Return of the Monty coat
A coat worn by Paddington bear, Churchill, Montgomery and made famous by the Royal Navy has become popular once again – the Duffel coat is back. Sales are soaring for the first time in almost 50 years, says high street store Debenhams.
The plain, functional, warm material and simple toggles appeal to shoppers and offer comfort in tougher times, say retail boffins at the store. Said Debenhams spokesman Ed Watson: “Duffel coats are a form of fashion where style meets the Dunkirk spirit.
“They embody so much of the British character – a desire to look good, combined with a gritty determination to carry on.
“This is the biggest boost to Duffel coat sales that we’ve seen since Paddington Bear was found wearing one by the Brown family over fifty years ago.”
Demand for Duffel coats has leapt by an incredible 59 per cent in the last two months alone, Debenhams sales figures reveal.
And leading designers such as John Rocha and Jasper Conran have used and adapted the style as the basis of this year’s new winter collections. More recently, famous celebrities have adopted the Duffel as a coat of choice including; One Direction, Jude Law, Robbie Williams, Alexa Chung, Taylor Swift, Cheryl Cole and Stacey Soloman.
These coats are made from duffel, hence their name, a thick woven woollen material whose name is derived from the town in Belgium where the weave was invented.
Original Duffel coats traditionally have three or four wooden or horn shaped fastenings – sometimes known as walrus teeth – with rope or leather straps. Two large pockets at the front are covered with flaps. However, modern variations can have faux fur collars, come in a variety of colours and are often mid length as well as knee length.
“There’s a rugged individuality about it, a square-jawed symbol of resistance which, for many people, summons up images of Jack Hawkins in The Cruel Sea.
“An anorak may do the job of keeping out the cold weather just as well, but it doesn’t have the same British heritage as a Duffel coat,” said Ed Watson, Debenhams spokesperson.
The top selling Duffel coats at Debenhams are a mens Mantaray navy version for £120 and a Red Herring red short duffel for women at £55.
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