Q&A: How to Wear a Tweed Jacket

September 17th, 2008

Q:  I’ve seen some tweed sports jackets in fashion magazines for men.  Is this something that will be in style for Fall?  I’ve been looking for a tweed jacket and haven’t had any luck. 

Plaid Tweed Jacket at J Crew
Wool Plaid Tweed Jacket | $328 at J Crew.

A: Yes, tweed does seem to be back, but take care in how you wear it.  The tweed jacket can be refreshing and cool, but it needs to be done right.

I think tweed gets a bad rap from old school professors who wear it with patches on the elbows.  It can be worn with style, but I’m a bit more classic than the folks at GQ and Esquire, who seem to be pushing tweed as a trend for Fall.  I tend to think of tweed as “country” wear, where sophisticates sip on cognac and smoke pipe tobacco while wearing a fine tweed jacket.  Maybe that’s just me.

If you want to do tweed in the city at night, you may be able to pull it off with the right fit and complementary clothes.  If I had to make one outfit with a tweed jacket, I would start with a medium to charcoal gray tweed jacket (with a slim silhouette, lapels and no patches, of course).  Under that tweed jacket, wear a sweater or button-down.  And finish the outfit off with a pair of dark denim jeans (navy or black, if you like this Fall’s black jeans trend) or even pinwale cords. 

Whatever you do, keep your outfit simple; you’ll already be attracting attention for wearing tweed.  Let people admire the cut of your jacket—don’t distract them with a complicated pattern.  Oh and contrary to the pictured J Crew example, skip the t-shirt under the tweed blazer look. The wool and the rich tweed texture make this jacket more dressy, and the t-shirt tends to make the look immature, not young. The J Crew guys saved the look by layering the cardigan over the t-shirt.

Style Tip? Or perhaps more precisely, “comfort tip” – the heavier material of tweed makes the jacket both warmer and more formal than, say, a canvas blazer.  I’d recommend wearing tweed on cool Autumn and Winter evenings.  Also, stick to structured blazers, which will complement the formality of the fabric.

Have a great tip about how to wear a tweed jacket?  Share it with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: How To,Men,Men's,Men's,Q&A

21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RoddyJones  |  September 17th, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Thanks for this tip! It’s been sometime since I last saw anyone do tweed. I’ve always liked it but it’s one jacket that is very difficult to carry off and get away with.

  • 2. Mel Marcelo  |  September 17th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I’ve loved my tweed jacket from 2004 (A&F!!!). I do need to update it to a more fitted-2008 style.

    T-shirts do look nasty alone with tweed but I enjoy wearing my jacket with a tee and a nice simple colored or striped buttoned up shirt layered over the tee.

    Lately I’ve been layering with some of the thinner cardigans I have from last spring.

    Tweed does get a lot of attention–I get comments from tweed admirers. What I like about the material is it separates your jacket from the bargain $49 blazers that are available in mass market stores.

  • 3. Trisha  |  September 18th, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Layering with a thin cardigan – what a great fall transition look. Thanks for sharing, Mel!

  • 4. topher  |  March 25th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Tweed is country wear. Not fashion, although it does dress up nicely. In parts of Ireland, tweed jackets are worn on top of overalls by farmers. This is done for warmth. The same tweed jacket may well be worn to services on Sunday, then off to the pub after. No need to clean the pig s*** off, it’s just what people wear.

  • 5. colin sherwood  |  July 31st, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    i ve just bought a harris tweed its like a grey-blue check pattern,it dosent go with anything i have in the wardrobe…i need help

  • 6. Squishy  |  February 10th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I love the Tweed Jacket look. Im Irish so its not quite just country were. most people have a nice dress jacket and a thicker one as far as fasion goes i have always sported mine with a Vest with a complimenting color or pattern over a grey or black T-shirt and at age 19 it seams to be a very good look and really shows style ……

  • 7. tom  |  May 19th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    ok, my tweed jacket is GREEN. im a skinny girly little white boy with blond hair , is there any hope left for me?

  • 8. Denise  |  May 20th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    There is a huge range of mens Harris Tweed jackets @ http://www.vintagewhistles.co.uk to suit all styles & sizes :)

  • 9. johnny mike  |  September 23rd, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    i have three harris tweed jackets, no matter what i wear with them iget nice compliments. everyone notices the tweed and little else. ilike brown shoes with tweed

  • 10. TheProfessor  |  October 7th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Ok so I just picked up my first tweed blazer and I’ve got many ideas but don’t want to push the envelop too far. I bought it with the intention of it being a more of laid back piece. What do you think about combining it with a fall plaid shirt, or even flannel, with a hoodie and jeans, or dark khakis with distressed boots? I would love some feedback

  • 11. Aye  |  October 13th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Dark Jeans, Nice Loafers and a Pink Shirt with the tweed jacket. Looks Sharp.

  • 12. Jack  |  November 10th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I really want a tweed coat, similar to the one Morrissey wore during the 80s. I’m looking for something cheap with a simplistic design, like the one on here. Obviously that’s too expensive for me, I’m only 16 and I have limited amounts of money. Can anybody help me?

  • 13. Jivko  |  November 18th, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Jack, check the UK Ebay.

  • 14. Tony  |  December 30th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    For my friends birthday he wanted us to look like “old school farmers” got my jacket for 12.99 from Oxfam (the priciest of charity shops) and I literally where it all the time now, look for a good one though don’t buy any old rubbish and the best thing is some old man probably died in it, bonus style points. Also a great look is the tweed jacket with joggers and high tops. Trust me haha.

  • 15. Gavin  |  February 3rd, 2011 at 7:05 am

    I love mine. I agree with wearing dark denim (navy, not black) and tan brogues. It can be dressed up with an open neck shirt (I keep it plain to match one of the colours in the jacket) or down with a thin sweater. If you need to wear it with a tie, wear a plain tie which picks up another of the colours in the jacket.

  • 16. Sikander  |  April 9th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Jack, hit the vintage stores dude, they are awesome and very affordable./
    I mainly go for one of a kind pieces.
    Make sure you check them out!
    I am pretty certain you’ll find a tweed jacket in one vintage shop or another.
    Good luck.

  • 17. RowanT  |  May 23rd, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    A dark brown or green tweeed jacket looks awesome with a pale pink shirt and some light wash jeans with brown loafers. Or even a white shirt. A good look for a cool summer evening or just a night out on the town. The jeans and loafers create that fashionable look and the city, country contrast

  • 18. Markell  |  September 1st, 2011 at 9:46 am

    What cut of jeans is best? Obviously not baggy ones, I’m thinking slim but not skinny. What about chinos? There’s so many ways it could go wrong!

  • 19. Ayesha  |  April 30th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Can a tweed jacket be worn by a straight,curved,soft-straight or soft-curved bodyline.

  • 20. junaid  |  June 23rd, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    thanx for dis tip because i so worried about our choosing clothes

  • 21. Porus  |  February 13th, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Hi. Can anyone please advise on how a combination of charcoal grey jeans, plaid check shirt ( tucked or untucked ) and a light grey polywool jacket look ?

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