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 overall excellent condition. 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, the clix zip is even still stiff from under-use! Unfortunately it seems moths had a little feast on the cuffs, but I have a spare pair of deadstock denison cuffs that I'll happily swap out or send along with it.
- Tagged a size 2
- Fits from a modern medium to large depending upon desired fit
- Pit to pit 26" (if you've never had a denison, these fit very broad across the chest)
- Shoulder to shoulder 20"
- Shoulder to cuff 25"
- Collar to hem 31"