Picking a jacket that can tackle the season’s many fluctuations is tricky. You need something that can provide you with protection from the rain and wind and also something that will not be too hot during balmier days. The options available for men tend to range from a hoodie to a leather or denim jacket.
However, there is a better option that will make you look stylish and protect you from the elements – the Baracuta G9 Harrington jacket. Here is a closer look at the jacket, what makes it as iconic, and the people who were seen wearing it.
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The Baracuta G9 Jacket: A brief history
Everyone from James Bond to the rock legends, street gangs, sports stars and movie icons have worn the Baracuta G9 jacket. This jacket is a British classic.
The brand Baracuta originated in Manchester in the 1930s and was created by John and Isaac Miller. After manufacturing raincoats for other brands like Burberry, the company became independent and created many outerwear pieces with unique designs, identified by their alphanumeric codename.
Why are they called G9 Jackets?
By 1937, they had made a short and waterproof zipper jacket for golfing. The design allows freedom of movement so the players can hit the ball without hassle. The Japanese call them the “swing jacket” but the company put a designated codename to it, G9 (G for Golf).
The lining on the jacket was not included until the following year after John Miller had asked the permission to use the Fraser tartan for the Chieftain of the Clan Fraser, Lord Lovat. The design of the tartan is a perfect complement to the jacket and a brilliantly stylish touch.
The famous jacket reached the American shores in the 1950s when celebrity golf enthusiasts wore the G9s like Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, and Bing Crosby. In a competition, McGregor introduced a similar jacket in 1947 called the “Drizzler,” it has James Dean as its famous wearer in the classic, “Rebel without a Cause.”
However, this proved to be an opportunity for the Baracuta G9 to broaden its appeal beyond the golf-set. There are many celebrities that have been seen wearing this jacket in movies, television shows and even off the camera. Many students of Ivy League colleges loved the jacket and it became a part of the preppy look. The design was perfect; informal but still sporty.
The Baracuta G9 has weathered many generations and remained popular until today. In the 1960s, it became part of the mod movement and a fixture of the iconic British look. Through the 70s, 80s, and 90s it was part of subcultures such as Punk, Ska, Scooter Boys, and many others. Many brit-pop artists favored them too.
Its popularity never waned among many social and socio-economic groups because of its rich history and design, stylishness and practicality. It is more associated with the counterculture and a favorite among musicians and rebels. Hosts of brands have adopted the design of the Harrington jacket and it became available in a wide price range. However, nothing comes close to the original Baracuta G9 model when it comes to fit and style.
Celebrities and the Baracuta G9
The defining moment for Baracuta G9 jacket arrived when in Elvis Presley wore them in the movie, “King Creole.” This scene instantly transformed the jacket from a sports item to a fashion must-have.
The name “Harrington” which became synonymous with Baracuta G9 jackets did not come about until the 1960s. According to Baracuta, the name originated from the American TV series in the 1960s, Peyton Place. One character of the series, Rodney Harrington played by Ryan O’Neal was always wearing the G9 jacket. John Simons, a menswear specialist, and Baracuta retailer promoted the jacket in 1969 as the “Rodney Harrington Jacket” which was shortened to “Harrington” as a generic term for the style.
The old-blue eyes, Frank Sinatra, one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, brought the G9 to the movies when he appeared in Assault on a Queen in 1966. He can be seen frequently wearing the jackets when golfing with his Brat Pack buddies.
Baracuta G9 achieved its legendary status when Steve McQueen appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1963. As the epitome of cool, McQueen often wears the Baracuta G9 in both his movies and personal life.
He was wearing a navy G9 in The Thomas Crown Affair in 1968 in the scene where he was flying a yellow glider. In this scene, he completed the look with cream-colored trousers, a chukka boots and his favorite pair of sunglasses. A look that Steve McQueen popularized.
Daniel Craig, the current James Bond seems to take inspiration from Steve McQueen’s stylebook as he is always spotted wearing Sand Baracuta G9 when off duty from the movies. He has not worn this iconic jacket on any of his James Bond movies.
Famous Musicians and the rest
After Elvis Presley, the list of musicians that have worn the G9 exploded. The list includes the jazz legends Chet Baker and Miles Davis, the rock god Eric Clapton, and the rival front men of the 1990s Britpop bands, Oasis and Blur, Liam Gallagher and Damon Albarn even The Modfather, Paul Weller. They all find the Harrington as the jacket to be the real classic, one that never goes out of style.
Another actor who took inspiration from Steve McQueen is Damien Lewis in the 2010 TV film Stolen. Here he is wearing a Baracuta jacket in navy with the tartan lining being shown off. It is not a Baracuta G9 without this classic lining.
Other artists who have donned the jacket in their movies are Superman (Christopher Reeve) during his off-duty, Jason Statham in all McQueen coolness in the Killer Elite (2011) and even in private, Armie Hammer in The Man from U.N.C.L.E was all McQueen wearing the Baracuta with the collar and red lining.
The stakes are high in fashion, but you cannot beat the classics. The Baracuta jackets are available in various fabrics and colors, so when you are considering purchasing a Harrington, you should only choose the Baracuta G9.