• - M. Harrington

Hunting Tweed; 6 Clothing Essentials for Going on a Country Shoot

Dear reader,

This year I found myself in a state of perturbation as the Glorious Twelfth dawned nearer. I realised that I did not have sufficient hunting gear. Traditional style country tweed has to be one of my favourites to wear. The combination of coloured lines, linking through woven herringbone tweed cloth, really gets me excited!

On a mission to find this year’s Hunting gear, I stumbled across a vintage Harris Tweed red and blue chequered three-piece suit (with breeks). It is a heavy made suit lined with horsehair canvas and cotton fabric, and, I will add, it is extremely comfortable to wear.


Photo: I am wearing vintage Harris Tweed hunting breeks and waistcoat with shooting vest 'in the field'.


When on a shoot there are usually 5 roles to fill. The shooters and their gun valets; you have the gamekeepers and their dogs, (otherwise known as the beaters) and then you have one of my favoured positions, the cooks. I always seem to draw the short straw on this one, either it's my bad aim or the fact that I can cook, but I often end up in the outdoor kitchen. Situated far from hunting ground, the kitchen is part of a base camp set up as a safe place for vehicles, belongings and somewhere to return whilst on shoot. With melodic gun shots in the distance, food is prepared and often involves caught game, or other foraged goods such as berries and mushrooms stewed or roasted over a wood camp fire. A real plethora of ingredients to be found when you know what you are looking for. Anyway, enough about that, back to the hunting gear...

There are six clothing essentials for going on a traditional country shoot. You need to have layers; this is the most important thing as it can get very cold depending on the time of year and location.

1. Tweed is an excellent choice of material as it helps to layer up and keep the heat in, the tighter the weave of fabric the more the suit can withstand some light rain.

2. Water proofs such as a waxed jacket are also key to have on hand as this will most definitely be needed for those extra miserable days when the elements are not in favour.


Photo: Dressed for basecamp the three-piece Harris Tweed set with bowler hat reserved for the more formal of occasions.


3. Flannel shirts help to keep the warmth in and are also very soft. Tweed and flannels make very little noise when rubbed together and this is perfect for remaining illusive on a shoot.


Photo: A hip-flask to hand of Whisky, Calvados or Port does the trick for keeping warm!


4. I advise wearing a double Layer of socks to keep your feet warm. Over your standard socks, wear shooting socks, a heavy wool knitted sock that comes up to just below the knee. These are usually patterned and colourful, and tied with tasselled garters to keep them from falling down.

5. For your feet I’d suggest 2 types of shoe, again depending on the climate, thick rubber track soled leather brogues treated with bee’s wax (especially on the seams) and wellington boots. Taking two pairs of shoes will help should your feet get wet or shoes become muddy, the last thing you want to do is trek that muck back into basecamp or all over the inside of your lovely Land Rover.

6. Last but not least, and most important of course is a hat, this should be made out of thick heat trapping materials as about 7-10% of your body heat can be lost thought your head. I would suggest completing your tweed set with a matching flat cap or newspaper boy hat. If you felt like giving extra traditional a go, you could wear a bowler hat. Although, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are shooting as it can easily get blown off or fall off as you aim high (Perfect however for when you are on the beating team).

The rest is down to style, add your own flair of favoured colourful shooting tie, cufflinks and lapel pins. Have some fun and show your passion for the country style and living but most of all be sure to bring in some good game.


Today I am wearing:

Vintage Harris Tweed three-piece hunting set

Barbour cream flannel shirt

Purdey hunting socks and garter ties

Vintage Jonelle Country IV Derby ox blood shoes

Vintage Burgundy wine silk pheasant tie

Laksen brushed green shooting vest

Harris Tweed flat cap

Lock &Co. Coke bowler hat

Pocket square Moss Bros.

Silver pheasant lapel pin Carl Russell & Co.


Here is a step by step guide on how to tie your garters for your hunting socks so they don’t fall down mid shot.


1. Once you have positioned your wool hunting socks and they are pulled over your knee, at the base of your knee, and the very top of your calf, place your garter like so.



2. Then wrap the garter around your leg from outside to the inside, returning to the outside, being sure to keep the garter straight and tight.



3. Pull the garter tight to hold the sock in place, but not too tight that you lose all circulation. Trust me you don’t want that.



4. Now tie the garter with a single knot.



5. After you are comfortable with your garter positioning, tautness and length of tassels. Tuck one tasselled end up and down around the inside of the garter strap, this will help to keep the knot from coming undone.



6. Straighten up your tassels, then fold over the top cuff of your hunting sock so the garter is covered just below the knee, leaving the tasseled ends on show.


Happy Glorious Twelfth and I wish you all a great shoot!

- M. Harrington

#HarrisTweed #HuntingTweed #HuntingSocks

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