Parka vs Coat

Parka and coat is essential for those who live in 4-seasons region or those who live in colder territory in order to keep warm. Parka and coat are also popular mainstream fashion item and being worn not only as protective clothing. Since they have similar shape, appearance and functionality, sometimes they also confused for each other. To ease you differentiating them, please read our article below about Parka and Coat.

In this article we are going to give you information about:
– What is Parka and Coat
– Parka and Coat Types
– Parka vs Coat

About Parka
Parka is a piece of coat that was attached with a hood and commonly lined with fur or faux fur. The garment was invented by the Caribou Inuit and initially made from caribou or seal skin to protect them while hunting or kayaking in the cold Arctic. Some of the original Inuit parka needed to be coated with a kind of fish oil to keep the item waterproof.

The term parka and anorak are quite often used interchangeably, but somehow they used to refer different garments. Parkas is the one stuffed with down or very warm synthetic fiber, fur/faux fur lined and is hip length while anorak is the one with waterproof property and commonly has no front opening. However there are many apparel companies used the Parka term to refer anorak, so their difference might not really matter.

Parka Types
Before parka begins to popular as fashion item, it was first used by the United States Army. For example; the snorkel parka or scrub snorkel, which originally has ¾ length and has a full-attached hood. This item was first developed in the USA during the early 1950s for soldiers that were stationed in extremely cold areas where the temperatures may reach -50°C.

This parka is initially made from a sage green DuPont flight silk nylon outer and lining then the material changed to polyester wadding to make the jacket warmer and lighter. Because of its functionality, this type of parka then copied and sold in civilian market in varying qualities.

Another type of parka is the fishtail parka that first used by the United States Army during the Korean War in 1950. This parka got its name from fishtail extension at the back that can be folded up between the legs like a Knochensack and fixed using a connector to protect the wearer from cold wind.

The fishtail is fixed at the front or can be folded to ease movement. This item became a symbol of mods subculture in the 1960s UK, as the garment is cheap and ideal to protect their smarter clothes underneath from grease and dirt while they are on their way with their scooter.

About Coat
Coat is a piece of garment that was worn on top of other clothes to protect the wearer from cold weather. Coats are commonly has long sleeves and the front is open all the way down, this opening is closed either with buttons, zippers, hook-and –loop fasteners, toggles, a belt or combination of these.

In present days, coats are worn regardless gender and can be worn as fashion as well as protective clothing. Other features that might be found on coats are collars, shoulder straps and hoods. Coats were likely to be first invented by the Persian.

In medieval and renaissance era coat was a middle length garment that was fitted to the waist and buttoned up at the front with full skirt in its essentials and worn only by men. The popularity of coat then begins to surge in 18th Century and replaced capes and cloaks as outerwear.

Coat Types
By the 19th Century, coats were divided into two kinds they are under-coats and overcoat. Overcoat is the coat that worn as an outerwear while Undercoat is the type of coat that was worn under the overcoat. However the undercoat word now is not being used anymore and people only use the term coat to refer the overcoat.

Overcoat was design to be worn as outermost garment or outerwear in outdoor activities. The length of overcoat may vary, but the most common are the one that ends in mid-calf. Other type of coat is the topcoat that is slightly shorter than overcoat. The term of coat and jacket are sometimes used interchangeably among American English speakers.

Aside from the original overcoat, in present days fashion there are several types of coats commonly worn by people whether for fashion or for warmth. Such as pea coat that was popularized by the navy, designed to keep the wearer against the cold wind of the open sea. Trench coat is the one that was designed by Thomas Burberry for British military and then shift into mainstream fashion.

Car coat, which was originally designed to keep the drivers warm when driving old-fashioned open cars. Duffle coat also gains it popularity after being worn by the British Royal Navy during WWI and WWII. The coat has iconic toggle closure that was designed, so it can easily fasten and unfasten while wearing gloves.

Parka vs Coat

- Commonly has waterproof property- Has no waterproof property
- Commonly in shorter length than Coats- The length is longer than typical Parka
- Invented to protect the wearer against cold environment, especially when the wind is strong and cold- Worn to keep the wearer warm in cold weather
- Are considered lightweight compare to Coat- Are made from heavyweight material compare to Parka

The easiest way to differentiate Parka and coat is in the material. Parkas are commonly waterproof, shorter and lighter than Coat. Coat is worn when the weather is cold but Parka is worn when there is a strong cold wind outside. When choosing between both, think about the practical function over the styles, since both are initially made to be protective clothing.

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