As a recent owner of a rather dapper trench coat, I honestly have nothing but good things to say about this timeless piece of outerwear in menswear. From it’s well-documented beginnings during the First World War as a coat worn by officers and soldiers alike, to its present state as a classic heritage garment appreciated by all, the trench coat as survived the time of test because of its incomparable durability and its undeniable versatility.
When it comes to its durability, there is no doubt whatsoever that the trench coat is a piece made to last. Seeing as it’s first documented appearance was during WWI were its use was practically a standard among officials and soldiers, the trench coat’s enduring construction ensures it survives even through the toughest conditions. The main characteristic that permits this one-of-a-kind durability is the heavy-duty nature of the materials used to construct a trench coat. Originally, the material used by Thomas Burberry, whose namesake brand is famous worldwide for its highly-coveted trench coats, is gabardine. According to The Art of Manliness, gabardine is “an innovative and durable wool fabric designed by Burberry to repel water and keep the wearer warm but ventilated.” Consequently, the ingenious textile construction of the trench coat is a critical factor to its timeless and well-warranted appeal.
Other than its renowned durability, the other quality that makes the trench coat such a unique outwear piece is its versatility that ensures that it can transcend seasons like no other garment can. Be it as a heavy duty fall coat, or a light-weight winter jacket or even a classic spring transition piece, the trench coat is ideal for all seasons. Though it is commonly used as a fall coat, some more traditional trench coats even feature a wool or quilted lining that has the added benefits of being both insulating and removable. Accordingly, that lining naturally aids in the conservation of body heat when the trench coat is used as a winter jacket. Talk about being stylish and practical! However, the only thing that must be remembered when wearing a trench coat during the winter season is that it calls for layering! That requirement acts as a benefit seeing as it prevents one from feeling stuffy when the layers of warm clothes are piled on.
Another element to the versatility of the trench coat is the fact that it can also be worn during the warmer spring months. Seeing as it was originally meant to counter both war and bad weather, the trench coat is a great choice for beating the cold, and an even better choice for staying dry even under the pounding rain. As spring is a season highly characterized by constant rain, the trench coat is certainly the best option in repelling the water seeing as it is made of a material , either gabardine or a cotton-based composite, apt in water-repelling. Having originated from a country known for its often overcast and rainy climate, the trench coat does its job splendidly.
So in response to whether or not you should invest in a trench coat, all I can say is that it really all depends on if you’re a fan of durability, versatility and timeless style. As Esquire put it so concisely, the trench coat is “one of the most important pieces a man can have hanging in his closet.” The ball is in your court!