1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Purpose of gunflap on trench coat

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HomerJ, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    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.
     
  2. drax

    drax Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    59
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    Supposedly you wedged a pad of cotton underneath it to cushion the shoulder from recoil.
     
  3. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,441
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    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.

    [​IMG]

    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).
     
  4. stickonatree

    stickonatree Senior member

    Messages:
    3,067
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    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.
     
  5. ghulkhan

    ghulkhan Senior member

    Messages:
    3,198
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    nyc
    speaking of trench coats some of them have little bibs right near the collar

    does anyone know the purpose of those?
     
  6. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    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. [​IMG] 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..
     
  7. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    2,852
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    chicago suburbs
    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.
     
  8. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    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.
     
  9. drax

    drax Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    59
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    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...
     
  10. TCN

    TCN Senior member

    Messages:
    1,505
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    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 "
     
  11. aen

    aen Active Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Location:
    nyc
  12. Singular

    Singular Senior member

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    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
     
  13. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

    Messages:
    4,078
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    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.
     
  14. DARLEY

    DARLEY Active Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    It's a storm flap, not a gun flap[​IMG]
     
  15. otacon

    otacon Senior member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    +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.
     
  16. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    thanks otacon. been checking here every day for the answer.
     
  17. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

    Messages:
    2,651
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Location:
    Keyboard War Room
    It's got nothing to do with actual shooting as those who are left eye dominant will have the rifle butt on their left shoulder. The storm flap use is more likely, plus when marching at shoulder arms the extra layer would prevent the rifle rubbing on the right shoulder.
     
  18. CitizenM

    CitizenM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Location:
    Austria
    speaking of trench coats some of them have little bibs right near the collar

    does anyone know the purpose of those?


    to close the colar similar to a shirt's colar button
     
  19. clone4987

    clone4987 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2017
    
    The sources I've found say that it was called a gun flap because there were complaints of rain getting inside the wearer's coat when they raised their arm to fire a rifle prior to the addition of a button down shoulder flap, as it would open up the breast of the coat
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by