While I’m a fan of men in tweed jackets virtually anywhere I see them, as a woman I always felt that wearing tweed in the city was just too rustic a look for me. I indulged my attraction to them once or twice – I remember picking up a brown and cream herringbone one at the flea market about ten years ago, but it just sat there in my closet untouched until I admitted defeat and gave it away. Now that I live in the countryside however, I am free to move full steam ahead in my enthusiasm for tweed. For my 40th birthday last year, Christopher gave me a custom-made hacking jacking. Slightly intimidated by the expense, I went fully classic – a black and grey Harris tweed in a slightly feminized version of a traditionally masculine style. She is a thing of beauty – my jacket, that is – beautiful shape, perfect fit, well-considered details. But I am now craving something less conventional to add to the mix – maybe an oversized mens-style jacket with the sleeves rolled up? Or perhaps something even more fitted and feminine and stylised? When I’m on the farm I’d like something roomy enough that I can throw on over a sweater and drive in comfortably. But then when I join my husband to go on the occasional shooting weekend, I love the thought of channelling the more retro girly shapes from the 1930’s – matching jacket and skirt with maybe a bit of a hairstyle and some makeup. You get the look, right? As I want something authentic and non-fashion-y I’m determined to find something at a vintage shop. We’ll see what I come up with.
Not too long ago I was sitting in the American Embassy in London of all places, and I noticed two women sitting in front of me wearing the chicest bonnets. Who on earth are these ladies?, I thought to myself. So I googled “white pleated bonnet,” and an entire world of Amish-inspired fashion popped up on my phone. Looking at all the Amish-style photos I’ve now collected, I realise that while I might have my tomboy farm style down pat for the most part – functional trousers (usually from J Crew), my Grenson boots, my old Balmain military pea coat, and an Isabel Marant plaid flannel shirt – I haven’t quite figured out my way to look feminine on the farm yet. I’d like to wear more dresses and skirts. I’d like to wear a blouse. I like how the clean black and white looks against such a decorative, romantic landscape. I like the mix of girl style and boy style. The braids work too. Now, if only I could make my life as simple and focused as the Amish have done, then we’d really be talking.