The first Harrington-style jackets were made in the 1930s.
The jacket got the nickname “Harrington” from a character in the 1960s prime time soap opera, Peyton Place. The character in question, Rodney Harrington (played by Ryan O’Neal), is often depicted in a Harrington jacket. Steve McQueen and Frank Sinatra were photographed wearing Harrington-style jackets in films and their personal lives.
The jacket became fashionable in the United Kingdom in the 1960s among Mods and skinheads.
This is when the birth of the Combat Harrington jacket, with a small factory in Camden Town, was introduced. From then on, this was the go to place in North London for the Mod, skinheads etc style, including Harrington Jackets, Brutus shirts, DM boots and so on.
They enjoyed a resurgence in the late 1970s and early 1980s with skinhead and mod revivalists, as well as old and new fans of Northern soul and scooter boys. Within those subcultures, Harringtons are often worn with a Brutus shirt.
In France, HARRINGTON has been a registered trademark since 1985.
In Canada and the USA, this style and fabric type of lightweight jacket has traditionally been referred to for well over half a century by most shoppers as the quintessential “spring jacket”.