Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Trench Coat

Simon Spurr spring
Looking at the collections for spring 2011 that were presented last week in the NY fashion week there was one item that was shown by almost every designer - The Trench Coat!
A bit of history: The Invention of the trench coat is claimed by both Burberry and Aquascutum. Aquascutum's claim dating back to the 1850s, but Thomas Burberry (who was the inventor of the gabardine fabric), submitted a trench coat design for an army officer's raincoat to the United Kingdom War Office in 1901 where it all really began. A typical trench coat by this period was a ten-buttoned, double-breasted long coat (usually is knee-length) with cuff straps on the raglan sleeves, shoulder straps and a belt. Made in tan, khaki, beige, or black waterproof heavy-duty cotton drill or poplin, wool gabardine, or leather. Had generally a removable insulated lining; and was typically worn as a windbreaker or as
a rain jacket, and not for protection from the cold in winter or snowy conditions.
Alan Delon in Le Samurai
Neil Barrett for Herno-front det
In the decades after WW II Trench coats have remained fashionable and gained businesslike respectability, while on screen it had a real big stardom in both comics and movies where characters like Inspector Clouseau, Dick Tracy, and Humphrey Bogart's Rick Blaine from Casablanca among others gave the trench it's association as a detective coat, although unfortunately at times it got a bad rep as being a coat worm by criminals and the mafia mostly on the grounds that the long coat were used to conceal weapons (my favorite one is Alan Delon in the movie Le Samourai from 1967).
Over the last 6 years the Trench had a big revival and designers turn it into a must have on their runways for both women and men offering different and at times very unique variations of it such as shorter versions and sleeves ones. Burberry is still to this date the one to hold the torch for the Trench, they even have a site called The art of the trench which meant to celebrate and honor the Trench coat, this site have anything you wanted and needed to know about the coat including a large gallery of people wearing trench (which btw you can submit your own pic to as well).
Humphrey Bogart's Rick Blaine from Casablanca
Style: The trench although considered to be a classic piece can support a variety of styles from the classic conservative to the edgy contemporary guy, it is a n item that screams class and highlights a sophisticated personal style. It can be worn with both casual and more dressy outfits, can look young and cool with jeans and a v-neck sweater or protect your suit from the rain on your way to your next business meeting.
Yes it can be a bit of an expense but this item is highly recommended for those who likes to make an impact in their style. A great coat for spring and fall.
Colors: The basic dark colors such as black and navy blue will go with almost everything in your wardrobe and will keep you well dressed but under the radar while a lighter color as Khaki will make your look stand out a little more but in a classic way!

Below are some more Trenches from spring 2011:


  1. Ah, the trench. I don't know why more men don't have (gasp) or wear them? Great menswear blog!

  2. Thank you Jonell, I'm glad you enjoy it.
    I'm actually noticing a lot more men wearing trenches this fall... what i find funny is that the trench is a very classic item yet nowadays it considered to be trendy...



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