The Perfection Of The Pea Coat

By Sam Stilson
[Men's Fashion]
Having survived 300 years of naval battles and long voyages across the globe, the pea coat remains popular.  Sam Stilson examines the stylish uniform.

Certain pieces of clothing never go out of style.† Jeans have lasted a couple centuries, the necktie an equal amount of time, but one item has outlasted them all, in its original form, no less.† It’s been worn by men the world over, from sailors to singers.† That garment is the pea coat.

The pea coat has been around for hundreds of years, but recently it has gained a new popularity among young fashionable men.† This can be credited to the many practical benefits of the pea coat coupled with its distinguished aesthetic qualities and all around versatility.† The pea coat is a blast from the past that has quickly become the future of men’s outerwear.† So if you are in the market for a new jacket, check out the pea coat.

A Little History

The pea coat originated as a cold weather uniform in many European navies, most notably the British and the Dutch during the 18th century.† The term “pea coat” comes from the Dutch word pij, which is a type of cloth commonly used in the production of the coat.

The typical pea coat is a short double-breasted jacket made of coarse wool.† It is normally navy blue or black in colour.† Three to six buttons often made of wood or brass adorn the front and they are sometimes inscribed with anchors or other naval insignia.† Though the uniform originated in Europe, by the early 20th century it became part of the United States navy’s official dress as well.

Due to its well-respected origins and the fact that it frequently turns up in second hand clothing shops, it can now be seen on civilians across the Western world.

Desirable Features

Being made of wool, the pea coat is ideal for milder winters, spring and autumn.† It is not so warm that one would suffocate in warmer temperatures, but by the same token it is well enough insulated that with a hoodie or sweater beneath it, one will not suffer in the cold either.

Aside from its decorative buttons, the pea coat is not a very flashy coat.† It is uniform in colour and has no unnecessary features.† This simplicity can be admired and adds to the respectable authority of its wearer.† The lapels, slash pockets and the tight hugging wear of the coat give a man size and a streamlined shape.

NEXTContinued on next page...