Which trench coat is best?
If you’re in the market for a new coat, you might be considering a trench coat. These versatile garments are great for protecting against the elements while looking chic and stylish.
The traditional trench is a long, tailored coat with defining features such as neutral tones, a belted waist, epaulets and double-breasted buttons. However, over the years, it has taken on several forms, shapes and colors.
Before you make your purchase, here are a few things you should know about what to look for in a coat of this type.
What to know before you buy a trench coat
Here are a few factors to consider when deciding on the type of trench coat you might like to buy.
Try mixing different prints
Rather than wearing a plain gray or black trench coat, for instance, you can try mixing up different patterns and textures. For instance, try pairing a checkered coat with a striped shirt to create a fun and interesting look. You can find these coats in a wide range of prints, from classics such as houndstooth or tweed to less conventional options such as floral or camouflage print.
Style your trench coat for different occasions
You can wear a trench with a wide range of outfits. It can easily look either casual or smart, depending on how you style it. If you want to wear yours in a professional setting, stick to classic silhouettes and simple colors. For instance, a tan or black trench coat makes great office wear. Simply wear it over your usual work attire and keep accessories understatedly stylish.
If you want to go for a more casual look, you can simply throw your trench over a pair of jeans and a T-shirt with chunky jewelry. For casual wear, you can choose bolder colors and prints.
You can choose to either wear your trench open or cinched at the waist with the belt. An open trench can look great with both smart and casual outfits. Wearing trenches belted at the waist gives them a more formal look. The coverage is also great for wearing over an evening outfit that you might not want visible on the street, such as an evening gown.
Consider your budget
Trenches come in a wide range of prices. If you have the money and are willing to invest in a higher-end coat, you can certainly do so. A traditional trench keeps you warm and dry through the years. But those with smaller budgets can find coats at a lower price that will do the job.
Paying more for a coat gives you better quality to a certain point, at which the returns are diminished. For example, the quality of a $200 coat will significantly exceed that of a $20 coat. However, a $500 coat is likely of a similar quality to a $200 offering.
What to look for in a quality trench coat
Lightweight, breathable fabric
You might want to make sure that whichever coat you choose comes in a lightweight, breathable fabric such as cotton. With lightweight fabric, you can wear your coat throughout all of the seasons, rather than just autumn or winter.
That said, this kind of light fabric isn’t always warm enough to protect from the cold when the temperatures drop. During the cooler months, you can layer sweaters underneath to increase warmth. A lightweight cotton trench is a classic choice that will never go out of style, but it’s not the only option.
Consider other materials
Lightweight fabrics are great for some, but you may prefer one made of a heavier material, such as a wool or leather trench coat.
- Wool: If you want something timeless that’s warm for winter without being too bulky, wool is a great option. It looks classic and timeless and works with a wide range of outfits.
- Leather: If you’re searching for something with an edgier look, leather trench coats are great. They can add an alternative style to any outfit, though they aren’t as versatile as some.
- Synthetics: Some coats are made from synthetic materials, such as nylon or polyester, with lining or padding to make them warmer than lightweight trenches.
Trenches were traditionally waterproof, designed to protect against the elements while fighting in the trenches during wartime. However, you can’t assume that a modern one is waterproof. Some are made from waterproof materials, while others are made from materials like heavy cotton that are coated with a waterproof layer.
Think about sizes
Always check sizes carefully before you buy. Bear in mind that unisex and men’s trench coats run larger than women’s sizes. For example, a medium men’s trench coat has larger dimensions than a medium women’s trench coat. Most manufacturers have sizing charts that you can check before buying.
Choose the right color for you
These coats traditionally came in earthy, neutral tones such as khaki, beige, navy and black, but today, you can find one in nearly any color. If you are looking for something versatile, you should stick with a neutral color, but if you are looking for something bold, don’t be afraid to try something like a mustard yellow or a jewel tone. When in doubt, a black trench coat never goes out of style and works with practically any outfit.
Choose the right length for you
You can find women’s and men’s trench coat options ranging from ankle length to around midthigh length. If you are on the shorter side, you can purchase a trench in a short or cropped length, since a longer coat may appear too long on you. But if you’re taller or have longer legs, consider a standard or long-length coat that falls below the knees.
There isn’t a right or wrong length, it just depends on preference and what you prefer the look of on you. If you’re not sure what length you prefer and can’t try any on, look at an array of pictures to get an idea of your preferred coat length.
How much you can expect to spend on a trench coat
They range from about $30 for more basic rain trench coats to about $230 for higher-end coats. Of course, if you want a designer coat, it can cost significantly more â€” for instance, the iconic Burberry Kensington trench coat costs around $2,000-$2,500.
Trench coat FAQ
What material are trench coats made out of?
A. While winter coats tend to be made from warmer materials, trenches come in a wider variety of materials. There are some wool trenches out there, but many classic ones are made from cotton. There are also more modern trench coats, such as faux leather or leather trench coats. The material doesn’t need to be water-resistant or warm, but some of the materials are.
What is a good length for a trench coat?
A. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the length of a good trench coat. When these coats first came about in the early 20th century, most were longer, coming just above the feet to protect the wearer from the elements. But today, most come in shorter styles, either falling just below the knees or even to around the midthigh in some cases.
Is a trench coat OK for winter?
A. This depends on the coat and how cold or mild the winters are where you live. The majority of trench coats are fairly lightweight and have either very little or no padding. While these might be fine for mild winters, they won’t cut it when there’s a foot of snow on the ground. However, you can find some padded waterproof trench coats that are warm enough to wear all winter.
What’s the difference between a double-breasted and single-breasted trench coat?
A. A double-breasted trench coat refers to a coat with two symmetrical columns of buttons that overlap in the middle. A single-breasted coat has just one column of buttons.
What’s the best trench coat to buy?
Top trench coat
The North Face City Breeze Rain Trench
What you need to know: This black trench coat is an excellent option for commuters because of its secure pockets and its waterproof material.
What you’ll love: This rain trench from The North Face is waterproof, windproof and machine-washable. It’s made from nylon and polyester with a zipper and button closure, buckle cuffs, an adjustable hood and two side pockets.
What you should consider: This trench jacket can be a little too small around the shoulders and the chest.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top trench coat for the money
Columbia Pardon My Trench Rain Jacket
What you need to know: This budget-friendly trench is perfect for rainy weather with its stylish design and water-resistant material.
What you’ll love: This Columbia rain trench is machine washable and lightweight, with a removable belt, two zippered pockets, an adjustable hood and cuffs and a zipper and button closure.
What you should consider: It’s important to review the size chart before buying this trench, since some customers have trouble with the sizing.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Guess Double Breasted Trench Coat
What you need to know: This fashionable trench is a beautiful option for work days and special occasions, with a stylish design and a variety of colors.
What you’ll love: This Guess trench comes in five colors and features an adjustable waist belt, belted sleeve cuff details, an attached hood, two zippered pockets and a button and belt closure.
What you should consider: This coat runs a little large, so customers suggest buying one size down.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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