Barbour Alternatives

Hold off on your Barbours, there are new jackets in town.

Angharad Bryant

Now that summer has well and truly come to an end, it’s time to decide which jacket to sport this autumn. Although it’s definitely cold enough to bring out last winter’s duffel, we should hold off a little while longer to ensure that we have an extra layer when entering what’s predicted to be “the worst winter in decades”(gulp). Up until now Barbour has been the St Andrews student’s jacket of choice, but it’s time to shake up our public school image and consider alternatives.


 Let’s leave farmer chic to the over-fifties

Leather jackets are an autumn wardrobe essential. They are suitable for any occasion (and weather), and give the wearer that edgy vibe rocked by Olivia Newton-John in Grease. Model of the moment Cara Delevigne proved that leather can be worn all year round, spotted in London in August in a leather bomber with mesh sleeves shortly after her wild 21st birthday bash. If unsure whether you can pull off the slightly androgynous look a leather bomber creates, there are plenty of feminine pieces out there, such as Zara’s lambskin jacket in black and ecru.


The denim jacket is also one of Barbour’s chief rivals, but definitely should not be worn in Scotland without reinforcements now that November has arrived. What I love most about them is their versatility, as they look equally good paired with dresses and wintry knits. Although I wouldn’t recommend emulating Miley Cyrus’ style, double-denim is a popular trend this autumn, so don’t be afraid to wear your jacket with a pair of light blue jeans. Everyone else is doing it!


If you want something slightly warmer and less conventional, invest in a cape to keep out the chill this autumn. As a lover of monochrome prints, I was excited to see Lucy Fellows, our resident cereal blogger, on her way to lectures in a houndstooth Moschino cape. Paired expertly with black jeans and a mulberry-style bag, this beautiful cape is definitely autumn’s most glamorous insulator.

Fur is essential to a 2013 autumn wardrobe, and fur-collared jackets seem to be St Andrews students preferred piece. As well as being super cosy, they are a reminder of skiing holidays in the snowy Alps and après-ski themed Scando parties. Channel Tamsin Egerton in Chalet Girl by wearing your jacket with a fur headband and big sunglasses, and you’ll be among the chicest girls in Fife.


Although Barbour jackets are still the preferred outdoor wear of the country-house rich, it will be more fun to stand out from the St Andrews crowd this autumn and go for a different jacket, whether it be leather, denim or fur-lined. Join me in taking the risk, and everyone else will quickly follow suit.

Images courtesy of,, and 



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