Questions About the United States Navy Peacoat

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Matt Jones, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

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    46
    Highly informative thread - I've saved Peacoat's outstanding Guide page and want to thank "responsible D" for the sewing tips! I am going to try lengthening the sleeves of a 40R DSCP coat tonight! Thanks to Peacoat's dating and history Guide, I was able to just this week, identify and score (total cost: $67.59) this coat for my son, who although is only 14 yrs old with a 30" chest, should grow into this great '66!: [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

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    4,609
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    @O'DubhGhaill That 34 is a good score. They are hard to find. I have one for my wife, but it is a 1980 coat with the Melton wool. A 34 is a bit large on her, but that is about as good as I can do. Don't think they made a size 32. But being a girl she prefers the more fashionable stuff, even if it isn't nearly as warm. When it is really cold, she will switch to the peacoat and layer to take up the space between body and coat.

    You will need to get a thick (really thick) wooden coat hanger, or make one out of hard foam pipe insulation. The wire hangers aren't good for the shell.
     
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  3. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

    Messages:
    46
    Peacoat, thanks for the response. I too, have never found an issue size 32, so my son will have to "bulk up," one way or another - like me at his age, he's gaining height, not mass, although he has already surpassed me in height! You are absolutely correct (as always here :) ) about the hangers. I've been using these (available from Amazon here) and the trouser bar is great for hanging the requisite scarf, watchcap, gloves, etc., assigned to that particular coat:
    [​IMG]
     
    Michael A likes this.
  4. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

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    I see that you were able to do this to a pre-67 coat - do you think this would work on modern issue coats, DCPS Sterlingwear? I would sure love to be able to gain an inch on the sleeves of a 2000's issue 40R!
     
  5. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,609
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    That depends on the amount of available material on the inside of the cuff. I just checked the cuff of my wife's 34s, and there isn't much material there. Probably varies with the coat. Take it to a tailor or a seamstress and see what a professionals thinks.

    Those hangers are the business. That's exactly what you need. They are expensive but effective. I saw them once on sale for $5 apiece. I grabbed two handfuls, and now wish I had gotten more.

    In an earlier post I mentioned that a size 34 was about as good as I could do, but I forgot about the WWII coats. I have seen the stray 32 in that style, but never in the post war models. Now that more women are in the Navy, there is a version for women, but they are all post 1980 with the Melton shell. A size 32 would probably have the same sleeve and body lengths as a 34.
     
  6. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

    Messages:
    46
    So the cuff mod didn't work well on the '66. However, there is a good deal of material tucked up under the 1/2" cuff seam, so I'm having it lowered 1 1/2" and having the seam resewn as original. I resewed all the buttons using Responsible D's instruction using good black nylon thread and the job is outstanding, if I have to say so myself. Over time, these buttons were replaced and resewn not quite where they should have been. Made measurements and got spacing in four directions just right, including the very top under collar.

    I picked up a '62 from the original owner, Craig's list, shipped, size 36R (for when my son outgrows the 34R), however it has a bit more wear, some minor fraying on the vertical edge of the rear bottom back inner flap, typical liner separation at the top of that back slit area, buttons need redoing, but otherwise, it should look good after a dryclean.

    Lastly, I found a WWII coat size 38 or 40, seller not sure, very dusty, but no mothing apparently, almost same price as the '66 above, ... arriving tomorrow, straight to the drycleaner, then assess...we shall see:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,609
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    A good dry cleaning will work wonders for those coats.

    I hope you didn't try the cuff lengthening yourself, but took it to a seamstress. That is a heavy wool shell you have to work through.
     
  8. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

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    46
    So the WWII coat arrived and I am completely blown away! The pictures posted by the seller (that I cut and pasted above) are just terrible - while the coat actually is a very little bit dusty with some lint (not nearly as bad as the lighting in the photo seemed to enhance), it is a deep dark almost black (I realize that it is very dark blue, but appears unfaded), no fading inside or out, as the photos might suggest, and I assess it as practically unworn with absolutely no stains, wear spots, mothing, fraying, or damage of any kind! It is relatively stiff all around the coat. The label pictured above, is in actuality much darker with sharp clear print - the coat looks brand new and never dry-cleaned! Perhaps this sailor served in the Pacific and never had use for the coat there, so it lived in a seabag or sea locker back home? I couldn't figure what was the silk looking thing sticking out of the pocket as pictured above - I was worried it was a pocket lining repair gone bad and not original. Turns out that inside both perfect, yellow-corduroy-lined pockets were two 3' x 3' square black silk scarves, nicely stitched all around the edges, one of which was stenciled with the same sailor's name as the inside of the coat and the label. Turns out they are the WWII silk squares used to roll up and wear around the neck knotted at the front (both show numerous ~2" folding impressions across the scarf). There was also a ~ 1" x 14" silk band with "U S NAVY" professionally stenciled on it - research suggest that it might be the silk band used around the brim of the WWII issued "Donald Duck" flat cap worn by USN enlisted? There was also a small padded black silk purse thingy pouch, about 6" x 3". The buttons appear to be original, tight stitching and there is a completely intact throat latch buttoned under the collar. I very reluctantly took it to the dry cleaners today, but stressed the vintage perfection of the coat and the cleaner made note to take special care - I decided to clean it as I was concerned about unseen contaminants such as fine dust or even asbestos that might be deep in the wool. The coat has a faint, what I would call, dusty WWII scent, not moldy or mildewey whatsoever, just a faint old smell to it. Unbelievable! I am stunned. I think it might be a WWII-size 42 as it fits me like a 40 and I have a 39" chest, 31" waist (5'9" 147lbs.) and usually wear a 38L. No size label found. Pics to follow...
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  9. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,609
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Sounds as if you hit a home run with this peacoat. Congratulations. Post the exact p2p measurements, and I will tell you the tagged size of your coat. See my guide toward the end for the correct way to take the measurement.
     
  10. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,832
    Wow!! What a find. Please post pics of all the extras with the coat. You really hit the mother-load on that one. We all dream of a packed away, never used item and rarely even see them.
    Outstanding!!
    Bowen
     
    Peacoat likes this.
  11. Kennyz

    Kennyz New in Town

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    37
    Location:
    Ohio
    Very cool! Congratulations, O'DubhGhaill.

    Ken

     
  12. Spacetime

    Spacetime New in Town

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    3
    Hi,

    Can someone please tell me how much does a WWII 8 buttons showing peacoat weigh in a size 34 or 36? What is the fabric weight -- 36 oz.? And total weight of the coat? I'm asking because I'm not sure how comfortable the weight would wear on me. A few years ago I tried on a Schott 32 oz peacoat and the heavy weight was noticeable upon putting it on, but that was only trying it on for less than 5 minutes.

    How does the weight of a WWII 8 buttons showing peacoat compare to a Sterlingwear 24 oz Mariner peacoat? Is the Sterlingwear much more comfortable to wear everyday? (I like the 8 buttons showing peacoats because they button up higher on the front, and I just the 8 buttons look.)

    Since the US Navy announced the phasing out of the peacoat as its official outerwear and it will be replace by a synthetic cold weather parka by Oct 2020, I imagine this is one of the reasons Sterlingwear no longer has a retail website. And finding sizing information for Sterlingwear has always been a challenge but more so now.

    Recently, I took a chance and called Sterlingwear and was able to connect to a person who told me that I could order a peacoat from them. Unfortunately, when I asked for the actual measurements of a size 34 he gave me the numbers from their size chart, saying a 34 has 16" chest, 36 has 17" chest, 38 has 18" chest. I told him that I wear a 34S suit and that I have jackets that measures 18-19" across the chest with 16.5-17" shoulder that fit perfectly, with the shoulder being key for me. He said that I should order a size 38 Sterlingwear peacoat. Somehow sizing up two sizes from my suit size for a peacoat doesn't sound right to me. If anything, my initial thought was that I would need a size 32 in a Sterlingwear after seeing a 32R listing for sale on another forum as having 17" shoulder and 18" chest and having read through hundreds of pages on the subject of Sterlingwear sizing including the sales advertisements on all those Japanese sites. In the end, I'm still not sure what size would fit me in Sterlingwear if I do decide to go that route.

    Which brings me back to the beginning -- on eBay I can get the actual measurements of the coat but I don't know how the weight would feel on me. I'm curious if anyone has found the vintage heavier weight peacoats to be too heavy for daily wear and have switched to a lighter weight peacoat and found it to be a better option. Obviously, most here are extolling the vintage peacoats so there's a risk of sort of like speaking into an echo chamber but I thought I'd ask here anyways since this is the most active thread on vintage peacoats.

    Many thanks.
     
  13. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,609
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    I have worn several WWII coats and numerous post WWII coats. Never noticed a difference in weight in any of them. Never heard anyone say either was too heavy for daily wear. That's a new one on me. The shell weight for WWII coats and pre WWII coats is the same. I think it is about 38 or 40 oz. I used to know but that was years ago.

    If I remember, tomorrow I will weigh a WWII coat and a post WWII coat on a digital scale that reads out to a tenth of pound. That will remove any subjectiveness in my answer.

    BTW, welcome to the Lounge. PC
     
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  14. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,609
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    I weighed my size 42 WWII peacoat on a digital scale. It came in at 4.65 lb. I weighed my 1965 size 42 peacoat on the same digital scale. It weighed 4.65 lb.

    So, if one is able to wear a post war coat without feeling the weight, the WWII coat will be the same.
     
    Kennyz likes this.
  15. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    3,133
    Location:
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    I'm surprised the person at Sterlingwear said to order two sizes up from your suit size, since in my limited experience their coats fit true-to-size, i.e. you wear the same size as your suit size. But there may be quirks of the small-sized coats. 34S is basically a child's size. I know you don't want to hear that, but it is.

    Don't trust measurements on eBay, as they are taken by a wide range of people, most of whom have no experience with taking consistent measurements of clothing. In short, their measurments will be unreliable.

    As for weight, unless you have back problems or some other issues, wearing a heavy coat should be do-able.
     
  16. Spacetime

    Spacetime New in Town

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    3

    That's really great of you to provide empirical data. Thank you.
     
  17. Spacetime

    Spacetime New in Town

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    3

    Thank you for your input, appreciate it.
     
  18. Cornelius

    Cornelius New in Town

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    Location:
    Great Lakes
    I had not heard that news about the USN planning to discontinue this part of the uniform... bummer.
     
  19. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,609
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Yes, there are quirks in the small sizes * (as there are with the very large sizes), but don't know that the quirks are enough to go up two sizes. That is extreme, and I don't think it is good advice.

    Yes, the 34s is a very small peacoat. A 32s is a definitely a child's size. I found three 34s peacoats for my wife. ** She is petite at 5' 4" and 120 lb. The 34s is a little large on her, and she would do better with a 32s, but I have't come across one. Pretty much given up now. She doesn't wear them much anyway. Much of the warmth of the peacoat is lost on her as there is so much air transfer within the coat because it doesn't fit her closely.

    De Oppresso Liber
    ______
    * 32, 34 and to a lesser extent size 36.
    ** Wasn't intentionally looking for three peacoats for her, but with trial and error and a mistake by a seller, that's what I ended up with.
     
  20. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,609
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Speaking of WWII 34s peacoats, there is a nice one listed right now. The tag doesn't show much wear. I would think this one came from the latter part of WWII. I asked the seller about moth damage. Here is her reply: "I'm not an expert, but there is no obvious signs of moth damage - just a little bit of wear around the collar from regular use resulting in a slightly lighter color."

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Real-Vinta...a=1&pg=2334524&_trksid=p2334524.c100667.m2042
     
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