Barbour: Contemporary Country Jacket


If you have been around the menswear scene long enough, the brand Barbour should ring a familiar bell. Barbour, a family owned business, has been making country wear since 1894 in England. It wasn’t only till recently, through marketing campaigns and social media influences, that they became popular and obtained a form of global presence.

Still, finding someone with a Barbour in downtown Toronto is still a rare sight – which might be a good thing. However, unlike many other brands, Barbour is relatively accessible in Canada. Club Monaco and J Crew seasonally stocks a small collection, while Sporting Life carries most of Barbour’s popular models all year round.

With the influence of social media, particularly Shuhei Nishiguchi, I have been contemplating on acquiring a Barbour jacket for the past few months. The price of it is rather steep, typically around $400 to $500 CAD marginally variating between different stockers. However, during Club Monaco’s 30% off all items (including 3rd party brands – a rarity) Black Friday sale, I was fortunate enough to pick up an Ashby jacket, for $300 CAD, in its iconic olive colour.


A little bit about Ashby: an updated (read: slimmer) version of the Bedale, Barbour’s classic model, with slightly longer sleeves. It is also made with a medium weight (6oz) Sylkoli Cotton that is less sheeny than Barbour’s traditional waxed cotton. Despite having longer sleeves, I had to size up to a M just to have the sleeves match my wrist bone. Even though the Ashby is labelled as their slimmest model yet, the overall fit is still a little too generous for my liking. However, it certainly feels more modern than the other fits and you are typically expected to have multiple layers underneath.

The Ashby does retain features that pays homage to Barbour’s house model – the Bedale. It has a long corduroy collar that can be flipped up and snapped close to protect yourself from the elements. A corduroy lining is also present in the sleeve cuffs, enabling the user to wear the jacket with the sleeves rolled up slightly. Hand warmer pockets, two incredibly spacious front bellow pockets with stud closure, an inner pocket with velcro fastening for convenient accessibility and, my favourite, a double sliding front zipper.


Double Slider Zippers illustrated here – Zippers can be shut from either top to bottom or vice versa

Similar to other established menswear brands, Barbour jackets are the embodiment of a wardrobe investment. With proper care and maintenance, they can last you for decades to come. Barbour also offers a wonderful service, where you can ship your jacket over and have them rewax the jacket for you. Subjected to the frequency of wears, a jacket should ideally be rewax every year.

A Barbour jacket is perfect for protecting you from the elements (wind/rain). But, in a 6oz cotton, it fails to provide sufficient warmth when the temperatures reach below 0 degrees. Thankfully, to make the jackets more viable, Barbour constructs a inner zipper in the Ashby that allows you to (separately) purchase and attach a lining of your choice.

To extend the usage of the Ashby, I went ahead to purchase a Polar Quilt Vest. The Zip-in Vest uses the same tartan lining as the Ashby, a feature that I thought was absolutely aesthetically brilliant. Additionally, the vest’s sizing, by chest size 36, 38, 40 etc., is completely independent from your jacket. As mentioned above, I had to size up to an M for the jacket to accommodate for my sleeve length. However, even though M typically translates to a 38/40/42, I bought a 36 Vest as it is attachable regardless of your jacket’s size.

Due to the weather limitations, a Barbour jacket promotes layering. This is where you can get a little fun and creative. Check out Barbour People for inspiration on wearing your Barbour jacket casually. I like this gentleman in particular, as he effortlessly pairs it with a block coloured sweater, black jeans (my biases suggest that indigo would have complimented the jacket better) and a slick pair of beat up Chelsea boots.

I also like pairing the Ashby with chunkier knits and tailoring.


Although visual evidence reveals that it is compatible, I am a little hesitant to pair my Barbour jacket with a suit. The jacket itself has a casual workwear and country vibe that does not flatter my relatively aggressive suiting-wardrobe. Thus, I prefer to match the jacket with more casual/textured fabrics, such as a flannel or a thick tweed, and separates.


On Winter days, when I am unsure what to wear, my grey bespoke flannel trousers has become my go to. It pairs well with everything in my wardrobe and is an investment piece that pays dividends well. I don’t wear this olive houndstooth tweed jacket, a vintage piece, very often as it lacks the slimmer silhouette I usually endorse. However, considering the utilization of earth tones, olive from the Barbour jacket and grey trousers, the olive jacket seemed like an appropriate choice.

Also, Tomo and I are trying to extend our content range and excise our creative direction by  implementing more close up shots as evidently portrayed in this post. I would love to hear your feedback/constructive criticism!


A Barbour jacket is one of the best wardrobe investments a man can make. I could advise you on what to look for and help you narrow down your selection but I think this Barbour Buying Guide by Derek, from Put This On, will tell you everything you need to know. Additionally, as to avoid making this post too lengthy, I deliberately left out some other details, such as colour fading. If you have a question that I did not answer, free feel to send me a message or comment below and I will reach you at my earliest convenience.


SuitSupply Madison Jacket Review

This is my first SuitSupply jacket and instead of comparing it to other SuitSupply fits (that I have never tested), this post will be dedicated to looking at the jacket objectively as a viable wardrobe investment.


With the resurgence of double breasted jackets and notable Instagram influences, it is no surprise that the Madison is one of SuitSupply’s most popular fits. Like everyone, I have heard great things about SuitSupply, particularly as an entry level off the rack tailoring.

SuitSupply was founded in 2000, with its first store established in 2007, by Fokke de Jong. Interestingly, the idea started out by him selling suits out of his car. He has come a long way since then and have opened stores in various countries, notably China, Singapore, UK and Canada. SuitSupply uses considerably fabrics from notable mills, VBC, REDA and even E. Thomas to name a few. Also, another fascinating point to note, a Wall Street Journal article claims that a then “Suitsupply’s $614 (suit) was declared on par with a $3,625 suit from Armani”.

I have been meaning to pick something up from them for awhile. The biggest hesistation was which model. I had a few criterias/preference that it needed to met (listed below). For my first purchase at SuitSupply, I was adamant on purchasing only a jacket, as opposed to a suit, because I hardly wear suits at the moment and their trousers are relatively lower rised, which I do not wear nor advocate. There are several features about the Madison that really struck out to me.


Unstructured Construction – The jacket has no shoulder padding or lining, making it incredibly comfortable to be layered over/under and allowing it to be more appropriate for both casual and formal settings.

Spalla Camicia – A term to describe “Pleated Shoulders” or “Shirt Shoulders”, lending the user an extended range of mobility and an extra touch of comfortability. The Spalla Camicia on this jacket is also rather subtle and more subdued than the shoulders conventionally since on younger Italian bloggers/tailors, notably in Pitti.

Navy Colour – In late 2016, I started encountering a problem (one that I failed to document on the blog), I was finding it incredibly difficult to dress in the mornings as I had too many options/clothing to choose from. Thus I made a decisive conclusion to substantially cut down my wardrobe and rebuild it with quintessential pieces. A single breasted navy hopsack blazer was the first priority followed by a double breasted option.

Fabrication – The jacket is made in a hopsack weave, perfect for casual (and) summer wear, Lanificio Cerruti “Traveller Wool” fabric, indicating that the jacket is crease resistant/travel appropriate. I am flying to New York next week and I intend to put this assumption to the test. I will be sure to update you accordingly.

Lapel Width – SuitSupply has two double breasted models, Soho and Madison. From my understanding the difference between the two is that the Soho has a slightly narrower lapel width and uses jetted pockets instead of patch, which is apparent on the Madison. Since the beginning of my menswear journey, I developed a preference for wider lapels and thus was more inclined to select the Madison over the Soho.

Patch Pockets – The epitome of functionality and flexibility.


The jacket is a size 38L and, despite it’s extra sleeve length – almost an inch more from the 38R, I still needed my tailor to extend it. Additionally, I had to get my tailor to taper the body further. It is important to note that SuitSupply’s fits, especially for their Contemporary Models, are a lot slimmer than other brands. Thankfully, they do have quite a comprehensive size guide for each model. I strongly recommend thoroughly reviewing it to determine which fit is most suitable for your body type.


Measuring at 5″, the lapels on this jacket is rather wide. But the unstructured construction, combined with it’s navy base, makes it incredibly easy to pair and wear. Whenever I am contemplating a purchase, I meticulously consider if it blends substantially well with my formal and casual wardrobe simultaneously. For business casual meetings, like when these photos were taken, I will pair it with either a white/light blue shirt, a slightly lighter coloured trouser to create a stronger visual interest, a wider width tie (a 3″ knitted in this case) and boots. Alternatively, for a slightly more dress down look, I will wear the jacket with a turtleneck, winter boots and either brown corduroy trousers or grey flannel trousers (all part of M14‘s items) as pictured below.

It is important to note that due to the jacket’s lighter weight, it does not drape as well as my other heavier jackets. For skinnier individuals, I always suggest choosing a fabric that is more robust or heavier in weight. Additionally, I was a little disappointed that the jacket uses plastic, as opposed to horn/tortoise shell, buttons that gives it an inferior feel. But this is a small and affordable amendment that I intend to do in the near future. Still, priced at $429 CAD, I was very impressed with this jacket overall.


I find this jacket to be a perfect investment piece, especially for a person who isn’t required to wear a suit to work, dresses daily for a semi-formal work setting and is looking to invigorate his wardrobe. The silhouette and aforementioned details (patch pockets, unstructuredness etc.) is quite flattering on an average proportionally sized individual. This jacket however, particularly their Madison model, can be quite aggressive with its lapel width and curves. But, when in combination with its navy base, it becomes fairly versatile and a wardrobe staple. I have been wearing this jacket often in conjunction with M14 items and I cannot wait to share/reveal the endless pairings that is possible with this jacket. Stay tuned!