History of the Fishtail Parka

November 1, 2012

The Fishtail Parka was first used in the United States Army in 1951 to help protect soldiers from harsh weather conditions during the Korean War.  Our fishtail parka is inspired by the M1951 style.  The M stands for military and the number is the year it was standardized.  The name fishtail comes from the fact that the coat is longer at the back than it is at the front.

The parka’s outer shell was originally made of a water-repellent cotton/nylon in olive green shade 107.  It’s features included a slide fastening opening, convenient pocket arrangements and a draw-cord design.

The detatchabe liner offered a flexible solution to cold weather.  The original parka-liner was made of 16-oz mohair frieze and had no hood.

There is a common misconception about the function of the split back.  Most people tend to tie the back strings together.  The correct way to wear the M1951 parka in cold weather is to tie the front string to the back string so the parka wraps around the leg to seal in warm air.

In the 1960′s the fishtail parka became a symble of the mod subculture.  Aside from being practical, cheap and readily available from army surplus stores, it also protected their nicer clothes underneath from grease and dirt as they rode around on scooters or during the Bank Holiday riots.

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