The trusty trench is one of the world’s most recognisable pieces of clothing. As stylish as it is practical, this devilishly good-looking outerwear essential was first developed as a sartorially on-point alternative to the heavy greatcoats worn by British and French soldiers in the First World War by none other than Thomas Burberry.
Since then, the humble trench has been draped over the shoulders of everyone from Cary Grant to David Beckham, and there are a whole host of reasons why you should get investing too. After all, when a classic gabardine design still gains the same traction today as it did over a century ago, you know it’s got to be good. So, if you’re looking to invest in a new hero item for your autumn/winter wardrobe, look no further than our curated list of the chicest trench coats on the market.
Loosen up and go beltless…
While you might consider the belt to be a crucial element to the classic trench coat design, we love these styles for a less-structured, off-duty look. From Sid Mashburn, this ‘Traveler’ trench coat is both smart and practical, and been made in Italy using water-resistant nylon with plenty of internal pockets to protect your valuables.
From a distance, Dries Van Noten‘s coat looks like a traditional tailored style, but it’s also padded for extra warmth and a more substantial profile. Cut from a tightly woven cloth blended with plenty of tactile wool, it’s decorated with classic pinstripes and fitted with a tidy collar. nanamica‘s designs seek to bring the technicality of outdoors gear to urban environments. With this in mind, their trench is cut from tough cotton with Gore-Tex technology for water and wind-resistance. It’s minimally designed with a concealed front placket and discreet pockets — so it’ll work as well for the commute as for a country walk.
Dries Van Noten Padded Pinstriped Woven Coat
nanamica GORE-TEX Cotton Coat
Sid Mashburn Traveler's Nylon Trench Coat
Keep it classic with a slim-fit…
If you’re preference is for a sharper silhouette, then opt for a more classic slim-fitting trench to keep yourself looking smart. Cut from crisp cotton-gabardine, this Auralee trench coat borrows from traditional styles with its smart buttoned cuffs and buckled belt — and it’s roomy enough to wear over relaxed tailoring.
This elegant Salle Privée design is cut from lightweight sand cotton-poplin, it’s tailored for a relaxed fit but has a coordinating belt for when you need to look that bit smarter. And, from the true trench masters at Burberry, this cotton gabardine trench coat is a shorter, slim-fitting style made using the house’s signature cotton gabardine. The style is complete with a vintage check under-collar and lining, and promises to turn heads on the tube for all the right reasons.
Burberry Cotton Gabardine Trench Coat
Salle Privée Thom Cotton-Poplin Trench Coat
Auralee Cotton-Gabardine Trench Coat
Dare to go bold with a patterned fabric…
We know, it can be a little daunting to throw yourself into the sartorial deep end with a statement print or head-turning colourway — but trust us when we say that these designs will catch all the right attention. This Acne Studios‘ coat is inspired by the oversized, boxy styles made popular in the ’80s. Tailored from a warm wool-blend and woven with a bold light-green, purple and brown gingham pattern — the coat is detailed with a belt and single vent. Wear yours over relaxed tailoring, or with jeans and a tee.
We’ll save you the trouble of looking up ‘GSC Senator Romanus’ from the patch on Gucci’s coat – it’s the brand poking fun at the pageantry of royal appointments. What does pander to tradition, however, is the heritage houndstooth pattern woven throughout the heavy wool-blend, along with a buttoned throat latch from more classic trenches. It’s designed in a notably oversized shape that makes quite the impact. Balenciaga‘s car coat is tailored in Italy from virgin wool, patterned with a traditional houndstooth check in tonal-brown and fastened with horn buttons. It’ll envelop any suit nicely — but looks equally good thrown over a T-shirt and jeans.
Balenciaga Houndstooth Virgin Wool Coat
Acne Studios Oversized Belted Gingham Wool-Blend Coat
Gucci Oversized Houndstooth Wool-Blend Coat
Looking for more seasonal style advice? These are the best rugby shirts (to wear off the pitch)…