Ahhh, my trusty pea coat. Some people may call it a navy coat, officers coat or even pilots jacket. What ever you call it, this is about the best jacket money can buy. It is an iconic piece of clothing that has remained relatively unchanged in its long history. This should be a staple in your winter wardrobe, it is my go to winter jacket, I wear it over my work dress clothes and pair it with my favorite heavy wool striped scarf and I am ready for just about anything.
A pea coat is a heavy wool outer coat, usually navy-colored, but also commonly found in black, charcoals, and greys. It was originally worn by sailors of European and American navies, they are characterized by a few specific design elements; broad lapels, double-breasted fronts, large wooden or metal buttons, and vertical or slash pockets. Their history and use dates to the 1720s,and still maintains the original design and composition.
The term pea coat is from the Dutch word pijjekker, in which pij referred to the type of cloth used, a coarse kind of twilled blue cloth with a nap on one side.Today the style is considered a classic, and pea coats are worn by military and civilian alike. The style has evolved to the addition of hoods, styling cues and a variety of colors and small design changes that all reflect the current mood or trend. A few of the jackets seen on the street are genuine navy surplus, and while they are offered in many colors by retailers, the U.S. Navy issue pea coat is dark blue.
Being made for the military and to stand up to harsh elements they are great for those cold winters where i live, the heavy wool and double breast keep out the cold very well. Typically they are a longer coat as well so it will keep you warm past the waist, and help you with those cold seats in the car. I have found many retailers with very nice Pea Coats in season, the one I own was bought at the Gap.
This seasons finest is available from Ralph Lauren, It maintains the traditional look, which i like. It comes in Navy Blue, slim fit with large lapels and stylized buttons. All in all its a great looking coat, The also have what they call an officers coat which is highly embellished, but quite cool in its own right.
(Images courtesy of: Ralphlauren.com, wikipedia.como, best stylich.org, reiss.com, collegetrad.com)