Slowly, but certain and steadily we are moving away from the long sunny days filled with rosé, linen shirts, and espadrilles, into the darker months with rain, wind and scotch in front of the fire. Gloomy as it might sound, it is also my favorite season for menswear; flannel, tweed and probably most importantly – it’s time to dig out the Barbour.
Opening the cabinet where it has spent its time the past months, often results being met by a peculiar haze from the waxed cotton having been trapped. It’s often stiff when you wear it the first time and I always seem to forget how significant the weight feels on the back. Next step, which is probably my favorite – the re-waxing. This ritual is part of what makes a Barbour jacket so personal and special – it is what gives the jacket its special feel and smell; it’s what allows the wear and tear to stand out and personalize the jacket, resulting in not 2 Barbour jackets looking exactly alike.
I like to compare the Barbour jacket to the Land Rover Defender – another significant icon. When we look at and admire a certain thing or item, in most cases the mark for “niceness” is measured on the scale of condition; most items are higher valued on our scale if they are in a “superb, spot- and flawless” condition. And then, there are items that are the complete opposite. Items or things that should often be with as much patina or wear and tear as possible! When the paint job comes off in peels and rust appears on a Land Rover Defender it is ok, discolorations and little holes in the canvas of your vintage Barbour or Belstaff jacket is almost seen as a must, odeur from multiple fill-ups with whisky, Fernet Branca or aquavit in your inherited flask – these things are valued higher than the flawlessness.
A Barbour is something special – worn by everyone; from the farmer, the hunter, or the motorcyclist to the menswear top, gathering at Fortezza da Basso in Florence when Pitti Uomo takes place; and it works regardless of the scenery.
Now, I’m ready to take on fall…
Originally posted as part of the Gents Cafe Newsletter, a bite-sized read about men’s lifestyle to enjoy over a coffee or a nice cocktail. Join now!