Sport coats, blazers, waistcoats, fairisle sweaters, vests, bowties, tweed ties, plus fours, flat caps, baker-boy hats, tartan scarves, collegiate scarves, you name it, all manner of preppy, tweedy items were on show. Arguably the men, for once, had turned the sartorial tables on the women, with a wider range of tweed in their arsenal both the gents and their bicycles were dressed to impress.
Steve Salter of Style Salvage
The Tweed run is a ‘metropolitan bicycle ride with a bit of style’ and was founded in 2009 as an outlet for those with a love of vintage bicycles and tweed in all its varieties. This year’s Run was sponsored by Rugby Ralph Lauren who kindly provided me with my outfit for the day.
This Saturday morning 300 of us headed over to the Rugby Ralph Lauren store in Covent Garden, taking over the Piazza with a crowd of tweeded ladies and gents. We were met with puzzled expressions and smiles from tourists and bystanders who happened across this eccentric sight. After registration (where we were assigned numbered armbands) and breakfast, as well as extended photo calls with the many photographers and fashion bloggers, we were ready to set off.
Among the many riders young and old were members of the cast of E4′s Made in Chelsea along side an army of Pashley bike enthusiasts, the girls from the Vintage Mafia as well as model Erin O’Connor.
The attention to detail in the riders’ attire was incredible, I’ve never seen so many plus-fours, cravats and bowties alongside a plethora of tweed – herringbone, Prince of Wales check, houndstooth to name a few.
The atmosphere was infectious. Once you’re dressed in Tweed and surrounded by other like-minded cyclists you can’t help but slip into character. We rang our bells and called out “tally ho!” and other civil greetings to onlookers. Motorists honked their horns at us and children stopped and waved at the spectacle of this convoy of Tweed moving through central London. We rode from Covent Garden over to Buckingham Palace, through Hyde Park and over to Chelsea where we stopped for tea and cake.
Once revived we headed back over to the Caledonian Club to celebrate with more tea, Johnnie Walker Blue label and dancing.
Awards were given for the best dressed men and women as well as the best moustache, awarded by Tweed Run barbers, Murdock.
Music was provided by bluegrass group Flats & Sharps
Past the glowing Christmas trees that flank the entrance lay a warm, labyrinthine store full of preppy wonders.
The brief for my outfit for the Run was clear: Tweed! I tried on a few options, eventually settling on a Glenurquhart check (Glen plaid) jacket and matching waistcoat, paired with a red tartan club-collar shirt. To finish, I couldn’t resist the herringbone tweed cycling cap, with the peak flipped up.
See you at the Tweed Run!
Murdock London is a small chain of boutique barbers established in 2006 by Brendan Murdock (see our interview here). Starting with their first shop in Shoreditch there are now four in total, each preserving the unique feel of barbers in days gone by. Service is key, and each customer is treated with care and attention whether they are having a their hair cut, their beard trimmed or moustache styled.
I visited the Covent Garden shop which features vintage Belmont barbers chairs as well as a full range of Murdock grooming products and fragrances, not to mention a reading library for customers waiting to be seen. Murdock have also branched out into accessories including scarves and bags by Brady.
The barbers’ attention to detail is second to none, whether it be their enthusiasm for vintage styled clippers made by American company Oster, or knowing which styling product to recommend for your moustache.
Speaking of which, November is moustache month, and Murdock are there to help style those Mo’s. Barbers from Murdock will be on hand at the start of the Rugby Tweed Run on Saturday 26th November in Covent Garden to help perfect the riders’ moustaches. Judging by some of the barbers’ moustaches themselves, there’s no one better placed to advise.