“Glamorous overcoat” and “glamorous trench coat” are not expressions that trip off the tongue that easily.
But both the overcoat and the trench coat have had plenty of iconic moments, especially on the silver screen. In fact, the thinner trench coat has probably had even more iconic moments than the warmer overcoat, as you’ll soon learn.
In preparation for buying your own tailored overcoat, why not check out these images for inspiration?
When I posted “Iconic overcoats?” as my Facebook status, I received more than a handful of names, most of which were far more associated with the trench coat than the overcoat.
James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, Inspector Clouseau, Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and Clark Kent were just some of the names people saw fit to mention.
Take a look at any of these personalities and it becomes obvious at once that an overcoat (or trench coat) adds an incredible layer of style to your appearance – if it’s the right overcoat.
James Dean’s overcoat
There’s always something a bit unexpected about an overcoat’s stylishness. As a largely functional garment (something you need to keep yourself warm and dry), a really stylish overcoat always catches me “off-guard” a bit.
The first impression is a mundane one – the appearance of a functional coat – but this is quickly followed by the recognition of a style that’s often breathtaking, and nearly always hard to pinpoint.
The famous Dennis Stock photograph of James Dean above is just such an example of an easy, almost mundane, style.
Marlene Dietrich and Holy Motors
The women’s overcoat is often even more jarring in its exotic mixture of style and functionality, especially if it’s a trench coat. Somehow, iconic stars like Marlene Dietrich exude sexuality when they combine their extraordinary glamour with the utility of a trench coat.
One of my favourite filmic uses of a trench coat in recent times (perhaps not yet reaching the glamorous heights of James Dean or Marlene Dietrich) is the decision by arthouse director Leos Carax to dress Kylie Minogue in an overcoat for his movie Holy Motors. Stripping the star of her typically glamorous appearance, Minogue was given the hair of Jean Seberg and the trench coat of a French starlet from the 1960s.
Above all, the filmmaker’s use of a bygone style demonstrated the power of the overcoat to transform its wearer.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
No overview of the overcoat or trench coat should neglect to mention the final scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in which Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard search for Holly Golightly’s cat in the rain while wearing khaki trench coats.
Their rain-soaked kiss possibly did more for the sale of trench coats than anything else since Casablanca.
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Inspired by my rundown of overcoat-wearing fashion icons? Then transform your look with a tailored overcoat.
Book an appointment at your local studio to begin tailoring your own overcoat today.