CULT ITEM: PEA COAT
By Josh Woodfin, 15 December 2014
If you want a jacket with heritage, look no further than the mighty pea coat. Originally known as the pea jacket or pilot jacket, it was worn by sailors in the US and British Navy as far back as the 1700s. Still a favourite of style-savvy men the world over, the design hasn't changed much in 300 years. Not bad, eh?
This is a tough, stripped-back item designed to keep sailors warm while they're traversing frigid arctic waters on their way to some almighty scrap. Usually made of heavy wool dyed dark navy, one these bad boys will take the edge off even the nastiest of gales. Eventually the hardy pea became a style icon all of its own. Robert Redford looked incredible wearing one in the 1975 thriller Three Days Of The Condor, and plenty of others have followed suit.
The pea coat is now a favourite of modern style icons like Alex Turner (pictured), while other fans include everyone from Kanye to Harry Styles via Becks and Serge from Kasabian. Oh, and a certain civil servant called Bond is also partial...
Whether you favour the spy/dockworker vibe with collar pulled high, or a more refined collar-down look, it's also a brilliant coat for colour layering. The V of exposed space above the double-breasted fastening is the perfect spot for a bit of strong but subtle winter colour, either through a nice roll-neck jumper or a smart patterned scarf in a Parisian knot (as modelled by Ryan Gosling). Or, you know, you could forget subtle and just drape the thing all over your jacket à la David Beckham. The pea coat can handle it.