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clothing that covers

Updated: 4 days ago

Covering up is under-rated.

Late last year the FT Weekend and HTSI editor, Jo Ellison, observed how nudity has become the norm. The most consistent trend she witnessed at the SS'24 fashion shows was "not clothes, but rather the lack of them".

Were Ms Ellison be a regular frequenter of the Oscars or BAFTA award ceremonies she might well have already deduced the same. Were she to have braved the Brit awards, she might have begun to wonder if the global textile industry had a future and whether all the fretting over textile pollution wasn't overstated, given the microscopic spans of the see-through micro-coverings.

Clothes make the man, wrote Mark Twain in 1927, "Naked people have little or no influence on society". Not so in 2024 where skimpier coverings supplemented by carefully orchestrated 'wardrobe malfunctions' directly translate into greater coverage – just look at Bianca Censori (or the Mail Online).

If undressing is the new undressing, Ellison (good for her) isn't a buyer. "More comfortable with the underpinnings of a demure Victorian sensibility", she admits she did recently persuade herself into a transparent top ... but also to covering it up with a tuxedo.

Which neatly brings us to coats.

Coats, in our definition, are garments that we wear on top of others.

Coats might be worn inside or outside, they might be warm or light, waterproof or featherweight; they might be done up or undone. They can be tailored or relaxed, structured, flowing or simple.

But they can all cover us up when we want to be covered up –neatly combining our hard-won liberty to uncover (if that's our thing) with our seemingly precarious freedom to cover.

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