1. mattattack007
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    mattattack007 Member

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    Dusters and Leather Coats

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by mattattack007, Jul 21, 2009.

    I'm not sure if this should be in this part of the forum, but I have a question about long coats in the Media. If u notice, all bad-ass characters have leather coats or a duster. What's the deal??
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Leather has, in the twentieth century at least, always been associated with youth and rebellion - the "badasses", and you'd have it. Its a stereotype that has only been reinforced through the recent decades (with the Punk movement, and the formation of Biker gangs). Earlier than that, I couldn't say what they represented or why, but I guess that picture of James Dean in a leather jacket smoking and leaning against his car pretty much sums up the meaning of leather jackets in contemporary culture.
     
  3. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    Oh wow, you have a good point. I just realized a few of the characters I love to death from certain manga wear long coats (Raven from Pandora Hearts, Ed from Fullmetal Alchemist...).

    I have to agree with arron for the reason though. It does, in a way, symbolize rebellion and youth. Although, in my honest opinion, it also adds a sexy allure to some characters.

    Cause you know, the badass characters are the kinds that you secretly love but stay away from in real life.
     
  4. seta
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    seta Contributing Member

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    It goes back to at least Renaissance era - cloak and dagger. Many assassinations were carried out by people wearing long coats to conceal a weapon.

    Okay, so the phrase may be more recent, but the technique is as old as Rome.

    Long coats, or cloaks, can be used to create anonymity, which can be used to intimidate or hide, depending on the application.

    Also, if I had to guess, wearing leather originated with "barbarians" - the Visigoths and Vandals and maybe even the Huns. Of course leather really came into modern society by bikers. Leather is worn by bikers, which are stereotypically "rebels". A bit older, though, leather has been worn in various forms by equestrians for a very long time.
     
  5. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    Basically, it's the modern equivalent to wearing a cape. As articles of clothing go, the coat is just regarded as very dramatic and goes back to film noir and pulp fiction.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what bugs me is seeing so many 'good' cops in series shows wearing leather jackets... even the female ones!... do stupid directors think that makes them look cool, or what?... wish the peta folks would get after the networks!
     
  7. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    ...How do you know it's real leather?
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    doesn't matter if it is, or not, since to the viewer, it appears to be real, making them think it's 'macho' or whatever to wear the skins of murdered fellow animals...

    so, in a time when producers are being pc and careful not to show furs being worn, this seems to be a silly thing to overlook, or not care about...
     
  9. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    While I respect that some find such things offensive, I do think it's always a bad idea to censor anything that offends the opinions of a certain group. Down that slippery slope lie terrible things indeed. Especially for creators like us.
     
  10. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Long coats are associated with badasses because they're long. They conceal the body, and any weapons or other items that are in the character's possession, as well as being very mobile and dynamic. There's nothing more dramatic than a well placed wind blowing about at the ends of a cape, and as has been mentioned by Anders, a jacket is just a cape. It's just one of those things. Capes and jackets are worn by badasses, and people named Jack are always awesome.

    Spoilered for those who don't want to lose the next two days of their life:
    It even has it's own trope. The Badass Longcoat. I'd also wager that it's because cloaks and the like are used by knights, soldiers, police officers, and other executive officers. When you get a bunch of Badass Longcoats together, you might get a Trenchcoat Brigade. But only if they're snarky and British and like to smoke.
    Both the stoic and frightening Nazi officer, and the gruff but gold hearted detective make use of the long coat. The trope and the outfit have the ability to be used by the dark and mysterious villain, and the valiant knight for justice.
    Damnit, and I was doing so well, too. I didn't even bookmark it this time. I'll just have to cut myself off before I visit any other pages.
     
  11. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    @Edward: *whisper*I thought linking to other sites wasn't allowed >_>...
     
  12. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Is it? I'm pretty sure that it was someone here (who's name escapes me from two years ago) that linked me to TVTropes in the first place. I remember fondly how I lost two and a half whole months reading it.
    I've never gotten any problems with it before, and at this point even only doing it occasionally, I've done it enough that I couldn't find all the threads that I did it to correct.

    On topic though...

    well... have you ever met a character with a long coat who wasn't cool, or at least intended by the author to be cool? I mean, maybe once or twice someone puts one on to act cool but fails, but by and large, the longcoat is a symbol of aloofness and badassitude.

    It helps that the duster was basically a long leather coat made for riding on horses. That's an image that stands out, someone with a duster riding a horse, the coat flapping in the wind behind them.
     
  13. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    I got my TV-tropes link edited out too. >_>

    From what I can tell from the rules, links are allowed but should be kept to a minimum and have to be relevant to the discussion. Also, apparently we have to specify where the link goes.
     

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