British Heritage in Style

The Legendary Barbour Jacket's Evolution
The Barbour Jacket: A Timeless Fashion Icon
BY Nastassja Skorski

The Barbour jacket is a true icon of British style, a garment that has stood the test of time and become a symbol of timeless elegance. From its humble beginnings to its place in modern fashion, the Barbour jacket's journey has been nothing short of legendary.

An Icon of British Style: A Look at the Barbour Jacket's History

For over a century, the Barbour jacket has been synonymous with British heritage and style. It all started in 1894, when John Barbour founded the J. Barbour & Sons company in South Shields, a small town in northeast England. Initially, the company specialized in producing oilskins, garments designed to protect fishermen from the harsh elements of the North Sea.

As the demand for oilskins grew, so did the reputation of Barbour. The company's commitment to quality and craftsmanship quickly earned them a loyal customer base. Fishermen relied on Barbour jackets to keep them warm and dry during long hours at sea, while also appreciating the durability that allowed the jackets to withstand the rigors of their demanding work.

However, it wasn't until the 1930s that the Barbour jacket as we know it today truly took shape. Inspired by the needs of outdoor enthusiasts, the company began creating waxed cotton jackets that offered superior protection from wind and rain. The waxed cotton fabric, with its water-resistant properties, proved to be a game-changer in the world of outerwear.

Word of the Barbour jacket's exceptional performance quickly spread beyond the fishing community. Outdoor enthusiasts, including hikers, hunters, and campers, embraced the jacket for its ability to keep them dry and comfortable in even the most challenging weather conditions. The combination of functionality and style made the Barbour jacket a must-have for those who valued both practicality and fashion.

Over the years, the Barbour jacket evolved, incorporating new materials and designs while staying true to its roots. The company expanded its range to include jackets for various activities and lifestyles. From the classic waxed cotton jackets to quilted styles and lightweight options, Barbour offers something for everyone.

Today, Barbour jackets are not only worn for outdoor pursuits but have also become a fashion statement. The iconic design, with its distinctive corduroy collar, tartan lining, and brass hardware, has made the Barbour jacket a symbol of British style and sophistication. It is a garment that effortlessly combines tradition with modernity.

Barbour's commitment to quality remains unwavering. Each jacket is still crafted with the same attention to detail and commitment to excellence that has defined the brand for generations. The company continues to use the finest materials and traditional manufacturing techniques, ensuring that every Barbour jacket is built to last.

Worn by the New Generation

While the Barbour jacket has a rich history, it continues to evolve and attract a new generation of fashion-conscious individuals. The durability, versatility, and timeless appeal of the Barbour jacket make it a favorite among both young and old.

One of the reasons for the Barbour jacket's enduring popularity is its ability to effortlessly transition between casual and formal occasions. Whether paired with jeans and a sweater for a weekend adventure or worn over a suit for a sophisticated look, the Barbour jacket adds a touch of class to any outfit.

Additionally, the rise of the vintage and heritage fashion trends has breathed new life into the Barbour jacket. Younger generations are embracing the jacket's timeless design, appreciating its durability and authenticity in a world of fast fashion and disposable garments.

Moreover, the versatility of the Barbour jacket is unparalleled. With its classic design and neutral colors, it can be easily paired with a variety of outfits. For a casual look, it can be worn with a simple t-shirt and jeans, adding a touch of rugged elegance. On the other hand, when worn over a tailored suit, the Barbour jacket exudes sophistication and refinement, making it suitable for formal occasions and business meetings.

Not only is the Barbour jacket practical and stylish, but it also carries a sense of heritage and tradition. Each jacket is infused with the brand's rich history, dating back to its founding in 1894. The iconic waxed cotton fabric, originally developed for seafarers and fishermen, has become synonymous with the Barbour name. Owning a Barbour jacket is like owning a piece of British heritage, connecting the wearer to a legacy of craftsmanship and adventure.

As the fashion industry continues to grapple with issues of sustainability and ethical production, the Barbour jacket stands as a beacon of authenticity. Unlike fast fashion garments that are quickly discarded, the Barbour jacket is designed to be cherished and passed down through generations. Its timeless appeal and enduring quality make it a sustainable choice for those seeking to build a wardrobe that transcends trends.

In conclusion, the Barbour jacket's popularity among the new generation is a testament to its timeless design, durability, and versatility. It effortlessly combines style and functionality, making it a wardrobe staple for individuals of all ages. As fashion trends come and go, the Barbour jacket remains a steadfast symbol of heritage and authenticity, capturing the hearts of fashion-conscious individuals around the world.

Having His Moment in TV Shows like “The Crown” & “The Succession”

In recent years, the Barbour jacket has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to its appearances on hit television shows such as "The Crown" and "Succession." As these shows depict characters from the British upper class, the Barbour jacket's association with English heritage fits perfectly with the narrative.

Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) and Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies) in ‘The Crown’.


Seeing the Barbour jacket on the small screen has sparked renewed interest in the brand, with people eager to replicate the style and sophistication of their favorite characters. The timeless appeal of the Barbour jacket is further enhanced by its connection to these well-respected shows, making it a must-have item for any fashion enthusiast.

How to Style a Barbour Jacket for Men

When it comes to styling a Barbour jacket for men, the possibilities are endless. The key is to strike a balance between functionality and fashion. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. For a classic look, pair your Barbour jacket with a crisp white shirt, dark jeans, and brown leather boots.
  2. For a more rugged ensemble, team your jacket with a chunky sweater, cargo pants, and sturdy boots.
  3. If you're heading to the office, wear your Barbour jacket over a tailored suit for a touch of British elegance.
  4. For a casual weekend outfit, combine your jacket with a plaid shirt, chinos, and sneakers.
Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Remember, the key to styling a Barbour jacket is to let it be the focal point of your outfit. Its timeless design speaks for itself, so keep the rest of your look simple and let the jacket do the talking.

How to Style a Barbour Jacket for Women

Ladies, the Barbour jacket is not just for the gentlemen. With a few styling tips, you can effortlessly incorporate this British classic into your wardrobe. Here are some ideas:

  • Pair your Barbour jacket with a feminine dress and ankle boots for a touch of country chic.
  • For a more casual look, wear your jacket with skinny jeans, a striped top, and ballet flats.
  • If you're heading to the office, layer your jacket over a tailored blouse, trousers, and heels for a polished yet stylish outfit.
  • Embrace the "borrowed-from-the-boys" trend by teaming your jacket with a crisp white shirt, tailored pants, and loafers.

Princess Diana wears a classic long Barbour Jacket.

Credit: Getty Images

Alexa Chung combines the classic Barbour Jacket with a vinyl leggings and a pair of Hunter Boots.

Credit: Gettty Images

Whether you're going for a laid-back weekend look or a smart office ensemble, the Barbour jacket adds a touch of British sophistication to any outfit. Embrace its timeless design and make it the centerpiece of your ensemble.

In conclusion, the Barbour jacket's evolution from its humble beginnings in the fishing industry to its status as a fashion icon is a testament to its enduring appeal. Its rich history, versatility, and association with British heritage make it a must-have garment for anyone looking to add a touch of style to their wardrobe. From the new generation embracing its timeless design to its on-screen appearances in popular TV shows, the Barbour jacket's journey continues, ensuring its place as a legendary piece of British fashion.