An ode to Barbour: The best British brand there is
No, I don’t care if it makes me look like a Tory
Country pubs, golden retrievers, roaring log fires. There are certain things that come to mind when you think of the words “quintessentially English”. In this middle-class fantasy, where the backdrop is the rolling hills of the North Downs and the soundtrack is Jerusalem, what is everyone wearing? A Barbour of course.
Paired with Hunter wellies for the ultimate Surrey Insta look or dressed down with a crumpled Ralphie, a Barbour screams sophistication and class with just the right amount of pretension.
A Barbour is the sort of coat you’d be proud to take home to your parents, it’s dignified, proud and unashamedly middle class. It’s country estates and pheasants, Harris Tweed and shooting trips with your dad’s posh mates.
And it doesn’t matter what type of Barbour you have, from the quilted numbers with the leather patches to the original wax iterations, you’re one of the tribe.
Sure, they sometimes smell a bit musty. But that’s the smell of tradition, the smell of inherited privilege. Your dad and grandad have endured it and now it’s your turn. Barbours are timeless, effortlessly classic with a look that never really goes out style.
But it’s no longer just for farm hands and landed gentry, in the last few years, there’s been a Barbourenaissance. It’s become an edgy staple. The most popular Barbours right now are rough around the edges, less off the peg at House of Fraser, more vintage shop in the cool part of town. They’re being worn with skinny jeans and New Balances just as much as with cords and brogues.
And no matter which style you get rugged or refined, scuffed up or smart, it’s the perfect look for any time between September and February.
Paired with a chunky knit in the colder months and a simple oxford as Spring approaches, you can’t go wrong with a Barbour.
While they’re still largely the preserve of the signetted classes, the away days to Pennyhill park crowd, their appeal is finally starting to be realised by everyone.
They have the emotional connection that North Face lacks, the nostalgic feel that Canada Goose wishes it had, and all the class of a gin and tonic on a warm summer’s day.
So let’s pour it up for Barbour, the best coat you’ll ever own.