This Is the Only Trench Coat I Own, and I Always Get Compliments on It

Elinor Block
·3-min read

Some people dream about the perfect wedding dress. As for me, I used to dream about owning the perfect trench coat—namely one of Burberry’s iconic designs. Don’t get me wrong: I did love my actual wedding dress, but honestly, I’ve not looked at it in six years since I wore it. My trench coat, which I bought from Vestiare Collective a year after I got married, however, has been worn countless times (and I always get compliments on it). In fact, I wore it when I interviewed for my role at Who What Wear, and it was given an approving comment. (I’m still convinced it helped me get the job.)

The reason it’s such a great investment is that it goes with everything in my wardrobe. Plus, they never change—they’re almost identical to when they were created 100 years ago. Which makes sense: It wasn’t designed with fashion in mind. Much like other garments now considered timeless (jeans, bomber jackets, etc.), it was created out of necessity. The British army needed coats that were more lightweight but weather-resistant, and thanks to Thomas Burberry’s discovery of waterproof gabardine cotton in 1879, the designer was approached to create the new coats for the army. The garment was then worn throughout World War I by soldiers fighting in the trenches (hence the name).

Trench coats being worn in the ’60s.

Burberry Prorsum catwalk, 2004.

Soon after, trench coats were translated into civilian life as returning soldiers wore them outside of wartime. Then came Hollywood stars wearing them on film⁠—Humphrey Bogart famously wore one in Casablanca, as did Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The ’60s, however, are when style started to overtake function. The Burberry coat became a true fashion item, with features such as the D-ring and storm flap becoming more of a statement.

Today’s classic trench coat has barely changed in terms of look, and is still very much true to its heritage DNA. That said, under Christopher Bailey (the former creative director) and Riccardo Tisci (the current designer), the trench coat has been reimagined plenty of times. From Bailey’s patent trench coats to Tisci’s first runway show for spring/summer 2021 featuring the classic coats spliced with denim and in bold sunset orange, there's always a new take on the look.

Right now, you can invest in the classic or find one that suits more directional tastes. Keep scrolling for the Burberry trench coats of the past and the season's looks, then shop my edit.

Kendall Jenner on the Burberry catwalk for Riccardo Tisci’s first collection.

Elinor wearing her Burberry trench coat.

Elinor wearing her Burberry trench coat.

While my preference is always a beige trench coat that falls just below the knee, there are so many different styles that make it a winner for everyone’s taste. Keep scrolling to shop an edit of the best Burberry trench coats right now.

Burberry spring/summer 2021 runway.

Burberry spring/summer 2021 runway.

Burberry spring/summer 2021 runway.

Burberry spring/summer 2021 runway.

Shop My Edit of the Best Burberry Trench Coats

Burberry Hern Embellished Cotton-Gabardine Trench Coat (£1990)

Burberry Double-Breasted Checked Gabardine and Leather Trench Coat (£2490)

Burberry The Chelsea Long Cotton-Gabardine Trench Coat (£1450)

Burberry The Chelsea Cotton-Gabardine Trench Coat (£1490)

Burberry The Long Kensington Heritage Trench Coat (£1490)

Burberry Cotton Gabardine Panel Cashmere Trench Coat (£2390)

Burberry Pocket Detail Cotton Gabardine Trench Coat (£2090)

Burberry Prince of Wales Check Wool Trench Coat (£1990)

Burberry Technical Cotton Gabardine Trench Coat (£1890)

Burberry Tropical Gabardine Long Trench Coat (£1590)

Burberry Silk Cady Reconstructed Trench Coat (£2490)

Burberry Kensington Mid Cashmere-Felt Trench Coat (£2190)

Burberry Chelsea Cotton-Gabardine Trench Coat (£1490)

Opening Image: Style Stalker

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends to know.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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