<< Kadig ou duffle coat : moderne avec un pull marin

Kabig or duffle coat: modern with a navy sweater

How to modernize the duffle coat or the kabig by wearing it with a navy sweater

Comment moderniser le duffle-coat ou le kabig en le portant avec un pull marin

Whether it's with a kabig or a duffle coat, you can totally be modern with a navy sweater. They have many similarities and the same marine origin, although their history is different.

The duffle coat takes its name from the Belgian town of Duffel, which specialized in weaving a thick, durable woolen sheet. In 1887, a British clothing supplier, John Partridge, was commissioned by the army to make a coat. He was inspired by a Polish overcoat to create this coat recognizable by its buttonhole. This system of closure inspired by the Prussian brandebourgs, allows soldiers to button and unbutton their coat while keeping their gloves in winter. The original duffle coats were larger than today's because they were intended to be worn over another coat.

Shortly after its creation, the Royal Navy decided to equip its sailors with duffle coats. But it is during the Second World War that this overcoat gains its letters of nobility. The English general Montgomery was particularly fond of this coat that he wore all the time even to sleep. So much so that the English nicknamed this coat "Monty". In 1951, the British Ministry of Defense sold the surplus duffle coats to Mr. and Mrs. Morris, a couple of textile manufacturers specializing in worksuits. The coat was adopted by outdoor workers and construction workers. But when their stock ran out, the Morris couple decided to take over the production. The duffle coat then gains its current shape. It is less long and narrower because it is no longer worn over another coat. Adopted by all, men, women, children, it becomes iconic thanks to celebrities: whether the little bear Paddington who wears it in children's books from 1958, Commander Cousteau or David Bowie in The Man Who Came from Elsewhere in 1976.

The kabig is the Breton form of the duffle coat. Like its English cousin, it was created for men of the sea. This coat made of thick woolen sheet is waterproof to protect the seaweed harvesters during their harvesting of seaweed at the seaside. White in color, it allowed them to find their way on the shore. It also has a hood, a double notched pocket on the front, wings at the shoulder seam to prevent water runoff and a closure similar to that of the duffle coat to allow workers to button their coat even with wet and numb hands. These diamond-shaped buttons are made of boxwood and are called cabillots. Its name comes from the word "kab gwen" which means white cape in Breton. Then it takes the name of Kab (cape) to which is added the diminutive ig.

Attested since the XVIIth century, we find representations of this coat of strike since 1844 at the painter and illustrator Lalaisse. Prized by holidaymakers staying in Brittany, the kabig is democratized among men, women and children. We find its trace from 1928 at Le Glazic but it is Le Minor who is the main manufacturer. The fame comes this time again from the cinema. The film Dieu a besoin des hommes (God needs men) by Jean Delannoy is at the origin of the craze for the kabig, at the beginning of the 50s. The extras, seaweed farmers from Plouguerneau, wore this coat and the two main actors of the film, Pierre Fresnay and Madeleine Robinson, continued to use it when they returned to Paris.

These two coats are old and classic models, but they can be worn today while being modern and trendy. Combining the navy sweater with these coats allows you to adopt a total look in virgin wool.



For this look, we choose a colorful style. Take a red duffle coat and put it on over our navy and red navy sweater or the charcoal and ecru navy sweater. Wear slim jeans and white sneakers. You can carry a soft bag or a bucket bag, slung over your shoulder.

A second option is to choose a short, gray duffle coat, to be worn open over our green merino wool sweater. Choose short shorts and put on your best leather riding boots with heels and you're ready to hit the pavement.

Since simplicity is always a good solution, you can take inspiration from film icons to combine your duffle coat and a navy sweater: Faye Dunaway in Portrait of a Fallen Child, Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation or Cameron Diaz in The Holiday.


Choose a white kabig, like the one worn by the seaweed farmers, and wear it with a striped navy and ecru sweater. Put on a pair of slim jeans that you tuck into a pair of brown leather riding boots. You can accessorize this chic looking outfit by carrying a beautiful leather bag in your hand.

You can also reinterpret the Breton total look by wearing a yellow kabig with a navy blue or striped knit. For the bottom, you will have to choose between a mini skirt or jeans close to the body. Wear khaki rubber boots and leave your thick socks slightly above the top of the boots.

When in doubt, refer to the icons mentioned above because the kabig is worn like a duffle coat.

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