Have you ever wondered how the trench coat originated? With spring right around the corner, I just pulled mine out of storage and for some reason, it sparked some curiosity. Two British fashion houses, Burberry and Aquascutum, claim to have invented the trench coat, but it seems like every brand these days makes their own version. Although the design is clearly utilitarian, I never thought about the fact that it was developed initially as army gear and eventually adapted for use in the trenches of World War I. For example, the buckles around the sleeves are there so they can be tightened if you have to raise your arms in the rain — it prevents water from dripping down your arm!
If you’ve been on the search for your perfect trench, keep an eye out at the turn of the spring and autumn seasons — they’re good transitional coats, and once someone realizes they haven’t gotten around to wearing it much, chances are it will end up on the racks at your local Style Encore. When it comes to fit, look first and foremost at the shoulders. The seams should hit right at the top of your shoulder, but being a little too big doesn’t have to be a deal breaker on a secondhand coat! A few years back, I actually ended up finding an almost-perfect trench coat and had the shoulders taken in by a tailor for a perfect fit. The only thing you want to avoid is the coat being too tight.
These days, you can find trench coats in every color, length, material, and style. I’ve seen a ton of cute cropped trench coats, but if you’re looking for functionality, knee-length or just above is the way to go. In inclement weather, you want a coat that will cover as much of your legs as possible to help you stay dry. But no matter what, make sure the coat has a good lining!
What exactly is it about the iconic, khaki, mid-length trench coat that makes it so classy? It probably has to do with the fact that during the war, only officers of a certain rank could wear trench coats. Whatever the reason, I’m glad it has crossed over from the military to the fashion world — nothing makes you feel quite as confident on a brisk and sunny day like throwing a trench coat over your favorite spring look.
Blog By: Chelsea Lankford | @truelane