Partner Content

Your guide to nailing summer’s fashion brief – according to the director of womenswear at Barbour

Director of womenswear at Barbour, Nicola Brown, reveals her top picks for the season and the new styles worth shopping from the British heritage label

Director of womenswear at Barbour, Nicola Brown, talks new season fashion and the must-have Barbour staples

Why is Barbour the perfect brand for summer?

At the heart of Barbour is intelligently-designed clothing driven by purpose and longevity. As a design team, we are consistently reaching back to the brand’s archives to maintain Barbour’s ethos and style sensibility, and when we curate our summer collections, we are drawn to our connection with nature, community and country-inspired living.

This means a stripped-back approach to summer fashion: simple, uncomplicated clothing and practical outerwear that connect to Barbour’s roots without compromising its contemporary edge. This is what makes Barbour the perfect summer brand.

In practice, this means you can complete your summer wardrobe in just a few versatile, uncomplicated pieces: for warmer days opt for separates in summer fabrications like linen and cotton, complete with a knit, shirt or blazer, or for days spent in the Irish outdoors, add the classic Beadnell Wax Jacket or the stylish Bowhill Quilted Bomber Jacket in earthy colourways for a look that walks the line between fashion and function.

What are the key highlights for the season?

The Edit collection for spring-summer 2024 is one of my key highlights for the season. The collection perfectly blends Barbour’s iconic heritage with one of the key themes for the season: denim.

The collection celebrates the strength and durability of denim and its ability to be reinvented, patched and repaired, which pays homage to our re-loved background.

Bowhill Patchwork Denim Shirt, €115, and Bowhill Skirt, €105

Patchwork detailing and a new dry wax finish are among the new features tailored to the collection, and this is best seen in styles like the Bowhill Patchwork Denim Shirt (€115) and Bowhill Skirt (€105) and the Catton Spey Patch Showerproof Jacket (€335). To me, the collection continues to explore a more directional route with a fresh and modern edge.

What are your summer staples that you cannot live without?

For me, summer fashion is synonymous with simple wardrobe staples and seasonal building blocks. Classic blue denim jeans like our Westbury Barrel Leg Cropped Jeans (€95), a crisp white linen shirt (our Marine Relaxed Fit Shirt, €95, is my hero pick), and a blazer, such as our fitted, clean-cut Celeste Pinstripe Single-Breasted Blazer (€290) is the quintessential summer outfit.

Celeste Pinstripe Single-Breasted Blazer, €290
Kelburn Peplum Hem Dress, €185

Switch the shirt and jeans out with a light, summer dress from The Edit Collection, such as the Kelburn Peplum Hem Dress (€185) and you have built the perfect, rotational summer wardrobe.

How do you preserve Barbour’s rich heritage through design?

When starting any season, we will always refer back to Barbour’s archive for inspiration. It’s an archive that dates back 130 years to founder John Barbour, who first launched the brand in a marketplace in the English coastal town of South Shields.

Barbour transformed from being an outerwear brand for mariners to being a complete wardrobe of clothes, accessories and footwear for men, women and children – and its flair for walking the line between function and fashion is what has made Barbour so successful since day one.

Barbour has such an incredible, rich history and it’s important to be respectful of its heritage, roots, and values – this means honouring everything from its first styles, cuts and features right down to the first colour palettes and prints used.

Catton Spey Patch Showerproof Jacket, €335

For instance, for spring-summer 2024 we revisited the 1980s Spey Jacket and gave it fresh updates like denim panels, a gingham collar and a play on proportion. This the perfect example of blending past and present, which ultimately drives the brand.

What can we look forward to seeing from future Barbour collections this year?

As we move forward into a new season of womenswear, the design team is delving a little more into Barbour’s rich brand heritage. For example, the collections we’re about to launch for autumn-winter 2024 will dial into our rich archive with a fresh new twist for the season. You’ll have to wait and see.

Shop the new womenswear season from Barbour in-store at Arnotts, on the Arnotts app and online at now