What do they conjure up when you hear those words? Traditional, stuffy, matronly, old fashioned, vintage, classic?
Country gents in tweed hacking jackets with leather elbow patches?
Doughty spinsters in twin sets and pearls?
Oh so very Downton Abbey?
Something you wouldn’t be seen dead in for fear of looking like a little old granny?
Both are outdated, too conservative and not for the modern woman?
You have a smart tweed skirt or jacket that you found thrifting and you love that vintage vibe it has?
You have a precious strand of pearls given to you by your Mum or Grandma, that’s been handed down through the generations?
Both are classic pieces that have stood the test of time?
I’m decidedly in the latter camp, although I don’t own a thrifted tweed garment or have a vintage pearl piece of jewellery – well, not yet anyway! I thought it would be fun to pair these two classics, that are both heavily associated with bygone eras, together in an outfit that’s easy to wear, far from stuffy and relevant to a modern, casual lifestyle.
Tips for Dressing Down your Tweed and Pearls
Keep the outfit on the casual side:
– slightly push the jacket sleeves up.
– wear a patterned shirt rather than a plain one – otherwise it begins to look too much like a suit plus it’s the perfect opportunity to do a little pattern mixing!
– turn over the shirt cuffs and leave the shirt untucked.
– add another modern piece of jewellery to avoid looking like you’re an extra from a Jane Austen adaptation.
The jacket is beautifully tailored for the outfit to withstand being less structured elsewhere.
Now, I could’ve have kept the jewellery to just my pearl necklace and bracelet for a paired down, pure classic look. However, I wanted to inject an element of fun to fit my personality more and as a way of bringing in a contemporary twist. My hot air balloon brooch – ironically itself a throwback to a bygone age of transport – is just enough of a quirky touch, without pulling focus from the pearls.
I’m really enjoying wearing greys and metallics for Spring. Less formal and heavy looking than black and in keeping with the weekend feel of the outfit.
No need for a big tote or an elaborate bag; a simple, unfussy cross body bag in a metallic shade just finishes off the look.
The Tweed Blazer
I’ve been on the hunt for a while for a tweed blazer that was a little bit different and a couple of months ago, didn’t I just find a gem of a one from Boden.
Boden’s attention to detail is stamped all over this jacket. Beautiful tailoring, neat stitching, sleek fit and the heritage tweed is milled by Abraham Moon & Sons of Yorkshire; exactly what you want from a British classic garment. Heavens, I’m practically waving a Union Jack above my head, belting out ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, as I sip my steaming mug of Yorkshire tea!
The gingham pattern and the bold pairing of blue and wine though completely updates the jacket, moving it away from the familiar browns and earthy colours of yesteryear. In fact, Boden also do this jacket in a pink and green gingham, if you want an even more feminine twist on your tweed. I’m so tempted, so very tempted!
Note about size. As always with any brand, it takes awhile to work out what size you are in each type of garment, even more so if you’re a petite as you never know which camp you’ll end up in – petite or regular. With this jacket I had to buy 3 – yes THREE different sizes before I hit the jackpot!
Size 12 Regular: great length in jacket, but usual story of sleeves too long and shoulders to broad.
Size 12 Petite: perfect length in sleeves and I could fasten it BUT reaching forward with my arms and I was a tad concerned that a ripping sound might immediately follow such a move!
Size 14 Petite: torso length, sleeve length, fit of shoulders, reach across the back ALL TICKETY BOO! So sizing up for me was the right step.
I’m wearing it with skinny jeans which in many ways is an obvious way to wear your tweed blazer BUT this is my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge after all! In any case, the depth of colour of my wine coloured jeans brings out the check / gingham pattern in a way that denim jeans wouldn’t have.
The beauty of this jacket is that it will look fabulous with tailored shorts and patterned tights, a counterpoint texture to a leather skirt or worn with a pleated midi skirt as an alternative to a cardigan.
My pearls have a very special place in my heart, as they were custom made for me for my wedding day, with a matching bracelet and earrings. Pearls are my birthstone (June) so when it came to deciding what wedding jewellery I would wear, it was a done deal it would be pearls!
I love illusion necklaces and I wanted a simple, delicate one to wear with my wedding dress that had thin, crystal covered, ivory, spaghetti straps. The necklace was just enough softness around my neck to balance out the lace and crystals of the dress.
I’ve worn the set quite alot since getting married, and not exclusively at weddings either, although weddings are the perfect excuse to wear them again! I often wearing them with summer dresses or evening tops and I always get a goosebump feeling when I’m wearing them because as soon as they’re on, they remind me of one of the best days of my life!
Dorothy Perkins Petite Skinny Jeans
Boden Petite British Tweed Blazer Currently in clearance and even more of a bargain than when I bought it in the sale. Available still in both petite and regular but sizes are limited.
Camaieu Patterned Shirt (old)
Pearl Illusion Matching Necklace & Bracelet (old, custom made) Charms of Light
Hot Air Balloon Brooch bought in a shop in Bath about 20 years ago! But here’s the exact same Brooch on etsy
Accessorize Kylie Metallic Cross Body Bag
Boden Boho Boot Currently on sale, only a few sizes left in the 3 colours.
Tweed and Pearls Footnote
Classic pieces whether garments or jewellery are such strong statements in themselves that you don’t need to limit yourself to keeping them only for formal events. Dress them up, for sure, but also make sure you have fun with them in everyday life!
That way, it makes them truly versatile wardrobe staples that will give you years of pleasure.
What classic or modern pieces do you like mixing together?
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