The baby boom prosperity provided a streamlined, tailfinned car in every garage, and plenty of spending money to drive into town with. Department stores moved from the urban center to a suburban location, where parking lots offered convenience and speed. Boulevards and sidewalks were widened, and huge picture windows teased passersby with product displays of furniture, clothes, or the new-fangled TVs. With all this cruising going on, girls needed an appropriate cover-up for chilly days with the windows (or top) down.
The carcoat was the only answer: a swingback style jacket that fit easily over full crinolined skirts, the hip-length semi-fitted jacket was a uniform for driving in the car. A long coat would have proved too bulky and uncomfortable, so a new midi coat was created for the new need. Now ladies and little girls out on the town could protect their pretty dresses when behind the wheel.