The first time I was on a college campus, I saw an professor with disheveled white hair, a stack of papers under one arm, and a tweed jacket. I felt like I’d just seen a mermaid- something one can identify, but hardly expects to find in the wild!
Tweed’s been around in Scotland since at least the late 1700s, and burst on to the fashionable scene in the early 1800s, when the Countess of Dunmore started promoting the look to her friends as hunting attire. The particular weave of the wool, combined with the fiber’s own natural qualities, meant that clothing items made of twill were sturdy and largely weather-proof. (source)
Further research is required to figure out how this sporty clothing item became the symbol of weedy professors; I suspect their relatively high social status, combined with the inclement weather they occasionally face when making the brave trek from office to classroom, might have something to do with it.
If you live in a warm part of the world, you’ll want to hold off on adding a tweed jacket to your ensemble, as the wool is meant to keep warmth in. Once the chill settles in, though, it would be a perfect addition to a steampunk wardrobe, or the antique possession of a fashionable Scottish vampire.
Note: Tweeds can be pricey new! Keep an eye out for used jackets.
AMAZING Mens Wool Blazer - Vintage Jacket Size 40R Brown Tweed - Elbow Patches via Bamapama. Wool with silk lining. Ships to US only. $40 USD