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The History of Peacoats

The peacoat was first created in the 1800s by the Dutch Navy (in fact, the name originates from the Dutch word “pije”). However, it was the British Navy that popularized it. The British version was designed for naval duties, but more specifically, as part of a petty officer’s uniform. The US Navy then adopted the design and assigned it to “reefers” (sailors responsible for climbing the rigging). All three versions featured a silhouette that fit relatively close to the body in order to keep out harsh winds and rain, but which flared slightly at the hips to allow sailors to climb ropes. Naval peacoats were usually made of melton wool and featured buttons with an image of a fouled anchor imprinted on them. In modern times, the peacoat has become more slim-fitting, but some brands continue to produce a more classic silhouette. Today’s peacoats come in a variety of colors and materials, and although most people now use them for walking around a city rather than climbing the rigging on a ship at sea, they remain a popular, stylish way to stay warm and dry throughout the fall and winter months.

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