The parka coat or jacket has been around for years and was very popular in the 1980s, however, in recent years the winter coat has seen quite a revival with top designers modernising the original to make some stunning contemporary parka coats.
A parka coat is predominately a cold weather garment, which features an attached hood lined with either real or faux fur; the hood provides excellent insulation with the addition of the fur and is also a very effective windbreaker. The lengths of these coats generally go to the waist or the hip. The fact that they are a winter or cold weather coat means that they are often filled with some kind of insulating material and often are treated with a waterproofing agent. Historically the first parkas were worn by Alaskan and Canadian tribes, who are also thought to have actually constructed these parkas.
The first commercial parka was introduced in the 1930s and was unsurprisingly aimed at people living in colder climates; the parka became especially popular with hunters and others working outdoors for long periods, hence the inclusion of large pockets to the front of the coats for the storage of tools and ammunition etc. The large pockets also add the advantage of having somewhere to keep your hands warm.
Contemporary parkas can be very different from the original designs, which were made primarily with functionality in mind but today as with most garments a mix of practicality and style must be reached in order to be fashionable. With this in mind a definition of the modern parka is difficult to write as there are so many varieties from the more traditional hooded, thick coats to more lightweight hoodless parkas. Although some of the modern parkas do break with tradition there can be no doubt that the sheer variety available is a huge positive when searching for the one for you. It is true, however, that men's parka coats are slightly more traditional on the whole than perhaps the more varied and contemporary styles of the coats now available to Women.