The trench coat might have shaken off all military connotations but remains very much both classic and current.
Out of all the sartorial items available, nothing quite has the transformative power of a good coat - and, in particular, a great trench coat.
Popularised by Burberry as a raincoat for army officers in the early 20th century, the idea of a gabardine mac is nothing new, but in the fast-paced and fickle world of fashion, the fact that this style has endured for more than a century is a testament to its infinite appeal.
Sensibly designed to withstand damp weather yet boasting the ability to elevate any outfit you pair one with, trench coats have taken up a permanent spot in fashion’s hall of fame and have proven their worth again now in the era of alfresco dining.
Revisited seasonally by major fashion houses and still an enduring signature for its originator, trench coats have more recently evolved beyond their classic beige-and-belted heritage and we're seeing modern iterations crafted in leather and vinyl, with prints and ruffles that add a refreshed feel.
So seminal is this particular style of coat, that a Paris-based boutique has opened its doors selling just one item: an ankle-length black vinyl trench of the store owner's design, with gold buttons by Goossens, the jeweller to Coco Chanel and Cristobal Balenciaga. While in Italy, designer Sabrina Persechino has created an 'anti-COVID' trench made with a fabric that filters viral agents and has a clear visor in the hood.
One of the most dependably stylish items in the modern wardrobe (pandemic or otherwise), browse Irish Tatler's edit below of trusty trenches that will have you wishing on the next wet-weather forecast.
It goes without saying that the iconic Burberry trench is sure to weather well and never go out of style. This trench is a timeless essential that you'll wear time and time again.
BURBERRY The Mid-length Kensington Heritage Trench Coat, €1,790, SHOP
the statement maker
The only possible way to transform your look other than to slip on a classic trench coat is to slip on a zebra printed trench coat. Crafted from a textured faux python material, this animal print style is tailored to a classic double-breasted design with notched lapels and a buckle-fastening waist belt.
STAND STUDIO Shelby zebra-print trench coat, €400, SHOP
Get yourself a trench that can do both! Your favourite leather jacket meets your favourite trench coat in this convertible investment piece. Add to your wardrobe and make any outfit elevated or edgy depending on how you style it.
TIBI Convertible Trench Coat, €852.91, SHOP
The Budget Friendly
When you're looking to dress to impress – particularly in the jacket department – we'd always tend to advise you to invest. However, there is one exception - this classic style trench coat from Zara. While it pales in comparison to the quality of a Burberry trench coat, the vent detailing and double-breasted button fastening brings a level sophistication. For a mere €69.95, it's definitely worth adding to your cart while giving you plenty of change to start saving.
ZARA Limited Edition Water-Repellent Trench Coat, €69.95, SHOP
the opposing silhouette
Not one to play by the rules? Pay homage to the trench while keeping things fresh in Stella McCartney's directional reworking of this classic coat. Crafted from taupe-hued cotton, this double-breasted style is cut to a cocooning cape-effect silhouette that’s detailed with storm flaps and billowing side splits
STELLA MCCARTNEY Alexa taupe cape-effect cotton trench coat, €1,195, SHOP
Open a magazine, log into Instagram or walk down the street and you're bound to see one thing: peter pan collars. The statement collar trend is going nowhere this season (or the season after, for that matter) so invest in this classic trench coat with a spin from Barbour. Uniting two British icons, this coat comes exclusively from the Barbour by ALEXACHUNG collection. Inspired by the heritage label’s Beacon Thornproof jacket, this stone Glenda trench coat is tailored from brushed twill to a loose silhouette and crowned with a contrasting checked collar.
BARBOUR X ALEXA CHUNG Glenda stone brushed-twill trench coat, €345, SHOP
the colour pop
Feminine yet polished, a pop of pink draws your attention to this unique trench coat. Make it work appropriate by pairing with a chiffon blouse and an A-line skirt. Easily transition the piece to weekend wear with cropped jeans and a mohair sweater.
ARKET Linen Blend Trench Coat, €190, SHOP
Upgrade your classic tan trench with a two-tone version that will keep both work and weekend outfits pulled together. Providing elegant style throughout the year, this beige cotton trench coat is a must-have for your wardrobe. The mid-length shape is well-suited to both taller and shorter people, and it features double-breasted button fastening at the front, side pockets and adjustable cuff tabs. The discreet leather detailing and matching belt enhance it.
THE KOOPLES Mid-Length Beige Cotton Trench With Leather, €445, SHOP
Whether you're investing in a trench for the function, the fashion, or both, this Puffer trench coat is sure to keep you warm, dry and chic - no matter the weather. Created using recycled down and feathers, this trench coat is the ultimate lightweight and insulating cover-up. Cut with an oversized fit and dropped shoulders, it is styled with trench-inspired details such as a double-breasted opening, a down-filled belt at the waist and a wide-lapel collar.
ARKET Down Puffer Trench Coat, €290, SHOP
the timeless print
We’ll never tire of checks for autumn/winter. Take note from Proenza Schouler and opt for mixed check prints. Proenza Schouler reimagines traditional check patterns into modern patchworks for their latest collection and this off-white trench coat is a bold example. It's made in Italy from plaid twill panels with a loose-fitting double-breasted body and sleeves which are cinched with optional belts.
Proenza Schouler Double-breasted checked twill trench coat, €2,645, SHOP
Main image by @brittanybathgate on Instagram