When Thomas Burberry invented the Trench coat in 1901
he changed not only the world of war,
but the world of fashion, as well.
Today we know Burberry to be a high-fashion UK label
that dresses everyone from Young Hollywood, like Emma Watson,
to fashion icons such as Kate Moss.
But the real story of longevity lies in the progression of the Trench coat over the decades.
From being a garment of battle; weather-proof and equipped with practical details (D-rings were used to attach hand grenades),
to becoming a classic style; constantly reinvented from season to season and year to year based on current trends,
the Trench coat is a must-have in every man’s or woman’s wardrobe.
(Nine West heels $28, Trende Femme earrings $15, Tuleh dress size 4 $498, Express coat size small $74 NEW)
The traditional Trench coat has cuff-straps, shoulder straps, a belt, and is usually knee-length or longer. With all of the variations on the market today, finding a classic trench is not difficult; however, we prefer the hem to come up closer to the hip. This length is more flattering, especially for shorter guys and gals, and makes movement easier. Typical colors for a Trench are tan, beige, khaki, or other neutral shades. These colors go with everything, but can get boring: a subtle print, like this pink plaid, can add interest and individuality to your Trench coat.
(Kate Spade heels size 8 $72, belt $10, Zass Design earrings $25, Donna Ricco dress $48, Moschino coat size 4 $298)
Today, the fashion definition for a Trench coat is so loosely defined that it may include any jacket that is double-breasted, collared, and belted (not to be confused with the Pea coat which is not belted and made of wool). This has allowed designers to stray away from the practicality of the Trench; creating coats in bold colors or adding details like a ruffle collar. A brightly colored Trench is our favorite way to stand out in dreary weather: a red coat is eye-catching and looks Modern art when paired with black&white graphic prints.
(Heels $28, bracelet $10, Shoshanna dress size 4 $120, Moschino coat size 10 $250)
In addition to being handy for war gadgets, Trench coats were designed to protect the wearer from the weather, thus becoming a sort of raincoat. Although this coat by Moschino does not have all the traditional elements of a Trench (no belt and single-breasted), its rain-resistant material makes it a “cousin” of the Trench and therefore can be styled similarly. When wearing a fashionable Trench on your way to an event, the key is to make sure the hem of the jacket is longer than the hem of your outfit, otherwise you’re sure to ruin the bottom of that fabulous cocktail dress. A coat with a slight sheen or metallic details is perfect for a fancier occasion—we love the iridescent quality of this Moschino coat and how it compliments the natural tones of the ensemble.
(Rafe flats $34, Woodcrafty earrings $30, Bell top size 2 $72, Odyn jeans $50, CAbi coat size 4 $64 NEW)
While some modern Trenches may lack the traditional details, other versions may lack the weather-proof quality. This lightweight Trench by CAbi will not keep you protected in a storm, but is perfect for transitional seasons; you can throw it on when its cool outside, but it’s not too bulky to carry around once the weather warms up. We love a Trench styled simply and casually; a flattering pair of jeans and a printed blouse, paired with this CAbi Trench, is a chic ensemble for running errands or meeting friends for lunch.