The Versatile & Stylish Olive Green “Anorak”

As the seasons change and extra layers are required, perhaps the perfect addition to any wardrobe is the classic anorak. The hooded and rugged style of these practical and versatile jackets are a worthy investment for any wardrobe.

The term “Anorak” and “Parka” have often been used interchangeably, although there are differences between the two garments. “Anoraks” and “Parkas” typically have hoods but an anorak commonly has a cinched drawstring at the waist, are a shorter coat than a “Parka”. A “Parka” is typically longer (knee-length) and is a less fitted jacket that is often lined with real or faux fur for added protection from the elements. The common feature between the two is that they are both usually waterproof or water repellent– perfect for any time of the year!

Of course, a bit of history always brings additional intrigue to the mystique that seems to swell around this durable yet stylish fashionable statement….
The word “Anorak” or anoraq comes from the Greenlandic dialect of the Eskimo-Aluet family known as Kalaallisut. The word anoraq, is losely related to the Intuit languages of Canada and Alaska. The garment was originally made from caribou or seal by the Intuit Eskimo of the Arctic region for protection from the wind chill and wetness experienced while hunting, fishing and kayaking. Who knew? The word “Anorak” did not appear in English until 1924. In the early 1950’s the anorak was made from nylon and in 1959 the fabric was changed to poplin when it was featured in Vouge magazine as a fashion item. During the 1950’s the anorak took on a military influence with variations of the anorak into a ‘Snorkel Parka’(USAF N-3B Parka) made for the US Air Force. Interestingly, the term ‘Snorkel Parka’ took its name from the hood that could be zipped up leaving only a small tunnel (or snorkel) for the wearer to look out of. Originally this parka was made with a sage green DuPont flight silk nylon outer and lining with a wool blanket type material. During the 1970’s the padding was changed to polyester, making the jacket lighter and warmer. The outer shell material was altered to a sage green cotton-nylon blend. In 1951 the United States Army created the M-51 “Fishtail Parka“. This parka had a longer tail in the back (thus, fishtail) and a hood that could be folded down inside the jacket collar when not in use. The updated M-65 Fishtail Parka had a detachable hood. Both parkas were designed primarily for combat and to be worn over other layers of clothing. Of interest, the British English term, Cagoule,cagoul or kagoule is a term for a lightweight, weatherproof anorak or parka, usually without the lining and sometimes coming to the knee. By the 1960’s the cagoule was designed to be rolled up into a very compact package and carried. Portable and versatile fashion, indeed! In the 1960’s UK, the Fishtail Parka was said to be a “Symbol of the mod subculture”. It is also stated that in the UK, during the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Snorkel Parka attained popularity when inexpensive versions (with the addition of an orange lining) of the parka were made available. The resistant jacket became a popular choice for students and was seen as the ideal garment for protection from the elements and from the effects of riding on the culture’s mod vehicle of choice: the scooter. Again, Who knew? However, as fashion trends change and fade, in the late 1980’s the parka became unpopular as the term also took on the meaning or reference to the word “geek” or “nerd”. Amazing! In fact, the term anorak was used in 1984 by the UK Observer Newspaper as an alternative term for trainspotters, of whom were not interested in fashion. In British slang the term anorak also referred to a person who had a very strong interest, perhaps on the verge of obsessive, in “niche” subjects. The term itself seemed to have taken on a derogatory connotation for any group not interested in fashion and uninterested in their outer appearance or engrossed in activities others found boring. Perhaps the allure of this anorak that has traveled through time has connotations that do not seem to relate to its stylish and versatile offerings to the world of fashion and style today!

Perhaps, we owe the fashionable edge of this garment to iconic British “Supermodel” Kate Moss and the “Grunge Scene” that revitalized the 1990’s fashion scene. Grunge glamour with an anorak, indeed. Kate Moss was a combination of youth and raw, fresh glamour that seemed to pair the unexpected to the unprepared world of fashion. Natural style paired with a bold, radical and unconcealed beauty. Modern, edgy and youthful beauty with pure attitude…

Iconic “Grunge” Glamour: Supermodel Kate Moss
Hooded & Versatile: The Classic Anorak
Stylish Pockets & Drawstrings: The Fashionable Anorak

For men or women of diverse ages, this unisex style statement with its zip front closures, detachable hood, draping lapel, cinched drawstring waist and bevy of cargo pockets to hold essentials provides a no-nonsense approach to outerwear and the elements of nature that fall upon us. The stylish, breathable and sensible lightweight anorak, with its low profile hood and drawstring detailing, paired with its use as a highly weather resistant 4-season jacket lends a sharp look with a lightweight feel. Often found in cotton duck canvas, which is highly wind resistant paired with its packable and portable style, this rugged jacket adds a streamlined and minimalist stance to one’s wardrobe options. Hooded style suitable for all seasons and occasions. A traditional jacket with a heritage and a modern edge when paired with personal fashion styles. Cut in such a way as to provide ample movement and layering, this hooded outerwear jacket presents an allure of urban chic and sleekness. A contemporary edge that certainly goes beyond “Grunge”. Indeed, whether paired with jeans or a more mixed ensemble that verges on glamourous, it is certainly a jacket that one will fall back on for years to come. Is it a trend? A sporty fashion? Or is it a juxtaposition of style? An edgier version and perhaps alternative of the trench coat, this effortless jacket provides a stylish and modern, yet timeless addition to our wardrobes. If it is a ‘trend’, it will be an enduring trend that will not wear out its allure. As always, it is how one wears a garment. Indeed, this can be worn in an elegant fashion. Attitude is perhaps the key in successfully using this garment with heritage

A classic? Although the Anorak has undergone many changes throughout its history, perhaps it can be stated that the anorak has earned classic status in the archives of the fashion world…

Kristin

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2 thoughts on “The Versatile & Stylish Olive Green “Anorak”

    1. Thank you for inquiring! Alas, the images within these compilations are merely borrowed from the internet without sourcing brands.
      Best wishes in securing the anorak of your desire!
      Kristin

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