Traditionally, the key difference between anorak and parka is that the parka is typically longer than an anorak, and some anoraks have drawstrings at the waist and cuffs, unlike parkas. However, the words Anorak and Parka are usually interchangeable when we are talking about today’s fashion.
Both anorak and parka are hooded coats, lined with fur or fur fox, originally worn in polar regions. These were first worn by Caribou Inuit and made with seal or caribou skin. In modern fashion, both these words refer to a weatherproof jacket with a hood.
What is an Anorak?
As explained above, the word anorak has no clear distinction in modern fashion. Let’s look at some definitions of this word to know what exactly an anorak is. The Oxford dictionary defines anorak as “a waterproof jacket, typically with a hood, of a kind originally used in Polar Regions” while American Heritage dictionary defines it as “a jacket with a hood, especially one that provides protection from the harsh weather”. Based on these descriptions, we can discern two main characteristics of anoraks: it has a hood, and it offers protection from severe weather conditions.
A traditional anorak is a hooded, pull-over jacket that was waterproof. Moreover, it didn’t have a front opening. Some anoraks also had drawstrings at the waist and cuffs. However, in the today’s fashion industry, anorak can refer to any type of weatherproof jacket.
Note that anorak is also a slang word in the English language. As a slang, it refers to a geek or nerd who shows an interest in niche subjects.
What is a Parka?
A parka is basically a large weatherproof jacket with a hood, which can be worn in cold weather. It’s hood usually has a fur or faux lining. A parka is usually longer than an anorak as it covers one’s hips. Most parkas also have a front opening.
There are different styles of parkas as snorkel parka and fishtail parka. Both these parka styles have military origins. These styles are also very effective in cold and windy weather.
What are the Similarities Between Anorak and Parka?
- These two words are used interchangeably.
- Anorak and Parka are weatherproof jackets.
- You can wear them in cold weather.
- Caribou Inuit invented both these garments.
What is the Difference Between Anorak and Parka?
Although the words anorak and parka are often interchangeable in today’s fashion industry, there is a distinct difference between Anorak and Parka in a traditional sense. Anorak is typically a waterproof, hooded, pull-over jacket whereas parka is a long weatherproof jacket with a fur-lined hood.
Most importantly, a parka is typically longer than an anorak. Moreover, some anoraks have drawstrings at the waist or cuffs whereas parkas do not have drawstrings. Most parkas also have a fur-lined hood whereas anoraks may not have this feature. Furthermore, anoraks do not have a front opening whereas most parkas do have a front opening.
Summary- Anorak vs Parka
The two words anorak and parka are often interchangeable in the modern fashion industry. But to be accurate, there is a difference between anorak and parka. Anorak is typically a waterproof, hooded, pull-over jacket whereas parka is a long weatherproof jacket with a fur-lined hood.
1.“Parka.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Aug. 2018. Available here