How can you describe the coat

Coat types

What is a coat

A coat is a jacket-like item of clothing that is usually worn outdoors. Basically, the only difference between the coat and the jacket is the length, which in turn has to be differentiated in the definition depending on the era and fashion. The name coat means shell, cover and comes from the Old High German mantal or from the Latin matellum.

The coat used to have many different names. While the Romans called it Sagum and Trabea, the Greeks wore chlamys and himation. One of the oldest coats found by mankind is the grass coat of the famous glacier corpse Ötzi. Today as in the past, the coat is used to protect against cold, wet and wind in the cold winter months.

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Sheath properties

Depending on the culture and trend, the coat has changed a few times so far. However, its basic properties and purpose have always remained the same, namely to protect against rain and cold. A distinction can also be made between the individual components of the jacket, such as the length, the collar or which materials are used for the jacket:

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Sleeve length

In order to do justice to the actual purpose of the garment, coats usually have long sleeves. In the meantime, and especially since the last few years, the trend has shifted to the less everyday cut of a three-quarter sleeve.

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collar

The importance of the collar depends on the shape of the coat. While the poncho completely dispenses with it, other types of coats use the collar as an extended protection against the cold in the form of a turn-down collar that can be quickly raised. Overall, a distinction can be made between the following collar shapes for coats:

  • reverse
  • Stand-up collar
  • collarless

You can find more detailed information about different collar shapes here.

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material

The material of a jacket is selected according to the intended use. Almost any material is suitable for processing, but it doesn't always make sense. A coat that protects against the cold, for example, is made of a sturdy woolen material, while a raincoat is made of rubberized cotton or a synthetic climate membrane.

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Coat closure

The most common closures for coats are:

  • Single-breasted closure: The closure consists of a single row of buttons.
  • Double row closure: It is closed with a two-row, mostly parallel button strip
  • Toggle fastener: a loop that is used as a closure in combination with a button
  • Zipper: two side parts with staples (small teeth), which can be closed with the help of a slider and opened again as often as required

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What types of coat are there?

In the fashion world, a distinction can be made between some types of coat. Long, short, wide or figure-hugging - every coat has its own advantages. Because it not only warms and protects against bad weather, but ideally also helps to bring out your personal best side. So that you can do this in the future, we have selected the most important coat shapes that you should know.

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Autocoat

The autocoat is the modern variant of the duffle coat. It convinces with a short, sporty, elegant cut. The comfortable coat reaches just above the knee so that there are no creases in the seat. It is made with either raglan sleeves or inset sleeves.

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Blazer coat / paletot

The elegant blazer coat (also known as a paletot) has its origins as a city coat for men. The body-hugging short coat consists of a lapel collar (collar that is worn close-fitting or as a stand-up collar), narrow sleeves and is buttoned in one or two rows. Here you can find the pattern sheets for a blazer coat or a double-breasted paletot coat.

Paletot by Tory Burch from the fall / winter 2019/20 collection
Paletot by Landin from the fall / winter 2019/20 collection
A paletot by Botega from the Fall / Winter 2017/18 collection

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Caban

Once the sailors wore the pea jacket (also Collani or Kulani) on wild trips, today it is often used as a transition jacket in autumn. The coat has long been a timeless companion when it comes to a sporty, chic wardrobe. The typical distinguishing feature of the roughly sack-length wool jacket consists of its tightly woven virgin wool and the many buttons that serve as a fastener. You can find a suitable pattern for your pea jacket here.

Caban coat from Burberry Fall / Winter 2016 collection
Short pea coat from the Burberry Fall / Winter 2016 collection
Long pea coat from Burberry at Paris Fashion Week January 2018
Caban coat from Burberry Fall / Winter 2016 collection

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Cape

A cape is a loose, sleeveless cape that often appears in combination with a hood. It can be worn as a rain cape or evening coat. You can find a suitable pattern for your cape here.

Cape coat by Chanel at Paris Fashion Week February / March 2019 Spring / Summer 2017 collection
Dark cape coat from Etro Spring / Summer 2017 collection
Cape coat from Etro Spring / Summer 2017 collection
Cape coat from Temperley Fall / Winter 2016 collection

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Chesterfield

Chesterfield is the name of a strictly cut men's coat that reaches over the knee. The single-row concealed button placket and medium to light gray color are his trademark.

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Complet coat

The complete coat is a 7/8 length coat that is worn openly and is worn with a matching costume or skirt.

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Down coat

A down coat is particularly popular in the cold winter months, as soon as there is snow. The light and warm down filler is usually surrounded by polyamide fabric, which is very light and at the same time water-repellent.

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Duffle coat

The sporty short hooded duffle coat is usually decorated with leather trimmings. It is usually closed with a toggle fastener (loop that is used as a fastener in combination with a button).

Dior duffle coat from the fall / winter 2015/16 collection
Long duffle coat by Tk Hyke from the fall / winter 2018/19 collection
Duffle coat by Altuzarra from the fall / winter 2017/18 collection

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Havelock

Named after Henry Havelock, the Havelock coat is a particularly long and sleeveless evening coat with a silk lapel (the lapel corner is lower than the collar), a concealed button placket and flap pockets. Among other things, he is a well-known companion of Sherlock Holmes.

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Justaucorp

The French word just (e) au corps stands for close to / directly on the body and describes the tight-fitting shape of the coat. At the end of the 17th century it was worn as a man's garb. Nowadays, the short coat can be found in the avant-garde women's wardrobe. Typical of the Justaucorp are its elaborate embroidery, which is mostly embroidered on brocade fabric. You can find a suitable pattern for your Justaucorp here.

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Loden coat

With its felted and combed wool fiber, the loden coat protects against raindrops that simply roll off. The classic coat is cut wide and long, has a turn-down collar and a vertical box pleat on the back.

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Hooded coat

A hooded coat, as the name suggests, consists of a coat with an attached hood.

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Throw up

The coat Kotze is a three-quarter length coat cape, which comes from traditional costume fashion. Usually you can find it in combination with pass-through pockets.

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Short coat

The special property of a short coat is that it is shorter than the usual coat, but longer than a jacket. You can find the pattern sheet for your new short coat here.

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Coachman's coat with cape

The coachman's coat was named after its previous wearers, the coachmen. Typical features are its wide cut and the attached pelerine (a cape-like shoulder cape).

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Klepper

The Klepper coat is a rubber-coated cotton coat that is waterproof thanks to a special process. It was developed by Johann Klepper in 1920.

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Mackintosh

The Mackintosh raincoat (Macintosh, Mack, Mac for short) is a rubberized waterproof coat.

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Pant coat

The meaning of the pant coat can be taken from the name (German trouser coat). This generic term refers to any coat shape that can be combined to make trousers.

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poncho

The loosely fitting poncho consists of a large cloth, which is provided with a head hole. The biggest difference to the cape is that the poncho from South America usually does not have armholes.

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Redingote

The riding coat Redingote was created for riders in the 18th century. The long coat is adorned with a large collar.

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Slipon

The slipon transition coat has a very large collar and can usually be recognized by its single row of concealed button placket.

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Dust coat / duster

The robust dust coat is known as a light summer coat. The wide cut made of dense and light material originally offered protection when riding or on the driver's seat. A light and neutral color is typical of the dust coat.

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Top coat / box coat

The topcoat (boxcoat) describes a coat with a raglan cut with an overcut shoulder (shoulder seam ends after the shoulder joint) and inserted sleeves.

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Travelcoat

The travel coat is a real all-rounder. The winterproof weather coat protects against rain, wind and cold thanks to the warming lining. In addition, the material is both wind and rainproof.

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Trench coat

The classic trench coat is considered the all-weather coat par excellence. The sporty single- or double-breasted coat is accompanied by a belt, wide lapels with collars as well as epaulettes and sleeve clips. You can find a suitable pattern for your trench coat here.

Trench coat by Valentino from the Spring / Summer 2018 collection
Trench coat by Moschino from the Fall / Winter 2017/18 collection
A trench coat by Guy Larocher from the Fall / Summer 2017 collection
Trench coat by Choi from the fall / winter 2019/20 collection
Trench coat by Dries van Noten from the Fall / Winter 2018/19 collection
Trench coat by Dior from the fall / winter 2018/19 collection
Trench coat by Chanel from the Fall / Winter 2016 collection
Trench coat by Celine from the Spring / Summer 2019 collection
Trench coat by Burberry at London Fashion Week in February 2019

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Ulster

The Ulster looks very bulky thanks to its wide collar and large lapel made of heavy, fluffy material. The winter coat is classically long and recognizable by a double row of buttons.

Ulster by Mansur Gavriel from the Spring / Summer 2019 collection
Ulster by Dolce from the Fall / Winter 2018/19 collection
Ulster by Daks from the Fall / Winter 2016/17 collection
Ulster by Daks from the Fall / Winter 2016/17 collection

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Weather spot

A sleeveless cape made from water-repellent woolen fabrics is called a weather stain. Similar to the poncho, it is used as functional alpine clothing.

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Care tips: how do I clean a coat?

When cleaning a coat, a few things have to be considered, because here too, as is so often the case, less is more. Depending on the fabric, incorrect care can deform, discolour or lose its warming properties. To make sure that you are not doing anything wrong, it is advisable to bring the coat to a dry cleaner for a deep cleansing wash.

In order to make the decision for you, what the right care for your everyday companion, we have summarized all care tips for your coat:

  • Slight traces of smell: Hang the coat regularly on the balcony or in the damp bathroom to ventilate. That is often enough.
  • Minor soiling: A hand wash should be sufficient here.
  • Heavy soiling: Try brushing off the dirt particles with a clothes brush, this will also make for a nicer look.
  • Small lint: Can easily be removed with a disposable razor.

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The right wash cycle for your coat

Going to the washing machine can mean a tragic end for a coat, so think of “less is more”. Some items of clothing may only be professionally washed by dry cleaners; this can be found in the care instructions on the label. If your coat does not contain any lining or if it only consists of one material (inner and outer layer), you can use your own washing machine.

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The wool coat is wet, how do I dry it?

Due to the weather, a wet coat can often not be avoided, but what is the best way to dry it? Very important: do not use your dryer, as this will ensure that you receive a children's coat. Our dry tip:

  1. Spread a bath towel on the floor.
  2. Now carefully wrap your coat. (The towel gently sucks out the excess water.)
  3. After a few minutes, roll out the coat.
  4. Make sure it is in the right shape and let it dry completely.

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How do I store my coat?

After the winter season is before the next winter season. To keep your coat in good shape, either store your garment lying down or hang it on a hanger. Caution: The coat should never get damp, otherwise it can become deformed. Make sure to store it in a dry place.

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Which coat suits me?

Everyone is looking for the perfect coat for their own body shape. It should conceal problem areas and at the same time underline the advantages. Sounds logical, but the search can be more difficult than expected. In our overview you will find the right coat for every figure type. Overall, a distinction is made between the five different figure types A, V, O, H and X types.

Find out now which coat shape suits you and your type! You can find a detailed overview of all figure types and their characteristics in our article on dress shapes.

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Which coat suits the A-type?

A types are particularly good at coats like the trench coat or duster coat. Their slim waist, narrow torso and wider hips make them appear feminine. With a pear-like shape, you should therefore prefer a long or loosely falling coat.

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Which coat suits the V-type?

The V-type (apple shape) are all coat shapes. With narrow shoulders and hips, you can look forward to a free choice of coat and try a lot.

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Which coat suits the H-type?

The athletic H-type can choose between sporty and very feminine cuts. The body shape is characterized by waist, hips and shoulders of roughly the same width. You can choose between straight and long coats or figure-hugging coats with belts.

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Which coat suits the X-guy?

The X-type are trench coats or blazer coats. The classically female figure with full curves and a narrow waist (hourglass shape) should be accentuated with clothing that emphasizes the waist. Therefore, when choosing a coat, pay attention to tailored cuts or waist belts.

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Which coat suits the O-type?

Chubby women (O type) should wear an open-cut short coat (e.g. duffle coat). This is the best way to showcase your slender legs and narrow shoulders and visually stretch your body. Caution: Many people only wear long, wide coats because of their wider body. However, this visually shortens the body.

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Which coat is right for short women?

Small women should use short coats that reach no more than the middle of the thigh. Otherwise, the garment will visually shrink them. Our coat tips for little women:

  • Short coat
  • tailored cut
  • Pattern in the waist area (gaze is drawn to the center of the body)
  • Stand-up collar (extends the neck)

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Which coat is right for tall women?

When choosing a coat for tall women, there are a few things to consider so that they don't appear even bigger. Our coat tips for tall women:

  • calf / floor length coat
  • long lapel neckline
  • very large sound collar
  • Pockets and patterns at waist height (for the right proportions)

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Sewing pattern for coats

The right cut of a coat is especially important in winter, because it hides our entire outfit. Here you will find some suggestions and pattern sheets for your next creative coat project. In the following we have already put together a small selection of our patterns for you:

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Oversized coats

Oversized cuts are practical everyday companions, because you can wear the voluminously cut coats over two-piece suits or one of the new, cozy sweaters. You can find various oversized cuts such as the illustrated coat in the egg-shape cut here in Rundschau 10/2017.

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1930s style coat dress

Do you want something special? Then how about a 1930s-style coat dress? You can find the matching pattern for a coat dress here in Rundschau 9/2017.

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Jersey fabric coat

A light, unlined coat made of jersey or stretchy material is ideal as a transition jacket. The coat can be combined in a fashionably casual way over a T-shirt or as a light car coat over a suit. You can download a suitable pattern for your coat made of jersey fabric here in Herrenrundschau 3/2017.

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Capes and ponchos

It should be sporty, chic and cozy at the same time? Then our pattern for capes and ponchos from Rundschau 1-2 / 2017 is just right for you. Among other things, you will find instructions for a poncho with a hood or shoulder yoke, the basic cut of a cape, a cape jacket or a cape with a stand-up collar.

You can find more diverse patterns for beginners and those with experience in sewing in the book Patterns for Jackets and Coats. Do you want more ideas and inspiration for designing your new coat? Then take a look at our Pinterest pin board "Coats". Here we provide you with the latest trends around the topic.

First published in 2019, last updated on May 22, 2019.

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