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History Of The Navy Peacoat

Posted by Alex Wright on


The History Of The Navy Peacoat

The famous peacoat has been around since the 1800s when the first variation was worn by the Dutch. The Dutch were a seafaring power centuries ago and in order to help their sailors they developed a heavy and dark wool coat called a "piijekker". In Dutch, "pij" (apparently pronounced "pea") is the word for coarse, twilled cloth while "jekker" means "jacket". And while the Dutch are credited for inventing the peacoat the credit for popularising the iconic jacket goes to the British Navy.

C.I.V History | The Navy Peacoat

Article by COMMON ILKE VINTAGE
October 2020

The hook for many naval forces using the peacoat was because the coat itself could withstand harsh rain, wind and cold temperatures that were typically experienced out at sea. The US navy adopted the peacoat from their British counterparts. The coat was used for ‘reefers’ who were sailors responsible for the somewhat unpopular task of climbing up the rigging of naval ships.

 


Between the Dutch, British and American naval forces the peacoat kept its wind resistant form and shape. As well as keeping a slight flair towards the hips in order to allow for free and unhindered movements when climbing the ropes at sea. Most coats were also double breasted and featured an ulster collar, which could be buttoned all the way up to further protect the wearer from harsh elements. Most jackets also featured vertical slit pockets to allow access to personal items as well as allowing hands to stay warm and dry. Nearly all peacoats featured plastic and sometimes brass buttons which were imprinted with a fouled anchor.

 


So whenever the mercury starts to drop and you go grasping for a jacket why not consider the peacoat. Because let’s face it, a jacket that has been used within the military for over 100 years is a jacket that has earned more than just its’s stripes. It’s an iconic bit of kit that is worthy of our shoulders and a timeless piece that can be handed down from generation to generation.


These belting pieces are available in-store and will be cropping up online very soon.


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