5 Wardrobe Staples Every Country Woman Needs
A true English country lady dresses for practicality - always polished, but never extravagant. In a world where style and sensibility meet, a lady of the country knows the benefits of keeping edges aligned and trim; not just for an effortless, graceful image but also to help her do the things she loves, whether it’s shooting, walking, fishing, hiking or riding.
There is an endless variety of country clothing on the market, and thanks to leading brands like Barbour, Musto and Seeland, almost every need and preference can be met with ease. However, it’s important one gets the basic wardrobe staples right, to ensure comfort and safety is always taken care of. And don’t worry...style is most certain to follow!
Here are five items of country clothing every country woman needs.
Whether for doing chores around the home and garden or for a day filled with adventure, a good pair of cord, fine wool or linen trousers or breeks are paramount.
A flattering fit is key for any pair of trousers, but finding your preferred style needn’t be a hassle with so many styles available to suit every shape.
Cord or linen will suit for casual country walks (we like these Barbour Essential Slim trousers). However, tweed trousers are probably more appropriate for more formal occasions or a shoot.
A good pair of tweedy plus fours with a checked shirt and sporty waistcoat or gilet can look very appealing on a shoot or at an informal lunch. Our collection of stylish and practical tweed breeks like these ladies’ sporting breeks from Musto are ideal for a day spent out in the field.
As most country ladies will already know, being warm, dry and comfortable at all times is the priority. However, various occasions and outfits may demand different attention.
Cashmere/wool coats make fantastic winter coats for striking style and elegance. We love this Schoffel ladies' Ptarmigan tweed coat.
On formal wet weather days, a simple mackintosh like this Musto Ladies’ Grasmere jacket will add extra protection when an umbrella is either not enough or just not practical.
When going outdoors on a shoot or country hike, there’s not as much need to impress. A highly functional full-length wax jacket can be worn over any outfit and will offer full protection, whilst still providing style distinction. We love this Pro Hunter X jacket by Harkila.
A tweed blazer or jacket will be ideal for a day out shooting or attending another formal event. Take a look at this Barbour Carter Wool tweed jacket.
A gilet or waistcoat is something you may not immediately think of, but these can offer serious warmth and elegance to your outfit when shooting, fishing, walking or riding. Without sleeves, they are used purely to keep your core and torso warm without compromising on ease of movement.
When choosing a gilet, look for one with a layer of insulation, either natural or synthetic.
Wear it alone as a lighter weight jacket in the warmer months, or under your main coat in the colder months.
Additional gilet features might include outer wind blocking material and fleece linings at the cuffs and neck, for optimum heat conservation.
Take a look at John Norris’ full collection of gilets, waistcoats and vests to find one that’s right for you.
4. Boots & Wellies
Sensible flat walking shoes will always be the preferred choice when it comes to the general day-to-day life of the country lady. However, in the depths of the English countryside, two main types of footwear will most likely be needed.
A good sturdy pair of walking boots will offer surefootedness on uneven ground, as well as keeping out water and dampness to ensure a comfortable walk, with varying levels of ankle support.
Wellington boots will most definitely be the better choice if going near water or if the weather looks certain to be wet! Keeping the calf and ankle warm and dry, they provide excellent protection in uncertain conditions and may be more recommended when fishing, riding or if climbing over fences is likely to be involved! We like these Hunter ladies’ Balmoral II rubber boots.
Gaiters may not seem like an essential or, much less a fashion statement. But they can often be the difference between something being a painful sufferfest and an enjoyable and exciting adventure.
Made from a variety of wind and weather-proof materials, gaiters usually attach over one’s boots and run up the middle of the calf to protect the legs and ankles from treacherous environments and provide extra warmth. When hiking through wet forests or crossing exotic terrain, our boots can pick up all kinds of debris and underbrush which can often make for an uncomfortable experience.
Gaiters come in a range of different types from heavy duty to lightweight. The type you’ll need will depend purely on the activity you plan on pursuing that day, but nevertheless, having a pair within your arsenal is always worth it if one is after ultimate comfort.
These basic waterproof gaiters by Le Chameau are a good pair to get you started and can be attached to any walking boot.