a woman carries a handbag wearing a classic camel trench coat street style

10 Classic Trench Coats You’ll Cherish Forever

Fashion /


It's the wardrobe staple you'll be wearing for decades

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Trends come and go: but the trench coat will always remain a sartorial staple. Park walk? Yes. Commuter statement piece? Obviously. And it’s not going out of style anytime soon. As we’re opting for more considered, trendless wardrobes, classic trench coats can withstand even the fastest of frenzied fashion cycles. 

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What is a Trench Coat?

Though the trench coat is now the unofficial off-duty look of the fashion set: the trench has actually been around since time immemorial. First designed over a hundred years ago during the First World War, trench coats were the perfect antidote to the required woolly and heavy greatcoats. The trench was lighter, waterproof, and much more fit for purpose.

British heritage brands Burberry and Aquascutum both lay claim to the coveted coat. The former’s then 21-year-old founder, Thomas Burberry, is said to have invented waterproof gabardine before the war in 1879, which inspired the trench we know today. Although Aquascutum (literally in Latin meaning ‘water’ and ‘shield’) was the one that designed the trench coat for the British Military for World War I – and those camouflage khakis, browns, and camel hues have yet to fall out of fashion.

Keen to get your hands on this classic coat? As always, keep the planet in mind when shopping. Re-wearing old clothes is the best way to be sustainable, but if you can’t avoid it then shop consciously at responsible retailers, as well as rental and resale sites.

Trench Coats You’ll Cherish Forever

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Brown suede trench coat

Fairfax & Favor

The Frances Trench Coat in Tan Suede, £625, fairfaxandfavor.com

Embodying the spirit of the British countryside, Fairfax & Favor is known for its gorgeous footwear and accessories – but these days, you’ll catch the brand working on its growing collection of outerwear staples. It’s newly launched trench coat features leather-lined suede epaulettes, finished with horn buttons, as well as a reversible tonal suede and smooth leather belt with antique brass double chevron buckle. A classic you’ll want to wear again and again.

Trench coat

Tommy Hilfiger

Organic Cotton Trench Coat, rent from £8 or buy secondhand for £150, mywardrobehq.com

Crafted from pure cotton twill, this trench boasts a classic design with notched lapels, epaulettes, storm flaps and a belt to cinch in your waist. My Wardrobe HQ is home to hundreds of trench coats that you can rent or buy second-hand for a fraction of their original retails. Good for the planet AND your wallet.

Camel coloured coat

GANNI

Twill Trench Coat, £345, ganni.com

Danish brand GANNI has seen a huge wave of popularity in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. You’ll find this trench often sold out, and it’s partly because of their effortlessly chic customers who will tag their looks with the infamous #gannigirl hashtag that immediately makes you want to be part of the pack. Consider this trench a more military, utilitarian look for sharp, statement outfits. There are nice notes too of the original trench design: see the large storm flaps and welt pocket.

Sezanne Trench Coat

Sezane

Scott Trench Coat, £225, sezane.com

This is a gorgeous choice if a chic Parisian aesthetic is on your radar. With the cuffs nicely cinched and with a slit with buttons on the back, this trench has a good slim fit. Sezane has made big steps to become a more sustainable brand. It’s B Corp Certified (which is a credential that proves a brands’ commitment to social and environmental change). And the materials are Oeko-tex certified too, meaning that it’s verified not to have harmful substances.

Trench coat

Cos

Belted Trench Coat, £150, cosstores.com

As you’d expect with Cos, you’re buying into a minimalistic aesthetic, which oozes that Scandi sophistication. This trench has a strong lapel game that makes a bold statement. There’s also the nice touch of adding in a storm flap too. Those worried about buying pieces that are made from fossil fuel fabrics (like acrylic and polyester) can rest assured, as this trench is 98 percent cotton, which is good material composition. We see this working best for city stomping, best paired with some flowy black trousers and statement 90s frames.

Trench coat with checked lining

Burberry

The Long Chelsea Heritage Trench Coat, £1,790, burberry.com

King of the trench coat, there’s no doubt that Burberry will always be the go-to investment option. You’ve obviously got their signature gabardine material (which they innovated back in the 19th Century) that makes it water-resistant. This trench is Burberry’s more slim-fit option: note the cinched waist and narrow shoulders. And as you’d expect there aren’t any shortcuts with the design: belted cuffs, the gun flap and storm shield prove that this is a heritage work of art that will always stand the test of time.

Reformation

Kensington Double-Breasted Woven Trench Coat, £375, selfridges.com

Reformation’s black trench will easily see you from day to night, veering away from the traditional colour palette while keeping hold of the design’s classic touches. An ideal piece to wear to dinner (or wrap up warm with in winter).

Trench coat

Jigsaw

Camarin Trench, £230, jigsaw-online.com

Featuring lovely epaulettes and cuff straps, Jigsaw’s take on the trench is a fluid loose fit that would take very well to stylish layering. Think oversized white shirts, sweater vests, with an oversized lengthy scarf. Jigsaw’s extra long tie belt with a long scarf gives a great elongation to the outfit too.

Dark blue coat

Really Wild Clothing

Tweed Trench Coat in Moss Blue, £445, reallywildclothing.com

With 20 years under its belt, British fashion brand Really Wild knows a thing or two when it comes to bridging the style gap between town and country wardrobes. Think classic styles, sleek tailoring and British weather-appropriate materials.

Trench coat on mannequin

Burberry @ Vestiaire Collective

Trench Coat (UK 16), £184, vestiairecollective.com

If you haven’t yet heard of Vestiaire Collective, then you’re in for a treat. The platform is a treasure trove of vintage and secondhand designer finds, often at a fraction of the original retail price. Gawp at their whole tab on trench coats that is brimmed with the best of the best: Burberry, Dior, Ganni, the works.

Featured image: Getty Images