Just behind Camden Road station in North West London you can find a hidden jewel; Ben Nevis clothing. This shop is packed full of work clothing and army gear, but it also has a good deal of classic menswear. Key for me was their selection on British made Harrington Jackets, all for £27. I picked up a nice navy blue number.
These Harringtons are produced by Ben Nevis Clothing under the brand of ‘Combat’ and they’ve got a lot of history behind them, they’ve been making them since the 1960’s.
As you can see from the photos, these jackets are cut to the original patterns: The Raglan Sleeve* gives a diagonal seam from underarm to collarbone and there are three points to the yoke at the back.
The lining is original and there’s some nice detailing on the labels. It’s also go a handy inside pocket too.
This design hasn’t changed in a long time and for good reason. They even use the original YKK zipper.
I wore this jacket to the Notting Hill Carnival, it rained bucket loads and I didn’t get wet! Buttoned up to the throat, it’s perfectly capable of repelling a rain shower.
Head over to the Ben Nevis Clothing site to see what other colours are available, I’ve picked a few from their site.
If you get the chance to actually visit the shop, you may get the chance to chat to the staff. I was told a couple of brilliant anecdotes; including one story about the famous North London ska band, Madness.
Apparently, the band used to get their iconic Harringtons from the shop. One of the lads actually stole a jacket from the shop and made off at top speed. He was chased by the staff, but managed to get away. If they’d have got their hands on him, Madness may not have been formed!
If you live in London, here’s where you can find the shop.
* Interestingly, the Raglan Sleeve itself has some really interesting history to it: Field Marshal FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan was injured at The Battle of Waterloo in 1815, where he was shot in the arm. Raglan had to have the arm amputated and lost the sleeve of his coat. It’s probably the case that when replacement material was fitted, the Raglan sleeve was invented. Amazing.
As so well pointed out to me when I bought this Harrington; I didn’t just buy jacket, I bought a piece of history. Good clobber in my opinion.
Thanks to Ben Nevis Clothing for the images.