“Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants and trees – should be your teacher.” -Morihei Ueshiba
Comfortable in our routines and serious little schedules, how often we forget to look at the wide world around us. I remember once reading that it takes hearing a true statement seventeen times to forget a false one. Similarly, habits repeated daily become such a natural part of our lives that they require hard work and pointed self-awareness to change.
This fall I have worked on unlearning a few old shopping habits and helping better ones take root: Looking for more long-lasting goods, finding second-hand staples, and focusing on where, from what, and how the clothes I choose to buy are made.
The waxed cotton jacket saga:
Barbour, Barbour Pt. II, Bridge & Burn, Filson
- 2013 | Bought my first Barbour jacket and wrote a little review (if you’re only interested in the Beadnell review, keep on a-scrollin’).
- 2015 | Sold my girl’s large olive Barbour Beadnell to a friend and replaced it with a roomier size UK 10 (US 4/6) Barbour Ferndown Waxed Cotton Jacket in black. Noticed that the Ferndown tag stated “Made in Vietnam and Republic of Moldova” — Barbour no longer manufacturing all jackets in England. Bummer.
- 2016 | Received a small Bridge & Burn Outsider Collection Spruce waxed cotton jacket for this review. Checked with company and confirmed that jacket is ethically made in China by a Canadian-owned factory. Sold this jacket on Tradesy a couple of seasons later because 1, I don’t need two waxed cotton jackets, 2, it’s a veeery warm jacket (I live in Atlanta), and 3, it’s cropped (I ride a bike to work and prefer something a bit longer for rainy days).
- 2017 | Missed having an olive jacket. Sold the black Barbour Ferndown and replaced it with a men’s small Filson Mile Marker Trench in Otter Green (both using Tradesy). Added a matching Filson hood I bought on sale from Moosejaw. Score.
- 2018 | A year in I’m still wearing the hell out of that Filson and it looks brand new. The quality is unmatched, it’s made in the USA, comes with a lifetime warranty, and has beautiful brass zippers and warm cotton flannel lining. It’s just a tad oversized in the best way. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a field jacket.
Above: Wearing my Filson Mile Marker waxed cotton jacket to Portland, Maine and Acadia National Park (by the way, I have a new blog, Where With Elle). Below: Wearing that Barbour Ferndown on my honeymoon in Islay, Scotland (a.k.a. sheep and scotch heaven).
Where to buy a solid waxed cotton jacket
Secondhand (and sometimes new) | The RealReal, Poshmark, Tradesy, or eBay.
New | Nordstrom, Amazon, Sierra Trading Post, or directly from manufacturer.
A few ethically made waxed cotton jacket brands (some are made in USA): Filson, Filson, Bridge & Burn, Taylor Stitch, Campbell Cooper, Schott, John Partridge, Epaulet, Wilson & Willy’s.
Original Barbour Beadnell review
Sizing | I have the Girls’ Large (Age 10-11, UK 30″, Euro 40) in “Olive” and it fits me perfectly with a tailored cut. I normally wear a women’s small in jackets and sweaters and am 5’7″ and 125 lbs and measure 32-24-32″.
Handy measurements comparison:
- Girl’s Large Beadnell: 39.3″ Chest / 24.4″ Back / 26.6″ Arms
- Women’s Extra-Small Beadnell: 36.2″ Chest / 27.8″ Back / 29.2″ Arms
- Girl’s Extra Large Beadnell: 41.5″ Chest / 25.4″ Back / 27.8″ Arms
Fit | The Girl’s Large hits right at the hip for me. The sleeves cuff to bracelet length, and it has a tailored fit but is still roomy enough to wear a light sweater underneath when all zipped up. If I wanted to wear winter sweaters underneath, a Girls’ Extra-Large would work well.
Impressions (2014) | This jacket is lightweight and very well-made. It’s perfect for transitional weather in spring and fall, and layers well. Beadnell’s sleeves cuff to bracelet length and the whole jacket is a tailored fit for both girls’ and women’s sizes. Order your regular size if you’re looking to layer it over a fleece, thick jumper, or puffer vest for colder months.
Notes | Barbour waxed jackets come in black, navy, olive, sage, and other neutrals, plus the occasional red and coral. I’ve noticed that often the Liberty-lined jackets go on sale faster than the tartan-lined ones. Last year’s (sold-out) olive Beadnell with Liberty rose print lining was one of my favorites.
J. Barbour and Sons is made in northeast England – Factory tour. 2018 update: Barbour has grown quite a bit and no longer makes many of its jackets in England.
“There are 159 factory workers at the South Shields factory, where all the waxed Barbour jackets are made. The more colourful quilted jackets are made overseas, mostly in Turkey, Portugal and Bulgaria. Some of the biker jackets are made by third parties in the UK.” —Telegraph
Sales + shopping tips | Barbour Girls’ Beadnells are usually half the price of Women’s Beadnells. Opt for a children’s size if you normally wear a US 2 or 4 and find a deal! Barely used and vintage Barbour Jackets also less expensive and can be found on Tradesy or eBay. If you go vintage, just remember to factor in the cost of rewaxing and look carefully at measurements.
In photos: Barbour Beadnell (olive, girl’s large)