Essential Classics: The Trench Coat

Who would have thought that a must have item in every women’s wardrobe was actually designed for our solders for the First World War!  Both Burberry and Aquascutum claim to have designed the original Trench coat dating back to the 1850’s; both still feature this classic garment in every Spring collection!

Burberry Spring 2012 only £1,795!!
Aquascutum (no price available)

Audrey Hepburn, our Hollywood legend, was one of the most famous ladies to make the trench coat a must have item.  Audrey showed women that this simple beige coat could be so stylish, and she was known to wear them on & off screen.

I love trench coats, for me though I struggle a little with the big collar, and was really pleased to find a couple of years ago a trench coat from H&M, the coat still offered the lapels but not going around the back neckline.  You can find a trench coat to suit all budgets and if you don’t like the classic beige there are lots of different colours that you can choose from!

Here are my top tips when selecting your Trench coat:

  1. Make sure it fits you properly on your shoulders
  2. When trying on, do all the buttons up and fasten the belt – how do you feel? This is really important – wearing the trench coat open appears sloppy, to look stylish you need to wear it fastened up, so you need to feel good in it.
  3. If you like the coat but not the belt that comes with it – most are detachable so you can choose to wear another belt.
  4. Some coats offer a lot of “skirt” – you need to think about what you will typically wear under your coat and does the skirt give you want you need.
  5. Don’t forget to think about adding a silk scarf (not wool!), particular if you are going for beige, you can change the scarves to co-ordinate your outfit or simply add a little colour.
  6. Beige trench coats are not good to go from Day to Evening.  If you need this flexibility I would suggest that you invest either in a black coat or one whereby the fabric has a satin finish.
  7. If it’s just for evening, you can really go to town with colour, purple, orange or red would simply look fabulous.

Here are some great options, should you be looking to buy one for this Spring:

Reiss have this style called Kimber.  I like the colour dark khaki, very stylish would look great for work.  No belt, which I don’t particularly have an issue with, and I’m loving the piping and detail around the cuffs:
Was £265, now £185

If your not looking for classic style, this one from Helene Berman at House of Fraiser called Ruffles, may just be your thing.  It’s offering a less tradition collar (sadly I couldn’t wear it) and a full skirt which will look lovely once it’s all fastened up!
Was £160, now £112

Coast have this beautiful red version, called Diana.  It’s so feminine and I’m loving the collar!  A great one that you could take from Day to Evening.  I’m very tempted!

New Look have quite a few in their collection online, I’m loving this one, it comes in four colours, tan, shell pink, navy and this red.  Red or navy look good, I like that the lapels are buttoned down and the belt looks great, quite a full shirt on this one.  The price is great if you have never worn one and want to try a trench:
Was £34.99, now £24.99

M&S have this sophisticated trench with water repellant finish by Stormwear.  The neutral colour is a really nice shade, lovely sturdy looking belt, jacket is lined with a contrasting colour.  The skirt is straight giving you a slim silhouette look.

Next have this gorgeous two-tone trench.  The black with natural trim makes it flexible to go with all outfits.  The skirt is not very full but offers you more than the M&S above.  A great classic looking trench at not a bad price.


  1. Lizzi
    February 13, 2012 / 5:30 pm

    When I popped into H&M yesterday, they have a great trench jacket in classic beige or in a gorgeous red – and only £29.99!

  2. Lizzi
    February 14, 2012 / 7:40 am

    Thanks Jenna, loving your site too.

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