Posted by: apopalyptic | 02/09/2012

The Survival Coat

Back as far as I could remember, my dad’s winter coat was one of those blue parka type things with the furry trim around the hood. He called it his Survival Coat. I think that may have been the official name in the 70s. It was navy blue. It had an orange puffy lining except for the hood which had a blue fleecy lining. There were zip pockets on the sleeve that were vertical and I think even a pocket on the inside, and toggle buttons to make sure it stayed shut. I remember during snowstorms, when we would bundle up my dad would put on the Survival coat to shovel snow. I remember going up to the Pathmark which was three blocks away on my sled, when there was too much snow to take the car.

The Survival Coat may in fact be the first piece of Apocalyptic clothing of which I was ever aware. This coat lasted for. ever. He had it way before I was born and he wore it well into the 90s when the photo below was taken. I had film to use up and my dad was shoveling from the snow (he was probably in his late-60s/early-70s when this was taken). I loved this coat so much that I had my own version, in green, when I was in elementary school. It may have been procured at the Sears, where I think he got his as well. This was clearly a proto-punk moment for me, because in the late-80s/early-90s all the punk kids had a version of this coat. They were prevalent at thrift stores and army navy supply. The style of course has been co-opted by those who package the vintage idea, so it is now a style that indicates hipness and is seen on the sidewalks of Brooklyn, where I don’t even know if it gets this cold anymore.

Whenever I see this style of coat on anybody, I think of my dad. It kept him warm for a long time.


And by relation, it kept me warm, too.

Thanks, Daddy.


  1. The spirit of the Survival Coat continues in my Awesome Parka. That’s its official name, by the way, Awesome Parka.

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