The peacoat has to be one of my favourite articles of clothing for men. Not only does it look great but it's super versatile too, and looks as good with jeans as it does with smart trousers, which makes it a hard working piece to have in your wardrobe. Here I've picked out some of this season's favourites with slightly varying details, and given a quick history of them as written by Robert Leach in his excellent book "The Fashion Resource Book: Men":
"The peacoat is an overcoat of heavy dark navy or black wool that was originally worn by the sailors of European navies. It has a high double breasted front, broad rounded lapels, almost vertical slash or welt pockets at wrist level and a rear vent. A characteristic details is it's large buttons engraved with anchors or nautical insignia".
Brentwood wool blend peacoat - Belstaff at Mr Porter
Wool melton shawl collared peacoat - Jigsaw Menswear
"While the term 'pea jacket' first appeared in 1717, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, 'pea coat' did not arise for another hundred years or so. The name may have it's origins in the Dutch word pijjekker, in which pij referred to a type of coarse, twilled blue cloth with a nap to the face side and jekker meant jacket. Others suggest that the name derives from 'pilot jacket', abbreviated to 'P jacket' (after the heavy coarse cloth from which it was made: pilot or P-cloth)."
Textured peacoat - Whistles Menswear
Wool and cashmere blend peacoat - Sunspel at Coggles
"The coat was originally worn by crew members known as reefers, responsible for reducing the sails in a strong wind. Since it was worn when climbing, the jacket was cut short for ease of movement, it's double breasted front, which displaces the buttons to each side, may have been designed to help reduce the chance of getting caught on the rigging, or alternatively, to provide a highly windproof fastening. Whatever the reason, it remains double breasted to this day."
Wool blend Port peacoat - Gant
Manchester shearling collar peacoat - Private White VC
"The coat was adopted by the US Navy in the early twentieth century from Britain's Royal Navy reefer jacket. At some point soon after the Second World War, the peacoat changed in design from an eight to a six button fastening, making for longer and broader revers. Nowadays, in the United States, the reefer (worn by officers) is identical to the basic design but has gold insignia buttons and epaulettes; the bridge coat is the longer version."
Will you be adding a peacoat to your wardrobe this Autumn? If you'd like help choosing one and other wardrobe staples, then contact me to book in a personal shopping trip, where I can help you find your capsule winter wardrobe.
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