I know it's the middle of summer, and if there is any fabric that is a winter fabric, it's tweed
! However, I'm going over old WorldCons and one of the skirts that turns up more often than not is my tweed. Probably because it packs and travels well.
Here I've paired it with red for WorldCon in 2008 with Amy, Prannish, & Paul at the Tor party.
Mine is modern, not vintage (fortunately this means it doesn't smell
). It's a Liz Claybourne from Marshalls, I probably paid about $30 for it. It's lined and not wool, contributing factors to me buying it. Vintage tweed is almost always wool, which I can't wear to my sadness.
1940's stylish tweedy ladies
Tweed has a very 1940's feel to me, but it's been particularly popular from 1930s on. It has a definite reputation in England for being associated with the gentry (or countrified aristocracy). It was worn for hunting and riding and other sporting pursuits. "Getting into the tweed" is a colloquialism for getting ready for a country jaunt. Also it's irreparably linked to both a boy's public school education (for the yanks this means private school ~ don't ask) and the House of Lords.
The ladies of Gosford park, in the tweed zone.
I tend to pair mine with a knit bow top.
Or a pussycat bow (see future blog). As we have discussed before I love red, so most of the time this outfit ends up with red accessories, as discussed in a previous blog
. But sometimes I pair it with brown for a more fall look.
Photo by Lori Nyx
Here I am doing a reading in the skirt on the Blameless
book tour. I'm wearing a little fur and velvet net hat which I adore (affectionately referred to as the tarantula hat) and some brown shoes.
Hat from Decades of Fashion on Haight Street. $30
T-strap pumps by Soft from Nordsrtom Rack $25, and peep toes by Aerosoles from source $35.
Both shoes started life pink and have been dyed brown. I seem to always end up dying shoes brown because I can't find a pair I like in the shade I want.
In adition to the skirt I have two jackets in tweed as well. Or rather one coat and one jacket.
Coat from Banana Republic outlet mall $60, American Eagle check jacket from thrift store $10.
I've had the winter white coat for ages, it seems terribly impractical but I can't seem to get rid of it. Every time I think, I have too many coats, this is the one I end up reaching for when it's cold and I don't want black. The jacket, sadly, doesn't quite fit the rack and is wool, although lined with a lovely red pinstripe, so it has been (rather aptly) retired to the countryside (AKA my mother's). It's a tweedy fabric, but with a brown hounds-tooth check. It's very equestrian, and I LOVE equestrian so I haven't been able to completely get rid of it.
But where was I? Oh yes, tweed! Like the black pencil skirt the tweed skirt often shows up on the fall winter runways. Here are some examples from both future and past.
I think you can dress tweed modern, as in the last two pictures above, but it will still have a vintage look to it. Particularly if you are wearing a pencil skirt form. I suspect this, combined with the country equestrian nature, is why I love it so very much.
Joan on Madmen sporting tweed, and a 1940's tweed suit paired with what? Oh yes, red!
So what book do I suggest with the tweed?Patricia C. Wrede's The Raven Ring
. Set in Lyra (a world in which Wrede has written many books) this one stands entirely alone. It features a tough mountain lass, who just happens to be a bad ass fighter, and is basically a murder mystery with magic. Eleret must figure out who murdered her mother and what that has to to with the magical Raven Ring that is her only inheritance. It also features two marvelous love interests and a fun ending.