The Snorkel Parka, Bubble Coat, Stanley jacket, and the Regatta Dover Waterproof

The best ones had the YKK zip and a hood which nearly covered the face, and when fully zipped appeared to look like the periscope of a submarine. To finish the look, who could not forget the grey fur trimmed hood.

We sold thousands upon thousands, it was the heyday of the independent trader, no multiples to worry about, and the internet was some sort of fishing tackle. The selling price of a size 32 parka to fit a 10 year old, or slightly older was £8.99. Now, this was nearly 50 years ago and was quite and investment, so my best selling line to close the deal would be

 “ he will grow into it”.

How much profit was in that jacket? around £3.00. In those days, if we bought 5 cartons,  or 60 jackets the buying price was around £6.00.

Every Wednesday, or maybe every other, the sales rep or traveller would appear with his trusted notepad. Sadly, the two wholesale businesses which we used are no longer with us.

  • Rose & Co ie Sally Rose, from Birmingham, and Gillison & Dewhurst from Leeds, situated in Thomas Street Manchester, but then moving to much bigger premises in Middleton. Why the growth, because they were clothing importers, and again the sales rep or travellers would appear every other Wednesday with their notepad.

I have  missed an important point:

  • Casket imported the famous Lord Anthony brand of jackets and coats. If you are of a certain age group, everyone would have owned a Lord Antony jacket.

When I was about 14 years, still working on a Saturday on the market stall, suddenly we had a jacket sensation: the Bubble coat. We sold countless thousands, and over the last four decades, it has been in and out of fashion. Now the bubble jacket can be decorated with embroidery and now it is manufactured out of recycled plastic bottles, but, back then, it was made of polyester, never sold as waterproof but shower proof.

The Lord Anthony Bubble Coat was such an easy sale, although I do feel when you are built on the big side, like myself you feel like Michelin man. Once again, this jacket didn’t have a wide range of colours, and one of our local schools always complained that the navy wasn’t dark enough. Now the bubble coat is available in a huge array of colours and has a more sophisticated look and feel, and ideal as the coat to personalize.

In this article we are talking mainly about the waterproof or shower proof parka style jackets, but as a coat specialist we sold countless duffle coats, and checked lumber jackets,a strange yellow PVC  jacket lined with a dark navy cotton lining.

Sadly, we missed out on one of the big crazes, the SKI jacket. Many of the brands are still in existence today but the most famous of the brands was Campri, but I am dyslexic and I always called the company Campari!! The garments were always a touch more expensive than S. Casket and you would have stretched it to say they were cutting edge, but the ski jacket change the entire company.

These waisted, brightly coloured jackets were never meant for schoolwear. They were decorated with print on the back, possibly with a skier, and everyone seemed to be wearing one, but sadly the fashion passed us by.

Since then styles have come and gone and then come back again. Some styles of jacket never change, for example, the green waxed jacket, or the iconic black barbour jacket.

It certainly has changed for us i.e the days of standing Blackburn market selling snorkel parkas, has long since gone.

But now, we have a jacket which sells and sells, the Regatta Dover jacket, available in 14 colours with sizes up to 5 xl. It covers so many bases, it is good quality, has a guarantee, completely waterproof with a performance of hydrostatic head of 3000 mm.

Yes the Regatta Dover jacket has been around for a while, but it keeps growing and growing.

This product is value for money, a great practical jacket for possibly delivery drivers, or it is smart enough to be used in a more corporate setting. Every Christmas, it makes a great gift as it can be personalised for the equestrian market. In our embroidery library we have many free to use horse logos , which can be personalised with horse names.

Many customers decorate their jackets with an embroidered chest logo and then a printed back. What will the next big selling jacket for Whittakers Embroidery be? We will wait and see!