Overcoat, Topcoat, Greatcoat, Body Coat, Tailcoat, Morning Coat: Terminology & Differences Explained 3 years ago

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1. Overcoat
Traditionally, that means it was a fabric that was heavier than 30 ounces per yard so it was really quite heavy and the goal was to keep you warm during cold winters. It was always so long that at least covered your knees and sometimes would go all the way down to the ankles. The first overcoat as we know it today was probably the Chesterfield. It was invented sometime around the 19th century, and today, they're very popular, mostly as single breasted with a velvet collar.

In terms of styling features, there's really nothing you can't do. Patch pockets go well with a more casual fabric like the one I'm wearing here, right now. On the other hand, if you have a navy blue cashmere overcoat, probably flap pockets are better. When you have double-breasted, go with peak lapels, with single-breasted, you got to have notched lapels or peak lapels depending on what style you're going for. Unlike regular suit jackets, overcoats have something called the Ulster collar, and you can see it here on the trench coat. That means, it's like a notched lapel, but they go out very far.

2. Body coats
It is either a tailcoat, a morning coat, or a frock coat. It has the name body because it's tailored so it sits very closely to your body, and it's a garment that is very formal in any case and therefore, you hardly see it anymore today. The best place to see morning coats is the Royal Ascot horse race in England or if you want to see a tailcoat, you have to go to a white tie ball, and frock coats are even older and mostly not worn by people anymore.

3. Great coat
A heavy overcoat with a military heritage. Greatcoats include a British warm which is what I'm wearing here right now. Such as an Ulster or widely cut, double-breasted overcoats with a distinct v button silhouette. They're usually cut without any waist suppression meaning, they're very loosely fitting, they're heavy, and they're draping well. The whole idea was to create a garment that looked impressive and kept the men in the military protected at all times. Greatcoats are always double breasted because the military had this double breasted shape which is supposed to be more powerful and more impressive.

You can also find epaulettes or other military hallmarks such as throat latches. For example, this overcoat here has the epaulettes which is part of the military heritage. If you like history, and you want an overcoat that keeps you warm, I can really recommend a British warm or another kind of greatcoat with a heavy fabric because they will last you for the years to come and always looks good and different from what other people are wearing.

4. Topcoat
Technically, a topcoat used to be a lightweight over garment that was made of fabric that was 18 ounces or about 500 grams or less. Now back in the day, that was a lightweight, outerwear fabric. Today, it's actually a heavy outerwear fabric. Topcoats are typically only trench coats such as the one you can see here which is made of cotton gabardine.

The idea of distinction was to have something that was really heavy for winters and something that was more lightweight for in between seasons in fall and spring. You should definitely have at least one topcoat and one overcoat in your wardrobe because they're just meant for different seasons, they have different weights, and they feel very different as well.
#overcoats #topcoats #notsponsored
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