Throughout history, many different outerwear garments rise to prominence, fall into obscurity, or weather the storm as an understated staple. For the Pea Coat, this story is all too true. Unlike its more popular counterparts, the iconic style piece has undergone many a tumultuous change, transitioning to different echelons of popularity within the general populace. Luckily, fashion-minded men everywhere have continued to utilize the Naval garment in a variety of ways, contributing to its preservation, evolution, and success.
After becoming one of the most dependable military garments of all time, the nautical staple began to make its rounds within the civilian population. It was sleek, stylish, and durable, offering wearers the lauded warmth that they’d heard so much about from sailors and dock workers. Over time, it became a symbol of timeless taste, and after the 70s, the coat was confined to smaller circles of stylish men who sought to keep the vintage style alive. These days, the outerwear garment is inherently attached to its militaristic background, remaining a tried-and-true essential in the face of newer, cutting-edge styles. Below, we’ll dive into a handful of our favorite offerings from around the space, and give you an insight to the proprietors adapting the coat for a more contemporary audience.
Alpha Industries Men’s USN Ensign
If you want to adhere to the Pea Coat’s militaristic roots, you can’t go wrong with the USN Ensign from Alpha Industries. It might be one of the most authentic variants you can buy, thanks to its adoption within military surplus stores like McGuire, and as such, it’s the perfect way to kick off our list in style. Not only does this nautical essential boast a comfortable melton wool material blend and wind-resistant finish, but it’s also inherently handsome, thanks to its double-breasted front button closure, anchor-embossed buttons, and vented back hem. Plus, it’s been built to (nearly) match the specifications of the original Navy garment, making it a time-tested staple that’s as genuine as they come.
Land’s End Wool
While it might not be as close to the original model as Alpha Industries’ Pea Coat example, the Land’s End Wool offering is equally as viable as a stylish cold-weather garment. It boasts a soft, hand-brushed wool composition, a hearty helping of Primaloft Silver insulation, and an oversized collar/throat-latch that’ll keep the wind from biting at your torso during those deplorable winter outings. Obviously, Land’s End’s model draws heavy inspiration from the original garment, introducing authentic details like dual handwarmer pockets, a double-breasted, buttoned front, and a fully-lined interior for increased warmth retention as you take on the outdoors.
River Island Select Homme
River Island’s Select Homme Pea Coat features a silhouette that’s similar to the original Naval garment, but it takes liberties to differentiate itself through interesting design choices. Instead of the typical flip collar, the Homme adopts a comfortable Borg trim, helping to block out wind, rain, and snow. The 100% recycled wool example also features a longer orientation than many of the coats on our list, extending past the waistline for more coverage and protection. Like its brethren, it boasts a double-breasted front opening, a pair of front slip pockets, and a fully-lined interior, providing wearers with plenty of warmth when the weather turns frigid.
Allsaints has become a one-stop-shop for the fashion-forward guy who’s looking to take his wardrobe to the next level. As such, it doesn’t seem so uncanny that the brand has also recreated one of history’s most timeless outerwear pieces, the Pea Coat. Its own iteration arrives under the guise of overcoat influence, pulling nautical inspiration from the garments of old through the adoption of a cleanly-tailored silhouette, double-breasted button closure, welt pockets, and an interior storage area to keep EDC items, smart devices, or accessories out of harm’s way. Each example is crafted from a comfortable wool/polyamide mixture and calls upon a 100% polyester fill for ample heat retention.
Arlen Wool Blend
Like Allsaint’s Gregory, Arlen’s Wool Blend Pea Coat boasts an 80/20 split between comfortable virgin wool and polyamide. Since it relies on a heavier material to do its bidding, it feels far more substantial than some of the genre’s other examples, which substitute wool at higher quantities to retain mobility, range of movement, and malleability. However, the heavier weight isn’t always a bad thing, especially if you’re looking for a garment that can weather the storm, stand up to everyday wear and tear, and last longer than the rest in terms of sheer shelf life. If you’re in the market for a tried and true Pea Coat and don’t mind a lack of mobility, Arlen’s attractive Wool Blend offering might be your best bet.
J.Crew Dock Thinsulate
There’s not much to say about J.Crew’s Dock Thinsulate Pea Coat, and in many ways, that’s a blessing. It doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken. Instead, it adopts many of the same traits as its predecessors, combining a middle-weight wool/polyamide construction with the garment’s timeless, double-breasted architecture, foldable collar, and contemporary style. That being said, it’s fashioned after the genre’s late-era models, which feature a shorter length, overall. If you’re looking for a Pea Coat that extends well past the hip (and into overcoat range), you’ll be better off going with a different choice.
Schott NYC Classic Melton Wool
Schott NYC might be famous due to its timeless leather jackets, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less proficient when it comes to other styles. The brand has dabbled in a handful of history’s most timeless offerings, including the Pea Coat. Its Classic Melton Wool, for example, is an attractive retelling of the nautical icon, adopting a 32-ounce wool construction, a quilted interior lining, and military-inspired anchor buttons for true authenticity. But it doesn’t end there. It’s also outfitted with a vented back, two interior chest pockets, and a pair of capable hand warmers, paying homage to the genre’s oldest dock-fairing models.
Ted Baker Westun
You can always rely on London’s Ted Baker to produce an amazing garment, and the designer’s unique iteration of the Pea Coat is no different. Drawing inspiration from the industry’s most timeless variants, the Westun features robust wool-blend construction, a double-breasted front, and authentic button fastenings for increased authenticity. While it looks relatively tame on the outside, it introduces an interesting printed lining that helps to set it apart from its peers, placing stylish presence above all else. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less warm during the wintertime, especially since the garment’s adjustable collar can be worn up, or down for an unprecedented wind-blocking experience.
As you might have already surmised, Gloverall’s Churchill Pea Coat is a celebration of the lauded Prime Minister that it’s named after. To capture the essence of the individual, the brand has incorporated a 100% English Melton wool material, a practical interior lining, and notched lapels for the ultimate in tasteful design. But that’s not all. The Churchill is a testament to the original of the genre’s most original garments, thanks to its double-breasted front, anchor-embossed buttons, and an elegant, rounded appeal that’s still abnormally “sharp” in all the right areas.
If you’ve followed Reiss for any amount of time, you’ll know that the brand is unchallenged when it comes to stylish simplicity. The Hardwick Pea Coat further exemplifies this fact, thanks to its luxury-focused wool construction, double-breasted opening, and a fully-lined interior for increased comfort and warmth. It still exhibits all of the parts and pieces of a traditional Pea Coat, including a six-button front, slash pockets at each hip, and a single vent on its rear for increased airflow. What sets the Hardwick apart, however, is its unique color palette. Its soft grey sheen pairs perfectly with a number of fall and winter staples, giving it the gumption it needs to set itself apart from the neverending torrent of navy and black offerings.
Mission Workshop Bridgeman
Mission Workshop continues to enamor with its durable, utilitarian clothing, but who knew that they’d take a step back in history to create the Bridgeman Pea Coat? Regardless of our surprise, the winterized staple is one of the most technical offerings on this list, thanks to its three-layer waterproof soft-shell construction, four-way stretch fabric, and windproof design. Obviously, this allows it to stand toe-to-toe with Mission Workshop’s other offerings, adopting high-performance polyester fleece, zippered pocketing, and a convertible funnel collar to complement its insulated demeanor. If you’re looking for a functionally-efficient icon that can help you to weather the storm (on even the most dastardly days), the Bridgeman will undoubtedly be your trusted companion.
Billy Reid Bond
Billy Reid revels in the creation of stylish, eye-catching garments, and the Bond Pea Coat is no different. Whether the outerwear piece was named in homage of the infamous international super spy, or it adopts its title from Reid’s favorite Bond Street store, this sleek example goes above and beyond in terms of suave styling, incorporating a melton wool material for increased warmth, a luxurious calfskin trim, and genuine horn buttons at its front. If that’s not enough, the designer has opted for an aesthetically-pleasing leather undercollar, a more relaxed, layering-friendly fit, and lighter fabrics to keep wearer fatigue to a minimum.
Brooks Brothers Iconic Wool
Brooks Brothers is a go-to proprietor for some of menswear’s most illustrious styles, so it comes as no surprise that the brand also trades in timeless classics like the Pea Coat. Its Iconic Wool offering boasts an archival layout that pays homage to the genre’s earliest models, incorporating Barberis wool, a diamond-quilted interior, and corduroy detailing to give it an edge over its peers. To keep things contemporary, the outfit has also filled the garment with Thermore insulation, providing a wind- and water-resistant membrane to battle the elements as they come. Naturally, a style piece of this stature will include plenty of pockets. Wearers are gifted with two interiors, and two exterior storage areas, helping them to store their favorite EDC essentials with ease.
If you couldn’t tell by the name, Belstaff’s Naval coat is a direct relative of history’s lauded military garment. To strike the perfect balance between contemporary capability and iconic commitment, the brand has crafted the piece from compact Melton wool, giving shape to its trademark front fastening, notched lapels, and double-breasted opening. If you’re a fan of the throat latch found on newer models, you’ll be able to use it to your heart’s content. However, if you want a bit more freedom, it’s entirely detachable, giving you the option to utilize whenever the weather takes a turn for the worse. As expected, the practicality of the garment is also at the forefront of Belstaff’s mind. The company has opted to include two welted chest pockets, as well as a pair of roomier, flap-savvy storage areas to keep your gear safe from harm.
Todd Snyder + Private White V.C. Wool
Todd Snyder has teamed up with Private White V.C. to create one of the most sought after Pea Coats in the industry. Capitalizing on the pair’s knowledge of timeless design, this all-wool essential features an oversized lapel, improved channel stitching, and a silky viscose lining, promoting warmth, comfort, and capability when faced with adverse weather conditions. To increase its longevity, a riveted back neck hanger, welt pockets, and military-grade RIRI zippers have been included, complementing the coat’s historic Naval lineage.
The 15 Best Fall Jackets For Men
Looking for a cold-weather companion but don’t want to settle on a time-tested military staple? Head over to our guide on the best fall jackets for men to find the perfect outerwear piece for the upcoming season.
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