It’s Waxed Jacket Season. Here Are 8 of the Best.
Outdoorsman or not, the iconic weatherproof style will serve you well this winter
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If we had to, we’d guess that you’ve probably never spent the crispy fall months tilling soil and plowing hundreds of acres. We’d warrant the same guess for your time spent big game hunting in preparation for a brutal winter. Hoisting a sail seems slightly more likely, but braving the high seas? Doubtful. Regardless, the best waxed jackets are available to you, the same as they were (and are) to the huntsman, outdoorsmen and sailors of yore — and we suggest you purchase one if you haven’t already.
We mention the variety of demanding professions not to make you feel less rugged of a man, but to highlight just how hardwearing the classic workwear style can be. Though Pinterest might serve you dainty images of a young Prin—excuse us, King Charles (or maybe a certain new PM) in waders and a Barbour or Paul Newman, looking svelte and nautical on a single-sail rig, the reality is that waxed jackets, much like other heritage designs, are built for downright messy conditions, the culmination of weatherproof desires and robust sensibility.
What Is a “Waxed” Jacket?
Originally constructed in the 15th century by sailors looking to waterproof their garb, the waxed jacket has evolved from patchwork oiled sailcloth to a sturdy cotton frame finished with a sleek paraffin wax base. A more traditional alternative to the new era of high-tech, water-repellant blends like Gore-Tex, the waxed jacket tends to emulate hunting and field coats, with a multitude of snap front pockets and contrast leather or corduroy collars typical of the style.
In recent decades the style has become most commonly associated with British and Irish country life, where a jacket that can fend off a constant drizzle, weather physical tasks, and last for years has proved paramount. Hertiage labels like Barbour and Belstaff have become the defacto producers of waxed jackets abroad, with a cabal of American-made options — L.L. Bean, Orvis, Filson and other outdoor supplies chief among them — available stateside.
How (And When) to Wear Waxed Jacket:
Being weather-resistant, the waxed jacket wears best as the temperature begins to drop, but thanks to a timeless design and intense break-in, you can wear yours with virtually anything. There are a bevy of different styles, from hefty workhorses to slim slip-ons, all waxed and ready to wear.
To help you find the perfect waxed jacket for you, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite ones, all of which will keep you dry, stand the test of time and generally look like a million bucks. Below, the 8 best waxed jackets for men this fall and winter.
The Best Waxed Jackets for Men:
Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket
For our money, the Flint and Tinder Waxed Trucker Jacket might just be the best weatherproof layer on the market. It’s got everything you could ask for, from an authentic type-1 trucker jacket cut (especially delightful on the new relaxed-fit variant, where you can layer to your heart’s content) to a waxed, weather-resistant Martexin 7oz sailcloth from New Jersey that wears in beautifully and holds its weatherproof edge for years. Buy one, and wear it to death.
Barbour Bedale Wax Jacket
Few, if any, waxed jackets carry more weight than ones from heritage label Barbour. Since its 1894 founding, the England-based company has released a variety of lightweight waxed jackets, and become synonymous with the idea of classic-leaning, weatherproofed outerwear. The Bedale, Barbour’s first lightweight jacket, was originally designed for riding, and remains one of our favorites with its shorter cut and buttoned-up appeal.
Orvis Belhaven Dry Waxed Cotton Worker Jacket
If Orvis’ Belhaven Jacket looks familiar, it’s probably because it takes after your favorite fall layer: although it’s dubbed a “worker” jacket, we recognize the classic three-pocket, button-front style of a chore jacket when we see one. That’s not to say it isn’t unique in its own right — densely woven fabric from Scotland’s Halley Stevensons, a leading manufacturer and innovator in waxed cotton since 1864, makes sure of that.
Todd Snyder Blanket Lined Waxed Dylan Jacket
Todd’s sharp Dylan Jacket may look more akin to a classic American trucker than a traditional British hunting coat, but don’t let that fool you — the waxed cotton fabric the Dylan uses comes straight from British Millerain, a mill that has been in the game for well over a century, and notably supplies U.K.-based and gold standard Barbour. A moleskin collar and blanket lining winterize the layer, which is finished in the classic elevated Americana bronze that Mr. Snyder is so well known for.
L.L. Bean Upcountry Waxed-Cotton Down Jacket
Looking for more protection than a weatherproof layer of wax? L.L. Bean’s quilted Upcountry Jacket should do just the trick. Stuffed with a revolutionary DownTek 650-fill that claims to repel 33% more moisture while ensuring you stay toasty and warm, the jacket maintains all the classic field fixings without losing them to the coat’s added bulk.
Filson Cover Cloth Woodland Jacket
The Filson Woodland Jacket is to America what Barbour is to England: a heritage style, rooted in the deep traditions of workwear and finished with a proprietary 8oz. oil finish Cover Cloth shell that blocks wind and water alike.
Sid Mashburn Waxed-Cotton Bomber Jacket
A bomber is certainly not the typical recipient for the waxed-cotton treatment, but we’re willing to let it slide for Atlanta-based Sid Mashburn. After all, Mashburn’s designs, which he describes as “a mashup of classic American style with Neapolitan ease, Southern hospitality and a touch of British quirk,” are works of art, and this handmade in Italy bomber is no exception.
Taylor Stitch The Field Jacket
The Field Jacket is a technical affair, with military-inspired detailing down to the 9-oz. 100% organic cotton waxed canvas custom-developed with Halley Stevensons. It’s an impenetrable layer guaranteed to get you through any and all tribulations ahead. with the help of some handy pockets, hard-wearing reinforced shoulders and good old-fashioned grit.
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