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Purpose of gunflap on trench coat

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quick question that google can't answer for me.

What is the purpose of the gunflap on the right shoulder of a trench coat? Something to do with Burberry, WWI, and rifles obviously but I don't get how it was used.
post #2 of 18
Supposedly you wedged a pad of cotton underneath it to cushion the shoulder from recoil.
post #3 of 18
I don't think it's a gun flap at all, it buttons over when the coat is fully closed and prevents water running inside the coat.



That's the only picture I could find with a coat fully closed. On that women's coat, the flap is on the left shoulder,
as ladies button the other way (but they would shoot the same way as men folk).
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post
That's the only picture I could find with a coat fully closed. On that women's coat, the flap is on the left shoulder,
as ladies button the other way (but they would shoot the same way as men folk).

but then again, women, historically, weren't really trained to shoot guns.
post #5 of 18
speaking of trench coats some of them have little bibs right near the collar

does anyone know the purpose of those?
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post
I don’t think it’s a gun flap at all, it buttons over when the coat is fully closed and prevents water running inside the coat. That’s the only picture I could find with a coat fully closed. On that women’s coat, the flap is on the left shoulder, as ladies button the other way (but they would shoot the same way as men folk).
Interesting. They are called "gunflaps" though. I have a single breasted jacket that has this..
post #7 of 18
some brittish officers wore their pistols in shoulder holsters. the gun flap was to cover an access opening to the weapon. todays flap is not real but only a token.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by a tailor View Post
some brittish officers wore their pistols in shoulder holsters. the gun flap was to cover an access opening to the weapon. todays flap is not real but only a token.

That makes a lot of sense but I'm curious why it's on the right shoulder. Most people would cross draw with their right hand from a left shoulder holster. It's interesting how we have these vestiges or tokens in today's clothing.

ghulkan, I don't know what you mean by a bib.
post #9 of 18
I wasnt convinced before but now i do think its more likely for a rifle since most men (right handers) would hold the butt to their right shoulder. I may have to call my contacts at Burberry to find out more. Somewhere i have a facsimile of the first catalog that had a 'tielocken' the first trenchcoat i believe explained in it...watch this space. Lord knows where it is though...
post #10 of 18
Gentlemen,

I checked with my friend EJ, the most knowledgeable person on these matters that I know, and this is what he wrote back:

"The confusion seems to come from the fact that most gun flaps today aren't really properly cut. The flap is essentially a "capelet", designed to button over and keep water from running into the upper corner on the buttoned side of the coat. If you button up a trench coat, you may notice that the part just infront of the collarbone is just one piece of fabric on top of the other, and the overlap is open on the top edge. This lets water in, and if you raise yr arms (for any reason, but for example, shouldering a rifle), it has a tendency to open up even more by separating the lower and overlapping side of the coat. The gun flap covers it. It all seems vy arcane and fussy (which it is), but it's also vy Victorian.

This rather stylised example shows on used more-or-less properly:

http://www.kitmeout.com/img_assets/burberry1_blog.jpg "
post #11 of 18
Interesting, but how does that explain the gunflap on this single-breasted coat: http://www.burberryusaonline.com/pro...entPage=family
post #12 of 18
It's there because of the traditional style. Why do you think there is a buttonhole in a jacket lapel? Or buttons at the sleeve? They've lost their use, but still remain there.

/M
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by aen View Post
Interesting, but how does that explain the gunflap on this single-breasted coat: http://www.burberryusaonline.com/pro...entPage=family

It's one of Burberry's new fashion coats, not to be confused with their classic models like the Trench 21. The flap is pure affectation.
post #14 of 18
It's a storm flap, not a gun flap
post #15 of 18
+1 for the decoration

My dad's black trench can really only be fully buttoned one way--if it even buttons on the top. It still has a flap and button though, on the side that is the overlay. So it really serves no purpose on his coat, from what I can tell.
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