To Tweed Or Not To Tweed : Ralph Lauren’s RUGBY comes to London

I’ve been surrounded by an awful lot of tweed recently (it’s what comes of living in the countryside) and I think I might be forming somewhat of a liking for it. I’ve always secretly loved the idea of tweed flat caps and trousers and perhaps even a coat, but was never quite sure I could carry it all off. I wasn’t sure if anyone could carry it all off if I’m honest. Today I visited the new RUGBY store in Covent Garden, the latest UK offering from Ralph Lauren and a veritable haven for all things tweed. It is everything you expect and hope for from the King of preppy and had me hooked the moment I caught a glimpse of the door-boy in his tweed waistcoat and cravat.

The store only opened at the end of August and so has all the excitement and bursting rails you would hope for and all presented by a team of impeccably charming sales staff to boot. The Rugby label was launched back in 2004 and “combines an Ivy Leage-inspired sensibility with an irreverent attitude to create an energetic, modern collection” so reads the press release.

It was quite an assault on my usual tastes to begin with, but being a rather prim and neat dresser, there were all kinds of pieces which I could quite happily covet. The “boyfriend” jeans are perfectly loose in all the right places and the tight, black, jodphurs were a joy to squeeze in to. A sage green silk military inspired blouse and the most fabulous navy double-breasted overcoat, were my absolute must haves but what should I end up trying on? A tweed pencil skirt worn with a puffed sleeve pinstripe blouse, tweed waist-coat and bow tie….yes, I said bow tie. My friend and fashion confidante (Mrs Jenny Dyson) who was suitably tweeded up in the neighbouring dressing room, said it was the perfect outfit for a prim girl like me and verged slightly on the dominatrix. I’m not quite sure, but I can tell you one thing, whatever it was I rather liked it and thanks to Rugby, I shall be changing my view on this most traditional of materials and embracing it whole heartedly for AW.

The RUGBY store can be found at 43 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2

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