A British classic, and one of the most recognisable piece of vintage clothing! The denison smock's history lies in the early part of WW2. Having seen the success of the German's airborne forces in Norway, Churchill ordered Britain's parachute regiment to be formed and expanded quickly. Initially the British copied the German parachute oversmock, called a knockensack, but soon developed their own large overfitting garment known as a denison smock. The first iteration was introduced in 1942, and whilst there would be small changes, remained largely unchanged into the late 50s.
In 1959 the Parachute Regiment issued a new specification, known as the '59 pattern'. This retained many of the features of the WW2 garment, but now included a full length zip, and made the size substantially more suited to wearing. The camouflage would change from the earthy toned brushstrokes, to a yellow/tan led colour, with green and brown strokes. This iteration, and the various variants of camo in which it was produced would be used by the Paras until replacement with DPM in the late 70s.
This example here is an extremely rare deadstock example from the first few contracts made of the 59 pattern. In an era of austerity, when the British would maximise the return of investment on every piece of kit, finding an unused example a denison is practically unheard of. The camouflage is much much darker than on every used example I've seen, and the cotton is thick and almost stiff. The size label is clear and unwashed, and it includes factory applied paper tags in the pockets! The Aero zip is even still stiff from under-use! There are a couple of small moth holes in the cuffs, but these can be easy replaced if the new owner desires - I'm happy to do this at no charge.
- Tagged a size 4
- Fits from a modern medium to XL depending upon desired fit
- Pit to pit 28" (if you've never had a denison, these fit very broad across the chest)
- Shoulder to shoulder 23"
- Shoulder to cuff 25"
- Collar to hem 32"