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Wool Pea Coat For The Navy

Aug 17, 2007
A pea coat goes by more than one name, including pea jacket in some cases. It is generally composed of really heavy material and is colored a dark, navy blue. Initially, these pea coats adorned sailors on European merchant ships and navies. They were usually made from wool, as sailors usually face harsh climates during ship sailing. The wool pea coats are recognized by large lapels and double breaststyle fronts. Additionally, these coats often feature wooden buttons on the front; and can sometimes have slash pockets.

The terms pea coat and pea jacket were first noticed in grammar use during the eighteenth century and more than likely had a Dutch or Frisian origin. The word for cloth in both languages is pij. During the nineteenth century, the pea coat was also known as the coat pilots wore. During this time, the pea coat came to be used more in the navy and on merchant ships.

After sometime, the pea coat style eventually turned into a classic and now, wool pea coats are worn in various manners by different individuals. Presently, few of the pea coats that can be seen on the street are genuinely made by the United States navy. Being a classic garment, however, it is frequently available from the US retailers. It is also because it is a classic that the modern pea coats usually have minimum design changes that reflects the current fashion of today, as compared to
the style of old pea coats.

Additionally, when the jacket was predominantly worn by sailors, jackets worn by officers were different than normal pea coats; they were longer, reaching down to the midthigh. You can still see this style today with various pea coats. Initially, however, this style was known as a bridge coat. The main difference between the bridge coat and the pea coat is that the bridge jacket is longer in length. It usually reaches down halfway to the thighs and the plastic buttons are replaced by polished metal uniform buttons that are goldcolored. Also, shoulder epaulets are sewn in and serves as a place for the slideon rank insignia of the officer.

The US Navy also started using the doublebreaststyle, blue wool pea coats during the early 1900s. In the British navy, in contrast, the pea coat was used by the British Royal Navy many years earlier. It is referred to as the reefer coat.
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