Sailor Reefer Jackets: National Trends

Figure 1.--This English image shows an idealized winter svene with a boy wearing a reefer jacket as part of a sailor suit. It shows what a smart sailor-suited boy would wear in cold weather. Also note the boy's high-laced boots and black stockings. Notice how decidely girlish a muff had become. Click on the image fir information about muffs.

The reefer jacket or pea coat like the sailor suit was worn by boys throughout Europe and America. While sailors suits varied somewhat from country to country, HBC has noted much less variance in the rather basic styles of reefer jackets. Boys iniitially wore reefer jsckes with their sailor suits. Reefer jackets were such serviceable garments that they are still worn today. The reefer jacket was of course created in England, but along with the sailor suit became a fashion staple in many other countries as well.



The pea coat/reefer jacket was adopted by the Royal Navy. When Queen Victoria began dressing the royal princes in sailor suits, the style developed into a major boys fashion. And this included the reefer jacket. We don not yet have a reefer pea coat/jacket page for England. We do have a sailor-styled coat page.


(The) Neterlands

The pea coat seems to have had Dutch origins.


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Created: December 17, 2000
Last updated: 5:11 PM 12/13/2009