Barbour Men’s Chelsea Sports Quilt – a modern fashion phenomenon

Barbour is known around the globe for their quality clothing and fashionable features, with their clothing providing a long lasting and durable finish. Although the brand is not considered affordable by everyone, anyone that does buy a Barbour Jacket knows that they are buying something of distinct quality.

At half time in England’s dire performance again the USA in the 2010 world cup Alan Hanson commented live on prime time TV ‘it looks like a girls coat’, remarking on the jacket worn by Alan Shearer who was commentating live from the stadium. Little did Hanson, or many others know, that by then the jacket was well on the way to establishing itself as a fashion phenomenon.

The jacket in question was the Barbour Chelsea Sportsquilt which has been a very popular coat in the Barbour range and continues to sell well.

For years Barbour’s wax jackets have flirted with being fashionable, helped along by the Royal family and the occasional high profile country type celebrity, but never before have they been a must have on the football terraces and high streets up and down the country.  In recent years everyone who is anyone has been spotted in one, especially amongst the more influential British fashion icons.

So what has made this jacket into such a huge success? Let’s start with what hasn’t made it a success, and primarily that is that it isn’t a traditional Barbour Jacket. Just a few short years back Barbour Jackets where heavy, smelly, shapeless wax affairs, suited only to farmer and other people who didn’t come into close contact with others.

They were waterproof and practical, but certainly not fashionable. This jacket is altogether different. For a start it is a quilt, or to be technical, diamond quilted (no jewels involved). Yes it’s warm, yes it’s a practical cut, but primarily it is a fitted, even slimming cut, and if you’re in Oxford street or rural Oxfordshire it is the coat to have.

In the right circles, Barbour are known and are fantastically received, but the majority of people who are looking for a decent coat would probably not think that Barbour would be right for them. Until you have tried one of these coats then you will simply never know how good they are, but you often will stick with the brand for life after your first purchase.

Whatever it is that made it a success it seems to have only been the tip of the iceberg, with a series of refined and updated versions proving ever more popular. This year a fleece lined ‘Chelsea Polar Quilt’, and matt finished version call the ‘Powell jacket’ looks set to take up the reins from the original Chelsea Sports Quilt.  What is for sure is that it is a trend that looks set to grow and grow.


John Jones in Managing Partner at Philip Morris & Son. As a keen driven game shooter he takes a hands on role in selection and development of the Philip Morris & Son Country Clothing range. With a combination of technical, industry and user knowledge this puts John in a unique position to share his knowledge of the best and worst products available.

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