Overcoats — No, They Are Not Dusters

phunkApproximating a paletot, unbuttoned — One might possibly call this a ‘twine’ or ‘English wrap’, but it has characteristics of a British warm or greatcoat. Phunk, 10th Doctor Coat, L$125

What we really felt like discussing today is yellow shoes and pastoral dances in the park. The weather has been exceptionally clement where we are, beguiling us into believing that a discussion of springtime raiment would be perfectly appropriate. It is, however, only ten days past the ides of January. Our yellowest shoes would hardly be prudent. 

We have, instead, distracted ourselves with a sampling of overcoats. The good, old Chesterfield, the Ulster, the Guards coat and the paletot — variations on the overcoat — rule the day, and many of the coats that virtual clothiers call “dusters” are essentially one or the other of the aforementioned, even if some of the detailing is off. We are not sure what the obsession with “dusters” is among virtual tailors. Or rather, we wonder at the obsession with the name. 

A true duster, made of a linen or canvas, sometimes waxed for weatherization and suitable for sitting astride a horse while encouraging bovine companions to push it on along, is all well and good, but not every coat that falls to the knee and beyond can accurately be called a “duster.”  Certainly, a true duster is not for the carefree boulevardier as he makes his rounds from Mayfair flat, to club, to the Savoy grill for a spot of lunch, back to the club for an afternoon restorative, back to the Mayfair flat to leisurely dress for dinner and so forth and do on. A motoring duster might be called for when taking the roadster down to some aunt’s country seat for a house party, but even that is a bit old fashioned. 

coats-dz-dxduster-lgDrizabone duster from Australia

Well, never mind. All those so-called “dusters” we’ve found in world are perfectly fine overcoats approximating the variety of coats a gentleman of the first half of the 20th century might wear. We should not let a common misnomer stop us in our tracks. 

We do wonder, though, at the research virtual clothes makers put into their craft. I mean to say, it doesn’t take much poking around to learn the names of basic overcoat styles. Is it assumed that consumers are wooly-headed? I mean to say, what?

lestherandfleeceThe short “trench,” but without certain trench characteristics. The black leather on a trench-style coat is generally frowned upon, because of its associations with a certain German political movement, but this was a free hunt item, so we’ll let it pass. In this particular style with the fleece collar, the associations aren’t so strong. Overhigh, past promotional hunt item.

GabrielCoatApproximation of a British warm or “greatcoat,” unbuttoned, but vented like a paletot-sac. Gabriel @ The Men’s Dept, L$300

fatewear1The back venting of a duster, yes, but the fitted silhouette of a paletot.  FATEwear, Dante leather coat, L$300

fatewear2As above, but in fabric rather than leather. FATEwear, Fergy, L$300

A word on pricing — the Phunk coat at the top of the page is created from a rigged mesh, full permissions template, meaning the designer has only individualized this with textures. This is what we surmise from a search, in any case, and explains why we essentially see this coat over and over. That is fine, of course, because reputable resellers will provide a perfectly decent coat at a very affordable price, having saved on the labor involved in cutting the pattern themselves, as it were.

A word on those boots — The two-toned, cloth-top work boot may be a bit on the working man’s side of things, but it provides a period appropriate sturdy shoe as might be worn for country walks. It also works exceptionally well if trying to effect a working class look. We are very impressed with this shoe.

bootsHoorenbeek, Ray Ray boot, L$520


Shirt ~ Hoorenbeek, Real Shirt with colour change HUD

Tie ~ Hoorenbeek, mesh printed HUD

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in Plaid Thistle

Trousers ~ Bastard, casual baggys in herringbone tweed and steel

Hat ~ Quedra HD Design, free brown mesh fedora, tinted as desired

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Sleuth” fedora, black

Shoes ~ Lapoint & Bastchild wingtip with single and two-tone options (includes HUD)

Resources Consulted

The Gentleman’s Gazette — The British WarmOvercoat

The Gentleman’s Gazette — The Chesterfield Overcoat

The Gentleman’s Gazette — The Guards Coat

The Gentleman’s Gazette — Overcoat, Topcoat, Greatcoat: Terminology Explained

The Gentleman’s Gazette — Paletot: The Double Breasted Overcoat

The Gentleman’s Gazette — The Ulster Overcoat


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