WAX JACKETS: VINTAGE VS NOW
By Lakeisha Goedluck, 18 September 2018
If you’re a fan of walks in the countryside, you’ll know the enduring appeal of the wax jacket. A British outerwear staple, these waterproof saviours are the ultimate piece of gentlemanly kit to don when the heavens open. To get you prepped for the rainy season, here's a selection of vintage wax jackets from ASOS Marketplace as well as newer models available right now on ASOS.
Nowadays, it's farmers who are commonly associated with the wax jacket – but they were originally the go-to garm for sailors. Back in the 19th century, sailors discovered that their sails performed better if coated in oil. After treating their ships, they’d use any leftover material to create waterproof coverings for themselves. In the early 20th century, clothing companies started to follow suit and began treating their cotton outerwear offerings with paraffin or beeswax. Barbour is perhaps the most famous example of this, having produced its first wax jacket back in 1936.
Whether vintage or contemporary, the wax jacket's signature elements of checked lining, corduroy collar and classic black and dark olive tones have stood the test of time. When it comes to our vintage finds (top image), the zip-up Chaps jacket will satisfy all your preppy needs, while the multi-pocketed style on the right is just what you need if you’re after something a little more durable. As for the newer iterations (above), the Fred Perry jacket comes with a traditional corduroy collar and the black Barbour pick, with its manifold buttons and poppers, is as utilitarian as they come. Pair any of the above with a grey sweatshirt and your favourite pair of slim-fit jeans and you’re ready to ramble (top tip: don't forget your wellies!).