A Newfound Appreciation for Country Chic

Country-inspired clothing has never been my thing. Combinations of brown, camel, olive green, and red looked frumpy and matronly. To me tweed suits and chunky sweaters may be classic, but never edgy or directional. So I stayed away until now.

fall-texturesI recently purchased a dark green wool J. Crew blazer at Crossroads this past weekend and I haven’t been able to take it off since. It was a step away from my collection of navy and black blazers, but a step well taken. I plan on wearing my cherished new blazer with skinny black jeans or tights and over-the-knee boots, like seen at Chloe, Stella McCartney, and Prada. I may also experiment by pairing it with baggy shorts for a more casual look. I’m even contemplating pulling out my Ralph Lauren cable knit sweaters from high school. This editorial in W magazine made me even start considering fair-isle sweaters, something I’ve written off since elementary school.

The play on opposites is key to mastering this look—heavy wool and tweed with silk finished off with sturdy or sleek thigh-high boots make these pieces appropriate for women under 40. My newfound obsession has got me to think about the possibilities in reinventing items associated more with Land’s End than Barneys. Just as the flannel plaid shirt made its way from lumberjacks to downtown hipsters in a few years’ time, countryside staples appear to be on the fast track to Vogue editors’ closets. In fact, Carine Roitfeld was recently seen wearing Chloe’s blanket-like cape coat. So let’s just say that now, you don’t have to be at an English castle to wear tweed.

Catherine Ning