Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Barbour® Women's Utility Jacket vs J.Crew Downtown Field Jacket

My favorite spring/fall outerwear



Few years ago, I decided to splurge and buy the Barbour® Women's Utility Jacket.
I have been coveting it for years but had to save up for it because it is quite expensive. I thought it would be something unique and trend defying. After all, they have been making these jackets for years...



I was very happy with it, until J.Crew came up with their own version of it the Downtown Field Jacket.
The downtown field jacket
J.Crew Downtown Field Jacket

Barbour®  version fits better, it is warmer , the details are more refined and it has the signature tartan lining.





I still love it...

But the overall look is almost the same.  To me, the J.Crew version is impractical, because it is too stiff for the light spring jacket, but too cold for when the temperature drops. But of course, the J.Crew version is less than half the price of Barbour®.  I am wearing size 10 UK, equivalent of size 6 in J.Crew.


At first,  I was hoping it would be a one year fad, but apparently the jacket has been selling very well, because J.Crew keeps coming up with their versions for the last three years and they don't not even seem to go on sale. 

***

What do you think?
Did you ever have your 'real deal' treasure spoiled by the prevalence of the cheaper knock off?


Do you own the Barbour®  jacket or the J.Crew version?

I still love my Barbour® , but somehow, it is not so special anymore. 
Am I just being a snob? 


Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

23 comments:

  1. i have been coveting the downtown fieldjacket for 2 years,but never bought it.
    now i finally caved,but i had my friend in the US buy it for me.
    so it is "sitting" in atlanta waiting to be picked up and flown to germany.
    i guess it was a crazy decision,but hopefully a friend or my husband will have a business trip someday.

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    1. Ina, hopefully you and your jacket get reunited soon!

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  2. I own the JCrew version, I bought it when it first came out. The Barbour is SO superior. I know this because I tried it on just after Christmas when I was actually in a store that carries Barbour. I will buy one someday, it's just such a comfortable jacket, great for hiking and going up north to cottage country.
    The lining on the Barbour is great, the JCrew jacket is quite stiff and uncomfortable in comparison, it is probably better for warmer climates where a bit of wind resistance is the thing needed rather than any comfort or warmth!

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    1. The Barbour fit is great and I love the tartan. I think J.Crew jacket has a more urban vibe.

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  3. I have the real thing also and it is super warm and nice, mine does not fit now because at the time I was a much larger size. I actually got it for a great price years ago at a Saksaim New Jersey at clearance time. They have a cute belted one that I would love to get one day.

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    Replies
    1. Where in NJ? I would love to check out a clearance center that would carry Barbour... Although I am pretty hopeless in those places, I can never find anything :(

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    2. I don't know of a Barbour outlet in New Jersey but there are 2 outlets further north - one in Kittery, Maine and another in Milford NH. Discounts are better on the modern styles and samples. For traditional jackets you might do better in the UK at sale time with the VAT refund. I think Muffy (no relation) of The Daily Prep visited Milford recently and wrote a review.

      I have built a Barbour collection over the years. The quality is wonderful and you can even send jackets back for repair and rewaxing. Can you imagine J Crew opening up a repair center???

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  4. Love the lining in your Barbour coat. I bought the retail J. Crew Downtown Field Jacket, but then I returned it when I found the J. Crew factory version at a much lower price. The factory store had a good sale going at the time, too, so it was a real bargain and I couldn't tell the difference between the retail and factory versions (there probably is a difference, but I was new to J. Crew at the time and didn't notice). I do like the useful pockets. The downside, I agree, is that it is very lightweight. I wish it were lined, but I don't think the retail version was lined either. So enjoy the Barbour, the lining alone makes it worth it. When I need a warmer coat, I still always reach for my heavy-weight J. Crew men's barn coat. It must be 20 years old and looks just awful but I love it anyway :)

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    Replies
    1. Some of those factory items are a great deal and no different from retail. There have been some reports of items even being better quality. I have to look harder when I am there...

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  5. I've got an ancient Barbour, but I only wear it when I'm mucking out the horses, it's only in the last few years that it became a trend to wear it "out" but still it's not a look that's seen often here apart from at the stables or amongst the young music festival set.
    I love Barbour linings too - so so warm.

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    Replies
    1. I love my Barbour but it gets a little smelly when wet. I guess that would not bother anyone when mucking the horses...
      Do you own horses Tabitha?

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  6. I like your Barbour version much better because of the lining, last year I almost bought the JCrew version on sale at $29.99 but it was so stiff that I didn't think I'd even wear it.

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    1. $29.99 sounds like a great price, but if you wouldn't wear it, it is not worth anything, smart decision Joelle!

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  7. The Barbour looks to be so much better quality and even if you tire of it and put it away for a year or two you will probably enjoy rediscovering it later. I'm not a fan of these jackets myself, usually they are too stiff for my taste and the style reminds me of being in the barns. I would not feel comfortable wearing it "out".

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    Replies
    1. You are right xoxo, the style did not change much over the years so it will probably still be good after few years. I have no problem wearing them 'out' and about but maybe it is because I never lived in the country or anywhere near a barn so I don't have those associations.

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  8. Your Barbour is a smart investment. I firmly believe in paying for the real thing if you can save up for it. The cheap knock offs are invariably disappointing.

    I have been obsessed with field/fatigue jackets for ages, and currently wear the Eddie Bauer version from Fall 2010, and I LOVE it. It's soft, has a nice lining, and is fairly windproof. It layers nicely over a light sweater and keeps me covered during the shoulder seasons. When it gets colder I layer it over my BR leather hoodie. It's my go-to jacket Monday to Friday, to wear over my dressy office duds. On weekends, I have to flip a coin with the BF because he has a very similar jacket from Zara. I don't want us both to wear the "same" jacket and look like one of "those" couples ;)

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    Replies
    1. J.Crew is not exactly a 'cheap' knock off but I know what you mean...
      It is funny about you and your hubby fighting over which one gets to wear the field jacket, actually my husband has a trench coat very similar to mine and I also do not like when we both wear them, it is either me or him, lol.

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  9. I have the downtown in black (that I got at a sample sale for $45) and I agree that the lack of lining makes it less weareable (I wore it yesterday and I was freezing). However, as you said, it has a more urban feel to it than the Barbour and that's what I like about it, in fact it never crossed my mind to buy a Barbour (no offense, it looks great on you, it's a matter of taste!) even if my husband has one and it's a great jacket.

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  10. I have the downtown field and don't wear it very often. I bought it for about $60, though and gotten cost/wear out of it. I agree about it being stiff and not warm. It's good for our weather where I need thin layers and can put a scarf over it all. Revel in your Barbour :)

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  11. I will be the sole voice of dissent here in saying that I LOVE my downtown field jacket. The cut is much more flattering on me and I wear it for what it is: an urban version of the Barbour without lining. I think it is terribly chic and I particularly love it with a cashmere turtleneck, jeans, and leather boots in the fall. I have four Barbours--a Bedale, two quilted jackets (one short, one longer), and a quilted vest. They are a different beast. I love them (my Bedale is starting to show its age), I do see the copy effect, but, as with my two children, I love the Barbour and JC versions equally for what they are.

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  12. I own the downtown field jacket, and I agree — it's sadly super stiff. I wish I had bought the factory one from last year; my friend has it in black, and hers is notably less stiff (probably because the fabric isn't as great quality, but I'd rather have a lighter jacket than a stiff one). BUT, I love love love the way the DFJ looks. If I could shell out the $300+ for the Barbour, I'd buy that one, but I have to say, the DFJ has a lot of really attractive details that the Barbour lacks (like gold buttons and zippers) but really make the jacket stand out.

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