Warm-up your winter wear with Tweed

As the days continue to be short, dark, wet and cold, we are all bringing our knits and woollens out but behold, there is a fabric that is rather rich and has a varied history you might need to add to your winter wear – Tweed!image.jpegPhoto: Courtesy of Vicky Garnett Photography

As soon as you hear ‘tweed’, your mind might have raced to the royals, Dr Who, nerdy professors, Sherlock Holmes, politicians or those aging men in Harris or Donegal tweed hats in your local pub. Whatever your associations with it, tweed redefines the complex history of gender, class and fashion from the 19th century until now. It had functional characteristics that were attractive to 19th century gentlemen and aristocrats who had an interest in virtually every sport and adventure activity – shooting, hunting, fishing, golf, cycling, motoring and mountain climbing.image                                             Dr Who in tweed jacket

In the 1890s British tweed became popular when it was included in ‘tailor made’ garments for women which consisted of a jacket and long skirt. They were warm, functional, durable and were the ‘power dress’ for contemporary office women.

By the 1920s Coco Chanel was simplifying fashion with her innovative forward looking ideas on female clothes. She borrowed items normally worn by men and transformed them into pared down stylish female apparel, for example simple jersey and tweed suits.114822515.jpgThe Time Lifestyle Magazine – 1960s Chanel tweed suits 

Although tweed might be associated with old-fashioned values and upper-class country sportswear, fashion houses have made it popular again by adding new lighter tweed weaves that are perfect for modern street wear.imagePhoto: Courtesy of Vicky Garnett Photography

It might look like an itchy, stuffy and heavy fabric but tweed is practical, warm, versatile…….and classically stylish. Perfect central heating for those winter walks!!

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Fifty shades of Green!

Across many cultures green is commonly associated with nature, growth, regeneration and fertility. In pagan times, the “Green Man” was a symbol of fertility . It was known as the colour of the heavens in the Ming Dynasty. In Ireland, it is a colour of luck and is popularly on St. Patrick’s Day or during international soccer or rugby games. It is believed that wearing green on any other day would be considered unlucky by the Irish ( I wonder about that one though!)
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Content with nature in H&M emerald green skirt

Green is everywhere around us but it is also associated with unflattering phrases such as “green with envy” or “the green-eyed monster” both in reference to people harbouring more than a little bit of jealousy. It’s no surprise then that green is not a common colour in the world of fashion.

Wearing green is not for everyone as it can be seen as loud and dominant. Green is also a rare choice at red carpets or other gala events considering the proximity to the red carpet and some celebrities can’t risk looking like a Christmas tree! However, some people can pull the colour very well as seen in these emerald green choices by Angelina Jolie Pitt, Mila Kunis, Elizabeth Moss and Catherine Zeta-Jones.imageLast year the autumn/winter collections were full of different shades of green from lush olive, emerald green, grass green, pea green, moss green to sage green making it an interesting colour to buy. I wore this lace dress to a friend’s wedding last year and it was a perfect outfit for the day as it blended very well with the lush surroundings. I wore it again this year to a different occasion with different shoes, bag and a different hairstyle and it looked new again.imageThis outfit is great colour for the autumnal look. The cocktail of green, white, pink and red colours give it a colourful autumn effect and it’s an outfit that can be dressed up or down.

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Forget about the green connotations! A woman in green isn’t the jealous type, rather she knows she causes envy in others. If you dare, get ready to spread the envy!!

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‘Spotted’ on the Rocks!

Styles comes and goes but leopard print is a timeless fashion trend. Throughout history kings and other high-ranking people have worn animal skin as a sign of status and power. Christian Dior introduced the first leopard print dress in 1947 and the trend became big with high ranking people in the 50s from Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor to Jackie Kennedy.imageMitzah Bricard and a silk chiffon Christian Dior dress from the 1947 New Look Collection

Every season leopard print is popular with fashion designers, stars and celebrities and also us, the ordinary people. High street shops are going wild with animal print at the moment. From dresses to coats, bags to shoes, scarfs and accessories, the leopard print can elevate anything you’re wearing. So, if you don’t already own a leopard print, now is the time to invest in at least one piece and add a little bit of edge to your wardrobe this autumn and winter. I think a great way to wear animal print is in small doses because ‘less can be more’. You should mix and match prints with neutral colours. I’m a big fan of the animal prints as you might have noticed in my previous posts and have adorned in zebra, cheetah or leopard print on some occasions. I personally find leopard print especially eye-catching.

imageWhile I was in the UK last weekend, I wore my little spotted dress for a day out shopping with my friends. While on the way, my friends decided to bring me to the magnificent High Rocks in Tunbridge Wells. I wasn’t sure about the practicality of my outfit but after rocking it up those ancient rocks and saw the tranquil woodland setting around me and how it blended with my outfit, I knew my leopard print was never been more appropriate. Talking of looking at the wild side!imageThey say that “leopard don’t change its spots” and I agree because leopard print has never gone out of style and will probably be in style for decades to come so get your leopard frocks on!!