English Style for Men – Gun Check Sportcoats

by | Oct 13, 2020 | Dress for Success, Image consulting for Men, J Hilburn

Menswear – Adding a Gun Check to your Wardrobe

Nick Sullivan at GQ wrote a recent article about vintage patterns and the history of gun club checks. He told a charming story I hadn’t known, that the inspiration for tweeds and gun checks originated in Victorian England, when the aristocracy developed a passion for shooting holidays in the countryside.

These hunters (as opposed to their Red-Coated predecessors) learned that it was beneficial to “look like a native shrub”. 

High end woolen manufacturers started making sturdy, warm fabrics in tweeds and checks incorporating the colors of the woods and fields. Greens and browns were a base, with flecks of purple and yellow to emulate the heather and granite rock colors of grays and blue.

True tweed is really more of an outerwear piece, of if you are a College Professor, a drafty old stone building; it’s made of wool fibers that resist the catch of branches and rocks, and often rather scratchy.

Gun check are a variation of this theme and can happily be made of much softer wools.   Modern gun check can be subtle or vibrant, and as seen here and here in these two J.Hilburn looks provide a rich backdrop for the colors of Fall.

If you have never worn a sport coat this “bold”, now is the perfect time to adopt one.

  1. They make wonderful layering pieces
  2. They do often have many colors incorporated so it’s easy to mix and match
  3. They provide a fun pop of color and style intensity to your wardrobe
  4. The scale and pattern  is traditional and comforting, so you really are just playing with color


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