In Praise of the Harrington Jacket (And 10 to Buy This Spring)
If it's cool enough for James Dean, it's cool enough for you
Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, we may earn a small share of the profits.
When it comes to looking cool, leather jackets have largely monopolized the field — they connote toughness and rebelliousness. But for many, they’re something that seems cool in theory but will never likely come to fruition in their wardrobes.
However, there is a style of jacket that rivals leather in coolness, if not surpasses it altogether: the Harrington. You’ve probably seen the silhouette before, given that it is one of the most ubiquitous, but if you were unaware of its name, or that it even had one, now you can readily identify it. It’s a jacket with an equally storied history as it’s leather counterpart. 1930 saw the first iteration of the style, the G9, from British brand Baracuta (which is still in production and still awesome), and it wasn’t long before the style garnered admiration from icons such as James Dean, Elvis Presley and Steve McQueen, and even came to be associated with both the mod and punk movement in the 1960s.
While the Harrington looks unassuming, that’s largely where its coolness lies — in its subtlety. Unlike the leather jacket, the Harrington is inconspicuous but still speaks volumes to those who know. And, admittedly, it’s an easier piece of outerwear to pull off, one that requires considerably less thought and effort.
Now in 2020, the Harrington is continually being updated in new colorways and fabrics, and even slightly altered silhouettes. But the overall aura remains the same.
So if you wanna look cool, but not too cool, a Harrington jacket is your best bet. Below you’ll find 10 of our favorite interpretations on the market, all equally cool.
J.Crew Cruiser Harrington Jacket
We would expect nothing less from J.Crew than to create a classic Harrington. Their version stays pretty true to the original, save for updates like the chambray lining and cotton-blend shell. If you’re at a loss for where to start when it comes to the style, look no further.
Bonobos The Harrington Jacket
Bonobos stays true to the original design of the Harrington, keeping the casual relaxed fit and updating the fabric to make it waster resistant. Wear it and look just like the dashing leading men of yesteryear.
Uniqlo Harrington Jacket
No one does basics better than Uniqlo, and that is proven once again with their take on the Harrington. It really needs no explanation, other than that at $50, you should get it.
Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Twill Jacket
It’s only natural that a brand as classic as Ralph Lauren would throw their hat into the Harrington game, and they did not disappoint. While it comes in other, more subtle colors (like grey, tan and navy) with a silhouette so streamlined, there’s no harm in going for a shade that’s a little more conspicuous, like Sistine Blue.
Suitsupply Dark Brown Bomber Jacket
Suitsupply’s take on the Harrington jacket offers a slightly more dressed up feel than most iterations, cut from pure wool sourced from the Vitale Barberis Canonico Mill and featuring a slim tailored fit.
Albam Linen Blend Harrington Jacket
If you’re looking for a Harrington Jacket that truly epitomizes spring not only in color but fabric, look no further than Albam’s linen version of the silhouette. The hemp mix slub from which the jacket is made will feel lighter than the usual cotton and nylon versions while also proving hardwearing and environmentally friendly. It’s a win win.
Everlane The Everyday Jacket
Somewhere in between a bomber and Harrington jacket, Everlane’s Everyday Jacket is primed for wear 24/7, as the name would suggest. The shell is made from the same fabric used for the brand’s Bomber Jacket, a water-resistant blend of cotton and recycled polyester that manages to combat inclement weather while looking handsome.
Baracuta The G9 Harrington Jacket
Baracuta’s G9 is as classic as it gets. They’re the brand that started it all, and their Harringtons are still the best of the best. If you really want to commit to the silhouette, this is where you start. And peep the classic tartan lining, that’s how you know it’s the real deal.
Brooks Brothers Vintage Bomber Jacket
I mean, how often do you come across a pink Harrington jacket? It doesn’t get more spring than this.
Fred Perry Reissues Made in England Harrington Jacket
Fred Perry is up there with Baracuta when it comes to making tried-and-true Harringtons. Another Harrington in an unexpected color, the pistachio green feels simultaneously 1960s mod and modern. It’s the perfect throwback, without feeling or looking dated.
We've put in the work researching, reviewing and rounding up all the shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories you'll need this season, whether it's for yourself of for gifting purposes. Sign up here for weekly style inspo direct to your inbox.
Suggested for you