The iconic trench remains a firm style staple in many wardrobes. Utterly timeless, it finishes an outfit with an air of power and elegance, whilst remaining functional and totally versatile. We’ve all either owned one, want to own one or have at least considered at some point whilst seeing a trench in motion, the style’s ability to instantly transform a look from simple to statement.
Every design element of the various trench coat we see today was born from an absolute consideration for form and function. From the traditional neutral tan and khaki tones to the storm flap and double breasted buttons, everything performed a purpose in its original role within our military heritage. Worn by officers in the Boer War and then in both WWI and WWII, its winning feature was the introduction and innovation of a water-repellent, ventilating and virtually uncreasable fabric called garbadine. Rain-resistant and breathable, with deep pockets and detachable inner linings, the coat’s roots in wearability remain true to this day. Albeit a slimmer, more feminine silhouette and with branded alterations, the shape we recognise today is beautifully ageless.
It’s an investment worth making, and one which doesn’t have to take the traditional route. Alongside the likes of Aquascutum’s quintessential raincoats, such as the soft camel Lana with its real horn buttons and checked lining, and the contemporary Queensway in its longline length, brands put their individual spin on the classic from season to season. The Four Season’s DB coat is a lighter natural shade, with chic tortoiseshell hardware, and Mint Velvet has some gorgeous modern styles with chic tipped trims, my favourite being the striking ink black and cream version. Or for a fresh take on colour, the bold blue Penelope from Hobbs is a must, along with the wool mix Warehouse Melton with its must-have military styling.
The charm of the trench is its ability to make us look ‘put-together’, whether we’re sporting our comfiest jeans or a sparkling cocktail dress underneath. It cinches the waist, slims the chest and completely covers us for a look that needs no accessorising. Choose modern details for a personal take on the classic, such as of-the-moment prints and textural additions. The bold Hobbs Angel coat offers a dramatic animal print for a fiercer finish, with a feminine flared hem. And then there’s the faux fur collared Mango trench in a light stone, with quilted biker style panels to the sleeves, a short slim fit and leatherette trims. No longer just a coat meant for the outdoors, or one fit simply for slick city professionals, the trench transcends occasions, depending on the style you choose.
So when selecting your new season coat, consider the impact of the trench. Whether a trend-led design, or an original Aquascutum piece, its principles remain the same. Chic, sharp and ever-adaptable from season-to-season, it’s the hero piece to never, ever let you down.