Wardrobe Essentials: The Trench Coat

A Burberry Trench

Building a wardrobe takes time, some investigation and a lot of trial-and-error. The wonderful thing about the ideal wardrobe is that it is unique to the person wearing it. But building a working wardrobe with longevity and pizzazz can be a daunting task – the best place to start is with some core essentials to build on. The modern trench coat is one of the best essentials to start with – it works in almost any climate and is comfortable, waterproof and transitions easily from day to night outfits.

Originally developed as an army coat, the trench has evolved into a chic yet practical coat for women as well and has made many famous appearances:

What to look for when buying a trench coat

1. Good solid seams and stitching

2. Knee-length (so I can wear it over dresses or pants)

3. No-wrinkle fabric (this is a must! I’ve seen so many chic coats turned to wrinkled messes after one ride on the subway). Cotton is the classic fabric but I actually prefer something with a more water-proof coating.

Single- and double-breasted suit comparison

Image via Wikipedia

4. Double-breasted buttons or single-breasted buttons? Double-breasted is more classic and single-breasted is more modern. If you are large busted like me, go for the single-breasted to eliminate bulk on the chest.

Beautiful bow-back trench from pluswomensclothings at Etsy

5. The rear “wow” factor (don’t you just love when someone walks away from you and you notice a great/chic detail you didn’t see before?). A bow along the back, good pleating, contouring seams, a surprise vent, ruffles, etc all add a surprise element to this staple coat.

6. Color. Tan and khaki are the classic choices but a little red trench coat can jazz up a spring or fall wardrobe perfectly.

How to Wear a Trench Coat

Honestly, there is not wrong way to wear a trench coat – if you get one in a neutral shade they pair well with any ensemble. When draped over the shoulders they can even be appropriate for more formal functions. My favorite weekend outfit for grocery shopping and morning walks to the Lake Michigan dog beach is a pair of dark wash jeans, black flats and my tan trench – chic and easy to pull together [when hungover].


P.s. Your pup would enjoy a chic trench too! Check out these wonderful ones from RoverDog on Etsy:

The Westerly Trench from Roverdog on Etsy

11 thoughts on “Wardrobe Essentials: The Trench Coat

  1. This khaki classic is adorable. I always end up buying ones in wild prints, but I think it may be time to go more basic….with a bow in the back because I might just be obsessed with that idea now thankyouverymuch.

  2. I think the trench coat is definitely a must. It makes such a statement. Adore all your hints and tips, but the puppy-trench definitely steals the show! ♥

  3. Pingback: Fall Fashion Must-Have: Pea Coat « Good Girls Inc

  4. Pingback: The 5 Piece French Wardrobe Method (5PFWM) | Lifevesting

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