Most of what we think of as classic English fashion grew out of the practical needs of riding, hunting, or living in the country. The English country look is now a recognisable style that is both traditional and has become increasingly trendy for men and women in past years. Here are some of the most important elements to this look.
Equestrian Is Riding High In the World Of Fashion
Equestrian or riding gear is one classic style that can be easily adapted to wear every day. Riding boots are essential to an equestrian outfit. Proper riding boots can be of brown or black leather, and should end just below the knee and fit tightly. Good quality boots can cost a lot, but there are also pleather versions available that look almost as good. Another option are shorter Chelsea boots, also called jodhpur boots, which originated for use in riding.
Boots & Beige Trousers
For a classic equestrian look, boots should be worn over a pair of beige trousers. Riding jodhpurs are the most authentic, but a pair of corduroy trousers or jeans are also a good option. A hacking jacket is the traditional sports coats for horse riding, but a blazer is a good substitute. Many people don’t know that the central vent at the back of a blazer originated as a way to make riding easier. Wear a black or brown blazer to look like a show rider, or a red blazer to look like you’re on a hunt.
Another essential item of countryside fashion is a practical jacket made with traditional, natural fabrics. Barbour jackets are a classic design made either from waterproof waxed cloth or from a quilted fabric. They are probably equally popular for practical and fashion reasons, and vintage Barbour jackets are especially stylish. Trench coats are another fashion item that had a practical origin as a man’s raincoat. Tweed is another country necessity that never goes out of fashion. Tweed jackets and overcoats for men and tweed skirts for women give a smart casual look that can be worn anywhere.
Footwear is Key
For footwear, other vintage choices besides riding boots might include lace up boots, brogues, and oxford shoes. Finally, nobody should be without a pair of the most essential countryside fashion item, wellington boots. Hunter wellies in green or black are classic, while other colours and patterns are less traditional but look stylish in the city. The good thing about English country style is that it is timeless but also functional, which means it will always be in fashion.
We have Phillipa Gillinham to thank for this post. Phillipa works at Lyst.com, where you’ll find leggings, boots, jackets and a whole host of fashionable ladieswear.