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Our woollen pea coats will turn you into a James Bond lookalike (maybe)
Shall we start with a quiz this week? Here goes.
For 10 points, which film opens with this immortal line:
“M doesn’t mind you earning a little money on the side, Dryden. She’d just prefer it if it wasn’t selling secrets.”
Got it? You’re right. It’s the opening scene to Casino Royale and the line is spoken by Daniel Craig in his début role as James Bond.
But the opening line and Craig’s début aren’t the most important part of this film.
The coat he’s wearing in that first scene. It’s a navy, woollen pea coat. Call us trivial, but you can tell a man by his coat and if you want to look stylish, (and ruggedly handsome) then a pea coat is a great place to start.
Like its close relation, the duffle coat, the pea coat has its origins in the British Navy. There’s some debate over where the name came from, but most accounts agree that the name ‘pea’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘pij’ meaning a heavy woollen fabric.
British sailors wore the heavy, double-breasted pea coat for protection against the elements. It was also worn by ‘reefers’, the sailors who climbed up the rigging of ships. Which is why the coat is also sometimes called a reefer coat.
The coat was cut to be slim-fitting at the waist and then to flare out slightly over the hips allowing for movement as the sailors climbed the rigging. Traditional woollen pea coats are still cut this way and the wide shoulders, combined with the fitted waist, provide a classic masculine silhouette. Maybe that’s why Bond insisted on wearing one?
True pea coats are rich in thick Melton wool. The finishing processes mean that the weave of the wool is completely concealed, resulting in a smooth finish. And Melton wool also has all the usual benefits of wool making this coat a warm, stylish choice for winter. The traditional pea coat boasts a large collar which, once turned up, protects the neck from the elements and instantly transforms you into a Bond lookalike. Not bad for a reasonably priced warm winter coat!
The pea coat can be worn casually during the day, but comes into its own after dark when it dashes around Shanghai killing baddies. Oh wait, we’re getting confused with Bond again. Silliness aside, it’s a versatile, stylish coat that works well for the day and for more formal evenings.
Looking for a pea coat? See our Pea coat sale
We currently stock pea coats in four different colours, and – good news – they’re on sale.
Like our traditional duffle coats, the pea coats are all hand made in England with a high wool content to keep you warm during the winter months. And our pea coats all acknowledge their naval origins with six classic pea coat buttons; polished and engraved with anchors.
The pea coat suits sailors, members of Her Majesty’s Secret Service and men who want to combine classic style with warmth and durability this winter. We’re not really promising that a pea coat will make you look as sharp as James Bond, but there’s no harm in trying is there?