Swing Coat

AKA: swagger coat, trapeze coat, tent coat

How to say it: as it looks

Traditional Features: 

body template

  • fitted through shoulders and bust
  • straight and roomy through the body
  • gradual flare through the body towards the hem (although not as much as it used to)
  • often has large buttons
  • traditionally knee length, but modern jackets are more often hip or waist length
  • can be double or single-breasted
  • can have excess fabric added through the back of the coat to create more ‘swing’


…of the style: The swing coat was designed to go over the “New Look” outfits of post-WWII. The more form fitting jackets born of corsets and fabric rations no longer fitted over the extremely full skirts and so Christian Dior and Jacques Fath designed a new form of outwear that would fit snuggly through the upper body and flare out towards the hem to fit nicely over the popular new silhouette.

Traditionally made from luxurious fabrics that appealed to women who’s choices had been limited by war rationing, these days swing coats are made of whatever fabric the designers want, and as women’s fashions have shortened so has the length of the Swing Coat – but the overall roomy look and flared hems have remained.

…of the name: The name Swing Coat comes from the excess fabric, caused by the flaring hem, which swings as the wearer moves.

For more info on Swing Coats, try eHow and Swapdom.

Random Facts

  • the Swing Coat was very popular with post-World War baby boomers as it had ample space to hide their pregnancy under

21st Century Swing Coats

The flattering fit of the Swing Coat has cemented its position on the fashion classic list. And while the hems don’t flare as much as they used to, the overall look is the same and a swing coat, in one form or another, is available pretty much every year.

alice and Oliviagiambatista valli modcloth topshop

Top Row – alice & olivia, Giambattista Valli

Bottom Row – ModCloth, Topshop


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