Ah, a subject close to my own heart. Lovely, lovely tweed. What is it about it that makes me love it so much?
Well, it’s pretty much ideal for a autumn/winter/early spring wedding. In fact I got my first tweed suit (which makes it sound like I’ve got loads but really it’s only two) for my sister’s wedding which was in the Scottish Borders. In February. And the venue for the ceremony was the lovely but entirely roofless Melrose Abbey. So it has its benefits, one of them being warmth. This particularly came in handy at my own wedding when we were outside getting our pictures taken in a foot or so of snow.
It’s also a lot more interesting than a conventional suit. There’s a lot more variety in the colours and patterns from your more traditional greys and browns to the rather colourful output of Dashing Tweeds. The texture of the fabric also photographs well. Then, there’s the weight, which I suppose is a more personal thing. In all practical terms it’s difficult to argue that “heavy = good”. You are likely to be hotter and possibly less mobile, but I feel that the heaviness of tweed means it literally has more substance and bestows a sort of odd sort of significant permanence. I’ve worn a lot of suits out in my time, but I look at my wedding suit and I know that as long as I don’t do anything silly, it’ll last pretty much forever.
Despite the many wonderful features and the fact that it’s at least moderately fashionable, it’s still not that easy to get hold of a tweed suit. Sure, lots of shops sell jackets and some have trousers, but a suit just seems a bit much to ask for. As I mentioned previously, I decided to go all out and have a tailor (the fantastic Graham Browne) make me one. This, I would highly recommend and there are more options now than ever, catering to a variety of budgets like Walker Slater (who do made to measure and ready to wear), The Cad & The Dandy and Norton & Townsend all the way up to Savile Row.
Another option is Bookster, who aren’t quite the same, but they do have a huge selection of tweeds, lots of options for customizing and I hear the quality is excellent.
Beyond that, there are few specialist shops like Walker Slater (Edinburgh and London) and Oliver Brown (London) that sell suits off the peg and there may be others a bit more local to you. Some places do have an online shop, but things can look a lot different in real life than they do on your screen, so you might try asking if they’d send you a fabric swatch or two. You may also have a few options on the high street. You can’t really see it now as all the shops still have their Spring/Summer collections out, but as an example, Burton’s had this rather nice tweed suit for a very reasonable price.
Do bear in mind though, that quite a few suits that you might come across (like this one at ASOS) might be made in large part out of the dreaded artificial fibers. This may be a compromise you’re willing to make given the price, but do be careful and check these things. The feel of the fabric is especially important as you’ll be wearing it all day.
Now you might be thinking “It’s summer. These things aren’t even necessarily in the shops yet. Why are you talking about this now?”. Well, if you’re having an autumn or winter wedding, then you need to be thinking about your outfit now. It can take up to two months to have your suit made for you and the ones in the shops are often in limited supply so if you are going to be going for a tweed suit, then you need to be thinking about your outfit in general terms (and talking to tailors if that’s what you’re going for) now so you’ll be ready when the tweed starts hitting the shops.