Went to Barbour Chicago today, the new location downtown. Nice store and definitely bigger than their Halsted location, but the latter is apparently moving and getting a bit bigger in the near future. Shop had a majority of Men's styles with the entire bottom floor being Men's and the upstairs being half Men's. Staff was really nice. It was slow when I came in, but everyone was helpful. Guys were more knowledgeable, but they were all nice.
They have 50% off select styles at the moment and in my experience they run the same deal at all their US locations. Beacon (Norton and Sons), Dept. B and McQueen were all pretty much 50% off the AW styles with a few of the more basic styles on sale as well.
They had the Barra in navy in my size, so I grabbed that right away. In terms of the Norton and Sons collection, they had the Barra in navy, the St. Kilda in olive and the Uist in olive. Sorta weird who has what as the Barra in navy is really hard to find on sale at the moment depending on your size, yet you could probably go into a Barbour and they could find one for you at half off. Then you can barely find a St. Kilda in navy anywhere. Even more crazy they had the Uist. I tried it on, but it just doesn't work. St. Kilda looks much better on, but the Uist is a cool piece. Just tough to pull off IMO. The craziest thing though was they had the torpedo jacket! I only know of two shops to have stocked it, maybe three, and they had it. They didn't have it marked at half off, but they checked after I said it probably was and sure enough it was half off. St. Kilda and Barra are definitely nicer. Torpedo quilt is interesting though. Same broken in look and wax along with the same cuff fabric (which is the trim the whole way round). Snaps the whole way up with no zipper. Quilted, but not very thick, though it has "Thermore". Length is a bit longer than I expected, but fit is definitely more tailored than I expected. Fits well though. Oh, and I tried the Bern sweater. Also half off. Dense gauge, but didn't love the fit. Felt like a linebacker in it.
Limited Dept. B, but there are still some Shoredaces out there. They also had the Birch and Dragh. Wasn't impressed with the Dept. B knits or CPO shirts though.
McQueen was limited. They had quite a few of the cotton militaryesque motorcycle jacket. Nice weight for Spring, but didn't impress me a lot. No Rextons, but a couple of Bakers, the latter of which was the best McQueen they had.
Last but not least, checked out the Leedale. Just came across it as I was checking out the upstairs. Nice alternative to a Bedale. Not as boxy, but same length and based off the Bedale. While not being as boxy, I'd still say the SL Bedale is slimmer and the Leedale is still somewhat boxy. Collar is wool, not cordouroy. Color is brown. Neck has the motorcycle/strap throat latch. Hunting jacket type shoulder patches. Lining is the same fabric/weight, but not a typical Barbour tartan as it was a creme with brown plaid. No option for a zip in liner. Not back flap like with the Bedale. Not elasticized inner cuff like the Bedale. One point of note that I will add, it does have a tab at the upper back that says "Barbour". Not horrible, but totally unnecessary and the "major strike" again the jacket if you consider it one. Overall though at $200 (sale price at half off) it's not a bad Bedale alternative for Fall (and Spring if you like, though I don't like the wool collar for Spring, though that's an aesthetic preference) if you're not willing to import a Bedale. Here are a few Leedale links:
Edited by BLAUGRANA - 2/4/14 at 12:07am