The Harrington jacket is a classic design, which has been reimagined by most menswear brands out there. Each claiming to bring modern performance to a classic style jacket. I wanted one badly, and so I started looking, and decided to get the one I wanted, the original, the classic Baracuta G9.
In looking at how to size this jacket, and which color to pick, I learned that this wasn’t just cotton. In fact, it was originally made to be a performance jacket. I bought it not thinking of reviewing it here, but after wearing it and owning it for a while, we need to talk about it — because I am completely unsure why anyone thinks this is not a performance jacket.
It was made for the tough golf outings on a rainy and windy day. Something that allowed you move (swing a club) while keeping you warm and dry. Yeah, shocked me too…
I figured this was going to be something all cotton, that’s what it looked like. But I was surprised to learn it is a 50-50 Cotton-Poly make up. The inner lining is Coolmax brand cotton-poly as well. What I find most interesting is the weight, despite looking heavy, it wears very light with excellent venting. You won’t find this great in Houston outside of winter, but I could see myself wearing this most summer evenings/nights back in the Pacific Northwest.
The material itself does wrinkle a touch when pressed and packed. However in most wear the wrinkles fall out and the jacket always looks sharp. The hand feel on the jacket is near perfect. With it mostly feeling like a strong cotton, and cotton always feels the best.
Fit and Style
Perhaps the two most iconic jackets a man can wear are the Trucker (jean jacket) and the Bomber jacket. But, that’s likely because most men simply don’t know what this style of jacket is called, Harrington. It often gets grouped up with Bomber jackets, and has been a staple of menswear and style since it arrived on the seen in the late 1930s. Made iconic by people like James Dean and many others in Hollywood.
There are two fits to this jacket: classic and archive/authentic (they keep changing the name). Classic fits slimmer, archive/authentic boxier. Either is fine. James Dean wore it loose, James Bond wears it slimmer. I went with the classic cut, and it looks amazing. Rarely does something bring a smile to my face the moment I put it on, but this did.
The sizing can be a bit tricky. They size in European sizes, but I found their online size guide to be spot on. They list a US Large as a 44, and that’s what I ordered. It fits perfectly.
This was always designed to be a high quality performance jacket. Here’s how Sven Raphael Schneider at Gentleman’s Gazette explains it:
It was therefore no surprise that initially it became extremely popular among golfers, as it was designed to keep the rain away from the wearer without compromising appearance. The angled flap pockets were ideal for keeping golf balls and its elasticised waist and wrists allowed for a free swing of the arms. There was also an element of ventilation in its design that made it ideal for sports in general. In fact, the “G” in the name designation stands for golf, and the Japanese named it a “swing jacket” because it was worn on the golf course.
I am amazed that this jacket performs as well as it does for understated materials. The jacket has decent venting and decent water repellency. I cannot imagine using it in heavy rain for long periods of time, nor would I want to wear it when the temps get above 75°F. That said, water beads off nicely, and the jacket does offer breathability.
Where I think this jacket really excels is in mobility. The cut of this jacket allows for a lot of movement. You can drive without the sleeves tugging back, and yes you can most certainly swing a golf club easily while wearing it. And yet it works with jeans and a t-shirt, all the way to business casual.
This is my favorite jacket I own, I love it, and I want more. It is not cheap, at $390 retail it really is out there, but I think the quality of the jacket speaks for itself. And it is telling that even at that price, I will likely buy another.
There are a lot of colors for this jacket, and so let me tell you why I selected ‘natural’ as my jacket: it contrasts almost all my pants the best. Basically the best advice I read was to look at the pants color you wear the most, and select the color jacket that will look best with those. I only own one pair of khaki pants, so the choice was easy for me. Navy, Black, Natural, and Green are the go to colors for this jacket, so use that as a starting point. I will say James Bond wears black, James Dean wore red… so to each his own — they all look amazing.
This jacket is a classic for a reason, recommended.