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Coat, Hat, Mask

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''You have the right to remain inconspicuous."

"Black coat, white shoes, black hat, Cadillac, yeah
The boy's a time bomb!"
Rancid, "Time Bomb"

The good counterpart to the Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Cool Mask meets Badass Longcoat!

A conventional costume (qualifying as a Grandfather Clause since it recurs from the 1930s to the present) consisting of a suit, a conservative overcoat, a nice hat and gloves, and some form of face covering such as the classic Domino Mask.

A character dressed this way conceals his identity in two ways. Up close, he is noticeable but not identifiable. From afar, he is not even noticeable, because he's basically dressed like everybody else. As might be expected, this mode of dress is most often seen among urban non-powered costumed heroes; its resemblance to stereotypical Hardboiled Detective garb is no coincidence.

On the other hand, some characters combine a tuxedo (or even white tie and tails) and a mask with no intention of blending in; they just prefer formal-wear for intimidation. Often, this type will wear a cape instead of the coat.

Sometimes a form of Civvie Spandex. This is a common form of costume for the Proto-Superhero and for the archetype known as The Cowl.

A Super-Trope to Gas Mask, Longcoat. Compare Superheroes Wear Tights; Conspicuous Trenchcoat; Spandex, Latex, or Leather; Badass Longcoat. Contrast Malevolent Masked Men.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Buso Renkin: The form of Captain Bravo's indestructible Silver Skin buso renkin is a variation of the typical Coat, hat, mask look that deposes of the mask, replacing it with a high collar that conceals Bravo's face and identity. The outfit isn't very inconspicuous, however, as it makes Bravo extremely noticeable in an otherwise contemporary setting.
  • While it's not always apparent, a close look at the Zero costume of Code Geass reveals that, along with a mask and cape, the main outfit is essentially a flamboyant business suit of the type the Chairman from Iron Chef might wear and as it happens the same kind of flamboyant, vaguely 18th century styled nobleman's outfit that the Britannian nobility wear in the series.
  • While no hat is involved, Hei's "costume" in Darker than Black is a creepy-looking mask along with modified black ops style clothing. The pants he wears are typical of a tuxedo, whereas the coat conceals a military style harness which holds his daggers. Note that, in episode 2, he is almost identified due to him going out wearing just the overcoat over his civilian style jeans and shirt.
  • The mystery player on Japan's All-Star team in Eyeshield 21 dresses like this. Apparently he even plays football with his face bandaged up.
  • Turkey from Hetalia: Axis Powers uses a long coat, a half-mask and a fez hat.
  • Ichaicha Suru to Okane ga Waichau Futari no Hanashi: When Hojo is worried about Haru overworking herself, he goes to her workplace in a leather jacket, sunglasses, and a fedora, and generally acts suspiciously. Fortunately, her manager was looking for a friend of hers to take her home, since she's collapsed from overwork.
  • The Kaito Kid from Magic Kaito has a white tuxedo, top hat, and cape, and a monocle which serves as a mask.
  • Phantom Renegade of Medabots is a parody of the flamboyant cape-wearing Gentleman Thief character type, sporting a ridiculous expressive smiley mask, having a tendency to trip, fall out of trees, and generally be an accident magnet (fumbling with a rare medal in the first episode puts the entire series' plot in motion), and frequently gloats to himself about how good he is. This fact is lamp-shaded in Medabots The Abridged Series, where he denies being "a ripoff of the main character from V for Vendetta or Tuxedo Mask".
    • And he sort of continued on in this fashion as Space Medafighter X, in the sense that he wore his Phantom Renegade costume under the newer one and even wore another mask on top of the original. "Who is Space Medafighter X? !!! It's the Phantom Renegade!"
  • Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon is the ur-example of the flamboyant, caped type in Japan.
  • Parodied in Spy X Family with the title character of the in-universe show Bondman.
  • Nerabu from Tweeny Witches wears a black cloak, a witch hat, and a White Mask of Doom that looks like skulls.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, in the virtual world arc, kaiba is confronted by a man wearing a trench coat, sunglasses, mask, and a fedora. As soon as the man starts talking with a thick southern accent, Kaiba instantly recognizes the figure as his former righthand man named Lector. But this is an interesting case, because Lector wasn't trying to hide his own identity, instead he was hiding the identify of the monster card he had taken the form of, Jinzo, which he uses his ability to destroy trap cards later in the duel, all just to screw with Kaiba and surprise the audience.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Abe Sapien is first seen going to a mansion in a trench-coat, hat, and disguise beard.
  • Dan Garret, the Golden Age Blue Beetle. Or at least at first. He eventually gained superpowers and tights after a massive Genre Shift.
  • The Ur-example of this trope (in comics) is The Clock, the first original costumed hero to appear in comics. He wore a blue suit and a black "curtain mask" that covered his entire face.
  • Gary Gianni's Corpus Monstrum (originally called Monstermen, was originally published as a side-feature to Mike Mignola's Hellboy) featured Lawrence St. George, who wore a tuxedo and a medieval knight's helmet.
  • The Crimson Avenger (shown here as he appeared in Justice League Unlimited) and Wing, who were closely modeled on The Green Hornet and Kato, started out with the trenchcoat-and-fedora look.
    • Again, it was a cape over a suit, rather than a trench-coat, or at least it certainly was at some prominent point. Also, a Domino Mask. Classy.
  • Deadpool, in the Cable & Deadpool arc "A Murder in Providence", dons a trench-coat and fedora over his usual spandex, whilst "investigating".
  • DC villain Deadshot wore a tuxedo, top hat and domino mask while posing as a hero in his first appearance.
  • Another Golden Age hero, Dr. Nemesis, wore a trench-coat, a fedora and a surgeon's mask.
  • Benjamin J. Grimm, The Thing from Marvel's Fantastic Four, usually gads about NYC wearing a fedora and longcoat while wrapping a scarf about his chin. A pair of sunglasses completes the ensemble. While not altogether concealing, the outfit tends to attract less attention than him walking about in his shorts.
  • Greyshirt, a Captain Ersatz of The Spirit, created as part of Alan Moore's America's Best Comics line. In his case, though, it's a bandit mask and a billycock hat.
  • Golden Age Fawcett Comics hero Ibis The Invincible didn't wear a mask but otherwise fit the trope with a black suit and a red turban.
  • The King, a Golden Age character from The DCU, was a Master of Disguise. But, when he wasn't disguised as someone else, his 'costume' consisted of white tie and tails, an opera cape, a top hat and a domino mask.
  • Lady Luck, a Golden Age Distaff Counterpart to The Spirit, wore a feminized equivalent of dress-hat-veil.
  • Midnight, a Captain Ersatz of the Spirit, originally published by Quality Comics and now part of The DCU. Slight variations, though, was that Dave Clark had his civvies made reversible for changing into his alter ego's signature black outfit and had his hat lined with spongey material in case foes would try the old blunt trauma from behind.
    • Ed Gorman created a new version of Midnight as a back-up strip in Ms. Tree Quarterly.
  • Early Golden Age two-fisted magician hero Mister Midnite combined white tie and tails of unknown color with a tophat, Domino Mask and red cape.
  • This attire was adopted by Mr. A and The Question in the late 1960s. Both characters were created by the legendary Steve Ditko, and bear a few more similarities to each other besides their mode of dress.
    • The Question's style of dressing was later adopted by Renee Montoya in 52 as the new Question.
  • The Phantom Stranger achieves the effect by always being shown with his hat shading his face, rather than actually being masked. The shadow persists even when he's bareheaded; he's just that Inexplicably Awesome.
    • In Vertigo Comics' Madame Xanadu, the title character meets the Stranger at various points through history, each time wearing a historically appropriate variant of his standard suit, cape and shading hat. In Arthurian times, he's a druid in a hooded robe; at the court of Kublai Khan, he wears robes and a keffiyeh; in Revolutionary France, he wears a 18th century long-coat and a tricorne; in Victorian London he wears evening dress, an opera cloak and a top hat; and in 1930s New York, he wears the familiar blue suit, cape and fedora.
  • Masquerade from Project Superpowers.
  • In the 1940s, the original "mystery man" costume of the original Sandman (Wesley Dodds) was a suit, long-coat, fedora and gloves — with a gas mask. This uniform was subconsciously inspired by the look of Dream of the Endless who wore a robe and mask into battle and who granted Dodds his prophetic dreams. Dodd's costume later became more colorful to match the other superheroes of the Justice Society of America. No relation to the spandex-wearing Garrett Sanford or Hector Hall, save being derived from Dream of the Endless somehow.
  • The Spirit, in most of his over 60-year run, has worn a fairly ordinary business suit, trench-coat and fedora, a Domino Mask and gloves. Creator Will Eisner added the mask only as a token submission to his publisher's belief that a comic book hero is always a costumed hero.
  • Spider-Man Noir
  • In the French comic Tif et Tondu, their resident villain Monsieur Choc wears evening dress and a full-face medieval helm; in occasional panels he's shown taking off or putting on the helm, but his face never appears. In one story they fight a character who wears a hazmat suit with dark faceplate throughout: in the last frame, after he's escaped and they learn he wasn't who they thought, someone finds a tailcoat and helm left at the scene.
    • This sounds like the hero of Monster Men. He always wore a tuxedo and knight's helmet when fighting monsters.
  • The Marvel Universe has a couple who appear in The Twelve (a series about revamped Golden Age characters): the Phantom Reporter and Mr. E. The artist mentions in interviews with Newsarama that he had to tweak both of their designs just a tad so they didn't look so much alike.
  • V for Vendetta. Possibly more like Cloak Hat Mask, but it fits.
  • Rorschach of Watchmen, an Expy of both Mr. A and The Question, sports the basic outfit, but with a head-covering mask (as opposed to the standard domino) with a shifting black-and-white pattern that initially inspired his moniker.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Angle Man's Post-Crisis makeover turned him into a Gentleman Thief wearing an off-white suit with a matching hat and jacket along with sunglasses to hide his eyes.
  • Yorick And Bones: Friends By Any Other Name: A non-heroic example, as Yorick dons this to avoid inadvertantly scaring anyone at the witches' party when he's in attendance. His disguise consists of a light blue coat, eyeglasses, a grey hat, and a red mask wrapped around the lower half of his face.

    Comic Strips 
  • Possibly the forerunner of The Question, the Blank from Dick Tracy also wore a trench coat, fedora and faceless mask. The difference was, he was a villain, and ugly as sin underneath.
  • "There are times when The Phantom leaves the jungle, and walks the streets as an ordinary man"... except for the sunglasses, coat, and hat. Only in a couple of stories has he been this way for the entire adventure.
    • Even better are the "historical" adventures featuring his ancestors: It's still the same concept, but it's much funnier when he's dressed in 18th century knee-hoses and wig.
    • Finnish newspaper comic Fingerpori poked fun at this, showing him with heavy tan-lines in parts where the mask covers his face. Holding a secret identity in a tropic environment is a tough job.

    Fan Works 
  • A Darker Path: The costume that Taylor commissions has a broad-brimmed hat, a longcoat, gloves, and a fully concealing morph mask, over dark clothing and a black tie. It's a perfect mix of formal, distinctive, and practical, hiding her real identity but shouting her cape identity for all to see.
  • The Wold Newton Universe fanfic The Judex Codex implies that many Mystery Men are descended from Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and the outfit is based on a racial memory of Strider's broad-brimmed hat and cloak.
  • The examples below featured in The Night Unfurls are different from the conventional look you see in the main page.
    • The Good Hunter's Hunter Set is a combination of a Badass Longcoat, a cool hat, and a bandana that obscures his facial features like a mask.
    • Sanakan's Old Hunter Set and Hugh's Yharnam Hunter Set have a similar combination.

    Film — Animation 
  • In The Amazing Maurice, Boss Man's true appearance is masked beneath a floor-length leather duster, a broad-brimmed hat, a long red scarf wreathed round his head, and mittens: leaving not an inch of skin exposed.
  • Francœur goes for this look in A Monster in Paris with his stage costume. At the point he dons it for the first time, the populace of Paris is under the impression he's a dangerous monster, so the whole concealing piece really helps.
  • The Toy Taker in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys disguises himself this way.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Doc in Back to the Future Part II tells Marty to wear something "inconspicuous". Cue Gilligan Cut to him in this type of get-up.
  • The killer in The Case of the Bloody Iris wears a black trenchcoat, fedora and stocking mask.
  • Darkman employs the mask, hat, and coat, due to hideous burns, and also because it looks bad-ass.
    • The false faces he wears (sometimes with a hat and coat) also count.
  • Kroenen in the Hellboy movie has a variation of this in his first appearance; he later loses the coat and hat.
    • From the Abe&Kroenen comments: "All of [Kroenen's] intimidating bulk comes from his coat!"
  • Judex, of the silent-era Feuillade serial films and Franju's 1963 homage, relies on a mask, hat, and cape.
  • The murderer in Madhouse (1974) dresses as Dr. Death in a black cloak, hat and white skull mask.
  • In Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971) the murderer wears a top hat, an opera cape and a flesh-coloured Phantom of the Opera mask.
  • At several points in Razors: The Return of Jack the Ripper, Jack the Ripper appears wearing a tattered greatcoat, a broad brimmed hat, and a scarf tied over the lower half of his face.
  • The killer in Theatre of Death conceals their identity by wearing a black cloak, fedora and scarf.
  • The title character of Van Helsing dresses like this for his introduction shot, although he quickly loses the scarf/mask.

  • Zircon, the narrator and main protagonist of All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault, wears a white tuxedo with tails, white top hat, and a thin, white silk scarf as a mask. Due to her Sizeshifter abilities, she's able to use the tails of her coat to glide when shrunk small enough.
  • The pulp hero The Black Bat wears a mask and, while not spandex, flexible yet all-covering black clothes to allow him to sneak around and fight. However, if he has to show himself and not just spy, he adds a coat and a wide-brimmed hat on top of his ninja-esque outfit.
  • Clockpunk and the Vitalizer has variations with both titular characters. The Vitalizer’s is closer to the traditional interpretation of this trope if you consider a hood a sort of hat; the mask and coat are there as standard. It’s downplayed with Dolores, since her “mask” only covers the upper half of her face and her “coat” is her hoodie.
  • This is Dr. Shade's costume in the stories of Kim Newman, with a pair of cool goggles serving as his mask. His successors adopt their own unique styles of attire.
  • French pulp villain Fantômas wore this kind of outfit from time to time, the most iconic being a tuxedo, hop-hat, and domino mask.
  • In George Mann's The Ghost (2010) series, the eponymous Ghost wears a black coat and fedora, along with goggles that glow red.
  • The Gray Seal, Jimmy Dale
  • Older Than Television: H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man (1897) uses this trope early in the book, and his portrayal on film and in numerous cover illustrations may have helped codify the image.
  • The Phantom Detective, Curtis Van Loanю
  • The most enduring perception of the eponymous character in The Phantom of the Opera is that he is dressed in a hat, a coat and a mask that covers half of his face. First film to feature this combination was the 1943 Universal production.
  • In The Precipice, part of what sets Grace apart from the other Supers we see is the practical components of her costume. Where Autumn, Timpani, and Galaxy Gold all wear some kind of tight-fitting, purpose-made costume for the job, Grace wears a coat and ventilator she modified herself. It subtly draws a commonality between her and Stitchskin, who doesn't really wear a costume either, foreshadowing her fall to villainy.
  • For a criminal example: Gentlemen thieves Bunny and Raffles, of the Raffles stories, are normally dressed this way on the job.
  • Overcast in Relativity. He basically kept his stereotypical private-eye garb and added a mask.
  • The Shadow dresses in a black and red suit, cape and fedora. The only unusual garment is a silk mask over his lower face — which, oddly, doesn't hide his extremely recognizable hawk nose. ("The Shadow Nose")
    • "Clouding mens' minds" probably prevents recognition. Some versions of The Shadow could also alter their facial features to a degree. Early stories strongly indicated that the Shadow's true face had a serious disfigurement, which his mastery of disguise hid - notice the denouement of the novel The Shadow's Shadow, where someone sees the Shadow's true face and feels alarmed - obviously he did not just see Kent Allard sticking his tongue out. (Kent Allard, the true identity of the Shadow, an aviator who faked his death before the start of the series.) The novel Dead Men Live indicates that he has little facial mass left.
    • The Movie indicates any facial weirdness is the result of The Shadow's powers of hypnosis and SFX makeup.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant wears a specially tailored full suit, gloves and fedora, plus a scarf and sunglasses over his face (which he eventually replaces with a magic hologram mask thing) in order to disguise the fact he is a skeleton. The fact it makes him look like even more of a Cultured Badass Hardboiled Detective is also a bonus.
  • The Spider, Richard Wentworth
  • Zorro is probably another Trope Codifier. Especially thanks to Douglas Fairbanks famous portrayal in his 1920 movie adaption.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Walt Disney made a TV miniseries based on Doctor Syn ("The Scarecrow"), in which the eponymous protagonist wore a hat, mask, and a cloak (pretty much the equivalent of a trenchcoat for the 18th century). The book version of this character actually wore makeup.
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of The Flash (1990) had Dr. Desmond Powell dress like this to fight crime as the Nightshade.
  • The Green Hornet and Kato, in the 1960s TV series, dressed in normal clothes (The Hornet's "costume" is pretty much a dark green overcoat, matching Fedora of Asskicking, and suit/trousers; in Kato's case, a chauffeur's uniform) and masks.
  • The Jon Heder Show had Jon and Bill use these when they go undercover.
  • The Game Show version of The Perils of Penelope Pitstop has the usual stuff for H.C. for the original run.
    • When the show got revived in 2007 with a wild success, H.C.'s outfit was updated to look more modern with a hood in place of a hat, making H.C. look more like a man in the Middle Ages about to execute someone.
  • M.A.N.T.I.S., but only in the TV Movie.
  • Secret Agent Emes: Secret Agent Emes' typical Orthodox Jewish clothing of a black fedora and black suit jacket is supplemented with a black long private eye styled trench coat, dark sunglasses, and a silly looking fake mustache (especially silly of a disguise for a ten year old Yeshiva boy).
  • Square One Tv: Cynthia's costume for a "Neighborhood Super-Spy" music video explaining numerical ciphers started with a fedora, a trench coat, and sunglasses. She transitioned to a sparkling silver dress halfway through.
  • The Phantom Flan Flinger from Tiswas wears a cloak, a hat and a mask.


  • In The Bat, the Bat's outfit consists of a black fedora, black suit and black featureless mask.

    Video Games 
  • Many attire sets in Bloodborne include some variant of this, with masks ranging from blindfolds to bandannas, and various longcoats being prominent.
  • Trilby in the Chzo Mythos dresses like this in the first screen of the first game, but discards the mask afterward and is never again seen in it in any of the four games. He does, however, wear the mask in The Art of Theft.
  • Silhouette in Destroy All Humans! is a villainous example. The mask in question is notably a full gas mask. It conceals the fact that she's a woman.
  • The hero of Exit wears a black suit, a red cape, and a red scarf.
  • The Oddman in Lost Smile and Strange Circus wears a black top hat, a red coat and a Plague Doctor's mask, presumably due to him being the ringmaster.
  • The title character in Nightshade (1992) disguises himself with a coat, sunglasses (in the perpetual night) and a trilby.
  • Pokémon Gold and Silver has Will, a member of the Elite Four. He wears a black mask which actually covers one eye with blank white material, white gloves, and a purple vest-suit-tuxedo thing. Though whether or not he is covering his eye or if his eye actually is blank is subject to debate.
  • Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask: Say what you will about the Masked Gentleman, but you have to admit that he is one hell of a snappy dresser.
  • In the Monopoly based video game Richman 11, there's an NPC called the Mysterious Man who wears a white coat, a top hat and a Domino Mask while offers players two cards (helpful items that supports the players) in a cheaper price.
  • Sly Cooper, with caveats: He wears a Domino Mask over his natural raccoon mask, his hat is a flat-cap that completes his Blatant Burglar look, his coat is short enough for acrobatics, and he has no pants.
  • Q from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. Coat, hat, and metal face-mask.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Spy has the suit and the mask, and a variety of nice hats and suit jackets are available as DLC.
  • The protagonist of Watch_Dogs wears a variant updated to modern fashion sensibilities, with a baseball cap instead of a fedora and a scarf pulled up over the lower half of his face by way of a mask, and jeans and a sweatshirt under his Badass Longcoat rather than a fancy suit. It looks a lot more badass and less Hipsteresque than it sounds.
  • Witchfire: The player character, know as the Preyer, wears a leather duster, a metal skull mask and a capotain (a witch hunter hat).

    Web Comics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Dr. McNinja's outfit, but his Badass Longcoat is a labcoat, and the ninja mask is both hat and face covering.
  • Crowshed: Sheryl's outfit when out on the job.
  • Coat Helmet Mask for Elf Blood's Captain SKO when on-duty. Other characters occasionally wear the helmet and mask, but she is the only one to combine it with the Badass Longcoat.
  • The Mysterious Watchful Presence from Everyday Heroes. More of a cloak than a coat, but still.
  • Decoy Octopus' inner self in The Last Days of Foxhound is literally an empty trench-coat and fedora — a lifetime of shape-changing and disguises has left him at a point where he is most comfortable with 'not really looking like anything'. Also, he's a Bogart fan.

    Web Original 
  • Red Panda Adventures
    • The Red Panda is a homage to characters like the Shadow and the Spirit, and thus shares their style. Later in the series, he often laments that the up and coming generation of heroes much prefers tights to a good suit. Even his would-be successor, the Black Eagle, goes for tights over the suit the Red Panda was having prepared for his costume.
    • John Doe briefly filled in as the Red Panda, complete with costume. Upon giving up the role so the original could take it back, he becomes the Red Ensign with a costume implied to be inspired by the Red Panda's, going by his assurances that he absolutely will not allow his costume to be tights and remarking that the days of being able to fight crime in a domino mask and nice suit appear to be ending
  • Sailor Nothing: The Magnificent Kamen is described as this at one point. Usually, he's without the mask, but it was mentioned in one chapter.

    Western Animation