Top Tips On How To Dress For The English Countryside
England is famously known for its beautiful countryside. From rolling hills to expansive valleys, stunning lakes and riverside trails, it’s no surprise that countryside holidays and staycations are becoming increasingly popular.
If you’ve decided to switch your summer vacation to a countryside staycation this year, you’re probably wondering what to wear for your adventure.
Luckily, we’ve got English country-style fashion all wrapped up at CHO. So whether you were planning endless days hiking or relaxing riverside walks followed by a relaxed beer garden setting, we’ll give you our top styling tips so you’ll feel completely at home in your surroundings.
What is English country style?
English or British country style is the stylish aesthetic worn by those living or holidaying in the countryside.
Traditionally associated with an upper-class lifestyle, English countryside dressing is inspired by hunting and equestrian attire and features a classic, earthy colour palette and materials such as tweed and fitted denim.
The way people dress to visit the English countryside has adapted over time, favouring more practical wardrobe staples built to withstand the elements whilst still allowing the wearer to look and feel stylish. With more accessible country clothing brands such as Barbour and Hunter paving the way to English country style, it’s never been easier to adopt the look for your next countryside visit.
Read on to discover our top tips on perfecting chic and effortless English country style.
How should I dress in the English countryside?
How you dress in the English countryside is determined by what you plan to do there. For example, if you’re planning on strolling around the quaint little shops of the towns surrounding the Lake District, you won’t need to dress the same as you would if you were planning on hiking the Three Peaks.
However, there are some failsafe wardrobe staples that you can add to your countryside capsule wardrobe that will carry your look from the mountain tops to the coffee shops. Here are our top picks for curating quintessentially British countryside style.
A wax Barbour Jacket
Mixing countryside tradition with practicality and style, every British countryside look will pair perfectly with a classic wax Barbour jacket.
Since 1894, the Barbour family have been perfecting their wax jacket, which is why it remains such an icon of the outerwear world today. As stylish as it is practical, each Barbour wax jacket is treated with Barbour Thornproof Dressing, heat sealed in the Barbour factory in Simonside to make each jacket completely waterproof.
It takes 36 people to make a Barbour jacket from start to finish. The process involves choosing and cutting the materials, adding the jacket’s details, and then sending the pieces down the production line for each jacket section to be sewn together.
Barbour wax jackets are of the utmost quality and are incredibly wearable and durable, guaranteeing years of stylish countryside dressing.
Men’s country fashion requires a staple such as the ever-popular Beaufort or the Beadale to capture the same stylish yet practical countryside aesthetic. Whether hiking or strolling to a country pub, your Barbour wax jacket won’t look out of place.
Stylish shoes and wellies
Whatever your countryside pursuits, whether trudging through muddy farmers’ fields or strolling through the valleys, you will need footwear to suit the occasion.
Wellies are essential to muddy walks, and if your feet seek comfort and durability, Hunter boots are a perfect choice. From the Hunter Original Women’s Roll Top Sherpa Boot to the men’s Hunter Balmoral Side Adjustable Tall Boot, the brand has been crafting its iconic boot for over 160 years, receiving two Royal Warrants. Pair yours with men’s and women’s matching Hunter socks for warm and comfortable wear with every step.
If your countryside visit doesn’t require something as hardy as a Wellington boot, look to brands such as Penelope Chilvers to provide stylish and practical footwear to pair perfectly with your country-style aesthetic. From ankle boots to chic wedge espadrilles, each pair of shoes will look just as special with a cute summer dress layered under a wax jacket as it would fitted denim on cooler evening strolls.
We’d recommend a stylish pair of Oliver Sweeney Chelsea boots for men to capture that same look. However, you might want to avoid suede in rainy weather!
Choosing the right layers
The beauty of English country style is that you can use layers to your advantage. A layered look is the epitome of countryside chic, captured beautifully above with the incredibly versatile Barbour Theodore Women’s Cardigan. When you want to wear your favourite summer dress but the weather isn’t cooperating, a cardigan layered under a jacket can add warmth and style to your outfit. This look also works great for a festival when you want to look stylish while adding practicality to your outfit.
Whatever your countryside destination, layers are super important, especially in places like the Lake District with their own micro-climate. Layering a t-shirt under a cashmere jumper in colder weather will provide enough warmth to banish the chill, with exceptional breathability should the weather warm up. A thicker jumper like Barbour’s Anglesey knit will help you beat the cold during chillier months.
A fleece can be just as effective at adding warmth and style to your countryside look. Just as useful when layered under wax jackets and waterproofs, they’re the perfect light-wearing jacket for warmer days when you don’t need a heavier-duty coat.
Always pack a raincoat!
Whatever the weather suggests, you can’t always bank on the sun appearing during a countryside staycation. With this in mind, waterproofs are key to comfortable dressing, even if you’re carrying a packable one in your rucksack should the weather take a turn. Rains clothing comes in unisex styles and provides lightweight raincoats, gilets, heavier coats and accessories that are completely waterproof and perfect for unpredictable British weather.
For a little extra reassurance and protection should you get caught in a downpour, add a Rains waterproof jacket to your countryside essentials!
Curate countryside chic at CHO
So now you have our top recommendations for enviable countryside style, why not shop the ranges using the above links and prepare your countryside capsule wardrobe before your next trip? From men’s weatherproof jackets to women’s raincoats, we have all the essentials for practical and stylish countryside dressing!