Distinguishing Pea Coats from Trench Coats

What is a Pea Coat?

A pea coat is a short-length outer coat, originally worn by European and American navy personnel, designed to protect them from the cold at sea. Traditionally, pea coats are made from heavy, scratchy, navy-colored wool, but today they are made from softer wools and come in various colors. Pea coats have double-breasted fronts, large buttons, broad lapels, and slash or vertical pockets. Some modern pea coats also have anchor etchings on the buttons to signify their nautical history.

What is a Trench Coat?

A trench coat is a garment originally worn by Army officers and adapted for use in the trenches during World War I. Trench coats are sturdy, waterproof, lightweight garments made from materials such as gabardine, leather, or poplin. They traditionally feature double-breasted fronts with 10 buttons, wide lapels, button-closed pockets, and a storm flap. Trench coats also have a waist belt, wrist straps, and a turned-down collar that can be flipped upwards. Military officers often decorate their trench coats with epaulettes.

Key Takeaways

  • The main difference between pea coats and trench coats is the material they are made from; pea coats are made of wool, while trench coats are made from materials like cotton gabardine and poplin.
  • Pea coats were originally worn by sailors, while trench coats were adapted for use in the trenches during World War I.
  • Pea coats have a shorter length and do not have a belt, while trench coats are longer and feature a belt and wrist straps.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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