Personally, I love this time of the year - with temperatures dropping, it provides me with more options of what to wear everyday. Monday can be flannel, Tuesday corduroy and tweed for the weekend. With a few pieces you can build a wardrobe with enough flexibility to wear something different everyday. The fabric of the suits, jackets and trousers you choose for the coming months make all the difference, as the construction of the fabric determines their ability to keep you warm during the colder months. Pure cashmere, wool, fine cotton – these are just some of the fibres that are the leaders of the autumn-winter collection. This season, it’s all about breathable, warmth and tactile allure.
Here is a brief guide on what to look for in a winter fabric so that you can keep on looking cool and staying warm all winter long.
Flannel was always made of wool or cotton. This fabric has a distinctive appearance because it is brushed with fine metal brushes, which are run over the fabric to create a ‘nap’ – the raised fibres that give the material its softness and texture. The origin of the flannel word is uncertain but it has been traced back to Wales, where it was well known as early as the 16th century. The French term flanelle was used in the late 17th century, and the German Flanell was used in the early 18th century.
Flannel is the staple winter fabric for men’s clothing, it is also very comfortable, durable and drapes nicely. It is true that flannel is a historic fabric, but men across the globe still love it for its soft feel and melange of muted colours. Flannel does fit into a smart and composed modern gentleman’s wardrobe. If we dive into history for some inspiration, the great Gianni Agnelli was so much in love with flannel that he can be considered one of the best-known ambassadors of the fabric. He owned many flannel suits in various shades of grey and loved flannel neckties. And this trend in on a high point this coming cold season.
The ’70s favourite is making a welcomed, fashionable come back. Corduroy is a cotton fabric that is twisted into thick ribs that are both hard wearing and soft. One of the best things about this iconic cloth is the fact that it gets better with age.
Corduroy is precisely a variant of the classic velvet fabric, which can be obtained through various specific procedures such as weaving, brushing, waxing or calendering. Because it’s warm and very flexible, corduroy is mostly used for trousers, but designers have realised that it can be used for other pieces as well, such as a full suit and jackets. It goes without saying that corduroy is a great fabric for this winter. For stunning aesthetic combinations, corduroy jacket or trousers can be worn with denim or wool, as it is a versatile fabric to be worn in casual outfits.
The original name of the cloth was tweel, Scots for twill, as the material was woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern. It got its name by chance. Around 1831, a London merchant received a letter about some “tweels”. The merchant misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders of the textile area. The goods were subsequently advertised as Tweed and the name got stuck and has remained with the fabric since.
Tweed is a very strong, rough, tight-knit, yet flexible and stylish fabric. It has been used for winter clothes for over a century, especially for suit jackets, waistcoats and even trousers. Tweed has been associated with the upper class of British society for decades during the Edwardian era, but, even with the democratisation of fashion and clothes, it has still kept its place as one of the best and top-rated materials to be worn during the cold season.
Tweed fabrics are available in a wide range of colours and designs (such as Harris Tweed, Donegal tweed and Silk tweed), no winter wardrobe should be considered complete without some tweed in it.