A duffel coat, is a coat made from duffel, a coarse, thick, woollen material. The name derives from Duffel, a town in the province of Antwerp in Belgium where the material originated. Duffel bags were originally made from the same material. The duffel coat may have initially come from the Polish military frock coat, which was developed in the 1820s. The hood and toggle fastenings proved popular and it spread across Europe by the 1850s. By 1890 it was being supplied to the British Royal Navy, and Field Marshal Montgomery was a famous wearer of the coat in World War II. After the war, the coats became available as government surplus stock and became popular, especially with students.
The coat is made of dense woollen cloth, and distinctive features include a capacious hood that can be worn over a uniform cap, three or four wood or horn toggles with leather loops for ease of fastening when wearing gloves, a buttonable strap neck and two large outside patch pockets. Early versions were knee-length but later ones were shorter. Modern coats are made in a softer woollen material. The coat has had many notable wearers and is associated with left-wing politics.