Clothes of the Seventies, CPO Jacket

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Type of clothing:
When it was popular:
Description: These were popular around 72-74. They were usually dark green or navy blue. Made of an itchy fabric. Buttoned down the front.
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User Stories and Comments

The following are comments left about CPO Jacket from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

Brummy - February 15, 2008 - Report this comment
My step-dad had one that he wore back in the '70s. It was green and white plaid, heavy wool. I was a kid then. After I got to college in the early 80s, it dawned on me: "What a cool jacket!" I loved it. It was relic by then. When I would go home for break, I would take the jacket out of the closet and wear it everywhere. I remember wearing it over a white T-shirt to a theater to Woody Allen's "Zelig." (I admit I had no fashion sense then and still don't. But I know what I like.) Years later, I miss that jacket and wonder what became of it. My step-dad and I no longer speak to one another, so there's probably little hope I'll ever get the coat. So, wherever you are, CPO jacket, rock on!
Steph - March 29, 2008 - Report this comment
This is awesome!
DesertRose - October 02, 2008 - Report this comment
The "itchy fabric" was most likely wool; many CPO jackets were made of wool. I had one back in the early 70s; wish I'd held on to it. :-)
Laurie(from Iowa) - November 01, 2008 - Report this comment
The CPO coat was itchy, but what a cool coat. Wore mine in junior high. Now looking for one again.
Night of Joy - November 26, 2008 - Report this comment
We have one:
Jim - January 29, 2009 - Report this comment
I remember my brother and I wearing CPO jackets as kids in the early seventies. We spent a lot of time at our grandmother and grandfathers, which I believe was grandpa that got us wearing them as he did. I remember the dark green, blue and I believe we had them in a brown with some beige all being plaid and itchy....but warm!
Laura - March 03, 2009 - Report this comment
My father has a CPO jacket which he received from his uncle back in the 70s. He wears it all the time and we always make fun of him for it. I've always wondered what CPO stands for? The only thing I can find is Chief Petty Officer. Any ideas?
Jeff - April 09, 2009 - Report this comment
I just went to a site and they have 3or 4 great CPO jackets/shirts - check it out!!!
RAY TRACY - August 02, 2009 - Report this comment
I had one but it was back in 1965 and 1966. My girlfriend and I had a matching set. Solid color (cranberry)with the black buttons that had the anchor on them. I would love to have one just like it today (the jacket or that girlfriend!!).
Barbara Blackburn - October 08, 2009 - Report this comment
I had a CPO jacket in junior high, I thought it was the coolest, white with green and tan paid. The thing got stolen off the back of my chair in art class. It was brand new. Man, made me so mad. I got up from my seat to wash my hands, came back and it was gone. Teacher and I looked everywhere. Stinkers.
jodi - October 30, 2009 - Report this comment
my husband says they are "certified Pussy outfits" for when its not that cold outside but I remember them!
Skippy - November 09, 2009 - Report this comment
I got mine from Sears when I was in 3rd grade, it was green and white plaid. I loved it.
Robert G Smith - December 07, 2009 - Report this comment
I had at least 5, mostly very dark blue , one was quilted lined. I still have one in good shape from the mid 1980s. I still love it and am disappointed if they are unavailable.
paul - December 10, 2009 - Report this comment
iv got a old school parka coat brown with orange lining i love it i wear it all the time
footballmom104 - December 16, 2009 - Report this comment
Yes, they were itchy but I loved mine!
jewels - January 21, 2010 - Report this comment
So, did anyone ever find out what "CPO" stood for? Burning question at my house...
Jeffery Kierstead - March 22, 2010 - Report this comment
I have a cpo jacket that is worn out and I am looking to purchase another one but can not find any on the internet. Can anyone tell me where I can buy one
Matt - June 18, 2010 - Report this comment
My mom and my aunt constantly reminisce about their CPO jackets they got when they were in elementary school. They crack up about how slick they thought they were when they wore them. At 17 years old, I myself am searching for the perfect CPO jacket that I can look back on 30 years from now...
Johnny - July 19, 2010 - Report this comment
I had a cpo jacket in 1966.
Bo's'n - August 28, 2010 - Report this comment
It does stand for Chief Petty Officer. It was patterned after a wool shirt that was part of the winter working blue uniform. The Navy version was a dark blue almost purpleish color and it was often worn as a light jacket on board ship.
norm - September 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Chief Petty Officer ..CPO jackets were cool except for their itchy wool fabric. Naval issue, much like the sea coat, only lighter.
hgdfa - October 29, 2010 - Report this comment
Urban Outfitters has a version. Its not exactly right.
vintage gal - December 20, 2010 - Report this comment
I have a CPO jacket that my sister owned in the sixties. It's black and in great condition. Should I wear it?
Amie - December 21, 2010 - Report this comment
No! CPO's were always navy blue. They smelled so bad when they got wet
george tater - February 11, 2011 - Report this comment
My brother and I each had one in the 70's in tan and brown plaid shades. Ours were wool but never itchy. They kept us very warm delivering newspapers at dawn. (We shared a route for 4 yrs. We retired the route when I was 12 and he was 14.) I found several CPOs in lighter tan plaid on the clearance rack at Kohl's yesterday,(02/10/11). It was in the mens dept., for $8.80.
Rick C. - February 11, 2011 - Report this comment
I had one during the 70s'. I loved it. Many a cold day was spent in it. The CPO will always be a 70s' icon.
Candy - March 28, 2011 - Report this comment
I had a hunter green and chocolate brown plaid cpo, during the 70's. Loved it. Wore it alot.
Brian M - May 03, 2011 - Report this comment
I was thinking about CPO jackets just recently and you guys hit it on the head. They mostly Plaid and Itchy! This was in maybe 1968, 7th grade. All the boys wore them, then after that year, nothing. It seemed they just vanished. Great for ice skating though!
Nathan - November 29, 2012 - Report this comment
I purchased mine new at FW Woolworth's where I worked after school in 1968. Heavy 100% brown wool. Cost about $20. Wish I could get more.
Kevin J. - February 27, 2013 - Report this comment
I still have 2 of them and still wear them in the Winter. A good thing never goes out of style. I am a 2013 trend setter :)Funny, there solid blue and gray.
thomas, ny - March 17, 2013 - Report this comment
I was always jealous of my friend who had one in the mid-70's. I never could have one because my mom worked at Montgomery Wards and they didn't carry them. I usually ended up with a snorkel jacket!
Tish - March 30, 2013 - Report this comment
I had a brown plaid one and we always wore hoodies under them in the 70's.
Nyah - May 18, 2013 - Report this comment
I just dug up one that I acquired in the '80s. It's plaid, mostly brown but also has cream, grey and black. No pockets, nor is it lined (except for a few small panels of nylon). Has a big, butterfly collar. Anchor buttons, which I love. Montgomery Wards. Been wearing it during the colder part of the past 3 days.
Nyah - June 06, 2013 - Report this comment
BTW, does anyone know how much CPOs cost, back when they were common? Also, I wanted to add to my previous post, that the reason my vintage CPO has no pockets is, a previous owner removed them. When I made my previous post, I hadn't noticed that pockets had been on this particular garment.
John - October 31, 2013 - Report this comment
I remember the CPO Jacket very well .... I never owned one because we could not afford them... always thought they were cool.... Now that I can afford one, I can't find them.
Phil - December 10, 2013 - Report this comment
I had a brown & green plaid cpo jacket in about 1972. Loved the warm, lightweight style with functional 4 pockets. Still cool all these years later.
Elizabeth - January 28, 2014 - Report this comment
I had one in seventh grade in 1972. It was gold, green, & red plaid.
nc4x4babe - July 08, 2014 - Report this comment
my kids dad used to wear the newer ones that are cotton did anyone ever find out what the official name was or what cpo stood for?
Mary - November 27, 2014 - Report this comment
I had a cpo jacket when I was in Junior High in the late 60's. It was dark blue wool with black buttons with anchors just like the navy peacoat. Heavy weight wool with shirt tails and buttoned cuffs and a pointed collar, front patch pockets with flaps, unlined. I assumed it was military surplus. I have no idea how I came to have one but all of my sisters had the same coat too so it must have been cheap somewhere. Loved that jacket. I later had a womens RAF bomber style jacket with the same heavy wool and similar buttons. Pulled that out of a bin at Ragstock in Minneapolis in the mid-70's. Saw one on ebay a while back for almost $300. Out of my budget.
Andres Micheal - February 07, 2015 - Report this comment
Cotton jackets are one of the world famous fashion trad but there is a lather jackets to wear as fashion Sons of Anarchy Leather Jacket
Michele - February 25, 2015 - Report this comment
Am I the only one who had a heathered gray jacket (with the black anchor buttons) CPO jacket? Seventh grade, circa 1970. C.P.O. stands for Chief Petty Officer, btw
Cindy - March 13, 2015 - Report this comment
I was reminded of CPO jackets just the other day when I saw someone in a jacket with a similar pattern. I had a light brown/tan and white one. Everybody were them then...this would have been round about '73-'74, when I was in Jr. Hi. By accident I left my jacket in the trunk of the car. When I finally found it, it had a distinct smell of gasoline. I wore it anyway. I knew one person who had one with a liner, but most of them didn't, and YES they were itchy! Would love to have another one.
Jan - September 08, 2015 - Report this comment
I had three of these back in the 70's; 2 were the regular style and 1 was the quilted, warmer version I wore in the winter in the midwest. I loved those jackets and wish I still had them!!!
Marc - October 24, 2015 - Report this comment
Growing up in Ohio, we all got a CPO jacket for back-to-school. They were warm, but the scratchy wool wasn't too great. Still, I miss them -- and it seems J. Crew now sells a knock-off (not plaid?!?) for $158!
Kim - November 02, 2015 - Report this comment
You can buy a vintage CPO on Ebay!
Jon H - November 22, 2015 - Report this comment
So, it doesnt mean cotton, polyester, and Orlon?
Pegrube - December 17, 2015 - Report this comment
I had a navy blue 100% wool CPO hand me down in 1970's...with pockets, a little satin neck lining but the rest was itchy as hell. But I LOVED THAT JACKET! I was the coolest girl in my neighborhood. It was like stinky wool when it rained, but who cared back then?! I saw a young hipster wearing one today and I said, "Oh my God...a CPO!" He looked at me like I was a Martian.
Jean - March 21, 2016 - Report this comment
I just bought one at a thrift in Maine this past weekend for $2..been looking for one forever..had one back in the 70's. This is not a vintage one but the retro look and looks color wool with the breast pockets..on my 70's one..the black buttons had the navy anchor symbol, this one is just regular buttons. Satin lining. sooo happy.
Ric - April 05, 2016 - Report this comment
Still got mine since Christmas '73. It's lined, not itchy. It's dark red plaid. Fabric on back shoulder frayed last year. Want to get another and hang the old gift in the closet. Gee, it was durable...
Jim - November 15, 2016 - Report this comment
I bought my first CPO jacket in high school, in Chicago, where I grew up in the 60s, and continued to wear them through college and early in my career, when I moved to Virginia, where this was about the only jacket I needed except for maybe a few weeks in mid-winter. Great for layering. The best ones were wool by Pendleton, who still make something like the original but probably not 4 pocket versions any more. Woolrich, Lands End and LL Bean also have their own versions. Great, versatile jackets.
Jack - November 30, 2016 - Report this comment
Loved my CPO Jacket in the early 70's. I thought it was so cool because my color was different than my friends. Mine was Plaid on russet, oranges and golds. Very fall looking!
Rodney - December 24, 2016 - Report this comment
Doesn't someone who was in the garment industry in the 70's know what the CPO in the plaid jackets like JCPenney sold stood for? I seriously doubt it had anything to do with the ones in the military.
Mark - December 24, 2016 - Report this comment
I remember in '68 when I was 11 checking out the CPO's in J.C. Penny's as I rode past on my paper route. When I finally had enough $$$ I bought a blue plaid one, and got it a size too big because I thought it would hide hide my chubbiness. I'm sure it didn't work, but I can still visualize the exact colors and pattern.
steve - December 29, 2016 - Report this comment
My recall from the 60's was that CPO was Clothing Protective Outer and was military surplus labeling for a jacket to wear over a sweater of sorts. LL Bean describes it differently these days
Sue - January 03, 2017 - Report this comment
I still have mine--a brown plaid. It its itchy, but looked So cool. My daughter wore it in the 90's and I am passing it down for her son to wear some day.
nancy - January 15, 2017 - Report this comment
It absolutely stood for Chief Petty Officer. I one in late sixities.. It was a must for "cool" kids. Where did the fad start?
Liz - February 19, 2017 - Report this comment
Saved up to get my CPO jacket in 1973. Love, love, loved that thing! Wish I still had it! Been trying to re-create it for years with plaid "overshirts" but just won't do.
Pat Bowman - May 29, 2017 - Report this comment
I still have two CPOs, my own solid maroon from the 1960s and my Dad's red, black & gray plaid from the 1970s. Both have the classic anchor buttons, a nod to my lifer Naval brother.
Terry - October 19, 2017 - Report this comment has the CPO jacket in navy for men and women. I just received mine and though I am no longer a young hipster, I love it!
Brant - October 27, 2017 - Report this comment
Worked in the evenings at a small clothing store during the late sixties. Bought a green plaid one that I loved but eventually outgrew. Gave it to my little sister. So its gone but not forgotten
Brooklyn Girl - November 06, 2017 - Report this comment
I had a navy blue one that I bought at an Army-Navy Surplus store in the Redhook section of Brooklyn in the mid-70's. They were cheap (otherwise I could not have afforded one.) I believe mine was unused, but you could also buy second hand ones at the store that had been used by actual service members. Some of these still had name tags on them. They were 100% wool, itchy as heck, and yes, they stunk like wet sheep when you got caught in the rain. I still felt cool though!
Brooklyn Girl - November 06, 2017 - Report this comment
And buy the way...the navy blue ones were the only authentic CPO jackets. They were worn by Navy members. If you had plaid, you had an imitation.
Diana - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
Got my navy blue CPO in middle school, early 70s, and thought it was the coolest clothing item EVER. It's still in my closet though I never wear it. Can't part with it!
Don - November 21, 2017 - Report this comment
I had a blue one with black buttons that had anchors pressed into them. This was in jr. high in '66/'67. No recollection where it came from or what happened to it I remember that a lot of girls would ask me to where it (as a sign of going out together) so maybe one of them still has it?!?! Very itchy but, I sure do miss that jacket!
Valerie - November 25, 2017 - Report this comment
I had one when I was in college in New England - 1974. There was a student from Ethiopia there with no coat. He was shivering cold so I lent him my CPO. With his limited English, he misunderstood and thought I'd given it to him. I didn't have the heart to ask for it back. I wonder if he still has it?
Dave G. - December 07, 2017 - Report this comment
My brother & I also had a very cool red & green/off white plaid CPO jackets that my father purchased At E J Korvettes department store in Elmhurst,IL during the late 1960's early 70's. It was a great Fall season jacket.We could rake leaves or play football wearing it.You never felt cold wearing it.All the young boys in my class in grade school were jealous of it.Like most of the other posts stated.the wool of the CPO jacket was very itchy especially around the collar. Too bad they are another relic from the past.
Maria - October 05, 2018 - Report this comment
I remember them well. Never had one though, we were poor. That's what happens when your parents have eight kids.
Gina - March 25, 2019 - Report this comment
Fell in love with my husband in 71 wearing his CPO. 48 years later I still have it stored away with my wedding dress!
Seth Sharpless - May 02, 2019 - Report this comment
Loved mine in the late 60's and 70's. I started wearing them again a few years ago. Search Amazon for CPO shirt.
Lizziek57 - September 09, 2019 - Report this comment
I "borrowed" my Dad's cpo jacket that he had from the 50's. I wore it all through the 70's. My Dad still gives me a hard time about wearing out that jacket.
kevin - November 09, 2019 - Report this comment
CPOs were all the rage growing up in 70's small town Indiana. I live in the California desert now so no need for one here! There is a vintage one for sale (Ebay) size M as I type this.
Jack - August 23, 2020 - Report this comment
Had many in late 60's early 70s! Lots more colors plaid and solid than what are mentioned here! Also were made of both light weight wool and heavy weight cotton flannel with the flannel more popular!
Dave - December 17, 2020 - Report this comment
In the late 60's early 70's everyone was wearing the Navy blue CPO. It was a great shirt/jacket to keep the fall, Cleveland chill at bay. Doing some research, it looks as though "SCHOTT" still produces them in a variety of color's with the "fouled anchor buttons". I seem to remember the original shirts as having a black, silk lined collar and black silk lined cuff's to keep the "itch" down.
Bob - February 21, 2021 - Report this comment
CPO does indeed stand for Chief Petty Officer ...They were Navy issue , and more popular in the late 60's on ...They were dark blue ..any other color was some kind of copy ...I also had a fatigue coat I used for work, and a Peacoat ..I lived out of Army/Navy surplus stores .. Must have rubbed off , because I ended up spending 42 years in uniform ...
Virg - April 22, 2021 - Report this comment
I had an authentic CPO jacket (CPO label at the neck) that was brown/gold plaid that I bought in 1969-70 and wore in high school. I still have it. It still fits and is in great condition. On Etsy, they sell(used) for around $55. I think I paid around $12.99.
seely - August 28, 2021 - Report this comment
I live near Woolrich PA so had many jackets from there. We all had COP jackets back in the '70's, mine was brown plaid, unlined wool. Loved it and wish I had it today. I do have my father's Woolrich red plaid hunting jacket & my husband has his father's Woolrich hunting suit. So sad that Woolrich didn't survive in the US, I don't think the family put enough back into the company, but sold out to Italy. CPO is Chief Petty Officer.

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