Styling The Classic Barbour Jacket
One of the first designer pieces I ever invested in was a Barbour jacket and it’s the most popular search topic on this blog. It’s something that I’d wanted for years and years but they’re not cheap but they are definitely an investment piece in an outdoor lovers wardrobe. I first became aware of the style in around 2008 when they were all the rage with the likes of Miss Chung and she’s still one of my biggest style inspirations to date and I've coveted one ever since. In 2016 I purchased my first Barbour jacket which was the Aeonium style and this year I purchased the classic Beadnell which actually ended up replacing my initial purchase as I prefer the fit a little more. So here are a few words about why I’m such a fan of the brand and my favourite way to style my sage Beadnell which has been my ultimate staple this autumn.
the history of the Barbour and how I chose mine
J Barbour and Sons story began in 1894 in the North East of England. Barbour’s headquarters are still located in South Shields and their classic wax jacket is still made there. The brand has come along way from its original country wear line and now they offer a huge array of items from knitwear to lifestyle products such as their adorable dog line. Something that draws me to the brand is that it’s still a family owned business and have stuck to their core values. Which is why I wanted to invest in one of their coats and it took me a long time to decide what I wanted as it was such a big purchase for me.
My needs were;
- the classic wax style
- a hood
- plenty of pockets
- room for a jumper underneath
Before buying I headed to my local John Lewis store which is where carries the largest range closest to me to get a feel for the fit and the sizing as each style is so different. That is something that I believe is absolutely integral before making sure a big purchase.
THE ANEONIUM VS THE BEADNELL
As I said, I’ve owned a couple of jackets and my original was an olive Aeonium style jacket which I’m not quite sure is even made anymore. It’s very much like the traditional style that we all probably imagine when we think of the brand but it was a little boxier, came with a hood and had a small bit of quilting detail as well as gold accents. The olive colour is a deep green with a touch of brown to it and with the olive coats, it comes with the classic tartan lining in the jacket. I do find this style a slightly more casual option compared to the classic Beadnell which in my wardrobe leans slightly smarter as it’s more tailored. When purchasing my Beadnell I wasn’t sure what colour to go for, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go for the Olive again even though I loved it so I thought the Sage might work a little better in my wardrobe in the long run and that colour comes with ancient tartan. This little colour guide is very useful if you're thinking about making a purchase. I love that the Beadnell comes with more pockets as I mostly wear it when walking the dogs and you’ll know if you own a dog the more pockets the better. The only downside to the style is that it doesn’t come with a hood so you do have to purchase one but I didn’t mind too much as it is something I need and it’s great that it’s detachable. For me, and my style I prefer the Beadnell and it's slightly tailored fit not to mention they make them down to a size 4 which is perfect if you’re petite.
THE UPKEEP AND TAKING CARE OF YOUR BARBOUR
When I originally got my Barbour I was so confused why absolutely everything would stick to it and that is because it’s freshly waxed. So do bear that in mind when you first wear yours, a lint roller or a clothes brush is your best friend. Although the jackets all come care instructions here is how I take care of mine;
Never, ever wash a waxed jacket.
Re-wax every year to keep it waterproof and the waxed cotton feeling fresh. And pick your wax wisely, Barbour has an entire video on this or you can send it away if you don’t feel up to the task. Different colours of waxed cotton use different waxes so that’s something to remember when it comes to re-waxing.
If you do get caught out in the rain lay the jacket flat to dry.
To get rid of any mud or dirt wipe down with a cold cloth.
How i style the barbour
I wear my Barbour all year round, apart from when it’s really cold or when it snows as then I opt for my faux fur parka to keep me snug. But in general, you can wear a Barbour through pretty much any type of weather. It’s such a great item to have in the UK as it’s so versatile and here are my style essentials to pair with my jacket that capture the quintessential traditional Barbour style perfectly;
- A cream cable-knit jumper.
- A striped Breton.
- A chunky dark grey/black jumper.
- A striped dress.
- A woollen jumper dress, I’m in love with these from H&M this year.
- A black pair of jeans or dark denim.
- A pair of Chelsea boots.
- A pair of loafers.
- A tote bag or satchel.
- A pair of Denim shorts.
how i choose my investment pieces
As I’m a slow shopper these days and never ever go out my way to go shopping that means that all my pieces are very well considered. It takes me weeks to months to decide to make big investments for my wardrobe, I never want to purchase anything that I’m not going to get the wear from as it’s so pointless and so damaging to the environment. My thought and decision-making process is quite simple and generally goes like this;
How often will I wear this piece?
How many outfits will this compliment in my existing wardrobe?
Will it last?
What are the care instructions? If something is dry clean only I’m more than likely not going to buy it.
Is it practical?
Will it keep its value if I ever do choose to sell it on?