Peacoat Fit Guide

The pea coat is a versatile and stylish piece for any wardrobe. There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing this type of outerwear to find the right fit.

Pea coats were originally made to be close fitting with some flair on the hips that allowed the reefers to climb the ship’s ropes. They were cut a bit longer than a regular jacket but did remain shorter than a greatcoat for practicalities’ sake. Layers could be worn underneath, but sometimes in very inclement weather the sailors were unable to button up their protective collars all the way up and used cordage to keep the collars up, instead.

Current Navy pea coats are worn fitted and should always be buttoned up at least to the collar. They do, however, feature a center vent in the back for extra comfort. The coats also are designed with exterior slit pockets and small, hidden pockets inside the coat, as well.

The proper fit can be tricky for these military-styled, double breasted garments:

  • You will want a coat that has high arm holes. This will ensure that the body of the coat does not move around on you when you shift your arms.
  • Next, you want to purchase a coat that fits more trimly through the arms and torso than through the waist. You may need to visit a good tailor to get the proper proportions, depending on your body shape.
  • Lastly, you will want to make sure the length of the coat hits you just below the hips. Coats that are too long will appear cumbersome, and pea coats that are too short will visually add unwanted weight to the wearer.

There are other varieties and styles of peacoats that may follow current designers’ trends featuring zippered pockets, fancy epaulets, hoods and other fashionable extras. We suggest that sticking to the basic classic naval pea coat, you’ll never go out of style and will get years of use out of your purchase.