The 1960s Bundeswehr (West German) Greatcoat
Classic lines, authenticity, distinctiveness, the whiff of romance… and let’s not forget function. These clothes keep their promises. Swoon.
Hidden in the inside pocket, this coat’s fabulously utilitarian label indicates it’s West German, 1960s. My good friend and German to English translator Adam Ramsey tells me "
I picked it up at my local Oxfam shop for £5 (in international currency, the price of two Starbucks lattes). Yes, I am rather smug about that.
I have spent some time imagining a colourful history for it, but I suspect it was army-surplus. Un-issued. No derring-do has been done.
In soft grey wool with a full satin lining, it’s tapered at the waist and surprisingly small. Eye-catching on a boy but jaw-dropping on a girl, especially one with an hourglass figure and pepper-red lipstick. The enemy will surrender; willingly.
At the back is a lush, cross-over half-belt and large button-down vent for that motorbike ride into the sunset.
What I can’t capture with my camera is its immense weight. You stand to attention the second you put it on, or risk not being able to breathe.
Wear with a swagger, or if you can’t manage that, inebriation.
I’m indebted to Bob Gowen at Gowen Militaria for confirming this coat is Bundeswehr (West German) in origin. If you wish to purchase something similar, or find out more about German military items, Bob's website is excellent.
Oxfam's Online Vintage store is divine: click this link to explore Oxfam Vintage
Invitation to Comment: What’s was your best charity shop find? Do you get your military look from army surplus stores, or prefer the high street interpretations?
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