In Detail: Water Repellent Fishtail Parka


The influence of surplus military gear on menswear is hard to overstate, and the fishtail parka is an iconic example. Its adoption by British Mods in the 60’s rooted these jackets in a postwar musical subculture, and most versions you see today pay homage to that tradition. Classic olive drab is the default color, and many include the types of graphics and patches Mods and their descendants used to customize their fishtails and give them an aggressive, individualistic edge.

We wanted to do something a little different with the silhouette while speaking to the practicality that’s made it so enduring. It’s length, volume, hood, waist cord and leg ties are all meant to protect you from the elements, but it’s always struck us that the fishtail’s traditional cotton-blend fabrics (which date back to its invention during the Korean War) won’t keep you warm and dry for long if the weather really turns.

We found a Japanese technical fabric that offers legitimate weather resistance in the guise of a classic tartan. It’s actually cotton-linen shirting that’s been bonded to nylon, and the effect is a gauzy, summery exterior that’s backed up by all the lightweight capability of a contemporary taped-seam jacket. Combined with the parka’s traditional features, this is one of the most functional raincoats you could ever own. It’s a fishtail in every detail, but isn’t like any you’ve seen before.