Women's Wax Jackets & Coats
Here in the UK, we are often at the mercy of the weather, and more often than not - our climate consists of quite a significant amount of rain - that’s just the way it is I’m afraid! But instead of hiding indoors and waiting for those sunny days that are few and far between, why not grab yourself a trusty waxed cotton jacket and head out into the Great British countryside? It’s difficult to think of a wax jacket or a coat without thinking of British countryside pursuits such as hunting, fishing, horse riding, and rambling!
But although synonymous with British country clothing, the waxing of clothing is not a new invention, nor is it one from this rainy country that we call home. In fact, it was a popular method used in ancient Egypt - unsurprising when you consider their fascination with preservation.
Women's wax jackets and coats has been around for yonks and remains firmly in fashion for ladies today, with an unparalleled ability to protect from the weather and look fabulous, why would you even consider anything else?
How Long They Last
Waxed cotton is quite obviously an excellent waterproofing technique, it repels water and acts as an incredible barrier - but more than that, it’s great at protecting the fabric of the garment itself from the wear and tear that most other jackets experience. If you take care of your waxed jacket, you’ll be pleased to know that this one item of clothing could last you decades, and even be something that you pass on to your children one day! And keeping your waxed jacket clean isn’t difficult either, in fact, it’s as easy as wiping it down with a damp sponge. You may also be pleasantly surprised to learn that the wax helps to repel dirt meaning that they don’t need a wipe down too often! Even once you’ve worn your incredible jacket on many an adventure and the time has come to re-proof it, don’t worry about sending off to a specialist, or melting candles down! The process is so simple, quick, and easy that even a pigeon could probably do it!
The History of Waxed ClothingThe trend was first made popular by sailors who first discovered the benefits of coating their sails in a wax - upon seeing how effective this was, they began trying it out with their clothing and thus waxed clothing was born! It wasn’t the paraffin wax or beeswax commonly used today that were used back then, rather, animal fats and linseed oil - which were commonly available - that were used for preserving and protecting fabrics.
What is a Waxed Jacket?
Waxed coats are made using either:
- Beeswax - natural substance produced by honey bees to create the cell-like structure of a honeycomb.
- Paraffin wax - substance made from petroleum, oil, or coal shale
Applying to the fabric directly, or by weaving into the material, the excellent weather resistant properties are achieved! The most common use for these soft yet solid substances - aside from waterproofing our clothing - is to make your run of the mill candles that you likely have dotted around your home right now! Unless heated above 37℃ this nifty coating will stay solid yet maintain its flexibility and makes the perfect protective layer for defending against our somewhat drizzly weather. Most commonly used in conjunction with cotton as it takes to the application most readily - this was, in fact, also the fabric of choice when this trend began in Egypt in the 1850’s!
When and Where to Wear ItInitially, the friend of sailors everywhere, the trend of covering sails and then attire soon spread to all outdoor pursuits, and in the mid-1950’s you would be unlikely to head into the countryside without every chap and lady in sight wearing their own coat proudly.
Still, an exceptional form of protecting yourself from the rain, this style of attire remains in fashion today, with country folk and city folk alike choosing this natural and long lasting jacket as their garment of choice.
It’s not only the walkers, shooting fans, and fisherman who sport this practical garment, in fact, if you were to attend a country show or even a chilly garden party on this very day - you’ll likely notice that the trend that started in the 1800’s is still firmly in fashion today!
How To Style It
1. ElegantHeading out to a business meeting? Or about to rush to the airport for some business travel? Look elegant and classy by wearing with kitten heels, oversized sunglasses and a little black dress.
2. CasualHeading out to the shops but don’t want to go in pyjamas? Up your game a little bit with a laid-back classic style by throwing on with a pair of ripped jeans and an oversized jumper.
3. TrendyHeading to a party after work? Don’t waste your time trying to choose an outfit - just pop on a pair of black opaque tights, shorts and a vintage printed tee for an on-trend look.
4. PreppySometimes you’ve just gotta get up and head to a local regatta! And when that day comes, you’ll want to pop on your freshly ironed linen trousers and bright white shirt, and your cream cricket jumper for a perfectly preppy look.
5. BohoPlaysuits are the in boho look right now, but to look like the genuine article you have to add accessories. Personally, I think that a wide brim hat and some oversized jewelry is the way to go!
How Do They Make Waxed Coats?The process of making a waxed coat is almost precisely the same as making any other garment; the difference lies in the preparation of the fabric before making up the jacket itself.
There are two commonly used methods to cover the cotton material in the waxy substance - and this is either to coat the cloth itself or the individual threads prior to weaving into a solid fabric.
Traditionally the coats come with a hood in brown, green, blue, or black; but did you know that you can also pick up one of those bad boys in the more up to date colours or red and olive too?!
This quintessential piece of outdoor kit isn’t just popular with us mere mortals, and you’ll often see some famous faces sporting this attire - most notably the Brits, or those that spend time in our drizzly climes!
Famous Ladies Wax Jacket Fans
The model turned TV personality - turned author hails from England, and was scouted by a model agency at the age of sixteen. Since then she has gone on to work in the fashion industry in various roles - from model to fashion designer. She’s often spotted sporting a full-length ladies waxed coat proving that this must-have wardrobe staple is very much on trend.
The former first lady, Michelle Obama is known for her elegance and timeless style with a twist.
It is then, perhaps, unsurprising that she has been photographed wearing many of the traditional pieces - made famous in England - including her ladies wax jacket over the pond in the good ol’ US of A!
Long Life and Environmentally FriendlyFast fashion has developed newer and more polluting manners of rainproofing materials, but so far, none of the newer methods have been able to compete with the incredible technique of waxing.
In fact, the Queen of England famously had the same waxed jacket for over twenty years, and instead of opting to replace her entire coat - simply had it re-waxed to maintain its waterproof qualities - as well as protecting the fabric underneath!
Many people will buy a jacket every season, meaning that they can go through up to fifty jackets in the same period that Her Majesty used just one. Not only are most of these jackets then dumped into a landfill and unused, but end up costing the wearer upwards of a staggering £1000. So not only will you be helping to save the environment by wearing waxed - you’ll be saving yourself quite a chunk of money too!