In many ways, it was easy to predict the barn jacket’s rise in popularity, as viral trends like Cottagecore and Coastal Grandmother lend themselves to the outerwear staple’s carefree countryside attitude. But nonetheless, the heritage piece has — somewhat surprisingly — gone from feeling like a no-nonsense necessity to something quite coveted in a matter of months. A few defining characteristics to look for? Alex Mill Co-Founder and Creative Director Somsack Sikhounmuong points to a “slightly generous” shape, large front pockets, a corduroy collar, and plaid lining. “[The look is] highly functional, easy, and non-constricting — but really stylish.” He also notes that the right wash is key. “I love when these jackets feel lived in and not so brand new. And a traditional brown or olive is nice, but something unexpected like a red is even cooler.”
The barn jacket’s rapidly rising It factor is in many ways attributed to influential brands such as Totême giving the staple their stamp of approval (the brand’s single-breasted country coat is a favorite of wardrobe stylist’s Danielle Cafiero). But it can also be attributed to fresh styling interpretations — particularly those that veer from the expected woodsy aesthetic. “It all comes down to the shoe for me. A more polished loafer or a heel would cast the barn jacket in a new light,” Sikhounmuong says, continuing that a slouchy cashmere sweater, wool pleated trouser, and earrings would make the relaxed silhouette feel sophisticated. “You can heighten the difference of ‘casual-ness’ of the jacket with more polished pieces,” he says.
For fashion stylist Bailey Moon, the utilitarian outerwear works best when teamed with contrasting items. “Wear your barn jacket with a turtleneck, mini skirt, loafers and a patterned pair of tights,” he says, noting that when it gets cold out, straight-leg leather pants (or tailored trousers), with a low suede heel or boot are also smart combinations to try. These less expected formulas, he explains, will break down the jacket’s rugged connotations and cast it in a new light. And when sourcing a style, Moon suggests sticking with heritage labels (think Barbour and L.L. Bean) who have been perfecting the design for years. The idea, after all, is making a classic piece feel more modern, so you want something quite timeless to start with.
Ahead, discover and shop five more ways to wear the barn jacket this season.
Drag your barn jacket away from the countryside and into the city by wearing it with Jerry Seinfeld staples like faded dad jeans and bouncy grey sneakers. Layering in a white tee and blue button-down adds a striking sense of depth, and the pop of red socks offers a fun and personalized finish. 10/10 — no notes.
Life Of The Party
A barn coat and fringe dress are two pieces you would never expect to reside next to each other — but as proven by this chic look above, the mash-up just works. The secret here is to keep your coat buttoned up top but left undone at the bottom for an “oh I just threw this on” effect. Add in a few party-ready accessories and off you go.
Current Day Y2K
As mentioned already, a cabin-cute coat really sings when worn in surprising ways. For example: The relaxed jacket above is made instantly about 100x cooler via Y2K-inspired pieces like a graphic baby tee, hair accessory, and metallic footwear.
Easy Does It
If your predilections skew more timeless, pair your barn jacket with a cozy sweater dress and menswear-esque flats for classic-yet-current vibe. Rotate in tights or scrunched-down socks if the weather calls for it.
No matter the season, a white-on-white outfit is the easiest outfit base to build upon. In the case of the barn jacket, it’s great to experiment with a colorful pick, like this red one from Alex Mill. Consider a heeled loafer and retro lace-up boot to finish the look.
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