What is a trench coat

The Ultimate Guide to Trench Coats - Trendy This Year: Navy, Beige, Black, and Gray


The elegant trench coat has been an integral part of the men's wardrobe for decades. The stylish, classic and practical piece of outerwear goes with any style and can be worn for many different occasions. Therefore, a trench coat is definitely a worthwhile investment if you are looking for a coat that should look good and keep you warm at the same time. Due to the many different variations in different colors and fabrics and the choice of single or double row buttons, you will find a practical guide below to help you find the perfect trench coat.


What actually is a trench coat?

Are you perhaps wondering what exactly a trench coat is, what distinguishes it from other coats and what makes it so special? Basically, a trench coat is a long waterproof coat with a belt, i.e. outdoor clothing. However, of military origin, so that trench coats very often have details such as shoulder and weapon flaps, raglan sleeves, back yoke and ventilation opening as well as storm pockets. A traditional trench coat is made from 100% gabardine cotton, a light but durable and waterproof worsted yarn made from Egyptian cotton. However, the style has evolved a lot over the years and is now available in a variety of fabrics such as wool, leather, and different types of cotton. In terms of length, a trench coat can range from the mid-thigh to the ankle and can be worn in the fall, winter, and spring due to its versatility.


The history of the trench coat

The trench coat was developed by Thomas Burberry in the late 1800s as a lighter alternative to Aquascutum's rubberized Macintosh raincoats. At that time, Burberry actually patented the famous gabardine cotton and to this day mainly offers trench coats in the fashion house of the same name. Because of its comfort and durability, soldiers in particular wore the Burberry and Aquascutum coats during the Boer Wars. During the First World War, the coats were so popular with soldiers that they were even worn on duty in the trenches, which is where today's name comes from. Even in World War II, the soldiers liked to wear trench coats - a style that was still popular in the post-war period. Since there was an excess of military clothing, it was common for ordinary civilians to wear a military style as well. Then the trench coat was finally popularized by Hollywood after being shown in Casablanca in an iconic outfit by Humphrey Bogarts and has remained stylish ever since.

How to wear trench coats correctly

Although trench coats come in many different colors today, the main colors are navy blue, gray, and black. Traditionally, trench coats always had two rows of buttons, but today you can also find single-row styles if you prefer them. But which trench coat should you choose from this selection?


Navy blue trench coats

Navy blue is a gorgeous and elegant color that looks really good, especially in fall and winter. If you like to wear navy blue suits, a navy blue trench coat is perfect to cover the suit jacket well and create a stylish and monochrome look. Another formal option for a navy blue trench coat would be a gray suit.



Navy trench coats also go well with more casual styles like blue jeans with a shirt in warmer weather or a sweater on cooler days. The jeans can also be exchanged for brown or gray chinos in autumn / winter or, for a lighter look, for white chinos. A few colors that go very well with navy blue (for shirts and sweaters) are white, hunter green, brown, beige / brown / camel, gray, olive, or light shades of blue. And yes, navy blue can also be worn with black. For a cool and elegant look, you can wear a little gray, such as a gray sweater with black pants and accessories (shoes, scarf, gloves).




Gray trench coats

Gray is a very versatile shade that goes with every season. A gray trench coat is therefore ideal for a lighter suit, such as beige or light blue in spring. A dark gray or charcoal gray trench coat also works well with dark suits (black, navy blue). Alternatively, a gray suit in a different color - or vice versa - can also be used to achieve a monochrome effect.

For a more casual look, you can also wear a gray trench coat to combine your favorite jeans with a t-shirt for a stylish weekend look in autumn or spring. If you prefer chinos, a gray trench coat will work with almost any color: beige, navy, black, khaki. When it comes to shirts and sweaters, you can always choose white, black, burgundy, olive, blue, mustard-colored or beige. Gray is also a good neutral ground for plaids, so you can also wear plaid chinos or trousers if you are into printed clothing. Alternatively, you can use bright colors such as red or cobalt blue for accessories (scarves, ties) if the rest of the look is fairly neutral.




Camel trench coats

Camel or beige is the most classic style of the trench coat. This light, neutral color is perfect for fall and spring and looks great with any suit color, but especially with light or plaid suits. In the fall, camel looks really great with traditional earth colors as it falls into the same color family. A camel trench coat can be combined well with colors such as khaki, rust, mustard and brown - regardless of whether it is a shirt, sweater or chinos. A good example would be a mustard or rust colored sweater with dark khaki chinos and a beige trench coat. Alternatively, beige can also be worn at other times of the year with fairly neutral colors such as white, black, gray or navy blue. And when you wear your camel trench coat over a crisp white shirt and navy blue, black or gray chinos, you ensure a timeless outfit that always looks good.






Black trench coats

Black is a classic that goes with everything. The black trench coat goes well with any suit color, whether neutral, printed or with more casual outfits. For a dark and mysterious look, you can wear everything in black, while a white / beige shirt or a colorful sweater with black pants looks a bit lighter. For a great transitional look, you can match your black trench coat with a light outfit (white or beige) and contrast it with checked or colored pants. Depending on how casual or formal you want to look, you can wear a t-shirt, shirt or sweater over it.




Single or double row?

Modern trench coats come in both versions, but which one should you choose? If you want to stay true to the original trench coat look, you should opt for two rows. A double-breasted version offers more chest protection and warmth as the fabric overlaps and can make the chest look bigger and the waist narrower. For some men, however, this look may look too bulky, so that it is better to fall back on a number here. A single-breasted trench coat would also be a better choice if you can forego the extra warmth and are looking for a coat for spring / fall.




How should a trench coat fit?

A trench coat should build up in layers and therefore not be too tight. After all, you want to have enough space to be able to wear a thick sweater or jacket (e.g. a suit jacket) comfortably underneath. However, you should also make sure that it doesn't look too loose or too big. If it's sloppy, it's probably too big. The sleeves should reach just above the thumb so that any long sleeves underneath are well hidden. The length itself does not matter, as there is no standard length for a trench coat. Just keep in mind that a coat above the knee will make your legs look longer, while a longer coat can make your legs look shorter. Also, be sure to use the belt on your trench coat as it accentuates the waist and makes the shoulders and chest look wider. If you prefer to wear your trench coat open on a warmer day, you can simply knot your belt at the back - it looks better and more elegant than empty belt loops.



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