Three British Countrywear Companies

Almost all classic men’s clothing can be traced back to Britain, but few things are as British as British countrywear. Whereas the Italians and Americans have come up with their own versions of the English lounge suit, British countrywear largely stands alone. Nobody makes those garments better than the people who invented them.

Of course, Barbour and Cordings stand ahead of the pack in this field, but there are other companies as well. Many of them don’t have the same storied heritage, but they’re still worth considering if autumn inspires you to dress rus in urbe (a term epigrammatist Martial coined to mean “country in the city,” if you didn’t already know).

The first is Chrysalis, a manufacturer of no-nonsense, British countrywear designed to keep people both dry and comfortable. Garments are individually handcut and made from the very best natural fibers woven in the British Isles. Some have Teflon coated outer shells to help keep the water off, as well as waterproof, breathable interliners for added protection. Their most popular model, the Chiltern, is one such model, and it comes with raglan sleeves, flapped bellow pockets, and a Loden top collar. A beautiful jacket if you like to wear corduroys and country checked shirts. Chrysalis’ handsome tweedy creations can be bought through some of America’s more traditional clothiers, such as Ben Silver and O’Connell’s

The second is Musto. While not strictly a country outfitter, they do make some beautiful shooting coats. The Keepers Jacket is particularly well suited for a day out among the bramble and grouse, while the Cotswold Quilted Jacket would make for nice everyday use. For potential deals, readers might like to know that Mr. Porter recently picked up the Technical Stretch Tweed and Highlands Jacket, both of which might make it to the site’s heavily discounted sales.

Finally, there’s John Partridge, who I admit I’m including only because I really like a single model from their line: The Walden. A green, waxed cotton coat with a wool collar and fitted appearance, this jacket’s styling seems to me to be as attractive as many of Barbour’s offerings. I especially like the inclusion of three internal pockets - two zipped, one netted - which is two more than the Velcro-ed compartment in my Bedale.*

The thing I like most about these companies is that while they’re relatively new, they look and feel like they’ve been around forever. Simple, plain British manufacturers producing country jackets that can be worn without too much fuss. The kind of thing where one doesn’t have too much reason to not pick up another model to wear with their moleskins, cotton flannel shirts, and heavy double-soled boots this fall. 

* As an aside, STP has John Partridge duffle coats for both regular sized and tall men right now. A potentially good deal if you sign up for their DealFlyer newsletter and wait for their 40% off coupon codes. 

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