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Angels in Overcoats

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There are those that say beneath his coat there are wings.
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If angels appear on Earth and are not wearing white robes, they're probably wearing overcoats. Usually winter-weight, wool, 3/4 length overcoats. Sometimes trenchcoats. The trope frequently appears in movies where angels walk among humans, serving as a kind of Uniform Trope to communicate the wearer's angelic nature. The coats may have started as an attempt to hide the angels' wings, but the trend has stuck even in settings where angels don't have wings.

This trope is one of The Newest Ones in the Book; it probably originated with Wings of Desire (1987), although the Ur-Example is Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Due to overcoat-wearing badass angels in such sources as The Prophecy and Dogma, there is often some overlap with Badass Longcoat.

Subtrope of Our Angels are Different. For angels wearing white robes, you'll probably find them in Fluffy Cloud Heaven. Distantly related to the Trenchcoat Brigade.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • D.N.Angel: Dark Mousy, the angelic alter-ego of Daisuke Niwa, usually is seen with various types of black clothes, various of them are overcoats and trenchcoats. Also Krad, Dark Mousy's Evil Counterpart is also seen with a white trenchcoat, usually more seen in official artworks and the manga than the anime.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In another early example, Dudley the angel from The Bishop's Wife (1947) wears a smart overcoat, although so do most other characters since the film has a snowy winter setting.
  • City of Angels, a remake of Wings of Desire, sees angel Nicolas Cage in a wool overcoat.
  • Dogma has its nogoodnik angels Bartleby and Loki (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) in wool overcoats, worn over hooded sweatshirts to symbolize their halos. Alan Rickman's creation-weary but non-evil Metatron also wears a hoodie, but under a shorter jacket. (Creator Kevin Smith identifies Wings of Desire's use of overcoat-as-angel-uniform as the inspiration for having his angels wear a unifying article — in this case, the hoodie. The overcoat look for Bartleby and Loki undoubtedly originates from the same source.)
  • Guardian angel Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life wears an overcoat, but it's winter in Bedford Falls, and everyone's wearing an overcoat, so it's not clear that this counts as an example. This is the Ur-Example.
  • Although it's autumn in Iowa and everyone's wearing overcoats, the titular angel in Michael wears a trenchcoat most of the time, indoors and out, specifically to hide his wings.
  • The Prophecy. Eric Stoltz's Simon, in particular, wears the standard-issue heavy-wool version. Evil angel Gabriel (Christopher Walken) wears a lighter coat, though it still fits the trope.
  • Wings of Desire, likely Trope Maker. All angel characters, in particular Damiel and Cassiel, but also the secondaries, are all wearing smart wool overcoats during their Earthly tenure. Damiel gets to keep his overcoat even after becoming human.
    • The sequel, Faraway So Close, focuses on Cassiel and Raphaela, once again in their woolen coats.
  • Angels in the film Gabriel are depicted wearing various longcoats. Gabriel spends most of the movie in a brown trenchcoat. Fallen angel Sammael highlights his evilness by wearing a black leather trenchcoat.
  • In the 1991 French comedy film My Life Is Hell, the Archangel Gabriel (played by Michael Lonsdale) sports a white trenchcoat, fitting his hardboiled cop persona.

    Literature 
  • In Lauren Kate's Fallen series there are the Outcasts, a group of angels that initially rebelled against the Throne but turned back almost immediately... and weren't accepted. They don't really look like angels, their skins are sallow, hair thin, wings weak and unpleasant-looking, and they are all blind - and they all tend to wear tan trenches, regardless of gender (if that term can be even applied to angels, that is).
  • In Good Omens, there is a deliberate spoof of the convention in spy novels and thrillers that agents from various, normally rival, secret services must have clandestine, deniable meetings whilst dressed anonymously and, for example, feeding the ducks in St. James's Park. In the midst of a duck-feeding session where agents from MI5, the CIA, the KGB, Mossad, and others are gathered whilst huddled in overcoats and having necessary terse conversations with each other, we see Aziraphale (angel) and Crowley (demon) trying to look as inconspicuous as the rest...
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    Live-Action TV 
  • Good Omens (2019): Aziraphale wears a nice cream one in his present-day outfit, Sandalphon has a tan one, and Gabriel wears a gray one in a few of his Earth disguises.
  • Hex: Raphael wears an overcoat when he comes to visit Ella in order to chastise her for falling for Malachi.
  • Lucifer (2016):
    • Amenadiel initially wore a long robe or overcoat, though, after spending time on Earth and his fall and his wings rotting off he started wearing a grey hoodie or biker's coat instead.
    • While Lucifer, who cut his wings off when he moved to Earth, prefers a snazzy suit.
    • Uriel, who is the middle child between Lucifer and Amenadiel, wears one. Lucifer mocks him for it and notes he could be mistaken for a pedophile with the getup.
  • Millennium (1996): Sammael was an angel with an overcoat.
  • Supernatural's angel-in-residence Castiel sports a trenchcoat. Wings of Desire and John Constantine from the Hellblazer comic are acknowledged as inspirations for his look. By-proxy, Lucifer qualifies as well when he temporarily takes Castiel as a host.

    Music 

    Webcomics 
  • During Ariel's flashback in Angel Down, the archangel Azriel appears as a man wearing a long trench coat and a fedora, holding the hand of a recently deceased child.

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