With spring (hopefully) on the way very soon, it’s the perfect time to have a wardrobe sort-out, get rid of those things you don’t love anymore and look after the items you do have properly. With the days brightening up, many of us are thrilled to be able to airy dry our clothes on the washing line again! Because of this, it’s also a great time to start waterproofing and protecting your larger items, such as footwear and outerwear. Allowing items to air dry extends their lifespan, which is exactly what you want with expensive, staple pieces.
When it comes to wax clothing, you want to make sure these items last as long as possible. They tend to be pricier pieces, like jackets and coats, so you need them to last longer than a few months. By looking after them properly, you will have them in your wardrobe for years to come. Read ahead for our top tips on how to make your wax clothes last longer plus a few of our favourite wax jackets and gilets for both country gentlemen and ladies.
How to protect your wax jackets
If you haven’t been wearing your wax jacket much during the winter but plan on wearing it during the spring, now is the perfect time to wash and reproof it. However, if you need your jacket within the next couple of days, it’s probably best to wait until you have the time to let it dry before cleaning it. It will need at least 48 hours to air dry, preferably outdoors, so you’ll have to wait for a couple of days to wear it!
Before you even start to wash the jacket, the first thing you should do is wipe it down with a dry rag or use a dry brush. Be sure to clean around the pockets, zips and smaller areas. The idea here is to remove any loose dust or dirt that’s hanging around but that you probably didn’t notice from further away.
Unfortunately, wax cotton does not take kindly to washing in a machine so it’s a hand wash for these. The best way to do this is to spray it with a garden or shower hose and cool water. This should shake off any of the dirt that the dry wipe didn’t but without removing any of the wax qualities from the cotton fabric. If it’s particularly muddy or dirty, you can leave it to soak in a sink, bucket or the bath for a few hours to loosen off the dirt. Make sure to not use any detergent or soap as again, this will affect the jacket’s waxiness.
Leave it to dry
Now you should hang up the jacket and leave it to air dry for around 24 hours. That’s why we like to wash our wax clothing in the spring so you can hang it outside. The extra breeze in the air can dry it within a day. If the weather isn’t great, hang it up on a shower rail or on a clothes horse so it can dry in a well-ventilated area. Do not place it in a heated air dryer or over/near a radiator as this will ruin the wax cotton completely.
Time to reproof
Once the jacket is fully dry, you’ll need to grab a few items to reproof it. Lay your jacket on top of a bin liner or some newspaper as using wax can be a little messy. You’ll also need a couple of soft, dry rags and the wax itself. We suggest purchasing wax from the same shop that your jacket is from. Each store has a slightly different shade so this way, it will be sure to match up. Lay the jacket down flat and make sure it’s smoothed out. Warm up the wax by placing it in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes or blasting it with a hairdryer. This will make it much easier to use and spread about.
With one cloth, dip it in the wax and rub it into the jacket. You’ll need to be firm to make sure the wax is applied thoroughly. Start off in a small area, apply it evenly and pay special attention to seams and extra features. Take your time and don’t use too much wax to cover.
The finishing touches
Once the wax is completed, use the other dry rag to wipe off any excess wax that you might have missed. Next, blast the entire jacket with a hairdryer for a few seconds to seal the wax in place. Now leave it dry for another 24 hours before wearing it. We recommend leaving it overnight if you can just to make sure it’s fully protected and dry!
This process should be done around twice a year, before spring starts and after the summer season. If you wear your wax jacket all year round, it might need reproofing once a quarter. Give yourself plenty of time to wash and reproof your jacket as it’s quite a slow process at times!
Our favourite wax jackets
If you’ve looked at your current wax jacket and it’s looking a little worse for wear, it might be time to invest in a new style. There are a few different styles to choose from so why not take a look below at our favourite wax jackets and gilets for both ladies and men before deciding on the one you think would look best with your current wardrobe! Every design comes in versatile, neutral colours so they will go with everything anyway!
A lightweight style - If you’re looking for a great starting point, the Cawood jacket is the perfect style for you. It’s super lightweight, making it ideal for spring. The soft checked lining adds an extra touch and the corduroy collar keeps you warm too.
A heavy duty style - Whilst it’s not particularly heavy in weight, the Thirsk jacket is the next step up from a lightweight version. The gold zips and studs give it a classy finish and the larger pockets make this jacket ideal for outdoor activities.
A sleek style - The Richmond jacket is a glossier style than the previous two, making it perfect for night-time outdoor events. This version has an extra warm lining too so it literally was made for the great outdoors!
A quilted style - If you prefer something different, the quilted jacket is the ideal jacket for everyday wear, from the office to a night in the pub with friends or family. The padded material makes it both warm to wear but also easy to move in.
A gilet style - The quilted jacket also comes in a gilet version, perfect for warmer days when there’s a little chill in the air. It has all the same qualities as the jacket, just minus the sleeves! Show off your shirt or jumper underneath with this gilet.
A lightweight style - Just like the men, the ladies’ Cawood jacket is the perfect spring jacket. The pockets are spacious enough to hold everything you’d need on a countryside walk and we love wearing ours just about anywhere as it’s a great everyday option.
A longer style - If you prefer a jacket that’s longer in length, the Hannah jacket sits mid-thigh. The riding vent makes it perfect for any keen horse riders but is just as practical for general countryside living. The adjustable waist makes it super flattering too.
A belted style - For a feminine take on the wax jacket, the Milly jacket is the one for you. The high neck keeps the cold out and the belt cinches you in right at the waist. This style also has lots of pockets for storage too. Practical and stylish? It’s a winner!
A quilted style - The Wrelton jacket features an elasticated back to show off your figure as well as lots of practical pockets on the front. This insulated style makes it perfect for spring walks in the countryside or running errands in your local town.
A gilet style - The gilet version is just as fitted as the jacket style. We love to wear ours during the spring when the weather is brightening up. Wear a colourful collared shirt underneath for lots of compliments!
Browse to find your new favourite style or make the most of the nicer weather by reproofing your current wax clothing. Don’t wait until the last minute to clean and protect it; do it early so it’s all ready to go when you ditch the waterproof jackets!