A citified country coat turned streetwear
A post about covert coats. On the top photo you can see fawn (light yellowish brown colour) covert coat, by New&Lingwood. This is a scan from The Essential Little Black Book New&Lingwood brochure from some years ago, which I like even though I hate all red trousers with fervour. Not really on esthetic ground but principle, but I digress… This whole image and post is about the journey of country clothes to the city. The covert coat, like the suede shoes, patterned shirts and corduroy started life as country and leisure wear and, over the centuries, was elevated by men of note to approriate casual city dress in the better parts of town. The short and slim cut of the covert coat, which happens to be very fashionable nowadays, is not a fashion drift but rather a hint at the equestrian roots of the garment. The version of the cover coat sold by Crombie is believed to closed to the platonic ideal of covert coat. In fact, this is one of these special cases that a brand name became synonymous for one of the products it sold. I wrote about this phenomenon earlier, and became aware of the crombie-refers-to covert-coat some years ago when reading some article on original Skinhead fashions. Skinhead is/was a British working class youth subculture with a distinctive streetwear ‘uniform’, consisting of a few standard elements, amongst others; Levi’s 501 jeans worn cuffed& ‘high water’ style, spit polished brogues or Dr. Martens boots, a checked button down shirt and… a Crombie covert coat! A journey from country estates, to the desirable part of town, to the council estates of Great Britain. On the second image (Ulla Street in Middlesbrough early 1970s, via) you see three boys in classic Skinhead kit, two donning navy blue covert coats. What strikes me about the two images above is how different they are, yet how similar at the very same time. The attitudes of the wearers seem very similar to me although they come from very different places and perspectives.