Long before Gore-Tex jackets, North Face and Arcteryx, the United States military was the biggest innovator of functional outerwear. Makes perfect sense since soldiers are out facing the elements that they'd be pioneers in developing fabrics, fit and construction to provide peak protection against the elements.
Enter the quintessential naval jacket, as relevant in 2020 as it was on a naval ship in the 1940s, the timeless N-1 Deck Coat (N1DC).
We're talking about a hearty coat here, the exterior is a heavy corded cotton grosgrain, aka jungle cloth, lined fully in alpaca, storm cuffs, gusseted underarms for range of motion, roomy pockets and a buttoned flap, an added layer of protection over the zippered front.
You've probably noticed that it is most commonly seen in a khaki colour but then the occasional navy makes an appearance. Is it a fraud you might wonder? The khaki is actually the successor to the navy jacket. The initial version was produced in navy blue to symbolize the U.S. Navy before it eventually changed to Khaki.
The U.S Navy developed three “N” systems. In addition to the cold climate N-1, the N-2 systems were designed for rainy conditions and the N-3 system for tropical conditions. Despite these climate divisions, old photographs reveal that sailors rarely used these systems according to regulations, opting instead to mix and match to suit their layering needs and preferences.
The jacket remained in service until the 60s and was replaced by the A2 navy jacket, not to be confused with the aviation version.
The N-1 is a fan favourite at Lost & Found and in our opinion, The Real McCoy's makes the best replica.