One of my favorite style periods is the late ’60s, when mods (you know, the little guys with the suits and the pills and the scooters) started opening the look up to more street-ready items. This more casual iteration of the traditional suited-and-booted Modernist aesthetic was sometimes called "Hard Mod." It was more about looking sporty and ready to go than trying to replicate the razor-sharp vibes of Miles Davis straight killing his slim suits circa 1962. More casual, but still super cool.
Along with the Fred Perry polo, one of the items that have crossed over from this culture is the Harrington, a waist-length jacket that usually comes with a plaid lining and fresh details like slanted pockets on the front and elastic bands on the cuffs and waist to give you some flexibility. Perfect for spring and summer nights, you say? Why yes! You are correct, sir.
If you want to be technical about it, the Harrington is the product of a company called Baracuta. They invented the jacket in the late 1930s and still produce them to this day. But the term has become universal parlance for a sort of casual, lightweight jacket that has two slanted pockets on the front that button closed. Peep this Elmo-colored bad boy from APC or this more understated normal dude–pleasing one from J. Crew. And then of course you have Supreme just straight punking everyone with their wild Ottoman-print version.
The great thing about these joints is that they look smart with pretty much everything: polos, oxford shirts, solid colored t-shirts, jeans, chinos, canvas shoes, brogues, whatever. A "universal donor" for flavor.
As always, the shoulders should fit nicely (not hanging off or constricting your back) and the sleeves should hit at the end of your wrist. If they are bunching up at the ends, the jacket is too big for you. Due to the tailoring, we do not recommend having any alterations made to these guys. Invest in a good one that slams off the rack and you are good to go.
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About the Author
Elliot Aronow is a tv personality, editor and music and style hustler living in New York City. He is the host/producer/editor/publisher of OUR SHOW with Elliot Aronow and the Co-Founder of music site RCRD LBL. All of his hair and opinions are his own. Follow Elliot on Twitter @youngelz.