The duffel / duffle coat has long been a stapel of many a chap’s wardrobe – its statement toggles and historic origins meaning that the coat is oft remade but seldom reinterpreted. Classic fashion pieces come and go however – the overt military-inspired fashions of recent years are as out of fashion as they were in the 90s – but it’s safe to say that in 2012 the duffle coat makes yet another comeback.
To borrow a phrase, the stars have aligned for the duffle coat. On one hand is the fact that there is a burgeoning revival of British Mod, 1960s fashion – in Post-War Britain the duffle coat was more than just a men’s fashion statement, it was a commonality. On the other hand you have the emergence of two fashion forward men’s trends: loose tailoring and curved shoulders, two cuts that are a natural fit (if you’ll pardon pun) for the duffle coat given it’s a garment that has historically been cut loose to meet the needs of the British naval officers who wore them. The dominance of these two men’s trends in the coming years has meant that many a fashion house has turned their eye to bringing the duffle coat back to the fore.
We found these incredible images from early 1960’s Burberry Ad Campaigns and used them as reference points for the collection.
– Christopher Bailey,
Burberry Chief Creative Officer
So there’s the case. A trend has been reborn, another reimagined, and the duffle coat returns with them both. But given its a wardrobe staple to be worn long after the current season has been and gone, there comes the need for gents to invest in a duffle coat of quality proportions – after all, the premise of the curated wardrobe is that we all should investment in high-quality statement pieces, and mixed quality regular pieces.
Who, then, has made a statement, and a quality one at that, out of the duffle coat for 2011 / 2012? I’d be lying if I said anyone but Burberry Prorsum‘s take on the garment has stuck in my mind. Perfect in its silhouette, the Burberry Prorsum men’s duffle coat offers up quality-obvious details aplenty. Few though are as strong as its colour: where most duffle coats opt for a contrast of brown leather toggles against navy or black felt, Burberry have made the leather work the subtle element against the coat’s tangerine colouring (for the more conservative minded, it’s also available in black-on-black).
Contrast colours don’t communicate quality of course – so what makes Burberry Prorsum’s men’s duffle coat truly worthy of your wardrobe? The finer details.
Constructed from felt blanket wool, the cloth is tightly pressed to ensure that the coat is resistant to both wind and cold temperatures. In that much alone it lives up to Christopher Bailey’s desire to make his Burberry Prorsum autumn / winter 2011 collection “all about protection from all the elements.” And that’s a type of protection that very much comes down to the selection of cloth as anyone whose had the misfortune of wearing a poorly made duffle coat on an icy day can tell you.
Up top the duffle coat sports a detachable hood. Again it’s historically accurate with a loose cut, as under a duffle coat’s hood naval officers were still required to wear their caps. In that you have versatility, though to remove the hood would go someway to toning down the coat’s overall statement. But it’s still statement aplenty with the worked-in equestrian details – below your chin you’ll find the necessary throat latch for protection against wind and rain, while at the rear the coat is finished with a buttoned martingale strap.
The Burberry Prorsum sculptural felted wool duffle coat is available from Burberry.com and selected stores globally. It retails for AUD$2,995.