From Alexa Chung to Kate Middleton, Almost Every British It Girl Has This Jacket

What makes British fashion so special is its heritage; our past is a rich (incredibly chic) tapestry of skilled makers and designers, with brands born long ago proving to be just as popular today. And one of those brands is Barbour. 

Though founded in 1845, Barbour has been creating the timeless wax jackets and outwear for which it is known since 1910, and honestly, very little about the design has changed, which is a good thing. Of course, modern updates have been made, but at their heart, their aesthetic and, as such, appeal ring true. But what is it that makes the Barbour jacket—a jacket designed for fishing in, no less—so iconic? Perhaps it's its illustrious fan base. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Diana wears a longline Barbour jacket. 

Anyone who has watched the latest season of The Crown will know that the Barbour jacket was effectively a character in its own right. Much of the series centred around our royal family’s time spent at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where (and I can say this because I’m Scottish) the weather always calls for waterproof and protective outerwear. No, this wasn’t a subtle attempt at product placement—for one, it was anything but subtle, and two, the royal family really do love their Barbours. The queen has been wearing them for the entirety of her reign, while Princess Diana was photographed in hers on many a rainy day out. The young ones are at it, too, with The Duchess of Cambridge regularly sporting her collection of Barbour jackets for both official and non-official sightings.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alexa Chung wears a Barbour jacket at Glastonbury festival. 

It’s not just royals who have given the practical Barbour jacket their seal of approval. Over the years, we’ve seen fashion darlings Sienna Miller, Olivia Palermo and Holly Willoughby (to name a few) wearing theirs in their downtime. However, no one has shown the Barbour jacket more appreciation than Alexa Chung. 

Having worn the traditional designs for years, Alexa Chung has partnered with Barbour to create her own collections as an extension of her brand, AlexaChung. While they might have different silhouettes to their mainline counterparts, the fabrics, techniques and ready-for-anything wearability bring together all that’s best about the Barbour brand.


(Image credit: @hillhousevintage)

Paula Sutton of Hill House Vintage wears a Barbour jacket. 

Today, the Barbour jacket is just as likely to be seen in Covent Garden as it is in the Cotswolds. Barbour jackets typically carry three-figure price tags, which is by no means cheap, but with Barbour, you get what you pay for. My grandparents have worn Barbour jackets all of my life; I remember they wore their matching green styles as they encouraged me to ride their working Clydesdale horse when I was 9, albeit unwillingly. I got my way—my riding career was over before it even began—but they still wear the very same Barbour jackets.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge wears a Barbour jacket. 

Take cues from Alexa Chung, and wear yours with everything from leather trousers and skinny jeans to tea dresses and miniskirts. I guarantee you if you treat it well, then, just like my grandparents, you’ll still be wearing your Barbour jacket in 23 years, too.


Next Up: So Many Editors Want This Expensive-Looking High-Street Jacket

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.