British Heritage Icon: The Barbour coat

I must have been about sixteen years old when I first discovered my mum's old Barbour coat. I was not yet the Anglophile that I have become over the last few years, but I did notice that this coat was different from the ones I regularly saw my mother wearing on a day-to-day basis. Being the wannabe-hipster that I was back in the day (photographs of those days seem to have mysteriously disappeared), I thought this coat would be absolutely perfect to give me just that little bit of 'edge' in the school hallways. I obviously didn't properly think that through, as our unofficial school uniform consisted of skinny jeans and Abercombie hoodies, paired with Converse in summer and Ugg boots in winter. It is safe to say that my riding boots & hugely oversized (because made in the eighties) Barbour coat-look was not exactly a huge succes. At sixteen I had not yet found my 'f-off, I wear whatever I like'-attitude yet, so I quickly went back to looking exactly like every other girl at school.

I don't really remember exactly how or why Barbour flew back onto my radar, but at some point, it did. When I was eighteen, I had started wearing my mum's old coat on a fairly regular basis. I was quite a bit heavier back then, so an oversized coat was a great way to cover those extra pounds. That's when I discovered that aside from it being the perfect way to cover up my insecurities, it was also a pretty damn practical coat. I felt like I could wear it with anything, because it just made an outfit all by itself.

Now flash forward to last week, eight years after the Barbour-at-school-incident. I thought it was about time to buy my very own Barbour Wax Coat.  Picture this:  I am standing in front of a mirror in the Barbour-corner in Harrod's, where I am having a very, very hard time deciding whether to go for the olive coloured Beadnell Jacket, or the navy one. I must have put each one on at least ten times. My mum is helping me decide. while both of my brothers are sighing every few seconds. Eyes are being rolled and sentences like 'I am so done with this' and 'Can we please go back to the hotel' are being brought to the table. Honorable mention for my boyfriend who -after thirty minutes- says: "I can honestly hardly see any difference".

I did love both colours equally and genuinely couldn't decide based on appearance alone. In the end, I decided to go for the navy one, just because I already own a khaki/olive winter coat. (Although in a few years, I might add an olive version to my wardrobe as well) The style I went for is the 'Beadnell' Wax Jacket. The Beadnell is essentially a more feminine version of the all-time-classic Bedale Jacket.

Like all classic Barbour coats, The Beadnell is made of waxed cotton. The wax is a natural water repellant and works like a charm! You do need to reproof you jacket with new wax every once in a while, depending on how often you wear it.

Another classic Barbour feature is the beautiful corduroy collar. The collar looks great when you wear it down, and can be flipped up to keep your neck warm.

Just in case you'd ever forget how to take proper care of your beloved Barbour, a care guide is actually sewn in right next to the inside pocket!

Barbour coats have been around for 125 years, and when you put one on, you can definitely see why. Not only are they very practical and durable jackets, they are also absolutely timeless and just get better with age. If you don't believe me: This video is worth watching.Also, I've seen quite a few photos of Kate Middleton wearing Barbour.And hey, if it's good enough for the Dutchess of Cambridge...


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