Monday, March 21, 2011

The Duffle Coat: Unrefined Style

Like many garments found in our closets, the duffle coat has its roots firmly set in the military.

Originally introduced in the Royal Navy, the duffle coat is a loose, rugged coat that was originally designed with utility in mind but can add a casual dash of character to an outfit.

A duffle coat is identified by the heavy weight wool it is made of along with its hood, double patch pockets, medium length skirt and, most notably, toggles made of either horn or wood. The coat may or may not have a hidden zipper though traditionally the zipper is lacking.

click images to enlarge

The duffle coat is usually found in traditional colors like camel, dove gray and navy though they can have many other colors and patterns to them, as my Tommy Hilfiger duffle coat below demonstrates.

Wear a duffle coat casually with either your everyday clothes or a sport coat and tie. It is a garment that was orginally meant to keep the wearer dry and warm on the decks of ships and submarines during war and as such should be paired with other hardy pieces. Wool, flannel, corduroy, denim and knits work well with the duffle coat.

WW1 RN submarine officer

A duffle coat will serve you well as these last cold days of winter fade away into Spring.


Kingpin said...

Ahhh, so right and a nice alternative to heavy trenches and pea coats!

Hal said...

Despite the hood, a duffle coat calls for headgear to be worn with it, and a flat cap looks great with one.

Shane said...

My brother recently visited with us and he was wearing a black duffle coat. I didn't know the style of the coat at the time and I thought it looked neat (particularly the horn toggle-buttons), so I asked him about it and he didn't know what it was called either. I looked it up today on Wikipedia and found the entry for 'duffle coat,' and forwarded the page to him. I'll probably forward him this page as well.

This post is a good example of how you actually do "connect the historical dots" and show how the vintage style continues to influence modern clothing, as stated at the top of your blog. Well, kudos! Thanks for a great, informative read.


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