Click here to read the first half of my search for a good looking men’s raincoat.
The Barbour’s Three
After two strike outs with Ventile I figured I would give its rougher-tougher brother, waxed cotton, a try. I gave Barbour’s classic Beaufort and Bedale a try, however the fit was a little too classically full for my tastes.
I found that if I sized down so they were appropriately slim then the arms were on the short side for both models. However, if you’re looking for a raincoat to wear over a suit jacket then you may need the extra room. You may want to consider the Beaufort in that case as it has the extra length to cover the bottom of a blazer.
The Barbour Ashby is a slimmed down version of the Bedale, the style is essentially the same, though Barbour has adapted the cut to make it a little more modern. The styling is classic, if not a bit overplayed, and it has the benefit of a removable hood.
I purchased a medium online and again ended up returning it as it was a bit tight across the shoulders and probably would have been better suited with a large.
I then tracked down the Barbour Commander based on the incredibly expensive and difficult to find Barbour x Tokito Beacon Heritage Sports Jacket that Bond wore in Skyfall. There is so much sizing information and misinformation floating out there online for this jacket that sizing right was an incredible chore.
I ended up getting the Commander in a large and the fit is spot on. It is a slim fitting jacket and I have just enough room for a thin sweater underneath, I had finally found a raincoat worth keeping.
Alas, the only problem with using this as my full on rainy weather jacket was that it lacked a hood. And so the journey continues.
I came across Barbour’s Shoreman jacket when trying to combine the styling elements of Barbour’s Tokito collaborations with the waterproofness and high breathability of Ventile fabric. Unfortunately it was a limited release from 2011 and so began my search.
To my luck I found one still brand new hidden in a retail shop’s online inventory. Based on sizing advice from around the web I picked up what might be the last brand new medium in existence, and as you’ve seen from my general luck, it of course did not fit.
The medium was too tight in the shoulders and too short in the arms; a reoccurring theme it seems. Either manufacturer’s need to take a serious look at their measurement charts or I need to take a serious look at my personal measurement dysmorphia.
I refused to give up my search (a grave character flaw when it comes to extremely expensive outerwear) and ended up finding a size large in very good used condition.
This is one of the coolest jackets I’ve handled and I love all of the heritage inspired details such as the half button placket and leather chin flap. It has a removable hood, which can be easily stowed in the rear poachers pocket, and a zip-out vest liner for those cooler days.
It has an abundance of pockets and with its functional hood and drop tail hem it provides for some extreme rainy weather protection. Considering the Ventile fabric and all of the attention paid to specific details I can’t think of many other casual raincoats I would rather have.