To me a wax field jacket is a first round pick in the quintessential fall/winter wardrobe draft. They’re waterproof, hard-wearing, repairable, and develop character like a favorite pair of raw denim. I’ve been scoping the Barbour Beaufort for some time. It’s a known quantity, good heritage, tons of satisfied owners, US HQ are an hour away (Editor’s note: Depending on where you are…), etc. In spite of that, I’ve hesitated to pull the trigger because of how ubiquitous it has become. I see the Beaufort (or its equestrian sibling the Bedale) everywhere in Boston these days. Call me a snob, but I take great pleasure in having unique things that most people would never run into, especially one’s with an interesting heritage.
In a recent trip down the rabbit hole that is blog surfing I came upon a company in Germany making some waxed bags and jackets called Seil Marschall. Around since 1896 Seil Marschall is a 4th generation family business that makes all their in-house products in small batches focused on quality, and proclaim, “Our best machines are still our hand”. The majority of their line is drool worthy, but the winner for me was an incredible waxed field jacket. With all the same basic stats as a Beaufort, it looks more ruggedly constructed, you won’t see anyone else wearing one soon, and has some great improvements over Barbour. It features leather piped cargo pockets and cuffs, drawstring bottom (use only under duress), corduroy collar, optional lined hood, and has an included full wool lining that’s detachable (key here in New England). Seil calls it “The wax cotton-jacket for your life.” I concur. The only downside? You pay a premium for this handmade beauty, twice the price of a Beaufort. Oh well here’s to dreaming.
– Jon Gaffney