See Also > Ladies Shooting Attire
The clothing that you wear on a shoot will depend largely upon your role within the shoot and the scale of the event that you are attending.
If you are attending a driven shoot at a large estate, style, comfort and functionality will be key. Smart dress will reflect the tradition of the occassion but first and foremost you need to consider comfort and functionality; whilst an imposing and iconic sight, the traditional shooting outfit is simply a warm and waterproof protective barrier against the elements.
When standing on the peg for many hours it is vital that you can maintain thermal comfort, stay dry and retain excellent freedom of movement. Your outfit should allow for maximum enjoyment of the occassion, rather than prove a hindrance.
Tweed is traditional, but can hold water and weigh you down. Fortunately, technical tweeds are now available, which are treated to provide water resistance. Top sporting brand Musto have worked with their mill to develop tweed with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating, which makes it fully water repellent (see pictures below which show water immediately rolling off the material, leaving it dry and unstained).
Modern shooting jackets will be cut with action backs and articulated sleeves to allow for maximum movement and comfort. See the pleating detail in the shoulder of this Musto Jacket, showing how smart styling can hide functionality:
Musto have also engineered Stretch Tweed, which you can find in their Stretch Technical Tweed collection. In the manufacture of this tweed, Lycra is added to the wool giving it stretch and providing the wearer with excellent durability and ease of movement.
To achieve the ultimate in waterproofing, GoreTex is the number one choice. The world's leading waterproof fabric has been incorporated into various products in the Musto range, including the much celebrated Whisper Jacket - an almost silent, soft and insulating shooting jacket. GoreTex is also highly breathable, allowing you to strike a perfect balance between thermal comfort and water protection. It also at the heart of Musto's 'Triple Layering System' - a key concept launched last season. More on this can be found further down the page.
A waistcoat is usually worn beneath the jacket and can be used as a warming midlayer, or on warm, dry days as an outerlayer. Waistcoats can often be brought as part of a set with a matching jacket and breeks; at bestinthecountry.co.uk we stock Musto's Machine Washable and Stretch Technical Tweed shooting sets. The waistcoat will usually be tweed and, like the jacket, will be cut for your ease of movement and comfort. The shooting waistcoat will have large pockets for carrying cartridges and reinforced shooting patches at the shoulders where the butt of the gun sits.
Breeks (or breeches) are the traditionally worn legwear and again, are generally tweed. The bottom hem is adjustable to allow you to create a watertight seal where it meets the sock. When sizing your breeks, opt for a pair that seem slightly too long - you should hitch them up slightly and fold the excess material over the top of your boot to create another water-proof seal. We stock both mens and womens Breeks.
Traditionally made of wool for warmth, Shooting Socks or Stockings will be mostly covered by your boots and thus provide the best opportunity to have some fun. Shooting socks are available in a wide variety of colours and pattern designs allowing you to put your individual touch on your outfit. Socks are worn knee high and snug around the calf. They have a cuff around the top which folds over, just below the knee, and is held in place with a garter.
For your midlayers, a 'Tattersall' Check Shirt is traditional and you can find them in breathable cotton or warming brushed cotton, your choice will depend upon the time of year. Shooting shirts have a longer length so that they can be securely tucked-in and not irritate you by riding up as you move. Wear with a Tie to prevent rain drops dripping down the collar. Keep the theme with a pattern motif of your quarry, such as duck, pheasant, woodcock pattern ties etc.
Whether you will be shooting in the August sunshine or into winter rain, you will need protection from the elements. Tweed Flat Caps are extremely popular, along with Waxed Flat Caps which are perfect for rainy days. Bushman type hats are also acceptable, but may impair your field of vision.
The Footwear you choose should be sturdy, comfortable, durable and waterproof. You will be standing outside in the elements for several hours so water protection and a good, comfortable sole that keeps out cold and damp are essential. To provide the best insulation, look for neoprene or leather lining. Le Chameau are one of the finest brands and their boots are handcrafted by skillled bootmakers to provide you with the best quality footwear. The Jameson Shooting Boot is a beautiful leather boot with GoreTex and would be at home on the largest estate shoots. There are also high quality wellington boots from Aigle, which provide exceptional comfort when worn for long hours. The Aigle boots also feature incredibly durable and comfortable soles. Hunter also provide a range of shooting boots.
Arriving at a shoot without a Gunslip is sure to turn heads for the wrong reasons. Carrying your gun in a case will also make it easier to carry and protect it from damage. Many options are available, although a classic brown leather gunslip with brass detailing will provide you with a timeless, understated look and, with good care should last you a lifetime. To go with your gunslip will also need a Cartridge Bag to carry all of your cartridges for the day. Often you can find an option to match your gunslip and again, it is worth looking for a classic, understated option that will compliment the rest of your oufit.
As the over-seer of the event, and the one to whom everyone else will be looking, the gamekeeper should set a good example of traditional dress whilst retaining the all important comfort and functionality. A high quality coat, such as Musto's Storm Jacket, Loddington or Whisper would be an ideal option. Again breeks will form an important part of the outfit, but if there will be a dinner afterwards and you wish to protect your breeks, waterproof overtrousers are a sensible option. Again, boots like the Le Chameau Jameson are ideal in quality, function and style.
Members of a shooting syndicate, or those who participate in farm shoots, will likely be covering a number of roles in the shoot as members take turns at each station. As a result, functionality and comfort are the most important considerations and you should opt for the best weatherproofing, with thornproof materials, exceptional ease of movement and quality, comfortable footwear. As your clothing will be taking more of a bashing, when you are beating or picking up, you may wish to spend a little less on your garments, without compromising durability.
From the Musto range we would recommend the Westmoor, Keeper or Fenland Packaway Jackets. The Westmoor is an entry level shooting Jacket which is also ideal for beaters and has recently been updated with increased durability. The Fenland Packaway (pictured below) was the winner of IPC Media's New Clothing Product in their 2014 Shooting Industry Awards and thus generated a great deal of interest at this year's CLA Game Fair. With a hydrostatic head of 10,000m, it is an excellent foul weather jacket.
If you choose to wear breeks, the above rules still apply, however if you will be getting involved in beating and picking up, waterproof overtrousers are going to be a much more practical and sensible option.
In terms of footwear there are many excellent options available to meet your requirements. We would recommend brands like Aigle and Muckboot which specialise in creating wellingtons that are designed to provide comfort for long days on your feet. Aigle wellingtons are durable and offer exceptional quality and comfort, and the neoprene lined ones are exceptionally warm. Muckboot offer tough and durable boots - designed first and foremost with hunters in mind. They feature thick soles to protect you from cold and damp as well as providing superb grip.
If you will be acting as a beater on a shoot, durability and protection will be the key elements in your outfit. Waterproof, thornproof materials will be your best option and you may wish to layer with a bodywarmer underneath your coat on cold days. Again the Musto Westmoor and Fenland Packaways (pictured above) are ideal jackets to keep you dry in the field and come at reasonable prices. They are fantastic quality garments and you are sure to get a good amount of use out them, so the cost of them need not be a regular expense.
Waterproof overtrousers will be a must in this role and for warmth you may wish to opt for thick boot socks. A quality, durable wellington boot will keep you warm and dry and should provide excellent grip underfoot. Look through the Muckboot range for some ideal options.
Whatever type of shooting you are participating in, you should protect yourself with a Recoil Pad, such as Musto's excellent and innovative D30 Recoil Pad, to take the impact of the shot. Ear Defenders are also a must.
Last season, Musto introduced their 'three layer system' - originally engineered for sailing use, to the fieldsports market. The system is designed to keep you warm, dry and comfortable during physical activity and hours spent out of doors. The idea behind the system is simple; keep a breathable, wicking fabric close to your skin as a base layer, add a layer of insulation on top of that and complete the outfit with a wind and water proof outer layer. When the components of this system work together, moisture is wicked away from the skin and is transported through the layers of fabric to evaporate on the outer surface. Musto have designed and engineered a collection that is perfect for the field sports person. Utilising innovative materials and designs, the items in this range boast the best loved features of Musto's shooting/sporting range.
The Three Layer System comprises a Merino Wool Base Layer which absorbs and transports moisture away from the skin, a Primaloft® Bodywarmer which utilises ultra-light Primaloft® material to provide outstanding warmth in a non-bulky design and finally, the new Storm Jacket (pictured below), a superb GoreTex field coat which draws on Musto's experience of creating high quality outdoor wear and is a natural progression of their recent line of innovative fabrics and technologies.
When shopping for your shooting jacket there are certain features that you will want to be looking out for, that will keep you comfortable and protected in the field. Overlooking these features will not only spoil your experience, but give the appearance that you are an amateur.
Waterproofing: If buying tweed, ensure it is treated with a DWR (durable water resistant) coating. GoreTex is by far the most waterproof fabric available and many of the superior shooting jackets will utilise it, including Musto's Storm and Whisper Jackets. Other shooting jackets should use waterproof coatings to achieve a protective finish - to ensure a jacket is fully waterproof, always look for taped seams.
Other waterproofing features that are important include knitted cuffs to prevent water droplets running into the sleeve, storm flaps, chin guard and storm collar and drainage holes in the pockets (see picture below).
Action Back and Articulated Sleeves: The action back feature provides greater freedom of movement across the shoulders and articulated sleeves are designed so as not to ride up when you raise your arm.
Poachers Pockets: These are pockets that are sewn into the back of a hunting jacket in which downed quarry can be stored (see picture below).
Bellows Pockets: These are large, hip pockets which are idea for storing cartridges, dog treats and knick-knacks. As mentioned above, they should feature drainage holes to prevent damage to cartridges, should rain water get into the pockets.
Nice to Have: Additional Features Found on Shooting Jackets.
• A fold down seat flap, which is tucked away in the back of the jacket and folds down to provide you with a useful seat cover on rainy days. See image below.
• A button back collar with stud fastenings, allowing you to tuck the collar/ lepels away neatly to the side to stop them getting in the way of the gun butt. See image below of this feature on the Musto Storm Jacket.
• Fleece lined pocket handwarmers for a little extra luxury on really cold days.
• A Drawcord Waist provides a great fit and allows you to adjust for any layers you have on underneath.
• Adjustable cuffs will allow you to securely fasten your cuffs against harsh weather.
Now you're fully equipped with all you need to know, it's time to...
Or learn more about...