Duffle coat, is traditionally a coat made from a double-weave “duffel” which is a coarse, thick, woollen material which originates from Belgian town of Duffel.
It is thought likely that military history, probably a Polish coat from the 1820’s, gave us the original design of this classic garment.
By 1850’s the integrated hood and horn or wooden toggles were popular – and examples have been seen of outerwear manufacturer John Partridge having developed the first version of the duffle coat.
By 1890 the Royal Navy were known users of their version of the coat in camel – called the “convoy coat” – the fastenings being easy to operate with gloves on. As a result the toggle-fastenings – rope or leather loops to attach them – the coat was known as a “toggle coat,” especially in the United States.
The coat was particularly popular with Field Marshall Montgomery – and became nicknamed – “the Monty”.
Post World War II in line with its availability in army surplus store the Duffle coat became popular especially with students – some on the left-wing of politics!
In 1955, British firm now called “Gloverall Plc” – having been established in 1951 as a Gloves and Overall wholesalers by Harold and Freda Morris – purchased a stock of military surplus coats which sold very well. They started producing their own version of the Duffle coat using leather fastenings and Buffalo horn toggles with a double-faced check back fabric. This set the core design for other modern manufacturers to follow with some preferring to use the softer Melton wool fabric.
Our featured photo is of a classic Monty Duffle coat as still made by Gloverall who continue a fine tradition of making and selling this splendid coat.
Photo by Gloverall Plc