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Item of the week: the peacoat

By Rachel Douglass


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(From left) Charles Tyrwhitt, Brora, Madewell. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

What it is:

Like many staple fashion garments, the peacoat’s origins lie in the military, specifically the Dutch navy, which introduced the silhouette in the 1800s and took the name from ‘pije’, the Dutch word for wool. The look only infiltrated the fashion industry following World War II, alongside other popular military-wear that had taken on more modern forms and were favoured for their functional appeal. Today, the coat itself is defined by its double-breasted front, complete with a large collar and often vertical pockets, as well as a string of buttons, which occasionally reference the coat’s beginnings through decorated metal designs.
Gentle Herd. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Why you’ll want it:

Now far removed from its military days, the peacoat has become a staple of the fashion wardrobe, with the silhouette being modified to suit the modern consumer. New iterations of the coat have seen it stray from its standard navy and khaki colourways into hues that resonate more with today’s shoppers, while still saying true to the traditional flare that makes the piece so loved. And while designers and brands may experiment with such details, the peacoat has continued to stick close to its functional value, one of the main markers of why it is still so heavily prominent in collections today.
French Connection. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Where we’ve seen it:

The peacoat was a highly popular outerwear option for SS24, seen on an array of runways for various designers. Its traditional shape and details remained intact in the collections of Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Michael Kors, where large collars and functional fastenings referenced the coat’s origins. Other designers played with silhouette – namely that of Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, both of which applied tailored elements to create more hourglass figures for the coat. At Marni, however, the design was upgraded through the use of a denim material seen on both men and women, emphasising the neutrality of the peacoat piece.
Etro. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

How to style it:

Due to its design, the peacoat can move from autumn into spring and can be styled according to the season that the wearer is in. For the colder months, for example, the coat can be accessorised with hats, gloves and scarves, the latter of which should ideally sit over the piece in order to avoid creating a bulky neckline. For casual wear, the look works well with jeans or chinos, and can be layered over t-shirts or sweaters and hoodies for added warmth. For more formal occasions, the peacoat is perfect to wear over a suit, sticking close to the elevated dress code and allowing for a shirt and tie to be on view at all times.
A fish named Fred. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.
Through all of its history and continued development, the peacoat has remained relevant among the fashion crowd for almost a century and has become a staple among high-end designers that favour it for its adaptability. For consumers, however, this functional item allows them to move into almost every season, catering to different needs and occasions to become a great investment piece to add to their own collection.
Guards London. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.
Item of the Week