Overseas visitors often stress about what to wear when they come to a formal shoot in Britain.
Actually, the British are less fussy than we are expected to be with regard to attire, with the odd notable exception. The typical English shooting party is certainly not uniformly clad in immaculately tailored new tweeds and matching hats – that would be the party of Americans who just arrived in the field fresh from a trip to Farlowes to get kitted out en-route.
A few useful rules to follow: first, do wear tie. It may seem odd but it is a tradition and it will also keep your neck warm. any old tie will do – except perhaps the large kipper variety once sported by the Saturday Night Fever generation. Secondly, tweeds are practical in Britain. They are warm if it is cold and they breath so are cool if it warms up. If they get wet, the fibres expand and become water proof and they dry quickly. Your tweeds do not have to match; any combination of breeks, vests, jackets and coats will pass muster. These days, many shooters are favouring the technical fabrics made by the likes of Musto and Seeland. They are cut like traditional shooting clothes but are lighter and easier to wash.
Do wear breeks; again they look right and are practical, keeping water and wet mud from creeping up your trouser legs.Wellington boots are sensible on wet ground but leather boots better when it is dry. A pair of long woolen socks works with either. If you have garters, good. If not, use electrical tape! Finally; don’t wear jeans or camouflage patterns – you’ll look like a beater. CLICK ON ANY OF THE GALLERY PICTURES BELOW FOR BIG FORMAT, CLEAR IMAGES.
Here is a list of kit we think sensible if you are coming to shoot with us:
Tweeds or equivalent: Breeks, vest, jacket or coat.
Socks: Long, wool
Underwear: Long, cotton
Shirt: Cotton, check or plain, browns or greens
Tie: Any colour you like
Footwear: Leather walking boots or rubber wellingtons
Gloves: Optional, leather
Scarf: A good idea in colder months
Hat: A tweed or moleskin cap or trilby style hat (no baseball caps)
Don’t get too stressed about looking the part. You will fit in very well if you have the wardrobe above. Your fellow Guns will have a range from full tweed three-piece shooting suits to moleskin breeks, wellies and a chunky-knit pullover. Just come and be good company and a safe and sporting shot and you will get on fine!