Barbour lighthouse beacon motorcycle jacket

Last week three of us visited the Barbour factory in South Shields, in the name of a new book on British heritage brands. 

Given we were researching the stories behind the companies, it was natural to stay next to the lighthouse that was the early inspiration and branding for Barbour. That’s it, the Beacon, behind. More on Barbour, its archive and repairs, in the next couple of weeks.

Wearing my vintage Barbour motorcycle jacket; Dent’s peccary gloves; Anderson & Sheppard lambswool jumper; Begg ‘wispy’ scarf; Johnstons cashmere beanie; bespoke Levi’s jeans. And on the feet, Wolverine ‘1000-mile’ boots


Photography: Horst Friedrichs

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pictures of how the denim has broken in? 🙂


Wolverine 1000 mile boots !?
Interested to hear your views on these as I’ve seen other sites rave about them.
I think it’s one of the few U.S. products I’ve seen mentioned , let alone worn, on your site .


That’s a really nice jacket Simon. Are the new versions similar to that?




PS is your jacket olive? the new ones i think only come in black. the vintage one is terrific


Really nice outfit, uncommon to see this on your blog!


Hi Simon, I am visiting London soon from New York and I would like your opinion on which stores are worth a visit. I’ll only be there for a few days, so obviously there won’t be enough time to get something bespoke made, so are there any RTW labels you would recommend, in terms of classic menswear? Thanks


I know we in the UK are experiencing the last vestiges of winter Simon; ipso facto, a beard is par for the course. However, that beard of yours is venturing into Hipster territory; time for some taming?

Unless of course, that is the look you are going for…


Nice hat. On a major tangent… I am balding fast. What do you do with your hair? Which ‘number’?


Nice look. As I work in a casual environment, add a button down oxford shirt and this look isn’t too dissimilar to something I would wear during winter.

sandals mens

Really nice outfit, my boyfriends wanted one of those jackets for ages, it does look slightly olive but its a nice colour!


I just cant get used to barbour waxed coats no matter how much I like the look. ITs heavy on the shoulders, clammy when wet (which is when they are supposed to be best), have no insulation and leave anything next to them greasy with wax. It really is a matter of style over function in the case of these things … or is this just me?

nick inkster

It is interesting because 30 years or so ago Barbour was not in any way a “fashion” garment, it was just one of those things that folk in the country wore. I don’t think they made biker stuff then, And it was a bit of a mess financially. The clever marketing folk have got hold of it. If you look carefully, you will see the same story with, eg, Hunter wellies,, which were rescued from oblivion by the ex Thomas Pink guys and the “Duffle” coat…………So the question here has to be……product, or marketing……….?

Will Breakey

Dear Simon,

This is a question rather than a comment. As a long time reader of your blog, which has taken me nicely through the latter years of medical school, into life as a trainee plastic surgeon i’d be keen to hear your opinion on tartan trews. I’m getting married in August in East Lothian, whilst I am not strictly Scottish, my fiancee is as is my father. We would both like to wear the family tartan. We were thinking about tartan trews worn with a morning coat. The tartan (Forsyth) will likely come from Kinlock Anderson (unless you have other suggestions), and then be tailored locally – Newcastle. Do you think the morning coat is the way to go?

Thanks in advance,



Any views on madras blazers? Too preppy? too 1950s Palm Beach? Could this work for what
passes for summer in the west of Scotland if the colours were muted? You do have one or two louder tweeds, but My guess is that madras may not be your thing?

nick inkster

A few years ago, in the Barbour outlet shop in Portsmouth, I stumbled across a jacket based on the Beaufort model, but made of butter soft, espresso coloured leather. It was the only one, and exactly my size. I had never seem on before that, nor have I seen one since. And I was there on a day when everything seemed to have further price reductions, and think I paid just under three figures for it!!


As far as wearing tartan goes…pretty apt that this is a Barbour feature. A borders name featuring waxed cloth that mostly originated from Dundee and Arbroath areas (as did Nelson’s sailcloth at Trafalgar) and, of course, the Barbour tartans (Barbour emigrated to England). Don’t have to be from the province of Scotland to wear the jackets, and there’s lots of them in East Lothian!


Hi Simon,
Regarding quilted jackets,what do you suggest as a first one to be wearable will chinos, flannels,jeans ,the Barbour or Lavenheim?


What do you recommend as a casual fall jacket? Iwould want to wear it with jeans,chino maybe some grey flannel Oxford shirts and denim shirts.

Matrescu Mihai

Hi Simon,
The valstarino jacket is wonderful however i cannot afford it,my maximum allowance would be around 400£ . What casual jacket would you recommend as a first one to be more versatile, especially for fall other than a peacoat? Maybe you can lead me to some brands? Thank you!

Matrescu Mihai

I have seen the pwc peacoat , it’s around 600£ and willing to pay,i will save some money,but I cannot find a casual Jacket for around 400-500£??

Mihai Matrescu

That’s why i am asking you to recommend me something ,a fall casual Jacket to wear with flannel trousers ,chino, moleskin, corduroy and denim…even though i have read some articles i find it hard to get a first fall jacket. The baracuta g9 could work in fall under knitwear like turtle neck and some heavy knitwear? Maybe other options? Thank you for taking the time to reply


Simon, what do yoh think of Drake’s D43 jacket in waxed cotton? I seem to remember you wrote something about it a few years ago but can’t find it. Do you own the jacket? Would you recommend it? Thanks

Will Burge

Hi Simon, which model is the Barbour jacket you’re sporting please? Apologies if you’ve already stated elsewhere, I could see it. Thanks