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Tweed and temperatures

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Vintage Gent, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    Once upon a time, I had thought about commissioning a tweed norfolk jacket. But the good folks at WW Chan won't do one without three fittings. And without a trip to Hong Kong (something that isn't in the cards), that's a laborious process that taxes my impatience.

    So, I thought, why not a three-piece tweed suit? There's one fabric that I've taken a shine to. It's pattern number 2400 in the John Hardy Alsport book.

    [​IMG]

    But the damn thing's 19 oz.! Now, I'm not thinking about a tweed suit as anything I could wear for more than about three months out of the year. But am I going to bake in this? There are some interesting 16 oz. fabrics in the Alsport book and some in the Porter & Harding Glenroyal at about 15 oz. Should I be looking at those instead?

    As a point of reference, I have another winter three-piece suit, in a 14 oz. Minni's flannel. I can wear it quite comfortably up to the mid 60s (about 18C). I wear it from early-November to mid-March.
     
  2. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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  3. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    19oz you will be warm, especially with a three piece. Great for cold winters, but not much else.

    I'd have a look at a 16oz or lighter even.
     
  4. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    you are going to melt
     
  5. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    This, unless you move out of south Texas.

    I have one tweed SC which I pair with flannels. I wore it about three times last year, on business trips to the northern states. Just no need for it in Texas.
     
  6. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    it's not just that it's heavy, though 19 is REALLY heavy, it's that allsport is very densely woven. That stuff truly is for the Scottish moors. In winter.
     
  7. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

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    I can't see that being of any use in Galveston. Head up here. It's winter clothes central and I love it.
     
  8. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    +1. I had a heavy tweed three piece and practically was able to wear it one day a year in London - even then I was hot.
     
  9. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    OK, folks, point well taken. Given that, in Galveston, we have about a month worth of days spread out over the winter season when you're likely to have a high temperature of no more than 50 degrees, with overcast sky and a vigorous 20 mph wind, what would be the tweed you'd recommend for that? Would the Porter & Harding Glenroyal (about 15 oz.) be more my speed?
     
  10. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    you should take a look at worsted allsport, which is much ligther (12 I think?) but the same patterns and still very "tweedy"
     
  11. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    I've seen it, and it seems more like "tweed with training wheels" to me.
     
  12. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    well it kind of is. Look, you really have no use for tweed where you live. I would suggest a shetland would be great for you but you can't make a suit out of it, or at least you shouldn't, and if you do, get two pairs of pants, or even three, and be prepared to burn through them quickly. I honestly think shetland pants would look ridiculous though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  13. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    I really like the W Bill tweed book Chan carries. I think it's 14-16 oz.
     
  14. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    19 oz is overcoating weight. Also, something porous like Shetland or Harris tweed doesn't wear too hot even in heavier weights because it traps air and remains breathable, but those thornproof-like cloths are very dense, so you'll perspire profusely in a three-piece. On the other hand, if you want a proper old fashioned winter shooting suit to be worn without outerwear (or maybe an unlined Barbour jacket), then that's the cloth for you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  15. Geezer

    Geezer Senior member

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    I find 15/16oz tweed comfortable, in suits, in British weather 6 months of the year.

    17/18oz about 3-4 months of the year, on the colder days. But to be honest my 17/18oz tweed two-piece doesn't get worn much.

    I have one 19/20oz tweed odd jacket that I find fine for almost half the year. Without vest, undershirt, topcoat or other layers.

    But I live in the UK, and I do not "run hot". I happily wear 15-16oz worsted suits on all bar the hottest days here, and think of 11-12oz as almost borderline tropical cloth and was wearing a suit of that weight the other day in 30+ C degrees in the Middle East.

    Back when I was a lad, we understood that 15/16oz was the lightest weight properly acceptable for hard-wearing weather-resistant tweed. And 17/18 was much better. Tweedlike cloths in the 10-13oz region were, we were sure, only for Americans wanting a facsimile of a real tweed jacket. (No offence meant.)

    I have a couple of more recent 14oz "urban tweeds" (ie one blue, one grey), for which purpose I find the slightly lighter weight acceptable.

    And, radicaldog, 19oz is traditionally not really an overcoat weight. Overcoats used to start at 24. Though these days I concede many are made up in what would traditionally have been seen as heavy suit/jacketing cloths. But I agree that 3-pieces of 19oz traditional tweed will keep you happy on the moor or hill, or in the woods.

    Finally, if your benchmark for heavy wool is something like a Filson cruiser/mackinaw, think again. I have one and from memory it's 24oz, but it has a looser weave than the JGH stuff, and no canvas or lining. So they are much cooler than the British equivalent.
     
  16. OlSarge

    OlSarge Senior member

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    I have a Woolrich shirt jac that out here in the mild qualifies as a winter jacket. It's 16 oz. I'm not sure exactly what the normal winter temps are in Galveston but our winter highs run in the 50's and 60's with the occasional 40's. In this climate 14 oz tweed is really comfortable over a light turtleneck and 16 oz. over oxford cloth.
     
  17. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    I agree with you on shying away from a Shetland suit.

    But I disagree with you on the utility of tweed in these climes. As I indicated previously, we have about a month's worth of cumulative days spread over the winter where you won't see the high temperature exceed 50 degrees, where you're likely to have 20+ mph winds and where it's likely to be overcast. By my way of thinking, perfect tweed weather.

    I think you tend to run hotter (by a fair margin) than I do. As a point of reference, you indicated in a previous thread that when you wear a suit in the Minnis 14oz flannel, you don't need an overcoat until the temp reaches the 20s. I have a three-piece in the same fabric, and when I wear it, I sport an overcoat if the weather is at least in the low 40s.

    I realize that a suit in a 15 oz. tweed (probably a good idea to relinquish my attachment to the 19 oz. Alsport fabric) still has a limited range of wearability. But I don't mind that. As my wardrobe expands, I find myself pursuing things that fill a narrower niche.


    Nor do I run hot. I've been in the UK during the winter, and it really wasn't much cooler than what we experience on the coldest days of our year, which makes me think that the Porter & Harding Glenroyal, at 15 oz., would work well here.
     

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