Tailcoat

Tailcoat

Tailcoat (German Frack, French frac, fraque), a coat with the front of the skirt more or less cut away, leaving only the rear section of the skirt, known as the tails. This type of coat is said to have evolved from the 18th century practice of folding back the skirts (turnbacks) of military uniform and court dress. Of the two surviving civilian tailcoats, the dress coat has a squarely cut away front, whereas the morning coat (or cutaway) is cut in a taper.

Between 1786 and 1812, most armed forces adopted a military tailcoat with short tails, known as the kurta or kurtka (Polish, Russian), coatee (British, US), habit-veste (French), Kollet or Westenrock (Prussian, German). With its square cut away front and plastron or lapels reaching to the waist, the single- or double-breasted coatee made the previously worn waistcoat superfluous.

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Military Glossary