The Guards Coat
As the name Guards coat implies, this overcoat derives from the coat English Officers of the Guard used to wear. Today, a Guards Coat generally has six characteristic elements:
- Unlike the Ulster, the Guards coat has peaked lapels since they are more formal and it is not required to be able to button up this overcoat all the way.
- Usually, the Guards coat has a parallel 6×3 button placement. Thus, the Guards coat does not need to be buttoned up all the way, it is perfectly adequate to have the top row of buttons placed further apart from each in order to achieve a more formal look. Moreover, the buttons are placed higher than on an Ulster.
- Since the Guards coat is more formal than the Ulster, it does not have any patch pockets but welted pockets.
- For the same reason there is no contrast stitching.
- There are also no cuffs on the sleeves of a Guards coat.
- In general, a Guards coat is cut more closely to the body than an Ulster. Nevertheless, it has a belted back whereas the belt does not have any buttons since they would make the overcoat look less formal. Some Guards coats have an inverted pleat which lets the wearer move more easily.
Unlike the informal Ulster, the Guards coat is an elegant coat which was originally designed for the city. It comes mostly in plain dark colors such as a deep navy or midnight blue. Due to its belted back it is nevertheless a garment that can be worn to more informal occasions as well.
The overcoat in this picture has peaked lapels and “blind” top buttons in the front which are typical for a Guards coat. However, it has patch pockets, contrast stitching and cuffs which are characteristic of an Ulster and therefore it is a combination of a Guards coat and an Ulster.