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Style Advice

Why we love Belstaff

Why we love Belstaff

Belstaff is one of the heroes of modern outerwear, and you have a bunch of motorcyclists to thank for that. Inspired by the needs of professional motorcyclists, Belstaff launched in 1924 specialising in practical waterproof that could withstand wear and tear and the elements.  

Ever the innovators, the family business was the first company to manufacture Egyptian waxed cotton clothing that was both breathable and waterproof. And it’s this expertise that led the British government to turn to Belstaff to supply everything from aviator suits to parachutes during World War II. 

Almost 100 years later, they’re still producing similarly functional and stylish outdoor wear with a reverence for its heritage roots. But now it’s hardly just for bikers – the brand is favoured by everyone from extreme sports enthusiasts and aviators, to those with their feet firmly on dry land.

Why it feels so relevant today 

If you want proof of a brand’s versatility and timelessness, just check the names of its most loyal customers. Belstaff’s vintage roster boasts historical heroes like Amelia Earheart and (pre-Marxist, pro-motorcyclist) Che Guevara. More recently, Ewan McGregor favoured Belstaff outerwear in his “Long Way Round” round-the-world motorcycle trip, and David Beckham co-curated a range of leather jackets.

The success and longevity of Belstaff aren’t what keep customers coming back – that would be its enduring styles and unwavering quality. But other factors have also fallen in Belstaff’s favour in recent years. Thanks to the outdoors trend, practical dressing is no longer reserved for those tackling the elements. Functional clothing is now donned by country hikers and city strollers alike thanks to its comfort, durability, and timelessness. 

The brand has also expanded into more categories, from tees to jewellery, which means it has something to offer everyone. But it’s the brand’s iconic outerwear that remains its MVP.

The iconic Belstaff pieces

The Fieldmaster jacket

The original Belstaff jacket – the Trialmaster – has been on sale since 1924 and is still one of their top-selling pieces. But for a sleeker, more contemporary take on the field jacket, we’d go for Fieldmaster. Complete with four functional pockets and a luxury waxed coating, it’s as classic a heritage-inspired piece as they come. But compared to the Trialmaster it feels minimal and less bulky, making it the perfect option for those who spend more time in urban streets than rural pastures.

The Kelland waxed bomber

If you tend to lean more casual with your outerwear, the Kelland bomber jacket might be the style for you. It mixes the practicality of the field jacket with the effortless cool of a Harrington, with the combined benefit of being easy to dress up or down. The functional waxed fabric and funnel neckline looks stylish and refined while still being perfectly practical in inclement weather.

Photographed: Belstaff MILFORD COAT (£895)

The Milford trench coat

You can’t go wrong with an army-inspired trench coat, and while many contemporary takes on the style nod to military heritage, the Milford takes a full bow. Belstaff’s iteration of the trench is one of the more accurate interpretations on the modern market, with wide lapels, double-breasted buttons, a cinched waist belt, and a longer silhouette. Nonetheless, it has the timeless formal appeal that maintains the trench coat’s popularity, whether you choose to wear yours over a sweatshirt and jeans or your tailored suit.

Our favourite new Belstaff pieces

Photographed: Belstaff RAKE CORDUROY JACKET (£165)

The Rake corduroy jacket

The cord chore jacket has seen a spike in popularity thanks to the contemporary workwear trend – but don’t let that word put you off. The Rake corduroy jacket is anything but fleeting. In fact, its benefits are threefold: it’s cut shorter than other jackets, so you can wear it like an overshirt in warm weather; its boxy shape means you can layer hoodies or knitwear under it when the temperature starts to drop, and in deep winter you can throw an overcoat on top for extra warmth, and it won’t feel bulky underneath. When it comes to versatility, it’s a hard one to beat.

Photographed: Belstaff Freddie Waffle Roll Neck (£160)

The Freddie rollneck

If you’ve not yet invested in a rollneck, Belstaff’s waffle-textured version might sway you. The luxury texture combined with the cosy, chunky knit is perfect for bringing depth and warmth to your cold-weather wardrobe. Plus, we always advocate for bringing light-coloured pieces into your darker seasonal looks. And since they’ve been a permanent fixture on the winter style scene for a while now, you can trust it to be a timeless addition to your rotation.

Photographed: Belstaff WAISTCOAT (£136)

The quilted waistcoat

Like all Belfstaff outerwear, its quilted gilet is designed to survive harsh weather, so it’s durable, comfortable, and snug, but allows easy movement. And the good news for those who rarely confront harsh conditions: it manages to look stylishly sharp as well. You’ve probably seen gilets doing the rounds for a while now, but investing in one designed for cold weather means you can rely on it to double up as a mid- or outer-layer, depending on the season.

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Words: Ella White