The Fishtail Parka Spectrum

    On brisk days, layering is a must. Go for a thick aran knit sweater or a denim jacket, for some extra ruggedness.

The M-51 fishtail parka is the rebellious man's rain jacket. Named for the two points at the back (which fold up with ease and snap into an upper part of the jacket to create a straighter hem), they were first used by the US Army in 1951 to help protect soldiers from the elements in the Korean War. Today, they've got a bit of a hooligan appeal to them, partly due to their association with British juvenile delinquents and counter-culture. But that makes them a little cooler though, doesn't it? From surplus-inspired brands to some style-conscious interpretations, here are a few worth checking out:


Rotchco, $65

Inspired by a 1951 army-issue jacket, this 100% cotton parka will protect you from mild winds.


Barneys Co-Op, $495 / $199

Made from a cotton/nylon blend, this no-nonsense parka looks good with just about anything.


Ace Hotel x Alpha Industries, $300

100% waterproof, there's also a convenient smartphone-shaped pocket on the sleeve.


Spiewak, $275 / $150

Lined with sherpa fleece, angled button chest pockets give this parka a utilitarian feel.


Nike, $250

Comprised of an outer cotton layer and the added benefit of a removable, quilted nylon liner.


Nudie, $613 / $359

Made from of-the-moment waxed cotton, this navy parka also has a pile lining for more frigid temps.


Published on

January 29, 2013

Written by