Getting the job done whilst looking the part
Most of us know the drill when it comes to country life fashion. Barbour, Spaniels, and an array of soft fitted shirts in varying hues of green and brown. This look has survived for ages and will continue to reappear in the likes of Vogue and Tatler forevermore, but we can’t help but think they aren’t willing to do it properly. Take this Countryside Alliance look from Ralph Lauren’s A/W 12-13 collection as an example. Beautifully put together, the trend focuses in on a pair of riding boots that are, of course, utterly stunning. However, they would not quite be suitable for travelling across fields to the next drive. In addition to this, the tie-crisp white shirt-scoop neck printed jumper is a little more schoolteacher than country classic.
Countryside clothing is all about tradition, history and practicality with just a sprinkling of class. There are a thousand ways you could go with it, but here’s our look of choice, and it’s one that can often transcribe into town life pretty successfully during cold or rainy days.
A good place to start is to do your shopping for this look in an actual country store, such as Mole Valley Farmers. You will find that if you buy clothes built specifically for the rough and tough rather than for fashion, they last a lot longer. Another bonus is that they are much cheaper from here and always look more authentic. Wearing breeches makes you look the part, but they’re not very flattering at all. A good pair of plain brown riding jodhpurs always look great tucked into riding boots or wellies, as well as making your bum look excellent! It’s a win-win situation.
Now, you can have some fun with the top half. Keep on the more casual side with a beaten up flannel shirt, but any kind of collared shirt will do. It’s up to you how fitted you like it. Don’t go for one of those crisp work shirts whatever you do, you will get very cold and uncomfortable very quickly. Tucked in or left loose, a soft shirt will look gorgeous with this look. If it’s cold, go for a much loved, oversized, over darned knitted jumper in navy. This paired with the tight fitting leggings works well and would keep you nice and warm. Oversized jumpers are in trend at the moment, so they are easy to get hold of. Plain ones are perfect, but a cheeky bit of print never hurt anyone. Either that, or a really chunky granddad cardi will do the trick.
Last but not least, whack on a Barbour, a pair of soft leather gloves in tan or black, a Barbour hood (or a flat cap if you’re feeling brave) and you’re good to go.
The traditional countryside look is a popular one, but very few manage to pull it off. When one does, it is very flattering and completely timeless! A great trend that will last forever, and one that won’t give you blisters or pneumonia. Always a plus when you can defy that age-old saying “Beauty is pain”.