Top 5 Men's Hunting Clothes Essentials
The Right Socks
While clothes made from artificial fibres might claim to be able to do it all in one, the traditional way to dress for a hunt is to make sure you have all of your layers right. There are specific garments for every task, which is handy, and also makes for an excellent opportunity to show off your fashion sense at the same time. The first element you need to get right is your socks or stockings, which will keep you warm and dry below the knee. These can also be worn with boots, depending on the conditions, but will make it more comfortable to wear boots than long trousers would, or will avoid the problem of trousers becoming waterlogged if you choose not to wear boots. Breathability and comfort are key when it comes to socks or stockings, so we’d recommend Merino Wool, which is insulating and breathable at the same time, while also being fine enough not to itch.
As well as looking smart, a shirt is an important part of staying comfortable when you’re hunting, because it allows for much more range of movement than other clothes while remaining breathable. A country shirt might look like an ordinary dress shirt, but it’s different in a couple of ways, specifically the way it’s tailored to take account of your range of movement when you’re walking, riding or running. It’s also made from natural fibres like wool and brushed cotton, which allow it to breathe, taking hot damp air away from your body and replacing it with cool dry air. This is why it’s particularly important to have your shirt tailored to match your body shape, because you’ll only get the maximum effectiveness out of a garment that’s designed around you.
In fashion, a waistcoat is a purely decorative item that is designed to add colour or texture or depth to an outfit, serving no practical purpose. In hunting, a waistcoat is all of those things, but it can also be extremely useful as an item of clothing too. From a practical perspective, the waistcoat forms another layer that can either be used to trap heat in, or as an outer layer to help get the temperature just right. Out in the field you may be miles from extra layers, and with no way of cooling yourself down or heating yourself up it pays to be able to dress flexibly, so a waistcoat can be a great way to keep your core warm while allowing your bare arms or legs to radiate heat. It can also be used to carry accessories or tools, from ammunition to fishing hooks, lures and weights. Once again the best waistcoats are made from durable and waterproof Harris Tweed, and it’s a good idea to have them made bespoke so that they have all the pockets you want and can move with your body.
There are lots of options when it comes to overcoats depending on the weather conditions, and whether you’d prefer to opt for a traditional bespoke Tweed jacket to complete your ensemble, or something a little warmer such as a field mens hunt coat or shooting vest, you can choose what is best for the day. Once again the most important things to consider are your range of movement and the properties of the jacket itself. If you’re likely to get more than a sprinkling of rain it can be a good idea to choose something a little heavier, but keep in mind that this might overheat if you’re also planning vigorous exercise.
Breeches, Breeks, Plus Twos or Plus Fours, there are plenty of names for what is probably the best known item in a hunter’s wardrobe, and for good reason: It’s a really useful garment to have around. Breeches sit just below the knee (either two inches or four inches below, hence Plus Two or Plus Four) and are designed to work alongside boots or long stockings to provide coverage from foot to waist with plenty of points of articulation. This is because, traditionally, hunting is done from horseback, and the hunter had to be equally comfortable in the saddle and on the ground. The best Breeches are made from Harris Tweed, prized because its tight weave makes it waterproof while its natural fibres make it more breathable than equivalent artificial fibres, while the iconic fabric is instantly recognisable as a sign of high quality and good taste. Even in the heat, the breathable fabric will keep you cool, while it’s particularly good at keeping thorns out if you’re stalking through brush.
Hunting is a storied British past time, and getting dressed up to go on a hunt is one of the most important rituals surrounding the hunt. Make sure you’re as prepared as you can be by taking a look at our range of bespoke hunting outfits, and find out how you can get hold of your very own made to measure hunting gear. It’s the easiest way to be well prepared whatever the weather, while also being at the height of fashion.
If you are planning on going hunting with your other half, we also offer ladies hunt clothing why not check out our ladies hunt coat.