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April showers lead to more than just flowers, they also inspire a serious evaluation of our rain gear. We grab our umbrellas (that we'll likely forget in a restaurant or leave in a shopping cart) and pull out those rain boots, but it’s really all about selecting the right jacket. And this season is all about bringing back the trench.
Like most classic items in fashion, the trench coat was initially designed to serve a purpose. It protected British officers from the rain during both world wars and later reached mass popularity due to its flattering look on both men and women.
Burberry is a well-known producer of the style and largely credited for the coat's relevance in fashion, but they aren't the only ones responsible.
For this edition of fashion flashback, we take look at the trench coat's journey through pop culture history.
Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca (1942)
At the birth of the trend, the trench made an appearance in a timeless romantic drama. In "Casablanca," it became a visual marker of Bogart’s character's strength. Here’s looking at you kid ... and your super suave trench.
Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Hepburn wore many iconic outifts in the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," but the trench coat took its turn at the romantic climax where Holly Golightly realizes she has fallen in love.
Ali MacGraw, The Getaway (1972)
Style icon Ali MacGraw wears a camel-colored trench during her turn as a criminal on the run in this box office smash of the '70s.
Christian Slater, Heathers (1988)
Heartthrob and bad boy Christian Slater brought out the style’s darker side in the cult classic film "Heathers," co-starring Winona Ryder.
John Cusack, Say Anything (1989)
Just one year later, the trench went from bad boy to hopeless romantic in the film that launched a million parodies and made every woman want a man to serenade her with a boombox.
Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy (1990)
Leave it to a comic strip character to brighten up a classic. The famous, bright yellow version with matching hat was worn by Warren Beatty in the detective flick.
Keanu Reeves, The Matrix (1999)
In the late '90s, another action hero wore the trench as a part of his recognizable look. Keanu Reeves protects mankind in the sci-fi trilogy "The Matrix," donning an all-black overcoat.
Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The fashion magazine dramedy featured many major trends, but it was the trench that landed on the film’s most memorable character, Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief of the fictitious Runway magazine.
Get the look!
While the typical trench is khaki in color and belted, modern versions have evolved to sport all different colors, textures and styles. Here’s a shopping guide to a few of our favorite trenches of the season.
Belted trench coat, $39.90, forever21.com
Loose and flow-y
Trench Dressing Coat, $70, modcloth.com
Misty Transparent Plastic Trench Coat, $105, nordstrom.com
Maternity Classic Trench Coat, $55, oldnavy.com
Short Cotton Rain Coat, $99, zara.com
White hot classic
Harbor Cropped Trench, $99, landsend.com
And dapper duds for the dudes
Belted Trench Coat, $127, asos.com