When you slip on a waxed cotton Barbour jacket, you step into a piece of British cultural heritage dating back over 120 years. Since its founding in 1894, this family-run brand has outfitted countryside devotees and city dwellers alike in its iconic outerwear.
It all started when founder John Barbour spotted a gap in the market for protective outerwear suited to the rainy, blustery climate of Northern England. He opened up J. Barbour & Sons in South Shields, designing weatherproof coats and suits for sailors, motorcyclists and country sportsmen braving the elements.
Barbour’s clothing immediately struck a chord by blending fashion and function in quintessentially British styles. Their jackets shielded wearers from the storms while exuding an elegance perfect for town or country life.
That distinctive waxy finish became their signature and a symbol of authentic heritage craftsmanship. To this day, each Barbour jacket receives over 100 steps of hand-finishing from skilled garment workers in their English factories.
Beyond outerwear, Barbour also produces a full lifestyle range including accessories, loungewear, footwear and more. Rugged leather bags, cozy tartan blankets, Chelsea rain boots – their products evoke comfortable country living wherever you may roam.
Yet over the decades, Barbour expanded far beyond its rural country roots to become a global fashion staple. What originated as practical gear for the British countryside now elicits cool sophistication on city streets worldwide.
Everyone from English royals to Hollywood stars to pioneering hip-hop artists have sported the brand’s signature utility jackets and quilted liddesdale vest. Each generation and subculture reinvents Barbour’s timeless styles in their own unique way.
While Barbour today outfits men, women and children across the world, their home country of England remains woven into the brand’s heritage. Strolling the British countryside in a Barbour coat feels like you’ve stepped right into the pages of a classic English novel.
At the end of the day, Barbour’s success lies in their mastery of technique blended seamlessly with contemporary style. Their garments continue to protect people from the elements, foster adventures big and small, and clothe lives well-lived.
If you seek clothing that captures the essence of the great British outdoors, indoors and everywhere between, make Barbour your first stop. Just be ready for passersby to ask if you’re local whenever you don the look this heritage brand has been perfecting for over a century.