What is a pancake hood on a duffle coat?


As if the word ‘duffle’ wasn’t strange enough, the hood on a duffle coat has an even weirder name.


Yep, ‘pancake’ as in:

 “a thin, flat cake of batter, fried on both sides in a pan and typically rolled up with a sweet or savoury filling.”

Except of course there’s nothing edible about the hoods of our duffle coats.


So why are they called pancake hoods?

Although we’d love to give you an impressive reason dating back to the early naval origins of the duffle coat…we can’t. The truth is far more basic.

It’s called a pancake hood because it lies flat against the back of the coat when not in use.

True, that might not be the most exciting fact you’ve ever learnt. But the fact that the hood lies flat is a bonus. It stops the hood collecting rain, snow or autumn leaves. And when you’re not wearing the hood, it doesn’t bulge out and ruin the cut of the coat.

And if you’ve ever wondered why duffle coats are designed with (pancake) hoods, here’s why:

The earliest duffle coats were made for officers in the British Navy. And part of an officer’s uniform is the peaked cap. So when the officers pulled on their duffle coats over their uniform, the hood had to be large enough to fit over the peaked cap.

And the hood was kept in place by a throat tab, meaning the hood and peaked cap could withstand whatever winds the sea could throw at them.

Who knew there was so much history behind the humble pancake hood of the duffle coat?!