You’re canoeing downstream on a crisp fall day, spray splashing on your clothes. Or you’re standing patiently in a duck blind at dawn, sipping at a flask as a persistent drizzle comes down. Or maybe you’re just braving the wind on a train platform, awaiting the 6:32 express on your way to work. Whatever your predicament, a waxed-cotton jacket is the redoubtable, yet stylish protection against autumnal weather.
The classic is Barbour, born of the famously dank climate of northeast England where the maker has operated for 125 years. Originally made for such outdoor laborers as stevedores and fishermen, the water-resistant jackets soon caught on with sportsmen—hunters and the like as well as motorcyclists. (There’s even a model called the Steve McQueen.)
Weather protection goes beyond the wax coating on the cotton fabric to include moleskin-lined, hand-warmer pockets, (some pockets are bellowed), a corduroy collar, throat flaps with closure and storm cuffs. The classic models (the Bedale, Beaufort, Border and Northumbria) have tartan linings. The fittings are all durable metal and the zipper works in both directions. The jackets are built to be part of your wardrobe for years, and when the wax coating inevitability wears, you can have it refinished.
The differences between most models revolve around length, intended use and pocket configurations (the Beaufort has a game pocket at the rear), but the Border has one important configuration for the guy who wears his Barbour to work. It’s cut slightly larger to accommodate a business suit. Visit barbour.com/us/