Seafaring has changed a lot over the past two centuries, but sartorially, not so much. Consider the peacoat—that double-breasted buffer against the elements and the ever-shifting tides of fashion, worn by Dutch sailors as early as the late 18th century. Now, Sterlingwear of Boston, which has been producing the U.S. Navy’s standard-issue jacket since 1968, is also launching a line for the non-enlisted. With its authentic details—durable melton wool, slash pockets, six foul-anchor buttons, and an oversize collar to shield your face (whether you’re contemplating the fjords or your unplowed driveway)—it’s about as close as you can get to the real thing. And given the current vogue for military-inspired clothing, Sterlingwear is spinning out more variations on the peacoat than ever, from a fashion-forward cropped version in houndstooth plaid to a belted women’s look with epaulets. One design comes with a full satin lining, as opposed to the traditional part-fleece, in case you’re looking for a bit of extra flair.
After more than 40 years, Sterlingwear, the maker of the U.S. navy peacoat, is creating gear for civilians, too.