Mens fashion: Isn’t it time we took back the trench coat?

A classic once synonymous with rakishly handsome Hollywood actors and British sophistication, in recent decades the trench coat has, on occasion, been unceremoniously dragged through the mud. Taken hostage by a rather unsavoury set; the flashers, cagey private eyes and side-of-the-road watch salesmen of the world, we feel it is time to reclaim the style for our own. Originally designed to replace the heavy overcoats worn by the British and French soldiers in the First World War, trench coats have remained relevant ever since. An exceedingly practical garment, it simply requires a little forethought before fashioning. So to prevent evoking major panic when coming within 100 metres of a playground, there are three factors to consider:

While bold may be beautiful, simple is sleek and the classic camel trench is a time-proven hue that will serve you well. Best credited to Burberry (the fashion house’s now-infamous gabardine trench was first released by Thomas Burberry in 1879), the neutral tone is an easy-to-wear wardrobe addition, ideal for all casual outings, while a jet black trench is brilliant over a well-cut suit.

To ensure your trench measures up, it should finish around the middle of your knee. Not only will this ensure you are kept warm and dry, but will also work to make you appear taller. Make the mistake of the hemline dropping to your ankles and you verge on private eye territory.

By far the most crucial consideration when undertaking the trench, fashion it wrong and the consequences will come thick and fast. As a rule of thumb, you want to opt for a well-fitted, rain-proof jacket so as to retain the intended balance of practical and polished. To tie it, there are options to use either the coat’s D-ring or to knot the waist belt. Stay away from popping the collar and wearing any form of wide brim hat (unless you are legitimately trying to crack a case) and NEVER wear it with shorts. In all seriousness, if we see bare legs poking out the bottom of your trench, we are going to raise the alarm, whack you with the closest blunt object and run away. Really, if the weather permits, your best option is to wear the jacket open with rolled up sleeves. It’s clean, classic, and doesn’t arouse suspicion.


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