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Duffle Coat Definition and History

Style Glossary: Duffle Coat

Miss Selfridge at ShopStyle

Paddington Bear's favourite piece of clothing has experienced a resurgence recently. The winter classic has been spotted on Lily Allen, Agyness Deyn and Britney Spears. But what actually is a duffle coat?

It is defined as, 'A knee-length wool coat with a hood, square shoulder yoke, large patch pockets, rope frogging and wooden toggle closures. Originally worn by Belgian fishermen, the duffle coat was adopted by the Royal Navy in WWI and WWII, and then in the 1940s French students snapped up this item and many other military styles inexpensively at surplus sales.

Filmmaker Jean Cocteau saw the look in the Latin Quarter cafes and began wearing it about town, including to opera premieres. Eventually the duffle coat became a classic overcoat, adopted for rainwear and cold-weather dressing where its utilitarian nature comes in handy.'

This red duffle coat is from Miss Selfridge (£55).

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