The Sporting Life’s Softer Side

The Sporting Life’s Softer Side

Words by Aleks Cvetkovic – a freelance journalist and creative strategist, who writes on men’s style, design and luxury and is a contributing editor to FT HTSI magazine. He lives in north east London.

Purdey will always be a refined British brand closely associated with countryside pursuits. But, what about those of us who are less inclined to keep up with said sporting endeavours? Well, I – confirmed townie, fashion follower, hopeless rider, marksman and angler – for one, have definitely found myself drawn to Purdey’s new Spring Summer 2023 collection.

It’s tricky to pinpoint just one reason why. Perhaps it’s the collection’s earthy colour palette, which is equally at home in town or country and feels surprisingly contemporary. Warm shades of terracotta, tobacco, ecru and cream lend a modern touch to neatly cut jackets and flowing pleated trousers.

It could also be that the tailoring feels thoroughly trim. This season’s blazers and sports jackets have been designed with a lightweight construction that is softer and more forgiving than traditional tailoring, which can sometimes feel more like plate armour than cashmere. Slip on a piece like the new Hacking Jacket, with its natural shoulders, lightweight canvas and easy patch pockets and you’ll see what I mean.

While we’re talking jackets, the Duke double-breasted blazer is another favourite with its angular, reassuringly confident peak lapels. Details like these do a lot of talking, so it’s easy to keep the rest of your outfit simple. Layer over pale cotton chinos, an ecru knitted sweater and pop your collar for a roguish look. Add dark brown suede loafers, wrap around a lightweight scarf and you’re good to go. And, if you’ll let me be a geek for a moment, the Duke’s pure woollen cloth is a clever choice for warm weather. A high-twist fresco with a fine windowpane check, the fabric is designed to travel comfortably and breathe in the heat.

With pieces like these, the sensibility of Purdey’s new season tailoring feels – dare I say it – quite metropolitan. The Town and Country Coat is a similar story. A topcoat tailored in a flowing double-breasted style, made from plush double-faced cloth that lends it a real sense of personality. A famous spendthrift when it comes to big coats, this is a collection highlight for me and a great piece to throw on of a grey spring or even autumn morning. I’d wear over a fine gauge cashmere rollneck in camel for a chic tonal look that’ll take you anywhere.

Not that this season is just about tailoring, mind. Plenty of casual outerwear pieces in the Spring collection have also caught my eye. Field Jackets have historically been bulletproof creations in heavy tweed, but there’s a new, lighter version cut in dry-waxed cotton that’s showerproof and lightweight. Then there’s the Ridge Parka, also in dry waxed cotton, which is lined in quilted superfine wool. Both of these feel like comfortable weekend coats, easily shrugged on over almost anything, from dark needlecords to white jeans with a polo or button-down shirt beneath. 

The Loden coloured Barn Jacket is a clever design too, and alludes to a chore coat with its cropped, boxy cut. I can see myself wearing this anywhere from Clapton to Cliveden with a pair of chunky Scotch Grain leather boots and rolled-up jeans. The SS23 collection feels like a change of pace for Purdey; light, versatile and optimistic, made for both town and country alike. If you’re a city-dweller, like me, these pieces need to be tried on to be truly appreciated. A visit to Audley House beckons…

Shop the new Purdey SS23 collection, here