Layer up in style with velvet, tweed and prints
Leave tight skirts, tight trousers and stilettos at home; comfort is essential at all times
Pink corduroy jacket (€325 Sandro, Brown Thomas), pink paisley silk blouse (€245 Sandro, Brown Thomas), navy cord trousers €220 Tara Jamon, Brown Thomas), pink velvet ankle boots (€46 lulus.com), leopard print hat with feather trim (€260 Anthony Peto “Bazaar”) small silk scarf (€85 Susannagh Grogan)
Townies heading off for a country house weekend need to think about what to wear for the getaway jaunt. Once the wellington boots and waterproofs are in the car, then the challenge is what to pack for indoors and the great outdoors, for walks in the woods, a country ramble, drinks in the pub, dining room dinners or whatever. It’s that time of year.
The tweedy colours of the landscape – rust, burgundy, tan, dark green - that reflect the season’s natural autumnal tones are in fashion at the moment in heritage tweeds, checks, corduroys and particularly lush velvets that catch both the day and evening light, clothes that suit both city and country.
For the rural retreat, leave tight skirts, tight trousers and stilettos at home and layer up under a jacket or tweed coat, exchange leggings for chinos or easygoing cords not forgetting a shot of bright colour. A bold leopard print or red hat and a colourful scarf worn around the neck or the waist enliven a dark outfit and add a bit of personality and extra flamboyance to any outfit. Comfort is essential at all times, so forget about plunging necklines and opt for an evening dress that doesn’t need ironing for the night-time dinner date.
Irish country house interior decor can often be slightly eccentric especially in historic buildings, a mixture of moods and periods, a bit of pick and mix and that versatility, that mix of elegance and comfort, also drives idiosyncratic fashion. A take it or leave it look is illustrated by the success of Gucci where various periods and vintage styles are retooled in signature ways for a modern generation (cowboy chaps with tweed jackets and metal braces come to mind). A little playful madness sporting a fedora or cowboy hat can perk up the spirits and keep the mood under control.
These outfits drawn from the high street and designer brands fit in with their surroundings – in this case Huntington Castle in Carlow which dates back to the 17th century and remains in the ownership of the same family. Such an environment demands a little bit of dressing up, so why not rise to the occasion and shoot the breeze with some insouciance?
The hats are versions of classic shapes and though fundamentally recognisable, are a little more exaggerated with the use of colour highlighting the newer twists. Start with a leopard print hat and match it with a pink jacket for an individual combination that matches the grandeur of the chaise longue. Even a simple, feminine floral dress gets a lift with a skull hugging green hat, a softened variation of a military style. Millinery always makes a statement and the new season’s creations from chapellier Anthony Peto made in Paris are all about colour and new ways of wearing reworked shapes. So forget the black hats and keep it country.
All hats from Anthony Peto, 14 South Anne Street, Dublin 01 6359977
Photographer Daniel Holfeld, styling Roxanne Parker, hair Michael Leong, make up Zoe Clarke, model Bex Fleetwood at Not Another Agency. Location Huntington Castle, Co Carlow.