The word "cloak" is derived from the French chenille, which means "morning suit". But originally the word had a different meaning - "caterpillar". Parent words Chenille was Latin canicula - caterpillar" or "small dog". Morning suits became known as chenille thanks to the "caterpillar" form stripe braid.
In the middle of the XVIII century, the word "overcoat" migrated to the Russian language. This word came to be called one of those species of morning suit - bathrobe. Uniforms for the first time called the overcoat 13 October 1763. It was clothing for rangers in the form of shaped coat of green cloth with a collar and long sleeves.
Currently overcoat as kind of uniforms, enjoyed by those who pass the state military service.