Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tweed and Toile

Like an old wine, tweed and toile get better with age.  I hate to admit it but I have a vintage 1990's Banana Republic wool tweed blazer (with velvet collar) still hanging in my closet.  For some reason, I can't bear to part with it.  A good tweed is like that.

I associate tweed with fox hunting and country living.  When you think of heavy tweed wool, England and Scotland come to mind.  It was traditionally used for upper class country clothing like shooting jackets.  My husband has a coat similar to this one from Orvis:

You also wear tweed during cubbing season, the time between Labor Day and the date the "formal" hunting season starts.

Tweed is also modern and fresh like in this t-shirt cleverly used by J Crew this spring.  It comes in two colors, pink and blue. Not sure which one I prefer.

Or in this shirt, part of the J Crew Collection, read expensive.

And in these skirts in bright colors for spring:

 Chanel has used tweed for years and we all know how well that has worked.  The Chanel jacket is still the standard by which all others are judged, and copied, I should add.

You see the influence in Tory Burch every season.

While tweed has English and Scottish origins, toile, or toile de jouy, is French.  Toile de jouy originated in the late 18th century and was originally produced in Ireland but soon became popular in England and France.  Toile, like tweed, is timeless and original but has been updated. 

And you now see toile on everything:

Toiles can go almost anywhere:  bedroom, bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, mud room, den or entrance hall.   But I must admit that I like the more traditional toile better.  I don't have any toile in my current house but have used it in bathrooms, bedrooms and in an entrance hall.

This is one of my favorites, in shocking pink no less, but it looks great.

Isn't it wonderful that something that looked good three hundred years ago is still in vogue today?


  1. I certainly recognize that Harris Tweed tag, because I have the same one in my beloved Lands End jacket, ca. 1985. It's too tight across the shoulders now but I still stuff myself into it on occasion.

    Lots of toile in my house - Waverly rooster print, and one of folks carrying water that I see all over the place. Good stuff!

  2. When I visit most countries throughout the British mapped world, I am allowed to enter the stables and the lawns, and allow the horses to gather the seedlings, while the manure stays with your people. I'd like to know the terms of war exclusion between British and South American dealerships for positive law that condemn the rider for Holocaust charges for refusing to look or buy the newest body and library apparel that is deemed universally recognised by UN-shooters. I'd also like an explanation for why the stables in Britain are ceramic, and the level of exclusion is based on model need, rather than negotiating any contract with Italy, which suggests that the horse is part of the farm, and the house is the only constitution. Please comment on identification of horserider by Law rather than reprisal of license.

    St. Johns College, Oxford (Joan Luke)


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