Sales are soaring for the first time in almost 50 years, says high street store Debenhams.

The plain, functional, jacket which boasts warm material and simple toggles appeals to shoppers and offers comfort in tougher times, say retail boffins at the store.

Demand for duffle coats has leapt by an incredible 59 per cent in the last two months alone, Debenhams sales figures reveal.
And leading designers such as John Rocha and Jasper Conran have used and adapted the style as the basis of this year’s new winter collections.

More recently, famous celebrities have adopted the duffle as a coat of choice including; One Direction, Jude Law, Robbie Williams, Alexa Chung, Taylor Swift, Cheryl Cole and Stacey Soloman.
These coats are made from duffle, hence their name, a thick woven woollen material whose name is derived from the town in Belgium where the weave was invented.

Original duffle coats traditionally have three or four wooden or horn shaped fastenings – sometimes known as walrus teeth – with rope or leather straps. Two large pockets at the front are covered with flaps.

However, modern variations can have faux fur collars, come in a variety of colours and are often mid length as well as knee length.
“There’s a rugged individuality about it, a square-jawed symbol of resistance which, for many people, summons up images of Jack Hawkins in The Cruel Sea.

“An anorak may do the job of keeping out the cold weather just as well, but it doesn’t have the same British heritage as a duffle coat,” said Ed Watson, Debenhams spokesperson.