In summer it can be hard to pull off a "top layer" when choosing an outfit. Leaving the house in just a shirt can be risky if the weather turns chilly, and summer showers set in. Yet your choice needs to be light, cool and stylish...enter the classic Harrington.
Developed by the English company Baracuta, under the name "G9" in the 1930s, this jacket had been around for over two decades before it achieved its iconic reputation. The G9 got noticed after Elvis Presley wore one in King Creole (1958), but it was the G9’s association with Ryan O’Neal’s Peyton Place character Rodney Harrington that led to its “Harrington jacket” nickname. Soon, the Harrington jacket, as it was now called, was the hot jacket of the ’60s, a staple of icons from Frank Sinatra to Steve McQueen.
McQueen was known to wear sand and stone coloured models in real life, but it was his sporting of a navy cotton Baracuta G9 Harrington jacket in The Thomas Crown Affair, that cemented the style as iconic. This was a vast sea-change from the reputation the jacket already had, more often seen on the golf course than Hollywood.
The Harrington jacket is styled like a windbreaker with a zipper running down the front from the tall, Mandarin-style two-button collar to the elasticised hem. Each angled side pocket closes with a button-down flap. The jacket is designed to keep rain from inconveniencing the wearer, including an umbrella-inspired back yoke.
The ease of wearing one is what makes a Harrington so appealing. If you have a Harrington hanging with other jackets by your door, you'll grab it more than the others. There ease of layering and windproof materials, make them ideal for our always-fluctuating weather. But the Harringon jacket is definitely a casual piece, so you should wear it with other relaxed clothes: jeans, t-shirts, polos, jumpers, trainers and boots.