My life, my style: Country Road celebrates 40 years

This year marks 40 years of Country Road. But more importantly, it’s a celebration of  great Australian wool


THEY talk about “great years” when describing vintages of wine. I know it’s a long bow but you could also draw similar parallels in the fashion industry.

While 1974 was a disastrous year for Australian wine, it was a great year for one Australian fashion label. It marked the birth of Country Road.

From its humble beginnings in 1974, Country Road has travelled a long and dusty road. While many others have fallen, the 40-year journey of this iconic lifestyle brand makes for a great Australian yarn, and one that needs to be celebrated.

I remember my first Country Road purchase – a short-sleeved striped work shirt with a plain white peter pan collar. It was 1979 and I was a young cadet journalist living in Burnie, a small rural community in northwest Tasmania. Unfortunately, Burnie is not known for its sartorial splendour.

Regardless, there was one small beacon of style – a boutique called Yeltour (or Routley spelt backwards,  a small statewide menswear chain) – which stocked labels such as George Gross and Harry Who, Jill Fitzsimon, Sally Browne and Country Road among others.

At that time, Country Road, under founders Steve Bennett and sister Jane Parker, was building a reputation for upmarket workwear clothing with a classic preppy aesthetic.

Suffice to say, I have been a loyal customer since.

It has been a relationship built on trust and respect, one that has never let me down. In 1994, I remember the immense pride and excitement of discovering a Country Road store on Madison Ave in New York. And then again while living in Singapore several years ago, it was comforting to know there was a “good friend” close by that you could depend on.

And just as I have matured and my tastes have changed, so too has the brand.

But it is their commitment to Australian merino wool that is the hallmark of the brand. And as a “girl from the bush”, I am also partial to wool. You just can’t beat a wool knit for the cooler months ahead. Every year, I buy a couple of the Country Road classic V-neck wool knits.  They are an essential part of my winter wardrobe. I have them in black, navy, grey, coral pink, beige, camel, ivory and pale blue. However, I’ve also just bought the spot woollen scarf (in the pictures above) and have belted it thus.

But it’s Country Road’s party and in celebration, they have just released this short video (above) as part of their “Life Through Wool” advertising campaign using Aussie starlet Isabel Lucas. So get behind a great brand, great product and support our struggling farmers. Buy Australian wool.


Are you also a fan of Country Road? Do you also remember your first purchase? 
I’m doing my bit, but are you doing yours? Would love to hear from you. Ever stylishly yours …

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