British brands J. Barbour & Sons and Belstaff both placed themselves on the garment manufacturing map over 70 years ago with essentially similar waxed cotton motorcycle jackets. Over the decades that followed, both brands gradually diversified without really diverging; both continued to concentrate on all things trad/Brit/sport, ranging from practical knitwear to the sort of "lifestyle" pieces that enable suburbanites to more effectively fantasize about duck hunting from the comfort of their Range Rovers on the way home from Costco.

Their paths finally forked in 2011 when The Labelux Group bought Belstaff and decided to turn the company into a high-end luxury brand, with an ad campaign featuring Ewan McGregor and some fairly lustworthy leather goods. What's interesting in comparing the two companies at this point in time is how their most iconic products are positioned within each brand's other offerings. Barbour still makes several variations of the A7 International jacket that Steve McQueen made famous in the 1964 International Six Day Trials, and while it's a solid purchase for around $450, it's not really the best thing they do anymore. Their corduroy-collar Liddesdale quilted jacket offers just as much classic country steez and is a steal for under $200.

Belstaff, in its lurch upscale, is now in the business of producing $1,000+ sweaters, $3,000 dresses and a wide range of bags and accessories. Their updated take on the Trailmaster moto jacket, the Roadmaster, remains the best and most interesting piece they make. By asking $850 for it, they've essentially ended a decades-old rivalry in a way few could have forseen: they've priced themselves out of direct competition.

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