The Raccoon Coat | Have Some Fun Dammit!


With all the rules and lists and “wear this, don’t wear that” articles that get lobbed our way, it’s easy to forget that clothing should never be taken too seriously. If what you’re wearing doesn’t make you smile, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Sometimes though, we all need to be reminded of this, and so in the spirit of fun, let’s give it up to the ol’ raccoon coat. As a staple of East Coast style that popped up during the roaring twenties, the raccoon coat is ostentatious, gaudy, and downright fun. Undergrads wore them on game day and blue bloods tossed them over their tuxes. The raccoon coat said, “I’m dressed better than and I know it.” Just look at these guys, they’re dressed ridiculous, and they’re loving it. As styles have changed, today that message reads more like, “I’m trying way too hard to be Jay Gatsby,” but at least we have these photos to remind us that if you’re having fun, you can pull off just about anything.





Comments on “The Raccoon Coat | Have Some Fun Dammit!

    cameron on January 6, 2015 12:45 PM:

    $325 in 1928 would be equivalent to almost $4,500 in today’s money.

    matthew on January 6, 2015 1:53 PM:

    Might as well go all balls out and do a raccoon coat buying guide for shits and gigs.
    Great post.

    Matt Dougan on January 6, 2015 4:00 PM:

    Wow!$325 to $450 back in the 20’s was a lot of dough…You could by A Model T Ford for that.

    Hey19 on January 6, 2015 4:03 PM:

    Looks like they are standing on a paddle court in that one pic. Anyone know the origin of that pic?

    Matt on January 7, 2015 11:02 AM:

    Looks like some of them are wearing “oxford bags” as well.

    Jim on January 8, 2015 10:04 AM:

    Interesting….I didn’t realize that Phillip Seymour Hoffman went to my alma mater….go Sparty!

    Skenflin McGinty on January 8, 2015 2:01 PM:

    @Hey 19

    That certainly looks like a paddle court.

    Chuck Perego on January 11, 2015 1:03 PM:

    Great photos. Thanks.

    Can anyone explain, however, the wearing of straw boaters with raccoon coats? Would seem the seasons would not match. Or is that just another example of the “I have enough money that I can wear what I damn well please.” attitude of the Roaring Twenties?

    Ray Hull on January 12, 2015 8:49 AM:

    I’m guessing that paddle court shot is relatively recent–note the sneakers and lack of hats. It’s not Schyluer Meadows in Loudonville–no nearby buildings there other than the clubhouse. Maybe CT?

    Ray Hull on January 12, 2015 9:08 AM:

    Almost forgot: I bought a HUGE (reputedly) black Bison coat with a brown muskrat collar that was as magnificent as it was heavy. I wore it for sporting events, but the best use was the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. I have a shot somewhere of me, standing in the middle of main street with snow falling and I have my hands in my pants pockets so that the coat is open, showing my red cords and blue and white horizontal stripe turtleneck. Wonderful coat and of course warm.

    Two summers after that, I had it hanging in my spare closet under plastic (instead of cedar closet that had gotten too full) and noticed that something was moving under the plastic. I pulled it up and discovered about a million termite-like bugs feasting on the fur. I carried the whole thing outside, shook it out and was going to put it out with the trash, but a peer neighbor spotted me, recalled the coat’s versatility and took the mangey looking piece off my hands. He wore it driving his Corvette around in the winter with the top down.

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