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barbour jackets

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by RicPac, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. RicPac

    RicPac Senior member

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    i tried searching but found nothing or nothing relatively what im looking for, my question is, what is the appeal behind barbour?? im looking into buying one but i seen some people say the jackets smell weird? also there are so many styles what would be right for a east coast fall/winter?
     
  2. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    Do you own a horse or have any interest in equine type things?
    Do you live in the countryside?

    If the answer is NO to both these questions, then Barbour is probably not for you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  3. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    Well Mike they also make shooting clothes, not just horsey stuff, so for the sake of completeness you should add that to the list.
     
  4. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    Why do you want to buy one if you don't know what the appeal is?

    A long time ago, English aristocrats wore Barbours while shooting/fishing/riding in their country estates: no doubt they were the best technology available at the time for keeping the rain off while outdoors. As ever, socially aspirant people in lower circles emulated them so far as they could. Over a number of decades this process spread from the upper middle class, to the middle middle, the lower middle, the working class, americans, and finally, in the last few years, hipsters. The chain is so long now that the hipsters are probably barely even aware why they are wearing them.

    Thus we arrive at someone who wants to buy one but doesn't quite know why.

    Anyway -

    The classic one to go for is the beaufort. It's unlined and won't keep you warm in the cold (it won't even keep you that dry in the wet) - it's supposed to be worn over your tweeds or wooly jumper - though it'll make you hot and sweaty if the sun comes out.

    They do smell funny.
     
  5. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Duh. Because the Queen wears'em.

    In an all seriousness, you need to decide for yourself if the look is right for you. I have 4 Barbours, and have been wearing their jackets for years (well before the hipster rollout). I think they look great (in a typically unfussy English way), last forever, and genuinely get better with age. Some smell funny, other don't. Very much depends on the piece you come upon. Fwiw, I enjoy the smell.

    I don't condone the NY-look of wearing a Barbour over your suit. I wear mine exclusively with jeans or cords.

    The Beaufort and Bedale are their two classic styles, but are somewhat ubiquitous and also fit like tents. Look at the Ursula, Harry or Sapper for other jackets that incorporate the Barbour ethos without the ubiquity. Stay away from the Tokihito stuff for now.
     
  6. Thanks SF (a new me)

    Thanks SF (a new me) Senior member

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    ^^ +1. If you like it, buy it. Wearing clothes should be fun and useful for your particular/specific lifestyle. IMO Barbour are excellent, well made and will serve you well. You'll have it the rest of your life, and it will get better with age. I recently replaced my 20+ yr Bedale, handed the old trusty to my son. I wear mine exclusively with jeans/cords, casual vibe as well. If going with Bedale or Beaufort, I suggest that you size down for a better fit, even with wearing light sweater.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  7. HughJ

    HughJ Senior member

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    +1 they fit like tents.
     
  8. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

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    Are the Beaufort and Bedale the kind of jackets thar are only appropriate with jeans?
     
  9. peach

    peach Active Member

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    RicPac , the attraction is protection from the elements , sturdy construction and they are practically bullet proof which means years of use.I believe they look better after several years of use.I have ridden thousands of miles in Barbour and Belstaff waxed cotton and am usually the driest and warmest of my crew. They come lined and unlined , none of mine have funny smells.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  10. tv2177

    tv2177 Senior member

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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  11. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

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    What this chap said. They manage to combine practical attributes with something that looks appropriate. I wouldn't be caught dead wearing a gortex fleece, but will gladly throw on a Barbour on the weekends or in the country. Just never, never over a suit.
     
  12. dirkweems

    dirkweems Well-Known Member

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    The special appeal? Thornproof. I have found them to be better than Northface type jackets when it is cold and wet. Bone chilling wet and cold. But not snow. They are comfortable and practical in the country. I don't know where you live but if you spend time in Yorkshire, Elgin, or even the Lake District in the winter months, you will wish you had a Barbour jacket. The smell is the wax. I quite like it, perhaps because I enjoy the country. Waxed cotton jackets are becoming popular in the US and sometimes you see douchebag wannabees wear them over a suit. Check it out for yourself. Hang around Grand Central at 7 in the morning in the fall and watch the trains come in from suburbs like Southport. You will never see anybody in London wear a waxed cotton jacket over a suit.
     
  13. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I was in an ancient sporting goods store in London in the mid 80's. I was looking at Barbours and the elderly salesman said, "I never understood the growing appeal of these jackets. After all, the farmers wear them to slop the pigs." :)
     
  14. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Senior member

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    You really don't need to mention the same story on every Barbour thread on SF :happy:
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    Two things I've noticed about the Beaufort.

    -With the appropriate lining/vest, it can be quite warm....as in, warm enough in snowy weather just over a light sweater.

    -that back pocket (the one that can open with zipper on both side, designed to supposedly hold a dead small game after a hunt) is super useful to hold lots of stuff without being bulky
     
  16. pnutpug

    pnutpug Senior member

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    I have a Bedale, a Beaufort and an International. The latter (a vintage model from circa 1980) is used exclusively for motorcycling. It cuts the wind just as well as my leather MC jacket, isn't quite as bulky and has more pockets. With the snap-in insulating liner, it's every bit as warm, if not moreso. Plus, everyone who rides a motorcycle, it seems, has a leather jacket. A synthetic would likely out-perform it, but I don't do the cross-country rides I once did, so this is fine. The Bedale and Beaufort are harder to justify. I guess I just like the way they look, I got them secondhand but in like-new condition for not a lot of money and I like the idea that they'll last decades. Ran into a guy at the post office a few months ago who was wearing an ancient Bedale. It really looked stunning, in an honestly worn kind of way. He said he'd had it for 30 years. It really is a matter of taste, in the end.
     
  17. Hayward

    Hayward Senior member

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    I have a lot of Barbour, including some of the semi technical synthetic stuff. It looks good, goes with most everything and is well made, and that includes the offshore made stuff. A Beaufort can be worn over a suit or odd jacket. A Bedale can be worn over a sweater or shirt. My Linhope featherweight is great for hiking, and my ripstop Utility has proven to be the ultimate travel jacket.
     
  18. Joker Man

    Joker Man Senior member

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    If you bought a used jacket from 1980 it's already worn out and is not going to last decades. Cotton deteriorates with age even if it's just hanging in your closet.It becomes stiffer and those waxed jackets wlil crack with age even if you never wear them
     
  19. dirkweems

    dirkweems Well-Known Member

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    Yes. And as this is a Gentleman's forum. Some of us here are Gentleman Farmers. I post this from my country home and you can wager that there are a couple of Barbour jackets and hunter boots by the front and back doors. I don't have pigs but I do go for a long walk every evening and the weather can change quickly, even in the summer. Do I care if my boots, trousers or jackets get wet or muddy or seem to attract every thorn and burr in the woods? No. That's the appeal of a Barbour jacket. Comfort and practicality.

    As for the snow, they are warm, especially with the warm pile lining. You can wear them in the snow, but I have other more appropriate clothing. Doesn't snow much here anyway. More hail and sleet.

    As for slopping pigs...I've had horses and sheep, but don't have time right now so have seconded them to neighboring farms. I would certainly love to have pigs, "wonderful magical animal". "Porkchops and bacon, two of my favorite animals".
     
  20. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Senior member

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    :)
     

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