A Guide to Trench Coats: Their History, Style, and Purchase Location

The trench coat is an essential addition to any wardrobe due to its timeless design and rich history. Discover the origins and traits of the iconic trench coat—known for its double-breasted design—in this guide.

Why Is It Called a Trench Coat?

Although there are a lot of products available that claim to be genuine trench coats, many of them aren’t. Authentic trench coats have a unique set of characteristics, such as the minimum knee length and belted waist.

Traction Coat Features

Materials for Trench Coats

Traditionalists contend that, despite being rubberized initially, there is only one option for trench coat fabric: Thomas Burberry’s 100% cotton gabardine. It is made of tightly woven worsted cotton and is strong and light at the same time. The waterproofing of the yarn and the final fabric results in exceptional water-repellent qualities.

Leather was formerly often used for trench construction. But a leather trench coat is best avoided because of bad connotations from the Second World War and since they are often employed as nasty character costumes. Alternatively, go for a bomber jacket.

Although they may be utilized, materials like Gore-Tex or Event Fabric aren’t as classy on a clothing with such a conventional design.

Sleeves with Raglan

Similar to the Chesterfield coat, the raglan sleeve originated in the 19th century and is named for an aristocrat, FitzRoy Somerset 1st Baron Raglan. The diagonal sleeve heads are meant to make it easier to move about and pull the coat on over thick layers. Although raglan sleeves are preferred by traditionalists, trench coats can also be found with classic suit-like sleeve heads or a mix of both.

There should also be sleeve straps at the cuffs at the base of the sleeve. To keep the weather out, they may be tightened.

Closure with two breasts

Trench coats, which have 10 buttons on the front and are often double breasted, have military origins. Although there are other button and belt combinations for both single and double breasted variants, the 6×2 DB cut has always been the initial coat.


Trench coats were also equipped with the notorious shoulder tabs that are frequently seen on military uniforms, although they were not there just to denote rank. Instead, they were utilized to fasten whistles, gloves, or gas masks.

An armament patch or flap

The gun patch had two purposes. It could be used as a gun flap to absorb rifle recoil, but more significantly, it kept rainwater from trickling down the shoulders and onto the gun itself. A deep back yoke that lets water trickle away from your back and keeps you dry somewhat mimics this characteristic. Because it is uncommon on other clothing, this characteristic makes the trench special.

Closure of the Throat

You can simply keep your collar locked all the way by using the hook and eye located just below the huge collar. It is frequently fastened with a neck latch, which is a strap and buckle mechanism concealed behind the collar.

Belt with D-Rings

Originally, equipment like grenades or even a sword was suspended from the belt using its D-rings. The sword goes out of style when worn with a trench coat, but the belt still defines and sinches the waist to give you a striking profile. As a reminder of the original military feature, the D-rings are still present.

Every belt on the trench coat should have a leather buckle. Although metal buckles may function just as well in theory, the trench coat’s fabric would not prematurely wear out thanks to the leather.

Back Pleated “Wedge”

Your trench coat needs a vent so that you may move about freely. It was fashioned with a wedge, a type of box pleat, to keep you warm and dry. Wedged vents are fantastic since they provide additional movement while keeping out the wind and rain. To further shield you from the weather, a trench coat’s vent usually has a button closing.

Storm-related pockets

To block out the rain, the angled storm pockets may be closed from the outside. Trench coats that are appropriate feature through pockets that are accessible from both the inside and the outside, including white trench coat. You may wear the coat buttoned or unbuttoned, and you can always access your passport or wallet thanks to this fantastic feature.

Verified the Lining

Trench coats have always had a traditional checkered lining. Trench coats are a particularly adaptable item of clothing since they come with a detachable wool lining that can be fastened with buttons for chilly days. These liners frequently contain a blend of fibers, such 95% wool and 5% camel hair, or even cashmere.

Traditional Colors

Khaki or camel is the most conventional hue for trench coats. Other well-liked hues are black or navy blue, as well as stone and sand. They come in almost every hue under the sun these days. Remember that colors fade more rapidly than darker ones. Raphael travels with a darker trench coat in order to reduce the possibility of getting stains on his clothes.

FAQs for Trench Coat

What makes a trench coat classic?

A traditional trench coat ought to be a double-breasted overcoat composed of cotton gabardine that has been waterproofed. It should fall to the knees and have a rifle flap and a belt with D-rings, among other distinguishing characteristics.

Which trench coat is best for men?

Men’s trench coats come in a variety of styles, with many collectors favoring Burberry versions from before 1999. Even though they might be hard to locate, the vintage market offers a wide range of fantastic selections from numerous distinct high-quality companies, such as Macintosh and Aquascutum.

Are men’s trench coats still fashionable?

Lover of traditional style like trench coats as an amazing item of clothing. These overcoats are quite functional, and getting one with a detachable wool blend lining makes them even more so.

Do guys belong in trench coats?

If you haven’t already, a trench coat is probably on your wish list if you’re into traditional fashion! Given that it may be worn in a variety of settings, such as rain, wind, and snow, a trench coat may be considered an all-season garment.

What’s worn beneath a man’s trench coat?

Trench coats were traditionally worn by members of the armed forces, who wore heavy uniforms underneath them. Trench coats are really versatile these days; you can wear them with suits, sweaters, and even casual pants like denim jeans beneath.

Is a trench coat better worn loose or fitted?

Trench coats, which were originally intended to be military clothing, are made to fit looser for more movement. Unlike the enormous designs of the 1980s, classic trench coats should still fit you well. However, unlike the 2000s’ narrow fit trends, they shouldn’t be so tight that they can’t be worn over a jacket.

What use does a trench coat serve?

The initial purpose of trench coats, as suggested by their name, was to shield soldiers from the unforgiving surroundings of the trenches. Trench coats, which were used during the war, gained immense popularity as a daily wearable weather protection against strong winds and rain.

Is a trench coat necessary for the winter?

In the depths of winter as well as during transitional seasons, a trench coat may be a great addition to your wardrobe. An additional layer of warmth may be added to a trench coat with a detachable wool liner to help ward off the chill.

Which color goes on a trench coat the best?

Though they are available in a variety of hues, traditional trench coats are beautifully colored in khaki. When traveling, a darker hue like black, gray, or navy might be a fantastic choice.

Are trench coats universally flattering?

Although trench coats are still quite flexible, there are certain situations when they don’t look right. Specifically, with evening and summer attire. A trench coat may appear a bit excessive, even if you may desire an extra layer in the heat. When it comes to formality, avoid the trench coat and choose something more appropriate for events that call for a higher level of attention (such as black or white tie dress requirements).

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