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Welcome to Everyday Refinement. Here I write about dressing well, but sensibly. Where beauty and utility inspire authentic style and a better wardrobe.

The Trench Coat

The Trench Coat

Thoughtful details and beautiful features transform a utilitarian garment into an enduring classic.


Sometimes being in the trenches is a good thing! Especially, when in the trenches translates into the wearing of a chic trench coat. 

Most of us are familiar with the story of the trench’s humble beginnings as a coat issued to the British military during the two world wars. History records credit the original design to Thomas Burberry. In 1880, Mr. Burberry introduced gabardine, a durable, water-resistant yet breathable fabric, in his sportswear attire for the adventurer and outdoor enthusiast. In 1911, Burberry was commissioned by the British War Office to adapt his gabardine outwear into a coat appropriate for the conditions of contemporary welfare. The rest of the story is history - a style icon was created -  the “trench coat.”

This is personally one of my favorite outerwear garments for multi-tasking and instant style. There are very few pieces in our wardrobe that can do as much heavy -lifting as can the trench. It can go from morning to midnight, office to off-duty, and everywhere in-between. It is the ideal travel companion — the only cover-up needed for professional travel. And it packs easily too. For those tempestuous days that include mud puddles, gray clouds, and outburst of rain my water-resilient trench can keep me dry, comfortable, and chic. 

My 3/4 quarter length trench can pull double duty when necessary; providing a layer of warmth but standing in as a jacket for the occasions I need a more polished appearance. I also love it paired with denim and boots. For those times when a style statement is necessary; my bold, floral print trench coat adds a smidgeon of whimsy and 60’s vibe for a sophisticated, retro look. 

Which trench is the right one for you?  If it’s your first one - may I suggest that you begin with a classic water-resilient trench in a neutral tan or khaki.  Although, I strongly recommned that you don’t stop with just one. Let personal style be your guide. A brightly-colored trench in apple red, kelly green, or canary yellow makes a strong style statement. A leopard print provides a hint of edginess for day-to-day style. And a trench fabricated from black, silver, or gold satin silk is designed for dramatic entrances and romantic evenings.

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The Trench Coat

A key essential wardrobe piece

The trench is always a great choice of cover-up when the question of which outwear “Do I wear?” seems perplexing.

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