SHOPPING for new clothes is fun (you must think so, or you wouldn’t be on my page!)
But there are some pieces in our wardrobes that we reach for over and over again.
No item has stood the test of time better than the trench coat. But despite its tried and tested style kudos, the trench has become the ‘must have’ jacket again this year. The high street has taken some new twists on the favourite (as you’ll see below). But my advice? Invest in a classic piece you love and it will last you a lifetime. Your trench coat is probably the one item that will go with anything in your wardrobe.
So, where did it all begin?
Fashion experts credit the image of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for starting our trench obsession. Perhaps the most memorable garment of Hepburn is her in that black dress and pearls. But the ‘trench coat’ scene shouldn’t be underestimated! Up until that point, the trench had been perceived as a predominately ‘male’ item of clothing.
Women had worn trenches before (in the 1920s it was a symbol of emancipation – Gloria Swanson in Queen Kelly, Greta Garbo in A Woman of Affairs)
Then, of course, Katherine Hepburn came along and the trench became the symbol of ‘sassy mannishness’.
Burberry – the brand name synonymous with the trench – made that one for Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
When the film was aired, sales of the coat style skyrocketed faster than you could say ‘cinema.’
Soon they were being worn by style icons like Jackie O and Brigitte Bardot.
So – you’re in good company if you’re looking to get into the trench.
Below are some of the best on the high street right now. They’re all within or below the £100 price mark, so that the style is accessible to all.
My styling tips?
- Try before you buy – we all know sizing varies wildly across retailers. And some shapes just do not suit my body. A rounded shoulder? Nope, I look like a Sumo wrestler
- Length – how long do you want it? Is it really a true trench if it’s not down to the calf (philosophical question of the day)
- Sleeves – roll them up for a cool/ casual vibe. Can also look good with the jazzy sleeve of a statement sweat popping out, or the cuff of a shirt
- Belts – you don’t have to use the one your coat comes with. I love adding a statement belt to jackets to make an impact
- If in doubt, go classic – some of the coats below are amazing, but they will date. If you want to invest in a trench that will stand the test of time, go classic on shape and material
- Look at the buttons – Are they secure? Are they easily replaceable? Will they age well? (A tortoise shell button is sure to stand the test of time)
So, here are some of my picks of the high street…..
Next is one of the go-to places for classic pieces, and this delicious caramel coat is no exception. It’s a little thicker than your usual trench, so will last well into autumn. For Next’s selection of coats, click the pic!
This coat from Asos is the classic shape (….I might be biased because I have it…)
It took me a long while to find one that suited me after my old New Look number finally packed in and ripped on the arms (….perhaps I have Popeye arms?!?!). If you like your trench at a longer length, it’s a good shout. ALSO Asos is currently doing money off depending how much you spend. So for £80 it’s £10 off, £90 it’s £20 and £100 it’s £30
Another classic here from New Look, currently £10 off priced £39.99
Love this Topshop coat too….
Can I per-suede you to try texture??
(see what I did there? *guffaw*) – Seriously though, this New Look mac is my lust-after of the year. Ever since I first saw it on press preview I started mentally putting outfits together. It went out of stock, but has now been re-stocked in all sizes, so if you want it, grab it soon! (Also comes in khaki)
Or, you could try and get your hands on this grey suede one from Primark (£30)
Put some dazzle in your day
Sequins?! On a trench? Shouldn’t work but kinda does. If, like me, you are a minimalist, understated kind of person – this is the coat for you. Totally go-under-the-radar vibes from this baby.
It’s River Island premium and you can find the whole trench range here
(Not so) Mellow Yellow
It’s the colour of the year, but can be very difficult to wear. So why not try just a flash of colour? If you’re into the sporty/oversized vibe, this Topshop trench has serious fashion credentials (in stock soon)
Or you could go full on yellow with this Florence & Fred jacket, £39. I posted it on my instagram a couple of weeks ago and it went down a treat
Good old Marks and Sparks
This check coat (below) has been raved about by every magazine I’ve seen in the last month or so. And it is delicious, so why not. It’s on sale so you will have to hurry if you want it.
Disappointingly, the high street favourite doesn’t seem to have any ‘classic’ trenches in stock right now, but if you fancy a pattern, colour or quirky shape, there’s plenty for you to get excited about (see puff sleeve trench below)….
Looking for a budget-friendly version?
If you’re not really a trench wearer, but you do just want to get on board with the trend, then take a look at the purse-loving jackets at George.