This is Xerxes Break’s most iconic costume. It’s also very complicated to cosplay because of the coat. I’m using references from both the manga and the anime as well as the Pandora Hearts artbook. The artbook has all of the manga covers in it up to the time of publication as well as other official art. However, it can be a little bit inconsistent with the manga.
All of the lineart here is from animation guides or reference sheets I found without a source on tumblr (the poster was not the creator so I’m really not sure where they originated from). From what little I could find out about them, they look official. They sync with my research in the manga as well.
I find the coat to be a little inconsistent as well as complicated. In some panels, it looks like the sleeves are not attached. In others, it looks like they’re all one piece with the coat, attached on the inside edge.
The net effect is that Break has to have the full range of motion with his arms as while he isn’t an hugely active character in normal life (keeps his arms close to his body generally), when he’s fighting, he cannot be restricted. (Even if it was attached, he’d probably rip the sleeves off because swordfighting requires larger swift arm movement)
Because of this, while I think that there is some evidence to suggest that the sleeves are indeed attached to the body, I’m going to recommend having the sleeves be separate. They are clearly this way in the anime. (see screencap to the right)
The sleeves are longer than Break’s arms but not as long as one might think (he tends to pull his arms up inside them on purpose, which he can because they’re fairly wide). When he needs his hands to fight, the sleeve doesn’t obstruct the use of his canesword. Therefore, long but not TOO long.
The cuff on the ends of the sleeves is just a very wide hem from all appearances. The actual width varies. (There is one artbook picture in the gallery at the end of the post that shows them actually rolled up; I’ve never seen it this way anywhere else though). The cuff at the top of the sleeves only goes about halfway around and is trimmed in lavender. It flips up as shown in the closeup (below with the full back-view) and has two sleeve garters holding the sleeve on.
The coat itself is white and goes down to the same length as his pants. The bottom edge doesn’t show a detailed hem so something non-obtrusive will work.
The top edge of the coat has a cuff just like the sleeves around the back only. (This is what creates the illusion that it is one piece with the sleeves in the anime. The back cuff stops where the sleeve cuff starts. Only from some angles can you see where it separates) In the center back there is a place in the trim where there is probably a flat (versus round) grommet or something to secure the chain for the bag. Above that, there is a large ring sewn into the body of the coat for the strap.
Around the front, there is a smaller fold-over, trimmed more finely by the same lavender, ending in a button hole (or snap? some other fastening?) for the straps to hook into. On Break’s left (stage right) side, the other side of the chain for the bag also is secured at the same spot as the strap.
These straps – I’m calling them halter straps even though the similarity is vague – hold up the body of the coat. They’re mostly hidden by his jabot in front, but are visible in back. The weight of the coat is divided between two straps in front and one in back. It splits off at a large ring in center back, come around front, and cross in the center. This diagram really shows it best.
(Personal note: I’m really not sure how this would work in real life – if the crossover in the center would ride up and threaten to choke you, if it would sit right in back, if it’s just all going to slip around annoyingly, etc. If slipping around was a problem, I’d just tack the two straps together where they cross.)
Down the front of the coat, there is a placket for four large buttons on one side, and a placket for four large button-loops on the other. Break never buttons them. The tops of the plackets start at the bottom of the front trim and angle down slightly. The placket is black; the buttons and loops are white.
The shirt is a medium purple (not quite royal but close). It has a rather frilly stick-up collar and matching rather frilly sleeves. (This panel shows it thrown on the floor, an interesting angle. A clearer look is in the animation sheet in the gallery)
The placket down the front is a contrasting white – it has three vertical lines on it which indicates to me that there are hidden buttons or snaps under it.
(An alternate interpretation, especially looking at THIS panel in the manga, is that it could be a white zipper with a white placket folded and tacked down. I lean away from this because there is no zipper detail that would be expected; but it would probably look good.)
The shirt fronts angle away from the placket, with points halfway across sort of like a vest. I believe the back is straight across.
(I’m still debating if it should be called an 18th century cravat or a jabot and the internet has given me too much inconsistent information)
This ties around the neck like a cravat, but has two layers of fluffy dark purple fabric which I think is called a jabot. The body of the fabric is not lace, but it’s trimmed in matching lace. It’s probably very thin but has enough weight to it to fluff.
Break’s pants are actually capris! They come down below the knee where they’re brought close to the leg right above the cuff – probably by a bit of elastic or cording. (Elastic probably would not be period for the Victorian look that a lot of the other costumes have in Pandora Hearts, but for modern costumers, it would achieve the look pretty well.)
The cuff continues for probably three more inches or so. You can’t see the waist under his shirt, but the animation sheet (in with the back view above) does indicate that they have a waistband with belt loops. They are of a black fabric; something flowy enough but not too thin.
This bag or pouch hangs off a chain which hooks under the top edge of Break’s coat. It’s brown and made of a good stiff leather since it’s got a very defined shape to it (very rectangular with sharper edges). The edges either have leather piping or else a line of stitching around them to give them some definition.
It’s held shut by one button and a button loop. The chain looks like it is sewn on the inside front corner edge. (See picture) Also, the pouch does not completely close. (Unless you want it to close so you can keep actual valuables in it for convention travel. In that case, just make the sides taller so that the lid closes firmly.)
I can’t tell if Break wears socks with his boots. If he does you just can’t see them. (Don’t wear boots like this sockless to a convention. You’ll regret it three hours in.)
The boots are white and have a tiny (1/2″? 1″?) heel, like many hiking boots.
There are three wide black straps to fasten the boot together. The top two are never fastened, the bottom one always is (I would assume permanently). It appears that they snap to the boot on a little placket, going by the animation sheets. They are opposite to each other so that the strap goes to the outside and the fastening side is on the inside.
Around the outside edge of the boot (including down the front) is a thin lavender edging – it looks like embroidery to me in a zigzag pattern similar to a serge stitch, but it could be something else like a lace edge sewn in or something like that. Definitely up to interpretation. It’s about a quarter inch from the edge of the boot.
Finally, here is the Pinterest gallery with all these images and more! I hope this post helps with your Xerxes Break cosplay – let me know in the comments if this helps you!