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londonsurrealist

The Constantine wardrobe

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I'd thought of this for a while and today the rain is really pissing down. I had a Hellblazer moment and put on a trenchcoat, so thanks to John Constantine I'm protected from the elements.

 

There's been a lot of comments on Constantine's clothes in the time I've been around and the way various artists have seen or interpreted them is obviously important. The trench coat is obviously the most common item and the most iconic, but many artists have tried to vary things a bit or even replace it with a strange zippered leather jacket.

 

So, I thought maybe this was a good time to see what people had to say, maybe repeat some things that had been said and reflect on them. To help start things off here's a couple of questions:

1. Is the trench coat an essential piece of clothing for Constantine's character?

2. What are the best variants on this.

3. Ties: broad or narrow? (Me, I'm for narrow, both for him and me)

4. Is he in danger of being a Seth Brundle type dresser, endless loads of the same in his wardrobe?

5. Give some good examples of how his clothes express his character or mood. (Sounds a bit like an essay question, but don't worry about that.)

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I thought the black long coat from Ennis times suited him fine.

And, is the green trenchcoat part of my imagination, did it appear only in covers or was it an actual part of his wardrobe?

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I'm pretty happy that the full trenchcoat look has been a bit less prominent of late - it really is a bit of a hangover from the '80s. Black trenchcoats also have to be worn with extreme care, lest you be mistaken for one of those spotty young wankers who think they're in the fucking Matrix.

 

You can't go far wrong with a good Crombie or similar - timeless, elegant, and just that bit menacing.

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People thinking of replying to this thread should be warned that Londonsurrealist bought a snazzy new trenchcoat recently. :wink:

 

1.

 

I don't like to see the trenchcoat look on John, simply because it's branding, a type of uniform, which shifts him away from the "believable" end of the spectrum and further in the direction of "cartoon character".

 

Because John's a conman, it could be argued that a real-life Constantine would choose to cut an iconic figure. Personally I'd rather see him have more substance, even if it's only when he's off-duty.

 

And like Tim mentioned, trenchcoats were a common option for men in the 1980s, with no particular significance attached to them. They were everywhere. These days, while the look hasn't dated, the choice to wear it makes a statement.

 

 

2.

 

Any plain coat.

 

 

3.

 

Middle-width, whatever's currently in the shops. I imagine he goes through ties pretty quickly. :wink:

 

 

4.

 

Endless loads? More like one trenchcoat, one white shirt, one black tie, one pair of trousers, one pair of brown underpants. Two shoes, three socks.

 

 

5.

 

Off the top of my head, his clothes express nothing more than a uniform would. But I'm open to suggestions.

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I do think he likes a bit of melodrama though so maybe that's the long coat then and there. He is making a bit of a statement. ? While I'm somewhat younger than John, I've been wearing coats that at least reach my knees for about 15 years so it is sort of to make a statement. But it's not really a specific one other than I like wearing a long coat (probably so I can go 'swoosh')

 

Maybe it's how I interperet it but I do also see it as being a bit of a uniform for himself deliberately, in these later years he seems to be playing the con-man a lot more and to that extent the trenchcoat and the well-time lighting of a cigarette are all part of his act. I'm thinking of stories like 'All His Engines' where he really is clinging on not only to dear life but to, perhaps, a slightly younger, bolder, stronger version of himself back when he really was the dog's bollocks.

 

Obviously, if he wears it while in doors - that's just stoopid.

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Back in Delano days he was frequently drawn without trenchcoat OR tie. Or sportsjacket. Made him seem pretty normal.

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People thinking of replying to this thread should be warned that Londonsurrealist bought a snazzy new trenchcoat recently. :wink:

 

It's true! and pretty damned snazzy it is too. What I never expected was the opportunity to wear it in July when the weather had been so hot, but I've got it on today.

 

3.

 

Middle-width, whatever's currently in the shops. I imagine he goes through ties pretty quickly. :wink:

 

I'm missing something here...

 

 

4.

 

Endless loads? More like one trenchcoat, one white shirt, one black tie, one pair of trousers, one pair of brown underpants. Two shoes, three socks.

 

Brown underpants? Gross...

 

 

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Back in Delano days he was frequently drawn without trenchcoat OR tie. Or sportsjacket. Made him seem pretty normal.

 

And this has recurred periodically. Although Manco's art seemed so hurried towards the end of the Diggle era, the choice of clothes often seemed interesting throughout. Constantine starts as a dirty scruff, smartens up and reverts to his 80's persona, but then lightens up, leaves the trench coat at home and runs around Italy in a black shirt and no tie, comes home, showers and puts on a white shirt but again no tie and again no trench coat. It is rather as if he'd begcome more comfortable with his renewed self and more relaxed. Camuncoli shows him wearing the coat and that fits with where he is somehow.

 

I'm not too keen on the jacket he wore in Scab, looked too much like an old safari jacket to me.

 

Looking back at the Carey period, he starts off wearing all sorts of things, donkey jacket, leather jacket, tee-shirts etc. But he ends up wearing his trench coat even in the hotter parts of hell, and of course he rarely removes it during the Mina interregnum.

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1. Is the trench coat an essential piece of clothing for Constantine's character?

I don't think it is, or that it should be, but it is handy artistic shorthand to establish who the characater is. Personally, I don't like them, I don't see any reason a man should wear a coat that requires a belt.

 

2. What are the best variants on this.

If I remember correctly, Sean Phillips drew him in more of a an old mac rather than a trenchcoat, which at least satisfied my coat / belt opinion.

 

3. Ties: broad or narrow? (Me, I'm for narrow, both for him and me)

Just normal, if that's an option? Not a kipper, and not one of these skinny ties I see about these days.

 

4. Is he in danger of being a Seth Brundle type dresser, endless loads of the same in his wardrobe?

Possibly yes, but only in a generic sense. He has a few suits, but may be subtly different e.g. the single breasted peaked lapels on the new suit early in Diggle's run (I fucking hate peaked lapels on single breasted suits too).

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I imagine he goes through ties pretty quickly. :wink:

I'm missing something here...

You know... catching them in closing gateways to Hell, having them clawed by demons, setting them alight with fire spells. Dropping hot Silk Cut ash on them. That sort of thing.

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I imagine he goes through ties pretty quickly. :wink:

I'm missing something here...

You know... catching them in closing gateways to Hell, having them clawed by demons, setting them alight with fire spells. Dropping hot Silk Cut ash on them. That sort of thing.

 

Ah, of course, silly me. Not very likely to spill his dinner on them is he?

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I imagine he goes through ties pretty quickly. :wink:

I'm missing something here...

You know... catching them in closing gateways to Hell, having them clawed by demons, setting them alight with fire spells. Dropping hot Silk Cut ash on them. That sort of thing.

 

Ah, of course, silly me. Not very likely to spill his dinner on them is he?

Well, sure, but beer washes out.

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1. Sometimes it's just practical, like while wandering the damp and rainy streets of London, a thing John does fairly frequently. I have my own "the Constantine Coat", the tag says "London Fog", the perfect melodramatic rain coat. As for wearing it in hell: he said himself that, although there was fire all around, it was bitter cold. I too would bring a coat. But more importantly John is a kind of wandering magician amongst other things and the coat kind of fits that persona, like the wizard's staff or the cowboy's, well, trench coat.

 

2. My favorite was Manco's giant soldier-like trench coat. (if I understand the question correctly)

 

3. Narrow would be more practical, not sure why John wears them all the time in the first place except for dramatic appeal.

 

4. Although I think it's funny when a character has a huge wardrobe full of duplicates of the same outfit, I don't think John is necessarily in danger of being one of those. It's up to the artists. I personally liked his wardrobe best during the Ridgman days. Pink ties, the occasional suit, sunglasses sometimes, you really got a feel for his personal tastes. Although it was all very '80s.

 

5. All in all, John is a drama queen. Trench coat, black tie, messy hair, unshaven face, a strong smell of cigarettes, and yet somehow not looking like a bum (with the exception of that fateful Ennis story arch), says "I'm in a piss poor mood, my life is full of tragedy, you want nothing to do with me so please stare".

 

Perhaps John developed the iconic coat/black tie/black slacks uniform because his life pulls him further and further away from himself. A person will try to manifest consistency in a chaotic life.

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I have my own "the Constantine Coat", the tag says "London Fog", the perfect melodramatic rain coat.

I'm betting you got that from a charity shop, same way I got my London Fog overcoat. biggrin.gif They certainly made some fine coats over the years.

 

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I'll bet we have the same coat! It came from a local hand-me-down chain called Value Village.

 

I'm willing to assume (though we all know what that means) that I'm not the only one here who has the whole get-up and has worn it on many occasions?

Ah, to be a geek.

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I'm pretty happy that the full trenchcoat look has been a bit less prominent of late - it really is a bit of a hangover from the '80s. Black trenchcoats also have to be worn with extreme care, lest you be mistaken for one of those spotty young wankers who think they're in the fucking Matrix.

 

You can't go far wrong with a good Crombie or similar - timeless, elegant, and just that bit menacing.

 

I hate that god damn movie.

 

For me, it's the trenchcoat (tan, taupe, or green-esque) and suit look from Swamp Thing/Diggle's recent run.

 

2. The Marcelo Frusin look fron Red Sepulchre. I own a gray coat with the exact same length, too

 

3. Trenchcoat, shirt, & jeans from #10-13 of Delano's run

 

 

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I'm willing to assume (though we all know what that means) that I'm not the only one here who has the whole get-up and has worn it on many occasions?

Um... sorry. My London Fog coat looks nothing like a Constantine costume. I do own a tie, though. :smile:

 

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I'm willing to assume (though we all know what that means) that I'm not the only one here who has the whole get-up and has worn it on many occasions?

Um... sorry. My London Fog coat looks nothing like a Constantine costume. I do own a tie, though. :smile:

 

Oh no!

 

I just fell into a nerd pit and got geek all over me!

 

I TAKE BACK MY PREVIOUS COMMENT!!!

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I'm willing to assume (though we all know what that means) that I'm not the only one here who has the whole get-up and has worn it on many occasions?

Um... sorry. My London Fog coat looks nothing like a Constantine costume. I do own a tie, though. :smile:

 

Oh no!

 

I just fell into a nerd pit and got geek all over me!

 

I TAKE BACK MY PREVIOUS COMMENT!!!

 

We've all nearly been there some time...

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My second avatar in this forum was my mouth and the upper part of a green trenchcoat lighting up a sigaret and with the Guinness symbol in the background. so yes.

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I'm pretty happy that the full trenchcoat look has been a bit less prominent of late - it really is a bit of a hangover from the '80s. Black trenchcoats also have to be worn with extreme care, lest you be mistaken for one of those spotty young wankers who think they're in the fucking Matrix.

 

You can't go far wrong with a good Crombie or similar - timeless, elegant, and just that bit menacing.

 

I hate that god damn movie.

 

Isn't the Matrix look the black leather trenchcoat though?

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I must come clean, I finally buckled and purchased my Constantine mac-ish coat some time ago.

It was more of a hit in New York, where random passersby were complimenting me.

We just don't do that sort of stuff in the Smoke

 

Pictures will ensue.

 

N.B-Alas no white gloves!

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