The easiest way to get ‘St Andrews’ chic…


One of the constant trends seen on the autumn runways, amongst the seventies opulence and leather fetish, was that of heritage. It’s a personal favourite of mine, because it is so easy to wear, the colours flatter most skin tones and it seems to fit directly into the perceived St Andrews lookbook. It is a distinctly British trend; ASOS USA having created a stylebook called True Brit, stocked with tweed, camel and autumnal browns. It’s classic fashion, based on a rich history and one that requires a sprinkling of British eccentricity and a certain sense of dishevelment. Think of the Mitford sisters, or Vita Sackville-West or even Coco Chanel decked out in her tweed plus fours, taken from the Duke of Windsor. Chanel’s current collection, though primarily put in the box of Androgyny Grunge, is also reminiscent of Chanel’s love of the Scottish fabric. Based around the idea of the classic British countryside, inspiration comes from varied sources – from the Queen to country wear catalogues. Luella Bartley in ‘Luella’s guide to English style’ emphasises the important of the grandma in British fashion, all silk scarves and wool skirts. Heritage is a trend that Brits do best, the key is in keeping it uncluttered and interesting.

It’s a simple trend to dress up or down. It can be something as easy as wearing some pearls. Simply done it could be a camel jumper thrown over black jeans, or more extravagant, a tweed jacket with brown leather shorts and a burnt orange silk shirt. With Jil Sander +J collection for Uniqlo one can buy a grey crombie coat, perfect with turning the collar up against the cold winter wind. Throw in a flat cap and a maroon scarf you have an outfit worthy of the title heritage. It’s not a trend that requires bright colours, rather attention to tailoring and the illusion of luxury. Charity shops are the perfect way to recreate the look. Cardigans, knee-length pleated wool skirts and silk scarves abound in these shops, and you will probably get better quality than a high street shop specialising in viscose monstrosities.

Key pieces would include well-cut shirts, black skinny jeans and camel. Lots of camel. Jumpers, cardigans, scarves, coats, skirts, it’s a colour that exudes luxury and expense, one of the inspirations behind the trend. The fabrics are vital. It should be sumptuous silks, wools and cashmere. Also, because it is not entirely dependant on shape, it suits all figure types. So get in touch with your inner British eccentric, and take on the world wearing your tweed jacket and pearls.


Millicent Wilkinson
Image credit – Millicent Wilkinson