Warmer weather is around the corner and you’re going to need a jacket. Last year’s down jacket is too warm and substantial whilst the more tailored coats in your wardrobe are for ‘best’. As always, you need something smart casual that can be dressed up or down with not too much material and a level of practicality built-in. What you need is a Harrington.
A Harrington jacket is not a bomber jacket. A stand up collar, knitted cuffs and slanted pockets are the telltale differences. The original G9 blouson, aka the Harrington jacket, was first created by a company in Manchester and sold under the brand name Baracuta (featuring on this list). It would later become an iconic staple of menswear with everyone from Steve McQueen to James Dean to Daniel Craig’s Bond sporting one.
The Harrington remains a foolproof garment to this day and these are the brands to consider when buying one.
Starting off with the real OG. Baracuta is the place for the original G9 Harrington jacket with all of the original design features and a designer price tag to boot. It comes in an array of colours, from classic navy and natural (cream) to more adventurous palettes like empire yellow and patchwork military olive, so there is something for every type of gent.
Never ones to dwell on their legacy, Baracuta have collaborated with a whole host of brands including Vans and Engineered Garments to redesign a classic bringing a modern spin.
There’s something wonderfully inviting about Albam’s well-made, contemporary stylings and the brand’s takes on the Harrington are a fine example. Whether using a linen blend or cotton canvas, the label’s signature off-white zip tape and welted hand-warmer pockets are a welcome addition to a classic.
If you’re a fan of counter-cultural styling then you Fred Perry should be your first port of call. Their jackets have been worn by groups as diverse as punks and skinheads through to mods for generations, with the signature laurel wreath a signifier of style and quality.
Not only are the brand’s Harringtons made in England but they’re also open to experimentations with fabric and pattern making for a nice twist. Watch out for reissues for that authentic vintage aesthetic.
Tom Ford offers a high-fashion, luxury take on what was traditionally a working class garment. Not one for modesty, when Tom Ford does a Harrington you better believe it will be high end. Rendered in premium grade materials such as suede and silk blends, you can expect details such as knit trims on the inside, leather grab handles on the zips, double zip closures and leather half moon under collars. Invest once and wear for a lifetime.
There’s a rugged, run-through0walls vibe to Carhartt that’s especially true of its jackets. While its Michigan coat is closer to classic workwear silhouettes, its Modular jacket is a closer, American cousin of the Harrington. With adjustable cuffs and waist as well as that snug nylon diamond quilted lining, it’s a welcome rugged Americana take on the icon that lends itself too the great outdoors.
Uniqlo is renowned for its simple, well-made essentials that offer great value for money – and its range of Harringtons is no exception. Available in the classic staple colours of navy, beige, olive green and red with a chequered interior, a Harrington from the Japanese brand is a choice you’ll never regret.
Although British Mods and Harringtons are intrinsically linked, it’s easy to forget that America’s Ivy League was another key proponent of the Harrington and helped raise its profile over the pond. If you want to channel that fresh New England aesthetic, look no further than Ralph Lauren.
One for both James Bond fans and style hounds, Orlebar Brown are best known for its line of luxury swim- and resortwear. But they also produce a fine Harrington, notably inspired by 007. The Octopussy Harrington is the British brand’s take on the one worn in the film of the same name, coming in the form of a midnight blue, classic fit cotton blouson.
Private White VC
There’s a sense of history behind every piece that Private White (featured image, top) makes, and their Harrington has a great backstory. Handmade from the world’s finest cotton, the jacket also incorporates Ventile, a material designed and developed up the road from the brand’s British factory and commissioned by Winston Churchill to prolong the lives of pilots in World War II.
Solid, 100% waterproof and beautifully structured, it’s rare for form and function to meet so perfectly.