Ref.: Lithographs displayed at Borgo San Jacopo in Firenze.


Definition: The word "coats" can have several meanings: (1) as the word "coating" denotes something is place on the surface - being "coated",  the coat is the outer layer garment that is worn over the suit jacket.                                (2) Sometimes the suit jacket or odd jacket itself is called the "coat",  e.g. in an invitation describing the dress code as "Coat and Tie" - the means a suit/odd jacket and not that one is asked to wear an overcoat throughout the event.                                                                                                    We will use the term "coat" in the sense of an Overcoat as in (1), i.e. as the thicker outer layer worn in cooler climes.

Overcoats are classified by their purpose, design, weight of the fabric and histroy/heritage.


The Three Subgroups of Overcoats

(a) The Overcoat in general: see above.

(b) The Topcoat:  a lighter weight overcoat.

(c) The Greatcoat: A long and heavy overcoat with a military origin, worn originally over the uniform.  A lighter and rainproof version of a military coat is the Trench Coat.

General Overcoats



The word Topcoat is often used for any overcoat that is lighter in weight; it is not useful for severe rain and storms. 

Other Coats


(1) The Urbandaddy Manliness website published a good summary about overcoats online.  It is also found here: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/mans-guide-overcoats/ accessed 30th April 2019.

(2) https://www.ties.com/blog/mens-coat-guide

(3) https://www.lanieri.com/blog/en/how-to-choose-a-mens-coat/

(4) https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/overcoat-dos-donts/

(5) https://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/g2014/best-winter-coats/

(6) https://www.saba.com.au/foley-business-coat--MW18405.html

(7) https://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/brand/all-saints/foley-coat-ym2945