Jack Spade Barbour Hopper Jacket
Barbour's Hopper Jacket is a menswear classic. The company started producing waxed-cotton jackets at a factory in South Shields, England, in the 1890s and never looked back. Newer versions have flaunted a more European (read: closer) cut while retaining hunting details like padded shoulders and cartridge-friendly pockets. The first collaborations with menswear designer Jack Spade, which lent the Hopper a little shine in the form of polished brass buttons and branding on the pocket flaps, sold like hotcakes. Those jackets were great, but the new blue Spade collaboration jackets are a little more understated and better for the terribly British show of restraint.
Spade is tamped down but not out. Red, white, and blue ventilation eyelets form a row beneath the armpits and the liner vest is safety orange. Still, dark buttons make the jacket look more formal and the removal of any notable branding from the outside makes the piece seem less like a coat for sports and more like a viable stand-in for a sports coat.
The most impressive thing about Spade's approach to the Hopper is that he wasn't so eager to make his mark that he threw out what was great about the coat in the first place – namely its medium weight and comfortable working relationship with button-down shirts. The waxed cotton still requires some breaking in, but that's part of the point. Barbour jackets are made to be worn every single day, all fall. That was the point right from the start over a century ago. [$799; jackspade.com]