Few Halloween costumes are suitable for use on other occasions. The Gothic trench coat is one of the few exceptions. So what’s the difference between an ordinary trench coat and the so-called Gothic coat? Let’s begin by taking a look at the colorful history of the first trench coats, eventually evolving in to the currently still fashionable Gothic trench coats. Then, we’ll go on to describe how you can use such a coat to fulfill the requirements of a striking Halloween costume, as well as ordinary street wear during the remainder of the year. You may well be surprised to learn that the roots of this popular style of coat extend back to the 19th century.
The trench coat’s fashion predecessor was in fact a military item of clothing, worn by British officers during the Boer Wars, designed to serve the wearer admirably in the mud and mire of the trenches. This coat design was indeed successful, earning its place as an (optional) part of the British officer’s uniform during World War I. Due to its use during war in the trenches, the coat subsequently gained the ‘official’ moniker, still in use today, as the trench coat. A scant few years later, Harper’s Bazaar first introduced this durable coat as a piece of fashion news. Perhaps through this promotional exposure, the both practical and trendy coat style soon spread throughout the U.S., and Western and Eastern Europe.
While during its early days there were a several different variations in cut, detailing and color, the most recent predecessor of Gothic trench coats settled into the fashion world during the 1940s, as a double-breasted, 10-button long coat, available in a beige shade or in black. Detailing might include a wide, sturdy belt, with perhaps military-style straps at the cuffs and shoulder. In the post-WWII era, the closest rendition of the Gothic trench coats of today’s popularity was sported by none other than the cartoon detective, Dick Tracy. A fashion star was born! With its practical and style-savvy characteristics, the coat was still going strong during the 1960s, serving as a counterculture fashion staple.
This brings us to the Gothic trench coat many of us remember enjoying a resurgence in the 1980s, during the heavy metal and Goth rock music era. Well, guess what? The coat is as durable and stylish today as it was then!
If you’ve got a Halloween outing or costume party on your schedule, the ever-popular trench coat may be the perfect solution for your Halloween costume needs. You’ll cut an elegant figure with this ‘costume’ – with its dark color and swashbuckling cut, you’ll fit right in to the spirit of the occasion. With a few accessories, such as knee-high black boots and a few well-chosen pieces of silver costume jewelry, you’ll be a decided hit at any party. However, you can see that Gothic trench coats can easily be dressed up or down for stunning street wear. We hope that you enjoy this economical tip on stepping out in style, year ’round, particularly during the cool months.
Photo by Kelly Sue
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