Parka

From The Dress Code
{{#ifexist: File:Parka.svg | x350px | x350px}}
Class Outerwear
Type Coat
Material Cotton, Leather, Polyester, Gore-Tex
Length Unknown
Shape Unknown
Alias Unknown

A parka is a type of hooded coat often lined with fur or faux fur.

Features

The words anorak and parka have been used interchangeably, but they are somewhat different garments. Strictly speaking, an anorak is a waterproof, hooded, pull-over jacket without a front opening, and sometimes drawstrings at the waist and cuffs, and a parka is a hip-length cold-weather coat, typically stuffed with down or very warm synthetic fiber, and with a fur-lined hood.

Origins

The Caribou Inuit invented this kind of garment, originally made from caribou or seal skin, for hunting and kayaking in the frigid Arctic. Some Inuit anoraks require regular coating with fish oil to retain their water resistance.

The original snorkel parka (USAF N-3B parka) was developed in the United States during the early 1950s for military use, mainly for flight crews stationed in extremely cold areas.

Adoption

The fishtail parka was first used by the United States Army in 1950 during the Korean War. Following the end of the Second World War the US army recognized the need for a new cold weather combat system, resulting in four main styles of fishtail parka: the EX-48, M-48, M-51 and the M-65. The M stands for military, and the number is the year it was standardized. The EX-48 model was the first prototype or "experimental" precursor to all of them.

Designed primarily for combat arms forces such as infantry, they are to be worn over other layers of clothing; alone, the fishtail parka is insufficient to protect against "dry cold" conditions (i.e. below about -10 °C). As such all fishtail parkas are big as they were designed to be worn over battle dress and other layers.

In the 1960s UK, the fishtail parka became a symbol of the mod subculture. Because of their practicality, cheapness and availability from military surplus shops, the parka was seen as the ideal garment for fending off the elements and protecting smarter clothes underneath from grease and dirt when on the mod's vehicle of choice, the scooter. Its place in popular culture was assured by newspaper pictures of parka-clad mods during the Bank Holiday riots of the 1960s.

See also