Today Baracuta, maker of the iconic G9 jacket, announced it has drawn the zipper on a new website with ecommerce features as well as a generous dose of brand heritage. Baracuta was founded in England in 1937 and is currently owned by the Bologna-based company WP Lavori In Corso, which is currently planning a flagship retail store in London, plus Baracuta shops in other major cities.
During the Ivy heyday the Baracuta jacket entertained a certain popularity on campus, as this 1960 ad from the Yale Daily News shows:
Its cultural exposure was much broader, however, as both James Dean and Elvis popularized similar jackets on film. And the models in the new Baracuta promo video are certainly a far cry from ’60s-era Yalies. In fact, in its native England, the jacket had a strong association with skinheads in the ’70s and ’80s.
But much of its original popularity back home goes to patron saint of English Ivy John Simons, who nicknamed the jacket the “Harrington,” after the character Rodney Harrington on the TV series “Peyton Place.” Harrington was played by Ryan O’Neal, who would go on to introduce Main Street America to the concept of a “preppy” in the 1970 movie “Love Story.”
Oddly enough, a Google Image search for “Ryan O’Neal Peyton Place” turns up only one grainy screenshot of O’Neal wearing the jacket, and it comes from a British retro fashion site. Perhaps he only wore it in one episode?
A more detailed exploration of the jacket’s revered place among English Ivy fans comes from this article from The Sabotage Times (whose clever motto, no doubt aimed at bored desk jockeys, is “We can’t concentrate, so why should you?”):
In the early fifties the G9 was exported to the US only for celebrity golfers such as Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Ronald Reagan to swan about in, while the Ivy League Fraternity – who seemed in a terrible rush to look like their golf-loving dads – made it their own. But it wasn’t until 1958, when Elvis Presley teamed the item with brilliantine and attitude in the movie King Creole that it crossed over to Main Street and became a much-copied American staple. “Elvis always floated between Ivy League style and serious fashion,” attests shop owner and style monger John Simons – the man responsible for popularizing the item in the UK via his trendsetting stores. “The Baracuta came in some great colors and how Elvis wore it was called the Jivey Ivy which was Ivy League with a twist. After that almost every clothing company in the US copied it.”
Today J. Press sells an English-made Baracuta for $395:
And here are some other Tradsville personalities you might recognize wearing the jacket, such as “Oxford Cloth Button Down“:
And Joe from An Affordable Wardrobe:
Even Clark Kent though they were super:
Now it’s time to find out what you think. — CC
Does “Jivey Ivy” actually exist, or is it about as real as “trad”?
Not a huge fan. But Anything to resurrect some Anglophilia.
If they bring back the classic raglan raincoat with a tartan (I’ll suggest Dress Gordon), I’m all aboard.
The Harrington jacket in general is very useful in the fall and spring (and for playing golf I guess) but spending triple digits on a “Baracuta” brand one when almost every thrift store in the country has loads of decent knock-offs produced over the years (I have a very nice Lacoste one) for $5 or less is nuts.
It’s just not an attractive or practical coat. Odd, cropped body. Long, slouchy sleeves and awkward pockets and collar…..and a very strange feel to the outer shell given the teflon coating.
Interesting, J. Crew had been selling an ‘updated’ one with a slimmer, longer body that was almost nice looking…..but, don’t think they offer it any more. There’s was English made and $275….not sure why J. Press’s is $400…
Always loved this jacket style for a casual look. This is a timeles classic jacket, although now qiute a costly one.
Anyone out there remember either or both, the “Peters and London Fog” golf style jacket versions, that were very similar to this Baracuta G9 jacket? Both were made of a more poly/cotton poplin material.
I always had to have either or both a “bone white” Peters or a “white” London Fog. Wish they would both consider re-issuing them someday! However, I’m not sure if the company that manufactured the Peters jacket, is even in existence anymore.
There also was the G-4 model which was longer & did not have knitted cuffs & bottom. Never heard of “Peters” bradnd-who was the mfr? Back in the 60’s one shop in State College PA sold “Baracuta” and the closest competitor sold “London Fog” [which in my opinion was inferior to “Baracuta”]; after the shop closed the other shop switched to selling “Baracuta” which by then was using “Four Climes” name because of Phillips-Van Husen’s use of the “Baracuta” name in the USA to mfr a very inferior product. In the 1960s in my hometown of McKeesport PA 2 shops, later 3, sold the English made “Baracuta” G-9 & G-4. My first was $18.50.
Hey, Christian, looky what they established:
Forgive me if my memory fails, but the Peter’s jacket was similar, buttoned cuffs and unlined. Most of our G9 experience is with the G9 was the Van Heusen licensed Baracuta. In the sixties, who didn’t own one or both in many colors?
Polo did some very good knock-offs in the 70s, as did Inverness.
You mean “established an aesthetic model…”?
I actually used “aesthetic” in conversation last week. It was with a menswear guy, so I apologized for it, though I thought it apropos in context.
When I first started to get interested in Ivy, the first things I bought were a navy and burgundy rep tie, khakis, a white ocbd, and a baracuta…
If you had written that it was $100, my reaction would have been “over-priced”.
4 times that? I don’t think so.
I am indifferent myself, but $400 is steep. I believe $400 would cover the cost of a Barbour.
Growing up and into college, I wore similar jackets by Sir Jac. Sadly, Sir Jac went under in the 80s or 90s. Recently, the brand was resurrected, and they are producing retro/repro jackets, but not yet the same model I loved as a young man.
They’re a great casual jacket, but $400? Holy. Ruminating. COW.
I agree with everyone who thinks that the price is a bit steep. Luckily, I picked the one that I am pictured wearing for $1.50 at a thrift store. It was a good day. Now if I could just find one in navy or one in khaki.
One more day wearing that jacket is one less day for me to be sporting my preference….. a blue blazer.
If I’m investing in a jacket treated to deflect drizzle/full on rain, I am not stopping at my waist, I’m going full trench coat.
I bought a Tan G9 two years ago direct from Baracuta. I didn’t think the price was too outrageous, as I am quite certain it will last me the rest of my days. I like it well enough that I will probably be getting a Navy one as well.
I am very particular when it comes to quality and was quite impressed with the jacket’s construction. There were no hanging threads anywhere, the seams have a very high thread-per-inch count and all stitching was straight as an arrow on both jackets that I received (I ordered a regular and a slim fit and returned the slim.)
Unfortunately, the off-white (bone?) version as shown on Steve McQueen doesn’t seem to be offered of late.
Seems the G9 Baracuta J.Press offers is the original all cotton shell, not the poly-cotton shell offered on the Baracuta web site. The old VH Baracutas were poly-cotton shell, less expensive and came in more colors.
The London Fog version was extremely popular in my little high school, mid-1960s, with some Peters. Don’t recall the term “Baracuta” from then. Never got all that cold in SE NC, so the jacket was useful Fall through Spring. The generic term was “windbreakers”
Grenfell offers a similar jacket. They’re smart enough to offer the longer version (raglan raincoat) as well.
Funny, the first page of the website is dominated by ads featuring the raincoat.
The umbrella-shaped back yoke is a feature of this made-in-England mac:
The new Baracuta’s are poly-cotton. The company is now owned by the same Italian group that bought Barbour a few years. The business plan is the same – lower quality and higher prices.
The J Press product could be old stock before the takeover. Under the previous owner, all G9s and G4s (including the Romanian cheapies) had 100% cotton outer shells.
The current poly-cotton G9 costs £100 more than last year’s 100% cotton version. Yet poly-cotton copies, also with Fraser tartan linings, are available in London and other cities for £35.
I am boycotting the Baracuta brand in the hope that it fails and returns to British ownership.
The best golf jacket I ever had was made by MacGregor, the golf club company. I got it in the late 1960’s. It was the tan with the tartan lining, with button cuffs. I wore it into the late 1970’s. Wore like iron and cost around $10. The outer shell was the softest I’ve ever had in a golf jacket. I recall getting it dry cleaned at first, before it got a little worn, then just washed it.
I’ve been wearing traditional golf jackets all my life. The latest ones I bought are Claiborne, bought at Macy’s about 5 years ago. I think they were about $ 100 for two. A synthetic microfiber, made in Vietnam, however, they seem very well made.
$400 for a golf jacket, nice but nuts. Had a London Fog golf jacket too, they were called windbreakers in the old days.
I looked at the J Press jacket @ $400 but it is not a “Baracuta” brand but probably the Grenfell version. I recall that at one time within the past 9-10 years seeing an actual G-9 for sale in J Press New Haven store. The J Crew version was cut quite slim & was not “Made in England”. I ordered one but returned it. The “original Baracuta” was treated cotton so I hope that has not changed. As to the Phillips-Van Husen, it was a poor quality imitation so I bought the made in England Four Climes which was the same as the original Baracuta except for the name.
Not for me, it has too strong and unpleasant associations. The windbreaker version – unlined, button cuffs, flapless pocket -, I’d gladly wear one. Unfortunately these just don’t exist in Europe and they hard to find on the Internet because they haven’t got a name.
This jacket makes me recall those nasty 1980s “member’s only” jackets that hipsters have brought back in fashion as of late. No thanks.
I was waiting for someone to mention the McGregor Drizzler, a G9 look-alike made for many years.
A few years ago, Restoration Hardware (of all places) was closing them out, and I bought four, two tan and two navy blue, for 15 bucks each. I’m still wearing just the first one. They look great.
Maybe, just maybe, if you just glance and don’t look, if you’re squinting, and your eyesight is bad, then perhaps a Baracuta-style jacket looks just the slightest bit like a Members Only jacket.
I’d still wear a nice Baracuta (or, better yet, Sir Jac) if I could get my hands on one at a reasonable price.
A classic since 1937 and always will be! I have six – natural, British tan, fraser green, navy blue, red, and BLACK!
The last forever, fit like a glove, and my real ones make it laugh at all the cheapsskates in their Walmart Wannabe “Classics”.
Classic (G9..four Climes Harrington) Only chioce for Sping and Fall. Would lie to see it in Dk Bwn suede..like we wore in college in the Winter. “Winter is coming”
Very Close to the Popular Peters jacket we worn in High School. The Peters had Open Button Sleeves.
Uncle Ralph makes a version—besmirched by the pony, of course.
I bought one. Harrington. $85 Surely not what I remember. Gave it away.