I cannot help but believe that when the idea for the pea coat was conceived way back in the eighteenth century, the furthest thing on the maker’s mind was what would be fashionable almost three centuries later.  But, that is precisely the case in both discount and high end retail stores today.

The military version of the pea coat was originally designed to provide warmth for the men of the American and European Navies of the day.  The coat was made of one hundred percent wool,  navy in color, was double breasted with wide lapels and would have wooden or metal buttons.  While the wooden buttons on the original pea coats have been replaced with buttons made of plastic, very little else has been changed from the original design.

For the most part, the modern pea coat remains much the same as the wonderful classic designed for those sailors of old.  The all wool coat has evolved and become a blend of man-made materials such as polyester, acrylic, and rayon which now allows the coat to be much lighter in weight.  These lighter materials have made the pea coat much more comfortable and versatile, thus allowing the coat to be worn in more temperate types of weather.

Of course, other liberties are taken with the pea coat as each new fashion season arrives.  In any given year, shoulder epaulets may be added or removed, pockets are straight across or slashed, belts and loops are included or taken away, and some manufacturers have styles that now may include a hood.  The coat is also available in a multitude of new colors including the original navy, black, brown, green, tan and even red if you are so inclined.

In addition to pea coats for men, pea coats for women are also available from numerous manufacturers and have become part of almost every females modern day wardrobe.  Like any other item that designers tailor for the ladies, these coats arrive at retailers each year in many different colors, lengths, and with several options and accessories that most men would never consider.

So, as the cold weather months approach, if you are in the market for a new coat that has stood the test of time, the pea coat should be near the top of your list.  Whether male or female, young or old, you will be hard pressed to find a more versatile and classic outer garment than the pea coat.