel are the more radical or out-there elements of your ensemble.

-Tweed, the great balancer. Let’s say you’re a guy expanding your wardrobe horizons. You want to wear more mod clothes; this usually means brighter colors and more current silhouettes.

A touch of tweed will go a long way in sobering up an outfit that's out there for you...

A touch of tweed goes a long way in sobering up an outfit that’s out there for you…


Such as trading in pleated, do-nothing office khakis for sunnier, skimmier slacks that do something for your fine physique without making you look like you’re headed to a disco on your lunch break. However, after years of wearing really safe clothes, you feel a bit odd or obtrusive wearing your new duds. And chances are, if you feel weird or not quite comfortable, you will also look somewhat uncomfortable or stiff or not quite assured in your ensemble.

Solution: Add a tweed vest, scarf or jacket to bring your look back to your comfort level.

Ditto for the ladies.

-The innocence of a miniskirt, in tweed. Wear a piece of tweed, such as a scarf or vest, when you feel like projecting a classic or elegant vibe.

Also, if you are in the mood for a quite short skirt – but are not always comfortable in quite short skirts – then acquire one in tweed. It’s a blameless fabric. After all, how many harlots are known to wear tweed?


Tweed cheats a short skirt. How short is ‘too short’ – the thigh’s the limit in tweed, the blameless fabric!


Which kind of brings me to my next point about selecting tweed. Tweed is typically a heavyweight fabric. This is owing to the fact that it’s a durable fabric and is therefore a perfect choice for using in the construction of outerwear.

-A tweed for all seasons. However, you can find tweed in light and medium weights as well. Silk tweed, for instance, is lightweight and flexible and feels luscious, and can be fashioned without a hint of that shimmery quality that people associate with silk.

And tweed can be patterned in the traditional, think herringbone or houndstooth, or dyed to shades seen along a rainbow. It just might take a bit of looking to find tweed garments in less-traditional weights and prints.

Whatever tweed you choose, please invest in the good stuff. When I say “invest” I don’t necessarily mean spend a ton of dough.I mean take the time to find a quality garment – one that is well-constructed and fits you well.

Classic fabrics are less forgiving when it comes to a poor or clumsy fit. And since tweed is classic, you can wear your tweed items as long as you wish to own them. Therefore, it will pay off in the long run to invest in quality tweed garments. Buy once and well, I say.




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