Happy as Larry
It's quite easy matching this vintage grey cashmere tweed jacket from Ballantyne with a suitable dog. First, I tried a border terrier — who was soon looking for something to chase and scrambled out of my hands — then I tried a grey and white phantom poodle. The poodle was as happy as Larry.
As well as being a good match with many dog breeds, the jacket has wonderfully thick cloth with a nubby texture, and self-faced panels on the inside make it doubly thick. It's heavy, no question. As the jacket is buggy-lined, it wraps a little around the form like a sweater. Dogs, and other animals, certainly enjoy nuzzling into it.
Tweedy's Note: The reason I'm 'trying dogs on' is that I'm between dogs at the moment and wondering what breed to go for. If you can see me well-matched with a particular breed, I'd be amused to know.
What to advise in terms of Ballantyne today? Well, Ballantyne's original weaving division morphed into the Robert Noble brand we know and love, who are owned by equally loveable Magee of Ireland. In terms of tweed, glen check, gun club check and herringbone, you're on safe ground. Incidentally, the name for Robert Noble derives from two businesses: George Roberts and George Scott Noble of Hawick. The Robert Noble logo keeps the Ballantyne family crest featuring a griffin.
Foxes and Intarsia Sweaters
The knitting division of Ballantyne, as well as the brand name, is now Italian-owned and concentrates on cashmere sweaters. The famed intarsia sweaters used to be made at Caerlee Mills in Innerleithen, Scotland, but I think the majority of their stuff is made in Italy now.
Can they offer anything for the traditional dresser? If you were to pop in to their shop in Via Bagutta, Milan, Italy, you might feel jolly pleased to leave with this cashmere intarsia sweater with argyle pattern and fox design from their winter collection.
The design saves you from having to carry an actual dog around with you.