The word royalty drips of long overly drawn gowns and an aristocratic air of nobility and grandeur. Similarly snipped from the same fabric is the overcoat — charging from the highest ranking officers in the military. From the influence of Napoleon’s army came the overcoat and topcoat, of the U.S. Navy came the peacoat-turned-blazer and from the famous trenches of World War I came the trenchcoat. Coats of varying lengths speak volumes to their traditional intention and purpose. Historically, the longer the coat length, the higher the officer was ranked.
These days, designer house names assemble fashion lines without end saturated with a variety of aforementioned coats. Names like Canali, Giogio Armani, Gucci, Diesel Black Gold, only to list a few. Some colossal house names retain their image of superiority and branded imaging, but their buttons are still pathetic plastic versus the authentic brass and black horn buttons of our trade which should speak to the rest of materials.
Overall, overcoats are the powerhouses of coats with passing knee-length available in hues of midnight blue and ash gray with lingering green outlines. Topcoats are the sons of overcoats, slightly shortened with high collars, slim cuts and double-breasted fronts. While peacoats are short and stylistically flexible. Usually, blazers are paired underneath overcoats or topcoats for added sophistication.
Finally, with the coming of the 20th century, utility was rediscovered. The fierce return of all previous coats and the introduction of the now timeless trenchcoat not on the battlefield, but rather in the fashion world. With the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart plastered in various cinematic romances came the association of elegance and class.
For all the women reading, know this much: the 80’s [and Chanel’s effect on fashion in the beginning of the 20th century] was a sartorial game changer. Considering we were riding the third wave of feminism, all the coats historically identified as “for men only” were transformed through social politics into unisex items and now readily available for the modern woman seeking classic style and utility.
So, choose to be classed higher and reverently respected merely by entering the room. Simply put, woman or man, fashion icons don’t follow, they lead the already refined.
Top Dog Overcoat: Armani or Gucci?