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Tweed inspired fashion

PUBLISHED: 10:06 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:15 20 February 2013

Coats and boots

Coats and boots

Jo Haywood explains why you need a new type of tweed in your wardrobe

No-one has a burning need for tweed. It's just not that type of fabric. It's not silk or cashmere or satin or any of the more frivolously covetable materials. It's more practical than that. Tweed doesn't suffer fools gladly. It's for briskly yomping, not friskily romping.

But wait, what's that coming over the hill? It looks like tweed, it feels like tweed, but it's not tweed as we know it. Where once it was a fabric too closely associated with Margaret Rutherford types hurtling around the countryside on bone-rattling bicycles, it now happily hob-nobs at the high end of fashion.

It can be subtle, little more than a barely-there textural effect, or it can be loud to the point where you have to shade your eyes for fear of being dazzled. As a general rule of thumb, soft tweeds are suitable for more formal affairs while louder, crunchier tweeds work better when you're going casual.

If you do go for tweed this winter (and you really, really should) it's best to keep your accessories relatively simple. A large leather tote bag looks great against a quiet tweed, as does a retro cloche hat.

And if you buy nothing else - as if! - you must buy a pair of over-the-knee leather boots. Flat or spikes, it doesn't matter, it's all about leg-length this season. Just remember, the thigh's the limit.

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