Elegant woman dressed in a vintage dark green swing coat with a fur trim

Best Vintage Coat and Jacket Styles You Need to Know About for This Autumn/Winter

  1. Trench Coat: A timeless classic known for its waist belt and double-breasted design.

A trench coat is a type of raincoat that is typically made of waterproof material, most commonly gabardine or cotton drill. It is characterized by several distinctive features:

  • Double-Breasted: Trench coats usually have a double-breasted front with two rows of buttons, although some modern variations may have a single-breasted design.
  • Waist Belt: They often feature a belt at the waist, allowing the wearer to cinch the coat for a more tailored fit.
  • Shoulder Epaulets: Trench coats often have shoulder epaulets, which were originally designed for military insignia but are now primarily decorative.
  • Storm Flaps: Trench coats typically have a storm flap that covers the chest and upper back area.
  • Cuffed Sleeves: Many trench coats have buckled or belted cuffs.
  • Ventilation: They are designed with ventilation flaps on the back to help with airflow.

Trench coats were originally developed for military use and were popularized during World War I. Their history is closely linked to Thomas Burberry, the founder of the Burberry fashion house. Burberry designed the Tielocken coat, which served as a precursor to the modern trench coat, in 1901. The name "trench coat" is derived from its use by British soldiers in the trenches of World War I. The coat was designed to be practical for military purposes, offering protection from the rain and cold while allowing for mobility.

After the war, trench coats became a staple in civilian fashion. Their popularity continued to grow, and they became a symbol of timeless style and sophistication. Trench coats have been worn by countless style icons and have remained a classic wardrobe piece that transcends fashion trends. They are versatile and suitable for both formal and casual occasions, making them a key component of many wardrobes.

      2. Pea Coat: Originally worn by sailors, it features a broad lapel and a double-breasted front.

A pea coat, also known as a pea jacket, is a classic style of double-breasted, heavy wool coat. It is typically characterized by the following features:

  • Double-Breasted Front: Pea coats have a front with two parallel columns of large buttons, often displaying an anchor motif. They can be fastened to provide extra warmth.
  • Wide Lapels: The coat's lapels are broad, which helps protect the wearer's neck and face from harsh weather.
  • Short Length: Pea coats are traditionally shorter in length, typically ending at the hip or slightly below the hip.
  • Warm Wool Fabric: They are crafted from heavy wool material, providing excellent insulation in cold and wet conditions.

Pea coats have a naval heritage and were originally worn by European and American sailors in the 18th and 19th centuries. Their design was practical and functional for seafaring purposes. The name "pea coat" is believed to originate from the Dutch or West Frisian word "pijjekker," which referred to a coarse woollen fabric used in these coats. The name evolved to "pea coat" in English.

Pea coats became popular in the United States during the early 20th century, especially among Navy personnel. They continued to be worn by sailors and, over time, transitioned into civilian fashion. Their iconic design, durable wool construction, and classic style made them a versatile and enduring choice for individuals seeking warmth and a timeless appearance.

Today, pea coats are recognized for their iconic, nautical-inspired design and continue to be a popular choice for those looking for a warm and stylish winter coat. They are available in a variety of colours, although navy blue remains the most traditional and widely recognized option.

      3. Fur Trimmed Coat: Coats with fur collars or cuffs that add elegance and warmth.

Fur-trimmed coats have been popular throughout various periods in fashion history, with fur originally being made from various animal pelts. The popularity of fur-trimmed coats can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and continued into the mid-20th century. Here are some key points regarding fur-trimmed coats:

Popularity Timeline:

  • Late 19th Century: Fur-trimmed coats began to gain popularity during the late 19th century. They were often made with real fur and were worn as a status symbol among the upper classes.

  • Early 20th Century: The use of fur as a trim on coats continued into the early 20th century. Fur-trimmed collars, cuffs, and hems added a touch of luxury to coats.

  • Mid-20th Century: The mid-20th century, particularly the 1940s and 1950s, marked a peak in the popularity of fur-trimmed coats. Fur collars, often made of mink, fox, or other luxurious furs, were a common feature on women's coats.

  • Late 20th Century and Beyond: In the late 20th century and into the 21st century, there has been a shift toward using faux fur as an ethical and more affordable alternative to real fur. Faux fur-trimmed coats continue to be popular in contemporary fashion.

Fur Types: The type of fur used for trim on coats varied depending on availability and fashion trends. Some of the furs commonly used for fur-trimmed coats included:

  • Mink: Mink fur was highly prized for its softness and luxurious appearance. It was a popular choice for fur collars and cuffs.
  • Fox: Fox fur was known for its fluffy texture and rich colour variations. It added a bold and glamorous element to coats.
  • Rabbit: Rabbit fur was often used for its softness and affordability, making it accessible to a wider range of consumers.
  • Sable: Sable fur, one of the most luxurious and expensive furs, was occasionally used for trims on high-end coats.
  • Beaver: Beaver fur was appreciated for its warmth and durability. It was used for both lining and trims.
  • Faux Fur:In modern times, faux fur has become a popular and ethical alternative to real fur. It is designed to mimic the look and feel of real fur without the use of animal pelts.

The popularity of fur-trimmed coats has evolved over the years, with changes in fashion trends, societal attitudes toward fur, and the availability of alternatives. Faux fur is now a common choice for those who want the luxurious look of fur without using animal products.

      4. Swing Coat: A loose, A-line silhouette coat, often featuring large buttons.

A swing coat is a type of loose-fitting, A-line coat characterized by its flared silhouette. This style of coat has been a fashion staple for several decades, with its peak popularity during the 1950s.

Key features of a swing coat include:

  • A-Line Silhouette: Swing coats are named after their A-line shape. They are fitted at the shoulders and then flare out gradually towards the hem, allowing for a relaxed and flowy appearance.
  • Knee-Length or Longer: Swing coats are typically knee-length or longer, providing ample coverage and warmth.
  • Large Buttons: They often feature large, prominent buttons down the front for closure.
  • Wide Collar: Many swing coats have wide collars that add a touch of elegance.
  • Sleeve Length: Sleeve length can vary, with options ranging from full-length to three-quarter sleeves.

Swing coats first became popular in the mid-20th century, particularly during the 1950s. They were part of the post-war fashion era when women's fashion was evolving and embracing more feminine and elegant styles.

 

 

Swing coats were known for their graceful and feminine silhouette, making them a favourite choice for women looking for both style and comfort. These coats were often made from wool or other warm materials to provide adequate protection against cold weather.

 

 

In the 1950s, fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly were often seen wearing swing coats, further contributing to their popularity. Today, swing coats remain a classic style that can be found in various lengths, materials, and colours, making them a versatile and timeless addition to any wardrobe.

       5. Duffle Coat: Known for its toggle fastenings and hood, a duffle coat is cosy and stylish.

A duffle coat, also known as a duffel coat, is a classic style of coat that originated from Belgium and gained popularity in the United Kingdom. Duffle coats are known for their distinctive features:

  1. Toggle Fastenings: Duffle coats typically have a front closure with wooden or horn toggle fastenings, often paired with jute or leather loops.

  2. Hood: They usually feature a roomy hood with a detachable throat latch for added warmth and protection.

  3. Knee-Length or Longer: Duffle coats are designed to be long, extending to the knee or lower, providing excellent coverage and warmth.

  4. Thick, Coarse Wool Fabric: Traditionally, duffle coats are crafted from dense, warm, and water-resistant fabrics, often made from a blend of wool, camel hair, or other natural fibres.

The duffle coat's history can be traced back to the early 20th century, with its roots in Belgium. The original design was developed for the Belgian Royal Navy as a practical and warm coat for sailors. Its distinctive toggle fastenings were easy to secure, even while wearing gloves. The term "duffle" or "duffel" referred to the rough, durable fabric used in the coat's construction.

The duffle coat gained broader popularity when it was adopted by the British Royal Navy during World War II. The British saw the practicality and warmth of the design and began producing them for naval personnel. After the war, the duffle coat transitioned into civilian fashion, becoming a beloved and enduring style for both men and women.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the duffle coat was embraced by the fashion-conscious youth culture in the UK, including the "mod" subculture. The coat's popularity continued to grow, and it became associated with a youthful and casual style. Notable British figures, such as The Beatles, were often seen wearing duffle coats during this period.

Duffle coats remain a classic and practical choice for cold weather, known for their durability, warmth, and timeless style. They have also experienced periodic revivals in fashion, with contemporary variations that retain the essential features that make them iconic.

Other Popular Choices for Winter Outerwear:

  1. Cape Coat: A dramatic and elegant coat with an open front and wide arm openings.

  2. Military Coat: Inspired by military uniforms, it often has structured shoulders and gold buttons.

  3. Cocoon Coat: Known for its oversized, rounded shape that provides ample warmth.

  4. Mink Stole: A vintage fur accessory, often draped over the shoulders.

  5. Faux Fur Jacket: Cosy and glamorous, faux fur jackets add a touch of luxury.

  6. Bouclé Coat: Made from textured, looped yarn, giving it a distinctive appearance.

  7. Varsity Jacket: A sporty, retro jacket with contrasting sleeves and a college-inspired design.

  8. Leather Bomber Jacket: A classic style with a zip front and ribbed cuffs and hem.

  9. Puffer Coat: Vintage puffer coats offer both warmth and a unique retro aesthetic.

  10. Velvet Coat: Luxurious and regal, vintage velvet coats come in various styles, cuts and can be found with or without fur trims.

  11. Plaid Coat: A timeless pattern that can be found on various coat styles.

  12. Shearling Coat: Known for its cosy lining and leather exterior, shearling coats are perfect for cold winters.

  13. Fishtail Parka: A vintage military-style parka with a distinctive fishtail back.

  14. Chesterfield Coat: A classic overcoat with a single-breasted design and a velvet collar.

  15. Retro Ski Jacket: A fun and colourful option inspired by vintage ski fashion.

Back to blog