The ultimate wardrobe classic excelling every trend, the trench coat offers an inimitable aura of sophistication; balancing formality with easy charm and all-season practicality. Regardless of the year, season, or fashion standards, this timeless outerwear will remain a cherished piece.
Earning its place as the hallmark of every distinguished woman’s closet, the trench coat is a perennial style icon, steeped in history. Tracing its roots all the way back to the frontline of World War I, this practical piece began its story with Thomas Burberry in 1912. Designed to keep officers protected against the harsh elements and dreary landscapes. Overtime, the trench coat garnered worldwide recognition for its functionality and flattering fit. From Audrey Hepburn to the Duchess of Cambridge, the trench has been spotted throughout decades – visibly adored by royal dignitaries, celebrity A-listers and fashion connoisseurs.
With a long-standing legacy and a reputation as the ultimate style staple, the trench boasts a design diversity like no other. Bypass those overwhelming fashion dilemmas and find the perfect contemporary classic for your sartorial needs with this extensive guide.
Single-breasted vs Double-breasted
The trench coat is often designed in either a single-breasted or double-breasted cut. Choosing which style is right for you can be a little daunting and thus, there are a few things to consider to guide you in the correct direction.
The difference between the two is that the double-breasted trench coat simply carries more fabric. This means that if you have a petite frame, favour feminine styles or simply prefer less fuss in your wardrobe, a single-breasted design may be a better option for your sartorial requirements. Contrariwise, if you enjoy more masculine cuts, desire a highly-formal profile or your confidence elevates when you are enhancing your chest area, the double-breasted trench is suggested.
Regardless of the path you choose, it is important to remember to ensure you are wearing the trench coat that you adore and not what society, ‘style experts’ or media standards tell you is correct.
A key contender in the outerwear stakes, you can’t go wrong with a camel-coloured coat in your wardrobe. Cemented into icon status by Italian fashion house Max Mara, when styled in the iconic trench design, this combo becomes the ultimate pairing. Further establishing it’s iconic status through Burberry, a beige or neutral shade is infinitely classic. However, it’s popularity and well-loved status keeps it in the mainstream.
For those perpetually seeking to skilfully achieve the balance of classic statement and stand-out street-style, black, navy, khaki, nude or stone grey are welcomed alternatives. Rich hues such as burgundy, violet and mustard declare the same sense of distinguished style for those who hold individuality to high-regard.
Mini, Midi, Maxi
Similarly to any wardrobe staple, the length takes into account your height, bone structure and personal preferences. However, it may be wise to keep more open-minded when it comes to the trench coat.
Regardless of style icons and new collections by covetable brands, the trench is formerly known as a weather-resistant piece to protect the wearer from the elements. Therefore, a longer length may be more practical when the rain starts pouring. Regardless of your height, a longer trench can work wonderfully for your figure- simply ensure that the hem reaches your mid-calf for a flattering fit. On the other hand, if you truly adore shorter trench coats, a practical direction would be to choose one that reaches mid-thigh.
The Best Brands
Whilst there’s no shortage of options out there, few can compete with trench inventor, Burberry. Eternally classic in their approach, this renowned British label craft the trench coat like no other label. Always decorated with their in-house check print and providing flattering fits and streamlined silhouettes, if you are able to splurge there is no better brand. (I would recommend to check that the buttons aren’t made from bull horn to ensur you are no supporting animal cruelty- there are plenty of Burberry trenches that do not contain animal products so check the care label.)
If you are looking for a similar level of quality but with a smaller price tag, I highly recommend quintessentially British brand, Ted Baker. My ultimate trench coat (pictured here) is from this label and they provide perfect alternatives to the High-end designer trench coats. Personally, I love this design more than the typical Burberry one; the lining is more artistic and unique and the stitch detailing delivers a nice reinterpretation to the usual trench. Furthermore, the flared silhouette brings a delicate touch of ladylike charm- a personal style favourite of mine. Despite the above, it is important to note that my Ted trench is starting to wear away. The external stitching has frayed, there are mucky marks at the hem that refuse to be washed-out, and the lining is eroding- another year and I predict that there will be a hole. However, this coat has been worn extensively for almost 5 years- so I have definitely gotten my money’s worth.
A true classic that finds its strength as an ever-reliable anchor, the trench coat is the ultimate style staple in any wardrobe. Refining heritage aesthetics with contemporary updates, this traditional outerwear still holds all the practicality as it’s first-born, without compromising on style. Eternally finding limitless wearing value in its stoic timelessness, the trench is guaranteed to be a wear-forever design you will love for decades- providing you take into account this sartorial guide and find the one for you.