We are currently in full swing of shooting season and have had quite a few orders requesting shooting caps and shooting attire so we’d thought we’d give you a slight low-down on all things traditional dress for shooting.
Our most recent member of the team Tom who focuses on customer service is a keen shooter and has been giving us shooting fever with his thoughts on the matter.
When it comes to the shooting jacket its main purpose is to keep you comfortable and protected in the field. Most of our customers will be buying tweed; its helpful to have a durable water resistant coating but not necessary. Tweed is the most traditional option but can hold water and weigh you down but with these new technical tweeds that are treated for this purpose its a good way of combining the old and the modern.
Smart dress will reflect the tradition of the occasion depending on the group you are with. Its one of the most classic looks from English history however its simply a warm and waterproof protective barrier against the elements.
In warmer weather the traditional smart jacket is a three-button, single breasted, notch lapel jacket of course in tweed. Some experts can argue that with a large lapel it can impact the quality of the shoot and interferes with the butt of the gun.
There are specific names for the different type of coat, for example the Covert Coat, The Norfolk Jacket and the Hacking Jacket which feature larger pockets: Bellow Pockets which are large hip pockets great for storing cartridges which should feature drainage holes to prevent damage to the cartridges should rain get into the pockets.
See below for Mr McCann himself for the more traditional lighter weather attire.
A waistcoat can be worn beneath the jacket and can be used as a warming midlayer if you are in the smarter jacket, or to wear as a cooler outer garment when a coat is too much. The waistcoat will usually be tweed and match the suit and will be cut for your ease of movement and comfort. Again like the jacket the shooting waistcoat will have large pockets for carrying cartridges and normally reinforced shooting patches at the shoulders where the butt of the gun sits for extra wearing and protection as seen below:
They also allow for extra movement if worn without the jacket on a warmer day, the lack of sleeves allows a greater range of motion, so your sleeves don’t bulk up as you draw, aim and fire.
The most popular shooting cap, normally made from tweed, is the flat cap which should be worn firm around your head and front facing to protect your eyes from the sun. Note some of the examples we have below, made from heritage cloth by Bateman & Ogden.
Breeches are the height of tradition for shooting. They are often designed in tweed to match the suit and waistcoat but can also be contrasting. The lower hem, which is normally just under the knee, is adjustable to allow you to create a watertight seal where the hem meets the sock. The breech style is normally slightly long, which allows you to fasten them up slightly and fold excess cloth over the top of the boot to create another water-seal. The image below shows this full traditional look.
Below is a recent three piece suit order with matching breeches and matching hat as seen above in the hat section. These have been made of a Bateman & Ogden tweed in a slight check, with velcro adjustable bottoms. This is it in its baste form for the interim fitting of our full bespoke handmade hand-finished product.
If you decide you’d like to go more colourful or have had a shooting jacket for a while that needs mending; tweeds can easily be patched and fixed to make them more unique to you. British tweed, particularly if worn in the wetter weather will mould to your body, tweeds wick, and blend beautifully in their environments.
We recently had a client that came to us wanting a tweed the colour of lime greens and pink heather from a photo he had taken on a walk on the moors. Tweeds can be colourful as the birds are colourblind so it makes no difference.
If you’d like to get in contact for a similar product please book an appointment for an initial consultation with one of our tailors through our online booking system at the top of the page.
Here is our Tom from customer service in his shooting apparel.