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How a car coat should fit

How a car coat should fit

Car coats – don’t let the name deceive you. Yes, back in the day, they were the outerwear of choice for drivers of open-top automobiles. Not only did the style of coat keep them warm and protected from the elements, they also allowed for full range of motion. But today’s car coats are made for more than cruising in a convertible. While the style is still the same, the car coats of the 21st century are no longer made from heavy wool fabrics. They now come in lighter fabrics, more daring colours and patterns, and vary in length. Allow us to steer you in the right direction, so you can get the fit of these classic coats just right. No driving licence necessary.


With a slightly A-line shape, a car coat is typically single-breasted and less tailored than your standard overcoat. “It should be a little looser,” says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. “The spread collar and less formal heritage allows for a looser silhouette, which means you can experiment with layering underneath.”


Car coats used to be rather long when driving convertibles to keep the driver warm. When cars began to have heating and roofs, they got shorter to allow drivers to get in and out the car with ease. “While the length today varies, a classic car coat should sit mid-thigh,” Freddie says.

The Collar

The collar should be a straight spread collar that can be popped up when the weather gets too gusty (or when you’re driving open-top with the wind in your hair, as you do).


“Your car coat should have a rather clean-looking front with welt pockets and often a hidden placket (opening). The front welt pockets should be diagonal and, more often than not, the coat should be fastened with buttons,” Freddie says.

Words: Ashiana Pradhan
Photography: Angus Williams
Styling: Freddie Kemp