The Persians, based in what is now Iran, introduced two garments to the history of clothing: trousers and seamed fitted coats. [ 2 ]
Coat is one of the earliest 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 (chainmail), a tunic-like garment of metal rings, usually knee- or mid-calf length. These were very strong and could withstand snake bites.
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, overcoats had begun to supplant capes and cloaks as outer wear, and by the mid-twentieth century the terms jacket and coat became confused for recent styles; the difference in use is still maintained for older garments.
An overcoat is a long coat (at least mid-calf) designed to be worn as the outermost garment worn as outdoor wear; [ 4 ] while this use is still maintained in some places, particularly in Britain, elsewhere the term coat is commonly used mainly denote only the overcoat, and not the under-coat. A topcoat is a slightly shorter overcoat, if any distinction is to be made. Overcoats worn over the top of knee length coats (under-coats) such as frock coats , dress coats , and morning coats are cut to be a little longer than the under-coat so as to completely cover it, as well as being large enough to accommodate the coat underneath.
A frock coat is a man's coat characterised by knee-length skirts all around the base, popular during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The double-breasted style is sometimes called a Prince Albert (after the consort to Queen Victoria ). The frock coat is a fitted, long-sleeved coat with a centre vent at the back, and some features unusual in post-Victorian dress. These include the reverse collar and lapels, where the outer edge of the lapel is cut from a separate piece of cloth to the main body, and also a high degree of waist suppression, where the coat's diameter round the waist is much less than round the chest. This is achieved by a high horizontal waist seam with side bodies, which are extra panels of fabric above the waist used to pull in the naturally cylindrical drape.
The modern morning coat (or cutaway in American English) is a man's coat worn as the principal item in morning dress . The name derives from morning nineteenth century horseback riding exercise for gentlemen. It was regarded as a casual form of half dress . Gradually it became acceptable as an alternative to the frock coat for formal day wear or full dress. Since the nineteenth century it is normally only seen at weddings, formal baptisms and funerals and, in England, races such as Royal Ascot and the Derby . Male members of the cabinet of Japan wear it in their first public appearance following the formation of the cabinet.
A dress coat , sometimes called a swallow-tail or claw-hammer coat, is the coat that has, since the 1850s, come to be worn only in the evening by men as part of the white tie dress code , also known as evening full dress , for formal evening occasions. It is commonly referred to as just a tailcoat , but amongst tailors (both British and American) and dress historians it is traditionally called a dress coat to differentiate it from other types of tailcoats.
Black tie is a dress code for formal evening events, and is worn to many types of social functions. For a man, the major component is a jacket, known as a dinner jacket (British) or tuxedo (Canada, the U.S. and Ireland), which is usually black but is also seen in midnight blue . A woman's corresponding evening dress ranges from a conservative cocktail dress to the long evening gown , determined by current fashion, local custom, and the occasion's time.
The term tuxedo is itself variously used in different parts of the world. It always refers to some form of dinner jacket, and sees most use in North America, where the term originated. There, it is commonly taken to mean a modern variation on the traditional black tie, while in Britain, it is sometimes used to refer to the white jacket alternative. [ 1 ]
A justacorps or justaucorps is a garment worn in the latter 17th century and earlier 18th century. Of French origin, the justacorps was a knee -length coat , fitted to the waist and flared below, without a waist seam . It featured deep, turn-back cuffs and was worn over a long vest or waistcoat and breeches .
The justacorps was an aristocratic garment worn primarily by men, although some women wore the justacorps with a matching petticoat as a riding habit
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