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Style Advice

A fresh way to wear a heritage jacket

A fresh way to wear a heritage jacket

We all have our favourite pieces we look forward to dusting off when the cold weather comes around – the reliable and timeless looks you know you can throw on when you’re in a rush. And if you’re anything like us, then one such piece is likely to be a heritage-style jacket (see: trusty Barbour). Whether you wear it for work, weekend brunches, country hikes, or all of the above, it’s a versatile classic that served its time as an on-trend essential for indie boys and preppy students alike, before finally staking its claim as a cold-weather staple that suits just about anyone. 

But as new outerwear trends emerge year after year, only the strongest contenders – the pieces that can be reimagined and styled with any contemporary trend – stand the test of time. That’s why we think that with just a little freshening up, the heritage jacket deserves to stay on top of your winter rotation.

Why it works for autumn

Quilted jackets have a countryside feel to them, which is rooted in their tradition as a horse-riding jacket. They’re hard-wearing and warm thanks to the padding, but also lightweight and moveable, making them an obvious choice for anyone spending time outdoors in cold weather – on horseback or otherwise. 

Good quality heritage jackets, like the original Barbour style, are also waterproof and have double-rolled seams which keep heat in and elements out without being too bulky, meaning it’s great for layering over thinner layers when you need to stay warm but don’t want to wear a cumbersome coat. 

What to look for

If you’re going for traditional heritage, stick to the classics. A good quality heritage jacket should be waterproof but not shiny, with cord trims and popper fastenings – no over-the-top flourishes or technical details – and is sure to last you for seasons to come. In fact, the wax-coated version just keeps getting better with age. If you want a modern twist on the look, go for a slightly looser cut that feels more laid-back and effortless without sacrificing the classic style.

How to wear it 

When you think of a Barbour jacket, you may envisage slim-fitting check shirts and chinos – but that’s not the only way to pull off this country classic. In recent years the quilted jacket has been adopted by everyone from workwear hipsters to city boys, and of course it’s never gone out of style with true country gents. It’s a piece you’ll find in just about any man’s everyday wardrobe, regardless of their style. 

So why does it have such universal appeal? Because it’s a truly versatile jacket that can be dressed up and worn with office attire, or dressed down and paired with anything from selvedge jeans and a flannel shirt to skater style trousers and a loose-fitting tee. For a contemporary take, wear yours with a rugby shirt that combines country heritage with on-trend outdoors style. It adds a touch of modernity whilst still feeling understated – just keep the fit slightly oversized so it steps away from the preppy cliché and into a look that’s equally easy to wear in the city as it is in rural settings.


Words: Ella White
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Toby Standing