How to wear a trench coat in four different ways

how to wear a trench coat
Four ways to wear a trench.

Practical and forever chic, the trench coat is a wardrobe essential. It was first created for military purposes by Thomas Burberry (yes, that Burberry) in 1912, but has since become a womenswear staple.

It hasn't changed much in those 100 years. And that's because it was so well-designed in the first place: with a double-breasted silhouette, storm flaps, epaulettes and a buckled waist belt to keep the wind and rain out.

The trench isn't just famous for its practicalities though; it's culturally iconic, having been represented through history and Hollywood by glamorous women and men since the '30s. It's still the outerwear on every fashion editor's wish list and most designers create a reworked version every season.

And while a quality version like Burberry's is made to last, we're here to convince you that any trench coat is an excellent investment because of its versatility. The neutral colour palette, showerproof gabardine fabric and easy-to-layer weight means you can wear one anywhere and everywhere, all year round. Keep scrolling to find out how...

In Britain, temperamental climes makes dressing in transitional months difficult, but arm yourself with a lightweight trench like Cos' and you'll never get caught out again. We'll be wearing this '70s-inspired coat over midi dresses in late summer, then layering up with knitted vests or a cardigan during the spring season.

As we go into a new season, it might be time for a workwear wardrobe refresh. One item you can guarantee is an investment for both work and play is the trench coat: it looks just as good with jeans and dresses as it does with smart trousers and tailoring. Keep your formal looks dry and crease-free on the commute with & Other Stories' longline style. We like its classic double-breasted design and boxy, oversized fit.

If you're looking for something simple but chic to wear on the weekend, get inspired by the clean looks of the '60s (Audrey Hepburn famously wore a trench coat in Breakfast at Tiffany's). The magic combo of a Breton top, blue jeans and simple plimsols will never go out of style – just add Mango's oversized suede shopper and you're good to go.

A trusty black trench is ideal for pairing with evening looks. It's lightweight enough to layer over delicate dresses, but will keep you warm during outdoor events. Wear yours with Boden's knitted midi and accessorise with a mini clutch and dainty gold jewellery. Our favourite style? This emerald green pair from Monica Vinader – we hear the Princess of Wales is also a big fan.

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