THE BEST HARRINGTON JACKET WEARERS OF ALL TIME
While fashion is unpredictable, style certainly isn’t. The pendulum always swings back sooner or later, and after seasons of the MA-1 bomber jacket dominating the menswear landscape, it’s its genetic cousin the Harrington that’s getting noticed again.
If you’re not familiar, a Harrington is similar to a bomber - with a trim, half-fitted, half-boxy shape owing to its ribbed hem and cuffs - but defined by a flicked-up funnel collar and angled, buttoned pockets. The jackets often include a seam of tartan along the placket, horn buttons and raglan sleeves - the most iconic colours being beige, navy, and black.
It’s said that the angled, deep pockets were designed to hold golf balls, but whether or not that’s true, it became associated with the golf course first before being adopted by Mods and punks. The nickname actually comes via actor Ryan O’Neal, who wore it on 60s US soap Peyton Place in-character as Rodney Harrington. This fact wasn’t lost on J. Simons, a menswear retailer in Covent Garden, who brought it back to the UK as part of a preppy revival look and wrote the name ‘Harrington’ on the tags in the window.
So here’s our update of this most iconic of pieces: the Corinthian Watson Jacket’s collar was inspired by a 1930s image of a groundsman’s boilersuit (as he filled the mugs of the players up with tea from his flask at half-time) and the traditional Fraser tartan lining has been replaced by a swatch of Watson tartan, a sartorial nod to former Corinthian and Scotland captain Andrew Watson – the world’s first black international footballer, fielded 10 years before the first professional.
Shop it here, and find our four best-dressed Harrington wearers of all time below…
We get it; saying Paul Newman looks cool is like saying that Margaritas and guacamole (or mozzarella and tomatoes, or… we got sidetracked) is a good combo. But here we are. There’s no discussing the Harrington without mentioning Steve McQueen, but we like to think Newman – with his white socks, skinny chinos and suede Harrington – mastered the ultimate way to wear it.
Newman, of course, is also the perfect embodiment of the Corinthian Spirit - establishing his food company as a not-for-profit and giving the earnings back to educational charities, he showed that good style and doing good is the perfect combination.
For those that think of Elvis’ later, rhinestone-clad days, just look at the picture below. Not only was young Elvis damned good looking, with fantastic hair, you could easily mistake him in the below garb for any well-dressed 2017 hipster.
Embracing the casual side of the jacket, the slouchiness is the perfect foil for a more relaxed, open-necked shirt and the Harrington’s flipped-up collar doesn’t dare to interfere with the shirt’s own one.
Well, what did you expect? Dean made the red Harrington absolutely his own in Rebel Without A Cause; it’s as much a signature as those white T-shirts.
It works because of the slightly looser, shrugged-on qualities of the jacket, plus the flicked collar, almost comically significant as being a sign of rebellion at this point, but we’ll be damned: it still works.
Sammy Davis Jr.
While he’s better known for wearing suits, this shot of one of the Rat Pack’s best-dressed members shows just why the Harrington works so well. It’s got that trim, sporty but still sartorial line worn over a shirt plus the flipped collar looks so damn insouciant. While SDJ was rarely pictured wearing one again, this one shot is an instant reminder why the jacket remains timeless and why you shouldn’t make the same mistake.
Shop the Corinthian Watson Jacket now.