Steve McQueen the king of Cool


Steve McQueen was a American film star & style icon, he is known as the king of cool, He was born Terence Steven McQueen in 1930 in Indiana, Indianapolis, he probably got his rebel side from his farther William Terence McQueen he was a stunt pilot, his Mother was said to be a prostitute who drank, she was unable to look after him, He moved in with his grandparents, then he moved in with his uncle Claude, he had good memories of the times on his great-uncle Claude’s farm,  In recalling him, McQueen stated: “He was a very good man, very strong, very fair. I learned a lot from him, on McQueen’s fourth birthday, Claude gave him a red tricycle, which McQueen later said started his interest in racing, when he turned 8 his mum sent for him, she had got remarried to another man, when Steve came to leave Claude gave him a pocket watch with an inscription inside the case.” The inscription read: “To Steve – who has been a son to me, McQueen was dyslexic and partially deaf due to an ear infection, Steve’s time with his mum wasn’t good he was sent back to his uncle Claude, a couple of years later his mum sent for him again she was living in Los Angeles, California, his mum had got married a third time at the age of nine his step farther beat him very bad, very soon he was on the street roaming with gangs committing petty crime, he soon was sent back to Claude for the last time, at the age of 14 he left Claude`s with out saying good buy, he drifted back to his mother, very soon his step farther was beating him again & he was committing petty crime again, McQueen was caught stealing hubcaps by police, who handed him over to his stepfather who beat him severely, ending the fight by throwing McQueen down a flight of stairs. McQueen looked up at his stepfather and said, “You lay your stinkin’ hands on me again and I swear, I’ll kill ya, after the incident, McQueen’s stepfather convinced his mother to sign a court order stating that McQueen was incorrigible, remanding him to the California Junior Boys Republic in Chino, California, here McQueen grew up & matured when He eventually left Boys Republic at 16. When he later became famous, he regularly returned to talk to the boys and retained a lifelong association. over the next couple of years moved from job to job a lumberjack, merchant marine, oil rigger, in 1947 he joined the United States Marine Corp, when he first joined up he was very rebelliousness & ended up in the brig many times, but he soon sorted him self even finding him self guarding the president at the time, his military training would come in use later on in life when he used weapons in films, he left the marines in the 50s, when he left the military he was able to get financial assistance from the GI bill to get into college.

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Steve McQueen in the classic film Bullet

McQueen began studying acting at Sanford Meisner‘s Neighborhood Playhouse, delivered his first dialogue on a theater stage in a 1952 play produced by Yiddish theater star Molly Picon. McQueen’s character spoke one brief line: “Allez iz forloren.” (“All is lost.“), to earn extra money he turned to motor bike racing at the weekend which he became famous for,  McQueen ended up getting bit parts in plays, in 1955 McQueen moved to California seeking better acting work in the movies, he again got bit parts but his break through role was a B movie called the Blob, Steve McQueen the film star had arrived, but his first starring role was in a TV program called Wanted Dead or Alive, he played the role of Josh Randal the bounty hunter, his character was famous for holstering a special sawed-off .44-40 Winchester rifle nicknamed the “Mare’s Leg” he soon was in movies with big stars like Frank Sinatra, what came next was of his most memorable roles, it was  Vin Tanner in the The Magnificent Seven, the film the music was a smash hit it cemented McQueen as A list star, Then came one of his most famous roles as Capt. Virgil Hilts, the “Cooler King” in the great escape he was famous for performing most of his own stunts on set, through the 60s top producers wanted McQueen in their films, he became the highest paid actor in Hollywood history, he gained a anti-hero persona, over the next couple of years he starred in many famous films, Bullet, The Sand Pebbles, The Getaway, The Thomas Crown affair, Papillon, Towering Inferno, McQueen became combative with directors and producers in the 70s  which made him less sort after, he didn’t work for 4 years he ended touring america on his motorbikes, he returned at the late 70s and made a couple of movies that were launched in the 1980, it was around this time it was revealed he had cancer, on 7th November 1980 Steve McQueen passed away  after surgery to remove tumors from his neck and liver.

The style icon still lives on today his estate is one of the top ten highest-earning deceased celebrities, this is because Steve McQueen lived life to the full, he had style like no other man, the way he carried him self was amazing, what ever he wore or drove or rode he made it look cool, to this day certain pieces that he wore or used still use his image to sell their products.

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Steve McQueen loved stylish but practical things, so when it came to sunglasses he chose Persol true Italian style, Persol were designed by Via Caboto he made technical advanced glassed, designed to satisfy the demands of pilots and sport drivers who requited comfort, protection and optimum vision, The blue-tinted sunglasses (Persol 714) worn by McQueen in the 1968 movie The Thomas Crown Affair sold at a Bonhams & Butterfields auction in Los Angeles for $70,200 in 2006 after McQueen`s  death Persol dedicated a collection to him.

http://www.persol.com

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When Steve McQueen started bike racing he needed proper bike Jacket that was rugged but practical, he chose a British brand called Belstaff, the Trialmaster is a classic, belted, four pocket jacket, cotton treated to protect against rot, fungus & water, storm cuffs with poppers, it was made popular by trials riders in the fifties and sixties. It was worn by factory test riders as well as competition riders like Sammy Miller and Bud Edkins,

http://www.belstaff.co.uk

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Steve McQueen also loved Harrington Jackets again it was down to their practicality, they were a short bomber style jacket undisputed iconic garment from the collection, chosen by some for its straighter silhouette. Water repellent poly/cotton outer. Coolmax cotton/poly Fraser Tartan lining. Zip front. Double button fastening collar. Two front flap pockets. ‘Umbrella’ back vent. Side adjusters. Made in UK. Regular fit. the brand he chose was called Baracuta

www.baracuta.com

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In the 1970s Le Mans, film he famously wore a blue faced Monaco 1133B Caliber 11 Automatic which led to its cult status among watch collectors. His sold for $87,600 at auction on June 11, 2009, Tag Heuer continues to promote its Monaco range with McQueen’s image.

https://shop-uk.tagheuer.com

Steve McQueen lived by a mantra I live for myself and I answer to nobody.” this sums up the great man he lived life to the full and if any one didn’t like it then to hell with them was his answer, this man has inspired me so much, he changed the way I looked at men`s style he inspired me to start writing this blog on men`s style and fashion. 

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Baracuta


Baracuta started to make water-repellent outwear in the 1930 s in Manchester, Stockport, they are known for their world-famous versatility water-repellent cool mix cotton material, also the classic Fraser tartan lining they use in all their outwear, when it comes to casual jackets , Baracuta make one of the most recongnised Jackets in the world the Harrington G9, jacket, I love this jacket more than any thing, The jacket was adopted due to its design by golfers, it was light weight water-repellent great for sport use.

first

Baracuta Original advertisement from 1937

Isaac Miller decide to export it to the american market, in the 1950s Elvis Presley wears a G9 in the film King Creole, it soon gained a cult following amongst  Hollywood celebrity’s, in a america they called it a wind breaker,  another star who made the G9 & Baracuta famous was the King of cool Steve McQueen, he was photographed hundreds of time wearing the G9, in 1963 Ryan O’Neill played the part of Rodney Harrington, in Peyton place this is wear the Baracuta G9 gets it unofficial name the Harrington Jacket, because the character wore a G9 all the time,

McQueen

 Steve McQueen wearing the classic stone colored G9 Harrington

http://www.baracuta.com

During the 70s  bands like the clash started to wear the G9 jacket while playing to thousands of fans, soon subcultures like mods, Rude boys ska, Punks adopted the jacket as a part of their look, very soon other apparel company’s started copy the design, Ralph Lauren copied the design except for the umbrella design back, its continues to be Baracuta`s main seller .in 2012 Baracuta celebrated  75 years of manufacturing outwear, they decide to relaunch manufacturing the UK at the same time, the brand still grows in strength, recently they launched the G10 rain coat to their outwear collection.

G4.

The G4 is the G9’s sibling, the other undisputed iconic garment from the collection, chosen by some for its straighter silhouette. New design for improved wear ability. Water repellent outer shell. Coolmax cotton Fraser Tartan lining. Double button fastening collar. Two front flap pockets. ‘Umbrella’ back vent. Side adjusters.

G9

Much copied but never bettered, the G9 is the definitive, authentic Harrington Jacket. Worn and loved throughout history by mainstream artists, sports stars and underground music idols, is known and appreciated for its versatility and undisputed style. New design for improved wear ability. Water repellent outer shell. Coolmax cotton Fraser Tartan lining. Double button fastening collar. Two front flap pockets. ‘Umbrella’ back vent. Ribbed waist and cuffs.

g10

A new icon straight from the Baracuta tradition: the G10 single breast raincoat. From the archive jacket from the 60s. Shirt collar. Button fastening. Flap pockets. ‘Umbrella’ back vent. Cotton/poly Barapel outer. Water repellent. Coolmax cotton Fraser Tartan/solid lining. Regular fit.

Eskmio

Short length eskimo jacket. Fishtail parka inspired. Zip and button fastening. Flap pockets. Drawstring at hem. ‘Umbrella’ back vent. Side adjusters. Detachable eco fur trim. Cotton/poly Barapel outer. Water repellent. Poly/cotton/wool blend Coolmax tartan lining. Primaloft insulation. Warmth: very warm.

Leather

Distressed high quality leather G9 Harrington jacket. 100% washed leather outer. Poly/cotton/wool blend tartan lining. Double button fastening collar. Two front flap pockets. ‘Umbrella’ back vent. Ribbed waist and cuffs. Regular fit.

http://www.baracuta.com

so you can see why Baracuta is a fashion leader in street wear, even after 75 years you wont find any thing better in style & quality, don’t buy one of the copies get the original well worth the investment.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

The Harrington Jacket


Now when it comes to casual jackets ,there is one jacket I love more than any thing, that is the Harrington Jacket its been worn by Elvis Presley even Frank Sinatra.  I love the way the jacket is put together very simple it has a collar so you can pop it up when windy, a short body so it’s a snug & comfortable fit, also two side pockets with flaps to keep your hands warm on a windy day, a simple chunky brass zip ,due to its simple design its been copied and copied by every fashion brand going ,the lining is usually Fraser Tartan but other brands like to put their own lining inside to show this their brand of Harrington.

Steve McQueen wearing at classic Harrington jacket in Navy Blue

Steve McQueen wearing at classic Harrington jacket in Navy Blue

The Harrington got its name from a character called wait for it ! Rodney Harrington from a soap opera called Peyton Place ,the reason why ? yes he always wore a Harrington simple, but it was invented in the 1930s in the UK but there is a  bit of an issue who actually came up with the design, the two company’s in question are Baracuta from Stockport the other is Grenfell from Burnely, the designs are very similar, but Grenfell’s feels softer & has a beige checked lining lovely if you’re an old dude. The main reason I love Harrington’s is thanks to Steve McQueen he made simple clothing look cool, because he wore a Harrington he made wearing a windbreaker as they are called in America cool  so people wanted them .

Harringtons were adopted by many cultors over the years

Harrington’s were adopted by many cultures over the years

In the 60s Mods started to wear Harrington’s as a part of their look, the brands most associated with mods where Fred Perry & Ben Sherman, in the 70s Skin Heads adopted Black Harrington or Burgundy colored ones as a part of their look, in the late 70s early 80s  scar was in so rude boys adopted the look thanks to bands like Madness, in the 90s the Perry boys as they were called from the Brit pop scene embraced the look, the Harrington still lives on today thank to labels like Pretty Green who have given the Harrington a new fresh look, so I think Harrington’s will still be in vogue for a few years to come. so have a look at the very best in British Harrington’s if you like the jacket click onto the image or link underneath to go to the website

Baracuta Harrington in stone

Baracuta Harrington in stone

http://www.baracuta.com

History says that Baracuta was the first company to make the classic jacket in the 1930s in Manchester Stockport, the design is simple its known for its versatility and water-repellent with a cool mix cotton, also the classic Fraser tartan lining ,two front flap pockets & the iconic umbrella back vent with ribbed waist & cuff.

Grenfell Harrington Jacket

Grenfell Harrington Jacket

http://www.grenfell.com

Now the other the company who claim to be the first to make the Harrington Jacket is Grenfell in Burnley, the design is the same as Baracuta but the cotton is a lot softer, the lining is in a beige check nice for old guys Grenfell is named after the cotton it is made from it’s a very nice jacket .
Ben Sherman US

The Ben Sherman Harrington Jacket
The Harrington jacket is an iconic part of Ben Sherman heritage. This classic example features flap and button pockets with tab branding, centre front zip-through and ribbed hem and cuff. Lined in our house check with an inside patch pocket, this lightweight cover-up is a great seasonal option. Classic Harrington Lined in house check Funnel neck with double button Flap and button pockets with tab branding Umbrella back yoke Ribbed hem and cuffwww.bensherman.com

Fred Perry X Bradley Wiggins Harrington Jacket

http://www.fredperry.com

Now Fred Perry is famed for being a street clothing brand, their Harrington’s are a polyester cotton blend with a bat wing yoke, their lining is done in Stewart tartan, but also a very fitting jacket, I love the Fred Perry Harrington’s in navy with a gold logo it just pops.
Pretty Green Kingsway Harrington Jacket Navy

Pretty Green Harrington jacket comes in a slim fit, with a stylish paisley lining, it has a Pretty Green leather logo, this is a stylish piece that looks the business day or night.

http://www.prettygreen.com

One of the new boys on the block selling their brand of Harrington Jackets is Pretty Green, I will admit it I love them they are amazing, the fit is more of a straight fit with a single button collar fastening, metal zip with leather pulley, button cuffs ,internal back seam with a pretty green leather logo badge on the front ,the lining is pretty greens very own paisley design very suave.

Warriors Black Harrington Jacket

Warriors Black Harrington Jacket

http://www.warriorclothingengland.com

If you want a Harrington Jacket but can’t afford the big labels, then my friends meet Warrior they have been making their own Harrington jackets for years ,their design is very similar to the original but they don’t have a back yoke, the good news they have just started making Harrington’s with the back umbrella vent in a heavyweight polyester.
ETO Jeans UK

I hope again you have found this blog help full if you do have any questions please do ask me

BY

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD