Make Room for this “Boss” in Your Closet

by Derek Holser, Tastemaker in Residence

April showers bring May flowers. But what brings April showers? March breezes? February freezes? I honestly have no idea. I do, however, know how to prepare for those April showers. Tweed. 

That didn’t quite have the effect I was seeking. I’m going to try again.

I do know how to prepare for April showers…


That’s better. Much better.

In many parts of our nation, including my hometown of Virginia Beach, this month brings a yo-yo of temperatures and precipitation. One day, it’s 75 and sunny, and surely summer is around the corner. The next day, it’s 48, with a mix of sideways sleet and rain. You’ve already packed your winter coat, and the light windbreaker doesn’t quite provide the desired warmth or protection. 

Not only is tweed better than a yellow slicker or a cotton hoodie, it is fashionable, formal and flexible enough to be worn to a New York Board Room in the morning and a Rhode Island quail hunt in the afternoon. 

Before you exit New York, be sure to reflect on the infamous legacy of “Boss” Tweed, a Democratic politician who dominated New York and ultimately found himself in prison in 1871 for a staggering number of corrupt transactions, which according to Wikipedia was estimated at between $25 and $45 million. In today’s money that would be worth nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS. 

Unable to make bail, he escaped from jail once, but was subsequently captured. It’s said that he favored the fabric that was his namesake because it “slowed down the shivs trying to stab me, and warded off the haymakers thrown by those no-good conspirators down at O’Shaughnessy’s Pub!”

“Oh, but tweed is old-fashioned and stuffy!” I hear you exclaim. “It’s only for snobs and librarians, and dorky college professors.”

“Not true,” I retort. Tweed is on the rise. And we look no further than the dramatic popularity of the TWEED RUN. Started in London in 2009, this eclectic gathering of stylish folks riding their bicycles has spread across the pond from jolly old England to our beloved colonies. Check it out:

Trust me, Tweed is where it’s at and where it’s going to be. It’s hearty, forgiving, warm, and now comes in a splendid assortment of colors and patterns. Here’s one of my favorite for the ladies, from Chanel:

This year, have no fear. This April, enter the peril. 
Even if you do not own a mechanical (or equine) steed,
You can handle the storm in your trusty tweed!