There is an unwritten rule in the British dress code: No brown in town – never wear brown in cities. Traditionally, shoes have to be black, suits have to be gray, dark blue or black, and when it comes to ties, men like to show purple or even pink, but never earth tones. The reason is simple: In England, brown means as much as country life – because you don’t see the dirt immediately on brown shoes. But if you are seen with brown shoes in the City of London, you have the image of having just walked across the field. That’s the theory.
In Corona times, however, earth tones are suddenly finding their way into everyday urban life – not only in London, Edinburgh and other major British cities, where at times there were hardly any business people due to the home office offensive of many companies; The country house style is also on the rise in Germany. And here too, for understandable reasons.
Comfortable and practical clothing is worthwhile on dreary lockdown days
What do you do on dreary lockdown days? They go for a walk, maybe even hike – even when it rains. Because we currently want to go outside in all weathers, we cover ourselves with weatherproof and rural-looking clothing. To a certain extent, the corona pandemic is also the return of wax jackets, trench coats and headgear of all kinds. To be more precise: the English country look is more popular than ever among fashion fans. The revival of so-called Brit Chic is not brand new, but it has accelerated considerably in recent months – not least thanks to support from the very top.
This is what matters in English country house fashion
Great Britain’s Royal Family has recently shown itself more and more in the country house style – like the Queen in the past, Prince Charles, Duchess Kate or Prince William can also be seen in wax jackets or tweed jackets. Tweed stands for high, robust quality and timeless elegance, explains fashion consultant Andreas Rose from Frankfurt. Both are very typical of island fashion. Linen, high-quality cotton and leather are also typical fabrics in English country house fashion. The style also lives from the contrasts: “For example, you can combine a silk blouse with a tweed blazer and casual jeans,” says type consultant Valeriya Licht from Berlin.
The country look 2021: Wide range of fabrics and bright colors
New to the current country look is not only the inclusion of otherwise unrelated elements such as jeans, but also other colors than usual. Fashion expert Rose has also identified influences from other fashion styles. “So rubber boots are now worn with feminine clothes – even in the city.” In addition to precious rubber boots, Chelsea boots are part of the look of shoes. For a long time the ankle-high ankle boots were purely a men’s shoe, but now women also wear Chelsea boots.
By the way, country fashion also includes a piece of clothing that we no longer see as such, but as one of the standard elements of urban office workers: the trench coat. The tailor Thomas Burberry developed the coat for British soldiers during World War I, and it is particularly robust when it rains. That and its suitability for everyday use in so many situations has made it a popular piece of clothing around the world.