Tom Mix, the king of the cowboys, was a fan of Hudson’s Bay blanket coats for decades of his career, wearing his in a variety of films as well as off the set.
The first picture I can find of him wearing one is in 1918, in the film Ace High. He seems to have worn the style for the next 20 years until his death. During this time, there were three coats that I have been able to track down. The first and the second one are the same pattern, with subtle differences in the way the stripes line up distinguishing the two. In particular, the stripes on the shoulder yoke are a giveaway. The earlier version had a dark stripe centered with the pockets, while the second version had a white stripe. There were also differences in the color of the belt loops, and how the stripes lined up with the pockets.
The second version was a departure. The overall cut is somewhat simplified, without the large bellows pockets. Notch lapels replace the shirt style collar of the first two. The edges are trimmed with sections of dark stripe, and a dark zig-zag stripe is sewn to the chest, an exaggerated version of the western scalloped yoke. I particularly like the multi-tonal arrows running down the sleeves. Like other elements on this coat, these are cut out from the different color fields of a blanket and applied to the coat, creating the unique pattern.
1918- Ace High.
1919 – The Wilderness Trail.
1923 – North of Hudson Bay
c.1926 – Though the same cut as the c.1918 version, the stripes line up noticeably differently, particularly in the shoulder yoke. On the earlier version, the dark stripe lines up with the center of the pocket. On this version, it is the light background stripe which is centered. This version appears to have a buckle on the belt instead of buttons. The stripes of the body line up differently with the pockets.
1930 – Nash Car ad. The old style coat is still in rotation, but this appears to be the second version of it. In this picture, another difference from the first version of the coat is visible- the belt loops. On the earlier version in the same cut, the belt loops are made of the white portion of the blanket. In this version, they are part of a dark stripe.