The trench coat is one of the most versatile and basic staples to have in your wardrobe this fall. From sleeveless trenches to belted coats, there are many approaches to consider when it comes to wearing this essential piece of outerwear.
The military-inspired garment takes its name from the trenches during World War I when army officers and soldiers on the front line needed a durable waterproof alternative to heavier wool watchcoats. The coat's original design had "a storm flap in the back of the coat as an extra protective layer from driving rain, epaulettes at the shoulders so officers could attach insignia denoting their rank and it was dyed in the color khaki so as to camouflage with their surroundings," mentioned stylist Gloria Cospito.
While the classic trench coat style has evolved throughout the years, Cospito noted that brands are revisiting its origins this season. "Designers are taking the bones of the classic trench and injecting a contemporary feel into this evergreen style. Whether it's reimagining the coat in different materials, colors or shapes, the trench coat DNA is still there and as relevant as ever," she added.
How to style a trench coat
There are many variations of the trench coat, plus numerous ways to style it. Before adding this piece of outerwear to your ensemble, though, Cospito suggests finding a trench that complements the hues of your layers. "Choosing a trench in a neutral shade will help it work with most of the items in your closet."
Next, both Cospito and stylist Lucia Gulbransen recommend finding the right fit that'll look flattering on your body. "You don’t want a trench coat too oversized with layers because it will add unflattering bulk. Also, you don’t want your trench to be too fitted, as you want to be able to move with comfort and ease," added Gulbransen.
You can also use the trench coat as a statement piece. "Start with the same color top and bottom and throw on a different color trench to make your coat the standout piece," said Gulbransen.
Finally, consider the number of layers you will need to wear during winter before deciding on your desired size. "You want a fit that allows for layering sweaters or other cold weather tops underneath," said Cospito.
Stylish trench coats for women
Embrace all the elements of a traditional trench coat without the extra bulk. Available in several colors like apricot and dark gray, this coat is made with a faux suede fabric to give that luxurious feel without the added cost. It's also designed with a fitted structure to add a feminine silhouette to your attire. Just take it from one satisfied Amazon shopper who rated this option five stars: "Finally, a coat I can wear for fall into winter and winter into spring."
If you're looking for a more formal option, this London Fog trench coat can add elegance to most of your outfits. This trench features the classic shoulder epaulets, slanted welt pockets and belt that will elevate your casual attires. Plus, according to an Amazon reviewer, it's also very lightweight and "enough to cut the chill and keep you dry in the rain."
Dress up or down with this classic J.Crew trench coat. The light khaki hue offers versatility and can be matched with many outfits. Wear it with jeans during a fall breezy morning or add it as an extra layer to your little black dress. "This is a great everyday trench coat," raved one reviewer.
When a blazer is not enough, add a belted coat to the mix. This top-rated option from New York & Company comes in 11 different colors, plus the lightweight design goes well with anything — even bulky sweaters. Wear it over your favorite mini dress with knee-high boots for a more romantic silhouette.
If you need a budget-friendly and functional coat to wear daily, this is the one. This trench can function as a raincoat thanks to its hidden hood and water-resistant material, though you can even rock it during dry days if you'd like to add some panache to your work attire. One Target reviewer also mentioned that this coat has a "flattering fit and is comfortable to wear".
With a lengthy silhouette and neutral tone, this long trench coat will become your new go-to for fall. It has a form-fitting belt, a statement funnel neck, utility-style pockets and an oversized design to give you that military yet elegant look.
A denim trench is a modern, trendy option for your fall wardrobe. Its mid-length cut will help you feel comfortable on brisker days. It also comes with four pockets to hold your essentials and a belt for a more fitted shape.
If you love print and patterns, this Asos trench will match all your trendy pieces for fall. This double-breasted coat has a grayish tone and plaid pattern on the back for a more casual vibe. Its relaxed fit is also functional enough to keep aside for breezy days.
This ankle-length coat will keep you covered and protected on chilly days. With a fiery red finish, this trench doubles as a bold statement piece. Add some glamour to your monochromatic black outfit and feel empowered in this iconic garment.
If you want a coat with some extra movement, get a hold of this flowy trench from Mango. It's made with sustainable fibers and cotton that mixes well with your other layers. Wear it with your favorite mom jeans or dress pants for an elevated work look.
Blend in with the surrounding fall foliage in this crocodile-inspired trench. The oversized silhouette and patent faux leather provide an edgy vibe that can be easily matched with leather pants. This trench also features a double-breasted button closure and a layered design up top.
This timeless Banana Republic coat will never go out of style thanks to its quality construction and design. Plus, with several five-star ratings, one reviewer also proclaimed that this coat has "great fabric, substantial weight and looks expensive." Wear it over your favorite sweater for a casual feel or belt it around your waist for a feminine fit.
This Aritzia trench coat — particularly in olive green —is the perfect outerwear for minimalists who like to keep things classy yet modern. With a removable belt and exaggerated collar, this buttonless trench is a great substitute for oversized fall coats.
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