How To Choose Your Barbour Jacket: A Brief Guide

Inspired by England’s historic maritime and agricultural trades, Barbour has made exquisite outerwear to the most rigorous and exacting standards for generations. Aligned as we are with the paradigm of unyielding quality, Orvis is proud to purvey these fine garments, some of the best waxed cotton jackets the world has known among them.

In this day and age the silhouette of the familiar waxed cotton jacket with its signature Barbour tartan lining is instantly recognizable as something special, a coat made to last a lifetime and beyond. You will find that jacket and others of its ilk in our Barbour outerwear for men and women.

Yet however steeped in tradition, Barbour's collections continue to evolve to satisfy modern sensibilities. With so many beautifully tailored styles to choose from—both emerging and classic—knowing which to choose can be a challenge. Orvis presents a Barbour jacket style primer to help you decide.

The Best Barbour Jackets For Men And Women: Shared Traits

Any conversation about choosing a Barbour jacket should begin with common characteristics:

  • Longevity - A Barbour jacket is made to last a lifetime; cared for properly, many will see use by multiple generations.
  • Traditional Styling - Within Barbour’s collections you’ll find variations on themes, but England’s rich country heritage inspires them all.
  • Double-Rolled Seams - The folks at Barbour will tell you it is no small task to sew seams this way. They do it to make their waxed cotton jackets fully waterproof, plain and simple (or not). It’s another benchmark of the excellence we find so appealing about Barbour.
  • Practicality - Barbour is renowned for thoughtful engineering: every feature on a Barbour coat or jacket is there for a purpose. And you will find useful pockets in varied sizes on every Barbour coat or jacket.
  • Performance - Barbour outerwear is made for life outdoors; coats and jackets are designed to keep the weather out, when you will be out in the weather for more than a dash across campus (although a jacket from Barbour assuredly rises to that occasion, too).

Waxed Cotton And Beyond: Barbour's Favorite Fabrics And Finishes

  • The waxed cotton jacket in any of its iterations is really the essential Barbour jacket, and has been from Barbour’s earliest days as maker of waterproof outerwear for England’s hardworking farmers and fishermen. Over time Barbour has developed varied wax finishes to match varied conditions, but each of them shares waterproof properties and a distinctively smooth hand.
  • Diamond quilting defines Barbour style much as waxed cotton, a finish seen in jackets and liners. Quilting is insulating, plain and simple. A quilted rain jacket or coat can be warm enough on its own, but zipping a quilted liner into a waxed cotton jacket transforms a lightweight or midweight garment to a coat that rewards its wearer with substantial protection from the elements. And diamond quilting elevates the style of a jacket from a utilitarian garment to something decidedly elegant.
  • A timeless and beautiful material with natural wicking and warming properties, wool is no stranger to the English country lifestyle. If wool’s unique look and feel is more to your taste, you’ll find it in select Barbour coats and jackets.
  • A soft cotton lining in the classic Barbour tartan is a hallmark of many jackets and coats for men and women, with wide olive and navy stripes overlain by a grid of thin red, yellow, and white lines. Look for the same reimagined in a winter tartan for women, with plush tones of black, cream, beige, and rose.

You’ll also find the best of modern materials in select Barbour performance outerwear: soft linings in warming fleece, horizontal quilting with polyester wadding, and both fleece and polyamide outers.

Choosing Your Barbour Jacket: How Will You Wear It?

Barbour maintains collections that reflect varied themes and styles, among which you will discover many overlapping design traits. The best way to choose your Barbour jacket is to identify how you will wear it.

  • Country & Classic - You want a best-all-around jacket with the traditional, classic silhouette that emphatically says Barbour. Choose the women’s Beadnell or Classic Beadnell, each in waxed cotton lined with Barbour’s classic tartan, with its familiar corduroy collar, and zippered with a studded storm flap. Or choose the medium-weight men’s Classic Beaufort or Bedale, with similar appointments and personalities; the Bedale is also considered an excellent jacket for hunting, riding, or shooting.
  • Men’s Sporting - The traditional look of a Barbour jacket suits you just fine, but you’re mainly interested in how it performs in the field. You won't go wrong with the men's Bedale. An available Polarquilt zip-in liner adds a welcome layer of warmth, promising freedom of movement and insulating protection without bulk. This Barbour jacket wants to be outside: expect all-weather versatility in pure waxed cotton, all-day comfort, innovative design, and exceptional performance.
  • Women’s Equestrian - You need outerwear for paddock and ring. Choose the women’s Cavalry Polarquilt for warmth, or the Cavalry Gilet as a seasonal layer. Then take them to lunch at the neighborhood bistro. The stylish jacket and gilet are each zippered, with a studded storm flap.
  • Motoring - You appreciate driving apparel as much as you do the open road. Look to the Orvis-exclusive Barbour Land Rover Defender Collection for classically tailored coats and jackets with modern and sophisticated style, made for motoring and more. The Barbour jacket styles in this collection draw inspiration from Britain’s coastline and interior, together with Land Rover’s tradition of rugged simplicity in a classic sport utility vehicle.
  • Rainy Day Gear - You simply need a rain jacket you’ll wear forever. Barbour, a company whose heritage is steeped in Britain’s 19th century marine industry, is right in its element with rain gear. Men will want to consider the Ashby or the Spoonbill, and women the belted Thornhill.

Find Your Essential Barbour Jacket Style

We’ve only just scratched the surface. You’ll discover so many other coats and jackets when you shop. And consider extras to make your Barbour jacket adaptable to every season: detachable hoods and zip-in quilted liners transform a lightweight rain jacket appropriate during transitional weather, to a full-blown coat made to withstand the worst winter squalls. Your Barbour jacket will rise to the occasion: after all, its forebears did the same for nineteenth-century fishermen on England’s northeast coast.

Orvis invites you to explore our collection of Barbour outerwear for men and women and find your jacket for life.

Shop Barbour Jackets

You may also like:

The Classic Beaufort, Classic Bedale, and Classic Beadnell