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Peacoat vs. Petticoat — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on December 10, 2023
A peacoat is a heavy, double-breasted jacket traditionally worn by sailors. A petticoat is an undergarment worn under a skirt or dress for added volume or warmth.
Peacoat vs. Petticoat — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Peacoat and Petticoat


Key Differences

A peacoat is a type of outerwear, typically made of wool, known for its warmth and durability, often used in naval settings. A petticoat, on the other hand, is a layer of clothing worn under dresses or skirts to provide shape or warmth.
Peacoats are characterized by their double-breasted front, large buttons, and broad lapels, designed for practicality and protection against cold weather. Petticoats are designed for fashion or comfort, made of various materials like cotton, silk, or tulle.
The history of the peacoat traces back to naval uniforms, where it was essential for sailors. Petticoats have been a part of women's fashion for centuries, evolving in style and function over time.
Peacoats are generally for both genders and have become a fashionable staple in many wardrobes beyond their naval origins. Petticoats, traditionally women's garments, have seen usage in historical and contemporary fashion.
The durability and functionality of peacoats make them suitable for harsh weather, while petticoats are more about aesthetic appeal, adding flair to a woman's outfit.

Comparison Chart

Type of Clothing

Heavy, double-breasted jacket
Undergarment worn under skirts or dresses

Primary Material

Wool or wool blend
Cotton, silk, tulle, or other fabrics


Warmth and protection against cold
Adding volume or warmth under dresses

Historical Origin

Naval uniforms
Women's fashion

Gender Association

Both genders
Traditionally women's clothing

Compare with Definitions


A traditional coat often associated with sailors and naval attire.
The sailor's peacoat was a symbol of his maritime profession.


An undergarment worn under skirts to create fullness.
Her dress's silhouette was enhanced by the fluffy petticoat underneath.


A heavy jacket designed for outdoor wear in cold weather.
His peacoat provided the necessary warmth during the winter months.


A historical fashion piece for shaping women's dresses.
Victorian gowns often required multiple layers of petticoats.


A warm, woolen naval jacket with a double-breasted front.
He wore his navy blue peacoat during the chilly seaside evening.


A skirt-like garment worn for added warmth and volume.
The petticoat added both warmth and a stylish flair to her outfit.


A fashion piece derived from naval uniforms, popular in cold climates.
She added a peacoat to her wardrobe for its classic style.


An accessory in women's fashion for aesthetic enhancement.
The colorful petticoat peeked out playfully from her skirt.


A durable outer garment with large buttons and broad lapels.
Her peacoat was perfect for the windy city weather.


A garment made from various fabrics like silk or tulle.
She chose a silk petticoat for its smooth feel and elegant look.


A short, warm, double-breasted coat of heavy wool, traditionally worn by sailors. Also called pea jacket.


A petticoat or underskirt is an article of clothing, a type of undergarment worn under a skirt or a dress. Its precise meaning varies over centuries and between countries.


Alternative spelling of pea coat


A girl's or woman's undergarment, worn under a dress or skirt, that is often full and trimmed with ruffles or lace. Also called pettiskirt.


A thick loose double-breasted woolen jacket, or coat, commonly worn by sailors in cold weather; a pea-jacket.


Relating to or characteristic of women.


A sailor's heavy woolen double-breasted jacket


(historical) A tight, usually padded undercoat worn by men over a shirt and under the doublet.


(historical) A woman's undercoat, worn to be displayed beneath an open gown.


(historical) A fisherman's loose canvas or oilcloth skirt.


A type of ornamental skirt or underskirt, often displayed below a dress; chiefly in plural, designating a woman's skirts collectively.


A light woman's undergarment worn under a dress or skirt, and hanging either from the shoulders or (now especially) from the waist; a kind of slip, worn to make the skirt fuller, or for extra warmth.


(slang) A woman.


(historical) A bell-mouthed piece over the exhaust nozzles in the smokebox of a locomotive, strengthening and equalising the draught through the boiler-tubes.


(transitive) To dress in a petticoat.


(dated) Feminine; female; involving a woman.
Petticoat influence
A petticoat affair


A loose under-garment worn by women, and covering the body below the waist.


Undergarment worn under a skirt

Common Curiosities

What is a petticoat?

An undergarment worn under skirts or dresses for added volume or warmth.

What makes a peacoat durable?

Its woolen material and sturdy construction.

Are petticoats still in fashion?

Yes, in certain styles and as part of historical or bridal attire.

Can a peacoat be formal wear?

Yes, its classic style can complement formal attire.

Are peacoats only for naval use?

No, they have become a fashionable choice for general cold-weather wear.

Can men wear petticoats?

Traditionally, petticoats are women's garments, but fashion choices are personal.

How do you choose the right petticoat?

Consider the skirt's length, desired volume, and material.

Is a peacoat suitable for extreme cold?

It's suitable for cold weather, but layering may be needed in extreme conditions.

Can petticoats be worn alone?

They are typically undergarments, but some styles can be worn as skirts.

What is a peacoat?

A heavy, double-breasted jacket, traditionally made of wool.

Are peacoats water-resistant?

They offer some resistance, but are not fully waterproof.

Are petticoats only made of tulle?

No, they can be made of various fabrics including silk and cotton.

How should a peacoat fit?

Snugly, allowing room for layers underneath.

Can a peacoat be worn in mild weather?

It might be too warm for mild weather, being designed for cooler temperatures.

Do petticoats come in different lengths?

Yes, they vary from short to full-length.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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