Breaking Barbour

After a seemingly never ending, on again off again Indian summer, this past week has finally felt like the proper arrival of Fall.  Well that is until I woke up this morning and saw temperature climb back into the seventies.  While I for one welcome the cold with open arms, the one fall phenomena that I just can’t get beyond is the Barbour coat monotony that has hit our city with more force than a nor’east wind.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Barbour’s, in fact my trusty Barbour x Tokito jacket is sitting next to me right now, but it’s the inescapable olive green quilted Barbour Bedale and it’s equally as unavoidable brother, the Beaufort that seem to be the only winter coat options on earth right now.  I don’t resent Barbour in the least, they’re one of the greatest outerwear companies of all time, and if everyone in this city seems to be fascinated by their jackets, it’s with good reason.  As one of the first heritage brands to get a big co-sign from pretty much everyone in the blogosphere, Barbour’s hundred year history of made in England outerwear has been told and retold countless times.

Along the way traddy colleges kids of the sixties who wore Barbour’s to class became style icons, the big brand revolutionaries, J. Crew and Club Monaco began pushing Barbour’s alongside their own wares, and in turn pretty much everyone in this city picked up a (all too often oversized) Bedale or Beaufort.  I’m not trying to say that there’s anything wrong with owning a Barbour, I’m merely trying to point out that if you’re walking down the street and every other guy you pass is wearing the same jacket as you, it might be time to think outside the Barbour.  It’s Barbour’s everyday wearability that makes it so reliable (and desirable) but here’s a handful of other options for a daily coat that won’t case deja vu as you walk down the street.

Vintage Pea Coat on eBay – By far the most economical route on this list, eBay is rife with vintage military issue Pea Coats for under a hundred bucks.  A Pea Coat might not be the most exciting option out there, but it’ll certainly get you through this season, and many more to come.

Club Monaco Military Snorkel Jacket – A blackwatch, waxed cotton, cinch waist, cargo pocket, military, snorkel jacket complete with corduroy collar and a quilted hood.  Like a symphony of buzzwords for the young menswear set.

Gloverall Mid-Length Duffle Coat - As another legendary British institution of outerwear, Gloverall makes some of my favorite winter jackets.  Ever since that first time I saw Dead Poet’s Society, I’ve always been obsessed with duffle coats, and this one, a shorter and more modern version, is in my opinion the best one on the market.

NN.07 Izumi Wind-Resistant Quilted Coat - Waxed British Millerain Cloth on the outside, quilted lining on the inside, NN.07’s jacket is no-frills but tough as nails.

Polo Ralph Lauren Oilcloth Bike Jacket - This is actually the jacket that I picked up for this winter, as I was instantly drawn to Polo’s spin on the classic moto-jacket.  With a wax-cotton shell and a detachable hood, it’s just as appropriate for mellow fall days as for blizzard conditions in the dead of winter.  Just please don’t tuck your pants into your boots like this guy.

ts(s) Fireman Jacket – I’ve already waxed about my love for Fireman Jackets on here, but this one by Japanese brand ts(s) is one of my favorites.  Featuring three layers of closure running down the front, it’ll keep out the cold and see you through the season.

Isaia Ross Topcoat - This list wouldn’t have been complete without at least one pipe dream item, and Isaia’s Ross Topcoat, a luxed up, Italian-made take on the Polo coat, is what menswear dreams are made of.

And as a shameless plug, orders are still up for the Wax Wane x Ebbets Field Ballcap, check ‘em out.

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  1. Lizzle said:

    That Polo Bike Jacket looks great….and kind of like a Barbour.

    • It’s fairly similar to a Barbour International, the main differences being the color and the hood, as well as subtle things such as patches and pocket placements.

  2. dan said:

    I had to look up “Barbour,” and found I had never seen one before. Ah, the Midwest.

  3. Ralph said:

    I just bought the Polo jacket and stumbled upon this blog while looking for reviews. I’m concerned about two things:

    1. Weight: Is it me or is this jacket too heavy? It weighs 5 pounds. Maybe I’m not used to this, since I live in southern California. After trying it on at home again for 30 minutes, my shoulders became sore.

    2. Waxed cotton: The jacket says it’s machine washable, but that seems to be a big no-no with other oilcloth jackets such as Barbours. Is there something different about this one? Is the label just wrong?

    What has your experience been with this jacket on these two points? I’m debating whether to return it, since, although it’s one of the coolest-looking jackets I have, it seems like a bit of a hassle to carry around and maintain.

    • In my opinion it is quite the heavy jacket but I also live in New York and this doesn’t really bother me. As for washing it, I definitely would not machine wash it, that’s most likely an error on the label.

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