Sun is finally shining, Blossoms are everywhere and nature is coming to life again after the Winter.
We are eagerly looking to ditch our Winter Coats and what better way to embrace Spring than don our Trench Coats?
Two quintessential British brands claim the Trench Coat - Aquascutum claim it as their as far back as the 1850's, with Thomas Burberry claiming they patented the gabardine fabric in 1879. Charles Mackintosh developed coats out of the rubberised cotton originally in 1824 and it became known as “the Mac”.
It was only during in World War 1 that the gabardine material coat got its final name, when it was used as an alternative to the heavy wool coats that wore the wearer down in the muddy, wet trenches, and was adapted to incorporate shoulder straps/epaulettes so the wearer could display their stripes/rank.
The Trench Coat has risen to its current iconic status with the help of some Hollywood stars over the years – Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, Audrey Hepburn at the end of Breakfast at Tiffanys in her Burberry Trench Coat (which sold at Auction in 2017 for £68,750!!), Meryl Streep in Kramer Vs Kramer – have a look at a few more here.
Subsequently the trench coat as become a Spring Wardrobe staple, though I have to confess it does not keep me warm or serve any great purpose except the as a layer against a shower and for the pockets (as I often don’t bring a bag any more), I still need my cashmere sweaters and scarves. I also should confess – I have 2 such coats and I’ll do my best to get use out of them, one is 17 years old (single breasted cotton), one is 9 years old (camel coloured short waterproof), neither will ever age, look out of date, they might look more worn (though that won’t happen any time soon) and they’ll definitely reach their #30wears, for me they are accessories more than necessities.
So whilst I love the look of the Trench when I see people wearing it – with a white t shirt, vintage 501’s and converse, I will never rely on my Trench alone, I’ll always have my cashmere sweater, whether as a scarf (shrobing) or under my trench.
If you'd like to read more about the history of the Trench Coat, there's a great article in the Smithsonian (linked here).
A Selection of this Season’s Trench Coats can be found here –
- https://www.vogue.com/article/best-trench-coats-for-women (USA)
- https://wardrobeicons.com/product-category/07-outerwear/trench-coat/ (UK)
- And there are some amazing style ideas here for your Trench Coat - https://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/how-to-wear-a-trenchcoat-styling-tips