It’s that time again: the winter winds are dispersing, the clouds are parting and the sun is beginning to shine – it’s officially spring. But knowing the British climate, we can’t rely on a multitude of scorching months and the sultry summer sun to keep us warm. Enter this season’s must-own jacket: the Harrington.

Icons such as Steve McQueen, Elvis and James Dean brought them to our attention, while mod culture helped cement their timeless status. Several decades on and the Harrington has been revived and tweaked for the modern, style-conscious male.

Versions of this classic outerwear silhouette are currently dominating high street collections after making their presence felt at SS14 fashion week previews. Today we take a look at the season’s key styles and explore how to wear one in a contemporary way…

On The Runway: SS14

The Harrington was a popular choice at London Collections: Men SS14 with Orlebar Brown and Christopher Raeburn, in particular, putting their own unique spin on a vintage design.

Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown’s latest collection mixed work and play: functional jackets were given a sporty twist and teamed with sweats to provide the perfect balance of style and comfort.

Harringtons came in khaki, white, maroon and navy colour ways, complete with sports-inspired tipped cuffs and hems, while the rest of the brand’s SS14 presentation included an array of pastel blazers, classic polo shirts and zesty orange shorts.

The overall feel of the range was extremely preppy – the outfits oozed a level of gentlemanly sophistication that is often associated with Ivy League and Riviera aesthetics. The Harrington offered a gentle juxtaposition of styles, with the sorbet shades coming to life when combined with the simplicity of the jacket:

Orlebar Brown SS14 Harringtons

Christopher Raeburn

Renowned for his contemporary adaptations of the parka, Christopher Raeburn can be thought of as a modern day outerwear specialist. The designer continues to produce delectable designs season after season, featuring a palatable array of coats that have the ability to transcend through time.

For his SS14 collection, Raeburn took inspiration from World War II and produced a desert-inspired uniform of dusky shades, buttery creams and military khakis. An army of jackets cascaded down the runway, ranging from bombers and field jackets to sharp blazer and parka combinations.

However, the stand out piece was a printed Harrington. Raeburn reinvented the silhouette for the contemporary man by applying an all-over lizard motif, which helped introduce a unique, trend-led element to an all-time classic.

This jacket would be perfect for the statement-maker who is looking to turn heads:

Christopher Raeburn SS14 Printed Harrington Jacket

Get The Look: Outfit Inspiration

It’s important to remember that the high fashion runways are intended to be theatrical and present the most extreme version of any trend. We’re not expecting you to down your Friday night pint with a lizard sprawled across your back (unless that’s your thing, then by all means work that reptile).

By the time similar styles hit the high street they have often been watered down and are far more accessible/wearable.

With this in mind, here’s how we propose styling your Harrington for SS14:

1. White Hot

Inject a touch of summer into your look by teaming a Harrington with white trousers. Although the majority of men are more inclined to fill their wardrobes with denim and neutral slacks, this season it’s time to be brave and add white legwear to your collection, whether in the form of chinos, jeans or a timeless tailored pair.

The Harrington traditionally comes in dark, neutral colour ways, so white is the perfect shade to contrast and brighten up the aesthetic. For an all-over monochrome feel, recently advocated in our SS14 style boosts article, invest in a black version and team with another warm-weather classic, the Breton stripe t-shirt.

Finish off the look with tan loafers and a matching leather satchel:

  • Topman White Breton Stripe T-shirtTopman White Breton Stripe T-shirt
  • Lyle & Scott Vintage Harrington JacketLyle & Scott Vintage Harrington Jacket
  • He By Mango Premium Poplin ChinosHe By Mango Premium Poplin Chinos
  • Topman Dune Tan Leather Penny Loafers Topman Dune Tan Leather Penny Loafers
2. Keep It Classic

Nod to fifties culture and team your Harrington with a white tee and stonewash jeans.

If you really want to evoke the charm of the 1950s, channel James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause and pick a striking red version. Not only is red on trend for SS14, it’s a sure-fire way to ensure you don’t blend in with a sea of navy jackets and beige macs.

Finish by giving the outfit an edgy, rockabilly-inspired twist with a pair of black work boots (or loafers for a preppy, seasonally-appropriate feel). Now all you have to do is stick up your collar and work on that gravity-defying pompadour:

  • River Island White Crew Neck T-shirtRiver Island White Crew Neck T-shirt
  • Ben Sherman Dawn Red Classic HarringtonBen Sherman Dawn Red Classic Harrington
  • Topman Dirty Stone Washed Stretch Slim JeansTopman Dirty Stone Washed Stretch Slim Jeans
  • Allsaints Snare BootAllsaints Snare Boot
3. Sharp & Tailored

If the casual look isn’t for you, try teaming your Harrington with a pair of lightweight tailored trousers.

If you opt for a darker jacket, keep your trousers light – think tan shades and summery creams.

Alternatively, try combining your staple grey/navy trousers with a brighter jacket. Many brands are now producing Harringtons in striking pastel shades and primary colours, which make an effortless statement, while khaki and camel versions are undeniably classic.

If you go down the coloured Harrington route, keep the rest of the outfit simple – team with neutral suede lace-ups and a plain Oxford shirt for a look that’s both sharp and on trend:

  • Asos Oxford Shirt In Blue With Long SleevesAsos Oxford Shirt In Blue With Long Sleeves
  • Ben Sherman Navy Classic HarringtonBen Sherman Navy Classic Harrington
  • Reiss Aspley Lightweight Formal Trousers StoneReiss Aspley Lightweight Formal Trousers Stone
  • Burton Brown Suede BroguesBurton Brown Suede Brogues
  • Gant Rugger Oxford ShirtGant Rugger Oxford Shirt
  • Baracuta G9 OriginalBaracuta G9 Original
  • Reiss Stratton Smart Button Chinos NavyReiss Stratton Smart Button Chinos Navy
  • Church Downton Suede Micro BroguesChurch Downton Suede Micro Brogues
Alternative Lookbook Inspiration

From business-casual and mod-inspired to sports luxe and preppy, the Harrington is an extremely versatile jacket that will slot seamlessly into your current everyday style.

Able to be dressed up or down, it has become a modern day essential – as the lookbook below proves:

Men's Harrington Jacket Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

unknownnewman ss14crombie ss14lacoste aw12jigsaw ss14Aquascutum ss11burton ss14gant ss14unknownharry stedmanjaeger ss14mj bale ss12digel ss13reiss ss13ted baker ss13
The Baracuta G9

The original, definitive and most iconic Harrington in the world is the G9 from Baracuta. First produced in the 1930s, it was the G9 that earned this style of jacket the nickname ‘Harrington’, due to it being worn by the character Rodney Harrington in the 1960s soap opera Peyton Place.

Today, Baracuta still produce the G9 original in both classic and seasonal colours, from a variety of fabrics including cotton and premium suede. Original features include a Fraser tartan lining, back yoke, collar buttons, front buttoned pockets and elasticated cuffs and hem.

A true menswear icon, the Baracuta G9 is still widely considered the pinnacle of Harrington design:

  • G9 OriginalG9 Original
  • G9 OriginalG9 Original
  • Oiled Leather G9Oiled Leather G9
  • G9 OriginalG9 Original
  • Suede Original G9Suede Original G9
  • G9 OriginalG9 Original
  • Oiled Leather G9Oiled Leather G9
  • G9 OriginalG9 Original
  • G9 ShipsG9 Ships
Alternative Styles

Other key brands to consider would be classic English heritage labels – especially those with close ties to mod style – such as Ben Sherman, Ted Baker, Fred Perry, Paul Smith and Pretty Green.

Elsewhere, the high street offers affordable options in a multitude of classic and contemporary colour ways, along with printed versions for those looking to stand out from the crowd or add variety to their existing collection:

  • Vintage Renewal Harrington JacketVintage Renewal Harrington Jacket
  • Merc Harrington JacketMerc Harrington Jacket
  • Lyle & Scott Vintage Harrington JacketLyle & Scott Vintage Harrington Jacket
  • Vintage Renewal Harrington Jacket In Light BlueVintage Renewal Harrington Jacket In Light Blue
  • Vintage Renewal Harrington Jacket In GreenVintage Renewal Harrington Jacket In Green
  • Jaeger Check Bailey Reversible JacketJaeger Check Bailey Reversible Jacket
  • Ben Sherman Duke Street Foundry Harrington JacketBen Sherman Duke Street Foundry Harrington Jacket
  • Ted Baker Lorrien Printed Cotton JacketTed Baker Lorrien Printed Cotton Jacket
  • Pretty Green Red Kingsway HarringtonPretty Green Red Kingsway Harrington
  • Ben Sherman Classic HarringtonBen Sherman Classic Harrington
  • Pretty Green Stone Kingsway HarringtonPretty Green Stone Kingsway Harrington
  • Reiss Ricco Modern Harrington Jacket CreamReiss Ricco Modern Harrington Jacket Cream
  • Next Harrington JacketNext Harrington Jacket
  • Fred Perry Drakes Lined Tonic Harrington JacketFred Perry Drakes Lined Tonic Harrington Jacket
  • Burton Burgundy Harrington JacketBurton Burgundy Harrington Jacket
Final Word

With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to ditch your trusty parka and replace it with something much more summer-friendly. The Harrington is an iconic and versatile silhouette that will adapt to any aesthetic and slot seamlessly into your existing wardrobe.

So, whether you want to keep it simple with a classic neutral version or embrace summer with a vibrant pastel colour way, there’s a Harrington for you this season.