martes, 10 de junio de 2014


The Duffle coat is a time honoured British classic with an interesting back story. Military uniform has had a huge impact on fashion today and the Duffle coat is just one of the items that has had a lasting impact.

The duffle coat takes its name from the Belgian Town of Duffel near Antwerp, where the thick and heavyweight woollen material used to make the duffle coat was originally produced.

The first fully fashioned duffle coat is dated to the 1860’s when the design was requested for the British Navy and in 1863 the design got put through its paces on an Antarctic expedition.

The Duffle coat proved fit for purpose, the horn shaped toggles lent themselves to being managed while wearing thick gloves, the coat was warm and kept out the wind chill and the hoods were the right size to be able to fit over the peaked naval caps.

By 1911 the Duffle coat had been rolled out widely throughout the Navy and production of the thick woollen material from the town that originally gave the coat its name, had moved to Yorkshire.

1914 and WW1 began. A lot of Naval officers swapped the attire of their higher rank in favour of the functional duffle coat. Officer Bernard Law Montgomery went a step further and wore his Duffle everywhere. It became his signature piece.

Cut to 1945 and post WWII a mass demobilisation of the Navy took place. Surplus stores were flooded with thousands of Duffle coats and they became a preferred choice of the ‘poor academic’.

It took a further 10 years until the Duffle coat was re-produced purely for fashion purposes. The coat featured horn toggles and slowly dispelled the label that the Duffle had unduly acquired for being a cheap and scruffy overcoat.

During the 1960’s the Duffle coat stood for different principles in different continents. In Europe the duffle was adopted as a left-wing statement of anti-establishment, however in the USA the Duffle featured heavily as an integral part of the cold weather look for a new generation of style conscious Preppy, Ivy League academics.

Over the last 50 years the Duffle coat has simmered away as an iconic design that has never rocketed to the forefront of fashion and into the wardrobes of the masses and then promptly fallen out of favour. The Duffle coat is a steady, solid winter classic that will never go out of style. It possesses a creative nostalgia and perfectly fuses form and function.

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