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Semper fidelis to the marine and the fisherman, sea-born pieces like the peacoat, the gansey, and the N-1 have been the longstanding faithful friend to the landlubber and the salty dog alike.

MARITIME

THE WATCH CAP

Whether you need it for warmth or to cover up a bad hair day or a bald spot or a bad hair day, the watch cap is the cold-weather rebel’s best friend.

Many brands do it well, but our favourites, with German knitwear heavyweight Heimat Textil leading the pack.

For a middle-of-the-pack classic, go with Knickerbocker. For one that’s too good to get dirty, try Mr. Fatman, or RoToTo. For the jobsite, dependable American workwear brands like Carhartt and Filson will never quit.

Illustration by Florian Bayer
MARITIME

THE WATCH CAP

Whether you need it for warmth or to cover up a bad hair day or a bald spot or a bad hair day, the watch cap is the cold-weather rebel’s best friend.

Many brands do it well, but our favourites, with German knitwear heavyweight Heimat Textil leading the pack.

For a middle-of-the-pack classic, go with Knickerbocker. For one that’s too good to get dirty, try Mr. Fatman, or RoToTo. For the jobsite, dependable American workwear brands like Carhartt and Filson will never quit.

Illustration by Florian Bayer

THE BRETON

An age-old favourite among French fishermen, the seaborne and seaside classic found its true calling in the 19th-century French navy thanks to its ability to help sailors stand out against the sails and rigging.

Today, no matter where the winds take you, the breton refuses to blend in with the background. Countless brands offer horizontally striped shirts that they might describe as bretons, but the true-blue breton features fairly bold stripes that are about half the thickness of the intervening spaces.

For an authentic breton, point your prow towards France. Start your tres bien sailor suit with brands like Saint James, Le Minor, or Armor-Lux.

Illustration by Florian Bayer

THE ARAN SWEATER

First produced on Ireland’s Aran Islands, where time moves slowly, the Aran sweater—also known as the cable knit—may have been worn by hard-working fishermen, but not while they were working.

Though it’s been thoroughly domesticated, the aran’s long associations with rugged men of the sea makes it perfectly at home in the rebel’s wardrobe–especially when combined with a rugged, waterlogged piece like the peacoat or the watch cap.

The Aran Sweater Market has original versions made in Ireland, but Scottish knitters Inverallan and Japanese repro specialists Real McCoy’s have indigo-dyed versions that will take your breath away.

THE PEACOAT

The most versatile of all the military jackets, the peacoat’s popularity is rooted in its stylish versatility. Casual or classy, bone-freezingly brisk, or temperately cool, the peacoat handles it all with ease.

Reproduction perfectionists Freewheelers, Buzz Rickson’s, and Real McCoy’s make versions of the classic seafarer’s jacket that are as thick as elephant’s hide, but Gloverall, Cockpit USA, Schott NYC, and Private White V.C. also make stand-out versions. If budget is a key consideration, try &Sons.

THE CPO

Sometimes, the flannel just isn’t shirt enough. When we need something with a little more muscle, we can turn to the CPO, the heavy overshirt, usually made from wool, that walks the line separating shirts from jackets. Like the peacoat, it was designed for sailors who needed something sharp that could keep the ocean spray at bay.

Schott offer an excellent 20 oz. wool version. Pike Brothers, Dehen, Iron Heart, and Imogen + Willie all offer excellent CPOs and CPO-like overshirts, but the best versions come from the naval reproduction specialists Buzz Rickson’s and Real McCoy’s.

THE N-1

Designed for the seaborne soldiers who fought the frothy Atlantic with as much gusto as they did their enemies, the N-1 deck jacket found its way into the rebel’s wardrobe on the backs of motorcycle enthusiasts in the late 1940s. Nothing balances warmth, toughness, and stylishness quite like an N-1.

Iron Heart’s version of the cold-weather classic has been updated for the motorcycle set, and Dehen has produced a damn-near bulletproof version that’s unsinkable.

If you’re a purist at heart, though, Freewheelers, Real McCoy’s, and Buzz Rickson’s will fill your sails.

THE N-1

Designed for the seaborne soldiers who fought the frothy Atlantic with as much gusto as they did their enemies, the N-1 deck jacket found its way into the rebel’s wardrobe on the backs of motorcycle enthusiasts in the late 1940s. Nothing balances warmth, toughness, and stylishness quite like an N-1.

Iron Heart’s version of the cold-weather classic has been updated for the motorcycle set, and Dehen has produced a damn-near bulletproof version that’s unsinkable.

If you’re a purist at heart, though, Freewheelers, Real McCoy’s, and Buzz Rickson’s will fill your sails.

THE TURTLENECK

At one time, the turtleneck was a radical alternative to the shirt and tie. It lost much of its countercultural edge thanks to its broad popularity in the ‘60s and ‘70s and its associations with bongo-banging beatniks. The fisherman’s and submariner’s versions, however, have weathered the storm.

They remain as ruggedly stylish as ever. If you’re sailing into frigid waters, bring along something by Heimat Textil, Andersen-Andersen, Aero Leathers, or S.N.S. Herning.

THE DUFFLE COAT

The duffle coat’s rebellious edge may have been blunted when the coat became the signature garment of a certain rare bear from Darkest Peru, but make no mistake, this coat has won wars and bucked the establishment like few others.

Gloverall were the first to sell it to civilians, and they’re still the standard bearer. They often produce gorgeous collaboration duffels like this one from 3sixteen. Allevol do a beautiful updated version, and Real McCoy’s turn the coat into a luxurious sheepskin piece, but, for our money, the simple sea-born classic is best in wool.

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Illustrations from The Rebel’s Wardrobe, gestalten 2022.

Rebel Essentials » Maritime