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November 5, 2010

A Second Chance for Barbour

Nothing relieves a bad case of cognitive dissonance better than seeing someone whose style you admire sporting the same article of clothing you were feeling iffy about.
Philip Crangi in a Barbour International jacket (photo by Tommy Ton for GQ). Once in a while, there surfaces a street style photograph that speaks to you so intimately that it breaks through all the clutter out in the blogosphere, one so rich with inspiration you know you’d be looking back at it for months.
The hair, on the head and on the face, the dark round glasses with gold arms, the luxuriously yet casually knotted raw-edged two-toned wool scarf (any ideas on where I could find something similar?), and the perfectly distressed waxed cotton jacket all form the costume of what I’d imagine an aristocrat who’s fallen out of favor with the nobility and now spends his days creating art in New York City’s gritty Lower East Side, yes! That’s what he’d wear.
I haven’t been getting as much wear as I wished from the same Barbour jacket I picked up in London a few months ago:
I purchased it new, and well, that seems to be my major bone to pick with it. The buttons are a conspicuous bright gold, and the fabric almost too sticky and too heavy with wax.
To get the aging process started, I plan on wearing it in the rain tomorrow. While I’m at it, I might as well roll in the gravel and drag my back along the entire perimeter of my apartment building’s coarse brick wall. Dear friends, Englishmen and Anglophiles alike, have you any suggestions on how best to weather my Barbour?


  • Brandon Acton-Bond
    November 5th, 2010 at 10:11 am

    OK I'm not even joking the only real way to break in your barbour is to run it over a few times on a muddy road with a range rover. Hence the need for a english country house to go with said barbour jacket. maybe bring it to the Philippines and run over it a few times on a sandy beach and have your own filipino edge to a barbour jacket?

  • Izzy
    November 5th, 2010 at 10:21 am

    LOL at the sandy beach suggestion. Unfortunately, the sand in our beaches is way to fine to make a dent on the hardy Barbour jacket. :)

    I want it distressed right now, so I'll probably take it out to the park today and drag it in the mud. Afterwards, do you think it'll be safe to throw in the washing machine?

  • Mat
    November 5th, 2010 at 10:51 am

    i once watched a programme called "british style genius", if you youtube it you may find it. there was an hour episode all about british "country" style and they tried their hardest to wreck a barbour jacket. they even shot it with a shotgun and it still looked ok!

    do NOT put it in the washing machine, it's a big barbour no no. it will make the whole jacket look weird and the inside will smell bad.

    i have one but im selling it on ebay, so you can compare the condition;


  • Brandon Acton-Bond
    November 5th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    DEFFFFFF do NOT wash it!

  • Lee
    November 6th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I agree, washing it doesn't seem like a good idea. I like @BrandonActon-Bond's idea ;)


  • Izzy
    November 6th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Mat and Brandon: I rubbed it against some damp rocks outside my apartment yesterday (and made a few knuckles bleed in the process), but I'm happy with the results. I purposely scratched the buttons and then soiled it in grass and soil, now it's drying naturally. I think that's a good start!

  • Brandon Acton-Bond
    November 7th, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Sounds like a good start!

  • Anonymous
    November 8th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    i like aging things that don't involve dirt or germs haha.
    try twisting it then placing rubber bands around it (almost as if you were tiedying it), it will naturally stay wrinkled.
    also steel wool to the buttons

    lauren ;)

  • Fashion Philosopher
    November 8th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Live and work in London, and your clothes look worn withing seconds. The weather today is nightmare in London. Rainy, cold and rainy again. I am just wearing my new b-store suede shoes and after the 100's water puddles and 100 people stepping on them ont the train and tube in rush hour- they look like worn for 10 years. Just move to London…..

  • Fashion Philosopher
    November 8th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Live and work in London. I am just wearing my new suede B-store shoes and after the 100th water puddle and the 101st person stepping on them in rushour on the tube, they already look like 10 years worn. The weather does help too. Today it is awfully cold and rainy…..Greetings from London.

  • Michael
    November 8th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Looking forward to the results.

  • joy
    November 10th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    haha, I like Mr. Bond's idea. I alaways think "natural" weathering is the best. Your idea to wear it out in the rain sounds worth it to try.


  • Expressions Realia
    November 15th, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Barbour jackets are great! Strong quality. Can't wait to get my hands on my first one.


  • Anonymous
    November 21st, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Barbour jackets are meant to last a lifetime not a this seasons must-have !
    If you really wanted a 'well-worn' style Selfridges in London do recycled ones which do look worn and the buttons are tarnished…however,They are about £350 but you might as-well try and make it a staple in your wardrobe as I do with mine (Bedale) as I'm such a huge Alexa Chung fan and she wears hers all the time.

  • Anonymous
    November 28th, 2010 at 1:54 am

    use a hair dryer. working a section at a time, get the jacket really hot. rub roughly with a cotton cloth, especially along seams, edges, etc. do this several times for each section. then heat the entire jacket, scrunch it roughly, tie with string and allow it to cool.

    for the buttons, try making a thick paste of vinegar and flour. spread paste on each button, and allow to sit for an hour or so. wash off with water. repeat if necessary.

  • Anonymous
    December 6th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    If you put it in the washing machine it will remove some of the wax, giving it a faded, lighter colour.

  • dhario
    January 7th, 2011 at 12:38 am

    C'mon there's nothing wrong with wearing a brand new Barbour. I have a few,in fact I spilled a blue dye down the back of my olive Bedal which I was really pissed about, still am. I guess now it looks like an Artist's jacket ( it does look like a tie dye effect )HEY,maybe I should sell it since that's what people like ?
    p.s : don't be stupid by washing it !!!

  • Anonymous
    January 16th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Thought you might like to check out my vid – my brand new wax jacket as subjected to some brutal treatment and then rewaxed ;


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