I had my first fashion epiphany on the Kings Road aged 12. It was the Eighties and Sloane Rangers ruled. I was in town for the Feathers Ball - the highlight of the teenage Sloane’s social calendar. It was Saturday afternoon and my best friend and I were dolled up to cruise the King’s Road in stripe shirts with the collar turned up, frosted lipstick from Boots 17 and our pièce de résistance, brand spanking new Barbour jackets.
Twenty-something years later and I am again considering purchasing a waxed jacket for fashion purposes. There is nothing wrong with my original – it is still going strong and looks pleasingly worn in – perfect for country life, but it wouldn’t cut it on the Kings Road anymore. You see, even Barbour have had a makeover. Alexa Chung wore a Barbour Bedale jacket at Glastonbury and suddenly every fashionista worth her salt is after one – despite the fact that by and large the nearest thing to the real countryside they have experienced is a muddy field at the aforementioned music fest.
This time the rules are different – the jackets are fitted and worn in the style of Belstaff biker jackets and like Hunter wellies, which were also an integral part of the original Sloane wardrobe – black has usurped green as the colour of choice. You should wear your jacket undone over a vintage tea dress or tightly belted with skinny jeans, big shades and an even bigger bag and remember to give boot cut jeans, cashmere and flat shoes a wide berth unless you want to look like a Euro.
Barbour isn’t the only purveyor of these fashionable jackets, but they are the original and still the best. One word of warning before you rush off to buy yours – wear a ‘fashion’ Barbour in the country at your peril – locals will brand you a nouveau, if you are not mistaken for a Russian or a WAG.
For stockist details visit www.barbour.com