The Surcoat (fr. Surcot) is an outer garment that was commonly worn in the Middle Ages. The name derives from French meaning “over the Cotte”.
Surcoat appears as men’s clothing during the Crusades to protect armor from the sun. Initially, this garment resembled a strip of fabric with a cutout for the head and completely open sides. Then men began to wear this type of clothing without armor.
In the second half of the 13th century, the fashion for the Surcoat also came into women’s fashion.
The Surcoat is a long, loose, often sleeveless coat reaching down to the feet, with a large armhole. The armhole increases over the years and reaches mid-thigh, which constantly receives criticism from moralists and the church. The surcoat is often trimmed with fur (usually ermine). The Surcoat is always worn with a Cotte dress, and is an outergown, but can sometimes be combined with a cloak.