How to Wear a Trench Coat: 4 Unexpected Ways (Plus a History Lesson!)
The trench coat is one of those classics that always makes those winter essentials lists, but it’s not something that everyone already has in their closet. It often gets overlooked for being too basic or boring. But if you look at the trench coat as a key piece of an entire outfit instead of an item on its own, you can start to see its full potential. It may be function first, but the fashion part isn’t far behind. Make a play for the trench with our four unexpected ways to wear it and the best brands to look for. But first, a history lesson.
History of the Trench Coat
The lightweight, garbardine trench coat we know today (thank you Burberry) was originally designed as an add-on to the heavier overcoats traditionally worn by soldiers in WW1. Its purpose was to serve as a waterproof and windproof layer, which explains its generously-sized proportions. Today, the trench coat’s styling makes it a chic and versatile option to wear alone on transitional weather days, or layered over a coat during the harsh winter.
4 Unexpected Trench Coat Outfits
Photo Credit: @fashionedchicstyling
Open and Belted
Trench coats aren’t always about covering up. Wear yours open and loose so your outfit shines through, but keep it belted to maintain a feminine silhouette.
Photo Credit: @dansvogue
Paired with a Casual Outfit
Dress up a hoodie and jeans with the addition of a tailored, slim-fit trench. We love an outfit contradiction.
Photo Credit: @vivaluxuryblog
Layered Over a Fancy Dress
Looking for a cool layer for your New Year’s party dress? The trench! It’s lightweight and bulk-free, which makes it so easy to throw on and go. It’s just the bit of protection you need from the night’s inevitable chill.
Photo Credit: @maryorton
Worn as a Dress
Belt it tight and show off the trench’s flattering silhouette. Keep your inside outfit minimal and short enough to hide. Shoes are key here as are standout trench colors and patterns.
Best Trench Coat Brands
We can’t ignore the OG trench coat maker. A Burberry trench is a life-long investment you will pass on to future generations. Since they’ve been around for over 100 years, you can usually score one secondhand. While modern updates have been made, the classic silhouette hasn’t changed much. Look for the signature plaid lining and cuff the sleeves to show it off.
Known for preppy styling and tried-and-true closet staples, J.Crew is a sure bet when it comes to long trench coats (classic!) and short trench coats (modern!). With a lower price point and high-quality fabrics, it’s a great affordable option.
For a playful take on the utilitarian raincoat, look to Zara. Did you know trench coats also come in leather? They do! Also, checked patterns, contrasting fabrics, hooded styles, oversized, and millennial pink.
Tell us about your love for trench coats. Do you own one? How do you wear it? Did your mom pass on hers? Tell us your stories in the comments below!