The pea coat gets its name from the Dutch word "pije," which refers to a coat made of coarse, woolen fabric. Commonly known as a Navy coat, the term "pea coat" dates back to the 16th century.
A pea coat is a double-breasted wool coat that is often worn by sailors. The wide acceptance of the term likely stems from Holland's historical dominance of the naval world. Originally designed for sailors who had to climb to the tops of ships' riggings, the pea coat's extended length and prominent collar serve to better protect its wearers from the elements. Worn up, the collar functions almost like a hood, but without obscuring peripheral vision.