Barbour Wax Jackets: Bedale or Beaufort?
Barbour recently celebrated their 125th anniversary and with that marks over a century of defining country wear and a huge part of what British style is and their most iconic piece of all unarguably, is the wax cotton jacket.
The Barbour wax jacket has been a staple in the wardrobe of English countrymen and countrywomen for as long as many of us can remember. Known for their incredible build quality and reliability they have the ability to shield you completely from the elements with their waterproof wax coated shell.
Barbour today have wide range of country attire available but the Barbour Wax Jackets are still the brands bread and butter. There are many different styles to choose from today as Barbour continue to innovate in the use of wax cotton and other materials but the two original and most popular styles are the Bedale and Beufort wax jackets.
Both jackets are made from a medium weight 6oz cotton canvas. The canvas is then treated with a Sylkoil weatherproof wax which gives it full waterproofing. The jackets are also ‘thornproof’, the thickness of the canvas along with the wax coating will protect you full from any kind scratches from bushes and the like while out in country.
The oil also gives the jacket its distinct colouring which is a usually very dark matt finish that, over time, will garner a rich patina personalised to the wearer.
Both jackets feature moleskin lined hand warmer pockets on the front and two large bellow pockets with stud fastening. These large storage areas make the jackets perfect for every day use and carrying your daily essentials.
Being country jackets designed for outdoor activity, the jackets come with a raglan sleeve. This is where the sleeves and shoulder are cut from the same panel of cloth as opposed to sewn in – allowing the user maximum freedom of movement without hindrance.
Another feature of both jackets is a large, two-way zipper made of brass. The build quality of the zipper is well-known and with the right care can go without ever being replaced even after years of use.
Both jackets come in a classic cut which is designed to allow for ease of movement and easy layering. The weight of the jacket means that the jacket hangs in a flattering way despite being cut wider than many modern jackets.
The most well known style is of Barbour wax jacket is probably the Beaufort. Each of the original Barbour Wax Jackets were designed to be very functional, to fulfill a specific need for a certain country persuit – the Beaufort for example was designed originally as a hunting jacket.
Some of its defining features are a large ‘game pocket’ near the back hem. As the name suggests it was originally designed for carrying game when out hunting – but today it mostly functions just as a very welcome large storage area.
It has the classic large, washed corduroy collar that is stiff, so can be worn up to protect your neck from the elements if need be. It is cut longer than the Bedale and also has no vents in the back giving you a little extra coverage and some say a slightly more formal or traditional look.
The Beaufort also feature velcro storm cuffs in order to keep moisture and the wind out, while the Bedale has ribbed knitted cuffs serving a similar function.
The Bedale on the other hand has its roots in equestrian horse riding. For this purpose the jacket was cut shorter and rear vents added to give extra room while mounting a horse. The shorter length gives the jacket a slightly more casual look and it ideal worn with knitwear.
Whichever Barbour Wax Jacket you choose the quality is outstanding and both will last you a very long time if taken care of properly. Here at Stuarts London we have been proud stockists of Barbour for quite some time now and have both the Bedale and Beaufort available as well as a whole range of Barbour products.