A pea coat is a style of overcoat characterized by its heavy wool construction, double breasted front sections, and a large lapel. Unlike longer overcoats, the pea coat ends at the waist; with the exception of the bridge coat (a style of pea coat) that ends at the mid thigh. It is typical for pea coats to use large buttons to secure the front of the coat. Though in some cases (particularly true for women’s pea coats) smaller buttons are utilized.
The pea coat has a strong military connotation due to its original purpose as a coat for sailors and naval officers (with bridge coats being worn exclusively by officers). Although members of many navies still wear pea coats as part of their standard uniform the style has strongly transitioned to the general public. It should be noted that while it is possible to buy a pea coat from navy surplus stores many of coats seen in department stores are not built to navy specifications and instead are influenced by current fashion trends.