Coat (clothing)

From Academic Kids

For other meanings than clothing, see Coat (Disambiguation)

A coat (a term frequently interchangeable with jacket) is an outer garment worn by both men and women, for warmth or fashion. Coats typically have long sleeves and open down the front, closing by means of buttons, zippers, a belt, or a combination of these.

The term jacket is reserved for a hip-length or shorter garment, while coat can be used for a garment of any length.


History of the coat

Coat is one of the basic clothing category words in English, attested as far back as the early middle ages. (See also Clothing terminology.)

An early use of coat in English is coat of mail, a tunic-like garment of metal rings, usually knee- or mid-calf length.

The medieval and renaissance coat (generally spelled cote by costume historians) is a midlength, sleeved men's outer garment, fitted to the waist and buttoned up the front, with a full skirt - in its essentials, not unlike the modern coat.

By the eighteenth century, coats had begun to supplant capes and cloaks as outer wear, and by the twentieth century the term jacket became interchangeable with coat for short garments.

Types of coats

Coats of the 18th and 19th centuries

Modern coats and jackets

  • Suit coat, the jacket portion of a men's tailored business suit or lounge suit
  • Sportcoat, also a tailored garment, similar in cut to a suit coat, but less restrictive, originally of a sturdy fabric for hunting and other outdoor sports
  • Shooting jacket, a sportcoat with a leather patch on the front shoulder to prevent wear from the butt of a shotgun or rifle, frequently with matching leather patches on the elbows
  • Dinner Jacket or Tuxedo, a men's coat for formal social occasions
  • Blazer, a nautically-inspired jacket for men or women
  • Overcoat (also Topcoat), a tailored coat worn over a suit or dress
  • Raincoat, a water-resistant or water proof coat
  • Trench coat, a military coat developed by Burberry, or any coat styled like this
  • Anorak (in the United Kingdom) or parka (in the United States), a hooded jacket for very cold climates
  • Car coat, a hooded hip-length casual jacket inspired by the parka, popular in the 1960s
  • Mess jacket, a waist-length formal coat worn with some full-dress military uniforms
  • Bolero, a very short jacket, orignally worn by matadors
  • Opera coat, an ankle- or floor-length women's coat of luxurious fabric (often velvet), to be worn over an evening gown
  • Eisenhower jacket, a waist-length, military-inspired jacket with a waist band
  • Motorcycle jacket, a leather jacket, usually black, worn by motorcycle riders
  • Jeans jacket, a jacket falling slightly below the waist, usually of denim, with buttoned band cuffs like a shirt and a waistband that can be adjusted by means of buttons. Also called Levi's jacket (see Levi's)
  • P Coat or pea coat, a heavy wool double-breasted hip-length jacket worn by sailors, or a coat styled like this


Oxford English Dictionary

Picken, Mary Brooks: The Fashion Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls, 1957.

External references

Stylopedia -- an online dictionary of fashion details (

Cloak, Coat and Jacket - Terms and Fashion History (

Template:Fashion-stubde:Mantel (Kleidung) sv:Jacka


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