A host of bright young things have been wearing the archetypal British waxed jacket regularly worn by the Queen. The singer Lily Allen is the latest pop star to be seen in the ultimate all-weather sporting jacket.
She follows others who include Bob Geldof’s daughter Peaches and the actress Sienna Miller.
Less surprisingly, Prince William has also been photographed wearing the classic waterproof. While the Prince has worn his jacket in what might be called traditional fashion – in a field with a cloth cap – the others have taken it into a whole new arena.
You may not have landed gentry in your family tree and a crest over the door of a country pile, but with romantic fireside drinks and country walks in mind, it’s time to dress like a man who weekends away.
Combining textures and deep, spicy colours to create the look of a country gent, you can tune into the current penchant for hunting details. Create a richly layered look by mixing cords, tweeds and tan brogues, with plaid hunting shirts and bright knits.
Miss Geldof, 18, twinned the jacket with a pair of tiny shorts at Glastonbury while Miss Allen appears to have become inseparable from hers – even performing in it.
Cynics might put it all down to the particularly sodden weather of the past year. But the firm’s marketing department has clearly seen the silver lining and not the cloud and is launching a waxed silk jacket aimed at younger women.
The company’s spokesman, Sue Newton, said the firm was “excited” that so many younger celebrities had taken to wearing Barbour.
She said: “To be perfectly honest Barbour is not trying to be a fashion brand. It just happens that we have been picked up by young trendy celebrities, which is fantastic.”
But pitfalls abound if it is successfully to make the switch to a younger market while retaining its core customers. Burberry saw a huge rise in sales uplift targeting younger buyers, only for its traditional clientele to desert the brand when it became synonymous with “chavs”.
Miss Newton said that Barbour would be doing everything it could to keep true to its roots.
“We are not moving away from our classic jackets,” she said.
Hunter, the makers of the classic green wellingtons, introduced a line of brightly coloured boots which have been snapped up by young urbanites.
Some have seen less mud than their owners’ four-by-four cars but that has done nothing to damage the brand.
Danielle Radojcin, fashion editor of Handbag.com, said that the classic Barbour was “cool in an ironic way and that’s been recognised by celebrities”. However, she thought the new range was “still a bit Sloaney”. She added: “I think it would take a trendsetting celebrity like Kate Moss to wear one in order for them to take off. We’ll just have to wait and see.”