The Genteel
July 9, 2020


It's that time of year again when we're picking out our summer blazers and country boots for a season of sun, fresh country air and sporting pursuits. In this style guide from Private White, you'll find everything you need to dress the country gentleman style with ease and sophistication. For accompanying handpicked, head-to-toe looks, visit The Genteel CEO, Mona Chammas' column, The Edits, over at Private White.

- James Eden, CEO of Private White V.C. 

Summer fashion can be as evolving as the British weather and as busy as our diaries, yet one trend that seems to reappear year-after-year is what I refer to as "country gentleman."

Its staples are tailored blazers, structured t-shirts and freshly polished boots, but it's the clever use of tones and colours that evoke a particular season. Whether you choose bright and bold or more subdued, stick to blues, light browns and greens for this year.

Country clothing can be tricky to style for each season and scenario. Here are some key events that you'll need to style differently within the countryside setting.

Whispering Sweet Nothings

A date, a loved one and a vintage picnic basket is perfection in the moment, but daunting to prepare. Not only will you have to deal with pre-date nerves and details, but on the day of, you will also have to look and feel your best.

My perfect romantic picnic outfit always includes a blazer; and I am going to make sure that my blazer and trousers match in colour to hit the single tone trend. Blazers are lightweight for summer months, easy to carry and perfect for lending to your loved one when they get chilly. 

Combat Blazer - Navy.

I have picked the combat tailored blazer in navy as a must for a picnic date. It's a great alternative to a cardigan or coat, but is made from a wool/cotton mix, so it will still keep you warm. This blazer from our collection at Private White is the epitome of the English country gent, smart tailoring, materials sourced from the UK and the muted tone fits perfectly with an outdoor event.

Lightweight trousers are a must when on a date, especially one that is set in the great outdoors; they will allow you to move easily and keep you cool during the summer months. The country look lends itself to being slightly mismatched, so I would go for a contrasting colour to your blazer; it will look less structured and more relaxed - exactly what you need on a date. Muted colours will also help your shoes and outerwear where to stand out.

Speaking of shoes, the Cheaney Pennine IIR country boots have a look and feel that is a reminder of country pursuits. Made from the finest leather, these shoes are an investment piece for casual meetings such as an outdoor picnic or formal affairs.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Place Your Bets

The races are a staple for many of us and on gentlemen's day, you can count on a fantastic array of sharp suits and wax jackets. If you have your tickets ready, know your odds, but are just stumped by your wardrobe, then the first staple has to be a country style suit.

Gabriel Mann.

Suits and the summer sun don't generally go hand-in-hand, but there are some nice alternatives for this spring/summer. The first thing to consider is the material; wool mix isn't going to be comfortable in the summer sun, but linen may be too cold for UK evenings. I would suggest a cotton mix suit - lightweight and breathable are key here. This suit (left) worn by Gabriel Mann is a lovely mix of traditional tailoring with breathable cotton material. Remember a suit is always a compromise between style and comfort, especially if being worn for an all day event such as the races.

The classic double-breasted suit, combined with the colour, makes it a perfect choice for the country gentleman trend. It's also important to consider the colour of your outfit; darker suits will retain the heat - not great in the midday sun. If you aren't used to lighter-toned suits, then why not add in some darker colours through your accessories, shoes, ties and pocket handkerchiefs. 

As we all know (too well, really), British weather is unpredictable, so coats are still an important of element of the summer wardrobe. A classic wax jacket is simply a must for any man this year; warm, versatile and stylish, they are the perfect accompaniment to any event or even just for a Saturday. The Dry Wax Field jacket is definitely one that will keep with you for years to come and the colour works wonderfully with Mann's style of suit. Wear in an open fashion to resemble the humble trench coat and for this occasion you could team with a neck scarf or thin woollen version.  All you need now is the winning horse!



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