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Harrington Jacket

post #1 of 94
Thread Starter 
So, I'm thinking of getting an Harrington Jacket. I don't have a lot of money, so I can either get the cheapest that I could find- Warrior Harrington Jacket from the UK for $50, or spend a little bit more and buy the Merc Harrington Jacket for $75, (if I can find one in a medium). Does anyone own one of these? How are they? What is the outside made of?
post #2 of 94
Ah, now you're speaking my sub-culture mate. This was covered in another thread here recently though on Baracuta (I've just been reminded by another reply if you want to go and read that as well).

I own a Merc, a Lonsdale, and a Camden Market special.

Purely quality wise i.e. material, feel, look, the Merc is by far the best.

Size wise, Mercs are cut small round the chest. The Camden market special is a better fit
The Lonsdale is ultra short.

Two things you have to remember with Harringtons:

1. The body is always cut short in relation to the chest size and arms, that is intentional, because that is the design of these old skinhead jackets. At most, a Harrington should just about reach your belt, no lower.

2. There are summer (lightweight) and winter (padded) Harringtons
My Merc and Lonsdale are lightweights and no good this time of year. My Camden Market £20 special is padded and with a scarf and track suit top (hoodie) still works well this time of year.

The outer material on Harringtons is whatever that slightly shiny cotton is called. They are not waterproof or even water resistant, so forget about that.
The tartan lining is usually brushed cotton.

A bit more on the sizing, My Lonsdale is an XXL and fits perfectly round the chest and arms, but doesn't even reach my belt, they're cut really really short

My Merc is also an XXL, I got that size as I wanted it roomier in the chest and a tad longer. Mercs are truer to size in length but cut tighter round the chest.

For exmaple my mate's XL Merc is too tight on me compared to my XL Camden Market

My Camden Market is an XL and fits well in all dimensions.

I've never owned a Warrior but I have friends who own them (one of whom incidentally used to work in Merc in Carnaby Street) and I've tried them on and like Lonsdale's they're cut on the very short side.

For looks and feel my advice is to go with the Merc, but like all things with Merc; suits. coats. shirts. jackets they are slightly smaller than stated size. So if you're a true medium or a skinny medium and you buy a medium you'll be okay.

But if you're a big medium go for the large.
One of my tall slim mates wears an XL merc and that fits well, but it isn't baggy on him.
And becasue of the length issue I always buy Harringtons a size up anyway.

This is a real sub-culture issue and hard to advise on if you've never tried a Harrington on.
Tell me your chest and waist size and height and I'll try to tell you what size you need.
post #3 of 94
sounds like any of these are a good bet, but I've seen a lot about the merc jacket lately-- besides, it looks very similar to the jacket Craig wears in Quantum of Solace, you could wear it with damn near anything I'll bet. I just spent $200 for a jacket that looks much the same as the merc, but in black cotton.
post #4 of 94
Baracuta also gives you the option of slim-fits and heaps of different colours, but might be a bit more pricey once you get it to the US.
post #5 of 94
Great post, Spirit of 69. Now I have to go back and check the fit of my Baracuta.
post #6 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinW View Post
Baracuta also gives you the option of slim-fits and heaps of different colours, but might be a bit more pricey once you get it to the US.

Justin, Merc have got more colours than you could shake a stick at.

One advantage with the Baracuta though is that it is at least a bit water repellant with a Teflon coating. Merc has some sort of coating too, like I mentioned before, but it ain't waterproof!

In my opinion, the three big disadvantages with Baracutas are:
1, The extraordinarily high price
2, The look - Baracutas because of the price were rarely the jacket that skinheads and other lads around town bought anyway, not after cheaper models came on the market anyway.

Anyway the price was only part of the reason another part of the reason was that Baracuta Harringtons have always bordered on "old rich American man's golfing jacket" they have that look and always have had.

That of course was the appeal initially on seeing Ryan O'Neill in one in Peyton Place as the wealthy Rodney Harrington (hence the name).

But street cred British skinheads and other kids soon ousted the rich and preppy American look. Other manufacturers have to varying degrees designed out details of that look for the youth market.

Aspects of the look I still don't like with Baracutas are the zip tag and the thinness of the material, plus the lack of padding.

Baracutas have always seemed too flimsy and fancy for my taste.


3, The open back vent at shoulder height on some models.
Lonsdale, Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, JL, Merc - none of them have open back vents. As for Warrior, I can't remember if it has or not.

Anyway that was my tuppence worth
post #7 of 94


For size, fit and cloth weigth comparison purposes:

Me with the boys at a ska and punk festival in Sweden last year. I'm wearing a padded Camden Market Harrington, keeps you warm and reasonably dry; and you can see the "fluffiness" of the padded lining . Henrik beside me is sporting traditional skinhead denim


And this is 6'4" Gary sitting opposite me at the same table in an XL unpadded Merc.


And this is Gary next day in another XL Merc.


And this is me sans Harrington eating lunch outside our 2 chalets on the first day of the 3 day festival. Anders beside me in a nice traditional Ben Sherman check and traditional quarter inch white backed braces, and green Levis StaPrest...he is the ultra-traditionalist, which is surprising as he's the baby of our crew at a mere 29 years old.



Some Chelsea skinheads in 1970. I knew a couple of these lads when I was working in Chelsea up to 96, they're all about 52-53 now (to my 47). This photo was taken in a street round the corner from my secondary school in Chelsea. NOTE: only one Harrington, one crombie, and one snide (as it was called, 2nd from left) I think they were either on their way to or from a Chelsea match.
post #8 of 94
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all the info guys, (especially Spirit of 69). Ok, let's get started:

Personally, I would prefer an unpadded because it does not usually get very cold down here. I also want something that is light and easy to put on or take off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirit of 69
The outer material on Harringtons is whatever that slightly shiny cotton is called.

Are you talking about Nylon? It's very smooth and makes a distinct noise when you rub it together.

I find that my other medium jacket fit's perfectly, though it is designed to be a bit tight. Should I just go for the large then?

I don't know my exact sizes though. I'm about 5'10" (I believe that's about 180cm) tall, and I wear size 32x30 jeans, however, I must were a belt with them or else they will slide off while I'm walking. Is there a difference between American measures and European measurements? For that matter, which one does Merc follow? Something else, too, my arms are kind of skinny, I'm a bit self conscious about wearing clothes with overly baggy sleeves because I think it looks bad. Of course it's not going to kill me, but this is personal preference.

The Baracuta, I believe, (I'm just going off of memory), cost about $300. It's way above my price range. Besides, I'd prefer very dark gray or I can settle with black so the variety of colors isn't a priority.

For the sizes, I can see that you all are much bigger than I. I'm defintally thinking either a M or L.

Anyways, here's the video that originally got me interested in Harringtons (it might be a bit distasteful for these forums): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSfHGEqmUDA. I really like the way the Harrington looks when it's unzipped.
post #9 of 94
Spirit - great pics, mate! Thanks for posting and for all the bloody brilliant Harrington info!

Inficius - FWIW Overstock were clearing-out cheap Ben Sherman Harringtons last month - might be worth a search to see if they have any left.
post #10 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinW View Post
Spirit - great pics, mate! Thanks for posting and for all the bloody brilliant Harrington info!

Inficius - FWIW Overstock were clearing-out cheap Ben Sherman Harringtons last month - might be worth a search to see if they have any left.

I found this: http://www.overstock.com/Clothing-Sh...1/product.html

Wow, that's quite a deal. Has anyone tried that brand?
post #11 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inficius View Post
Are you talking about Nylon? It's very smooth and makes a distinct noise when you rub it together.


Good God man,NO! I know the difference between cotton and nylon. Harringtons are made of cotton with a coating. Teflon apparently on the Baracutas

What's your chest size in inches? From your height, waist and I'm guessing at your weight a medium would be best, especially if you want the unzipped effect you mention, and I know that effect.

Also do you want a traditional British "street" (a euphemism for skinhead )colour? Or do you want a specific colour that you fancy.
If you want a traditional colour go with black, burgundy, cream/beige, navy, brown, or sky blue. Anything else was rare on British skins in the 70s.
post #12 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirit of 69 View Post
Good God man,NO! I know the difference between cotton and nylon. Harringtons are made of cotton with a coating. Teflon apparently on the Baracutas

Glad to see, because I don't like nylon.
post #13 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirit of 69 View Post
Also do you want a traditional British "street" (a euphemism for skinhead )colour? Or do you want a specific colour that you fancy.
If you want a traditional colour go with black, burgundy, cream/beige, navy, brown, or sky blue. Anything else was rare on British skins in the 70s.

Or red like James Dean wore in Rebel Without a Cause or tan like he wore in East of Eden.
post #14 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inficius View Post
Anyways, here's the video that originally got me interested in Harringtons (it might be a bit distasteful for these forums): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSfHGEqmUDA. I really like the way the Harrington looks when it's unzipped.

eerrrmmm.....from what I can see from the poor quality of that video I can tell you that that isn't a standard/proper Harrington. The collar on that is a stand-up collar only, it can't be folded down. You can see that by the tabs that are far too short to make a fold down collar. And also it seems to be either silk or satin. The tartan lining is also unlike any other Harrington lining I've ever seen. The standard Harrington lining uses much smaller checks.Also the cuffs seemed to be a different colour to the jacket. I've seen these "almost" Harringtons in Sweden as well with their silk outer material ...don't be fooled and enticed by them my friend.
However, it is probably a Baracuta because I know they do a whole range of variations on the theme, inlcuding one in cashmere of all things!

But you have to ask yourself one question, do I want the British 70s street and 90s Brit-pop look? or do I want to look like George Bush Sr or Frank Sinatra on the golf course? (Both Baracuta wearers) As mentioned in an earlier post.


If the answer is the former then buy a Merc, a Warrior, a Sherman, or a Lonsdale.
If it's the latter buy a Baracuta.
post #15 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inficius View Post
I found this: http://www.overstock.com/Clothing-Sh...1/product.html

Wow, that's quite a deal. Has anyone tried that brand?


Looking at that I realised what the shells on my Harringtons are made from, cotton and polyester of course.

So I just went and had a look at my biege Merc and its 60% cotton 40% poly shell. 100% cotton lining. And I always thought it was a 100% shell as well.

That is a good deal. I've never tired a Sherman Harrington on so I can't help you regarding size. But everything else by Ben Sherman is cut smaller than average for the size stated. So a medium Sherman should fit you nicely if you are indeed a skinny git And those Sherman Harringtons look good.
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