Lush autumn coats for 2020 – Gorgeous, snuggly alternative warmth!
Wednesday, 9 September 2020 | KateIt's that time of year again, and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is well on the way. Unless we're lucky enough to enjoy an Indian Summer, where it's unexpectedly hot and sunny, it's time to start thinking about keeping warm. It is, we though, the perfect time to delve deep into the history of the overcoat, and showcase a few brilliant alternative winter coats of our own.
Outdoor garments through history – Ladies winter coats
In Georgian times most women wore a roomy cloak. The traditional scarlet hooded cloak was an English fashion, sometimes lined or edged with fur. Shawls were also popular. In the early 1800s the lightweight Kashmir shawl was imported from north India, later made in Britain from fine sheep wool. When women's fashion allowed it – in other words when you could actually fit a coat over the huge, elaborate dresses they wore – sleeved coats were popular, including the Regency style Spencer jacket designed to fit over a high-waisted dress. The pelisse coat was a longer version.
The mid-1800s saw ladies wearing full-length wool or velvet cloaks or capes, some semi-fitted and some with sleeves, with strange names like the pardessus and the paletot. Later long, slim coats came into fashion for going out, and some women wore practical, warm female versions of the Ulster overcoat. The dolman coat was specially cut to be worn over a bustle. In the 1890s capes came back into fashion with massive puffed sleeves.
By the turn of the 20th century, female clothing was finally becoming more practical, less difficult to wear and easier to move around in. The overcoat became much the same for both sexes, and in between the World Wars women started to wear male-style belted raincoats and mackintoshes. World War Two rationing and clothes shortages meant we had to get creative. Women all over Britain made their own coats out of anything they could find, including men's dressing gowns and overcoats. These days women's winter coats come in every imaginable style, fabric and colour. We've been freed at last!
How about men's winter coats?
In the 1700s men wore a protective overcoat called a surtout or greatcoat, made from dense wool and cut generously to cover their indoor clothes. These calf-length coats were either single or double-breasted and had a broad collar like a cape, plus a second, smaller inner collar designed to keep out draughts.
By Regency times the men's greatcoat often had several overlapping collars or shoulder capes, a bit like the coat coachmen wore, and extremely warm. In the 1800s Eastern European-style greatcoats became the fashion, lined or trimmed with fur and richly embellished with frogging and braid. By the mid Victorian era, the overcoat came in many styles, each designed for a different occasion but all called paletots. There was also the Inverness, a curious combination of coat and cloak created for travelling and usually made from tweed, loose fitting and knee-length.
The Ulster was the name for another popular travelling coat, invented in Belfast during 1867 and soon becoming very popular thanks to its belt, long length, detachable hood and occasional extra cape. Posh people wore the Chesterfield, a very smart coat that fell well below the knee, and the Covert coat arrived in the late Victorian era, a short and sporty version of the Chesterfield or Raglan coat. Waterproofing arrived with Charles Macintosh and his patented India rubber cloth, a great way to stay dry in wet weather.
The Edwardian era saw motoring coats, also called 'dusters' arrive on the fashion scene along with the new craze for motor vehicles. This was long and loose, made of tweed or Irish frieze, with a fur lining, During the First World War Thomas Burberry invented a coat specially for trench warfare, made from cotton gabardine with a water-repelling finish that could actually breathe rather than leaving you all sweaty like rubber does. And the raincoat was finally born. With the Second World War came the duffel coat, inspired by the Navy's thick ‘convoy coat’ and later made popular by Field Marshal Montgomery.
Ladies autumn and winter coats 2020-21
People love our nature inspired velour coat with a shawl collar. The colour is delicious, a gorgeous deep teal green, all soft and stretchy. It's lined with pure cotton. There are three pretty decorative buttons at the collar, which closes with two secret buttons. There's a pocket at each side and it has a lovely pixie-pointed hem at the front and back for extra interest. It also has gently-flared sleeves, and colourful leaf inspired appliqué on the front, the shoulder, and the left sleeve.
If you fancy taking this year's winter coat to a new level, try this denim fleece lined winter coat. We love the fact it's made from denim, a lovely clear, clean blue. We adore the styling, with its super-warm shawl collar and asymmetrical fastening down the front. It's lined with fleece for extra snuggles, and the pretty toning embroidery at the hip, sleeve and collar add extra fun to an already stunning coat. You can check out our entire ladies coats and jackets collection here.
Men's coats for winter 2020-21
The ultimate in chunky, our fab men's patchwork fleece lined hooded jacket is a masterpiece in warm! It's made using chunks of tough knitted and canvas cotton, which means the quality is brilliant. There's a cosy hood, and the whole thing is lined with fleece for even more cosiness. Nice!
Our fantastic fleece lined, hooded patchwork men's coat features an OM symbol for great hippy credentials. It's beautifully made, rugged, tough and extremely warm, a masterpiece in stonewashed canvas cotton and stripy Gheri cotton, plus lots of cool razor cutting on the front and sleeves. Complex decorative stitching completes the picture, and it's fleece lined for extra warmth.
Here's wishing you a splendid September!