We try our best to answer all your questions
Do we offer online purchase facilites
Yes ! we do, all our products can be purchased securely online via WorldPay payment service. We have used this service for years and it is very safe.
Will I revieve my Parka?...
Of course, we have been in this game for over 10 years now and there is a reason we are the World's Number One and can count Oasis, Kate Moss and Jude Law amongst our customers. We do exactly what we say we will do and do it better than anyone else.
Im not sure what size I need...
Please fully read our size guide, we have gone to great lengths to offer a very clear size guide that offers the exact measurements in chest, length and sleeves of all the parkas we offer. If after having read this, you really are still unsure, then drop us an email and we can best advise you.
Are The M51 & M65 Fishtail Parka's Authentic?
The M51 parka's priced at £395 or above are vintage authentic U.S. Army Military fishtail parka's. We also offer an M51 replica fishtail parka, Classic M-1951 fishtail parka, which is our biggest seller. All of our M65 parka's are 100% authentic.
What colour are your parkas ?
All authentic vintage parka's are green. Olive Drab Shade 107 to be precise. Branded parka's such as Pretty Green are as advertised on their respective page. We now also offer black replica M51 parka's due to constant requests.
Do you do children / children's sizes ?
Unfortunately, not at this present time. However, please watch this space as they are very much in our plans.
Do you do women / women's sizes ?
Yes we do, as custom tailored size options. Please see our Women's / Mini Parka page.
M51 Fishtail Parka Sizing
The sizes shown in M51 fishtail parka's cannot be trusted. It may say small and turn out to be large or vice versa. A person's chest measurement is the most important when determining what size M51 fishtail parka they require. We therefore request customers height and chest measurements and using our years of experience, find a suitably sized M51 fishtail parka. It is worth pointing out that the sleeves on M51 fishtail parka's are notoriously short. Not sure why this was, just one of those things. The U.S. Army certainly rectified the problem when producing the M65 fishtail parka. Bearing this in mind, if a customer is tall and has long arms, we will source an M51 fishtail parka that is slightly bigger and therefore has longer arms. We use our expertise and knowledge from having sold hundreds of M51 parka's over the years.
M65 Fishtail Parka Sizing
Please be aware that authentic M65 Fishtail Parka's were produced big!! Forget what size you normally buy and check the sizing guide. Even a small M65 Fishtail Parka has a 50 inch chest measurement. This is because they were made to be worn over full military kit and not as the iconic fashion item they have become today. We advise customers to leave 6 to 8 inches spare underneath a parka for jumpers, suits etc. Therefore, to wear a small you ideally need to have a 42 to 46 inch chest. If you are 6ft + tall then you may get away with buying a small M65 fishtail parka if you have a 40 inch chest. The extra height will carry the parka off without it looking too big.
How Are The Fishtail Parka's Meant To Fit?
If you have ever watched the film Quadrophenia then you will note that the fishtail parka's are meant to have a loose baggy appearance when worn. This is part of the look and ultimately the mod style. Do not expect the parka to be fitted like modern day replica's produced by the likes of Top Shop and River Island. We recommend leaving 6 to 8 inches underneath a parka for jumpers, suits etc. Once we know a customers height and chest measurements then we advise on correct sizing accordingly. We understand the need for obtaining the correct look. It is no good walking around looking like you are wearing a tent.
What Is The Difference Between An M51 & M65 Fishtail Parka?
The M51 fishtail parka was produced by the U.S. Army in the 1950's and it is therefore rarer and older than the later produced M65 fishtail parka which first came into production in 1968. There are a couple of significant differences between the two parka's. The liner of the M51 fishtail parka was made of either Alpaca Wool / Nylon or Mohair Frieze / Nylon. These were expensive materials that simply are no longer used. In comparison, the M65 fishtail parka liner outer covering is 100% Nylon and the (Batting) filling is 100% Polyester. These are lighter more modern materials. The M51 liner is far heavier compared to the M65 liner. Both are designed for extreme cold weather and will do an excellent job in keeping you warm. The other main difference is the outer shells. The M51 outer shell has a hood which forms part of it. You then simply button-in the wool lined, real fur trimmed hood attachment. In the film Quadrophenia, Jimmy wore the M51 parka without the real fur hood attachment and therefore his hood appeared plain olive drab green. With the M65 fishtail parka, there isn't a permanently attached hood forming part of the outer shell. You either attach the hood, it buttons-on, or don't. This is the appearance often worn by Liam Gallagher and other celebrities.
Which is the warmest, the M51 or M65 Fishtail Parka?
Both fishtail parka's were designed for Extreme Cold Weather and will do a great job in keeping you warm and snug in severe cold weather conditions. We sell a lot of fishtail parka's to the Scandinavian countries who experience very cold harsh winters. Both fishtail parka's have button-in liners that can be removed in warmer weather and obviously left in place during wintry weather conditions. The liner of the M51 parka is quite a bit heavier compared to the liner of the M65 parka and personally, I would say that the M51 fishtail parka is the warmer of the two. However, some people say the M65 parka is warmer because the nylon / polyester liner sits closer to the body, thus providing better insulation. The U.S. Army states that other specialist cold weather gear can be layered underneath the fishtail parka to allow the soldiers to remain warm in severe cold weather conditions up to -60°F. The fishtail can be tied around the wearer's legs forming a tight seal which assists in keeping cold wind from reaching the body. What is clear is that both the M51 and M65 fishtail parka's are very, very warm!!
What Materials Are Used To Make The M51 Fishtail Parka Liner?
There are two types of M51 fishtail parka liner available. The earliest produced M51 liner was constructed of Alpaca Wool on the outside and Nylon on the inside. These are by far the heaviest and warmest liners produced. The problem is that they are not very popular because they puff the appearance of the parka out too much and the wearer ends up feeling like a Michelin Man. The later produced and most common M51 fishtail parka liner is constructed of Mohair Frieze (Like Terry Towelling) on the outer side and again, Nylon on the inside. Although the mohair frieze liner is thinner it is still incredibly warm.
What Materials Are Used To Make The M65 Fishtail Parka Outer Shell?
The M65 fishtail parka outer shell is made of a cotton and nylon mix, referred to as 'Cotton Twill' or 'Poplin'. The most common mix is 65% cotton, 35% nylon. However, there were many different manufacturers of the M65 fishtail parka and we have seen mixes of 80% cotton, 20% nylon, or 50% cotton and 50% nylon. The fabric was Olive Green shade 107. It was quarpel (water repellent) treated. The weave used in production was Oxford, or as it is more commonly known as 'basket weave'.
What Materials Are Used To Make The M65 Fishtail Parka Liner?
The materials used to construct the M65 fishtail parka liner are 100% Nylon on the outside which is filled with 100% Polyester Batting. These materials are modern compared to the materials used to construct the M51 fishtail parka liner. The M65 fishtail parka liner is therefore very light compared to its predecessor. The M65 liner still does an excellent job in keeping the wearer warm during severe cold weather.
Are The Fishtail Parka's Sold With Liner and Hood?
Yes, we only sell complete fishtail parka's.
Are The M65 Fishtail Parka's Brand New?
Yes. Although they are vintage parka's produced between 1968 and 1999 they were unissued and therefore in brand new condition.
Are The M51 Fishtail Parka's Brand New?
We do have a small supply of unissued M51 fishtail parka's. Please contact us for details. It is virtually impossible to source unissued M51 fishtail parka's so the listing shown on the website is for used authentic M51 fishtail parka's. All M51 fishtail parka's are repaired accordingly and pass our own inspection prior to being sold.
What Parka Does Jimmy Wear In The Film Quadrophenia?
The parka worn by Jimmy in the film Quadrophenia is a later produced M51 fishtail parka shell known as the 'cotton twill' or 'poplin' type. Jimmy's liner inside the fishtail parka is an M51 trench coat liner that has been permanently stitched in. It is not a standard M51 fishtail parka liner. Jimmy does not wear the wool lined / real fur trimmed hood attachment which gives the plain olive drab / green hood appearance.
Is The M65 Fishtail Parka Waterproof?
Although the M65 fishtail parka is made of cotton twill which is quarpel (water repellent) treated, they are not classed as waterproof. Whilst the quarpel treatment is still new, rain will form in droplets on the M65 parka and fall off. However over time, the quarpel treatment will fade away and protection will be lost. Some customers do choose to retreat their fishtail parka's with a clear water repellent liquid purchased from most local camping stores. This choice is obviously up to each individual. Do not buy an M65 fishtail parka if rain protection and having a good waterproof is what you are seeking. M65 Fishtail Parka's were primarily designed to combat extreme cold weather conditions.
Can I Wash My M65 Fishtail Parka?
An M65 fishtail parka can be put through the washing machine on a low temperature, but please be aware that by washing the M65 fishtail parka, you are removing the Quarpel (Water Repellent) properties. It is better to wipe any marks with a damp cloth if necessary to do so. Obviously, if the fishtail parka is heavilly soiled then washing it through the washing machine may be the sensible option. Some customers do not mind losing the quarpel treatment properties. After all, the fishtail parka was designed to combat extreme cold weather and not rain. I know of customers who wash their fishtail parka and then retreat the parka with clear water repellent available from most camping stores.
Why Are M65 Fishtail Parka Hoods So Big?
The M65 parka hoods are very big with most customers being able to fit two heads inside one hood. The M65 fishtail parka hood is so big because it was made to be worn over full military kit. Furthermore, the U.S. Army just do not do small. Its a size they appear to not have come across. Most customers wear the M65 hood down for cosmetic appearance. However, the M65 hood does have tightening cords that can allow the hood to be worn properly if you find yourself in arctic weather conditions.
Does The Real Fur Trim On The M65 Fishtail Parka Hood Look Better Than Compared To The Standard White Synthetic Fur Trim?
Simply put yes. Miles better. The wire like white synthetic fur looks cheap and nasty and mattes up badly over time. We understand if real fur is not your bag for ethical reasons and we do not try to encourage customers in any way. However when asked, we have to be honest and say that the M65 real fur trimmed hoods look far better.
Can I Remove The M65 Fishtail Parka Hood?
Yes the M65 hood buttons-on to the M65 parka shell. It can easily be removed or added as required. Liam Gallagher and other celebrities are often seen wearing an M65 fishtail parka with the hood removed.
The M65 Hood I've Been Sent States Synthetic Fur When I Ordered A Real Fur Hood?
This is because the M65 hood as standard comes with a wire like white synthetic fur trim. It is nothing like real fur and is easy to distinguish from real fur. There is an instruction label on the inside of the M65 hood and also a label stating 'HOOD, WINTER, W/SYNTHETIC FUR RUFF OG-107. This label also shows the materials used to make the hood, gives the name of the manufacturer, and identifies the year the hood was produced. We appreciate that customers wish to see such information when buying authentic vintage military kit and we therefore replace the synthetic fur trim, but leave the labels intact. The M65 hood you have received will be / is real fur.
Do You Offer A Refund & Exchange Service?
Yes. Please see our 'Returns Policy'. We issue full refunds for the item purchased, but please note that the postage fee amount paid will not be refunded. We also accept exchanges when a customer has chosen the incorrect size. The only charge is for the postage fee when resending another product. Obviously, if the new product chosen is more expensive then the difference will also have to be met by the customer.
When Ordering A Real Fur Hood Can I Choose The Colour Of The Fur?
No sorry we are unable to offer this service. Some shades of the fur used may be lighter or darker and this is dependant on what we receive from our suppliers.
Are The Ladies Fishtail Parka's Authentic?
You can choose an authentic M-1965 parka, or our M-1951 replica Classic fishtail parka in the smaller women's sizing.
Why Is The Hood On The Women's M65 Fishtail Parka So Big?
You need to remember that the hoods were produced to be worn over helmets and that they were intended for military use. The M65 hoods are more for show than use. The big M65 hood looks great when lying on the shoulders, especially if the M65 hood is trimmed with real fur. The M65 hood is a fashion statement and ladies need to be aware of this when ordering a ladies M65 fishtail parka.
How did I get into this ?
I have been a collector of these for over 20 years now and this website came about through what can only be described as organic growth. As interest and demand for these grew I had more and more people asking me if I could sell them or help them get vintage and classic fishtail parkas.
So, I decided to put my sourcing skills to the test and offer these rare and hard to find items to all those struggling to find them. The result was fishtailparkas.com, I hope you like it :)