Coats have long played a central role in defining a character.
Not only have they served to keep the wearer warm and protect them from inclement weather, but they have also become a visual moniker.
Indeed, many famous and infamous people are instantly recognisable by their outerwear attire.
In a poll of 1,000 people by the luxury coat brand Grace and Oliver – Joseph, aka the wayward son of Jacob – is remembered more for his techni-coloured dream coat rather than for his handling of a humanitarian crisis.
With this (and the fact that we are freezing) in mind, we decided to count down the top coats that have become associated with our favourite characters, both real and fictional. As we long for Jon Snow’s wintry fur to keep us warm.
No episode of Luther would be complete without our favourite detective DCI John Luther stalking the streets of London, his now famous tweed coat billowing out behind him.
2. Sherlock Holmes
It doesn’t matter who is playing him or in what decade, it is simply accepted that super sleuth Sherlock Holmes wears a billowing cape. Clearly taking style tips from our number one, Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the most famous detective called for a classic yet contemporary take on the standardised belted mac, and we thoroughly approve.
And for a staggering £1350 price tag (multiplied by three to allow one for backup & one for a stunt double) – it’s a good thing the audience seems to like it too.
3. Cruella Deville
She traumatised our childhood, and now the heinous crimes of Cruella Deville are personified in her Dalmatians spotted wrap-around coat made from the skins of 101 puppies of the aforementioned breed.
4. Jeremy from Peep Show
Who could forget Jeremy’s camouflage jacket? As we travel through Mark and Jeremy’s ever desolate (yet hilarious) lives, so too, does Jeremy’s camo jacket. It has been there since the very first episode of Season One, and by God, we think it will still be there right to the end of the last series (sobs) – which we simultaneously cannot wait for/yet do not want to see the end of our favourite comedy duo. It’s a bittersweet feeling.
More specifically, Napolean with his hand tucked in his Military Coat in that pose. No, he didn’t have a stomach ulcer, or breast cancer, or a deformed hand, as some have theorized. Just like low-slung jeans and pet rocks, apparently posing with one hand hidden was a fad that was considered a symbol of good breeding. Much like the duck face pout of today, probably. Not.
6. Game Of Thrones
Between the massive cloaks Jon Snow and co have to rock at the wall, the intricate cloaks worn by the rich and royal at King’s Landing, and well, Daenerys Targaryen in general – asides from the amazing story-lines Game Of Thrones is basically just an array of pretty amazing coats and stunning costumes. Particularly Sansa Stark – who deserves honourable mention for her pretty fantastic collection, including this hooded little number that we would happily take off her hands.
What a coat says about you
“We wear coats as a sort of uniform,” says Simon Parker, director of Grace & Oliver. “Subconsciously all fashion is telling the world where we believe we belong or would like to belong. So spotting character traits by observing the type of coat someone is wearing is relatively straight forward.”
Fit and Flare
A feminine off shoot of the Great or Military coat the fit and flared coat is softer in silhouette and gives only a slight bow to its more masculine predecessor, yet it its equally stylish, equally practical yet very beautiful. Its fitted top hugs the body emphasizing the female form whilst the flared lower half offers a more whimsical appearance. Thus the wearer is likely to have traditional values coupled with a more creative and impulsive nature.
As worn by Kate Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Darcey Bussell.
Great or Military Coat
Its appeal as a super warm coat is matched only by its military connections. Wearers tend to have a steely backbone and are looking to reflect their traditional values of service, manners and respect. The shiny brass buttons, the double folded epaulettes, the high collar (often in a contrasting colour) and deep cuffs are all reminiscent of someone who likes order and convention yet with quintessential style.
As worn by Prince William, Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Cape coat has an air of artistry about it but also one of intelligence coupled with a caring nature, lent it by its use by nurses during the last century. Its cozy appeal is consistent but its fashion appeal less so; but it is currently enjoying a firm revival. Cape coats are very popular at the moment, but more so where the coat and the cape are the same length.
Likely cape wearers are caring or artistic individuals such as Bob Geldof, Dr Winston, Angelina Jolie.
Worn by fisherman and hardy manual types the Duffle is the epitome of function over fashion. Its traditionally hard wearing and thick fabric, functional and easy to fasten large horn-shaped buttons, rather shapeless body and practical hood make this the coat of choice for those wishing to show their no nonsense approach to life.
Popular in the country, it used to be less so in cities where many deemed it to be too informal, however it has now been revamped by the high-street, with many high profile celebs now rocking the restyled trend.
The Duffel is worn by rugged types epitomised by the likes of Olly Murs, Andy Murray, English Rugby team and stylish Taylor Swift – who is the epitome of laid back, carefree fashion.
A byword for style and elegance the Trench is the most popular and omni-present style of coat. Again a scion of the Great or Military coat it nevertheless is softer in appearance, steering more to practical fashion than the battle field.
Worn belted smartens the appearance yet without it is still a classic coat. Very much part of a uniform the wearer is less inclined to be ‘left field’ and prefers to garner acceptance of a crowd rather than create friction with it.
Likely wearers of the Trench are Taylor Swift (who clearly pretty much pulls off anything), Claudia Winkleman, Leonardo Dicaprio.
Most popular colour of coats:
Black (35%), Navy (24%), Camel (16%), Grey (8%), Brown (4%), Other (9%)