The Key Elements of the Harrington Jacket (and 2 Ways to Wear It)

Photos by Mark David // Styling, modeling and words by Adam Gonon

It’s the middle of summer and you’re getting ready to head out to meet some friends for lunch. As you’re checking the weather app on your phone, you find that the temperature outside is in the low 70s with a light breeze that makes it feel more like the low 60s – which means you’ll need a jacket.

Harrington Jacket

While you could gravitate toward your closet where you’ve stored away your autumn/winter clothes and take out that field jacket or tweed blazer you picked up last year, you’re in the mood for something different – something a bit edgier, yet still classic.

Something lightweight, yet still substantial and not prone to excessive wrinkling. Something warm, but not as heavy as your lambskin leather jacket. This brings up a reason, among others, why you should have a Harrington Jacket on hand.

The Harrington Jacket

Whether it is for a weekend stroll to your favorite brunch spot or an evening out with friends, the Harrington jacket is a cool and stylish companion for any situation.

Harrington Jacket over shoulder

In this article, we will discuss the key elements of the Harrington Jacket and sharing a few thoughts on how you should be styling the classically cool piece.

Key Elements

The Harrington jacket is a waist-length, lightweight, and breathable jacket, which makes it a perfect option for spring and summer layering.

Characterized by a tartan interior lining and other signature details like its double buttoned collar, two-way zipper, button-fasted slanted front pockets, and ribbed trimming at the cuff and hem, the Harrington Jacket maintains a minimal yet functional design and gives off a cool, laid-back vibe.

Peter Manning NYC Harrington Jacket

As it is thin and lightweight, yet still warm, the jacket is arguably a three to four season piece, which is an added bonus when considering that every piece you add to your wardrobe should be one which you can use across multiple situations and get plenty of wears out of.

A Brief History of the Harrington Jacket

Like so many other iconic menswear styles like the three-piece suit, the trench coat, and riding coats, the Harrington Jacket has Great Britain to thank for its origin. It was developed in Manchester, England in the 1930s and gained massive popularity during the 1950s and 1960s.

James Dean wearing Harrington Jacket

Leading men like James Dean wore them in movies like “Rebel Without a Cause” and countless frontmen of British bands in the 60s and beyond have counted on the Harrington Jacket as a wardrobe staple.

With a history like that, it is easy to see why countless leading men in Hollywood and daily life have gravitated toward this jacket to create a casual yet smart look and why the Harrington Jacket is considered an essential piece in any stylish man’s wardrobe today.

How to Wear a Harrington Jacket

For a more laid back and dressed down look, we’d recommend pairing the jacket with a simple white tee shirt and lightweight chinos. Here, we’ve styled the navy Harrington with our Tyler Pocket T-Shirt in White and our Lightweight Stretch Chinos in Grey.

Casual Harrington Jacket outfit

For footwear, throw on your favorite white sneakers and don’t forget staple summer accessories like these brown tortoise shell sunglasses and a minimal silver cuff bracelet. Add your favorite watch to finish off the look and you’re ready to head out the door!

Dress It Up

While the Harrington Jacket lent to the cool and casual looks popularized by musicians like Elvis Presley in the late 1950s, the piece is versatile and can also be styled to exude a polished, more dressed up look.

For a dressier look, we’d recommend wearing the Harrington jacket in the same manner that you would wear a blazer. A dress shirt, lightweight trousers, and polished loafers will do the trick when wearing this jacket as part of a smart ensemble in these warmer months.

Dressy Harrington Jacket outfit

Here, we’ve styled the navy Harrington with our Weekend Oxford Shirt in White, Grey Essex Dress Pants, and a few our favorite brown leather loafers with no-show socks.

The Double Zipper

While the jacket looks great worn open, we think it’s worn best when styled taking full advantage of the dual zippers. To highlight the streamlined and well-fitted cut of our Harrington, we’d recommend zipping the top zipper up 25 or 75 percent of the way up, to either mimic the same V-shaped opening a sports jacket or V-neck sweater might produce.

As for the bottom zipper, we’d recommend experimenting from not zipping it up at all to within a few inches, allowing the jacket to open up at the bottom of the torso, which can subtly reveal a belt (should you decide to wear one).

Here at Peter Manning, the Harrington jacket is currently available in Navy, Stone, Olive Green, and Tan and, aside from having all of the characteristics of the classic Harrington, comes with our signature proper sleeve and body length.

Click here to check out the PMNYC Harrington Jacket