Got your sta press trousers on? How about your Ben Sherman shirt and Dr Marten Boots? Harrington jackets were popular with the skinhead brigade in the 1970s and also the later Mod revival. These smart waist length lightweight jackets were made of cotton or polyester and came in a variety of colours. They were the type of jacket your mum would call a windcheater. The brightly coloured check or tartan lining was an important part of the appeal.
The Harrington jacket was not a new invention. This jacket, also called a G9 has been manufactured by a British clothing company Grenfall of Lancashire and Baracuta of Stockport since the 1930s. It first came on the fashion scene when Elvis Presley wore one in the 1958 film King Creole. The jacket gets its name because it was later worn in the TV soap Peyton Place in the 60s by lead character Rodney Harrington (Ryan O’Neill) and the name just stuck.
By the 70s, the Harrington jacket was in fashion. The skinheads with their attraction to classic clothing brands such as the Crombie coat and the Ben Sherman shirt embraced the jacket wholeheartedly. Smart, functional sharp and worn by both sexes, the Harrington jacket was a vital part of the skinhead outfit in the early 70s.
By the late 70s, the Harrington was back again and being worn in the Mod Revival as well as the skinhead punk scene, which featured bands such as Sham 69.
Harrington jackets are still being made by the same company and have been supported by some of the major fashion houses in the world including Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren. It only goes to show that not everything in the 70s was lacking in style and sophistication.