Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Tweed Shooting Coats

 All Photos by Salt Water New England

Tweed shooting coats are classic country outerwear.

Also sometimes called field coats, they are designed for shooting, but also for long walks in the woods and fields.  They are also great for watching sporting events, for around town or the office, and doing chores outside.

Comfortable in temperatures in the 20s to 40s, Tweed shooting coats are not sufficiently warm alone for a cold New England winter day.  However, those in larger sizes that can fit over a heavier sweater, making them useful down to the 10s.

In quite a few ways, tweed shooting coats represent clothing perfection. They are handsome, durable, and practical.  They are warm and windproof.  They allow for full movement.  They are (best) made of natural materials, to wit, tweed.  They assume thorns and dogs.   They even blend into beautiful places.  And they are quiet.  There is no synthetic rustling.  Even the snap closures should be almost silent when unfastened.

Tweed Shooting Coats are available in a wide range of quality.  At the low end are the tweed blends, and most of the construction is outsourced, though some are still made in England.  The next level are the ones made of British tweeds, 100% wool, but with outsourced construction.  Some of the best, in my opinion, are made by Chrysalis, which is what Cordings carries.  Made of truly gorgeous, substantial British 100% wool tweed, hand cut and sewn in England with enormous attention to detail, these are available for Ladies as well as the Men.  I have owned and worn them all.

Whatever the source, when choosing one, look for a substantial storm placket and collar to protect from the elements.

Tweed shooting coats should also have a lot of pockets. The two front are large bellow (or cartridge) pockets and should be able to be snapped open by a retaining flap holder for unfettered access when shooting.  

Modern touches include:  Waterproof membrane as a drop-liner behind the tweed for protection, and Teflon treated tweed so it does not absorb any water.   

Leather, or some other tweed-alternative, lining the collar can also be an appreciated nice touch, as this is often against your skin on cold, windy days.  

I am not a fan of synthetic material used for the hand warming pockets, preferring thick cotton such as moleskin.

One thing I look for in all coats is not for what temperature they are ideal but also how wide is the range of temperatures they are comfortable. Days may get colder or warmer from the start of the jaunt to the end, and certainly bodies generate heat and moisture with even the mildest exertion.  Tweed shooting coats excel at this temperature range criterion, breathing well and being easy to unsnap when you get warm.

Tweed coats should be long, if not quite three-quarters length, and loose enough for easy movement.  Avoid any style trend of shorter, and of course, tighter.  

For those who love tweed, field coats are a perfect way to appreciate them. (A great tweed is a sufficient justification to get yet another coat, even more so if the tweed comes from Hawick's Lovat Mill.)  

Field coats can made of other material, of course.  Loden Cloth and Keeper's Tweed are wonderful alternatives.

The best thing I can say about tweed shooting coats is that they make any outside activity, especially a long walk, nicer.  Not only do they provide protection and other functionality, but they add to the experience.  The feel of the wool, the wonderful tweeds, all add to being outside.  

I miss them off season.

An Older Ladies Barbour.

 A Retaining Flap Holder



  1. One of the most popular brands in the U.K. among people who actually shoot is the Schoffel (a German company).

  2. Field coats made of tweed are a bit too warm for me on a long walk Originally being designed for shooting at a peg So a lot of standing around involved Of course this is in the U.K. where today in the part l live Candlemas was fair and bright with temperature of 12 degrees C. I have a Cordings shooting jacket in Grenfell cloth which l find ideal for walking with different layers on underneath it

  3. Superb! Thanks once again!


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