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The Barbour International, in the range since 1936.

 

Steve Mcqueen in his Barbour International.

Look through the history of motorcycling and it’s obvious that the International jacket was de rigueur riding apparel for the serious rider.  Heard of Steve McQueen?  Barbour was worn by virtually every British international motorcycle team from 1936 until 1977, and they were the official motorcycle police jacket in 14 different countries.

The Barbour story begins with John Barbour who was born in 1849 and raised on a farm in Galloway in West Scotland, the second son of a family whose links through history can be traced back to the 14th century.

At the age of 20 he left the farm to try his luck across the border in the north east of England where in 1870 he started business as a traveling draper.  A year later, he married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret Haining who bore him 11 children and gave him the encouragement and belief to start J Barbour & Sons in 1894 in 5 Market Place, South Shields. 

The shop sold all manner of products loosely described as drapery including outerwear, boiler suits, painter’s jackets through to underwear, and, in the flourishing town of South Shields the shop which became known as ‘Barbour’s,’ thrived successfully.  Almost from the first, Barbour derived an important part of its income from the ship-owners, ship builders and seamen of the port, supplying Beacon brand oilskin coats designed to protect the growing community of sailors, fishermen, river, dock and shipyard workers from the worst of the weather.  Now over 100 years old, Barbour is a 4th generation family owned company who have developed a unique understanding of clothing that is truly fit for the country lifestyle.

Stated simply- Barbour is an authentic British brand providing a wardrobe of clothes for country pursuits, country living and for those who simply love the country, while still maintaining the core values of its heritage, durability, fitness for purpose and attention to detail.

A Barbour is more than a jacket, it’s a family heirloom to be passed down from father to son.

Link to The Official Barbour website

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Lobb

 

Bespoke

 

John Lobb

 

At John Lobb they like to say that comparing ready-made footwear to made-to-measure footwear is “like comparing chalk to cheese.”  With Royal Warrants proudly displayed, the legendary shop in the shadow of St. James’s Palace is a treasure to behold and a mecca for those who can afford and appreciate the finest English footwear.  There’s a great old story at Lobb about a customer many years ago- he waltzed into the shop with an elephant’s ear over his arm requesting that Lobb make him a pair of shoes.  They did.  

 

 

 

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You're a big man, but "You're in bad shape. With me it's a full time job. Now behave yourself."

Michael Caine

If your knowledge of Michael Caine is limited to Dirty, Rotten, Scoundrels  then you don’t know Jack about Caine.  To get a true picture of the man you need to go back, way back – 1971 to be exact.    

Michael Caine played sexy, smoking, drinking, shotgun-toting, trench-coat wearing British mobster – Jack Carter, out to avenge the death of his brother.  Get Carter is widely considered to be one of the greatest British films ever made.  Michael Caine’s steely performance and strong, sexy looks are spot-on, and visually the film is a sartorial splendor with clothing and furnishings that look like they’re straight from Savile Row.  

All of this is underscored by Roy Budd’s legendary and innovative soundtrack.  Budd incorporated sound effects from the movie (the famous train scene) along with the music – something no one else was doing.  Altogether, it’s a masterpiece and by all means required viewing.  

Other great Caine films include The Ipcress File (1965) and Alfie (1966).  So if you please, put aside Blame it on Rio and get acquainted with the classics.  You’ll never think of Sir Michael Caine the same way again.  

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