How to Dress for an English Hunt – Robb Report

Since 2010 when Downton Abbey has become the staple of Sunday night television, there has been a marked increase in how British style has been perceived over the past decade. The obsession that Americans seem to have with classy people doing classy things in classy surroundings has led to a growth in waxed jackets, Wellington boots, and Barbara Pym novels. Now, with an increased focus on the royal family, that obsession doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

The landed gentry of England just have a way of making the toughest sports seem, in a word, gentlemanly. Take, for example, hunting. Whether grouse, pheasant, fox or rabbit, some sort of uniform is required. While not everyone has a country house for a shooting game Gosford Park, there are a few styling cues that can be incorporated into your hunting style to reflect more Duke of Devonshire and less Duck Dynasty. Best of all, the best pieces work just as well in town as they do in the country.

What to wear: an overview

While one can easily see the polish of British hunting attire, it’s important to note the basic wardrobe essentials needed to blend in over a long weekend. As Martha, Lady Sitwella top hunter herself and the former face of Royal Ascot, recounts Robb Report“It should be smartly dressed in tweed with a complementary waistcoat and jacket. It should be worn with a shirt, tie and cap of a different pattern than the jacket itself. You don’t want to appear too coordinated or matchy. Over this outfit, you can wear a waterproof coat that is not too shiny. The goal is to look reassured, but not to let the animals notice your presence.

Barbour Beaufort Jacket

Although there are many styles of Barbour, the most popular is the Beaufort. Named after the Duke of Beaufort, known for his fox hunts, its heritage is in keeping with the theme of country sports. With a weather resistant waxed cotton shell, generous outer pockets (actually the rear pockets are designed to fit a grouse, or maybe just a copy of the Time), and a moleskin lining, this jacket is the strictly choice for hunters. Because you’ll be layering, be sure to order a size or two up.

Buy now on Barbour: $415

Hunter rubber boots

Hunters are truly the most classic shape when it comes to Wellies. With their red and white label and simple silhouette, this is British heritage in its simplest form. No wonder they’ve been the British campaign boot of choice since 1856 and have continually held a royal warrant since 1977.

Although Hunters is perhaps the most iconic brand, Cad and the Dandies founder James Sleater notes that the French boot brand The camel is gaining popularity. Hunters are tough rubber boots, but Le Chameau has the added comfort of a neoprene or technical cotton interior for extra comfort and warmth.

Buy now on Hunter: $160

Cheater Derby Shoes

Although in most cases wellies are your best bet, you may want to change into something more comfortable when you’re done shooting and rest with something sturdy by the fire. Tricker’s Bourton and Stow is that shoe. Derby shoes have a long history as the country shoe of choice and it doesn’t get much better than Tricker’s if you want a simple, well-made style. Tricker Sales Manager David Jeffrey explains: “The Bourton and Stow is unmistakable: a heavyweight derby shoe and boot that features the brogue detailing synonymous with true country footwear. It’s one that will last a lifetime, capable of taking a beating and only getting better with age. If that’s not the best testimonial for a pair of Derby shoes, I don’t know what is. And if they are good enough for King Charlesthey are enough for me.

Buy now on Trickers: £480 (around $555)

A bespoke tweed suit

People always want to look smart,” says Sleater. While in the United States you can get away with an orange waistcoat and camouflage trousers, the same cannot be said of our British brothers. Many people still opt for the classic tweed suit. Opting for a bolder pattern than what they would normally wear in their daily lives, the costume allows, almost paradoxically, a relaxed atmosphere. Think of this costume less as a stuffy uniform and more as comfortable workwear and an excuse to try something new.

Sleater recommends the tailored route for the best fit and the expertise of a tailor with the know-how in hunting attire. He also recommends going with a respected tweed supplier that can withstand the elements and years of wear and tear, like Mill of Lovat in Hawick, Scotland.

Learn more here

Alan Paine tweed cap

To top it all off, opt for a tweed cap which, as Lady Sitwell noted above, contrasts slightly with your tweed. Alan Paine has great, reasonably priced flat cap options in a range of designs that will complement any outfit you might buy from Cad & The Dandy. They are fully lined for added waterproofing while also coming in a variety of sizes (compared to the standard S, M, L) for a comfortable fit and to prevent slipping while shooting.

Buy now on Alan Paine: $74.95