Nowadays there is little excuse for the lady gun looking like a poorly wrapped haggis. The good old days saw ladies in beautifully tailored tweeds going about their business with an enviable elegance but their wardrobe was entirely bespoke. When shooting reached a wider female audience and we tried to clothe ourselves from the shelf it became a cross-dressing mess. However, a few enlightened souls have been seen to turn a profit from girl guns, so is there a rush to cash in and give us what we want. Oliver Brown has always had the nice tweed coat angle covered but The Really Wild Clothing Company blazed a trail with mini-skirts and Spanish riding boots while giving genuine sporting options such as leather breeks and fitted knits. All the major brands now carry a line for ladies with Purdey cutting breeks especially well. Cotswold ountry Living sources shooting kit from Spain and is a good place to start for any lady wanting something a bit different but still practical. Holland & Holland has just introduced a made-to-measure and bespoke range for those wanting to take their own line, while Barbour and Musto cover the off-the-peg market.
There is almost as much choice for women now as for men and, with some brands flattering a particular shape, you can choose yours to suit your figure. Pretty shirts and knits are available in colours other than sludge that won’t freak out the pheasants, and coats are cut with a waist. The recent fashion for patterned tights was a boon; wear under breeks and you can whip your shooting stockings off at lunch-time to display a shapely calf and avoid stretching your shoes by cramming big socks into them. Layers are the key to avoiding bulk while remaining comfortable; keep them light and warm.