Wardrobe Classics - The Trench Coat

25 June 2017

Spring/Summer isn’t really a season in Scotland. Not in terms of the dress sense anyway. It’s probably going to rain and there’ll definitely be wind but, admittedly, the temperatures aren’t in the minus degrees they are in winter and having daylight past 3 o’clock in the afternoon is a something I cherish about the season, if only for the blog photo taking opportunities.

So how do you handle that? You need protection from the elements but you can’t be cooking in your feather lined faux fur arctic winter number… Well, enter the trench coat.

This season in Scotland is truly where the humble (or indeed, not so humble) trench steps up.
I don’t know about you but I loved that Christmas film that Burberry did, that showed a little bit about the history of Thomas Burberry... and the trench coat. The name itself, ‘trench coat’ comes from the fact that Thomas Burberry submitted his rainproof coat to be used as part of an army officer’s uniform way back in 1901, but it wasn’t until WWI, during which the coat shielded military officers from the rain and mud in the trenches, that the iconic name was actually bestowed upon Burberry’s rain coat.

If the coat could withstand the conditions in the trenches, it could withstand normal British weather, and it was post WWI that Britons began to adopt the trench coat into their civilian wardrobes.

Thankfully, practicality and fashion finally came together when style icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn, despite their differences, all adopted the look. To be more flattering to the female figure, the design was slimmed down and simplified over the years – which, as a curvier woman, I’m quite thankful for, because the androgynous look will never quite be one I can carry off with aplomb, but I do adore a trench coat.

Burberry is, arguably, the most iconic brand associated with the trench coat but if Burberry is out of your price range (or even if it isn’t but you’d prefer to spend the cash a different way!) there’s another great British brand, this time a high street one, offering an array of women’s trench coats to the market.

Jack Wills, that dependable cornerstone of the Great British High Street for high quality basics, are playing to their strengths with their trench coats – but far from being boring basics they come in a variety of styles.

Now, we’ve all seen the classic trench coat styled, but it doesn’t take much to take something from an easy-to-wear, no-fuss required, throw-on-and-look-good item to being something we’re sort of dreading the actual wearing of.

We’ve all been there – you saw it on the website, or on a blog (or even in one of those vintage things where they print on paper and bind it together, I think it might be called a magazine?) and you fall in love. You know that’s going to look great on you (or maybe, like me, you think if you buy the thing it’ll make you look as cool as the person wearing it – please say I’m not the only one who does that?!), you know you love it, you know you need it… and then it arrives and you have no idea how to style it. Jack Wills have stepped in with a couple of suggestions on how to style a trench coat, so you don’t need to fear any switches up they’ve made to the classic trench.

It’s been around since the 1850s, acquired it’s name during WWI, and cemented itself as a fashion icon with the help of some of the glamorous starlets of the 50s and 60s; I think the trench coat has earned itself a place in my wardrobe.

This post was in collaboration with Jack Wills, the opinions on the trench coat itself are my own. 

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