The Barbour International “Joshua” Jacket: An Iconic Homage to Steve McQueen

As a timeless style icon, very few people live up to Steve McQueen. Steve’s subtle ruggedness in Bullitt comes to mind. He was often spotted wearing a Baracuta G4 or a Barbour International, both of which were marketing gold for the brands. As a Barbour reviewer, I’ve always wanted to own a Barbour International jacket, so when this brand new Steve McQueen “Joshua” jacket from Barbour International came on my radar through a classifieds ad, I made the hour-long drive out to buy it.

Barbour’s website states that its “iconic motorcycle jacket, the International, was created in 1936 and became the biker jacket of choice through the 50s, 60s and 70s.” Unlike the standard Barbour International wax jacket, which features an 8 oz Sylkoil cotton, the Barbour Steve McQueen “Joshua” jacket is cut from a lightweight 4 oz waxed cotton. In a similar design to the original, the jacket features four pockets, a belt at the waist, and comes with a detachable “pile like” liner. In an homage to Steve’s jacket worn at the International Six Days Trial competition in 1964, this jacket has an American Flag crest patch saying, “Barbour Team S.McQueen 1964”. The jacket comes in both olive and dark sand colours, and as I didn’t have much choice on the colour, dark sand was the one I purchased. The jacket oozes Steve McQueen cool and after seeing photos, it just makes you want to drive a Triumph Motorcycle.

My initial thoughts of the jacket were drawn to its masculine frame, that moves away from the diversity of Barbour unisex quality of the Bedale and Beaufort. What I like about the Barbour jackets is their natural ability to fit with anyone and anything you wear. What this jacket does not have is the subtle class and natural wearability of my Beaufort, for example. This does not detract from my love for this Barbour International jacket, but it does limit my interest in keeping it in my standard rotation. However, I must acknowledge that Barbour International is a sub-brand to Barbour that focuses on motorcycle styles and therefore fit very differently from Barbour Heritage jackets.

The jacket is a size medium with a chest width of 20”, a length of 28”. Although I’m a 42 chest, the jacket has a generous fit without the pile liner. Unfortunately, with the liner the jacket is quite snug and does not zip with much ease. It’s possible to zip but not overly comfortable. When the jacket was available and in-stock, it retailed at £379.00 or approximately $609.82 CAD. At this price, I would not recommend buying this jacket at retail considering, in Canada, you can buy a Barbour Beaufort, Bedale, or even the “Original” Barbour Black International jacket at comparable and cheaper prices. If you prefer the cut and style of a motorcycle jacket and need to have a Steve McQueen branded jacket, the Barbour International “Joshua” wax jacket is definitely a viable option.

I have a natural hesitation with buying the “signature” model of an item and although this jacket is very interesting, I feel its lack of subtlety as an homage to Steve McQueen is overbearing for me. This is my own feeling concerning a “signature” model of anything, rather than Barbour jackets specifically. If you aren’t fazed by the embroidered signature, large patch in the liner of Steve McQueen, a smaller patch on the liner, American flag painted button with “Barbour Steve McQueen” pressed into it, and finally the American flag crest patch with his name on it, you’ll have no problem being noticed as a Steve McQueen fan. I feel this jacket is more of a collector’s item rather than a daily wearer. However, I would prefer purchasing the Black Barbour International Wax jacket that features the heritage beige Barbour lining and minimal patches. This version looks to have a very similar cut and style of the “Joshua” put keeps a refined sense and ironically, reminds me more of the jacket actually worn by Steve McQueen. This is a personal preference. An alternative option to this jacket is to buy the Barbour International Wax Jacket in black and if you want to honour Steve McQueen, find an enamel pin or purchase some Persol sunglasses.

Overall, the Barbour International “Joshua” Steve McQueen signature jacket is very cool but not my ideal choice of jacket. It’s a great collector’s item that you can wear if you want to add an extra flair to your Barbour look. For a fellow “Barbour Buff” it may just be the jacket you’re looking for. Would I recommend this as the first Barbour jacket to wear? Definitely not. If you’d like an answer for that, read From Bedale to Beaufort for my suggestions. I would recommend this jacket to a Barbour collector or someone who wants to add something special to their outfit. This jacket is very special.

Do I like this jacket? Absolutely. Will I keep this jacket? Probably not, so feel free to make an offer!


The Westmorland Journey

Inner Lining of the New Barbour Westmorland in Classic Tartan

Over the past few years, I’ve had multiple Barbour Westmorland vests but varying experiences with them. Whether it was fit or condition, I’ve wondered if I would ever find a Westmorland that was just right. However, I was still determined to find the right size Barbour Westmorland to end it all. Little did I know that the Barbour Westmorland in a size large seems to be harder to find than hens teeth. On eBay, the desirability for any Westmorland is fascinating. Even recently, I’ve seen vintage Westmorland vests in fair condition sell for the same price as a brand new one. Living in Canada, finding any Westmorland for sale in the country is virtually impossible. So my hunt began to find the one and only Barbour Westmorland for me. 

The history of the Barbour Westmorland dates back to approximately the same time as the Bedale’s introduction in 1982. If you read the descriptions of the Bedale and Westmorland, you can see similarities in construction and identical length. Essentially, a Westmorland is a Bedale without arms. If that’s the case, I would personally just buy a Bedale as their price difference isn’t far off. I will admit, a vest like the Westmorland isn’t entirely practical for Canadian weather. As my wife says, “if it’s cold enough to protect your core, it’s cold enough to cover your arms.” However, I have found the Westmorland surprisingly useful for my needs. If I’m not going outside for a long period of time, but need the pockets and convenience of a Barbour, the Westmorland becomes the perfect companion.

The sizing of the new Westmorland is slightly different than the vintage ones. My vintage navy version was quite boxy and pretty brittle, so it may have just been a combination of age and a lack of wear to keep it worn in. My second Westmorland experience was buying a size small that had a great patina, wasn’t very old, but unfortunately didn’t fit by a huge margin. I measure a 42”-43” chest, so when confirming the size the medium measures 21” across and the large is 23.5” across. This leaves me with the opinions of an exact fit without layering and a slightly roomier fit in a size large. Once I had determined the size, I set out on the hunt to find a Barbour Westmorland online, not knowing what the journey had in store. Michael Stewart clothing had them in a medium and on sale for $184.07, which was tempting to see if the size could work but as I’ve had the issue with the sizing before, I decided against it as I wanted a perfect vest. After digging through what seemed like all Westmorland retailers, I ended up finding possibly the only size large on the 5th or 6th page of Google results at Swillington Shooting Supplies located in Swillington, Leeds. I was thrilled to find the vest but I was amused by the journey I had to take into the depths of the Google search pages.

On the technical side, the Westmorland features Sylkoil waxed cotton. The Sylkoil wax offers a more flexible, yet drier feel than the traditional Thornproof finish. However, when you re-wax your Barbour jackets, thornproof wax will be used. Unlike the vintage models that contain a “mandarin style” collar, the new Westmorland features a higher collar, fastens with a two-way front zip, and has a studded storm fly to seal out wind and rain. Though the description says “styled for a relaxed fit”, I would size up for the current models.  As with Barbour tradition, the Westmorland contains moleskin-lined hand warmer pockets, two fairly generous bellows pockets, and cotton lining with the classic Barbour tartan. The fit is pretty spot-on and allows for enough room for layering. Overall, the Westmorland is a helpful tool to consider and brings a huge value if you can find one at the right price and availability. 

When I asked Barbour distributors Cox The Saddler on the Westmorland’s suspected availability issues, I was at least relieved to know that the Barbour Westmorland has not been discontinued. Although, not available on the Barbour website, the Westmorland is still available and in production.  However, the transition to manufacturing outside of South Shields has led to inconsistent distribution along with a pause in manufacturing for a few seasons. I can imagine the supply chain delays that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic led to even more production delays for Barbour entirely. The good news is that I’ve heard that the Westmorland should be more consistently restocked in mid 2022. This is, of course, an estimate, but I hope it gives us some encouragement for the availability of this Barbour classic.  

The Westmorland is a staple amongst Barbour enthusiasts but it still seems relatively underrated despite the perceived hype. We know that the “when in doubt” options from Barbour are the Bedale or Beaufort, but the Westmorland seems popular yet under-worn. For example, Instagram has a total of 196 tags for the Barbour Westmorland yet the Barbour Bedale has over 14,000. I can understand why that’s the case as the Bedale and Beaufort are perfect choices but I should argue that the Westmorland is a wonderful option for those seeking Barbour convenience without planning on having extended outdoor activities in harsh weather. If you own a classic Barbour, the Westmorland is a wonderful addition to your collection. Would I recommend the Westmorland to everyone? Not necessarily. I would, however, suggest the Westmorland if you’re thinking of wearing a Barbour jacket that stands outside of the box on its own.

Barbour Westmorland accompanied by a Barbour Fair Isle Sweater

The Gamefair: A Risk-Free Icon

It’s rather surprising that I haven’t stepped into the vintage Barbour market yet, but to be honest, I’ve haven’t found the right ones. When I found a vintage Barbour Gamefair online in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I had to have it. Given the climate of Halifax, a seaside city, Barbour jackets are a no-brainer. Yet, I’ve noticed in the Canadian used Barbour market right now, sizes 44 are very popular but 38 have become very in-demand. I can assume that a Barbour in size 38 is an average size so the desirability and, therefore, price can ask a premium. Naturally, there’s always a risk when purchasing something online. Buying from eBay is one risk but online classifieds like this are very risky, but through only a few photos this one looked to be in exquisite condition. Not only did this jacket come with a Barbour hat, but it also came with an original hood. I rarely see or purchase Barbour hoods for my current jackets, so this purchase became an experiment for me. 

The Barbour Archive tells us that the Gamefair was the second Barbour jacket to become pivotal in the country wear market that was introduced in 1960 at the York Game Fair as a lighter alternative to the Solway Zipper. Although both the Solway and the Gamefair were introduced in the same year, they have very different intended purposes. The Solway was much heavier and designed for hard-wearing country pursuits, whereas the Gamefair was designed for fishing and shooting. In Barbour Catalogues, which can be seen here, the Gamefair was a jacket shorter than a Northumbria but longer than a Bedale or Beaufort. In the 1987 catalogue, the Gamefair is called the “classic countryman’s jacket…it’s smart enough to wear over tweeds, immensely comfortable, and so light you can take it anywhere you please and wear it where you will.” The jacket had optional accessories for a snap-on hood, belt, and allowed for snap-in pile liners. The jacket also features a studded storm flap and adjustable elastic storm cuffs. Throughout the 20th century, the Barbour Gamefair played a pivotal role in the development of other iconic jackets but was unfortunately discontinued in its original design in 1997. 

When the jacket arrived in the mail, I was shocked to see how well it had been taken care of. Upon further inspection, I saw that the label featured two royal warrant crests, which dates this jacket between January 1982 and January 1987, and not the 1990s as the jacket was advertised. Barbour received their third royal warrant, that of the Prince of Wales, in January 1987. It’s also pretty easy to research in the used market that two crest Barbours are quite desirable as they’re from a shorter period in the jacket’s overall production timeline. I’ve yet to see one in this condition, but Wax and Tartans has a similar Gamefair with a wonderful patina. The jacket barely has any patina up close, and feels no older than my Northumbria despite the jacket being over 30 years old. From what I heard from the previous owner, the jacket was barely worn over the years but still waxed annually. 

Unlike the Solway, the Gamefair is much lighter by design and does not have moleskin hand warmers or breast pockets, but it does have very large inner and outer pockets. The Gamefair eventually had hand warmer pockets in the three crest versions, which is definitely a fine upgrade. One aspect that I felt was an excellent addition is the snap elastic storm cuffs. Personally, I feel these should be brought back as I love the snap over the current velcro in the Beaufort and Northumbria models. For weight, I would definitely choose a Beaufort or Northumbria as an everyday jacket over a vintage Gamefair. For Canadian weather, the Gamefair’s description in the 1987 catalogue is completely accurate. The Gamefair is a layering jacket and definitely requires an investment in a snap-in pile liner. What this jacket has going for it is its heritage and “no-nonsense” design. The Gamefair is one of the originals and possesses as much Barbour heritage as you can find. 

Overall, this 1980s Barbour Gamefair is a rare, iconic, country wear staple. Would I recommend this Barbour Gamefair as an everyday Barbour jacket over a Beaufort or Northumbria? Not necessarily. I like the versatility and pocket varieties of the Beaufort and Northumbria, as well as their suitability for Canadian weather. Would I encourage a Gamefair in your collection? Absolutely. If you can find a Gamefair at a fair price and condition, this timeless classic is always worth the risk.

Review: Black Ivy: A Revolt in Style

The other day I watched the 1967 classic film In the Heat of the Night at a local movie theatre. It’s one of my favourite films and throughout the entire movie, I was awe-struck by Sydney Poitier’s style. In the film, Poitier consistently wears a sharp three button grey suit, white oxford shirt, and a blue and red repp tie. The look is subtle yet refined, a suit of armour against oppression. The line from the character Harvey Oberst who questioned Poitier’s character, Virgil Tibbs, saying “why are you wearing a white man’s clothes?” was especially poignant as I continued watching the movie and analysing the style. 

I was thrilled when I learned that Black Ivy: A Revolt in Style was released in late December 2021. The book combines my two favourite hobbies: menswear and history. This book focuses on a particular area of interest for me, being, the impact of the civil rights era of the 1960s and its effect in African-American artistic expression. I also felt that as we near the end of Black History Month, a celebration of this book’s message is due. I hold a degree in history that focused heavily on African and African-American history, which has led to my lifelong passion for art that reflects the expressions of the civil rights era. Style is no exception. Black Ivy shows us that style can be used as armour to act for change. 

The book, whose cover shows us the classic photo from Miles Davis’ 1958 album Milestones, opens with an essay from Jason Jules. Jason Jules is a London-based independent writer, editor and creative director from the UK. He is also the main model from Drake’s of London. He covers how “Black Ivy” isn’t just about clothes,, it’s “an untold story about style. A revolt in style.” What I love about this line is that I read it as “[a] revolt in style”, which, to me, encompasses the ideals of adopting the style that at a time, symbolized the white elite and using it to demonstrate equality by rewriting its very own sartorial codes. It’s clear that Julian’s intentions of the book are to show how Black Ivy’s revision of the Ivy look took something inherently elitist and turned it into “something heavily coded and intentionally revolutionary.” It’s easy to assume that Ivy style still remains to be that of the elite, but what we have seen in sartorial revisioning of Black Ivy or Ametora are distinctive in themselves and that diversity in style is constantly evolving and consistently revolutionary. 

The introduction is followed with an essay titled The Birth of Cool by Graham Marsh. Prior to Black Ivy, Marsh was the co-author of The Cover Art of Blue Note Records: The Collection. This book is a collection of record sleeves produced by the celebrated Blue Note record label. These record sleeves themselves are a gold mine of Black Ivy variations and style influences. In regards to Black Ivy, Marsh’s essay covers his experiences as a British “Mod” in the early 1960s with the style’s emphasis in which “the importance of being imported applied to the clothes as much as the music.” For him, this led down to a passion for modern jazz, “plus a side order of Ska and Blue Beat.” For Marsh, the lasting impact of Black Ivy for him started and ended with the Modern Jazz Quartet. 

Black Ivy guides you in eleven genres: In Literature, In The Arts, In Music, In Film, In Schools, In The City, In Civil Rights, In Marches, In Politics, In Sports, In Advertising. The book features such Black Ivy idols as Ted Jones, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Charles White, Miles Davis, Lee, Morgan, the Modern Jazz Quartet, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Malcolm X, and Sidney Poitier. This is only a small selection of the Black Ivyists from the book, but it does show you the extent of this movement. The photos in the book are remarkable but the descriptions of the looks are lacking. The descriptions assume the reader is aware of the sartorial rules that define Ivy style, rather than introducing the rules that the Black Ivyists redefined. I can understand that anyone buying this book has a basic knowledge of Ivy style, but an actual breakdown of the look’s most common traits would have been helpful as a reference guide. For example, the description of Sydney Poitier’s look in To Sir, wIth Love states, “Wearing the perfect Ivy jacket complete with patch top pocket and repp tie in the film To Sir, with Love (1967). GM”  Although I understand how to decipher the look of Black Ivy, a description like this assumes the reader knows why a repp tie is quintessentially “Ivy.”  Furthermore, the suit worn by Poitier is a sack suit, a staple in Ivy style that could have been defined. The book’s visuals offer a plethora of style references for the Ivy enthusiast like myself, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more dedication to defining the terms of Ivy clothing. 

I would also like to note that being particularly interested in this era, there are a few more Black Ivy icons I would like to include as extensions of this book’s features:

  1. Harry Belafonte: The singer, songwriter, activist, and actor is surprisingly mentioned in Black Ivy but is not featured with a caption as a civil rights and style icon. You can easily see Belafonte’s implementation of Black Ivy from his attire at the 1963 March on Washington. Wearing a sack suit, repp tie, and white oxford in the photo with Sydney Poitier below I feel it’s a missed opportunity to not include such an iconic civil rights leader in a book meant to tell this untold story. For more examples of Belafonte’s style, check out the album cover of Belafonte at Carnegie Hall to see his beautifully casual yet refined oxford leisure shirt. 
  2. Max Roach: Jazz Drummer and bebop pioneer. Throughout the 1960s you can see many implementations of Black Ivy style in Max Roach’s album covers along with commentaries on the Civil Rights movement. I would recommend listening and looking at We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, The Max Roach Trio Featuring the Legendary Hasaan, and Drums Unlimited. My favourite Max Roach visualisation of Black Ivy is the cover of Drums Unlimited. Max’s horn rimmed glasses, black polo shirt, and brown pullover sweater echoe many of the images of the Modern Jazz Quartet in Black Ivy. 
  3. Thurgood Marshall: Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. There’s a subtlety to Thurgood Marshall’s look in the 1960s that echoes many of the photos in the In Politics section of Black Ivy. His horn-rimmed glasses, grey suits, and patterned ties are timeless classics. I was expecting to see Marshall in this book. 

I’ve seen some reviews that say Black Ivy is too biographical. It does give longer captions on specific icons, but overall it could have used slightly more biography to add some historical context. However, the point of this book is to show Black icons and their style, not to give a history lesson. Personally, that’s something I would enjoy but it would distract from the purpose of the book. Black Ivy shows how Black leaders in their field used the style of the white elite to redefine and break down the race barriers through Ivy style. No matter what field interests you, anyone who’s interested in viewing the implementation of this counter-hegemonic style will enjoy this book’s visual representations. This book is a documentation of how Black Ivy came to be and why these leaders paved the way for a diversified Ivy style and continue breaking down the barriers of its traditionally white and elite connotations.

From Bedale to Beaufort

One of the side effects of being an obsessive collector is the constant urge to find the “perfect” version of the item I’m looking for. If something is “close enough,” I’m unhappy with it. This rings true with my current and past ownership of Barbour products, and especially wax jackets. I’ve owned and worn many of the wax jackets that are available in Canada, and it’s true that some are, indeed, better than others. 

I’d like to give a disclaimer first that this is purely from my experience and personal preference rather than an objective fact on the “bestBarbour jacket, although some models do come to mind. 

The first Barbour jacket I ever owned was a navy blue Bedale in size C38. This was a birthday gift from my father that I cherished immensely, and is what led me to my interest in Barbour products. As described on the Barbour website, “in 1980, Barbour produced their first short, lightweight jacket, the Bedale. Originally designed for riding, the Bedale is favoured by many Britons, from royalty to pop icons. Dame Margaret Barbour designed the Bedale with equestrian practicalities in mind, with a shorter length, relaxed fit, rear vents and the essential Nylon inner ‘drip-strip’ that provided resistance to dampness from horses seeping into the jacket.” The positive takeaways from the Bedale are the ribbed cuffs and the place for a zip-in thermal liner. For Canadian fall and winter seasons, the warm ribbed cuffs of a Bedale are very helpful. I remember the jacket being a go-to jacket when commuting to and from work. The arm length of 32.9 inches is perfect for someone of my 5’8 stature as well, but that’s about it. The primary issue that I hold against the Bedale is its length. In my opinion, the Bedale is suited for anyone under 5’7 or 5’8″ who live somewhere that has milder winters. Personally, I feel once you surpass the 5’8” mark, you are going to start feeling drafts and will lose a lot of heat from the lack of rear coverage along with the lack of coverage on your thighs in cold weather. As my mom used to say in her Yorkshire accent, “it’s gotta cover yer bum.” A C38 Bedale comes in at 76.2 centimetres or 30 inches which, for me, lands in the middle of my seat. This is too short for me, and too short for any retention of warmth for Canadian weather. Additionally, I have long legs and a short torso, so the Bedale is even less suited to my frame. I find it unfortunate that the Bedale was not a great fit for me because it’s an essential Barbour jacket to have in a collection, but if I’m not going to wear it there’s no need to keep it. Do I recommend the Barbour Bedale? Yes, if you like the fit. Buy the Bedale on fit, not popularity alone.  

Another of my early Barbour purchases was the fashionable Ashby. My Ashby was a wonderful customized jacket with leather ribbed cuffs and a union jacket patch on one of the arms. I bought it second hand, and really enjoyed it for a time. Barbour says that this jacket is “slightly more tailored than the Bedale, yet still allowing room for essential winter layering…” While I loved the ability to layer, I feel the tailoring takes away from the classic shape of Barbour jackets, along with the corduroy lined cuffs. Although fashionable, the cord cuffs are purely style over substance. The storm cuffs on a Beaufort or the ribbed cuffs on a Bedale are practical and reduce drafts. Furthermore, the Barbour Ashby is not made in the UK. Of course, Barbour’s choice to outsource isn’t a new discovery, but part of the experience of owning a handmade product like a Barbour jacket connects you with the heritage of its UK craftsmanship. Original craftsmanship matters, and maintaining that heritage continues the user experience and satisfaction. From my experience, the Ashby isn’t frowned upon by any means, but if you’re looking for the Barbour feel you won’t find the timeless design and classic look with the Ashby. I enjoyed my Ashby when I had it, but when I upgraded to a Beaufort, I saw the difference between a “good” and “better” Barbour jacket. Do I recommend the Barbour Ashby? It depends on what you want out of it. You are welcome to buy it, but if you’re spending your hard earned money to get the jacket from The Crown, you will be disappointed. 

My most controversial experience with a Barbour jacket was my ownership of the popular Barbour Beacon. As described by Barbour, “The three-pocket waxed Beacon Sports jacket is an iconic blazer-style button through, inspired by the sought-after, limited edition To Ki To Sports Jacket.” I will admit, I would love to own the version designed by Tokihito Yoshida to compare my experience with the standard Beacon. Overall, I loved the idea of loving this jacket, and feeling like Daniel Craig in Skyfall. In reality, this jacket wasn’t right for me. For the price and cost per wear for Canadian fall and winter, I felt the Beacon was impractical and also sized in a rather confusing manner. Although I measured for a C40 Barbour jacket, the size medium in this jacket was snug, had very high arm holes for little movement, and had long arms that required some tailoring. Despite those issues, I thought the jacket was great but impractical for my needs. The looks were tremendous and it was a very sharp jacket. The positive takeaways from this was the experience of owning a rendition of the coveted Skyfall jacket. I wouldn’t wear this jacket in snow unless you plan on layering, and even then it probably wouldn’t insulate as much as I’d like. The To Ki To versions occasionally show up for sale, so I may consider buying another one and review it. Do I recommend the Barbour Beacon? It depends if you can afford not wearing it all the time. I wear my Northumbria and Beaufort jackets all year round and the Beacon wasn’t cutting into the rotation enough. It lacked versatility and adaptability for Canadian weather. As I said, I wanted to love the jacket but it wasn’t ticking enough boxes. 

The journey of my Barbour discovery led me to purchase my current and old faithful Navy Barbour Beaufort. Described as “Quintessentially Barbour”, the Beaufort is the same relaxed fit of a Bedale but with an extra three inches on its length for a C38. The overall design is very similar to the Bedale and is also still made in the UK. The length is perfect for commuting, city wear, and country wear. Unlike the Bedale, the Beaufort is fully lined and does not contain the Nylon inner ‘drip-strip’. Unless you’re riding horses, I really don’t think this will become an issue. Instead, the fully lined jacket increases warmth with the addition of a thermal zip-in liner. The Beaufort is the all-around perfect Barbour jacket for anyone starting out and looking for just one Barbour.  My consistent recommendation to friends who want to buy a Barbour is “when in doubt, buy the Beaufort and work your way around.” The Beaufort will lead you into the linear spectrum of Barbour purchases, it’s not up or down, it’s right where you need it to be. The only issue I’ve ever had with the Beaufort is its storm cuffs as opposed to the ribbed cuffs. For Canadian winters, a ribbed cuff is essential and almost standard on winter jackets. If the Beaufort ever came with ribbed cuffs, it would become the staple Barbour that rises over the rest. Despite that one issue, the Beaufort is the best Barbour jacket you can buy in my opinion. Do I recommend the Barbour Beaufort? Absolutely, 100%. If you can buy used and in very good condition, save your money to buy a few more.  

I own a few more Barbour jackets, a Northumbria and a Barbour International Steve McQueen “Joshua” jacket. I’ve chosen to exclude these from my overview here because I plan on reviewing them both individually.

In the end, purchasing a Barbour jacket is your decision alone. However, my “when in doubt” recommendation is a Barbour Beaufort. It’s a timeless classic that will never go out of style or lose adaptability in any weather you throw at it. 

Welcome to the Barbour Buff

Thank you for visiting The Barbour Buff, a place for opinions on goods made by the iconic British brand, Barbour, from a Canadian perspective. Although this blog is primarily focusing on Barbour, I don’t think you can discuss Barbour without including its complementary or “Barbour-adjacent” brands. I came up with the idea of this blog, quite ironically, while researching the “perfect” Filson bag on I loved the idea of having a place to express my opinion and review classic products from a brand with such history and recognition.  

There are three reasons I created this blog:

1. Since I discovered Barbour and built my collection, I’ve owned many different Barbour jackets. I’d like to showcase my passion for Barbour as a Canadian collector with a diverse range of enthusiasts all over the world.

2. When considering a Barbour jacket, I think there are good choices, and there are better choices. I want to share my experiences in buying and selling Barbour and Barbour adjacent fashion in the hopes that I can help others find the perfect piece for them.

3. There’s a growing appreciation for the Barbour brand. I’m fascinated by the different ways people style and accessorize their Barbour jackets.

I’ve mentioned this phrase “Barbour-adjacent” a couple of times, so allow me to explain what this means to me. I’m using Barbour-adjacent to refer to items that are natural fits to the Barbour style including knitwear, scarfs, boots, and so on. 

Join me on this journey while we review and reflect on the ever-growing appreciation for one of the UK’s most iconic brands.

Special thanks to Wax and Tartans for giving me the encouragement to start this blog.