A maritime masterpiece, equally at home on terra firma
October 14, 2022
The Village People knew the score. Sure, joining the Navy is effectively signing up for years of seasickness and canteen food, but as they stated in their 1979 toe-tapper ‘In the Navy’, where else can you find pleasure, search the world for treasure, and learn… er… science technology?
Yep, there are lots of valid reasons to embark on a life at sea—but luckily, wanting to wear swanky wool coats isn’t one of them. We’ve made a Peacoat, and you don’t need to be a sailor to get your mitts on it.
The full story of this tried-and-tested slice of outerwear has enough twists and turns to warrant a historical fiction novel—or at least a novella—but to keep things brief, it’s thought the initial design originated in Holland in the 18th century - the name comes from the Dutch word ‘pij’, which is used to describe thick cloth fabric. Before long the seafaring classic was snaffled up by Britain’s Royal Navy.
That hearty wool fabric and big collar made it the ideal shield against the elements, whilst that smart double-breasted design kept things classy during royal visits The Peacoat eventually caught the eye of the US Navy, and American sailors were still being issued the classic coats right up until 2019—not bad for a coat that’s been around for over 200 years.
Meanwhile, appearances in films such as The Last Detail and A Taste of Honey, as well as being the go-to for Gene Hackman’s hard-nut cop Popeye Doyle helped them become a true counter-culture favourite. Like the M-65 and the Duffle Coat, its appeal extended way
NAUTICAL BUT NICE
When we told you we were setting sail on our voyage to create the perfect peacoat, you were quick to let us know what you were after. You wanted it warm, with hard-wearing details and a sturdy collar. Good call.
We started with the wool—100% virgin wool that's mulesing-free which means the sheep weren't mutilated during the shearing. It's sourced and traced by our partner Segard Masurel in South Africa. Woven into hearty 600g/m2 cloth, this stuff is serious business and should keep out even the wildest of gales. Scoring four out of five on the Martindale Rub Test, it shouldn’t pill either.
Sharp ‘n’ shipshape
Old general issue naval jackets were made to fit a wide range of shapes and sizes, which means that vintage peacoats can be a bit all over the place fit-wise. To bring things up to date, we gave ours a tailored fit that won’t have you lost at sea. It’s sharp, but there’s still space for a thick jumper underneath—and because we added a vent in the back, you’ll have plenty of wiggle room for when you’re doing your semaphore signals.
The devil’s in the details
Thanks to its naval origins, the Peacoat is full of functional features, and by some twist of fate, these details, devised centuries ago, still come in handy today.
We’re talking about 7 big horn and corozo buttons, plus 1 on the collar which can be operated with even the frostiest of fingers… That hefty collar which works just as well up as it does down… or those sizeable front pockets, perfectly angled for optimum hand placement.
We made sure to retain all these classic touches, whilst adding a few more of our own. We lined the sleeves with super-slick fabric for extra points on the comfort-o-meter, and we covered all the seams with cotton banding to keep things nice and neat inside. We also added a sneaky inside pocket with hidden press studs for those prized odds and ends you can’t live with losing.
Not just for the seven seas
Like the CPO shirt or the humble fisherman’s sweater, the peacoat is one of those cunning nautical creations that is equally at home on dry land - amphibian wear, if you like. We don’t like to tell you how to wear things, which is lucky, as this looks just as at home withworkwear as it does with more formal garb on blustery days.
Running a tight ship
Our wool is spun, woven and dyed in Italy, before it’s transformed into that mighty fine coat courtesy of Mirvana in Bulgaria, dab-hands when it comes to making seriously ship-shape jackets.
As for colours, it’s available in any colour you want, as long as it’s Navy Blue... Oh OK then, this time round we went crazy and added Black and Charcoal versions too, because you asked so nicely.
Sea for yourself
The Peacoat will be available to preorder for 279€ from next Tuesday. If you want first dibs, you can hit this link below and we’ll be sure to notify you when you can grab them.
And if it doesn't work out when your Peacoat arrives, returns and exchanges are easy. The return costs are on us.
Need to know anything else? Ask away via the comments below, or alternatively, you can check our international Instagram page for more info.
The Asphalte Team