At Gloverall, the car coat is a favourite, balancing both style and practicality. Made from a range of fabrics such as lightweight showerproof cotton or 100% wool herringbone cloth from English tailors Abraham Moon, it’s often ideal for Spring or Winter layering and protects from the cold and unpredictable weather.
Originally created in the early 1900s, car coats were designed to protect drivers and passengers from the elements when riding in open-top vehicles. These early styles were often long and made from heavy fabrics like tweed or fur. In summer, lighter fabrics like cotton and linen were adopted to protect clothing from the dirt and dust on the road.
French racer Guy Bouriat, at the Nürburgring, 1925
Although functional, the car coat was also seen as a status symbol – showing you owned or knew someone who owned an automobile - and were often worn outside the car. The style grew in popularity as cars became more affordable.
Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade, 1963 // Stanley Donen
As cars changed to have roofs and heating, the car coat followed suit becoming shorter and lightweight. The style we recognize today is a mid-thigh length A-Line shape with a flat front. The shape allows room for movement, the length ensures there's no fabric getting in the way of using foot pedals and the flat front stops the coat from bunching and creasing when sat down.