Big pic.When the Royals go to the country, they don’t just take some old wellies and a scruffy pair of jeans, they deck themselves out in time-honoured rural garb that is as dashing as it is practical. With padded jackets, caps and khakis, the royal weekend look is full of retro inspiration for you Kings of Vintage. George Walker reveals how One really should choose the vintage attire of the aristocrat for One’s weekend jaunts.

The Royals’ choice of clothing has always fascinated me most when it’s for a rural setting, a place where (apparently) it’s never appropriate to dress down. Just how do they manage to look so dapper while treading through horse poo? Who can really be bothered to put the effort in to being so well-groomed when you’re in a windy field, with a young bullock giving you the evil eye? The Royals can, that’s who.

The male Royals don’t really follow fashion trends. Each decade is very similar to the last in terms of style. From ceremonial attire to the relaxed khaki and jean look; the Princes never make a true fashion statement (unless it’s an unfortunate choice of fancy dress of course…) It’s their loyalty to traditional British clothing, however, that reminds us of the everlasting allure of classic, old-fashioned dressing up.

The Royals are supplied with all the wax jackets, walking sticks and Harris Tweed needed for a weekend jaunt by rural clothing companies which have been in business for hundreds of years. As we saw with the history of brogue shoes, the Royals’ combination of country style and formal dress reveals that the fine line between country and city dress is certainly permeable, with the farmer’s clothes influencing the city slicker’s dress and vice-versa.

Dirty Harry

Padded and wax jackets at Dirty Harry's vintage shop, Brighton.

Rural clothing has often been above fashion trends. It’s all about functionality, not the changing fashions of each decade. Repeatedly, however, traditional country dress has been a source of inspiration for renegade fashion designers wanting to espouse their love of British heritage pieces. Just look at Vivienne Westwood and her appropriation of tweed (even going so far as to pinch Harris Tweed’s orb logo) or the now lost genius of Alexander McQueen and his continuous appropriation of Prince of Wales check.

Currently I’ve noticed many vintage shops picking up on the renewed popularity of traditional agricultural clothing companies such as Barbour. Wax and padded jackets are everywhere, as are tweed caps. Now is a great chance to do as the Royals do, by donning a little bit of rural style for the weekend. Dressed up for that true aristocrat image, or dressed down for a quirky and rebellious take on British heritage – rural clothing can be full of humour, sophistication and individuality.

Read on for how to get One’s wardrobe revamped the royal way…






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