Is barbour still fashionable

Is barbour still fashionable

Speed read: Barbour jackets are back and a must-have for urbanites

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Diana

Iconic: Princess Diana sporting her Barbour in the 80s

Nobody forgets their first encounter with a Barbour.

The nostril-tickling waft of that waxed cotton stays with you - conjuring up images of pearl-necklaced gels called Tiggy hacking across autumn fields in some Jilly Cooperesque hunt scenario.

Well, prepare for a wave of olfactory reminiscence, because Barbours are back in a big way, and not just among the Royals. 

The original waxed jacket dates back to 1894, when John Barbour established a drapery in South Shields selling everything from boiler suits and painter’s jackets to underwear.

In the 1930s, the name became synonymous with motorbike racing after Duncan Barbour, the grandson of the founder, introduced motorcycle gear to the range.

However it wasn’t until the late 70s and early 80s that the Barbour jacket gained its iconic status.

Princess Diana was often seen sporting hers in the 80s.

With a number of Royal Warrants, designs like the Bedale (a short, lightweight thorn-proof riding jacket) the Border and the Beaufort became as common on the High Street as they were in the Highlands.

100,000 - the number of Barbour jackets manufactured every year

Although their appeal faded during the 90s, recently every hipster from Lily Allen to the Geldof sisters, Alexa Chung and her boyfriend, indie band front man, Alex Turner, of the Arctic Monkeys, has been spied sporting the things.

What started off as practical festival wear has now become a must-have for urbanites - even if they’re far more likely to be driving a Chelsea tractor than a combine harvester.

Shopping checklist

  • Barbour Trudy Pleated Jacket, £189.95, barbour.com

BarbourBarbour Thornproof Dressing

From left: Barbour Trudy Pleated Jacket, £189.95, barbour.com, Barbour Thornproof Dressing, £7.95, barbour.com, Quilted dog coat, £24.95, barbour.com

  • Barbour Thornproof Dressing, £7.95, barbour.com

  • Quilted dog coat, £24.95, barbour.com

How to wear Barbours

1. Biker style: the smaller, sleeker of Barbour's silhouettes, beloved of Ewan MacGregor, no less, almost look like the highly desirable Belstaff biker jacket. Pair with skinny jeans for a biker meets rock-chick look.

Alexa ChungCoco SumnerQueen Elizabeth II

Barbour chic: Go for Biker style like Alexa Chung, left, old school like Sting's daughter Coco Sumner or Sloane Ranger a la HRH

2. Old school style - scour markets for one of the voluminous originals and fling it over anything, from a sparkly dress to a pair of leggings

3. Sloane ranger style - if you can’t stand the stench, try the accessories instead - maybe a tartan scarf à la HRH, or perhaps a discreet string of pearls. 

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